Friday, October 15, 2021

BBC dubbed 'lazy and inaccurate' over French Jew accused of spying

This is an egregious departure from well-known historical fact. It is very likely antisemitism

In a description for a new BBC Four drama Paris Police 1900, the broadcaster referred to Captain Alfred Dreyfus – who became the centre of the Dreyfus Affair – in a way that “implies he was actually a spy when he wasn’t”, according to Jewish News web editor Jack Mendel.

The Dreyfus Affair was largely seen as a notable example of antisemitism and miscarriage of justice, as Captain Dreyfus was wrongly accused of selling military secrets to the Germans.

Writing on Twitter, Mr Mendel called it "lazy and inaccurate", and explained that a more accurate description of him would have been “the accused Jewish spy”.

Mr Mendel added that “from what I’ve heard, the series is excellent”, but that he felt like “this is clumsy, out-of-context language”.

“I really like the BBC, and think sometimes carelessness can be perceived as spite or deliberate attempts to offend,” he said. “This isn't that.”


UK’s ‘strictest’ headteacher Katharine Birbalsingh made social mobility chief

The headteacher of a school dubbed the strictest in Britain who has attacked “woke culture” has been appointed as the government’s new Social Mobility Commissioner.

Katharine Birbalsingh rose to prominence at the Tory party conference in 2010 with a speech about Britain’s “broken” education system.

Birbalsingh was applauded for claiming that underachievement by black pupils was due partly to “the chaos of our classrooms, and, in part, to the accusation of racism [against teachers]”.

Following a political row after the speech, she lost her job. But in 2014, she founded the Michaela free school close to Wembley stadium in north-west London, which has a “no excuses” behaviour policy. Pupils were given demerits or detention for forgetting to bring a pencil or pen, or for talking in corridors between lessons. The school has been described as “outstanding” in all areas by Ofsted inspectors. In 2019, more than half of all GCSE grades were level 7 or above.

Boris Johnson’s senior advisers, the husband-and-wife team Dougie Smith and Munira Mirza, who are leading the Downing Street culture wars, have been reported to be fans of Birbalsingh, who describes herself as holding “small ‘c’ conservative values”.

When the government-commissioned Sewell report on race and ethnic disparities was widely criticised as divisive, inaccurate and having played down racism, Birbalsingh tweeted: “It is always acceptable in our woke culture of 2021 to mercilessly attack black conservatives. They have ‘betrayed’ their leftist masters by daring to think for themselves, when they should be grateful. THAT is institutionalised/cultural racism. And it is everywhere.”

The Social Mobility Commission has been led by the interim co-chairs Sandra Wallace and Steven Cooper since July 2020, after the resignation of the previous chair, Dame Martina Milburn.

Birbalsingh said she was looking forward to taking up the role when “improving social mobility is more vital than ever”. She added: “On the one hand, I want to inspire real action that will encourage people to seize the opportunities available to them and, on the other, I want to ensure that the government and other public bodies are delivering on their commitments to providing such opportunities, so that we really can ‘level up’ every region of the UK.”

Liz Truss, the minister for women and equalities, said she wanted Birbalsingh to focus on “education, enterprise and employment”.

Truss, who has herself criticised “woke orthdoxy”, said: “Our equality work will address the worries that keep people up at night – like having a good job and getting their child a good education – not tokenistic issues divorced from their everyday concerns.”


LAPD Investigating Apparent Vandalism of Italian Catholic Church by Far-Left Activists

St. Peter’s Italian Catholic Church in Los Angeles was found vandalized on Monday, seemingly in protest of Columbus Day and the opening of the Americas to European colonization.

The vandalism is being investigated by officials as a “hate crime,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

Photographs show splotches of red paint on the front steps and facade of the church.

The words “Land Back” and “Stolen Land” were spray-painted on the sidewalk in front of the house of worship, according to the Times. A banner reading “Stop Colonizing Our Land” was also found outside the church.

“I think it’s all related to Columbus Day,” said Arturo Martinez, who said he noticed the vandalism on Monday morning.

“We know the history of Columbus, so they have taken a direct hit to Italy and what Columbus represents.”

