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The Guardian - April 7, 2018

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Section:GDN 1N PaGe:1 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:S
Sent at 6/4/2018 18:59
Six of the best
Healthy
breakfasts

Feast
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
The secret to
a happy sex life
after babies

Guide to
the Dordogne

Weekend
W
Travel
Satu
Saturday
April 2018
7 Apr
Issue № 53,377
£2.90
PHOTOGRAPH:AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Diplomatic row
intensifies as
ex-spy ‘rapidly
improves’
Palestinian death
toll mounts in Gaza
World Page 31
Luke Harding
Andrew Roth Moscow
Ben Quinn
Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia,
were at the centre of an international
tussle between the UK and Russia yesterday following an announcement by
doctors that the former Russian spy
is getting better and is “no longer in a
critical condition”.
One month after the pair were found
collapsed on a park bench in Salisbury,
having been poisoned with deadly
nerve agent, the hospital treating them
said they were both recovering.
Amid reports that Viktoria Skripal,
Yulia’s cousin, had been denied a
visa to visit the UK, the news of the
improvement in Sergei’s condition
raises the prospect that he will be able
to give police vital clues as to who may
have poisoned him, and why.
The Skripals’ testimony will be crucial in establishing the credibility of the
government’s claim: that it is “highly
likely” the Russian state targeted them
with a novichok poison. Moscow has
waged a furious media battle to demolish this account, and will now want to
take Yulia back to Russia.
Dr Christine Blanchard, medical
director at Salisbury district hospital,
revealed Sergei’s improving condition
yesterday afternoon.
In a statement that she said was
made in response to intense media coverage, Blanchard said Yulia’s strength
was improving daily and she would be
leaving hospital soon. She added: “I
also want to update you on the condition of her father, Sergei Skripal. He is
responding well to treatment, improving rapidly and is no longer in a critical
condition.”
A Foreign Office spokesman said
that the government was pleased
that the Skripals were in better health
but added: “Let us be clear, this was
attempted murder using an illegal
chemical weapon that we know Russia possesses.”
The hospital statement prompted
the Russian embassy in London to
tweet: “Good news!”
According to the BBC, the government has refused to give a visa
to Viktoria Skripal, who has made
repeated appearances in
8 
recent days on Russian
Labour’s
ruling body
split over
action on
antisemitism
Jessica Elgot
•
The depth of the split in the Labour
party’s ruling body over antisemitism and racism has been laid bare in
leaked minutes that show fierce disagreements over disciplinary action.
Key supporters of Jeremy Corbyn
attempted to block action against
Labour members facing complaints,
according to minutes obtained by the
Guardian.
Momentum’s founder Jon Lansman and the MP Jon Trickett were
two prominent figures who voted to
limit disciplinary action in three contentious cases, multiple
6 
sources said. Lansman has
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:2 Edition Date:180407 Edition:02 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 21:26
••
Inside
cYanmaGentaYellowbla
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
07/04/2018
News
Olly Alexander
The edgiest voice in pop Page 14
Howard Jacobson
My Jewish life Page 25
Prince Harry’s new look Page 30
Cackle and sop
The enduring myth of the witch in literature
Page 6
Book of the week
Painter to the King by Amy Sackville Page 12
Ottolenghi
Three ways with pork Page 3
Felicity Cloake
How to make perfect mayonnaise Page 18
For a song
The 10 music festivals you’ve probably
never heard of but should book for now
Page 8
Local’s guide The Gold Coast Page 11
Five best things to see and do
Our critics’ picks Page 4
Gone to the dogs?
Have we reached peak
Wes Anderson? Page 12
Journal
Decca Aitkenhead
interviews David Lammy MP Page 6
Money
Car trouble
The rising cost of AA cover Page 47
Sport
Premier League
Kevin de Bruyne on City’s hopes of winning
the title against United today Page 4
Quick reference
Contact
Cryptic crossword
Back of Journal
Page 12
Killer sudoku
Back of Journal
Page 12
Quick crossword
and sudoku classic
Page 62
Weather
Page 63
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Reunited after
24 years ‘I don’t
want my parents
to feel regret. It
is not their fault’
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:3 Edition Date:180407 Edition:02 Zone:
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
Sent at 6/4/2018 21:50
cYanmaGentaYellowbla
••
3
▼ Kang Ying and her birth mother Liu
Dengying are reunited in Chengdu,
China, where she went missing in 1994
PHOTOGRAPH: AFP/GETTY
have been abandoned, the result of
rural poverty, China’s formerly strict
one-child policy, a preference for
sons, and other factors.
But many have also been kidnapped, to be sold within the
country as couples struggle with
rising infertility rates, and families in
rural areas hope to purchase sons.
Anqi Shen, a professor at Northumbria Law School in Newcastle,
who researches trafficking, said girls
are also in demand on the black market because of the belief they will
take care of ageing parents.
K
Lily Kuo
G
rowing up, Kang Ying
didn’t think much
about the fact that
she was adopted.
Her family, who were
farmers in a rural
county of China’s southwestern
Sichuan province, never treated her
differently. When Kang asked about
her birth parents she was told she
had been found on the street, a little
girl no more than four years old,
probably abandoned.
In March, Kang, now 28, learned
that wasn’t the whole story. Married
and with two children of her own,
she began to wonder about her own
mother. She searched online for
“child lost more than 20 years ago”
and came across a sketch that made
her stop in her tracks.
The drawing had been posted
by a couple in Chengdu, about 100
miles from where she grew up, who
had been searching for their daughter for the past 24 years. The father,
a taxi driver, had been handing out
cards about his missing daughter to
his passengers.
Kang called the contact listed on
the card and, less than a month later,
flew to Chengdu to meet her birth
parents. The family met for the first
time on Tuesday in an emotional
reunion that has captured the public
imagination, a rare happy ending for
one of thousands of Chinese families
who have lost a child.
Yesterday Kang was visiting her
parents again to celebrate their
reunion in their village, two hours
from Chengdu. Her mother washed
dishes and prepared food in a
kitchen at the back of the family
house. Kang took her children to
play outside. “I thought it would be
awkward seeing my family after so
much time, but it felt natural. I guess
it’s because we are family.”
In China, up to 200,000 children
go missing every year, according to
estimates. In most cases the children
▼ Liu Dengying with the sticker on
her husband’s taxi that helped them
to track down their missing daughter
ang’s parents, Wang
Mingqing and Liu
Dengying, were selling bananas at a market
in Chengdu in 1994
when their daughter,
whom they had named Qifeng and
called Fengwazi, or “Feng baby”,
went missing. Liu sent her husband
to get change for a customer. When
he returned, Kang had disappeared.
They ran through the market shouting her name, but she was gone. She
was three years old.
Liu sank into a depression,
refusing to work, sleep or eat.
Her husband cycled the streets of
Chengdu calling his daughter’s
name. Eventually they went back to
work. They had two other children.
But they never quite let it go.
Wang subscribed to a newspaper
hoping for news of Kang. In 2015,
he began driving for the taxi-hailing
app Didi and had hundreds of cards
printed with information about their
missing daughter.
They didn’t have a photo of
Kang so they used a picture of her
sister. Every time the phone rang,
Liu would jump, thinking it might
be Kang.
Eventually news of Wang’s efforts
went viral and a police sketch artist
volunteered to do the drawing that
caught Kang’s attention. When Kang
called them in March, the three of
them spoke over video on WeChat.
Wang and Liu had spoken to 30 other
women they thought might be Kang
but this time it felt different.
“When we saw her I had this feeling of being a mother that I never felt
with any of the others. I knew for
sure she was my daughter,” Liu said.
Parents and daughter started to
talk over the phone every day, and
decided Kang should undergo a DNA
test. When she became anxious
about how long it would take, Wang
told his daughter: “We’ve been waiting for this for years. It’s OK if we
wait a few days more.”
China has criminalised the buying
▲ Taxi driver Wang Mingqing with
his wife, daughter and grandchildren
in a tearful family reunion this week
of children, punishable with three
years in prison, and established a
national DNA database for searching
families. Nevertheless, the problem
persists. On the website, Baobeihuijia, or “Baby, come home”, more
than 41,000 sets of parents are looking for lost children.
On 1 April, Kang got a call from the
police telling her she should book a
flight to Chengdu. Her DNA had been
a match. Two days later, Kang made
the journey with her husband and
two children. They were swarmed
by a horde of reporters and television crews.
“I’d never seen so many people.
My mind went empty,” she told the
Guardian. In the crowd, she saw her
mother holding a red sign that said:
“Child, welcome home.”
Kang went back to her parent’s
home in Chengdu, where they
stayed up until the early hours of the
next morning. “I don’t remember
what we talked about. We just didn’t
stop talking,” she said.
The next day, Kang’s father
wanted to take her to his village,
two hours from Chengdu, where
his family has lived for generations.
Relatives and friends came, filling 20
dining tables for the occasion.
Kang’s father parked at the village
gate and insisted on carrying Wang
on his back the rest of the way. He
told her how much his parents, who
had passed away, had prayed that
she would be found.
“Now I can finally tell my mum
I’ve brought our Fengwazi back,”
he said.
Kang, who now lives in China’s
northern Jilin province, more than
1,500 miles from Chengdu, still talks
with her birth parents most days.
They understand that she has a
separate life and her own family.
On Thursday, on Tomb Sweeping
Day, a holiday for families to honour
their ancestors, Wang drove Kang
and Liu three hours to where Kang’s
adoptive father and grandparents
are buried. She watched as her
parents knelt and kowtowed at their
graves. They thanked the adoptive
relatives for raising their daughter
and apologised that they had not
been able to do so.
“At that moment, I really felt like
crying. I don’t want my parents to
feel regretful. It’s not their fault,”
Kang said.
Additional reporting by
Xueying Wang in Maoshi village
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:4 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 18:53
•
4
cYanmaGentaYellowbla
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
News
▼ Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin
yesterday for a state council meeting
of ministers and regional governors
PHOTOGRAPH: MIKHAIL SVETLOVE/GETTY
President’s men
In American sights
Oleg Deripaska
Survived decades of
turbulence, emerging
from the 1990
aluminium wars as one of Russia’s
richest men. Has sought to be
indispensable to Vladimir Putin.
Kirill Shamalov
Son of one of Putin’s
business associates,
he was put on the
fast track after reports that he had
married Putin’s younger daughter,
Katerina Tikhonova.
Andrey Kostin
Former diplomat
and chairman of the
management board
of VTB bank, he was sanctioned for
being a Russian government official,
the US Treasury said.
Alexey Miller
Chairman of the
management
committee of
state-owned Gazprom and a
former subordinate of Putin’s in
St Petersburg. Andrew Roth
Putin’s inner circle targeted as
Trump gets tougher on Russia
Oligarchs, leading officials
and president’s son-in-law to
face new economic sanctions
Lauren Gambino
Washington
The Trump administration took its
most forceful economic action yet
against Vladimir Putin’s inner circle
yesterday, announcing fresh sanctions
against seven Russian oligarchs and 17
top government officials for “malign
activity” including meddling in the
2016 US election.
“The Russian government operates
for the disproportionate benefit of
oligarchs and government elites,”
said the treasury secretary, Steven
Mnuchin. “Russian oligarchs and elites
who profit from this corrupt system
will no longer be insulated from the
consequences of their government’s
destabilising activities.”
Mnuchin cited Russian aggression in Crimea and Moscow’s support
for the Assad regime in Syria as well
as “attempting to subvert western
democracies, and malicious cyber
activities” as reasons for the sanctions.
A dozen Russian companies owned
by the oligarchs were also targeted,
including Rosoboronexport, a stateowned arms-dealing company with
ties to the Syrian government, the
treasury department said.
Officials in the Trump administration pitched the penalties as part of a
concerted effort by the US to push back
against Putin’s government. They said
that since Trump took office last year,
the US had imposed sanctions on 189
people and entities linked to Russia.
Trump has been under pressure
from Congress to respond more forcefully to Russian aggression.
“Nobody has been tougher on Russia than I have,” Trump said at a news
conference this week. Nevertheless,
he has avoided direct criticism of Putin
himself, and recently invited the Russian leader to meet him.
In a conference call with reporters, a
senior administration official said that
the sanctions were in response to “the
totality of the Russian government’s
ongoing and increasingly brazen pattern” of bad behaviour rather than one
specific action, such as the country’s
alleged involvement in the poisoning
of Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of
the international affairs committee in
Russia’s upper house of parliament,
described the sanctions as baseless
and unfriendly, in remarks carried
by the Interfax news agency. Russia’s
trade minister said state companies
targeted in the new measures would be
given additional government support.
Rosoboronexport said the sanctions
against it were designed to squeeze
Russia out of the arms market. “This is
unfair competition in its purest form,”
a spokeswoman told Reuters.
Many of the targets are individuals
and businesses associated with Russia’s energy sector, including those
affiliated with state-owned Gazprom
and Kirill Shamalov, said to be Putin’s
son-in-law . Officials said the goal was
to show that those who have benefited
financially from Putin’s position of
power are fair game for US punishments, noting that many of those being
sanctioned are closely tied to Putin.
Many had already been identified
by the treasury and state department
as potential targets on a list that was
compiled and published in January.
The sanctions freeze any assets
they have in US jurisdictions and bars
Americans from doing business with
them. The administration said it would
give guidance to Americans who may
currently have business with those
being sanctioned.
The Republican senator John
McCain, who has been critical of
Trump’s posture on Russia, said the
sanctions “send a clear message to
Putin and his cronies that there will
be a high price to pay for Russia’s
aggression in Ukraine and Syria, and
its attempts to undermine Western
democracies, including our own”.
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:5 Edition Date:180407 Edition:03 Zone:
cYanmaGentaYellowbla
•••
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
Fast food monopoly
McDonalds under
fire over promotion
Page 10
Sent at 6/4/2018 23:38
Gold star
How Adam Peaty
eaty
rules the pooll
Page 21
5
Snowboarder
falls headfirst
into drift and
suffocates
Press Association
A British snowboarder who suffocated
after falling headfirst into the snow in
the Alps could have been buried for 30
minutes before he was found, French
authorities said yesterday.
The 25-year-old man, who was
working in the resort of Méribel, was
found in an off-piste area of Les Allues.
The French newspaper Le Dauphiné libéré reported that emergency
services were called to reports of a
snowboarder falling off-piste. “The
man is believed to have died by asphyxiation, not being able to release himself
after having fallen headfirst into the
snow,” the paper said. An investigation
has been launched, it added.
A spokesman for the Alps mountain
rescue organisation said it was difficult to say how long the man had been
stuck, but estimated it could have been
as long as half an hour.
He said: “The snowboarder was
alone when he fell. He was spotted
by two witnesses skiing nearby who
noticed a snowboard sticking out of
the snow about 20 metres from the
piste. They then realised that someone might be attached to the board.”
He said the two witness had called
for help before trying to reach the
young man themselves and lift him
out of the snow. “It was very difficult
for them. He was buried up to his pelvis and the snow was very heavy, very
compacted.”
He added that mountain rescue services had arrived within minutes but
by the time they arrived the snowboarder was in cardiac arrest.
The rescue spokesman said the incident was still being investigated. An
inquest has been opened under the
jurisdiction of the nearby town of
Albertville. In January, Britons Oscar
Cassagneau-Francis and Rajen Mahendra, both 26, were killed after falling
hundreds of metres in an off-piste area
while skiing in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc.
In February, another British skier
was killed when he and two friends ran
into difficulty after venturing off-piste
in the Alpe d’Huez ski resort region of
the central French western Alps.
▲ Méribel, the Alps resort where
the 25-year-old had been working
Inquiry into 11-day police
search for teenager with
epilepsy later found dead
Steven Morris
The police watchdog has launched an
inquiry into how the Dorset force handled the disappearance of a 19-year-old
woman with epilepsy who was allegedly traumatised by a sexual assault.
Gaia Pope’s body was found 11 days
after she vanished without her medication a mile from the seaside town
where she was last seen. A postmortem examination concluded that she
had died of hypothermia.
Her family have said Dorset police,
mental health practitioners and social
services have questions to answer
about how the search for her was conducted and the care she was given in
the years before she went missing.
The Independent Office for Police
Conduct (IOPC) confirmed yesterday
that it would investigate the case.
Natasha Pope, Gaia’s mother, said:
“My daughter should still be with us
today. She was a survivor. She had a
sharp wit, she was intelligent, compassionate and so courageous.
“Gaia was inspired by the challenges she faced to work in health and
social care and dedicate her life to others. She tried to carry on her education
but her epilepsy was deteriorating as
she remembered more about the sexual assault she had endured.
“In hospital she would speak about
what she’d been through but it felt like
no one outside our family wanted to
listen. Now our family has been torn
apart. As a mother, my heart will
always be broken. As a woman, I’m
determined to do all we can to make
sure this never happens again,” she
said. “What she went through should
not have cost my daughter her life.”
Pope’s disappearance from Swanage on 7 November led to a huge search
by police, relatives and thousands of
members of the public.
Three members of a family were
arrested on suspicion of her murder.
Pope’s body was found on 18
November on a craggy stretch of coast
and near to where some of her clothes
were discovered two days before. The
three suspects were released when a
postmortem found no sign that anyone else was involved.
Her family, who are being supported
‘Why did it take 11
days to find Gaia?
Could she have been
saved? Could proper
support have stopped
this whole tragedy?’
Marienna
Pope-Weidemann
▲ The disappearance of 19-year-old
Gaia Pope without her medication led
to a huge search by police and the
public. She died of hypothermia
PHOTOGRAPH: ANDREW MATTHEWS/PA
by the charity Inquest, have now said
she was worried about the impending release from prison of a man she
claimed had sexually assaulted her.
He was not charged over the allegation
but was jailed for a sexual offence not
connected to Pope.
Marienna Pope-Weidemann, Pope’s
cousin, said: “Why did it take 11 days
to find her? Could she have been
saved? Could proper support from
mental health and social services have
stopped this whole tragedy?”
Her sister, Clara Pope-Sutherland,
added: “In life, the systems that are
meant to support people who have
experienced sexual violence and
mental health issues undermined her
and left her voiceless.”
At the inquest in Bournemouth in
February, Rachael Griffin, senior coroner for Dorset, said she would request
statements from Pope’s family, her GP,
Dorset HealthCare University NHS
foundation trust, Dorset police and a
neurologist who treated Pope.
Dorset police said: “We have an
obligation to review incidents involving death or serious injury following
police contact. Following a review, it
was felt the mandatory criteria were
met and this matter was referred to
the IOPC.”
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:6 Edition Date:180407 Edition:02 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 21:58
••
6
Researchers have created a wearable
device that can read people’s minds
when they use an internal voice, allowing them to control devices and ask
questions without speaking.
The AlterEgo device can transcribe
words that wearers verbalise internally, using electrodes attached to the
skin. “Our idea was: could we have a
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
National
Pioneering headset
reads words that
you say in your head
Samuel Gibbs
cYanmaGentaYellowbla
computing platform that’s more internal, that melds human and machine in
some ways and that feels like an internal extension of our own cognition?”
said Arnav Kapur, who led the AlterEgo
project at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology’s Media Lab.
Kapur described the headset as an
“intelligence-augmentation” or IA
device. It is worn around the jaw and
chin, and clipped over the ear. Four
electrodes under the device make
contact with the skin and pick up the
subtle neuromuscular signals that
are triggered when a person verbalises internally. When someone says
words inside their head, the device can
match particular signals to particular
words, feeding them into a computer.
The computer can then respond
through the device using a bone conduction speaker that plays sound
into the ear without the need for an
earphone to be inserted, leaving the
wearer free to hear the rest of the world
at the same time.
The idea is to create a outwardly
silent computer interface that only
the wearer of the AlterEgo device can
speak to and hear.
“We basically can’t live without our
cellphones, our digital devices. But, at
the moment, the use of those devices
is very disruptive,” said Pattie Maes, a
professor of media arts and sciences
at MIT. “If I want to look something
up that’s relevant to a conversation
I’m having, I have to find my phone
and type in the passcode and open
an app and type in some search keyword, and the whole thing requires
that I completely shift attention from
my environment and the people that
I’m with to the phone itself.”
AlterEgo’s average transcription
accuracy was 92% in a 10-person trial
after about 15 minutes of customising
the device to each person. That result
is several percentage points below the
Mindreader: the AlterEgo device that
can understand your internal voice
95%-plus accuracy rate that Google’s
voice transcription service is capable
of using a traditional microphone, but
Kapur says the system will improve
in accuracy over time. The human
threshold for voice word accuracy is
thought to be about 95%.
Kapur and his team are working on
collecting data to improve recognition and widen the number of words
AlterEgo can detect. It can already be
used to control a basic user interface
such as the Roku streaming system,
moving and selecting content, and
can recognise numbers, play chess
and perform other basic tasks.
The downside is that users will have
to wear a device strapped to their face,
a barrier that smartglasses such as
Google Glass failed to overcome.
Thad Starner, a computing professor at Georgia Tech, predicted there
could be potential applications in the
military and for those with conditions
that inhibit normal speech.
Red planet alert
Filming for the BBC’s new War
of the Worlds adaptation at St
George’s Hall, Liverpool. The
three-part series, based on
the HG Wells science fiction
classic, will be broadcast later
this year.
PHOTOGRAPH:
PETER BYRNE/PA
Continued from page 1
Labour ruling body
split over action
on antisemitism
recent days on the need for Labour to
take antisemitism cases seriously.
The minutes of the meeting in early
March show how fractured the disciplinary body has become, and sources
said cases involving Corbyn supporters were often automatically seen as
being politically motivated.
Among the cases in which Corbyn
allies pushed to rule out the possibility of expulsion were:
• a member who allegedly made
threats when another raised antisemitism concerns and blamed Zionists
for causing his problems in the party;
• a member accused of making antisemitic remarks on social media;
• a member accused of using a racial
slur against a black candidate.
Almost all members of the national
executive committee (NEC) elected on
the leftwing slate voted as a bloc to try
to minimise disciplinary action against
several members at the NEC’s disputes
panel meeting in March, according to
minutes and sources who were there.
Sources alleged that suspended members seen as sympathetic to Corbyn
were defended, even when evidence
against them was overwhelming.
The panel in March was chaired by
Christine Shawcroft, who was later
forced to resign from the NEC after it
emerged she had sent an email defending a Labour councillor accused of
Holocaust denial.
Cases discussed included a member
who is alleged to have blamed Zionists for causing his problems with the
party, after he was suspended over a
confrontation with another member
who had raised fears about antisemitism and Holocaust denial.
Sources said Lansman and Darren
Williams, a constituency party representative, argued the man should not
be referred for possible expulsion, but
were overruled. The case did not go to
a vote. Williams also moved an amendment to defend another case where a
woman is reported to have made antisemitic remarks on social media.
In both cases, trade union members and others on the NEC including
MPs and councillors intervened and
blocked attempts to just give the members a warning and training. Instead
they referred them to Labour’s highest
disciplinary body, the national constitutional committee (NCC), which can
recommend expulsion.
In a Facebook post after the meeting, Williams wrote: “It’s deeply
disappointing to see party members
put on a path to likely expulsion when
the evidence of their supposed wrongdoing is far from compelling.”
The minutes also reveal Shawcroft
refused to recuse herself as chair when
the panel heard the case of a Labour
councillor accused of using a racist
term to describe a black council candidate and co-ordinating with the party
of the disgraced Tower Hamlets exmayor Lutfur Rahman against Labour.
Shawcroft, who was once herself
suspended for defending Rahman, had
been asked to recuse herself after other
‘Anyone defending
antisemitism should
be out of the party’
Euan Phillips Labour
Against Antisemitism
NEC members said she had acted as a
“silent friend” of the councillor during
his investigatory interview.
Seven members of the NEC voted to
limit further disciplinary action, but
were defeated by other members. The
case will now be heard by the NCC.
The majority of cases discussed at
the meeting saw disciplinary recommendations accepted without a vote,
though some after heated debate.
Williams declined to comment.
Shawcroft said she could not discuss individual cases but members of
the NEC had behaved appropriately.
“Cases are presented for discussion,
not for rubber stamping,” she said.
Lansman and Trickett did not
respond to a request for comment.
A Labour source said: “The role of
the NEC disputes panel is to review
and discuss cases to decide what disciplinary action should be taken, as
happened in this meeting.”
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•
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
National
7
‘We were a trio’
Serge Gainsbourg,
Jane Birkin – and her
brother: snapshots of
a close relationship
Maev Kennedy
T
he English singer and
actor Jane Birkin met
the French singer
and writer Serge
Gainsbourg in 1969
when she was 23, and
left him more than half a lifetime
ago in 1980 – yet at 71 her name is
still rarely mentioned without being
bracketed with his.
As an exhibition of photographs –
called inevitably Jane Serge – opens
in Calais, she seemed philosophical
about the oversight. Among scores
of glamorous images of the couple,
the largest photograph by far, blown
up to the size of a barn door, is of
his handsome if haggard features
cradling their dog Nana.
“That’s what happens when you
are with a great man,” she said. “He
was a great man. I was just pretty.”
She was equally cheerfully
accepting of the fact that much
of her fame still rests on one
▲ Jane Birkin in 1969, the year that
she met the singer Serge Gainsbourg
The debate over gallery entrance fees
has been reignited after the National
Gallery raised the cost of a ticket above
£20 for the first time in its history,
charging £22 for its new Claude Monet
exhibition at weekends.
