Thursday, 1 October 2015

The world in your coffee cup

• Coffee campaign that helped to change the world 
Today is the world’s first ever ‘International Coffee Day’, which also celebrates ‘Fair Trade Coffee’.

Coffee is the second most traded commodity on earth, second only to oil. But whilst oil keeps our modern cars and machinery working, and coffee keeps us going even on a Monday morning or a Friday afternoon, there is a big difference between the two products.  

Oil producing countries are generally very rich. But countries that provide us with coffee are generally very poor.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

My 13 complaints against one Daily Mail story

A front-page news story by the Daily Mail in January last year that buses and planes to Britain from Romania and Bulgaria were 'full-up and sold-out' was untrue. 

The newspaper asserted that planes and busloads of Romanians and Bulgarians were on their way to Britain in the New Year of 2014 because 'work restrictions' had been lifted.  But with the help of Romanian journalist, Alina Matis, we discovered 13 shocking errors or disputed facts in the story.  

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Newspaper lies can cost lives

Heaven help anybody that the media or the government turns against – that’s what I told 'Russia Today' TV last year, but the interview was never broadcast.  Hardly surprising, really, since in Russia the media mostly is the government.  

In Russia, they don’t have a press regulator like we do. But is our system any better?

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Peter Hitchens: Refugees not welcome

Peter Hitchens, in his column for The Mail, described refugees coming to Britain in terms of an invasion from which we need to protect our country. If we let them in, he wrote, it would be tantamount to giving the country away to “complete strangers” only because “it makes us feel good about ourselves”.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Misleading claim about why Syrian boy drowned

A YouTube video posted yesterday by a UKIP supporter claims that the Syrian boy who was washed up on a Turkish beach drowned because ‘his father wanted new teeth.' The video has so far been viewed over 400,000 times and also posted by far-right groups.

The video shows a clip from a short Sky News interview to which has been added (not by Sky News) an opening title stating, ‘Syrian boy drowned because his Father wanted new teeth’.  

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Refugees: 'There are too many, so we won't help any'

•  Some have strongly objected to the front page photo published today by The Independent of a dead Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach, whose family was trying to escape war and terror. This photo is too upsetting, said many.  However, similar objections were made when photos were released of the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp after the Second World War, but only then did the world start to fully understand the true horrors of the Holocaust. Now, the world needs to understand this worldwide refugee crisis. Maybe this photo will at last open eyes - especially those of the British government, which has stated that it doesn't want to offer asylum to refugees.

The poor, the unemployed, the homeless, the disadvantaged - many of them in Britain think it’s them or us. Refugees fleeing terror, war and torture? We’re full. People here need looking after first. Charity begins at home. We don’t want them. We can’t afford them.

Those were the typical comments by some British people on what the country's response should be to the world's worst refugee crisis.  The new Conservative government seems to be taking them on board  - and ignoring urgent pleas by other Britons calling for a more humane response.*

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

The 8 steps to genocide

• The Daily Mail: One step, two step...?
This is how the Daily Mail chose to portray asylum seekers this month. 

In the first cartoon, by the Mail's resident cartoonist, 'Mac' (Stanley McMurtry), a British couple are advised to tell asylum-seekers in a bed to ‘shove over’ to make room for them in a hotel temporarily accommodating people seeking asylum in the UK. 

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Daily Express business model: selling prejudice and bigotry?

• Imagine Richard Desmond, owner of the Daily Express, pitching his business to the Dragons' Den

Imagine an imaginary scene in Dragons' Den, the popular BBC TV programme where millionaires decide if they'd like to invest in the business plans of 'wannabe' entrepreneurs.

And here comes Richard Desmond into the Den with an investment opportunity for his newspaper called the Daily Express"So what’s your idea, Richard?" asks one of the Dragons.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Calais: Questions the Daily Mail must answer

The Mail on Sunday claimed that hundreds of migrants were 'illegally' entering Britain from Calais and 'being put up in hotels at taxpayers expense'. But was this entirely true? 

Yesterday I phoned the story’s reporter, Brendan Carlin, to ask him.

“I’ve got a plumbing emergency right now,” he responded. “My toilet’s blocked. Send me an email and I’ll try to answer your questions.”

Friday, 26 June 2015

Fiddling whilst the rest of the world burns?

• Terror alert across three continents: Read more in The Guardian

 HORRIFIC TERROR ATTACKS struck across three continents today, in Tunisia, Kuwait and France, leaving many dead and injured. 

TENS OF MILLIONS OF DESPERATE REFUGEES, ASYLUM SEEKERS AND DISPLACED PEOPLE are fleeing war, terror and poverty in what the United Nations has described as, 'the world's worst refugee crisis since records began.'