Ban the Balloon!

October 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

The dreaded EU has struck again…

Under the rules, children under the age of eight are no longer allowed to blow up balloons, if they are unsupervised.

Teddys have to be washable, too. Not only that but ‘scratch and sniff’ has been banned because they contain, yes, chemicals!

Something has been banned because of chemicals? Yes, it’s the Daily Mail again.

Party blowers – which unscroll when blown – are categorised as unsafe for under-14s under rules governing toys that children put in their mouths. EU officials claim bits of blower could come off and cause choking. They can no longer be sold unless they pass strict new tests.

Some children’s musical instruments, such as recorders and whistles, are also banned because they may come apart and pieces of them could be swallowed.

How dare they ban toys that could come apart in childrens mouths and choke them to death. I’ve choked to death more than once as a kid. Never did me any harm. In fact I got sent to my room with a clip round the ear for being so stupid. Made me the man I am today, it did.

The Mail does add a single line which justifies this measure…

This measure follows cases where children have swallowed small magnets which have then disintegrated and pulled intestines together, causing severe injuries.

Teh Telegraph (h/t does an equally rabid report on the banning of children children being able to live life on the edge complete with a quote from an EU official that, to me at least, doesn’t read like a real quote…

Another EU official admitted that the new regulations could be difficult to understand but insisted that safety experts knew best.

“You might say that small children have been blowing up balloons for generations, but not anymore and they will be safer for it,” said an official.

But in the end, balloons and shit haven’t been banned and these regs aren’t new

Several newspapers have claimed that “Brussels” has imposed new rules on the UK banning children from blowing up balloons or using party whistles. This is wholly untrue.

EU legislation on toy safety aims to protect young children from death and injury and reflects expert medical advice – and simple common sense.

Balloons and other toys placed in the mouth can and do cause death and injury.

The EU rules referred to date from 1988. They state that ballons made of latex must carry a warning to parents that children under eight years should be supervised. Stronger plastic ballons do not need to carry this warning.

They also state that all toys aimed at children under three should be large enough to prevent them being swallowed.

The Child Accident Prevention Trust says that each year, in the UK, over 15,000 children under five and a further 10,000 children aged between 5 and 14 are treated at accident and emergency units after choking. Only half these incidents involve food.

US research by the Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that ” Of all children’s products, balloons are the leading cause of suffocation death”. So similar rules exist in the US.

So what’s so unreasonable about these regs, again? Regulations that are so draconian that other countries independent of the EU have similar ones?

Oh, yeah, their ‘imposed’ on us from those bloody Europeans.


Travellers and Human Rights from Amanda Platell

October 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Amanda Platell on the ‘real’ victims of Dale Farm

One of the ruses employed by travellers to remain on the site was to claim that their children had a human right to an education at the local school.

But the truth is that the influx of traveller children put such a strain on Crays Hill Primary that all the other local children were withdrawn by their parents. The headteacher and the board of governors also resigned.

Today, the 110-strong school register is made up almost entirely of travellers, with the exception of three pupils.

oh noes! Not the dreaded ‘Human Rights’!

Platell finishes with this…

The tragedy is that while the gipsy children have been given their precious ‘human right’ to an education, the children of Basildon tax- payers have scandalously been denied their right to one.

How have these brave Basildonians been denied their right to an education? The kids haven’t been told to fuck off to another school to make way for traveller children. The parents may have removed their kids from a school but if they haven’t made sure they get in to another then they are the ones denying their kids an education, not the travellers.

As for the standard of education at Crays Hill Primary, with so many poorly performing pupils, there must be some sort of help it could’ve got. I don’t know how these things work, as with many things, but there must be something.

Amanda Platell. Going for the easy targets of Human Rights and the people who need them most.


The Sun and the News Corp AGM

October 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Is this really all The Sun had to say about the News Corp AGM?…

£1m Milly Dowler hacking payouts

Published: Today

NEWS Corp chief Rupert Murdoch yesterday confirmed he has personally donated £1million to charities chosen by Milly Dowler’s family.

The company, owner of The Sun, confirmed it is paying the murdered schoolgirl’s family £2million after the News of the World hacked her phone.

Mr Murdoch told a News Corp shareholder meeting in Los Angeles there was “simply no excuse” for the scandal.

They don’t mention anything about what else happened

At the company’s annual meeting in Los Angeles on Friday Murdoch made a defiant and uncompromising address, insisting News Corp’s history was the “stuff of legend.” However, he was berated by shareholders and some of the world’s largest investors voted against his re-election, and that of his sons, to the News Corp board. They also did not approve of the $33m (£21m) he was paid as chairman and chief executive this year.