PHOTOGRAPHS: ANDREW BIRKIN
‘I fell in love with
Serge, Andrew fell
in love with Serge,
Serge fell in love
with Andrew’
Jane Birkin
Actor and singer
scandalous song, the ecstatic
moans of Je T’aime … Moi Non Plus,
recorded in the year she met him,
an international hit despite being
banned in many countries.
“It was surprising to be banned by
both the Vatican and the BBC. And it
was funny to have the BBC orchestra
playing it,” she said, “because they
wouldn’t play it on Top of the Pops.”
Birkin is halfway through a
world tour of orchestral versions
of Gainsbourg songs, and added:
“If I am singing in Argentina in two
weeks’ time, it is because of
Je T’aime.”
The photographs were taken by
her brother Andrew Birkin, a script
writer and director. Some in the
exhibition are family snaps, while
some are from a magazine photo
shoot. All had been carefully filed
away for half a century, and some he
had never seen printed before.
Andrew met Gainsbourg soon
after his sister did, when she wrote
from the set of the film Slogan,
begging him to come and keep her
company and cheer her up from her
daily encounters with “a horrible
man”, who was mocking and teasing
her. Gainsbourg was and remains a
giant in French cultural circles, but
Birkin was already well known from
film roles including a famous nude
scene in Michelangelo Antonioni’s
film Blow-Up from 1966.
Birkin recalls: “I fell in love with
Serge, Andrew fell in love with
Serge, Serge fell in love with Andrew.
We were a trio.”
Her brother regularly joined
the couple and their children – her
daughter, Kate, from her marriage
to the composer John Barry, and
Charlotte, born in 1971 – for holidays.
He took photographs continuously,
documenting long lunches, smoky
evenings, sleepy mornings, and the
moody musician roaring laughing
or playing rowdy games with the
All about the Monet: £22 tickets
reignite row over gallery prices
Nadia Khomami
Gainsbourg with his dog in 1977
▼ Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin
during a trip to England in 1969
▼▼ The couple in Paris in 1973
Gabriele Finaldi, the director of
the National Gallery, said this week
that London exhibitions had “become
quite expensive” but blamed this
on the cost of staging large-scale
shows. “We couldn’t have put it on
for free, because that’s not the way
we operate,” he told the BBC Radio 4
Today programme. “There are other
exhibitions we put on for free.”
children. “I adored him,” Andrew
Birkin said. “It was not sexual – or
maybe that is not what a psychiatrist
would say. We did kiss on the lips.”
Their intense triangular friendship
survived the breakup of his sister’s
relationship. The men last saw
each other a few months before
Gainsbourg’s death in 1991.
Birkin left her husband because
his melancholy and heavy drinking
had made him impossible to live
with, but she thinks, in many ways,
they had been better friends and he
wrote her better songs after she left.
“You could talk back to him for
once,” she said, “you were not just
his creation any more.”
Jane Serge, Calais Museum of Fine
Arts, until 4 November 2018
Finaldi said the gallery had offered
early bird tickets to visitors at reduced
prices and argued the exhibition was
worth the price. “There’s a good number of paintings which have not been
seen in public before,” he said.
“Those are the pictures that are
most difficult, sometimes impossible
for the public to see. To have brought
those in and to be able to show those
in this exhibition I think is very attractive for the public.”
The National Gallery is not the first
to charge more than £20 for tickets. A
ticket for Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame,
Tragedy at the Tate Modern costs £22
for adults, and the Victoria & Albert
Museum charged £24 for Pink Floyd:
Their Mortal Remains at weekends and
£30 for its extended opening.
The Turner prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller said while the price might
discourage young people from seeing certain exhibitions, income from
shows like this was necessary to subsidise museums. “Maintaining free
entrance to museum collections is
more important,” he said.
The Arts Council budget has been
cut by 30% since 2010. It said the longterm squeeze on total public funding
in the arts and cultural sector had
resulted in some organisations having to increase their ticket prices.
General admission to the main sites
of all the UK’s national museums has
been free since 2001, meaning they
rely on government funding or special
exhibitions to survive. Critics say this
has created a two-tier system, whereby
only tourists and higher spenders can
afford special exhibitions.
The Department for Digital, Culture,
Media and Sport in November found
the nation spent about £844m of taxpayers’ money each year on about
2,600 public institutions, down more
than £100m from a decade ago.
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8
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The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
National
Diplomatic crisis
▼ Testimony from Sergei Skripal,
now recovering, will be crucial in
the coming weeks
PHOTOGRAPH: REX/SHUTTERSTOCK
UK-Russia row intensifies
as ex-spy ‘improves rapidly’
Continued from page 1
state TV, and who wants to travel to
Britain. She has suggested that her relatives may have been victims of food
poisoning.
“It appears the Russian state is
trying to use Viktoria as a pawn,” a
government source told the BBC. The
source added: “If she is being influenced or coerced by the Kremlin, she
has become another victim.”
In a telephone conversation apparently recorded by Viktoria in Moscow
on Thursday, Yulia was asked about
her father’s condition. She said:
“Everything’s OK, he’s resting now,
he’s sleeping. Everyone’s health is
OK. No one has had any irreversible
[harm].” She appeared to decline her
cousin’s offer of a visit.
On Thursday Yulia described
waking up to find herself at the centre of a global incident as “extremely
disorientating”.
It is unclear if detectives have had
the opportunity to interview Skripal,
or to question him on events leading
up to his poisoning.
Russian diplomats have been insisting they gain access to Yulia, a Russian
citizen. Sergei has a British passport
after his arrival in the UK in 2010 as part
of a spy-swap. Counter-terrorism officers will be wary of allowing a Moscow
emissary into the Salisbury hospital.
Longer term, however, they will have
to abide by Yulia’s decision on whether
to return to Russia, where she would
be likely to come under intense pressure to back up Moscow’s claim it is
a victim.
The Kremlin’s strategy has
been to exploit weaknesses and
inconsistencies in the UK’s case. It
seized on a blunder by the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson – who claimed,
wrongly, that the government science
facility in Porton Down had attributed
the nerve agent to Russia. In fact, the
attribution was based on intelligence
and analysis of previous Russian state
hits.
Russia’s foreign ministry opened
a new and surreal front in its information war yesterday. Skripal’s two
guinea pigs died after the nerve agent
attack, from dehydration according
to the government, after his home on
Salisbury was sealed off. The former
spy’s cat was found in a “distressed”
state, and had to be put down.
“What happened to these animals?
Why doesn’t anyone mention them?
Their condition is also an important
piece of evidence,” a foreign ministry
spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova,
wrote on Facebook, adding: “The more
we know, the worse the picture looks.”
The foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, accused the British government
of engaging in “frantic and convulsive
efforts to find arguments to support
their indefensible position” instead
of producing evidence.
Lavrov’s comments echoed those
of Russia’s ambassador to the UN,
Vasily Nebenzia, who on Thursday
likened the UK’s claims to Alice and
Wonderland and the TV series Midsomer Murders.
The Skripal case bears comparison to the 2006 murder of Alexander
Litvinenko, killed by FSB spy agency
assassins with a radioactive cup of tea.
Before he died, Litvinenko gave nine
hours of evidence to detectives. This
proved invaluable to Scotland Yard’s
investigation and shaped a public
inquiry, which ruled Vladimir Putin
“probably approved” the operation.
Litvinenko’s father, Walter, blamed
Putin for his son’s death. After living
in exile in Italy, where he was broke
and unhappy, he returned in 2012 to
Russia, seemingly having struck a deal
with the state.
Last week he appeared on Kremlin
talk-shows. He blamed the CIA for
his son’s death and even shared a
sofa with the man suspected of the
killing, Andrei Lugovoi, a deputy in
Russia’s Duma, who has been commenting on the Skripal case. At one
point Litvinenko clasped Lugovoi
warmly by the hand.
So far the international alliance
which expelled 342 diplomats in solidarity with Britain is holding firm.
Meanwhile, British and American
authorities have been given several
chemical analyses of a substance
believed to be a novichok nerve agent
produced in Russia’s closed Shikhany
military facility.
Boris Kuznetsov, a lawyer who fled
Russia in 2007, said he had handed
British diplomats the police case files
from the 1995 murder of a Russian
banker and his secretary with a toxic
substance. Scientists have identified
it as a product of the Soviet-designed
Foliant programme.
Among the documents are the
results of a mass spectrometry and
an infrared spectroscopy of the poisonous substance. It was scraped
off a telephone receiver used by the
businessman Ivan Kivelidi and his secretary. Both died in agony.
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•••
9
Yulia Skripal with her father’s
black persian cat, which is said
by Russia to have been one of two cats
owned by the former spy
Analysis
Andrew Roth
PHOTOGRAPH: TIM STEWART NEWS
Skripal’s pets
Guinea pigs
died and cat
put down
Haroon Siddique
Luke Harding
Two guinea pigs belonging to Sergei
Skripal died and his cat was put down
after the Salisbury nerve agent attack,
the government has revealed.
A spokeswoman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural
Affairs (Defra) said the dead guinea
pigs and a “distressed” cat were discovered when a vet was able to enter
Skripal’s home, which had been sealed
off during the police investigation.
Defra said it believed the guinea pigs
had died of thirst.
Skripal and his daughter, Yulia,
remain in hospital more than a month
after the attack on 4 March. In its latest
update, NHS England said the former
Russian spy’s condition was critical
but stable. On Thursday, Yulia Skripal released a statement through the
City ‘will recover in 2019’
The official leading the recovery
effort in Salisbury after the nerve
agent attack has warned that the
city will not be back to normal
until the summer of 2019.
Alistair Cunningham, the chair
of the recovery co-ordination
group, said experts were designing
plans to decontaminate areas
affected in the Skripal attack. He
said in the aftermath of the attack
on 4 March the city had welcomed
2,000 fewer visitors each day.
He rejected the notion put
forward by Nicholas Holtam, the
bishop of Salisbury, in his Easter
Sunday sermon that the attack had
been a “violation” of the city.
“I don’t think Salisbury has been
violated. Salisbury is a resilient
city. It has a history of a thousand
years. It was a very particular,
nasty personal attack using a
bizarre method. It will be part of
the city’s history but the city is
bigger than that.”
Cunningham, the corporate
director of Wiltshire county
council, said the decontamination
process would begin after the
Easter holidays. Steven Morris
Metropolitan police in which said she
was getting stronger by the day.
A war of words has continued
between Britain and Russia over
claims that the Kremlin was responsible for the attack using the nerve
agent novichok.
On Thursday, in heated exchanges
at the UN security council, Russia’s UN
ambassador, Vasily Nebenzia, dismissing the allegation Russia was behind
the poisoning as “absurd”, questioned
what had happened to Sergei Skripal’s
pets. “What happened to these animals? Why doesn’t anyone mention
them? Their condition is also an important piece of evidence,” he said.
The highest concentration of novichok was found on the front door of
Skripal’s home.
The Russian foreign ministry
spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova,
also raised the fate of the pets. “Where
are the animals? What state are they
in?” she asked on Wednesday. “Why
has the British side … not mentioned
this fact? We are talking about living
organisms, and if toxic agents were
used then living organisms must
have suffered.”
The Russian embassy in London
released a statement yesterday claiming “it is said unofficially” that the
animals were incinerated at the Porton
Down government research facility.
It demanded to know if the animals
had been tested for toxic substances
and added that it believed there was
a second cat unaccounted for. “The
whereabouts of the second one are still
unknown,” the statement said.
After Defra released a statement
about the animal deaths, Zakharova
continued to suggest that an alleged
UK cover-up extended to the pets,
claiming they could have been “important evidence”. She also remarked that
Porton Down had experimented on
guinea pigs over the years. “The more
we know, the worse the picture looks,”
she wrote on Facebook.
Will the Skripals make a full recovery?
‘The thing is, we don’t really know a lot about novichok agents’
Is it possible to get an idea of
the dose of novichok from the
Skripals’ conditions?
It’s unlikely. Dr Michelle Carlin,
a senior lecturer in forensic
and analytical chemistry at
Northumbria University, said:
“There’s no way any toxicologist
worth their salt would go back and
tell you how much of a dose was
taken based on symptoms.”
Dr Chris Morris, of the medical
toxicology centre at Newcastle
University, said: “I think the best
you could probably say is that it
was a fatal dose that he had.”
Will the Skripals make a full
recovery?
Experts say it is impossible to
know at present. “The thing is
with the novichok agents we
don’t really know an awful lot
about them, other than what has
come from historic research,” said
Carlin. “In those cases there has
been some long-term neurological
damage, but then you don’t know
how much they were exposed to,
how quickly they were treated
versus the Skripals.”
If there is neurological damage, it
could take several forms, including
a slowing of thought processes, a
reduction in physical movement
and respiratory problems. “This
may include things like slowing of
thought processes, a reduction of
physical movement and respiratory
problems – but we don’t know yet
whether those will happen in this
case,” said Carlin.
But Morris said the signs were
positive for the Skripals, adding
that Nick Bailey, the police officer,
also appeared to have made a good
recovery. “There is no reason to
figure that Mr Skripal is not going to
be the same.”
Does novichok affect memory?
“Anybody who has been in a coma
or sedated for that length of time
is going to have poor memory
surrounding the event,” said Morris.
But he added that it is more likely
that novichok will affect focus on
events rather than memory itself.
Midsomer Murders and Alice
in Wonderland – Russia’s zany
theories for the Skripal attack
T
he explanations
from Moscow for the
Salisbury nerve agent
attack last month
have been irreverent
and numerous;
officials appear to have hurled
alternative versions of events at
the wall just to see what sticks.
Russian polemics at the United
Nations security council alluded
to Alice in Wonderland and
the television series Midsomer
Murders, suggesting that Sweden
synthesised the poison or that it
was a “false flag” attack by British
authorities, among other theories.
By Thursday, Russia’s embassy
to the UK was zeroing in on what
happened to Sergei Skripal’s pets
– two cats and two guinea pigs,
according to his niece – in its latest
Twitter allegations of a cover-up.
“Was there even a poisoning
at all?” asked Aleksey Pushkov, a
Russian politician and one of the
country’s many outspoken hawks
competing for attention. “In 2003,
PM Tony Blair lied to the whole
world about the danger of an Iraqi
chemical attack. Is it a relapse?”
British diplomats, who have
made their own missteps in
promoting their version of
events, have complained about
Russia’s blasé attitude toward
the allegations that Moscow was
behind the first military-grade
nerve agent attack in Europe since
the second world war.
But Moscow’s madcap defence
of ever more unlikely alternatives
has characterised its diplomatic
wrangling over years of conflict
with the west, starting long
before the Skripal poisoning.
The appearance of unidentified
Russian soldiers in Ukraine’s
Crimean peninsula in 2014 was
explained away as locals wearing
uniforms they bought at a store.
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 –
which was shot down over Ukraine
in 2014 by a Buk surface-to-air
missile brought in from Russia,
according to Dutch-led investigators
– had been shadowed by a phantom
Ukrainian fighter jet seen only by a
fake air traffic controller.
And the hacking of the US
Democratic National Committee
in 2016 may have been done by
Russians, as the US claimed,
but they were just “patriotically
minded” private hackers who
followed their whims like artists.
These three alternative versions
of events were not voiced by
isolated officials, but by the Russian
president, Vladimir Putin.
Rather than shying away from
the Skripal case, Russian public
figures have put it front and centre,
at times engaging in almost reckless
controversy. On national television,
presenters have insisted on bringing
out Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry
Kovtun, the two ex-KGB agents
accused of the 2006 poisoning of
Alexander Litvinenko with the
radioactive isotope polonium-210.
They appeared on the same show
as Viktoria Skripal, a niece of Sergei
Skripal. She later gave a recording of
a conversation she said she had held
with Skripal’s daughter, Yulia, which
were claimed to be her first public
statements since the attack.
Andrei Kolesnikov, at the Moscow
Carnegie Centre, said that showing
Russians the conflict with the west
over the Skripal case could play in
the government’s favour.
Public opinion was on the side of
the government, he said, with 72%
of Russians telling the independent
Levada Centre that they believed
Russia was not responsible for the
poisoning. As with flight MH17,
Kolesnikov said, the majority
of Russians would reject the
allegations against Moscow.
What sort of care will the Skripals
need now?
Morris said ongoing care would
depend on how the individuals
respond but that, as with any
traumatic event, psychological
support would be important,
and physiotherapy might also be
necessary. “After that is going to be
on a case by case basis, and how the
person responds as an individual.”
Are the Skripals up to being
questioned to shed more light
on the attack?
That depends. “I am sure the
police and authorities will want to
question them, but it is going to
be down to the clinicians and [the
Skripals] themselves as to whether
or not they feel they are able to do
that,” said Morris. Nicola Davis
▲ Mad Hatters at the UN: Russia cites Lewis Carroll in the security council
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:10 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
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10
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
National
Outrage over McDonald’s game
which ‘promotes larger portions’
Campaigners say revived
Monopoly lottery encourages
kids to eat more sugary food
Sarah Boseley
Health editor
Health campaigners have attacked
McDonald’s for putting profits before
health by relaunching its Monopoly
lottery game, which encourages families to buy more and larger portions
of fast food – and awards millions of
food prizes, especially unhealthy sugary desserts.
“It is clearly undesirable in a whole
range of ways,” said Prof Russell
Viner, president of the Royal College
of Paediatrics and Child Health. The
promotional game is supposed to be
for adults, but “it sweeps up children.
This is essentially a price promotion
for high fat, high salt and high sugar
foods.”
McDonald’s Monopoly has been
running, on and off, since the 1980s
in the US and the UK. Selected food
items have peel-off labels attached.
Some are for “instant wins” which
can include a games console, entry to
a paintball game or fashion voucher,
but more often will be food. Other
labels bear the name and colours of
the properties on a Monopoly board.
The biggest prize is for four people who
collect Mayfair and Park Lane, which
will win them £100,000.
The promotion applies to certain
meals, some of which are high in calories. The Big Tasty contains 799
calories and the Big Tasty with Bacon
850 calories. A regular size Cadbury
Caramel McFlurry (ice cream with
caramel sauce and chocolate) has
379 calories and 51g of sugar, which is
57% of an adult’s daily recommended
intake, while the Cadbury Creme Egg
McFlurry has 375 calories and 54g
sugar (60%).
Larger meals and portions of fries
have a triple prize label, while the
medium portions have double labels,
encouraging customers to “go large” to
increase their chance of a win.
There are about 25m instant food
prizes to be given away. These include
3m Big Macs and Chicken McNuggets,
but the biggest category is desserts.
There are 11.7m apple pies or sundaes
as prizes, as well as 4m sugar donuts
or chocolate muffins. The healthiest
prize is a fruit bag, but the 5.6m million winners also have the option of
an ice-cream cone.
Public health and anti-obesity
campaigners are pressing for more
control over the advertising and marketing of unhealthy foods, such as
54
Grams of sugar in a Cadbury Creme
Egg McFlurry, 60% of an adult’s
daily recommended intake
“buy one get one free” promotions
in supermarkets, and warn of stealth
advertising through children’s games
on smartphones.
Viner said McDonald’s foods could
not be advertised on children’s television because of their high fat, salt and
sugar content. “They do a lot of advertising of the brand to get around that,
showing smiley happy kids,” he said.
“They don’t show them eating so they
don’t fall foul of the restrictions.”
The college wants fast food adverts
to be banned before 9pm.
Kath Dalmeny, CEO of Sustain, an
alliance for better food and farming
which includes the Children’s Food
Campaign, said: “We have heard this
week that obesity-related hospital
admissions have risen by 18% over one
year. It’s time for an end to promotions
that can add hundreds of unplanned
sugary calories to each visit.”
A McDonald’s spokesman said:
“As the competition evolves so do
the menu items involved and this
year Monopoly Wiiiin! stickers can be
claimed on a number of menu items
included in our under 400 and 600 calorie meal bundles, such as Premium
Salads and Big Flavour Wraps.
“We provide clear nutritional information, at point of sale and on tray
liners, to help our customers make
informed choices, and our menu has
evolved over the years so it provides
more choice than ever from salads, to
wraps, to coffee, to fruit bags.”
£
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Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
National
11
Darwin’s fossils given a
new digital life – including
a sloth the size of a car
Maev Kennedy
On 23 September 1832 a young naturalist, thousands of miles from home
and frequently seasick and homesick,
found the fossil of an enormous skull
embedded in soft rock.
It took Charles Darwin three hours
to chip it out of the cliff face at Punta
Alta in Argentina, and hours more to
lug it back to base. He arrived with it
long after dark at the ship that became
the most famous in the history of natural science, the Beagle.
Darwin was only 24 and wild with
excitement about the chase, writing
in a letter to a friend: “I have just got
scent of some fossil bones of a Mammoth, what they may be I do not know,
but if gold or galloping will get them,
they shall be mine”.
Darwin’s treasures, brought on
Far left, Megatherium skeleton. A
skull of the animal prompted Darwin
in his thinking; left, reconstruction of
a related ground sloth, the Mylodon
IMAGES: NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
7cm
The size of a
Gryphaea, or
Devil’s toenail
oyster (above),
part of the
collection
board after every shore trip, were all
meticulously recorded in his journals,
and labelled according to a four-colour
system he devised himself.
His fossils are much less famous
now than his observations of wildlife
in the history of how he arrived at his
theory of natural selection. They are
among the treasures of the Natural History Museum in London.
They are still of interest to scientists but many are almost too fragile
to handle. The museum is launching
an ambitious project to scan and digitally recreate the fossils in 3D, in such
minute detail that they can be studied by scientists as well as the public.
As they arrived back in England,
Darwin’s fossils were already becoming famous and making his reputation.
One batch contained a missing section of a skeleton which had already
been sent back by another collector –
the creature whose skull Darwin had
chipped out of the cliff.
They were the remains of Megatherium, a ground-dwelling relative of
modern tree-dwelling sloths – but
Megatherium was the size of a car,
the largest and heaviest land mammal ever to live in South America. The
creature and its relationship to modern animals would help set Darwin’s
mind on the course that would make
his name immortal.
The first of the digitised Darwin fossils goes online at the Natural History
Museum site on 9 April.
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Section:GDN 1N PaGe:12 Edition Date:180407 Edition:02 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 21:40
••
12
A 78-year-old man who was arrested
after a suspected burglar was stabbed
to death in his home will face no further action, police have said. Scotland
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
National
Man, 78, held over fatal stabbing
of intruder will face no charges
Kevin Rawlinson
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
Yard made the decision yesterday after
consulting the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for advice.
Henry Vincent, 37, died after the
incident at the home of Richard
Osborn-Brooks late on Tuesday night.
Osborn-Brooks was arrested on suspicion of murder the following day and
released on bail. A second intruder was
thought to have escaped the scene and
was still at large.
Yesterday, the Metropolitan police
defended their decision to interview Osborn-Brooks under caution.
DCI Simon Harding said: “This is a
tragic case for all of those involved.
As expected with any incident where
someone has lost their life, my officers
carried out a thorough investigation
into the circumstances of the death.
“It was important that the resident
was interviewed by officers under the
appropriate legislation of the Police
and Criminal Evidence Act – not only
for the integrity of our investigation
but also so that his personal and legal
rights were protected.”
Osborn-Brooks called police out
to his home in Lewisham, south-east
London, in the early hours of Wednesday. He said he was at home with his
wife and had found two men inside
the house.
He said one of the men threatened
him with a screwdriver and a struggle broke out. It is thought Vincent,
who was found collapsed nearby with
a stab wound to the upper body, was
dragged away from the house by his
accomplice, who then fled. Vincent
was taken to hospital but died on
Wednesday morning.
It later emerged that he had been
wanted by Kent police in connection
with a separate burglary involving an
elderly victim in his 70s.
Police said they had explained
their decision to Vincent’s family. An
inquest into his death will be held in
due course.
The Met has not identified the man
suspected of being Vincent’s accomplice during Tuesday night’s incident.
▲ Paddy Jackson outside court PHOTOGRAPH: CHARLES MCQUILLAN/GETTY
Rugby player
acquitted of
rape says
sorry for his
behaviour
Henry McDonald
Ireland correspondent
One of two Irish rugby international
players acquitted of rape has released a
statement of apology, after campaigners paid for a full-page advert in the
Belfast Telegraph calling for the pair
to be dropped from their teams.
In a statement yesterday afternoon,
Paddy Jackson expressed sorrow and
shame over his behaviour towards the
woman who accused him and teammate Stuart Olding of rape. They were
acquitted in a Belfast court last month.
Jackson said he would “always
regret” the events that took place at
a party at his home in June 2016. He
also apologised for lewd messages he
sent on a Whatsaspp group in connection with that party, which were
read out at the trial. “I am ashamed
that a young woman who was a visitor
to my home left in a distressed state.
This was never my intention and I will
always regret the events of that evening,” Jackson said.
‘I am ashamed that a
young woman left in
a distressed state’
Paddy Jackson
Rugby player
The former British-Irish Lions star’s
apology was released on the same day
as the advert, which read: “The content of the social media exchanges
involving Paddy Jackson and Stuart
Olding was reprehensible. Such behaviour falls far beneath the standards
that your organisations represent. As
such we demand that neither of these
men represents Ulster or Ireland now
or at any point in the future.”
The 26-year-old said he accepted
that the WhatsApp messages he sent
were “degrading and offensive.”
