I will be reviewing the papers this morning with Jon Gaunt on FUBAR Radio at 11.30am (remember you can listen on line or download the app for free, and there is no subscription charge).
I am not sure which stories we will be discussing, but below are a number which have caught the eye during the week:
But first, it is impossible not to comment on the atrocity at the Manchester Dogs Home, not only to the 60 dogs that needlessly perished, but to the others who no doubt are traumatized and to the staff and volunteers who will be distraught. Once again the British public have shown their greatness raising in excess of 1 million Pounds, but is it churlish to make the point that if even a fraction of this had been donated before then many of these dogs would never have been in the Dogs home requiring re-homing in the first place. We MUST get out of this reactive society/approach and become proactive: it will save money, lives, and necessary suffering!
Story of the week from Spain has to be that Spain prepares for an autumn of discontent by buying €1m of riot gear, with The Guardian covering it as well as anybody. I have discussed previously that Spain is effectively bankrupt with 1€ trillion of debt (98% of GDP) and unemployment rising in August, while the Government remains in denial allowing corruption to continue throughout all levels of government.
Since June, the interior ministry has tendered four contracts to purchase riot equipment ranging from shields to stab vests. The ministry also finalised its purchase of a new truck-mounted water cannon, an anti-riot measure used during Spain’s dictatorship and the transition to democracy but little seen in recent years. Despite attempts by opposition Socialist politician Antonio Trevín to paint the purchase as “a return to times that we would rather forget”, the ministry said in its tender that the water cannon was necessary, “given the current social dynamic”
One person will be happy though ….. Bonking Boris who recently advocated water cannons on the streets of London.
It is impossible to avoid comparisons with the UK and the Scottish Referendum, (Baby Jesus had the The Wise Kings, Scotland got the Three Unwise Clowns bearing gifts of No Clue, No Idea and No Hope), as Catalans form giant ‘V for vote’ in independence drive as reported on the Expatica Site
Catalans fired up by Scotland’s independence referendum massed in Barcelona’s streets in red and yellow shirts Thursday, forming a giant “V” to demand a vote on breaking away from Spain.
Drawn up in lines of red and yellow to form stripes with the Catalan colours, hundreds of thousands of flag-waving demonstrators of all ages massed in the sunshine to mark Catalonia’s national day, the Diada.
The commemoration, which marks the Spanish conquest of Catalonia in 1714, was more sensitive than ever this year, coming amid calls for a November 9 vote on Catalan independence.
“November 9 we will vote. November 9 we will win,” read a banner at the head of Thursday’s rally, which filled two converging central avenues in Barcelona.
Scotland’s September 18 referendum has put the wind in the sails of Catalans who want full sovereignty for their region in the northeast of Spain, a move fiercely opposed by the central government.
And The Times has an interesting article Catalan delegates petition Cameron for their own referendum reporting that a delegation from the Catalan National Assembly, the group demanding independence for the Spanish state, delivered a petition to Downing Street yesterday calling on David Cameron to back a Catalan referendum.
UK Top Stories
Schools barred from making pupils run laps as punishment from the Mail Online was running (pardon the pun) in top spot for most of the week – it didn’t do us any harm in my day – with all kinds of links to obesity, street crime, video games etc ready to trip of the fingers in an extended rant but at the end of the day top spot went to Jeremy Hunt ‘open’ to charging drunks for A&E in The Times as Jeremy Hunt has said that he is in favour of charging drunks for using emergency services if they have suffered accidents because of their own “irresponsible” drinking. YES YES YES
Fat-shaming: how the slim and sanctimonious help to cause our obesity crisis from The Guardian basically says that telling somebody they are fat, makes them fat! Research published by University College London suggests that people who felt discriminated against because of their spare tyres – who had been the butt of jokes, patronised or hassled or given worse service in shops and restaurants – were actually more likely to gain weight.They eat more to comfort themselves; became too ashamed to go to the gym and risk ridicule from the honed and toned. Those treated kindly, meanwhile, tended actually to shed pounds. Or to put it another way, Hopkins will probably send more viewers running to the biscuit tin than to Weight Watchers – which should surely worry such a hawkish advocate of lower public spending.
So apparently we are all meant to put our arms around a fattie (if you can reach round that is) and give them some love, along with a burger!
Or alternatively they could just read this article on the Mail Online which says the ‘magic pill’ to prevent obesity, diabetes and lower your risk of cancer? Just WALK for 30 minutes each day
Alarm for old age Brits as ‘almost half’ with no pensions saved from The Express adds more gloom to the long term outlook for many claiming that Britons are still woefully unprepared for their old age with almost half having no pension savings, which is ironic/stupid/worrying when read alongside The Times article Golden age revealed for those who retired in the past decade. It really is simple: get on the property ladder early and stay there for 25+ years, start a pension early, pay in more as you can afford, retire, downsize to release some capital, buy an annuity of similar to enhance pension income, enjoy life!
Retirement? No, just give older workers a sabbatical: Many need a break but don’t want to stop for ever, says jobs tsar from the Mail Online makes a lot of sense. Have said for years that give people a break when they younger to enjoy life aka spend money while they fit and able, then get them back to work when they older and not able to do as much.
Calais migrants ‘becoming more violent’ in attempts to reach Britain as The Telegraph reports Police say they are struggling to contain violence and crime by illegal immigrants encamped in and around the French port and desperate to cross the Channel
Ones To Watch
Boris Johnson selected to stand for Tories in Uxbridge and South Ruislip from The Guardian is going to run and run with the consensus being that he will run for leadership once Cameron loses the General Election. I have a dream …… Boris as PM and Farage and Deputy PM!!!!
You Shouldn’t Smile But …….
Hooligans invade pitch to strip player during game in Argentina from The Guardian made me smile as a player was assaulted by hooded hooligans and stripped of his shirt and shorts during a lower-tier club match in Argentina.
Chinese medical student died of heart attack as he looked at ‘sexy magazine’ when he made fourth donation to sperm bank in a week from the Mail Online says it all really, but if you want more details the nurses only realised something was wrong when he had taken two hours and still not provided a sample.
The World Has Gone Mad
The Mail Online reported that Dozens of schoolchildren banned from lessons and kept in hall ‘like prisoners’ because they were wearing the ‘wrong’ shoes. Seriously! Schools without computers, teachers without the skills to teach, Graduates with poor literacy and reading skills and we are meant to be worries that the kids have the wrong shoes on. FFS get some perspective!
Also Of Interest
Hundreds of schools have no access to computers in The Times: An estimated 250 schools still do not have a computer, despite coding now being part of the national curriculum and their use being crucial to children’s career prospects, a study suggests. It also estimates that while the vast majority of teachers use digital technology, only about one in seven is completely computer literate.
International study shows just one in four leave university with highest levels of reading and writing from the Mail Online provides yet more evidence of just how broken the education system is and how deep a hole we really are in, as indeed does 75% of graduates don’t have a good grasp of English also from the Mail Online
MPs claiming more expenses now than at height of 2009 scandal in The Guardian. No surprise really, as they were always going to want to prove that the system based on ‘trust’ was going to cost the Tax Payer less.