Murdoch owns 12% of the company but controls about 40% of the votes because of News Corp’s two classes of shares. But the fact that major investors voted against his re-election and that of his sons and other directors is a major blow for the 80-year-old chairman and chief executive.

News Corp plans to release the full details of the vote on Monday. Before the meeting, shareholders told the Guardian that James Murdoch was likely to receive the biggest vote of no confidence. If the votes go against him, it will cast further doubts on his future at News Corp. The youngest Murdoch son is already facing questions about evidence he gave to a parliamentary inquiry into the News of the World hacking scandal and shareholders at Murdoch-controlled BSkyB have called for his resignation.

Hmmm. I wonder why?

What’s in it for me?

October 20th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

The new former minister of defence Dr Liam Fox has been cleared of anything serious by the report into his and his best man, John Werrity, concluding that national security and didn’t financially gain from the breaches of the parliamentary code of conduct.

There is one question that keeps appearing in the back of my mind, though. It makes me unsure if I’ve missed some thing, am socially inept or if it just hasn’t been mentioned.

If Liam Fox didn’t gain financially what did he get out of his arrangements with Werrity? Surely, it was a bit early in Foxs’ career to be paving the way for a job after politics?

All of us would help a mate out if needed, without asking for anything in return, especially as good a mate as Werrity is supposed to be to Fox. He was Foxs’ best man after all. But what sort of bloke puts his mates job and career on the line?

Werrity used Liams’ publicly funded office and shit for his own business purposes, had Liam attend meetings, and, I think, had meetings set up for him by Liam, and had business cards, which gave the unmistakeable impression that he worked in an official capacity for the then Minister of Defence (of which Fox, in my opinion, could not have been unaware of).

As I say, we would all help out a mate in need, but Werrity, from the outside at least, doesn’t look like he was in need of a bed for a few days till he got his own place, or a loan just to tithe him over until pay day.

So, with all the connections and other stuff Liam Fox was giving Werrity access to, just what did Fox get in return if it wasn’t financial?

(This post was put together on my phone, so if you want links, find them yourself. If you want correct spellings, you can bugger off.)

The Second Annual Media-Watchery Meetup

October 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Do you fancy a pint?

The gang behind The-Sun-Lies, Mailwatch, Expresswatch and numerous other media watching blogs are having Their second annual Media Watch Meetup. The first one, held in August just gone was such a success they couldn’t wait another twelve months so it’s being held in a couple of weeks.

Do come along for a drink or two and a chat about the papers, blogging or just to say hello. Best of all it’s free (apart from the beer which you’ll have to pay for yourself. We’re not *that* nice). There’s no entrance fee and you won’t need to buy anyone a beer to gain access to any of our top bloggers and you can stay as long as you want or until the pub kicks us all out. You can just turn up or or go to the Facebook event page and let us know to expect you.

So, are you coming then?

The Monarch pub, Chalk Farm Road, Camden (map).
Saturday 29th August October
3pm on

3 tunes for a Sunday evening

October 9th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I used to have compilation of Dutch Techno with this on. It’s just as good as I remember it.

Star Wars sandwich

October 4th, 2011 § 4 comments § permalink


I had a creative burst while making sandwiches for school/work tomorrow. My lad is a huge Star Wars fan, I just hope he recognises what it’s meant to be.


The colours are a bit off as I only had a red, blue, green, and yellow food colouring pens. The yellow doesn’t really show up that well*.


*at all.

Posted via email from Sim-O

“A source said…”

October 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Everyone fucks up. You do, I do. Everyone does sometime or other. We either say the wrong thing, misunderstand something or as happened tonight at several newspapers, press the wrong button.

Amanda Knox won her appeal against her conviction for the murder of Meredith Kercher. Several papers, as the verdict was given, published their stories. The problem was that they jumped the gun a little and published stories about Knoxs’ conviction standing. The Sun did it. The Guardian did it.

Knox was found guilty of slander against a bar (or was it a hotel) owner she accused of the murder, and it was this guilty verdict declared by the judge that these papers hit the big red ‘publish’ button on. Ooops!

All three papers corrected themselves pretty quickly, as you can imagine, and in itself isn’t a problem.

Since the beginning of time, newspapers have always raced to get the story out first. On an occasion such as this, the newsdesk will have written two stories. One for a ‘guilty’ verdict and one for an ‘innocent’. In their rush to be first, these papers fucked up and published the wrong story.

