Sunday, 9 August 2009

Diana Watch

“Amy is very proud; she has just played “The Final Countdown” on hand bells.”

“No don't put your fingers in the letter box, they'll get stuck!” “MUM! MY FINGERS ARE STUCK!” “I did tell you. That's the 3rd time that that has happened.”

So did I affect the front page of the Daily Mail's website? On Thursday they published a picture of a lady who is suddenly a suspect in the abduction of Madeline McCann (a couple of days after some negative press about the amount of money that has been spent on the search. PR in action Ladies and Gentlemen,) who apparently look like this,


but next to that on the website was a picture of Cheryl Cole's from Girls Aloud’s Mum and she looks like this,


I commented on the site that they look remarkably similar and the next time I looked they had taken the picture of Cheryl's Mum down. Did I do that or was it coincidence?
The belief that one thing causes another simply because they happen to occur closely together used to be an excepted thing, in times before science that is. You do a dance and then it rains; hence the dance causes the rain. My parents go on holiday on Thursday and the sun comes out on Friday; hence my parents were causing the bad weather.
Must people have now worked out that this poor way of deciding upon causality but some of us haven’t. We shall refer to it as Clarkson logic in homage to Jeremy Clarkson, a man who believes that because it rains or is a bit chilly on a summer’s day then Global Warming is made up nonsense. An opinion he has expressed many times and, of course, he uses the phrase “Global Warming” and not “Global Climate Change” because it is easier to mock. I'm also sure that he believes that 1 swallow does make a summer. I'm going to try and make this a trending topic on Twitter this week using the tag #ClarksonLogic, feel free to join in.
Another example of this is the campaign by, understandably, concerned parents against the MMR vaccine and their belief that it causes Autism. There is currently no credible evidence that it does but the logic runs like this, child has MMR and then develops Autism, thus MMR causes Autism. In our less enlightened history this would have been a reasonable view point but not now.
Children have the vaccine at about the same time that the first signs of autism begin to show themselves in the developing child. One does not cause the other.
I understand why parents want to blame something for what happens to their perfect little bundles but this isn't it.
If one of you is even thinking about the awful research that was conducted by “Dr” Andrew Wakefield I will hunt you down and force a copy of the book “Bad Science” down your throats. This man has endangered the life of many hundreds, maybe thousands, of children and at risk adults by playing to the easiest to scare group in the world, already jumpy, because they have a new child, middle class parents.
I have to admit that I don't understand why some people still think that this man is correct. His research has been shown be wrong in so many ways and there are hundreds of studies that show that MMR is safe, yet he still has support. Admittedly they aren't scientific people but never the less, they seem reasonably sensible but not on this issue.

There have been 2 stories involving the Polices DNA database this week. The first one is a bit funny but also quite disturbing. A survey of police stations has found that, in some cases, the delicate and crucial DNA samples taken from those who looked a bit funny at a police man was being stored in a fridge, so that's ok then, next to half eaten food. Really? Are you Sure? Next to a take-away? No, really? Well it seems, yes.
I'm sure no samples went to the Lab with curry sauce on them.
The other story was about the European Court of Human Rights ruling earlier this year which stated that the DNA samples of innocent people or those not charged with anything should be destroyed. I wrote about it at the time because it was the right decision but it seems that the Association of Chief Police Officers does not agree.
They have written to senior officers advising them to resist individual requests based on the Strasbourg ruling to remove DNA profiles from the database. In the letter they point out that new Government advice on this subject will be out some time in 2010 so police forces should ignore all requests until then.
I'm no legal expert, as I think I have proved on here again and again, but isn't a ruling form that court binding? Don't the police have to act upon it? It would seem that they consider themselves to be above the law.

I know that I went on about the Mail and Express quite a lot last week and I will try and stop it but they are horrid but something fun struck me this morning.
The average reader, as expressed through the comments section of the websites, has an awful lot in common with the way that those papers represent Muslim men. Both have problems with woman's rights and equality. Both groups dislike Government as a concept. Both groups are a little anti-Semitic. They both think that the BBC is against them. If they was a verse in the Qur'an on the evil that is the wheelie bin then they would be the same. Think of the increased circulation of both of those papers if they just embraced this awkward little fact.

The Award for Pointless Complaint of the Week,

The Office of Fair Trading has called for an Ombudsman to over see our Supermarkets. I think that this would be a good thing because our Supermarkets are not renowned for their fair play towards suppliers.
When interviewed on the radio a spokesman representing the 4 biggest supermarkets used the classic Simpson’s “won't someone please think of the children” defence. He said “Well it will cost £5 million per year and that cost will be passed on to the consumer”. I don't wish to be picky but didn't Tesco make £2 BILLION profit last year? Just Tesco. No one else, just them. I think you can afford to have yourselves regulated properly and fairly.

The Award for Bravest Person of the Week,

This goes to Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein. She is facing 40 lashes in Sudan as punishment for dressing “indecently”. She was wearing trousers.
12 other women were arrested with her in a restaurant but decided to take the immediate punishment of 10 lashes but she has decided not to admit guilt so will go to court.
The rules regarding dress are supposed not to apply to non-Muslim woman in Sudan and she is also works for the UN so has diplomatic immunity but has decided to wave this in order to make her point.
The Qur'an does not forbid the wearing of trousers.

The Award for Least Comfortable Looking World and Ex-World Leaders,

I give you President Clinton and Kim Jong-il,


The Award for Show Off World Leader of the Week,

Thank your lucky stars that our leaders don't choose to do this, Not President Honest Putin on holiday,


There is no need for this really, is there.

The Award for Bafflingly Famous Animal that has Died of the Week (not to contrived),

This has 2 winners.
The first is a Carp called Benson has died. It was famous for being really, really big. 64Lbs to be precise, which is quite big I suppose but national news? That's it really. Although it is possible that it died of a nut allergy which is a very middle class way for a fish to die.
Also Britain's most expensive sheep has died. He cost £128,000 six years ago and has fathered lambs worth more than £1 million.
It's a sheep people. £128,000. Oh, he had a name too, he was called Tophill Joe.

So England have lost the 4th test with some incredibly inapt battling and bowling so now the series is level. England were so bad that I think that they did it on purpose. Oh yes, we are lulling them into a false sense of security. It's 1 all with one to play. Freddie Flintoff will return for the last one at the Oval and destroy the Australian attack with the ball taking 5 or 6 wickets and then score 150 in each innings and England will win the Ashes in the most dramatic style. Freddie will retire and will be a national hero.
Please don't puncture this bubble; it's all I have left.

Have a good week.

1 comment:

  1. Only blog I have ever read with the tag 'biggest carp'. Funny.