“We pray for all the people who suffer discrimination and isolation, so that they can find peace in their hearts, and we can live in harmony and peace,” St. Peter’s said in a statement, according to KTLA-TV.

“Our parish is a home of prayer and encounter, where everyone is welcome to find GOD. We forgive and look forward to having the strength to do GOD’s will.”

“As a community of faith, we offer our prayers for those who felt compelled to express their concerns in this way,” Archdiocese of Los Angeles spokeswoman Carolina Guevara said. “We also pray for the parish community as they work to clean up the damage.”

Councilman Joe Buscaino condemned the vandalism in a post on Facebook.

“I am saddened by the act of vandalism today against St. Peter’s Italian Catholic Church near downtown LA,” Buscaino, who is running for mayor, said. “I am hopeful that those who committed these acts to a sacred place of worship will be found and prosecuted.”

“Today should be about celebrating our diversity and contributions to society, without the need for hatred or violence. We all need to work together, not breed division and hate with one another. I pray that our city can truly embrace and be proud of our diversity.”

Martinez echoed the sentiment, saying, “There’s a right way to make a protest, and this is not it, obviously.”

No suspects have yet been identified.

In 2017, the Los Angeles City Council and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day.

“This gesture of replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day is a very small step in apologizing and in making amends,” Councilman Mike Bonin said at the time.


UK baker’s plight over ‘illegal sprinkles’ ban erupts online

If the stuff is OK in some foods, why not in all foods?

A small bakery in UK has become the centre of global attention after authorities banned its famous sprinkles, leaving many in disbelief.

Or more specifically, a baker who had his shop raided after someone tipped him off to authorities for using – wait for it – “illegal sprinkles”.

For the last 48 hours, a ticked-off baker’s plight for sprinkles-related justice from the English city of Leeds has gripped the UK.

And now it’s gone global after the “ridiculous” ban spilt online.

It all started when Get Baked’s boss Richard Myers was paid a visit by Trading Standards, a UK government body designed to investigate illegal sales activity, earlier this month.

“[The inspector] said they’d had reports of us using illegal sprinkles and I actually laughed by mistake, then realised he was being serious,” Mr Myers told the BBC.

Get Baked’s sprinkles are from the United States and used on several products, including the bakery’s best-selling raspberry glazed doughnut cookies and Birthday Bruce cake.

The sprinkles contained E127 food colouring, which is only approved for use in cocktail or candied cherries in the UK.

It has been linked to possible hyperactivity in children, while a study on rats found it increased the risk of thyroid cancer.

Mr Myers, who sourced the apparently illegal sprinkles from a UK wholesaler said he used the US sprinkles as they were better than local versions.

“British sprinkles are rubbish,” he told the BBC.

“They run and aren’t bake-stable. The colours aren’t vibrant and they just don’t look very good.”

Fuming over the situation, Mr Myers posted about the ban on Get Baked’s Facebook page several times.

“To whoever reported us to Trading Standards, (Dan?) all I have to say is, dear lord, what a sad little life Jane,” he said in one post.

“My daughter, who is now seven months, has to live with the fact that Daddy can’t take her to Disneyland, because man can’t sell any f***ing cookies.”

People were (understandably) outraged – as well as a little confused – that something as innocent as sprinkles could cause such a headache.

Some on Instagram asked if they could still have the “havoc-wreaking” sprinkles as long as they “sign a waiver”.

“Illegal sprinkles look much nicer than legal sprinkles,” one person commented.

“I’m losing sleep wondering how to get them now,” another said.

Mr Myers told The Sun the situation was a “total farce” which also had the potential to impact him financially.

“It’s ridiculous, given that kids are allowed to buy cans of Coca-Cola, which are full of caffeine,” he said.

“We’re just an independent business and this is going to affect our trade and my livelihood quite dramatically.”

But despite the social media uproar, authorities are holding strong over their decision to ban the sprinkles.

“We can confirm that we have advised the business concerned the use of E127 is not permitted in this type of confectionery item,” West Yorkshire Trading Standards said in a statement.

“We stand by this advice and would urge all food business operators, when seeking to use imported foods containing additives, to check that they are permitted for use in the UK.”




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