In his interview with the Press Association, Jackson said: “The criticism
of my behaviour is fully justified and I
know I have betrayed the values of my
family and those of the wider public.
Following the trial I have taken time
to reflect with my family on the values that were such an integral part of
my upbringing, the most important of
which is respect.
“My departure from these values
has caused understandable public
anger and I am resolutely committed
to returning to those principles.”
Jackson and Olding, 25, were unanimously acquitted by a jury of raping
the woman at a party in Jackson’s
south Belfast home almost two years
ago. Jackson was also acquitted of
sexual assault. Their friend Blane McIlroy was found not guilty of indecent
exposure while another friend, Rory
Harrison, was acquitted of perverting
the course of justice and withholding
information.
Olding and Jackson have expressed a
desire to return to playing professional
rugby. However, their suspension by
Ulster Rugby and the Irish Rugby Football Union continues while a review is
conducted into their behaviour.
The advertisement demanding the
pair be dropped was paid for by crowdfunding. Campaigners raised £2,115,
which was £115 more than the cost
of the full page ad in the paper. The
authors of the ad said they expected
answers from rugby bosses.
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:13 Edition Date:180407 Edition:03 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 23:47
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
•••
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
News
Facebook
13
▼‘Mark Zuckerberg is a CEO whose
personal image is inextricable from
that of the company he founded’
PHOTOGRAPH: BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES
Third era of Zuck
From everyone’s
friend to social
media pariah
Julia Carrie Wong
San Francisco
T
his time last year, it
seemed reasonable
to assume that Mark
Zuckerberg was
taking the first steps
on a journey towards
Washington DC – 1600 Pennsylvania
Avenue, to be precise. The Facebook
chief executive had just completed
one leg of a whistlestop tour around
America that was fuelling rumours
of a Zuck 2020 presidential run.
His Facebook profile was
serving up a stream of photographs
featuring Zuckerberg in a variety
of politically symbolic encounters
wearing politically appropriate
facial expressions: serious and
engaged at a boardroom table with
military leaders; warm and open
at lunch with military spouses;
respectful and besuited at a church
in Charleston; confident and manly
at a Nascar racetrack.
Twelve months later, Zuckerberg
is going to Washington – but it
is to testify before both houses
of Congress about the huge data
harvesting scandal that has enraged
the public, knocked billions of
dollars off his company’s valuation,
and reignited calls for government
regulation.
The shine has come off
Zuckerberg’s attempt to play
statesman. The prospect of the
ageing wunderkind being forced
to entertain the probing questions
of actual statesmen and women
promises to recast him in a very
different role: the embattled chief
executive eating congressional
humble pie.
The exercise is practically an
American tradition: executives from
airlines, banks, credit agencies, and
tobacco firms have all been there.
But for Zuckerberg, whose personal
image is inextricable from that of the
company he founded, it is symbolic
of his loss of control of the narrative.
“We now are entering what I
would call the third era of Zuck,”
said Tim Hwang, who founded
the California Review of Images
and Mark Zuckerberg, a journal
of academic essays on the “visual
culture of Mark Zuckerberg”. Hwang
sees him as a sort of techie Madonna,
cycling through personas as he
matures, both shaping and reflecting
the culture.
First there was Zuck the “plucky
in the college dorm room hacker
guy”, said Hwang, who is also
director of the Harvard-MIT ethics
and governance of AI initiative.
Then came “Zuck as world
leader” – when he travelled the
world, meeting elected leaders,
occasionally donning a suit and
speaking authoritatively about his
global ambitions and social values.
Zuckerberg and his public relations
team exploited Facebook’s signature
blurring of the lines between the
personal, political and commercial
to create “Mark Zuckerberg”: the
responsible boss, good husband,
loving father, daring philanthropist
and credible world leader.
Hwang calls this new era
Zuckerberg’s “in the wilderness
phase”. “We’re really fascinated
because this huge PR machine
has sort of cracked and we can see
through, and what we can see is
someone way over his head.”
The tarnishing of the carefully
constructed image began well before
the Observer’s 18 March report
that a Trump-connected political
consultancy had improperly
obtained Facebook data on 50
million Americans – a number which
Facebook revised up this week to
possibly 87 million.
The front cover of last month’s
Wired magazine featured a
photorealistic illustration of
Zuckerberg’s face, bruised,
bloody and dripping with sweat
– a transformation from the
publication’s December 2016 cover,
which presented him the way he
likes to look: casual, smooth-faced
and neutral. “Could Facebook Save
Your Life?” the banner headline
asked. (No, 2018 responded.)
It wasn’t just Cambridge
Analytica, the 2016 election, and
Russian influence on operations.
The scandals of the past 18 months
are too numerous to count, and
encompass issues as serious
as violating civil rights laws,
collaborating with dictators, and
hate speech on Facebook fuelling
ethnic cleansing.
But Zuckerberg’s flat-footed
response to the data harvesting
scandal felt like a turning point. For
five days, he remained silent. People
who turned to his Facebook profile
in search of a response found only
a snapshot of the CEO and his wife
baking hamantaschen for Purim.
It was the kind of photo that,
in earlier times, burnished
Zuckerberg’s appeal to middle-aged
moms who viewed him as a nice,
rich boy from Jersey. But, with
millions feeling that their trust in the
boy wonder had been misplaced, the
message was more millennial Marie
Antoinette: “Let me eat cookies.”
Secret tool deletes executive
mail from recipients’ inboxes
Alex Hern
Facebook has been using a secret
tool to delete messages sent by its
executives from the inboxes of their
recipients, without disclosing the
deletions to the recipients – or even
recording that there was ever a message there in the first place.
If you send Mark Zuckerberg a Facebook message, in other words, he has a
copy for ever. But if he sends you one,
he can reach into your inbox and pluck
it out of existence.
The tool was discovered by the
technology blog site TechCrunch,
which noticed a discrepancy between
emailed receipts of Facebook messages being received (which Facebook
cannot retract) and the actual contents
of Facebook inboxes.
Tellingly, the replies to the messages sent by Zuckerberg remained in
the chat logs, preserving a one-sided
history of a two-sided conversation.
Facebook says the change was made
after the 2014 Sony Pictures hack,
when a mass data breach at the movie
studio resulted in embarrassing email
histories of some executives being
leaked, ultimately costing the cochair Amy Pascal her job. “We made a
Commons appearance
Senior figures linked to the
Cambridge Analytica scandal
are to appear in front of the
House of Commons inquiry into
fake news and misinformation.
Brittany Kaiser, former business
development director at
Cambridge Analytica, will speak
to the committee on 17 April.
Alexander Nix, former Cambridge
Analytica chief executive, will
return to speak in front of the
committee on 18 April.
number of changes to protect our executives’ communications,” Facebook
told TechCrunch. “These included
limiting the retention period for Mark’s
messages in Messenger. We did so in
full compliance with our legal obligations to preserve messages.”
The lack of disclosure has angered
some Facebook users, as has the
absence of any similar tool for normal
users. Since 2016, normal Facebook
users have been able to send disappearing messages using an encryption
feature in Messenger, but they cannot
turn the tool on retroactively, and cannot erase any pre-2016 sent messages.
Messages from Zuckerberg that are
older than four years old seem to comprise the bulk of those deleted.
News of the inbox tampering broke
as Facebook’s chief operating officer,
Sheryl Sandberg, was making an
apology tour of her own, after one by
Zuckerberg earlier in the week.
Yesterday also saw a coalition of
privacy and consumer groups file a
complaint with the US Federal Trade
Commission arguing that Facebook’s
“unwanted, unnecessary, and dangerous” use of facial recognition software
violates both users’ privacy and the
company’s 2011 consent decree with
the regulator.
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:14 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 15:26
•
14
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
National
Laura Jackson BBC hopes cool
crowd will lift Saturday nights
Scarlett Conlon
I
s slapstick Saturday-night
TV as we know it facing
extinction? After Dec
Donnelly was left flying solo
without Ant McPartlin last
Saturday night, and following
the rise of midweek hits such as
The Great British Bake Off, which
has claimed the most-watched
crown, viewers could be forgiven
for thinking so.
Enter Laura Jackson, 31, one of a
new roster of stars that BBC One is
banking on to breathe new life into
the 6pm slot with its new primetime show, Ready or Not.
“In the current climate of what’s
going on in the world, it’s just nice
to watch a bit of telly and have a bit
of escapism,” says the Huddersfieldborn presenter. Ready or Not, which
she describes as The Generation
Game meets You’ve Been Framed,
takes the form of a roaming quiz
show, with Jackson as one of its
main hosts – “Quiztina” – alongside
a diverse lineup including a 28-yearold newcomer, London Hughes. It’s
just the tonic TV needs – on and off
camera.
Jackson is professionally
diplomatic about McPartlin’s
absence: “It’s sometimes a shame
that everyone is so bothered about
what’s going on in people’s private
lives. We love Ant & Dec’s Saturday
Night Takeaway because it makes us
belly-laugh one minute and could
have us in tears the next.
“I think we still want to see
something that’s light-hearted and
brings the whole family together.”
Having young, straight-talking
personalities such as Jackson on our
screens will inevitably help address
the more serious problems engulfing
the television industry, such as the
gender pay gap, for which the BBC
has recently been under fire.
Jackson, having been in a
situation where she was paid half
the wage of a male co-star “who had
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
the same profile, who did the same
hours and who did the same job as
me”, says she now feels empowered
to demand her fair share and to help
young TV stars disrupt the register of
familiar faces.
“Breaking through is so hard now.
There are not the [training-ground]
platforms there once were – MTV,
T4, kids’ morning shows,” she says.
“I absolutely love watching Holly
[Willoughby] and Fearne [Cotton]
and Davina [McCall], but there
hasn’t been any new younger talent
▲ Laura Jackson with her Ready
or Not co-host Tom Allen
come through for a while. It’s hard to
change the landscape but by the BBC
being a bit riskier with talent, let’s
hope they start a trend. With a new
director of programming at Channel
4 too, talk of change and an appetite
for newer talent, it feels like change
is in the air.”
In many ways, Jackson represents
the changing role of celebrity itself.
Her TV career reads like prime-time
prep school, starting with Channel
4’s Freshly Squeezed and gaining
momentum with stints on Take
Me Out, The Gossip, This Morning,
The Clothes Show and Celebrity
Big Brother’s Little Brother. But her
soaring popularity is the result of
less mainstream projects.
The supper club she established
around her kitchen table in 2013
with the Radio 1 DJ Alice Levine has
since grown into a bonafide lifestyle
brand. Her girl-next-door sense
of style puts her front row at the
biggest shows of London fashion
week and has led to a collaboration
with the womenswear brand Rixo
London. And, because of her keen
eye for interiors and a willingness
to share the trials of refurbishing
her new house, she has built a
following of nearly 64,000 on
Instagram, officially making her a
micro-influencer.
“I have my fingers in lots of
different pies, but I’m passionate
about doing all of them,” she says.
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:15 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
Sent at 6/4/2018 15:26
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
•
15
‘Breaking
through is
so hard now.
There aren’t
the training
platforms
there once
were’
Laura Jackson
TV presenter
‘It’s just nice
to have a bit
of escapism’:
Laura Jackson is
one of the main
hosts of the new
Saturday night
BBC One show,
Ready or Not
PHOTOGRAPH: ALICIA
CANTER/GUARDIAN
Butterfly that
beat Churchill
could return to
southern UK
Patrick Barkham
He was the consummate politician
who could bend nations to his will,
but Winston Churchill was powerless
when it came to butterflies.
The British prime minister hired
the country’s leading lepidopterist
and spent years attempting to reintroduce two extinct species into his
back garden.
In spite of his best efforts, and the
release of hundreds of black-veined
whites and swallowtails in the 1940s,
his schemes to have rare butterflies
feasting on “fountains of honey and
water” at Chartwell in Kent were an
ignominious failure.
Churchill may, however, simply
have been seven decades ahead of
his time: new research has revealed
that climatic conditions may be suitable for the black-veined white to fly
in Britain once again.
The butterfly, which is found across
much of Europe, became extinct in
Britain after a series of disastrously
wet autumns in the early 20th century.
Now, with average temperatures rising, experts believe the species could
prosper here again.
Two studies in northern France,
which has a similar climate to southern
England, have found that it would be
easy to support the black-veined white
by creating flowery field margins and
allowing the growth of young scrub
such as hawthorn and blackthorn.
Fabrizia Ratto, from the University
of Southampton, who conducted one
of the studies, said: “The butterfly has
a strong preference for small, isolated
bushes of blackthorn and hawthorn as
egg-laying sites with abundant nectar sources such as red clover nearby.
“These habitat conditions can be
recreated through the implementation
of agri-environmental measures such
as nectar flower mixes in crop margins
and by allowing some scrub regeneration beside adjacent hedgerows.”
▲ Changing climate conditions mean
the black-veined white could thrive
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:16 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 18:53
•
16
Met crime chief
calls for radical
‘societal change’
to stem killings
Vikram Dodd
Ben Quinn
A senior Scotland Yard officer has said
the Metropolitan police cannot arrest
their way out of a rising tide of murders when what is needed is “societal
change”, in a week when national
attention has been on the crisis of London’s violent crime.
DCS Michael Gallagher, head of
Scotland Yard’s organised crime command and former lead on knife crime,
told the Guardian radical societal
change was needed from the government, parents and communities.
A sharp spike in killings in London, with 56 murder investigations
so far this year, has led to emergency
talks between police and community
groups.
As Scotland Yard yesterday convened an emergency meeting with
community groups to discuss the rise
in killings, police hunting those behind
the shooting of 17-year-old Tanesha
Melbourne-Blake arrested a suspect.
The teenager, who was killed in Tottenham on Monday, is increasingly
believed to have been an innocent
bystander hit outside her boyfriend’s
house by a gunman who opened fire
as part of a gang feud fuelled by taunts
on social media.
Gallagher said more focus was
needed on the needs of the young,
with the biggest group of those killed
and doing the killing being young
men. “What we need is a societal
change where young people, as perpetrators and victims, feel valued and
protected,” he said. “It is beyond the
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
National
London murders
▲ The Met commissioner, Cressida Dick, on patrol yesterday with officers in
Stoke Newington, north London PHOTOGRAPH: STEFAN ROUSSEAU/PA
Man arrested over teenager’s
shooting as London grapples
with soaring murder rate
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
police. We cannot prosecute our way
out of this.
“We absolutely need to work with
everyone, everybody. Parents, government, community groups.”
Gallagher has previously warned
that youth violence may grow worse
in the coming years as London’s demographics change, with the population
forecast to grow to 10 million by 2030.
Gallagher said: “It is difficult, but
every police officer is doing their best.”
The Met commissioner, Cressida
Dick, said that the force was not
in crisis but added: “This is not an
unprecedented time, but it is a very
worrying time.”
The government will launch an antiviolence strategy next week aiming to
make good on a promise ,first made
by the former Labour prime minister
Tony Blair, to be tough on the causes
of crime, as well as imposing strong
56
Murder inquiries in London this
year, including into the death of
Tanesha Melbourne-Blake, above
punishments on offenders. Government sources say they are still not
convinced that increased stop and
search by officers automatically cuts
violence, saying the evidence shows
no link. Dick says she will back her
officers in its use where it is justified,
amid calls by some for more stops.
When the practice was at its height
in 2011-12, the Met was conducting
more than 500,000 stops a year, disproportionately targeting African
Caribbean people, with the vast majority producing no evidence of crime,
yet poisoning community relations.
Since April 2017, the Met has carried
out 115,000 stops.
Dick has ordered hundreds of extra
officers on to the streets this weekend
to try to stop further stabbings and
shootings, amid claims that confidence
in the Met is eroding among communities whose trust it has struggled
to earn.
One source who attended the Scotland Yard meeting with community
groups yesterday morning said people
had left more angry than when they
arrived and had no idea what the Met
was planning to do. The source said:
“From the meeting, it doesn’t seem
the Met have a grip on what’s going
on. There was a lot of anger.”
Also at the meeting was Nicola
Calica-Myall, an activist against knife
crime whose own son was stabbed 37
times when he was just 17 and survived. She said: “It’s important to
know that our fears as a community
are being recognised and things are
in place. It’s everybody’s problem
and more Londoners need to recognise this situation may not go away
any time soon.”
Police chiefs want to develop a
“mobilisation plan” to tackle the rise
in violent crime.
One senior Met source said they
had been caught by surprise by the
sustained increase in killings and violent crime, and that the causes for the
change were unclear.
Scotland Yard chiefs are to an
extent at the mercy of events, with
seven stabbings on Wednesday evening alone adding to the urgency of a
change in approach from police, and
national and local government.
What is within the power of police
is to pursue suspects, and detectives
said they had arrested a 30-year-old
man for the shooting of MelbourneBlake, 17, who died in the street after
shots were fired from a car.
DI Beverley Kofi, of the homicide
and major crime command, urged
people to come forward: “You may
be fearful of repercussions of speaking to police, or have loyalties that you
believe can’t be compromised. We are
dealing with the fatal shooting of a
teenage girl, and would implore you to
do the right thing and come forward.”
The shooting in Tottenham was followed 30 minutes later by the gunning
down of 16-year-old Amaan Shakoor in
Walthamstow, east London.
On Wednesday an 18-year-old male
was stabbed in a Hackney street and
died shortly afterwards. Also that day
a 53-year-old man died after a clash at
an east London betting shop.
His murder is having to be investigated by officers from outside the Met,
because homicide detectives from
Britain’s largest force are overrun by
a workload that involved more killings
in February and March in London than
in New York, which was once a byword
for out of control violent crime.
‘It hurts so much’
One more shrine, one
more grieving family
Ian Cobain
A
ll week, newspapers
have been publishing
photographs of the
many people to be
murdered in London
so far this year. Each
time they do so, Abdullah Özcan
breaks down and weeps.
“Yesterday I saw the Sun and they
had 49 pictures in there, including
my son. All day I cried. I didn’t cry
just for my son, but for all those
other people as well. Life is just
starting for these people, they are 19
years old, 17 years old, and they are
dying for nothing.”
Abdullah’s son Hasan was trapped
by a gang of youths on bicycles in the
corner of a rubbish-strewn car park
behind a block of flats in Barking,
east London. He was stabbed
repeatedly.
Local people ran outside in their
pyjamas. “He was screaming ‘help
me’ as loud as he could,” said one
woman. “The police were here very
quickly and were pressing on his
chest for a long time.”
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:17 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
Sent at 6/4/2018 18:16
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
•
17
‘I cry, I think about
him every day.
His room looks so
empty. My wife: she’s
finished. I don’t know
what to do’
Abdullah Özcan
Father of Hasan Özcan
Gidea Park, a pleasant suburb on the
eastern outskirts of London.
Hasan had a wide circle of friends.
He liked to work out at the gym and
trained as a kick boxer. Sometimes
he would help out at the restaurant.
“He was such a friendly boy, and
so helpful,” Abdullah says. Last
year however, after allegedly being
assaulted in Barking, Hasan moved
to Kent, where he began studying at
a further education college, coming
back to his parents’ flat in Barking
only at weekends.
O
Hasan was pronounced dead at
the scene. He was 19.
That was in February. A few
hours earlier, nine miles away in
Tottenham, north London, Kwabena
Nelson, 22, was stabbed to death.
The following day Juan Olmos
Saca, 39, died after being stabbed in
Peckham, south London.
They were victims 12, 13 and 14
in London’s 2018 murder litany.
By the end of that week they had
been joined by Hannah Leonard,
a 55-year-old Irishwoman. By
Wednesday, there were a further 34
victims in the picture spread that so
distressed Abdullah.
The following day, six people, five
of them teenagers, were admitted
to hospital in five separate knife
attacks in the capital. The youngest,
a 13-year-old boy, was seriously
injured. Yesterday morning,
Scotland Yard said there had been 55
suspected murders in the capital so
far this year.
Seven young men and boys have
been arrested and questioned about
Hasan’s murder. The youngest was
just 15.
Although all have been released
without charge, police seem
confident that they are familiar with
Hasan’s network of associates, and
understand the motive; it appears
that it is only a matter of time before
charges are brought.
Hasan’s family deny that his
murder was in any way gang related,
although his Facebook profile
includes a picture of him with three
of his friends and that word, “gang”,
superimposed over it. The detectives
investigating the murder do not have
time to discuss the case, however:
they are just so very busy.
Abdullah, 44, is originally from
the city of Gaziantep in southern
Turkey. As a young man he moved
to northern Cyprus, where he met
Emine. They married and moved
to London, where Hasan was born.
Two other sons followed, now aged
15 and seven. Abdullah has had a
number of successful businesses:
currently he runs a fish restaurant in
▲ Pictures of Hasan placed at the
site of his murder in Barking, east
London, in February
PHOTOGRAPH: CHRISTIAN SINIBALDI/GUARDIAN
▲ Hasan’s parents, Emine and
Abdullah Özcan. No one has yet been
charged over his murder
PHOTOGRAPH: CHRISTIAN SINIBALDI/GUARDIAN
n 3 February, back for
the weekend, Hasan
went to a friend’s
sister’s birthday party
in Barking. On leaving,
he was attacked. He
ran, was chased, he was caught and
killed. Abdullah was informed as he
shut up his restaurant.
“It is so difficult when you lose a
child,” he says. “It is not like losing
your mum or your dad or your
brother. It hurts so much.
“I cry every day. I think about him
every day. His room looks so empty.
My wife has completely changed,
my wife’s life has changed, my kids’
lives have changed. My wife: she’s
finished. The doctor comes to see
her a lot. I don’t know what to do.”
The family are far from alone. The
police keep in touch, Abdullah says,
and countless people have contacted
him on Facebook, offering support.
“Some of my customers come in and
cry with me.” When he took his boy
back to Gaziantep to be buried, huge
numbers of people turned out for
the funeral.
But Abdullah has difficulty
sleeping. He looks exhausted, grey,
and the trauma has seeped deep
within him: he is hypervigilant,
looking all around as he walks down
the street, watching out for another
catastrophe. “A lot of people are
dying and I am worried,” he says.
“I have to worry, because I have
another two children.”
He is particularly anxious that his
son’s killers are still at large. “None
of us want killers walking around,
we want them in prison,” he says
repeatedly.
“I don’t want this happening to
anyone else. I don’t want anyone
else hurting like I hurt. But people
are scared to talk to the police. They
think: ‘Today it happened to him,
maybe tomorrow it could be me.’”
In the car park where Hasan
bled to death, a small shrine sprang
up: half a dozen glossy pictures of
the boy were attached to a shrub,
flowers were laid and a few candles
lit. On Thursday evening a local man
clambered out of his car and stared
for a moment at the dead flowers.
“The council will be clearing all that
away before too long,” he said.
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:18 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 14:47
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:19 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 14:53
•
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
National
Child killer
found to have
died of heart
attack in
secure unit
19
Press Association
A child killer known as the Beast of
Wombwell died after a heart attack at
a secure psychiatric unit, an inquest
has heard. Peter Pickering, 80, had
been detained for more than 45 years
after killing 14-year-old Shirley Boldy
in South Yorkshire in 1972.
Announcing his death, West
Yorkshire police confirmed they had
expected to charge him with the murder of another 14-year-old, Elsie Frost,
REX/SHUTTERSTOCK
Review Not
quite so hot,
but still ready
to get rocky
5 Seconds of Summer
Heaven
★★★☆☆
Caroline Sullivan
W
ith the hubris
of a popster at
the peak of his
game, 5 Seconds
of Summer’s
drummer,
Ashton Irwin, said in 2015: “We don’t
want to just be, like, for girls.” His
Sydney punkish-pop quartet had
almost sold out a world tour; their
second album had topped US and
UK charts; and Rolling Stone called
them “the world’s hottest band”.
Irwin yearned for the day 5SOS
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
would lose the “boyband” albatross.
That day may be here. The show
in this 1,000-capacity club to
promote album three, scheduled
for a summer release, is billed as an
“intimate” one-off, but with their
last four singles failing to reach the
top 20, it could be, as Spinal Tap’s
manager Ian Faith put it, that their
appeal has become more selective.
A tour of larger venues is to follow,
but they may yet regret wishing their
fans weren’t mainly young girls.
Though they are tight as a band
and their biggest hits, She Looks So
Perfect and She’s Kinda Hot, capture
being young and awkward, their
compact poppiness makes music
snobs sneer. Moreover, in a strategy
aimed at female fans, each member
has a distinct identity. Singer Luke
Hemmings is the alpha one; guitarist
Michael Clifford is sensitive; Irwin
is Pottymouth Spice; and bassist
Calum Hood is like a rock god.
Yet they don’t pander. There’s no
flirting with the crowd, no banter
– not much of a show at all. They
stand on the small stage, rocking out
and occasionally hitting the sweet
spot. The new album’s title track is
a fabulous stomp, while the recent
single Want You Back sticks like
Velcro. Guitar-playing boybands
are rare these days, especially ones
determined to get rocky or die trying
– 5SOS’s ambition is admirable.
whose body was found in Wakefield in
1965. He was also awaiting sentence for
raping an 18-year-old woman.
An inquest at Reading town hall
heard Pickering died at Thornford
Park hospital, Berkshire, on 25 March.
He had been held under a hospital
order made by a judge in 1972 after he
admitted Shirley’s manslaughter by
diminished responsibility.
She was bundled into his van as she
returned to Wombwell high school,
driven to a secluded location and tied
up and raped. He tried to strangle her
before stabbing her to death, a crime
seen by walkers who were too far away
to intervene.