That might’ve been that last of it, apart from a lil’ bit of ribbing on Twitter.

What this mistake has done, however was call into question, again, the use of anonymous sources and how can we be sure someone actually did say what the paper says was said?

You see not only did the Mail publish their story about Amanda Knox staying locked up, they also included in it quotes from one of the prosecutors team that were made up

Prosecutors were delighted with the verdict and said that ‘justice has been done’ although they said on a ‘human factor it was sad two young people would be spending years in jail’.

This quote along with other details such as…

Following the verdict Knox and Sollecito were taken out of court escorted by prison guards and into a waiting van which took her back to her cell at Capanne jail near Perugia and him to Terni jail, 60 miles away.

…are complete fabrications thought up by someone in London.

Now, we all suspect that these nameless ‘sources’, ‘insiders’, ‘someone close to…’ and ‘…who wished to remain anonymous…’ are sometimes made up, only real in the head of the reporter or editor, but because of the presses right not to reveal their sources it is extremely hard to pin down the actual source of a quote.

There is one little difference between this nameless source and the usual anonymuos quote: There is a tracability to the false quote. The quotes aren’t quite anonymous.

The prosecutor is Giuliano Mignini. There is your starting point. I’m sure a better blogger then me, or even a proper journalist, could get an official denial/confirmation from him.

But what of this big fat lie? Well, the Press Complaints Commission are unlikely to do anything. The story was written in advance and published by mistake and quickly taken down again. It was never put into print for there to be any need of a correction and the amount of people who would’ve actually seen the article would be relatively small. As far as the PCC would be concerned, there is nothing for them to do.

What it shows is that the Daily Mail is prepared to lie about a fairly big thing. With a path to be able to fact check it’s quotes from a major player in the story.

If the Mail feels it can make up a massive part of it’s story with made up quotes from one of the major people in an event, then what about the smaller stories, the ones that feed the papers agenda?

Is the Mail really going to go to the trouble of getting a quote from Joe Bloggs who’s been passed over for a council house in favour of a Somali pirate seeking asylum or because of the equalities commission isn’t allowing him to call a lesbian a dyke in his office or are they just going to print what Paul Dacre thinks and attribute it to “someone close to Mr Bloggs”?

The Mail fucked up. They made a mistake anyone could’ve done, but with that mistake they’ve revealed so much about the dishonest way they conduct business.

On Osbornes’ plans to hand businesses more power over us

October 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

This really pisses me off

Workers will not be able to claim for unfair dismissal unless they have been in a job for at least two years – not one, under government plans.

The extension is part of Chancellor George Osborne’s plans to help business by changing employment law.

Two years?! Two fucking years!

Within 12 months a company can fuck off an employee with nothing more than a weeks notice. No reason is needed to be given. Fair enough I think. I’d rather it was less than 12 months, but it’s a compromise. I’m told it costs to recruit people and you never really know if you’ve hired the right person till they’re actually doing the job, so a probation period, for both parties is a sensible thing.

But, if a company doesn’t know if they’ve hired the wrong chap within twelve months of the appointment, then they need to review their recruitment process.

Twelve months is more than long enough.

We talk a lot about trade union rights – but what about the right of the unemployed person to be given a shot at a job and a career?

And how is this longer probation period helping an unemployed person? All it’s doing is leaving them in uncertainty for longer.

What about the rights of people currently sitting at home with nothing to do, desperate to get work, but the business can’t afford to employ them because they fear they are going to be taken to the tribunal?

And how the fuck is this going to bring down the cost of employing someone? It’s not suddenly going to drop the HR departments bills by half or whatever, is it? The cost saving is going to come from the drop in unfair dismissal tribunals, and that cost could quite easily be reduced by companies following a simple set of rules:

  1. Do not be a cunt of an employer

Granted, some companies might find it hard to follow that piece of guidance, but then they’ll deserve to spend money on a tribunal.

…by reducing the risk of tribunals for unfair dismissals the government hopes bosses will feel more confident about hiring people.

If you don’t have any confience in the recruitment process, fucking change it! People will litterally jump through any hoop that is set before them to get a fucking job, especially in this climate. The one thing that shouldn’t happen is for rulles to be relaxed so companies feel enobled to behave like wankers, which they will do.

What these cunts like Osborne forget (well maybe not forget but try hide or deny) is that the companies already have enough power over us. Without them, where the fuck are we? Where is our wage going to come from? Not everyone, for a whole variety of reasons can be self employed or start their own business.

All we want is a little bit of protection from being exploited too much.

Where am I?

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