He killed Shirley weeks after raping
an 18-year-old woman in the Barnsley
area. Last month, the victim, now in
her 60s, told a jury how Pickering had
told her she was going to die.
Pickering was convicted at Leeds
crown court of rape and false imprisonment over the attack, which came
to light through the re-investigation
of Elsie’s murder. The girl was stabbed
in the back and head as she walked
through a railway tunnel in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, in October 1965.
As part of the inquiry detectives
looked back through Pickering’s conversations with psychiatrists and also
found a storage garage he had rented
containing handcuffs and exercise
books filled with his rantings.
Pickering had convictions for sex
offences dating back to the early 1960s
and was in prison from 1966 to 1972.
Speaking after his death, Elsie’s
brother, Colin, who pushed for the reinvestigation of the case three years
ago along with his sister, Anne Cleave,
said: “It’s just an incredible feeling of
frustration now.”
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:20 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 14:59
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
•
20
National
Theatre review A polished
revival of Congreve’s gem
The Way of the World
Donmar Warehouse
★★★★☆
Michael Billington
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
This is the kind of production one
had almost given up hope of seeing:
a restoration of a comic masterpiece
more concerned to mine the author’s
text than explore the director’s ego.
William Congreve’s play from
1700, with its labyrinthine plot,
is not the easiest to do but James
Macdonald brings scrupulous clarity
and a concern for language learned
in his 14 years at the Royal Court.
The stock charge against
Congreve’s play is that it is hard to
follow. However, Macdonald steers
us lucidly through the complex
schemes by which Fainall plans to
get hold of his wife’s inheritance
and make off with his lover, Mrs
Marwood. In contrast lies the
wooing of Mirabell and Millamant.
Their scenes together have
something of the witty raillery of
Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado;
they also show, arguably for the first
time on the British stage, that a true
marriage has to be based on mutual
respect, consideration and equality.
As Millamant, Justine Mitchell
is deliciously capricious but her
radiant smiles suggest a basic
goodness of heart. Geoffrey
Streatfeild is a perfect Mirabell in
his mix of incisiveness, wiliness and
true feeling.
As Lady Wishfort, whose money
everyone is after, Haydn Gwynne
shows that a character can be absurd
and likable at the same time.
In a play that scarcely has a
dud role, there is a wealth of fine
performances. Tom Mison and
Jenny Jules lend the arch-plotters
a hint of inner complexity. There
is also rich support from Fisayo
Akinade as a gossipy fop, Alex
Beckett as a far-from-green valet and
Christian Patterson as a Shropshire
gent charging into this dandified
world like a bull in a china shop,
albeit a charitable and kind one.
At the Donmar Warehouse, London,
until 26 May
Catch up on the week
“A decanter to the skull. A gently
he
spreading pool of blood beneath the
body on the rug. The scream of a servant.
s. We
A houseful of suspects assembles.
can only be watching an Agatha
n
Christie. Welcome!” Lucy Mangan
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Section:GDN 1N PaGe:21 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
Sent at 6/4/2018 16:07
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
•
National
Commonwealth Games
21
▼ The British swimmer Adam Peaty
is expected to take gold today in the
Gold Coast Commonwealth Games
PHOTOGRAPH: QUINN ROONEY/GETTY IMAGES
‘It’s not even
breaststroke he’s
doing any more; it’s
a new kind of stroke –
like a metamorphosis
between butterfly
and breast’
Cameron van der Bergh
South African swimmer
his British teammate Ross Murdoch.
It is certainly no more likely to fall
to anyone else over the next decade
than Bolt’s 100m sprint world record
of 9.58 seconds.
Peaty’s coach, Mel Marshall,
is a rarity in elite sport, a woman
entrusted with a world-class male
athlete. In the top four divisions of
men’s football in Britain there are no
female head coaches, nor are there
in Premiership Rugby or County
Championship cricket. Andy Murray
briefly selected the Frenchwoman
Amélie Mauresmo as his coach but
women are scarce at the top level of
men’s tennis, too.
A
‘He is our Usain Bolt’
From fear of water to fastest in
the world: Peaty gets set for gold
Martha Kelner
I
n the mid-morning sunshine
on Australia’s Gold Coast, the
most dominant swimmer in
British history launched his
hulking 6ft 3in frame through
the water, easing to victory in
the heats of the 100m breaststroke.
A self-proclaimed ginger kid from
Uttoxeter in Staffordshire, Adam
Peaty looked effortless despite
the 26C (79F) heat and unfamiliar
surrounds of the outdoor pool. He
did the same in the semi-finals, and
before today’s final he is one of the
biggest gold medal certainties at
these Commonwealth Games.
The former world champion
swimmer Mark Foster said: “He is
our Michael Jordan or Usain Bolt. As
long as he doesn’t get injured he will
not be beaten until he retires.”
The 100m breaststroke is no joke,
boasting the best two swimmers in
57.1 sec
Peaty’s 100m breaststroke world
record. A teammate says: ‘If he
doesn’t break it, he’ll die with it’
the world, but Peaty is so far ahead
of his nearest rival, South Africa’s
Cameron van der Bergh, that it has
become a question not of if he will
win but how fast he will go.
“I think I have to retire and give it
a few years and come back when he’s
older,” Van der Burgh said, only half
joking. “It’s not even breaststroke
he’s doing any more; he’s swimming
a new kind of stroke – like a
metamorphosis between butterfly
and breast.”
Peaty holds the Commonwealth
Games dear as the competition
in which he made his global
breakthrough, in Glasgow in 2014.
Still only 23, he has amassed a
haul of 26 medals, including 17
breaststroke golds at Olympic, World
and European championships.
His 100m breaststroke world
record is 57.1 seconds and he owns
the fastest 11 times in history over
the distance. “If he doesn’t break his
57.1 seconds record he will die with
that world record,” is the opinion of
Mauritius
Former team boss charged
The former head of the Mauritius
team at the Commonwealth Games
has been charged by Australian
police with sexually assaulting a
woman, believed to be an athlete.
Kaysee Teeroovengadum, the
50-strong team’s chef de mission,
is alleged to have assaulted the
woman on 29 March in Southport, a
district of the Gold Coast where the
Games are being held.
Teeroovengadum, 52, will appear
at Southport magistrates court in
Queensland on 17 April. He stepped
down from his role and voluntarily
left the athletes’ village after the
allegation was made.
David Grevemberg, CEO of the
Commonwealth Games Federation,
said he was confident the right
safeguards were in place to protect
athletes. “There is absolutely, again,
similar to cheating, zero tolerance
for abusive behaviour of any
nature,” he said.
Teeroovengadum quit when
the assault allegations surfaced.
He strongly denied the claims ,
saying they were “unfounded,
unwarranted, false and malicious”.
Vivian Gungaram, president of
the Mauritius Athletics Association,
said: “Such an act on a female
athlete by a chef de mission or by
any other official is unacceptable.”
Martha Kelner
former elite swimmer
herself, Marshall
has trained Peaty
at the City of Derby
swimming club since
he was 14. “I think
Mel is one of the strongest people
I’ve ever met – just because she is so
versatile,” Peaty has said. “She can
overcome any challenge … She is a
unique person in herself, not that we
just have a unique relationship.
“That combination of my nan
and my mum, and all the women in
my life, I think makes it easier for
me to work with Mel. I think a lot
of athletes prefer a male coach but
I have worked with Mel for so long
and we are so effective, I don’t think
gender is an issue at all.”
Peaty’s close friends say what sets
him apart is a brawler’s spirit. He
spends hours in the gym every day
perfecting his trademark “flying”
press-ups, which he does in sets
of 20 three or four times a day. He
also consumes 8,000 calories a day,
more than three times the level of an
average man.
Medals are his primary motivation
but Peaty has made no secret of
wanting to make enough money
so that he can secure his family’s
financial future, and believes his
working-class background sets him
apart from many other top athletes.
When Peaty was growing up, the
son of Caroline, a nursery nurse,
and Mark, a supermarket caretaker,
money was so tight that when they
could not afford his first competitive
kit neighbours and family banded
together to offer donations.
Perhaps the most incredible factor
in Peaty’s success is that it might not
have happened at all. When he was a
young child he was terrified of water
and even afraid of bathtime, after his
older brothers, Richard and Jamie,
told him sharks came through the
plug hole.
Eventually, a friend took him on
a trip to a pool and he immediately
took to the water. Almost two
decades on, his rivals in Australia
must wish that chance visit had
never happened.
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:22 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 17:11
•
22
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
National
Coastal curse Blackpool tries to
turn the tide on heroin deaths
Frances Perraudin
North of England reporter
J
ohnny first tried heroin in
1987, aged 15, after being
told the drug was a bit like
cannabis. “If someone had
said to me then: ‘See that
bag of brown powder you’re
picking up? Kiss goodbye to the next
30 years of your life,’ I would have
thought twice.”
The 47-year-old has not used
the drug for nine months now and
says he has never felt so well. But
many of his friends have not been
so lucky. Over the years he has been
to the funerals of 19 people who
have died from drug overdoses. “I
hung around with 22 lads when I was
growing up, and there are three of
them left now,” Johnny says.
His experience is not unique. His
home town, the Lancashire resort
of Blackpool, was one of seven
coastal towns to feature in a list
of 10 local authorities in England
and Wales with the highest rates of
heroin deaths, according to analysis
In brief
Politics
Scrap two-child benefit
limit, say faith leaders
Christian, Muslim and Jewish
leaders have united to call for the
scrapping of a policy that limits
benefits to families with more than
two children.
The “two-child policy”,
introduced a year ago, allows
families to claim child tax credits or
universal credits only for their first
two children unless there are special
circumstances. But religious leaders
say the policy will lead to a rise in
child poverty and abortions.
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
▲ Johnny, 47, started on heroin at 15
but has not used it for nine months
released by the Office for National
Statistics this week.
Blackpool tops that list and has
recorded a higher rate of deaths
involving heroin or morphine than
any other council district since
2010. There were 14 heroin misuse
deaths per 100,000 people in 2016,
compared with the national average
“The policy … conveys the
regrettable message that some
children matter less than others,
depending on their place in the
sibling birth order,” they say in a
letter to the Times. “There are likely
to be mothers who will face an
invidious choice between poverty
and terminating an unplanned
pregnancy.”
The letter was signed by 60
Church of England bishops, the
Board of Deputies of British Jews
and the Muslim Council of Britain.
The Department for Work and
Pensions has said the policy will
be implemented compassionately,
with exceptions and safeguards.
Exceptions are made for multiple
births, adoption from local authority
care, kinship care and children likely
to have been conceived as a result
of rape or a coercive or controlling
relationship. Harriet Sherwood
of 1.7 in England and 2.3 in Wales.
Blackpool’s rate is almost twice as
high as the borough in second place
– Burnley, with 7.6 per 100,000.
Arif Rajpura, Blackpool’s director
of public health, blames the death
rate on a number of factors, most of
which fit neatly under the umbrella
of deprivation. The town has plenty
of cheap accommodation – often in
now-defunct guesthouses –which
attracts people from surrounding
areas who are on the breadline.
“Blackpool imports its ill-health,”
he says. “People are often running
away from something. They’ve got
a positive memory of Blackpool
from visiting as a child and they see
Blackpool as a place to go where they
can find cheap housing.”
The situation, Rajpura says, is
also part of a national picture in
which heroin deaths have more
than doubled between 2012 and
2016, from 579 to 1,201. He points to
analysis by Public Health England
that partly attributed the rising
death rate to the increasingly frail
“trainspotting generation” – people
who started using heroin in the late
Courts
Teacher ‘assaulted girl
on floor of locked study’
A sports teacher at a top private
school massaged a pupil’s “virtually
naked body” while she was lying
face down on the floor of his locked
study, a court heard.
Ajaz Karim then turned over the
14-year-old girl and touched her
inappropriately, a jury at Brighton
crown court was told yesterday.
The 63-year-old, of Hammersmith
in west London, denies nine
charges of indecent assault and one
attempted indecent assault against
six girls aged 14 to 18 at Christ’s
Hospital school in Horsham, West
Sussex, between 1985 and 1993.
Karim is accused of inviting girls
into his study, locking the door and
carrying out “wholly unnecessary”
1980s and the 90s whose health has
been ruined by decades of addiction.
Gordon Marsden, MP for
Blackpool South, says the ability of
local authorities such as Blackpool
to deal with such problems has
been seriously hindered by budget
cuts. Blackpool council has had
£450m taken from its budget in
seven years. “When you look at that
in the context of a relatively small
unitary authority – with a population
of around 150,000 – that is a lot of
money.”
Marsden is also keen to point
out that other coastal resorts face
the same issues. Bournemouth,
Portsmouth, Hastings, Thanet,
Swansea and Neath Port Talbot also
appear on the list of heroin death
hotspots. “Seaside towns often have
far more in common with each other,
even if they’re 200 miles apart, than
with towns that are 20 miles inland.”
This view is shared by Will
Jennings, a senior lecturer in politics
at the University of Southampton
and co-founder of the Centre
for Towns. The thinktank has
highlighted the exodus from smaller
towns of young people hoping to
find work in big cities.
Jennings argues that the demise
of many seaside towns cannot
be viewed as part of the trend of
deindustrialisation that brought
economic decline to some of their
inland neighbours. “This is about
a very long-term historical arc over
massages. He is alleged to have
kissed a pupil on the lips.
Eloise Marshall, prosecuting,
said: “Mr Karim used his position
as a member of staff and his role
in the sports department at the
school to use massage of these girls
as a subterfuge for touching them
sexually … Complaints made in the
early 1990s led to Mr Karim having
to leave the school.”
The trial continues. PA
▲ Ajaz Karim, 63, arrives at Brighton
crown court, where he is standing trial
Police
Householder gets home
to find intruder in bath
A shocked householder called the
police after returning home to find
an intruder in his bath.
Staffordshire police said officers
were called to the address in Stokeon-Trent, but that the naked man
fled the property as they arrived. He
was arrested shortly afterwards.
The force said the householder,
from the Longton area, reported that
the man had made himself a drink
and was drinking it while in the tub.
A 36-year-old man of no fixed
address was arrested on suspicion
of burglary after what police called a
“highly unusual episode”, but was
released without charge. The force
added: “The man’s safeguarding
needs were addressed.” PA
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:23 Edition Date:180407 Edition:03 Zone:
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•••
23
Blackpool’s
tower looms over
the beach. The
seaside resort
is one of seven
coastal towns
on a list of 10
local authorities
in England and
Wales with the
highest rates of
death from the
misuse of heroin
MAIN PHOTOGRAPH:
EDUCATION IMAGES/
UIG/GETTY IMAGES
50 years,” he says. “Around 100
years ago they were actually quite
affluent leisure destinations.” The
rise of foreign travel hit places such
as Blackpool, he says, and the fact
that many seaside towns are poorly
connected to big cities has forced the
young to move away to find work.
Ian Treasure, service manager
at the charity Blackpool Fulfilling
Lives, insists the town is taking
innovative steps to tackle its
problems. “Every seaside town
has this dichotomy of the glitzy
promenade and then the problems
behind the scenes, but the work
that is going on in Blackpool is really
making a difference.”
The charity is one of scores of
groups helping the town’s most
vulnerable residents. Established
in 2014 in partnership with national
charity Addaction, using £10m of
lottery funding, it works with people
who are struggling with mental
health issues, drug addiction and
homelessness. Staff and volunteers,
many of whom have experienced
drug addiction themselves, help
individuals to navigate the system
and access services, accompanying
them to appointments and helping
them fill out forms.
Treasure says: “Blackpool is
serious about trying to reverse
the tide on the negative publicity
we’ve had because, look around
today: it’s wonderful, it’s sunny, it’s
warm. There are people shopping.
Woman jailed for pretending to
be victim of Grenfell Tower fire
Press Association
On the trail A chance to see original sets and
figures from the Isle of Dogs movie has brought
more than 3,000 people a day flocking to an
exhibition at Store X, 180 The Strand, London
A woman has been jailed for four-anda-half years after posing as a Grenfell
Tower survivor in a £19,000 scam.
Joyce Msokeri, 47, showed no emotion as she was sentenced at the Old
Bailey for three counts of fraud against
the Royal Borough of Kensington and
Chelsea, the Hilton and a number of
charities respectively, and one charge
of possessing a false document.
Msokeri, who was convicted on 15
March after a trial at Southwark crown
court, told authorities she had escaped
the blaze in west London last June but
her husband had died. She was single and living miles away at the time.
Over the next few weeks, she filled a
room at a Hilton hotel with donations
from charities and individuals, and
concocted an elaborate ploy to claim
insurance on her fictitious partner’s
death, the jury was told.
Msokeri claimed around £19,000
in cash donations, goods including
electronics, handbags and dresses,
and hotel costs. But prosecutor David
Jeremy QC said she would have had
access to funds totalling more than
£200,000 had she not been caught.
When her scheme faltered, she
preyed on a vulnerable man, getting
him to play her husband, and telling
‘Every seaside town
has this dichotomy of
the glitzy promenade
and then all the
problems going on
behind the scenes’
Ian Treasure
Blackpool Fulfilling Lives
It’s a lovely place to be.” He thinks
everybody in the town should feel
a sense of responsibility to help
address its drug problems. “I live
in Blackpool and one of the things I
find upsetting is when people say:
‘Oh, this town is a tip.’ Because what
are they doing to try and change
things? Everybody has a role to play.”
These days Johnny spends his
time volunteering at Blackpool
Fulfilling Lives, and is learning
to drive. “I want to carry on
volunteering for a bit and then work
and get a job,” he says. “I want to
help people turn their lives around,
like people have helped me.”
He says he loves the town. “I love
the atmosphere. I love the people.
I loved growing up here. My family
are here and I would never leave.
“I had bad times here, but that
was my own doing. It was nothing to
do with Blackpool.”
investigators she found he had been
living in a cave in Margate, Kent, where
he was fed by tourists, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
Msokeri, of Sutton, south London,
later repeatedly tried to frustrate justice by faking illnesses or a disability,
her trial heard.
Judge Michael Grieve QC said:
“These are callous and contemptible,
indeed disgusting, offences for which
only a custodial sentence can be justified, and one of some length.”
He added: “Your greed in taking
advantage of the situation you had
created was insatiable.”
Kate Mulholland, from the CPS,
said: “Joyce Msokeri has been sentenced today for fraudulently claiming
money and accommodation intended
for the true victims of the Grenfell
Tower fire. This was all to satisfy her
greed and she will now have to face
the consequences of her dishonesty.”
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:24 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
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•
24
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
National
Have I Got News for You
Modest? Really?
Women have
news for Hislop
and Merton
Why does Have I Got News
For You not manage to book
more female guests and
hosts on to the show?
Emine Saner
I
n 2007, Ann Widdecombe,
then a Conservative MP,
presented the topical BBC1
comedy show Have I Got
News for You for the second
time – she is still the only
female politician to have been the
host. One of the team captains, Paul
Merton, said this week that having
her host was his “worst experience”
with a politician on the show, and
that she had been arrogant.
But watch it again and, no matter
how you feel about her politics,
it’s not Widdecombe who comes
across badly. She does a good job
against the four often surly and
contemptuous male panellists who
constantly interrupt and undermine
her. There is mock flirting, and
“jokes” about her looks (“ooh, take
off your glasses, you’re beautiful,”
says the comedian Jimmy Carr), and
about her working in a strip club.
Merton refers twice to Widdecombe
getting the men cups of tea.
Carr makes a joke about getting a
sexually transmitted disease from
her. When he refers to a look from
the MP making him lose an erection,
she wearily says: “I don’t think I
shall return to this programme.”
That was over 10 years ago and
no female MP has been the guest
presenter since.
It’s true that not many male MPs
have either, but they have vastly
▲ Diane Abbott said she got used to
big egos on politics show This Week
outnumbered women over the
years.
Asked by the Radio Times this
week about why so few women MPs
have hosted, Merton said that “the
producers always ask more women
than men. More women say no.” Ian
Hislop, the longtime Private Eye
editor who captains the other team,
suggested it may be because “on
the whole, women are slightly more
reticent and think, maybe modestly,
‘I can’t do that’. Maybe more men in
public life say ‘Yes, I can do that.’”
You do need “quite a robust
personality” to go on the show says
the shadow home secretary, Diane
Abbott, who has been a panellist
twice, but she laughs at the idea
that female politicians are shy. “If
you are a politician, you are not shy,
you wouldn’t be in parliament if you
were shy, but not everyone wants
to go and get involved in these guys
and their quite boisterous sense of
humour,” she says.
“The men on the programme
have quite big egos and they’re
professional comedians. I was used
to going on a show with men with
robust egos because I did [BBC
politics show] This Week for 12
years with Andrew Neil and Michael
Portillo, but if you’re not used to it,
it’s a tricky programme to do. Partly
because of the way they edit it.
“Even if you tell a good joke
you will find it’s edited out, and
it’s edited in such a way to make
the men on it look good. I’m not
saying it’s deliberate but that’s what
happens. Although I did it, and I
think it’s a good show to go on, I
wouldn’t blame any woman who felt
she didn’t want to go on there and be
talked over by these guys.”
The Conservative MP Nadine
Dorries, who has appeared on the
show once, says female MPs are not
too “modest”. “As female politicians
we function in a very tough
working environment, an ego and
testosterone-driven environment
dominated by men,” she says. “We
are used to fighting our corner. But
in that studio, in [none] of my work
environments – I’ve worked in the
NHS, in business, in parliament –
has anyone set out to make people
laugh by belittling me. That’s what
HIGNFY does.”
But male MPs are subject to the
same, aren’t they? “I don’t think it’s
that women take exception to that
because we’re weak, I think we take
exception to it because we know it’s
not an appropriate way to behave,
whereas I think men may say that’s
just banter.” She stands by her claim
this week that the show is “vicious”.
The comedian Jo Caulfield
disagrees (she has been on it several
times, including one time with a
female host and another female
panellist). “Nadine Dorries, you
should be held to account and you
should be prepared for anybody to
ask you anything. It’s not to do with
her being a woman, it’s to do with
MPs worried about their image. I
don’t think it’s a woman thing, and
it’s not a bear pit kind of show. There
is plenty of time for everybody to
say their piece. I think for comics
they’re a job of work, you have to go
in ready and I don’t think it’s fair to
say they’re harder for women.”
▲ The Labour
MP Angela
Eagle with Paul
Merton. She
called HIGNFY
a ‘male kind of
show’
PHOTOGRAPH: BBCR
‘I don’t think I
shall return to this
programme’
Ann Widdecombe
What’s more daunting – Have
I Got News for You or Newsnight?
Easily the comedy show says the
Labour MP Angela Eagle, with a
laugh. She turned it down lots of
times, “then I thought what the
hell”. Why did she turn it down? “I
have sort of an old-fashioned view
of politics, that you should try to be
serious, but in the end I thought I
might as well give it a go and it will
be an interesting experience.”
Guest politicians expect to be the
butt of the joke, she says. “There’s
a tension between being taken
seriously and also being game for a
bit of a laugh.” But she wouldn’t have
done it had she been a frontbencher.
It is a “male kind of show – quite
in your face, deeply cynical about
big political themes”. She says: “I
think women’s humour is different
from men’s humour and if you’re the
only woman on there, it is a bit three
against one.”
In an continuing study of the
gender split of comedy panel shows,
compiled by Stuart Lowe, a data
scientist, HIGNFY is one of the worst
offenders. Even if you take out the
automatic advantage men have with
the two permanent male captains,
73.6% of guests are male.
“I don’t think the format is offputting to women,” says Lynne
Parker, founder of Funny Women,
which supports female comedians.
“I think it’s more a case of the
establishment production team not
taking risks and giving more women
an opportunity. Why aren’t these
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:25 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
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•
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
25
David Trimble
was awarded
the Nobel peace
prize in 1998
PHOTOGRAPH: ROMEO
RANOCO/REUTERS
‘There’s a tension
between being taken
seriously and also
being game for a bit
of a laugh’
Dublin stance on post-Brexit
border could provoke loyalist
paramilitaries, says Trimble
Angela Eagle
Henry McDonald
bookers out there looking? It’s not
good enough just to look at video
clips and YouTube. The live comedy
circuit is where this new talent is
building its base.”
Radio 4’s News Quiz seems to
have a better gender balance. “I
think radio is more open to women’s
voices,” she says. “Perhaps they go
out and seek it a bit more. My main
criticism is [HIGNFY bookers] don’t
go out and look at what’s happening
on the circuit.”
Hislop said “everyone you think
should have been asked has been”
but Anna Soubry, the high-profile
Tory MP tweeted to say she had
offered to host but been turned
down. Female comics also tweeted
they had never been offered a place
on the panel.
The comedian Gina Yashere has
never been on, despite a high profile,
sold-out gigs and appearances on
shows such as Mock The Week. Now
working mostly in the US, she is a
regular on The Daily Show and has a
special on Netflix. “I’ve never really
questioned it, I just get on with
what I’m doing, but I put it down to
the same tokenism that pervades
the entire industry,” she says. “You
watch panel shows and it’s always
one woman or one black comic and if
you have a black comic and a woman
rolled up in one, that’s ‘great’. That’s
partly why I left and started doing
comedy in the States because in
America they go out and look for
comedy, they don’t rotate the same
30 comics, which is what these
▲ Panellists
mock-flirted
with Ann
Widdecombe,
made fun of
her appearance
and twice joked
about her
making them
cups of tea
PHOTOGRAPH: BBC
shows in the UK tend to do.”
As the lone woman, especially
the lone black woman, on a panel
“you’re always aware that however
well you do or don’t do, you’re
representing female comics where
men don’t have that pressure. A guy
goes on the show and he doesn’t do
well, they go ‘he wasn’t great’ or ‘he
was having an off night’. A woman
doesn’t do particularly well then it’s
‘women comedians are horrible’ or
‘black comedians don’t work in this
environment’. There is an added
pressure.”
Having more women on may
encourage female MPs. “It’s like a lot
of these panel shows,” says Abbott.
“If they had balance between men
and women it would be a completely
different experience, and maybe a
more illuminating experience for
the viewer. It’s a boys’ show and Ian
Hislop should consider what makes
it a boys’ show before saying women
are too shy.”
Ultimately, though, female
politicians will always be judged
more harshly than men. The show
virtually made Boris Johnson, whose
onscreen buffoonery raised his
profile.
“I think women politicians are
judged very differently and that’s
what we always have to think about
before going on light entertainment
shows,” says Abbott. “Boris can
make any number of mistakes and
be a complete buffoon but he’s still
taken seriously as a politician. Most
women wouldn’t be.”
David Trimble, whose support was
critical in creating the Good Friday
agreement, has said the Irish government risks provoking loyalist
paramilitaries with its stance on the
border after Brexit.
Twenty years after the agreement,
Trimble said any special deal to maintain the region within Europe would
destroy the key tenet that there would
be no constitutional change without
majority consent in Northern Ireland.
“The one thing that would provoke
loyalist paramilitaries is the present
Irish government saying silly things
about the border and the constitutional issue,” Trimble said. “If it looks
as though the constitutional arrangements of the agreement, based on the
principle of consent, are going to be
superseded by so-called ‘special EU
status’ that is going to weaken the
union and undermine the very agreement Dublin says it wants to uphold.”
Trimble was the Ulster Unionist
leader at the time of the Good Friday
negotiations and his backing was crucial. He was awarded the Nobel prize
for his efforts to secure peace in the
region and made a life peer in 2006.
But the former first minister of
Norther Ireland said he believes loyalist paramilitaries could re-activate if
the enshrined principle of consent was
put in danger by any post-Brexit deal
Deal’s key tenets
The Good Friday agreement, also
known as the Belfast agreement,
was signed on 10 April 1998, Good
Friday, and in effect brought an end
to the Northern Ireland Troubles.
Its two key political tenets were
that Northern Ireland would remain
part of the UK until a majority
of people voted to join the Irish
Republic, the so-called principle
of consent, and that any devolved
government would comprise a
cross-community partnership in
which unionists and nationalists
shared power. The agreement led to
the early release of 500 republican
and loyalist paramilitary prisoners.
demanded by the Irish government
and nationalist parties.
“Senior Irish government officials
go around Brussels talking about the
‘Hong Kong model’ – the one country,
two systems idea,” said Trimble. “That
is a precedent they talk about where
sovereignty has been transferred from
Britain to China. Anything that looks
remotely like this or is building on
that foundation would be extremely
dangerous. Although I think that
under this Conservative government
I cannot see that prevailing.”
Trimble said a further threat to
the union between Northern Ireland
and the rest of the UK was the Democratic Unionists alienating pro-union
Catholics and the “moderate middle
classes” in general over issues such
as the party’s opposition to gay marriage equality.
They made a mistake by asking for
£1bn as the price for keeping the Tories
in power, Trimble said. “It was always
going to infuriate Scotland, Wales,
many of the English regions. That is
how you lose friends in Britain.”
Trimble was downbeat about the
possibility of a Jeremy Corbyn government, which he thinks might agree
to Northern Ireland being given special status inside the EU after Brexit,
which in turn would decouple the
region from the UK. He was worried
about Corbyn’s “right-hand man [John
McDonnell], who in government might
get a rush of blood to the head and go
to his old mates like Gerry Adams and
give him what they want”.
Trimble said he wished he had kept
closer to Tony Blair. By the time Trimble lost his Upper Bann parliamentary
seat in the 2005 general election, Blair’s
government was already pursuing a
strategy of “wooing the extremes”,
according to Trimble, by seeking support for a second agreement between
Sinn Féin and the DUP.
“Blair was the last person to back a
strategy which effectively saw the two
centre parties, the UUP and the SDLP,
abandoned. In fact I know now it was
a very senior civil servant in the Northern Ireland Office who agreed to the
strategy, proposed by the Department
of Foreign Affairs in Dublin.”
He said the letter of assurance over
IRA disarmament Blair gave Trimble’s
negotiating team was “absolutely critical and vital” in securing UUP support.
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:26 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
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Section:GDN 1N PaGe:27 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
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•
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
National
27
Emma Brockes’s
Digested week
Words fail us both, but I’ll
say this about Sean Penn’s
first novel – it’s not exactly
Pride and Prejudice, is it?
Monday
The separation of church and
state is taken very seriously in the
United States, nowhere more so
than in the public schools system,
where tussles over Easter/Passover
are still being felt this week, after
children returned home from
school last Thursday bearing
decorated eggs and bunnies.
“Surely it’s pagan, not Christian?”
I said naively to a friend in high
dudgeon over the promotion of
Christianity over Judaism and
as she prepared for her annual
Passover pilgrimage to a beach in
Miami. “That’s bullshit,” she said.
“It’s to do with Easter,” she said,
“and they know it.”
Meanwhile, there are grumbles
from across the Judaeo-Christian
spectrum that too many other
groups are being given public
holidays, after schools in New York
shut for the Chinese lunar new
year in February. This did not, as
the mayor, Bill de Blasio, intended,
seem to usher in a warm spirit
of multicultural understanding,
instead triggering in non-Chinese
parents scrambling for childcare
a lot of grumpy where-does-itendism. And then in come the
Christians with their bunnies and
eggs, slyly trying to undermine the
constitution. Surely it can only be
a matter of time before Fox News
starts to crank up its coverage of
the War against Easter.
Tuesday
I have new health insurance,
which, as tends to happen in
the US in these circumstances,
means changing all my doctors. (I
say “all”; I persist in the stubborn
British belief that unless bits of my
body are actually falling off, I don’t
need a doctor at all). My children,
on the other hand, need routine
immunisations and so we go to
a fancy new doctor a block from
Central Park. I have heard good
things about her, but also a report
from a friend that when her threeyear-old picked up a surgical glove
in the consulting room and inflated
it to look like a cow’s udder, the
doctor was blatantly unamused. You
might think this irrelevant, but in
the competitive marketplace of New
York paediatricians it constitutes a
serious failure of salesmanship and
my friend duly changed doctors. I
would have stayed with our existing
paediatrician until the end of
time, were it not for the fact that,
insurance issues aside, after my
‘Now do they
understand why one
wants to travel with
one’s own furniture?’
A fool who
makes
everyone in
his vicinity
look sophisticated and
smart, and
the Easter
Bunny
children’s flu jab this year he put a
plaster on each child’s arm that, in
both cases, was fully three inches
from where the needle went in and
I got the distinct impression he was
short-sighted and hiding it. Even
my British lassitude in the face of
indifferent service has limits. That’s
it, we’re out.
Wednesday
The gift that keeps giving this week
is, of course, everything implied by
the sentence “Sean Penn’s debut
novel”. You are perhaps familiar
with Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff,
but in case you are not, here is a
sample of Penn’s prose: “There is
pride to be had where the prejudicial
is practiced with precision in
the trenchant triage of tactile
terminations.” In an intermittently
respectful review in the New York
Times, the reviewer wondered if
Penn’s novel could be described as
a “furious, despairing takedown
of America as the country battles
its own worst instincts?” (No). It’s
worth noting that Salman Rushdie
gave Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff
a quote (“great fun to read”) for the
jacket, a breathtaking suspension
of his critical faculties that I discuss
at length with a friend. “Oh Christ,
what a complete jackass Rushdie is,”
she emails. Or a veteran defender
of unpopular causes, depending on
your view.
Thursday
Mark Zuckerberg says he will not
back down or resign for his failure
to stop the massive data breach at
Facebook. There is human drama in
this story, in which most of us have a
stake, and yet as I read the headlines
about the possibility that 87 million
people’s data has been scraped, as
opposed to the previous estimate of
50 million, it is hard to escalate my
feelings accordingly. This is a failure
of imagination on my part, but I
wonder if “Cambridge Analytica”
or the term “data breach” itself will
come to have the effect on people
that stories leading on “global
warming” or “BAE Systems” have
had over the years – that is, a dim
sense of outrage under attack from
a much more powerful urge to turn
the page and read about something
more interesting instead.
I’m reminded of the comedian
John Oliver’s encounter with
Edward Snowden a few years
ago, when, to the whistleblower’s
obvious dismay, Oliver told him the
only way to engage the American
public with the often very dry issues
behind government surveillance,
was to frame it with the question: “If
I send someone a picture of my dick,
can the government see it?” The
Cambridge Analytica story may need
a similar appendage.
Friday
Things I had forgotten about
until I had children: weeing in car
parks, conjunctivitis, the stress of
children’s party games, the taste
of jelly. The party games thing is
particularly tricky, since we seem to
have another party every weekend.
I read endless pieces about the
dangers of making one’s children
conform to socialised standards,
and then I watch my kids, born
two minutes apart, and am struck
again by how these things come
pre-loaded. One child instinctively
throws herself into the fray. The
other, happy to play during free
time, darkens at the first whiff of
organised fun and retreats, scowling,
to watch from the sidelines. My own
socialisation compels me to chivvy
her to join in, when in fact sideline
scowling is where my true people lie.
Digest week, digested
Happy Springterval
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:28 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 16:22
•
28
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
National
Top flight Eric Bristow was high
emperor of darts’ golden age
Sean Ingle
E
ric Bristow was the
high emperor of
darts’ first golden age:
brilliant and arrogant,
admired and despised,
a world champion and
a pantomime villain rolled into
one. During his 1980s pomp he
was a familiar sight on TV, with his
red Crafty Cockney shirt, and that
magnificent Roman nose, which
would look down with disdain at his
rivals and any hecklers in the crowd.
Eight million watched Bristow
win his first world title against
Bobby George in 1980. Another
10 million saw his shock defeat to
Keith Deller three years later. Darts
was part of the sporting and cultural
landscape – and Bristow was at the
heart of it as he won five Embassy
world titles in seven years.
Perhaps that is why his death, at
the age of 60 after a heart attack on
Thursday, has resonated so deeply.
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
His name alone reminds us of those
times: the smoke hugging the ceiling
like a permanent mushroom cloud,
the players settling their nerves with
a sip or two of a pint before each
leg, and Sid Waddell, the miner’s
son who had won a scholarship
to Cambridge, lighting his TV
commentary with one liners.
As Waddell put it: “It was a
magnificent subculture. Big guys
with tattoos, who liked a pint and a
bet. Leighton Rees from the Valleys,
who lived with his mam; Alan Evans,
whose dad had a pub and used to
stand him on a box to play at the age
of eight.
“Later there was Deller, whose
mum used to fry chips with one
hand and throw darts with the other;
and Jocky Wilson, who would bring
his own optic to tournaments, and a
bottle of vodka with his name on it.
He’d win darts matches when
other people would have been in
intensive care.”
Once Waddell described the
atmosphere of a Bristow match
as being like “a cross between
the Munich beer festival and the
Colosseum when the Christians were
on the menu”. Needless to say, it
was Bristow’s blood the crowd were
baying for.
But at the peak of his powers he
was struck down with dartitis, a
psychological condition that left
him feeling that his darts were
Slings and arrows
High: Winning his fifth and final
Embassy world darts’ championship
in 1986. The victory – 6-0 against
Dave Whitcome at the Lakeside –
completed a hat-trick of titles.
Low: Sacked by Sky from a
commentating role in 2016 after a
series of tweets relating to the sex
abuse scandal in football in which
he accused the victims of being
“wimps” for not “sorting out” their
attackers when they were older. He
apologised after a huge outpouring
of anger on social media.
stuck in his hand. He tried seeing
psychologists, and even taking up fly
fishing to see if it would help.
It was Maureen, his partner, who
suggested he sponsor a local lad to
practise with him for hours every
day at their pub, the Crafty Cockney,
in Stoke-on-Trent. Phil Taylor,
then an engineer in his late 20s,
volunteered and soon became his
pal and protege.
Bristow saw Taylor’s potential and
loaned him £10,000 so he could play
in events. Taylor repaid his mentor
by qualifying for his first World
Championship in 1990 – and then
thrashing him in the final.
By then Bristow was a fading
force – and so was darts. In the
early 1990s, the BBC’s coverage
had been reduced to the World
Championships. Bristow was one of
16 protagonists who, in 1992, left to
form a rival championship. For years
the sport was in the doldrums, but
it is now enjoying its second golden
age, thanks to Taylor’s brilliance on
the board.
After he retired, Bristow became a
“spotter” and commentator for Sky
Sports, but was sacked in 2016 after
he tweeted offensive comments
about sexual abuse in football.
Judging by the outpouring of
love and affection from those in
and outside the sport, he is likely to
be remembered for the good times
most of all.
‘A cross between the
Munich beer festival
and the Colosseum
when the Christians
were on the menu’
The commentator Sid Waddell
on Bristow’s matches
Eric Bristow,
the Crafty
Cockney, was
described
as a world
champion and
a pantomime
villain rolled into
one
PHOTOGRAPH: ACTION
IMAGES
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:29 Edition Date:180407 Edition:03 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 23:18
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•••
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
National
29
UFC fighter on
assault charges
after rampage
in New York
Agencies
Conor McGregor, the Irish mixed
martial arts fighter, has been released
on bail of $50,000 (£35,000) by a New
York judge after being charged with
assault following an altercation at an
Ultimate Fighting Championship press
event in Brooklyn.
McGregor, 29, the first UFC fighter
to hold two world titles simultaneously when he beat Eddie Alvarez for
the lightweight belt in Manhattan in
2016, turned himself in to police on
Thursday evening.
He appeared in court yesterday
alongside fellow fighter Cian Cowley,
who was released on $25,000 bail for
the same offence.
The UFC was holding the media day
to publicise fights that were scheduled
to take place today at the Barclays
Center in New York. McGregor and his
entourage entered through a side door
and attacked a van containing other
fighters. Social media footage shows
objects being thrown, and a number
of people were injured when windows
were smashed. One video on the TMZ
site appears to show McGregor throwing a trolley. Other footage shows him
tossing bins and being stopped from
throwing a barricade.
UFC has scrapped three fights as
a result of the incident. “The organisation deems today’s disruption
completely unacceptable and is currently working on the consequences
that will follow,” it said.
“Individuals involved in the
incident are not welcome at [yesterday’s] ceremonial weigh-in or
Saturday’s event.”
Dana White, the president of UFC,
has said the van attack was “the most
disgusting thing that ever happened in
the history” of the organisation.
White stripped McGregor of the
155lb championship belt this week,
leading the Irishman to tweet that
“you’ll strip me of nothing”.
▲ The Irish fighter Conor McGregor
turned himself into police after an
attack on a bus at a press event
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:30 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 18:09
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•
30
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
National
▼ The homepage of the Guido
Fawkes website yesterday
Guido Fawkes
Politics website biting
the hand that feeds it
Deputy political editor
W
hen Guido
Fawkes
celebrated its
10th anniversary
in Westminster
four years ago,
the prime minister sent a video
message apologising for being
unable to attend, and half the
cabinet were on the guest list.
▲ Paul Staines started blogging under
the name of Guido Fawkes in 2004
The online scandal sheet has
an unapologetically two-faced
approach to the establishment it
claims to disdain, embedded in its
fleshpots while shovelling steaming
piles of ordure on its members.
This week Guido was first to
report on Jeremy Corbyn’s seder
dinner with the leftwing Jewish
group Jewdas. The site’s detractors
accused it of misrepresenting
leftwing Jewish groups in the row
over antisemitism. But then, as Boris
Johnson, then London mayor, put it
at that anniversary party, Guido has
long been the dung on the rosebush
of politics.
In the early days in 2004, when
the website had barely 100 hits a
week, the identity of Guido was a
closely guarded secret. But Paul
Staines, now in his early 50s, has
become familiar in TV studios and
last year he claimed nearly a million
hits a week on Guido sites.
A former Hong Kong trader,
Staines is now editor-in-chief of an
outfit with a seven-section website.
He swaggers along what ought to be
the tricky line between feeding off
politicians and biting them, often
with a drink in hand. Five years ago
he told the Guardian “I still hate
politicians. My contempt for them
is undiminished.” The politicians
know this, but they appear to
nervous of crossing him. “We cringe
and simper around Guido,” Johnson
said at the party, “in the pathetic
delusion that we may thereby
encourage him to be merciful to us.”
Guido does not hate all politicians
equally. He is a Brexiter: remainers
get a beating on the Euro Guido
‘I still hate politicians.
My contempt for them
is undiminished’
Guido Fawkes
pages, where their referendum
predictions are policed (the same
treatment is not given to Brexiters).
And though Staines insists anything
stupid or hypocritical is fair game,
he appears to find politicians on the
left disproportionately worthy of his
opprobrium.
But then it is no secret that his
Yes, I’ll give a child like Lee a love
of reading and a fairer chance in life.
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Anne Perkins
politics are rightwing, free market,
Thatcherite. At university in Hull
in the 1980s, he was a member of
the Federation of Conservative
Students, an organisation so
rightwing that it was disbanded by
Margaret Thatcher. “I never wore a
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once said. Later he worked for close
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and he reminisces about Africa and
AK-47s like a character from late Le
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What he created was a cross
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else he disagrees with – currently the
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The website sets stories running.
It rarely does the slog of hunting
them down. For example, it heard
well-sourced reports about bullying
by MPs of staff, but it appears never
to have tried to build up the kind of
case that could prevent injustices
being perpetuated.
Instead it chucks a rock of
innuendo into the pool and moves
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Section:GDN 1N PaGe:31 Edition Date:180407 Edition:03 Zone:
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
Hungarian election
Populist, anti-migrant
leader in pole position
Page 34
At least seven Palestinian protesters
were killed and scores more injured
by Israeli gunfire on the Gaza border
yesterday, a week after 18 Palestinians
were killed at similar demonstrations.
Five of those wounded were said to be
in a critical condition.
The renewed violence came despite
a call by the UN secretary general,
António Guterres, for Israel to exercise
“extreme caution”. His words were
echoed by a UN human rights spokeswoman, who said that the unjustified
recourse to live fire could amount to
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
•••
‘We know the risks’
The rangers who keep
p
e
Virunga’s gorillas safe
Pages 38-39
UN urges Israel to
exercise ‘extreme
caution’ as Gaza
death toll mounts
Hazem Balousha Gaza City
Peter Beaumont
Sent at 6/4/2018 23:50
wilful killing of civilians – a breach of
the fourth Geneva convention.
Figures for the injured were supplied by the Hamas-controlled health
ministry in Gaza and a website associated with the group. The most
seriously injured had reportedly been
shot in the head or upper body.
Of those killed yesterday, one was
described as a teenage boy. A 38-yearold man died in clashes east of Gaza
City and another man was killed near
the fence east of Khan Yunis.
A Palestinian who was injured in
last week’s protests also died from his
wounds yesterday.
The deaths came as thousands
of protesters streamed to a series of
31
protest camps along the border for a
demonstration calling for Palestinian
refugees’ right of return.
Under the cover of smoke from
burning tyres, dozens of protesters
approached the fence in one area,
despite warnings by the Israeli military
that those who did so risked their lives.
Justifying its response, the Israeli
military said that “several attempts
have been made to damage and cross
the security fence under the cover of
the smokescreen created by the burning tyres that the rioters ignited”.
The Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya
Sinwar, visited the Khuza’a camp
yesterday evening, receiving a hero’s
welcome. He told the crowd that the
world should “wait for our great move,
when we breach the borders and pray
at al-Aqsa”, referring to the Muslim
shrine in Jerusalem.
The comments appeared to be the
first time a Hamas leader has specifically threatened to break through the
border, something Israel has said it will
not allow at any price.
Among the wounded was Mohammed Ashour, 20, who was shot in the
arm. “We came here because we want
dignity,” he told reporters from his
stretcher before paramedics carried
him to an ambulance to be evacuated.
Fresh violence had been widely
expected after the protests on 30 March,
when thousands of Gaza residents participated in the demonstrations, many
gathering in five tent encampments
that had been set up from north to
south along the narrow coastal strip’s
border with Israel. In all, 22 Palestinians were killed in Gaza in the past week,
before yesterday’s protests.
According to reports in the Israeli
media, the Israel Defence Forces had
expected as many as 50,000 to take
part in yesterday’s protest. Their rules
of engagement allowed live fire to be
used against anyone who approached
the border fence. However, a Guardian reporter at the demonstrations
suggested a far lower turnout than
last week, when 30,000 people
demonstrated.
Among those who turned up was
Ali Bakroun, 19. “I came here with my
friends to fly the kite we made this
week,” he told the Guardian. “I wrote
our names on it. We got close to the
fence to throw stones but we stayed
in a low place so we would be under
22
The number of Palestinians killed
in Gaza over the last week, before
yesterday’s clashes on the border
▲ Palestinian protesters run from
teargas fired by Israeli troops during
clashes on the Gaza-Israel border
near Gaza City PHOTOGRAPH: XINHUA/REX
cover. I’m not afraid to be shot or killed
because our land deserves our lives.”
The Israeli military underlined its
determination to prevent any protesters from getting close to the fence
itself. “The IDF will not allow any
breach of the security infrastructure
and fence … and will act against those
who are involved in these attacks,” it
said in a statement.
Guterres said: “I particularly urge
Israel to exercise extreme caution
with the use of force in order to avoid
casualties. Civilians must be able to
exercise their right to demonstrate
peacefully. I call upon all parties on
the ground to avoid confrontation and
exercise maximum restraint.”
The Gaza Strip’s border with Israel
is highly sensitive for both sides, carving a line south from the dunes of the
Erez crossing in the north across a
low ridgeline to Egypt and the area of
Rafah in the south.
As tensions mounted yesterday
Israeli forces fired teargas that landed
inside the encampment near the large
agricultural village of Khuza’a, briefly
sending people fleeing.
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:32 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 16:21
•
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
Eyewitnessed
Pictures of the week
32
▲ A photograph
of the antiapartheid
activist Winnie
MadikizelaMandela, who
died on Monday,
at the Old
Durban Prison’s
Human Rights
wall as South
Africans paid
their respects
RAJESH JANTILAL/
GETTY
▲ The Labour
leader, Jeremy
Corbyn, with
the shadow
early years
minister, Tracy
Brabin, during
a visit to the
Little Learners
Nursery in
Watford to
highlight the
rising costs of
childcare
GARETH FULLER/PA
Ilias Georgiou
of Cyprus on
the horizontal
bar in the team
contest on the
first day of the
Commonwealth
Games in
Australia
HANNAH PETERS/
GETTY
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:33 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
Sent at 6/4/2018 16:21
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
•
33
Jason Sintek
won the wide
angle/divers
section of the
Underwaterphotography.com
competition for
this shot of a
school of big eye
jacks in Mexico
SWNS.COM
▲ A makeshift
teargas mask as
Palestinians at the
Israel-Gaza border
demand to return to
their homeland
IBRAHEEM ANU MUSTAFA/
REUTERS
Manchester
City’s coach Pep
Guardiola as his
team, 16 points
clear at the top
of the Premier
League, lost 3-0
at Anfield in
the Champions
League first leg.
Liverpool travel
to the Etihad
Stadium on
Tuesday for the
second leg
PETER POWELL/EPA
▲ Police make a
fingertip search
after a 17-yearold girl, Tanesha
MelbourneBlake, died
in a drive-by
shooting in
Tottenham,
north London
BEN CAWTHRA/LNP
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:34 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 16:51
•
34
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
World
Hungary
Viktor Orbán
The nativist leader
who became a
pin-up of far right
Prime minister expected to
win tomorrow’s election
after anti-migrant campaign
Shaun Walker
Budapest
V
iktor Orbán rallies his
troops from his white
horse, before they
advance in thousands
to slaughter an army
of orcs, made up of the
Hungarian prime minister’s political
opposition and led by the billionaire
George Soros.
The video, a crudely altered Lord
of the Rings scene, was posted by a
pro-Orbán media outlet this week,
and provoked sniggers among liberal
Hungarians. But the demonisation
of the opposition and the bellicose
imagery are an apt reflection of an
election campaign marked by brutal
rhetoric and occasional threats.
Hungarians vote in parliamentary
elections tomorrow, and while the
race has narrowed, Orbán’s Fidesz
party is still expected to win a
majority, giving its leader a third
consecutive term as prime minister.
Orbán has campaigned almost
exclusively on the migration issue.
He has portrayed himself as the
defender of a white, Christian
Hungary at risk from refugees and
migrants, and under attack from
Soros, a financier and philanthropist
of Jewish Hungarian origin.
Orbán’s admirers, including
nativist politicians across Europe,
idolise him for taking the fight for
closed borders to Brussels, and for
speaking about immigration in a
way that goes beyond all but the
most radical and racist of far-right
politicians in the rest of Europe.
His detractors despise him for the
same reasons, and call him the most
dangerous leader in Europe. In the
eight years he has been in charge,
Orbán’s government has rewritten
the constitution, remodelled the
‘Orbán is the country
boy who comes to
the city and wants to
conquer it, but has an
inferiority complex’
András Vágvölgyi
Member of Fidesz party in 1990s
judiciary, tightened control over the
media and placed loyalists in key
positions across various previously
independent institutions.
If there is one thing that both
critics and supporters agree on, it’s
that Orbán is always up for a fight.
His rule has been characterised
by the fights he has picked: with
Brussels, with Soros, with his
billionaire best friend (who became
his worst enemy), and with liberal
ideas of compassion for refugees.
On occasion, Orbán has spoken
explicitly of politics in military
terms. In 2015, he told a gathering
of students in Budapest: “If I stand
in the field with a big sword in my
hand and three people attack me,
then I cannot start moralising or
arguing; then there is only one
task – slaughter all three of them.”
Over the years, this drive and
viciousness has remained constant,
even as the enemies changed. Long
before Orbán was battling Soros, he
was fighting Russians – sometimes
using Soros’s money to do so.
Fidesz, Orbán’s political party,
began three decades ago, in March
1988, as a youth movement aimed at
opposing the tottering Communist
order in Hungary. “It was the first
step towards doing something
formally against the regime,”
recalled Gábor Fodor, who was
Orbán’s close friend and flatmate,
as well as Fidesz co-founder. The
first Fidesz manifestos were printed
using copiers financed by Soros.
Almost immediately Orbán, then
in his mid-20s, stood out as a natural
leader among the Fidesz pack, and
he achieved national fame in 1989
when he called for Soviet troops to
leave the country in a fiery speech
on live television.
Fodor said Orbán was a genuine
liberal at the time, but marked by
burning ambition. “By the early
1990s, he had already decided he
would be the next prime minister.”
Orbán grew up in extremely
tough conditions in a small town,
and was never fully accepted by
Budapest intellectuals. Some put the
viciousness of his current campaigns
against liberal elites to a frustration
that he could never fit in.
“He’s like Rastignac from Balzac
novels,” said András Vágvölgyi, an
early Fidesz member who edited the
party magazine (funded by Soros)
in the early 1990s. “He’s the country
boy who comes to the city and wants
to conquer it, but sometimes has an
inferiority complex. He really hates
liberal intellectuals.”
In 1993, Orbán and his Fidesz
associates took a conservative
▼ Viktor Orbán
giving a speech
outside
parliament to
commemorate
the anniversary
of the Hungarian
revolution in
1848
PHOTOGRAPH: ATTILA
KISBENEDEK/AFP
turn, which over the years would
become ever more pronounced, as
the radical, scruffy revolutionaries
became suited family men who
stood for traditional values.
Zsuzsanna Szelényi, who left
the party in 1993 with Fodor and
several other Fidesz MPs, said it
was impossible to debate with him.
“You cannot negotiate with Orbán,”
she said. “His way of negotiating is
to push you down until you are too
weak to stand up again.”
Szelényi believes the ideological
shift was pure opportunism, as
Orbán spotted a political vacuum
on the right. Fodor agreed that the
switch was cynical, but believes
Orbán has grown into the role over
time. “I think in the first years, he
was a Potemkin conservative – it was
a cynical decision to win – but later I
think he began to really believe it.”
Fidesz won elections in 2002, and
Orbán became Europe’s youngest
prime minister. But the lesson
Orbán took from a surprise defeat in
2006 was to fight harder. The party
has won two-thirds parliamentary
majorities at the last two elections,
enabling the prime minister to
change the constitution.
Orbán’s success is not all down to
ambition and ruthlessness; there is
also charm when required. “He has
incredible charisma about him, he’s
a real politician,” said a founding
member of Fidesz, who is no longer
active in politics and asked not to
be named. “I hate the things Orbán
represents now, but each time I see
him, I feel that attraction to him
again … this magic spell.”
Since the 2015 migrant crisis,
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:35 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 18:52
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
•
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
35
Catalan ex-president freed
on bail by court in Germany
Philip Oltermann Berlin
Agencies
Carles Puigdemont, the former
Catalan president, called for “political
dialogue” with the Spanish government yesterday as he left a German
prison after being granted bail.
The Schleswig-Holstein district
court had rejected an extradition
request on a charge of rebellion for
Puigdemont’s role in the campaign for
Catalonia’s independence from Spain,
but said extradition was possible on a
lesser charge of misuse of public funds.
Leaving prison shortly before 2pm,
Piugdemont called on Madrid to
abandon its attempts to prosecute separatist leaders and urged it to enter into
discussions with them. He thanked
prison staff as he emerged to cheers
and people waving Catalan flags.
“I claim for the immediate release of
all my colleagues in Spanish prisons,”
he said. “It is a shame for Europe to
have political prisoners. Finally, the
time for dialogue has arrived. We have
Carles
Puigdemont
leaves a German
jail. A court said
he could not be
extradited on a
rebellion charge,
only on a lesser
accusation
PHOTOGRAPH: JENS
SCHLUETER/EPA
Orbán has positioned himself as
the champion of “illiberal” Europe,
building a fence to keep migrants
out and promising to fight liberals
who demand that EU countries
show compassion. In recent
months, Orbán’s campaign rhetoric
has involved textbook populist
scaremongering, warning that
increased immigration “would bring
with it terrorism and crime, and
would expose our womenfolk and
daughters to danger”.
Many still see Orbán’s populism
as little more than a diversionary
tactic. Unlike many of the zealots in
the Polish government, Orbán often
seems more driven by retaining
power than by ideology. “The
real driver for this government is
nepotistic corruption,” said Peter
Kreko, director of the Budapestbased thinktank Political Capital.
Apart from Vladimir Putin, no
other leader in Europe is surrounded
by a clique of those who have stood
loyally by him for decades.
The president and speaker of
parliament are both Fidesz founding
members who have been with
Orbán since 1988. His childhood
friend Lajos Simicska was the
power behind the throne for many
▲ A march by
the ruling party,
Fidesz, which
has claimed to
be protecting
Europe with
its xenophobic
stance on
migration.
Viktor Orbán
has based his
campaign on
Hungary’s
refusal to take
in any refugees
PHOTOGRAPH:
AKOS STILLER/
BLOOMBERG/GETTY
years, becoming one of Hungary’s
richest businessmen, but fell out
spectacularly with Orbán in 2015.
Others close to Orbán have grown
rich during his time in office, and
have faced corruption scandals.
As information about government
corruption keeps emerging, often in
media outlets run by Orbán’s old pal
Simicska, there are signs that voters
are tiring of endless scare stories on
migration. The opposition goes into
tomorrow’s vote still fractured but
newly energised.
Hungary’s electoral system means
that 40% of the vote will be enough
to secure a healthy majority for
Fidesz, but the campaign, which was
closer than expected, has led some
to fear that Orbán, if he does win,
could become even more ruthless.
In a major speech in March,
amid the usual dark rhetoric
about migration and Soros, Orbán
dropped a threat against unspecified
enemies. “After the election we
will of course seek amends – moral,
political and legal amends,” he said.
“I think in this election campaign
he has felt the chilly wind of
potentially losing power,” said
Kreko, “and he will come back with
renewed fight.”
No €100m until
graft crackdown,
EU tells Moldova
Jennifer Rankin
Brussels
$1bn
Amount stolen
from Moldova’s
banking system
in 2012-14,
about 13% of the
country’s GDP
Moldova was warned yesterday that
€100m (£87m) of EU funds will remain
blocked until the government rethinks
a law on the voting system and cracks
down on rampant corruption.
Siegfried Mureşan, vice-chair of
the European parliament’s budget
committee, said Moldova’s EU funds
would remain frozen because the government had failed to meet conditions
on respect for the democratic process.
“We are ready to make the money
available,” Mureşan said. “This is the
right thing to do for a country in the
immediate neighbourhood of the EU
to contribute to increasing stability,
both economically and security wise.
But we said subject to conditions.”
The EU has pencilled in €60m in
loans and €40m grants in 2017-18
to help the former Soviet republic
demanded dialogue for several years
and we have only received violence
and repression.”
The former Catalan leader
announced on Twitter yesterday afternoon that he was heading to Berlin.
However, he will have to report to a
police station in Neumünster once a
week until a final judgment is made.
Puigdemont was arrested on a Spanish-issued warrant upon entering
Germany on 25 March, as he attempted
to drive from Finland to Belgium.
The court set bail at €75,000
(£66,000), a sum the Catalan National
Assembly announced it had paid out of
a “solidarity fund” and with the help
of the cultural association Òmnium
Cultural.
In a blow to Spanish authorities, the
Schleswig-Holstein district court ruled
out extraditing the Catalan politician
on a charge of rebellion because the
comparable German charge of treason specified violence.
As a result, Puigdemont can now
only be tried in Spain on the lesser
charge of misuse of public funds,
which the Schleswig court said it still
considered sufficient grounds for an
extradition.
Puigdemont’s German lawyer,
Wolfgang Schomburg, announced he
would continue pushing for judges to
rule out the Catalan politician’s extradition on the lesser charge.
In Madrid, the Spanish government remained tight-lipped about its
next moves in reaction to Puigdemont
being granted bail. “Some judicial
decisions we like more; others we
like less”, said Rafael Catalá, the justice minister.
In Berlin, meanwhile, a German
government spokesperson yesterday
reiterated the view that the Catalonia
conflict required a solution “within
Spain’s legal and constitutional order”.
stabilise its economy and carry out
reforms. The funds were frozen last
year after Moldova pushed ahead with
a new electoral law, despite warnings
from the Venice commission, experts
who advise the Council of Europe on
law and democracy.
Moldova’s electoral law could mean
local politicians end up in the pockets
of well-resourced business people. In a
report published last month, the Venice commission reiterated previous
warnings that the law risked “undue
influence and manipulation” of the
political process.
“The European commission said:
‘Please apply all recommendations
of the Venice commission from A-Z’,”
Mureşan said. “And that is what they
have not done so far and that is what
we expect them to do as a precondition for disbursing the macro-financial
assistance.”
The Romanian MEP said the EU was
also worried about corruption, after a
banking scandal that robbed locals of
an eighth of economic output. Known
locally as the theft of the century, $1bn
was stolen from Moldova’s banking
system in 2012-14, about 13% of GDP.
The prime minister, Pavel Filip,
has said he is confident Moldova will
unlock the EU’s €100m in 2018.
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:36 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:S
Sent at 6/4/2018 16:23
•
36
France to
reverse years
of autism
mistreatment
Angelique Chrisafis
Paris
The French government launched a
€340m (£297m) strategy yesterday to
try to make amends for the country’s
scandalous state treatment of children and adults with autism, which
has been denounced by the United
Nations as a “widespread violation”
of citizens’ rights.
President Emmanuel Macron, who
made the need to improve the education and rights of people with autism
a part of his election campaign, said
he wanted everyone “to be included
in school and everyday life”.
The strategy was launched by the
prime minister, Édouard Philippe,
and is intended, in the words of one
government adviser, to “at last” give
children with a neurodevelopmental
disorder access to mainstream education in France – a legal right that they
have consistently been denied.
cYanmaGentaYellowb
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
World
There will also be a drive to improve
support for autistic adults, only 0.5%
of whom are in regular employment,
and who are routinely admitted to
psychiatric hospitals. The government acknowledged that an adult with
autism in France is three times more
likely to be in long-term psychiatric
care than the rest of the population.
Rights groups say the treatment is
inadequate and inappropriate.
The UN has said children with
autism in France “continue to be subjected to widespread violations of
their rights”. The French state has had
to pay hundreds of thousands of euros
in damages to families for inadequate
care of autistic children in recent years.
A 2005 law guarantees every child
the right to education in a mainstream
school, but the Council of Europe has
condemned France for not respecting it. Pressure groups estimate that
only 20% of autistic children are in
school, compared with 70% in England. Those who are in school are often
only accepted part-time.
Campaign groups and lawyers
have described France as being 50
years behind the rest of the world in
its attitude towards autism, with an
overreliance on outdated psychoanalytical approaches.
Sophie Cluzel, the disabilities minister, said yesterday that “inclusion is
at the heart of this new strategy”, and
that there had been “a cultural problem” in France.
‘Underpaid’
postman kept
400kg of mail
Angela Giuffrida
Rome
PHOTOGRAPH: JACOPO
RAULE/GETTY IMAGES
‘Once we’re dead, we’re dead’ After decades
building up their fashion house, Domenico
Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have told an Italian
interviewer that the label will die with them.
A former Italian postman is facing
charges after police found 400kg of
undelivered mail in his home in the
northern city of Turin.
Police said that the 33-year-old, who
has not been named, had told officers
he had not delivered any post for three
years because his salary was too low.
He quit the job in 2017.
The hoard was discovered after the
man was stopped during a routine road
check, Turin police said. He had a
20cm-long folding knife, and 70 letters
were found on the back seat of his car.
Sensing something was amiss, police
went to his home, where they found
a further 40 boxes of mail.
“I wasn’t paid enough and so I quit,”
the man reportedly said. He now
faces charges of theft, misappropriation of correspondence and carrying
a weapon.
The case is not the first of its kind.
In January, a 56-year-old was arrested
after police found 500kg of undelivered mail dating back to 2010 in his
garage in Vicenza.
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:37 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 16:24
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
•
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
World
Mexico
37
‘Trump is loco’
Migrants head
north in defiance
of angry threats
Procession through Mexico
has prompted US president
to deploy the national guard
David Agren
Matias Romero, Mexico
S
waying on a swing in a
park teeming with Central
American migrants in
southern Mexico, Henry
Juárez hardly looks like
an invader ready to rush
the US border – and certainly not an
enemy that the national guard forces
sent to the US’s southern frontier by
Donald Trump would have trouble
stopping.
A slight 16-year-old with copper
streaks in his hair, wearing a
singlet, sandals and baggy pants,
he hit the perilous road through
Mexico last month after seven gang
members burst into his home in
El Salvador, put a pistol in his face
and threatened to kill him and his
family unless he made an extortion
payment of $100 (£71).
“I was going to stay in my own
country. I had a good job,” said
Juárez, who used to work for a
company installing utility poles.
“But they were asking me for money
that I didn’t have.”
Juárez is among the more than
1,000 Central Americans who make
up this year’s “Stations of the Cross
Caravan” – an annual northward
procession through Mexico that
aims to raise awareness about the
plight of migrants, many of whom
are fleeing poverty and violence
in some of the most murderous
countries in the world.
By sticking together, participants
also hope to be less exposed to the
robbery and assault that befall many
on the long slog to the US border.
This year’s caravan has been
showered in far more publicity
than its organisers, a US-based
NGO, Pueblo Sin Fronteras, ever
expected, after a series of incendiary
tweets and pronouncements by the
‘The only thing
we want is security
for our children.
If our countries
were safe, we
wouldn’t leave’
Isabel Nerio Rodríguez
Migrant from Honduras
US president last week followed
extensive coverage in the American
conservative media.
“We’re going to be doing things
militarily,” Trump told reporters
at the White House on Tuesday.
“Until we can have a wall and proper
security, we’re going to be guarding
our border with the military. That’s a
big step. We really haven’t done that
before, or certainly not very much
before.”
If the “caravan” were to reach the
US border, he added, “our laws are
so weak and so pathetic … it’s like we
have no border”.
On Wednesday his press secretary
dodged questions about the
sudden urgency, and whether the
deployment of the national guard
was tied to reports Trump had seen
on Fox News about the caravan .On
Thursday the Mexican president,
Enrique Peña Nieto, urged Trump
not to vent his domestic political
“frustration” on Mexico.
Nevertheless, the US president
returned to theme at an event in
West Virginia on Thursday night
that was intended to promote the
Republican tax bill. “Women [in the
caravan] are raped at levels that have
never been seen before,” Trump
said, adding that troops would
remain at the Mexican border until a
“large portion” of his planned wall is
built, an effort that could take years
to complete. Amid all the controversy, the
caravan was stalled for most of last
week in the dilapidated railway town
of Matías Romero on the isthmus of
Tehuantepec.
Many of the migrants arrived
penniless in a public park in Matías
Romero. They had already walked,
hitchhiked, stolen rides on freight
trains and climbed aboard empty
lorries after setting out from the
Guatemalan border in search of
safety or a better lot in life.
Juárez did not eat for days and
wore out a pair of trainers on the trek
through southern Mexico. He started
peddling single cigarettes – five
packs a day, he boasts – to finance his
trip. Of Trump, he says: “This cabrón
[bastard] says he’s going to kill all
the migrants with nuclear weapons.
He’s loco.”
Other participants waited
patiently on Thursday and sought
shelter in the sparse shade at
a parched sports park, where
immigration officials processed
their paperwork. Spirits were strong,
despite anger over state-government
fumigators spraying the park with
insecticides. Clowns entertained
children, while villagers brought
bundles of clothes and pots of food.
Central
American
migrants gather
at a makeshift
centre in Matías
Romero, Mexico.
Below, Donald
Trump; and
members of the
caravan trying to
sleep aboard
a bus in Mexico
MAIN PHOTOGRAPH:
HENRY ROMERO/
REUTERS
“The kids here have bibs, not
guns,” said Irineo Mujíca, one of the
caravan’s organisers, as he stood
amid a sea of migrant children in
a playground. “We don’t pose any
threat to the United States.”
Many of the migrants spoke
highly of their treatment in Mexico,
but described terrifying situations in
Central America.
“They’ve treated us very
well,” said Shannel Smith, 27, a
transgender woman from Honduras.
Smith suffered discrimination in
Honduras – she showed three bullet
wounds on her body and a steel plate
in her arm – and said gangs were
approaching the trans population to
peddle drugs. She refused and was
told to change her mind within 24
hours. Instead, she left the country.
On Thursday and Friday the
migrants boarded buses heading
north for the central city of Puebla,
where the caravan was due to make
another stop for a planned three-day
conference with US and Mexican
immigration lawyers.
From there it will head to Mexico
City – its final destination after the
original plan to make it to the US
border was scrapped.
While some of the participants
will stay in Mexico to try to get
refugee status there, others –
perhaps about 200 – say they will
continue north to the US border.
Joselyn Amador, 22, operated
a small business selling mobile
phone accessories in San Pedro
Sula, Honduras, but also had to flee
after being unable to pay a pair of
$125 (£89) extortion payments. The
annual caravan usually consists
of several hundred migrants, but
its ranks swelled this year to more
than 1,000 as large numbers of
Hondurans joined – something
organisers blame on political
repression after the fraudulent
November elections there.
Trump has threatened to cut
Honduras’ foreign aid if emigration
continues, but Amador retorted: “If
it [foreign aid] were working there
wouldn’t be so many Hondurans
coming here.”
Isabel Nerio Rodríguez, 52,
also fled Honduras after extortion
demands. “The only thing we want
is security for our children,” said
Rodríguez, whose daughter was
grabbed by gang members and gangraped after refusing to become their
leader’s girlfriend. “If our countries
were safe, we wouldn’t leave.”
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:38 Edition Date:180407 Edition:03 Zone:
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•••
38
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
World
Democratic Republic
of the Congo
Risking it all
Rangers defy
bandits, rebels
and poachers
to save wildlife
On the frontline of the
world’s most perilous
conservation projects
Jason Burke
Virunga national park
I
t is dawn on the shores of
Lake Edward and the sun is
rising over the volcanoes on
the eastern skyline. Mist lies
over the still water. In the
forest there are elephant,
hippopotamus and buffalo.
Guarding them are 26 rangers in a
single fortified post.
Then the silence is rudely broken.
There are shouts, scattered shots,
volleys from automatic weapons.
Waves of attackers rush through
the brush and trees. Some are close
enough to hurl spears and fire
arrows.
Later, the rangers will tell their
commanders that their assailants
numbered more than a hundred.
For 45 minutes the unequal battle
continues. Then the guards,
ammunition running low, withdraw.
They take with them the bodies of
three of their comrades. At least a
dozen of their enemies lie on the
ground.
“This is not an easy profession.
Losing your friends and colleagues
is very painful. But we chose to do
this, and we know the risks,” says
Innocent Mburanumwe, the deputy
director of Virunga national park,
an enormous stretch of more than
5,000 square miles of woodland,
savannah and mountains on the
eastern border of the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The clash last August was the
bloodiest in the park for many years.
‘This is not easy.
Losing your friends
and colleagues is
very painful. But we
chose to do this and
we know the risks’
Innocent Mburanumwe
Park deputy director
There was little elation when the
post was retaken four hours after the
rangers’ initial retreat. The steady
attrition of what Mburanumwe calls
“a low intensity war” in the Virunga
has claimed the lives of more than
170 rangers over the past 20 years,
earning the park a reputation as one
of the most dangerous conservation
projects in the world.
“Every day when the patrols
set out, we know that they may
come under fire. We know we may
lose someone or we may be killed
ourselves,” says Mburanumwe.
The threats facing the Virunga,
home to one of the world’s largest
populations of critically endangered
mountain gorillas as well as
hundreds of other rare species,
are multiple.
There are armed rebel groups,
hardened by years of combat against
Congolese government troops or
those of neighbouring countries;
local bandits and self-defence
militias; and poachers out for ivory
or bushmeat. Then there is the
hugely lucrative charcoal industry,
for which the trees of the park are
the principal raw material, and
illegal fishing too.
In recent months the DRC has
veered close to a plunge back into
the appalling violence of the 19972003 civil war, which led to the
deaths of 5 million people and saw
the wildlife in the park, Africa’s
oldest, decimated. Observers
hope that catastrophe will be
avoided but aid agencies describe
the vast central African country as
on a cliff edge.
Growing violence has displaced
more than 4.5 million people,
rebellions have claimed thousands
of lives, and 2 million children are
threatened with starvation. The
prospect of elections at the end of
the year has intensified fighting over
land and resources such as mines.
The new instability threatens the
Virunga. Since January, the park has
seen clashes between Congolese
forces and neighbouring Rwanda’s
soldiers and, in its northern parts,
an offensive by a brutal Islamist
militia responsible for killing 14 UN
peacekeepers last year.
The rangers are recruited from
villages surrounding the park.
Most are married with many
children. Those on the frontline
are often young. David Nezehose,
29, leads the rangers’ dog team. “I
grew up and live next door to the
park so I know its importance. My
grandfather was a guide in the park
40 years ago. I wanted to protect the
Virunga
national
park
Uganda
Lake
Edward
Democratic
Republic of
the Congo
Rwanda
50 km
50 miles
gorillas, who are our neighbours,”
he says.
There is a small but growing
contingent of women among the
700 rangers who currently defend
the park. Angèle Kavira Nzalamingi,
25, trains new recruits. She hopes to
join the rangers’ elite rapid reaction
force – after running the London
marathon this month.
In the conservative rural
communities from which many
of the rangers come, Nzalamingi’s
career choice was controversial.
“My family are proud of me …
but there were lots of people in my
village who said this was not work
for a woman. I wanted to show that
we can do anything the men can do,”
Nzalamingi says.
The Virunga’s fortunes have
fluctuated with those of the DRC.
Founded in 1925 by Belgian colonial
authorities, the park struggled in
the immediate aftermath of the
country’s independence in 1960 but
flourished under President Mobutu
Sese Seko, the flamboyant, wasteful
and authoritarian ruler who took
power in 1965.
Augustin Kambale, a senior
ranger, remembers thousands of
tourists visiting in the 1980s and
early 1990s. “It all went wrong in
1994 with the genocide in Rwanda. A
million refugees crossed the border
and set up camps here. They had
weapons with them and soon these
spread among the local population.
It was really bad,” Kambale, 57, says.
By the time relative peace was
restored, long after Mobutu’s chaotic
fall in 1997, the mountain gorilla
population had sunk to 300.
In 2007 came what Kambale calls
“a great change”. A partnership
was established between a charity
funded by private donors, the
European Union, the American
Howard G Buffett Foundation,
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:39 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
Sent at 6/4/2018 14:15
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
•
39
and the Congolese wildlife service.
Emmanuel de Merode, a Belgian
aristocrat, was appointed director
and implemented wide-ranging
reforms.
The rangers got better equipment
and training, and are now paid
a monthly salary of $250 (about
£180), a sizeable sum locally. Other
initiatives have focused on local
communities, with micro loans
and hydroelectric power projects
to boost the local economy and, it
is hoped, thus reduce recruitment
to rebel groups and criminal gangs
among the 6 million living within a
day’s walk of the park’s borders.
The mountain gorilla population
now stands at more than 1,000,
while the numbers of other animals,
such as forest elephants, are also
rising, and tourists are returning in
significant numbers.
Local administrators say the park
offers hope to the whole region, one
▼ The Virunga national park’s
mountain gorilla population has risen
to 1,000, and tourists are returning
▼ From top, hippos in Virunga
national park; rangers on patrol; the
park’s Mount Nyiragongo volcano
PHOTOGRAPH: BRENT STIRTON/GETTY
PHOTOGRAPHS: ALAMY; JAMES OATWAY/GUARDIAN
Virunga national park
From swamps and savannahs to snowy mountains
Virunga national park is an expanse
of 3,000 square miles located in the
far east of the Democratic Republic
of the Congo.
Founded under Belgian rule, it
became Africa’s first national park
when King Albert I established it in
1925. The park is made up of diverse
terrain, including some of the
world’s most active volcanoes.
Virunga’s swamps and savannahs,
mountains and dense rainforest
are home to the mountain gorilla,
elephant, okapi, hippopotamus and
more than 700 species of bird.
The park, a Unesco world heritage
site since 1979, has been on the
endangered list since 1994, when
an influx of more than a million
refugees from the Rwandan civil war
led to unrest and increased pressure
on the park’s natural resources.
Virunga was left to decline as the
country struggled through wars that
caused the deaths of about 4 million
people.
After a public outcry in 2007
when corrupt park officials linked
to the charcoal trade shot seven
mountain gorillas, the government
appointed Emmanuel de Merode, an
aristocratic Belgian conservationist,
as park director. The park has
improved but it is still threatened by
the prospect of oil drilling, the illegal
charcoal trade and political turmoil.
of the poorest in Africa. “Imagine
what would happen here if we had
10,000 tourists coming every year,”
says Julien Paluku, the governor of
North Kivu province.
But the local economy is
dependent on the security situation.
When a rebel group swept into
Goma, the provincial capital, in
2012, the park shut down.
On the rutted road to the Virunga
are military checkpoints. Rusty
AK-47s over their shoulders, eyes
hidden by dark shades, troops from
the DRC’s demoralised and poorly
equipped army make desultory
checks for illicit charcoal or
bushmeat.
In a detention block at the park
headquarters, smugglers and
poachers are held pending transfer
to local authorities. Outside stands
a seized truck loaded with charcoal
worth about $7,000, made in the
park from felled trees. Its load will
be distributed to hospitals. In a cell
lies 24-year-old Jean-Paul Gambale,
the driver.
“I know it’s not a good thing to
do but I have four children. They
don’t have any dinner at night. I was
promised $15 by my boss to drive the
truck,” he says.
Rangers admit that those
running the charcoal networks are
rarely caught. On a wall outside
the detention block is a poster of a
notorious wanted criminal described
as a “major bandit and national
parliamentary candidate”.
Such problems will eventually
be overcome, says Kambale, the
veteran ranger.
“I know the Virunga will go on
getting better. One day the armed
groups and the bandits and the
poachers will all be gone from
the park, and the tourists will go
everywhere and the animals will live
in safety. I know it.”
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:40 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
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•
40
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
World
▼ The former president in court in
Durban, where he faces 16 charges of
fraud, corruption and racketeering
PHOTOGRAPH: NIC BOTHMA/AP
South Korea’s
ex-president
sentenced to
24 years for
corruption
‘The truth
will out.
What have
I done? I am
innocent
until proven
guilty’
Jacob Zuma
Benjamin Haas
Seoul
Zuma in the dock: South Africa’s
ex-leader on corruption charges
Hundreds of ANC supporters
outside court as case against
former president is opened
Jason Burke
Johannesburg
Jacob Zuma, the former South African president, has appeared in court
to face corruption charges relating
to a multibillion dollar arms deal 20
years ago.
Zuma, who was ousted in February,
attended a brief preliminary hearing
at the high court in Durban yesterday. The 75-year-old did not speak,
but told the hundreds of supporters
outside court, many wearing the green
and gold of the ruling African National
Congress: “The truth will come out.
What have I done? I am innocent until
proven guilty.”
The case was adjourned until June.
The hearing is likely to be the first of
many as the former president fights a
possible jail sentence.
Analysts say the case is a test of
Zuma’s ability to rally the more radical elements within the ANC or on the
political fringes as well as support in
the important province of KwaZulu
Natal, his political power base.
“If he allows his supporters to turn
up the heat, that is a possible indication that he is still willing to put his
interests before those of the ANC,” said
Richard Calland, an author and expert
on South African politics.
The trial will also indicate how
difficult it will be for the new president, Cyril Ramaphosa, to succeed
in his attempt to restore the battered
image of the ANC. Zuma’s nine years
in office were marked by economic
stagnation, soaring unemployment,
multiple corruption scandals and
credit downgrades.
The popularity of the ANC, in power
since South Africa’s first free elections
in 1994, has flagged in recent years,
with significant defeats at municipal
polls in 2016. A general election will
be held next year.
Since taking power, Ramaphosa has
Brilliant animator who helped
found Studio Ghibli dies at 82
Associated Press
Agence France-Presse
Isao Takahata, co-founder of the legendary Japanese animator Studio
Ghibli, has died aged 82.
Best known for his masterpiece
Grave of the Fireflies – a moving tale
of two orphans during the second
world war – Takahata won an Academy
award nomination in 2014 for his last
film, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya,
in the best animated feature category.
Takahata died on Thursday of lung
cancer at a Tokyo hospital, the studio
reshuffled the cabinet, firing ministers
close to Zuma tainted by corruption
allegations, and moved to reform big
state utilities as well as revenue collection service. A recent budget pleased
international investors, boosting the
rand.
“So far Ramaphosa has not put a
foot wrong. Some achievements were
certainly low-hanging fruit but are still
very important. At the very least [the
trial of Zuma] is a major distraction …
[and] there is a risk it could undermine
progress already made,” Calland said.
The case against Zuma centres on
783 payments from his former financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, who was
jailed for corruption in relation to
the arms deal. Charges against Zuma
were filed but then set aside by the
National Prosecuting Authority before
783
The number of individual payments
made by Jacob Zuma’s former
financial adviser Schabir Shaik
said yesterday. Born in Mie prefecture
in central Japan, he started his career
in animation at the Toei studio in 1959,
where he met his long-term collaborator and rival Hayao Miyazaki.
In 1985, with Miyazaki, he cofounded Studio Ghibli, which has
stuck to a hand-drawn manga look
in the face of digital filmmaking. The
pair were often described by media
as friends and rivals at the same time.
He was fully aware of how the floating brushstrokes of faint pastel in his
works stood as a stylistic challenge
he successfully ran for president in
2009. The charges were reinstated in
2016. Since his election nine years ago,
Zuma’s opponents have fought a legal
battle to have the charges reinstated.
He denies wrongdoing and has countered with his own legal challenges.
Zuma’s son Edward told supporters at a park in Durban, where several
thousand people held an overnight
vigil, ahead of the court hearing that
his father was not worried.
One supporter said he admired
Zuma’s determination to bring in
economic policies during his time in
office that he said were designed to
spread the wealth in what remains
one of the world’s most unequal societies. “Whatever happens, we will still
support Zuma because we believe he
brought us radical economic transformation,” said the businessman Siya
Khoza outside the court.
Zuma has claimed he is being victimised. “People are free, but I am not.
They are still after me,” he said after an
Easter church service.
Campaign groups are hoping that
the case could set a benchmark for
future prosecutions. “The arms deal
wasn’t just about small bribes, it
launched the bullet and we watched
that bullet in slow motion ripping
through South African democracy
in the last 15 years,” said Hennie van
Vuuren of the Open Secrets anti-graft
association.
The former South Korean president
Park Geun-hye has been sentenced
to 24 years in prison for abuse of
power and corruption, in a scandal
that exposed webs of double-dealing
between politicians and conglomerates, and the power of a Rasputin-like
figure at the top of government.
Park, 66, was not present for the ruling yesterday, citing sickness, and has
boycotted the proceedings since October. She has a week to appeal.
Prosecutors had sought a 30-year
jail sentence and an £80m fine on
charges that range from corruption,
coercion and bribery to maintaining a
blacklist of artists. In a rare move, the
court in Seoul broadcast her trial live.
The court found Park colluded with
her longtime friend Choi Soon-sil to
solicit bribes from South Korean conglomerates including Samsung and
the retailer Lotte in exchange for policy favours. Prosecutors charged Park
with 18 separate crimes and accused
her of working with Choi in taking
bribes of at least £25m and pressuring
companies to fund organisations run
by Choi’s family. She was also accused
of leaking classified information.
Choi, a pastor’s daughter, had no
political experience but was described
in a US diplomatic cable as having
“complete control over Park’s body
and soul during her formative years”.
Her influence over Park led one opposition lawmaker to describe Park’s
presidency as “a scary theocracy”.
The scandal exposed what was
widely suspected in South Korea: an
entangled web of government and
chaebol – huge conglomerates that
dominate the economy. Choi was
jailed for 20 years in February and the
heads of Samsung and Lotte were both
given shorter prison sentences.
Park denied all the charges against
her, although she apologised for allowing Choi to influence her. Park has been
detained since her arrest a year ago
after weeks of protests known as the
Candlelight Revolution, impeachment
and a constitutional court edict.
Despite the scandal, Park still has
much support, especially among older
people who backed her hawkish line
on North Korea.
▲ A still from Isao Takahata’s
masterpiece Grave of the Fireflies
to Hollywood’s computer graphics
cartoons. In 2015 he described the
philosophy of Japanese manga comics. Edo-era woodblock-print artists
such as Hokusai had an understanding
of western-style perspective and the
use of light, he said, but deliberately
depicted reality in a flat way, with minimal shading. That, he said, was at the
heart of manga.
Takahata produced about 20 films.
He also dabbled in politics, co-signing
in 2013 a petition against a controversial state secrets law.
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:41 Edition Date:180407 Edition:03 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 23:58
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
•••
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
41
£/€
£/$
FTSE 100
All share
Dow Indl
Nikkei 225
-
-
-
-
1.1487
1.4085
7183.64
3953.47
23932.76
21567.52
+0.0042
+0.0089
15.86
7.81
572.46
77.90
Back-in-profit
Co-op to take
over failing
schools
Sarah Butler
The Co-op is planning a push into running schools after its exit from banking
helped the retail and funerals group
become profitable again.
The mutual will invest £3.5m in
expanding the number of academies
it runs from 12 to 40 over three years
with a plan to take over failing schools
in the north of England.
The Co-op made a profit of £72m in
the year to 6 January. That reversed a
£132m loss for the previous 12 months,
which reflected the £185m writedown
of its stake in the Co-operative Bank to
zero. The group sold its final stake in
the bank in the autumn.
Total sales remained stable at
£9.5bn as sales at its grocery stores rose
3.4%. Grocery sales were flat at £7.1bn
after dozens of larger stores were sold.
Steve Murrells, group chief executive, who took charge last year, said he
wanted to drive growth by creating a
more commercial Co-op that also had
a “distinctive voice in society”.
He said a big expansion into schools
was part of showing how the Co-op did
things differently. “We need a vibrant,
commercially successful business
and the more successful they are the
more we can do in society. The academy investment is exactly that playing
out. It is our chance to help in an area
that needs a lot of care.”
The Co-op took on its first academy
in Manchester in 2010 and now runs
schools in Leeds and Stoke. Murrells
said the new schools would be in the
north so they could share expertise
and because there was more need in
that part of the country. “This is not
based on a business case – it is based
on doing the right thing.”
Murrells insisted the move would
not be a distraction for the business,
after selling its last stake in the bank,
which had to be rescued from collapse
and nearly brought down the Co-op in
2013, as they would be run by a “solid
management team that are already
there and eager to do more”.
The schools expansion is likely to
raise fears that the Co-op is stretching its management just as it battles
to survive in a tough grocery market
where discounters Aldi and Lidl are
winning market share.
The Co-op faces an inquiry into its
treatment of suppliers by the grocery
industry watchdog that could lead to
a multimillion pound fine. Murrells
said: “We don’t feel great about where
we find ourselves,” but said the Co-op
was already improving its practices
and was focused on “ensuring we get
things right and come back stronger”
in dealing with suppliers.
US shares plunge
on fears of trade
war with China
Richard Partington Washington
Ben Jacobs Washington
Edward Helmore New York
Markets took fright yesterday in the
face of an escalating war of words
between the Trump administration
and China over trade tariffs, with
stocks dropping sharply.
The Dow Jones index slumped 700
points at midday before closing down
572 points, or around 2.3%. Boeing and
Caterpillar, US manufacturing companies considered vulnerable in any
trade war with China, fell by 3.1% and
3.5%, respectively.
The market slump came after a
week of rising tension between the
world’s two largest economies.
On Thursday, Donald Trump said
he had instructed US trade representatives to identify $100bn in Chinese
products on which to apply increased
tariffs on top of the $50bn worth of
tariffs announced last month. Beijing
responded, saying China would “definitely fight back firmly” should the
US persist in using “protectionism”.
Trump also hit out at the World
Trade Organisation as he responded to
China opening a challenge against the
tariff plans at the WTO. Trump tweeted
that China gets “tremendous perks
and advantages” at the organisation
because it is considered a developing
nation. “Does anybody think this is
fair. We were badly represented. The
WTO is unfair to US,” he said.
Speaking to reporters at the White
House, Trump’s press secretary, Sarah
Sanders, dismissed concerns about a
possible trade war.
“The United States is responding to
Chinese actions that have gone on for
decades,” she said.
“The Chinese have engaged in unfair
and illegal trade practices for many
years and this is simply a response
to that.” Sanders also brushed off
▲ Police at Qingdao docks. China
could face the imposition of an extra
$100bn in import tariffs by the US
PHOTOGRAPH: REUTERS
concerns about the falling stock market, insisting the president’s actions
had strengthened the economy and
pointing to his bill to lower taxes.
Although hope remains for averting a full-blown trade war, analysts at
Oxford Economics said failure to avoid
a clash would trigger a “pronounced”
slowdown for the world economy by
knocking 0.5% off worldwide growth.
The British consultancy said under
that scenario GDP would increase by
about 2.5% next year instead of the previously forecast rate of 3%. That would
equate to as much as $617bn being lost
from world economic growth.
For the world’s two largest economies, the price tag would be around 1%
of GDP growth, worth about $154bn to
the US and $132bn to China.
Despite US threats to impose
additional tariffs, the White House
‘Does anybody think
this is fair. We were
badly represented.
The WTO is unfair’
Donald Trump
On Twitter
economic council director, Larry
Kudlow, told Fox Business News that
the US and China were engaged in a
“process”. He said: “We haven’t had
a president with the backbone to
stand up to the Chinese and say ‘you
know you’re breaking every law in the
books’. So, to refresh … this process,
it may include tariffs ... [or] it may be
solved by negotiation.”
Both countries have so far shown no
inclination of backing down. After the
US unveiled details of its initial $50bn
of tariffs, China responded by saying it
would impose levies worth the same
amount, albeit covering fewer goods
of higher value – such as soya beans
and aircraft.
Trump labelled the response from
Beijing as an “unfair retaliation” at a
time when the US has had problems
with China allegedly stealing the intellectual property of US companies
looking to do business there.
But if China did try to match the
president’s latest threats for as much
as $150bn in tariffs on Chinese goods,
it would need to cover more than the
total value of US exports to the country. Other options could be for Beijing
to halt the purchase of US bonds, or a
move to disrupt supply chains essential for US firms, according to analysts.
Mark Cliffe, of ING Bank, said:
“The signal is clear: China will not be
pushed into concessions, and is willing to accept some economic pain in
what Beijing may ultimately see as a
political dispute.”
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:42 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 17:07
•
42
W
hat began as a
trickle became
a torrent,
carving out a
new landscape
in the world of
work. With the last-minute flood of
data as the gender pay gap deadline
hit this week, some companies
went on the defensive, reputation
rehabilitation got under way, and
canny headhunters began to scroll
through their contact list.
“I have heard that a lot of
headhunters are now calling senior
women and saying: ‘Would you be
interested in a move? Some of your
competitors have got lower gender
pay gaps,’” said Helene ReardonBond, a gender pay gap consultant.
With eight out of 10 companies
and public-sector bodies revealed to
be paying women less than men, and
women paid a median hourly rate
of an average 9.7% less than male
colleagues, it is the genie that won’t
be put back in the bottle.
“It has changed the working
landscape,” said Mark Crail, content
director of XpertHR, an online
advisory service that was inundated
with queries from companies as the
clock ticked down to 4 April. “And
it’s very much a reputational issue.”
From the trading floor to the
shopfloor, many women and men
have been dismayed not just at the
data but at their firms’ responses.
One executive at an investment
bank told the Guardian talk was
cheap, and while banks had talked
about gender equality for years the
statistics showed no improvement.
The finance and insurance sector has
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
Financial
Workplace equality
Gender pay gap
Shock and fury as
revelations ripple
through economy
Caroline Davies
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
been found to have one of the
biggest median pay gaps: 22%.
“We started out as graduates
equal to our male peers. As time
goes by most men in my peer group
have zoomed ahead in their careers,
and I wonder what makes them so
spectacular. It’s like the workplace
is a game and men have the cheat
sheets,” she said.
Other women were puzzled to
find that although they worked in
companies with a majority female
workforce the gap was still huge.
Puzzlement turned to anger as some
companies failed to communicate
serious explanations.
One worker at the fashion retailer
Coast, which reported a 40% median
gap, was incensed that the only
communication was an email. “I am
in shock at the pay gap,” she said,
pointing out the firm did not employ
many men. The email said two of the
retailer’s three executives were men,
“which they claimed was the main
reason for the massive difference”.
No other reasons were given.
A worker at a high-street optician
chain with a median gap of 35-40%
said there appeared to be no plan.
“They explained why the gender gap
exists in a video, blaming women for
choosing worse-paid occupations,
22%
The average median pay gap in the
financial and insurance sector – one
of the largest in the British economy
7.8%
The median pay gap at the retailer
John Lewis. The data spurred the
firm to start an internal dialogue
▲ Office workers in Manchester. Many employees have been dismayed by their
company’s response to wide pay gaps PHOTOGRAPH: CHRISTOPHER THOMOND/GUARDIAN
and summing it up with: ‘Let’s face
it, we will never get rid of the gender
pay gap’,” she said.
A female employee at a clothing
company that reported a median pay
gap of 7.3% said: “What’s missing is
an action plan. We got an internal
email which says something vague
about action being taken, but
externally there is no action.”
The data, though imperfect, gave
the first insight into inequality in
the workforce on a company level
anywhere in the world. It may have
spawned “gender-gap deniers”
and a slew of defensive company
statements. But Labour’s Harriet
Harman, who pushed through the
legislation requiring companies with
a 250-plus workforce to publish their
gender pay data, has been clear the
transparency is a means to an end as
a “spur to action”.
One big retailer, John Lewis, is
striving to do just that, seeing the
exercise as a positive. Rather than
obsess about the figures – its median
pay gap was 7.8%, roughly the
average for its sector – it took it as an
opportunity to have a constructive
dialogue among its 85,000 staff.
The firm used its intranet, staff
magazine and gender-equality
group to drive debate. Senior
managers were involved from the
start. Like similar retailers, there is a
majority of women on the shopfloor,
with numbers thinning at the higher
levels. Rather than use this as an
excuse, or whinge that the method
of collecting data was flawed, the
company has focused on addressing
the reasons behind its figures.
David Hopkins, an HR manager at
the firm, said: “It has provided an
opportunity to talk about issues
such as more flexible working and
barriers to job sharing at management level.”
Having to produce its data has set
up what should be a positive
dialogue. “As a company, you could
choose to do that in a positive way
and use it as an opportunity, or you
can set it up as an antagonistic point
of contention that is left to fester. We
have gone for the former,” he said.
Reardon-Bond, a former civil
servant who led on gender equality
policy and is now a consultant in
the field, said firms that failed to
address the issue faced “massive
reputational risk” and pressure from
shareholders. The data highlighted
the need to make flexible working
for all a priority, and in particular
in Stem (science, technology,
engineering and mathematics)
industries, where fewer women rise.
Crail agreed that the reputational
issue was driving change and firms
had to deal with the causes. “It’s not
enough to say ‘we’ve got lots in
technology roles and that’s largely
male’, or ‘we’ve got lots of men at
the top and lots of women at the
bottom’. That’s not an explanation,
that’s just a description.”
He said any employers who failed
to act were “really foolish”, not just
because of what existing staff would
think but also potential recruits.
“All this is now public,” he said,
noting how it had transformed the
working landscape. “It’s not going
to go away. Perhaps a lot of people
thought: ‘Oh well, we’ll report, there
might be a bit of fuss and then it will
die down.’ I really don’t think that is
going to be the case.”
‘Brilliant job for women’
EasyJet captain soars high
above the glass ceiling
Gwyn Topham
Transport correspondent
A
s two pilots come
through the doors
at easyJet’s Luton
airport headquarters,
it remains an unusual
sight to see the first – a
tall, middle-aged man – defer to the
second, a woman, and head off to
sort out the paperwork.
But the captain today is Marnie
Munns, one of just 4% of commercial
airline pilots who are female, and
part of an even smaller proportion
who have made it to the top rank.
Gender pay gap data has
underlined quite how rare a female
pilot remains: at Munns’s employer
6% are women, a rate that easyJet
has doubled for new entrants, while
Ryanair revealed that just eight of its
554 UK-based pilots are women.
Yet Munns, 44, says she only
recently grasped how many
people thought it was “not normal
for women”. A Swiss passenger
objected when Munns was flying
with a female co-pilot: “She said:
‘I’m not sure I’m happy with this
scenario, two women on a flight
deck.’ I thought she was joking – but
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:43 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
Sent at 6/4/2018 17:07
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
•
43
▼ Marnie Munns is one of just 4% of
commercial airline pilots who are
female. Even fewer make it to captain
PHOTOGRAPH: TERI PENGILLEY/GUARDIAN
Airlines and their gender pay gap
Median hourly pay for women ... and men
Airlines have more men in the top pay band
Ryanair Ltd
50%
71.8% hourly pay gap
97%
49.7
92.8
47.3
95.0
45.8
82.4
45.5
89.3
41.2
88.5
27.2
76.0
Women
Jet2.Com Ltd
Tui Airways Ltd
Thomas Cook Airlines Ltd
Easyjet Airline Co. Ltd.
Flybe Ltd
Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd
British Airways Plc
10.0
66.0
Source: gov.uk
have done it.” The plane also made
it back that night, much-delayed,
picking up British passengers
stranded by cancelled flights. Munns
and crew clocked off at 2am.
Isn’t that the kind of issue that
might rule out the job for women
(or men) with family commitments?
“We all had children. We all had to
make phone calls. No one ever asks
a nurse about their strange lifestyle.
The difference is I get paid a good
salary to be able to pay for childcare
if I need to.”
Munns, a mother of two children
of primary school age, whose
husband is also an easyJet pilot,
adds: “We’ve got a good support
network. But it has happened that
we’ve had to arrange babysitting
for 4am.”
The day of a short-haul pilot is
a busy one: Munns reports to base
an hour before the flight, gets the
paperwork off the computer and
she was really quite upset.” The
incident spurred Munns into taking
part in easyJet’s efforts to change
perceptions, talking to girls in school
and helping to launch an aviation
badge for Brownies. Surveys of
pilots show most men had set their
minds on a flying career by the age of
11, but few women before 16.
She has faced other bizarre
beliefs, including in a debate on ITV
where a journalist claimed women’s
“mood swings and hormones” could
make them unsuitable pilots.
“It’s a really strange, antiquated
question,” says Munns. “In the
old days, there was any excuse to
stop women doing professional
jobs. If you are not feeling up to
doing the job on the day that is our
requirement to tell our employer,
but the common cold is a bigger
threat than anything else. If you
have a blocked nose or sinuses, you
can’t fly … but no one has ever said a
man can’t do it because of man flu.”
Munns, whose grandfather was
a pilot, chose her path at a young
age. “My parents used to travel a lot
when we were children and used
to say: ‘Go and see the pilot and see
what they do.’”
Unable to afford a private pilot’s
licence, Munns went to university
and joined the air squadron. Now,
she says university tuition fees mean
even the £110,000 pilot training
costs look more appealing, with a
reasonable guarantee of a job.
Munns works a part-time
schedule of nine days of flying a
month, instead of up to 18. Speaking
to other professional women, she
‘Training captains
don’t know you – or
probably even know
that you’re female –
until you turn up’
Marnie Munns EasyJet captain
says, made her realise “what is
brilliant about this job for women.
One said: ‘How come you’re still a
captain if you’re only part-time?’ It
dawned on me that if I was at this
level in the City, I would have to take
a step down.”
The progression to captaincy may
also avoid some invisible barriers.
“Training captains have files on
us, that rigorously mark training
criteria. They don’t know you – or
probably even know you’re female –
until you turn up.”
I met Munns last month, at
the start of a French air traffic
controllers’ strike. During a twohour evening delay on Luton’s
tarmac, Munns, awaiting permission
to take off for Toulouse, delivered
a string of stirring updates to keep
passengers on board. She said she
would get us there, even it was the
only plane that would get through.
“It was all or nothing” she says.
“That’s why you need to do the
PAs [public announcements]. If a
passenger, or even one of my crew,
had said: ‘Sorry, I can’t,’ we couldn’t
briefs the crew. “I make sure they
are all fit to fly, what kind of duties
they’ve been doing. We’ll discuss
any technical issues with the plane.
It’s five minutes. Then we get
through security, get to the aircraft
and start boarding passengers.”
The crew will do up to four
flights a day, with just a 25-minute
turnaround between them. “That’s
actually our busiest time. We’re
never really on break. In the cruise
you might have five minutes to take
a breath, but at the same time you’ll
be doing the radios, managing the
flight, working out what might be
happening down route.”
There are a lot of myths to dispel,
she says. “People say: ‘What’s it
like working with all men?’ Well,
actually, I don’t. And the traditional
view of the pilot, living out of a
suitcase – I do night stops very
rarely. They’re actually quite nice
when I do.”
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:44 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 17:54
•
44
Financial
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
▼ An employee on the engine
production line at Ford’s car plant in
Dagenham, east London
PHOTOGRAPH: CARL COURT/GETTY
Productivity increasing
at fastest rate since
financial crisis of 2005
Richard Partington
The productivity of British workers
in the second half of 2017 rose at the
fastest rate since before the financial crisis, handing a rare boost to the
government.
Labour productivity, or economic
output per hour of work, rose by
0.7% in the three months to December, marking the second consecutive
quarter for positive growth, the Office
for National Statistics (ONS) said.
Together, the two periods showed
the strongest growth rate seen since
the second half of 2005.
In spite of the positive performance, the rate of increase in worker
efficiency for the whole of 2017 still
languished below its pre-crisis levels,
after a weak start.
Economists also said the rise in productivity, considered one of the most
important determinants for raising
living standards, may have been due
to falling numbers of hours worked
rather than companies substantially
boosting economic output.
Howard Archer, chief economic
adviser to the EY Item Club, said the
increase came following a surprising
drop in the number of hours worked
in the second half of 2017 – a trend that
reversed in the first months of 2018.
“The UK has a lot of catching up to do
on the productivity front,” he said.
Richard Heys, ONS deputy chief
economist, agreed, adding: “A weak
start to the year means annual growth
was only 1%, half the historic average
rate.”
Sluggish growth in the efficiency
of Britain’s workers , held back in part
since the financial crisis by the creation
of low-skilled jobs, has been crucial to
16.3%
The percentage by which Britain’s
productivity lags behind European
and other economic rivals
holding down wage growth and rising
living standards. As a result, boosting
productivity has become a priority for
ministers, who are attempting to use
the industrial strategy to improve efficiency rates.
The improvements in the final
quarter of 2017 were driven by nonfinancial services firms, such as shops,
hotels and restaurants, as well as
manufacturers. The financial sector
and firms involved in industrial production, such as electricity, gas and
agriculture, acted as a drag on the
growth rate.
However, the ONS said British workers’ productivity remains well below
the rates that could have been achieved
had growth continued at its pre-downturn rate. Britain lags behind much of
continental Europe and many other
major economic rivals, with labour
productivity about 16.3% below the
average for the other G7 economies.
Dave Innes, economist at the Joseph
Rowntree Foundation, said low-wage
sectors, such as retail and hospitality,
had a particularly poor track record
compared with Germany, France and
the Netherlands. “Improving pay and
performance for our baristas and bar
staff may be part of the answer,” Innes
said.
Robert Jenrick, a Treasury minister,
said the latest figures were encouraging. “We want to increase productivity
growth to ensure higher living standards for people across the country.”
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:45 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 17:22
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
•
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
Financial
45
▼ Floods in Houston, Texas. Insurers
‘need to provide more information’
PHOTOGRAPH: JOE RAEDLE/GETTY
Carney warns of
climate risks to
financial system
Richard Partington
The governor of the Bank of England has warned of the “catastrophic
impact” climate change could have
on the financial system unless financial firms do more to disclose their
vulnerabilities.
Telling banks and insurers they
will need to provide more information about the risks they might face
from climate change, Mark Carney said
failure to do so would have damaging
effects on financial stability.
He said the industry could be forced
into making rapid adjustments, triggering steep losses, if it did not
gradually expose the risks.
“Given the uncertainties around
climate, not everyone will agree on
the timing or scale of the adjustments
required … [but] the right information
allows sceptics and evangelists alike to
back their convictions with their capital,” Carney said at a summit of central
bank governors in Amsterdam.
Bestway deal
saves 2,000
jobs in retail
division of
Conviviality
Sarah Butler
About 2,000 jobs are to be saved with
the expected buyout of the retail
chains Wine Rack and Bargain Booze
in a £7m deal.
The retail division of the troubled
drinks group Conviviality is being
acquired by the grocery wholesaler
Bestway in a pre-pack administration
process, which allows the buyer to
cherrypick a collapsed company’s best
assets at a bargain price.
Bestway is one of Britain’s biggest
food wholesalers, serving thousands
of retailers. It also owns the Well Pharmacy chain, which it bought from
the Co-op in 2014. The company was
founded and is chaired by the billionaire Sir Anwar Pervez.
Conviviality announced its intention to appoint administrators last
week after a string of profit warnings
and the discovery of a £30m tax bill,
putting more than 2,600 jobs at risk.
On Wednesday C&C, the owner
of Magners, bought Conviviality’s
wholesale arm through a pre-pack
administration. The Irish cider giant
bought the wholesalers Matthew
Clark, Bibendum, Catalyst, Peppermint, Elastic, and Walker & Wodehouse
for a nominal sum. The Stella Artois
and Budweiser maker, AB InBev, is also
supporting the deal.
PricewaterhouseCoopers handled
the sale and administration process.
Conviviality’s retail arm operates
more than 800 stores under brands
including Select Convenience, Central
Convenience, Wine Rack and Bargain
Booze, many of which are run by independent franchisees.
The breakup of Conviviality marks
the end of the firm after its rapid
demise over just a few weeks.
Its chief executive, Diana Hunter,
stepped down last month after shares
in the company were suspended at
101p following two profit warnings in
the space of a week that wiped more
than 60% off its stock market value.
The company blamed the first shock
profit warning on a spreadsheet arithmetic error made by a member of its
finance team and weakening profit
margins, and then admitted that it had
not budgeted for the £30m tax bill due
at the end of March.
Conviviality then issued a third
profit warning as it admitted it needed
to ask investors for new funding of
£125m to avoid going bust, but failed to
convince them of its long-term future.
Former investors in Conviviality are
considering a lawsuit amid questions
over the company’s strategy in making
a string of rapid acquisitions, including
the recent purchase of more than 100
Central Convenience stores from the
collapsed Palmer & Harvey business.
Meanwhile, the chair of the Commons work and pensions committee,
Frank Field, has questioned the role
of the auditor KPMG.
800
Approximate number of stores in
Conviviality’s retail arm. Many are
run by independent franchisees
60%
The decline in Conviviality’s share
price in the space of a week before
its shares were suspended at 101p
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cYanmaGentaYellowbl
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:47 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Fantasy house hunt
Five of the best
hillside homes
Page 53
47
Revealed Staff accuse AA
over ‘shameful’ price hikes
New members can face an
automatic 124% increase
in fees in year two. Now
embarrassed members of
the sales force tell Miles
Brignall about the tactics
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•
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
Arch enemy?
Rent rise for railway
units forces firms out
Page 49
Sent at 6/4/2018 12:14
I
s the AA exploiting its most
loyal customers – the elderly
but also the very busy – by
automatically renewing
annual breakdown cover at up
to twice the original price, in
the expectation many won’t notice?
That’s the allegation from two AA
staff members who have contacted
Guardian Money keen to expose the
“shameful and embarrassing” way
they claim the breakdown recovery
business now operates.
The pair, employed to sell the
company’s services outside big
supermarkets across the south-east,
claim the business model is based on
signing up new customers on to cheap
“teaser” deals, and then pushing
through massive price hikes (as much
as 124%) in the second year.
The contracts they sign mean
their policy is automatically
renewed every year, which the
salespeople described as a “scandal”
as they say it leads to people
overpaying for policies that they no
longer want or, in many cases, will
never claim on, as they may have
sold their car.
The AA is by no means alone in
offering teaser first-year discounts.
But the salespeople who contacted
Guardian Money say it’s the scale
and the manner of the second-year
increase that sets the company apart.
The AA, with 3.3 million
breakdown members, vigorously
rejects these claims, adding that it
has made “great progress in the last
couple of years to be much clearer
and transparent in pricing and
selling”.
Our whistleblowers say they have
spoken out in part because they are
fed up with being verbally attacked
by customers on the receiving end of
steep price rises.
Each year, four out of five AA
customers decide to renew. But the
complicated pricing tariff used by
the salespeople, and seen by Money,
shows by how much fees are hiked in
the second year.
Its popular joint membership, that
covers roadside assistance and home
start, is £109 for “new” customers.
But at the end of the first year, that
rises to £215 with the money taken
out under a continuous payment
authority. The AA says it does this so
customers aren’t left without cover.
The top-price breakdown
product, that covers against most
breakdown eventualities, is £179 in
the first year. This is automatically
renewed at a second-year cost of
£401 – a 124% increase. The terms
and conditions state that annual
membership can only be cancelled
up to 14 days after the renewal letter
is sent out, which means some
members can be stuck with a policy
they can’t use.
“Everyone thinks that the AA is
there to help but, from what we’ve
seen, it’s about one thing – sucking
people in on a super-cheap price
before moving them on to a higher
rate. There’s a guy who sold his car
two years ago who ended up paying
the AA for two years’ cover because
they’d moved house and not told
the AA. When he realised, it was too
late to get his money back,” says one
of the AA staff, who have asked to
remain anonymous.
The second says it is the AA’s Gold
members that he feels most sorry
for. “I went to the dentist and, as I
124%
The highest increase in membership
charges that automatically come into
force in the second year
£179
Cost of first year for its top-price
breakdown product, which rises to
£401 in the second year
▲ The AA has 3.3 million members.
PHOTOGRAPH: LOOP IMAGES/ALAMY
had my AA uniform on, he proudly
told me he was an AA Gold member.
Out of interest, I asked what he
was paying. When I told him what
a new customer on the exact same
package would pay – half of what
he was paying – he was furious. As I
left, he was getting on the phone to
give them hell, but he wouldn’t have
got a refund of any previous years’
overpayments.”
The pair say they earn a
basic salary of £15,600 plus 15%
commission on sales up to £3,000
a month, while those who are selfemployed are paid on a commissiononly basis – typically up to 60% of
the first-year membership fee.
The whistleblowers claim:
• People from eastern Europe,
who have poor English, are often
promised European cover is
included when it is not. They only
find this out when they break down,
and have their claim declined.
• Individuals are sold a more
expensive “any car” policy even
though they only ever use one.
• Customers complaining have to
wait until their policy has lapsed for 90
days before they can rejoin via the field
sales team at the discounted price.
• AA Gold members (those who
have been members for five years
or more) are often paying twice as
much as a customer who has just
joined from the RAC. The AA’s data
Continued Page 48
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•
48
Continued Page 47
shows its customers typically stay
with the firm for 12 years.
AA president Edmund King says:
“We are very clear about putting our
members at the heart of what we
do and delivering excellent service.
Treating customers fairly is built into
all of our policies and processes, and
into the training of all our people
whatever their role in the AA.
“We have worked hard to
promote our great products in a fair
and transparent way. We do offer
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
Money
discounted introductory offers (via a
sales force, online call centres and in
advertising).
“In effect, the first year cover
is, on average, 40% less than
the full price. This is specified
on the website and in our sales
conversations as an ‘introductory
offer’. This is also common practice
in many fields including newspapers
(including the Guardian),
magazines, wine clubs, broadband
and phone companies, travel and
other motoring organisations.”
He says the AA writes to all
customers before renewal, at which
point they have a choice whether to
renew or not. “Our letters are very
clear and go far beyond much that
is seen in the commercial world.
We are proud to comply with the
FCA’s requirements on renewal
transparency.”
In regard to customers moving
home and not seeing renewal letters,
King says: “We have strengthened all
of our procedures for following up
on returned mail when people have
moved. We use a range of methods
to re-establish contact.”
What you tell us
Our consumer champions have
received a number of letters from
disgruntled AA customers. As MM
says: “We have been with the AA
for 30 years and been impressed by
the service. This week, however,
our account was in the red with a
massive debit of £353 for our joint
breakdown cover – a 50% increase.
“I called the AA to cancel and was
immediately offered a refund of
£123, taking us back to the previous
price. I was told ‘We did not
overcharge you – we charged you the
full price and now we are giving you
a discount’.
“Our annual fee has never
increased by more than a few
pounds. Given its undoubtedly
large customer base, this policy
of overcharging by 50% means a
massive windfall for the company.”
On reflection
Patrick Collinson
The big test for your retirement
is making your pension pot last
for two decades – or longer
T
Long-term investment partners
his week millions of
workers will be forced
to save more into a
pension, as “autoenrolment” takes a 3%
cut from pay packets,
and employers are obliged to chip
in a further 2% of salary. Next year
it will rise to a total of 8%. It’s not a
lot, but it’s a start.
Now comes the much bigger
challenge: making the money you
save last two, and possibly three,
decades of retirement.
In the past, employees in
final salary-based schemes had
certainty about the income they
would receive annually, and the
security that it would be paid every
year until their death. Now, outside
of the public sector, that security
has all but vanished. “Here’s the
£106,000 you saved. Cheerio and
good luck to you” is, basically, what
you’re going to hear. £106,000, by
the way, is the average amount
55- to 65-year-olds currently have
saved in a workplace “defined
contribution” pension, according
to pension company Aegon.
Will you get much advice?
Probably not – many professional
advisers will turn their noses up
at such small sums (to them). And
finding a decent adviser is a lottery
in itself.
No, you’ll be left largely alone to
navigate a world of “drawdown”
plans, investment options,
“uncrystalised” funds, annuities,
and how and when to take the 25%
tax-free lump sum.
You will also need to learn an
ugly new word – “decumulation”
– and take some big guesses
about your health and longevity.
The single biggest problem
with managing your money in
retirement is that you don’t know
when you’ll die, or whether or not
you’ll need costly long-term care.
The potential for rip-offs is
enormous. That’s why the pension
minister, Guy Opperman, must
take on board recommendations
this week from the work and
pensions select committee and
create a low-cost deal at retirement
which is as automatic as the current
enrolment system.
The weirdness of our marketbased pension system is that Nest,
the government-owned body that
delivers auto-enrolment for many
small employers, is forbidden
from offering drawdown or other
decumulation plans. Why? Because
they will probably do it cheaper
than the profit-seeking private
companies.
This nonsense has to end. Nest
must provide a low-cost benchmark
service for managing your money
through retirement – and in effect
force the private companies to fall
in line.
The work and pensions committee
has proposed a sensible 0.75% a year
charging cap for drawdown, which
has prompted caterwauling from
the private pension providers that a
“one size fits all” service won’t work.
But the well-off can do what they
like – this is about providing cheap
no-nonsense drawdown plans for
those who have saved relatively little
through auto-enrolment.
But none of this is going to
lessen the challenge of saving
enough first. The grim reality is
that while £106,000 sounds like a
lot of money, it is peanuts when it
comes to pensions. It will give you
an income of less than £5,000 a year
in retirement – and leaves you wide
open to the vagaries of inflation
and any stock market collapses. If
you want an income of £25,000 a
year in retirement – consisting of
£8,300-a-year state pension as well
as a £16,700-a-year private pension
– that many say is the benchmark for
a decent life, you will have to save
north of £300,000.
But don’t get too depressed – if
you are a couple, both 40, with no
savings so far, but can stretch to
putting aside £40 per week each into
a pension scheme, then it’s (just)
possible to hit the £25,000-a-year
target income that many experts say
is what you need. Good luck.
p.collinson@theguardian.com
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:49 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
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•
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
Money
49
Railroaded East End artists and small
businesses driven out as rents spiral
Many, based in railway
arches for decades, feel they
have no choice but to move.
Julia Kollewe reports on
their struggle for survival
S
piralling rents are
driving growing
numbers of artists and
small businesses out of
London’s East End, with
the problem expected to
spread to other cities around the UK.
Faced with rent increases of 200%
to 300%, small businesses that have
been based in the capital for decades
are being forced to relocate to Kent
or Essex, according to the New
Economics Foundation thinktank
and the East End Trades Guild
(EETG) founded in 2012 representing
230 small firms with a combined
turnover of more than £80m.
In many cases, traders are being
replaced by cafes and workspaces
designed for people working on
laptops.
Of those that remain, many are
struggling for survival, as business
rates also went up substantially last
year for the first time in seven years.
Frances Northrop of the New
Economics Foundation says:
“Imagine London without the
small businesses of Portobello
Road, Brick Lane, Columbia Road
and Chinatown. They are being
driven out by the cold logic of everincreasing rents.”
Many small independent
businesses are based in railway
arches across London, often owned
by Network Rail or Transport for
London.
Network Rail has almost 4,500
arches across the UK, with twothirds of those in London. Transport
for London, meanwhile, owns about
2,000 commercial units .
Derec Hickman of Chu’s Garage
in Hackney, who runs the Guardians
of the Arches, a group that is open
to traders in the rest of the UK,
says: “The action is spreading from
London to other cities. What’s
happening to us will happen to
them.”
Five of his neighbours are looking
to leave, and one trader has already
moved out of the arches due to the
crippling rent increases.
The EETG is proposing a London
working rent: an affordable formula
for small and micro-businesses akin
to the London living rent, and has
received backing from the mayors of
Hackney and Tower Hamlets.
The New Economics Foundation
is in the process of working out a
formula. Guardian Money spoke to a
number of small businesses affected
by the rent hikes.
Poetstyle
The bespoke furniture maker was
one of the first tenants at Bayford
Street Industrial Units in Hackney,
Urban Species
Sarah Haque and her son launched
their company in 2004 in Cheshire
Street, Shoreditch, to create and sell
T-shirts and other products designed
by London and UK-based artists.
Their business rate has gone up
from £1,100 to £16,000 a year, while
the annual rent charged by their
private landlord is rising to £29,000
plus VAT in a stepped five-year
increase, compared with £8,500 in
2006. No improvements have been
made to the space, she says.
Haque says she had to reduce her
staff from 10 to four. “It’s very, very
sad because we’ve been here more
than 10 years and it’ll be sad to leave.
We can’t increase our business, we
are late in paying the rent and late in
paying salaries. It’s just a mess.”
Tatty Devine
Best known for its laser-cut Perspex
jewellery, Tatty Devine is run by
Rosie Wolfenden and Harriet Vine,
who founded the business together
in 1999, and were awarded MBEs for
services to the fashion industry in
2013.
They opened a shop in London’s
Brick Lane in 2000 – but Wolfenden
says the shop rent has quadrupled
since then.
“It’s getting to the point where it’s
unaffordable,” she says. “It’s driving
out so many creatives from Hackney
or Tower Hamlets. A lot have gone to
Kent, to Margate.”
She notes that there are lot of
empty shops in east London.
Wolfenden adds: “If we were to
inflate our prices to match the rent
and rate rises, we would go out of
business.”
She says the business is surviving
because it includes retail, wholesale
and e-commerce, and could not have
been set up in the same location if
she and Vine were starting it today.
▲ Survival tactics … Tatty Devine’s
Harriet Vine and Rosie Wolfenden
What the owners say
PHOTOGRAPH: JON@ATTENBOROUGH.NET
Network Rail
On the claim that it is hiking rents in
order to pocket a bigger profit from
the sale of property, it says: “This is
completely untrue. Any reviews are
part of business-as-usual activity.
The sale will be based on past
performance and receipts of the
estate over a number of years.”
Asked about increases of 200% to
300% or more, it says: “This is not
typical at all … average increases
reflect the numbers of years since
the last review, up to six, and the
average market rents in the area,
which we use for comparison as
we aim to be competitive.” Rents,
it says, are very competitive,
adding: “We support thousands
of independent businesses across
the country … where significant
increases are proposed, we
look to mitigate the impact by
negotiating with tenants and,
where appropriate, offering stepped
increases … we are a taxpayerfunded public company, with a
responsibility to use funds from
rents and sales to invest in growing
the railway. Rents are at the low end
to ensure they are competitive.”
Transport for London
Graeme Craig, director of
commercial development, says:
“We are committed to encouraging
diverse, small businesses as they
are vital to London’s economy. Our
leases are flexible … and we are
working with Tower Hamlets and
Hackney and the EETG to explore
how we might change our policies to
allow smaller businesses to continue
to flourish on our estate.”
built by the Greater London Council
in the 1980s to attract local business
and jobs to a then-run down area.
This year, unable to meet the
now private landlord’s demands
to double the rent, Poetstyle, with
its 15 furniture makers, moved to
Hainault, on the border of London
and Essex. Managing director
Charlie Fox says it has just moved
out of its second workshop in a
railway arch in Hackney after facing
a similar rent hike there.
He says Network Rail originally
asked for £31 per sq ft, which was
then reduced to £18 until September,
but going up to £24 thereafter. He
was originally paying £14.
“It’s not really viable,” he says. “It
is tough, ever since Brexit, but I just
can’t hike the price of a sofa because
I’m up against cheap imports.”
Chu’s Garage
The MOT garage in a railway arch in
London Fields, east London, was
founded by Quang Chu 30 years ago.
He is battling a rent increase from
Network Rail, his landlord, which
originally wanted to hike the rent
from £18,000 to £38,000 (or £35,000
if the garage gave up its secured
tenancy).
Network Rail is now asking for a
stepped increase to £26,500 in the
first year, going up to £34,000 in the
third year, says the firm.
Ten other traders in the arches
were put under the same pressure,
says Derec Hickman, who married
into the Vietnamese family that
founded Chu’s Garage.
The garage and one other trader
are due to go to arbitration, where
the rent will be set by independent
assessors.
Chu’s Garage faces a rent
rise from £18k to £34k
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•
50
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
Money
Tax matters
Big changes ahead
The new tax year began yesterday,
with a bigger than usual set of
changes. Here’s what to expect:
• Personal allowance The amount
you can earn without paying income
tax rises from £11,500 to £11,850, a
cut of £70 for most people.
• Income tax The starting point for
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
paying 20% basic rate tax will be
£11,850, while 40% tax will start on
earnings above £46,350 (up from
£45,000). In Scotland, the £11,850
personal allowance is the same, but
the first £2,000 of earnings after that
are taxed at 19%, then 20% tax until
earnings hit £24,000, when it rises to
21%. Above £43,430 the rate is 41%.
Above the £150k upper rate England
pays 45%, Scotland 46%.
• National insurance will be
charged at 12% on earnings above
£8,424, up from £8,164 until you are
earning more than £46,350, then
the rate drops to 2%. It’s the same in
Scotland.
• Buy-to-let landlords will only be
able to offset 50% of their mortgage
interest when calculating their tax
bill, compared with 75% before.
Full details: see tomorrow’s Observer
You’re the expert
Friends had a BBQ last week (yes, it did
rain), which made me think, ‘I need one this
year!’ When’s best to buy one? Should it be
a classic charcoal or a gas-can version? And
which is more neighbour-friendly (I live in
a terrace)? I have £100-£150 to spend.
Second question first: the best way
to stay neighbour-friendly is to
invite them to the BBQ. Either they
come and enjoy it, or decline but
accept that you are having one. Gas
is quicker to get started. Charcoal
takes longer and requires a bit more
practice, but can produce better
flavours. If you want smokiness with
gas, get a smoke box and fill it with
wood chippings. Think about how
you want to use it, how often, how
spontaneously. Justabloke
If you’re the type to come home after
work and think “I fancy bbq-ing
dinner tonight”, get gas. If you’re
only ever going to open it up for
guests, go for charcoal. The one
thing charcoal is best at – long, slow
cooking over several hours – is the
one thing almost no one uses it for.
In all other cases, gas with a smoke
box is pretty much equivalent and
easier. And cheaper, too. Chznuck
Whatever you buy, prepare to be
disappointed. TrelawneyoftheWells
You can’t go wrong with a Weber
Kettle – it’s charcoal. Connorwaffa
“When’s best to buy?” September,
when they want to clear stock ready
for winter. The absolute worst
time is about now, when people
are anticipating the first sunny
weekend. salamandertome
Gas BBQs for that budget will be a
waste of money. Having had a pretty
expensive but great Outback for 12
years, I got a relatively cheap John
Lewis own-brand gas one – I would
be better off with half a dozen Bic
lighters! Have reverted to charcoal.
BUT get yourself a “chimney
starter”, too. The lady in the shop
said “It will change your life”! I
wouldn’t go that far, but it makes
starting a charcoal BBQ a piece of
cake. Rob Bray
You need £500 for anything halfdecent which runs on gas. gibboo
A Cadac Safari Chef 2 is 80 quid and
is pretty amazing. nyanza
Spend thousands on a kitchen, then
go outside and cook over a bucket.
leadballoon
That’s my thinking! On a nice day,
grill the food in your kitchen and take
it outside? Quicker, more hygienic,
Get yourself a chimney
firestarter – appararently
‘it will change your life’
and saves buying and having to
clean said barbecue. Dave141
I have a portable electric grill that
does the job very well. I can take
it indoors if it rains and continue
cooking. Try doing that with
charcoal – doesn’t do a lot for the
paintwork. praha7
I have a small gas Weber and use it
frequently – breakfast and dinner.
It has become an extension of the
kitchen rather than an event. I would
certainly recommend spending the
extra on one if your kitchen is at the
back of the house. I also leave it out
all year uncovered – it will not rust.
georgegrant27
Charcoal gives the best flavour, but
the most important feature is that
you can adjust the height of the grill.
Arapkadri
Don’t buy one. We’re plagued in the
summer with clouds of black smoke
billowing over the hedge from our
neighbours’ barbecue. Goodness
only knows what is “cooking”. As
well as being unpleasant, they are
bad for the environment. Why not
cook indoors and take the food
outside? Marinade some fish,
grill some burgers – it’ll all taste
much better than being burnt
outside. And you’ll have happy
neighbours and be healthier, too.
Amuzzlewuzzant
I fully accept your environmental
concerns, but feel you’re missing the
social element. The interaction and
human contact you get from cooking
on a BBQ is unlike any other way of
cooking. As for the billowing smoke,
it sounds like your neighbours are
burning coal. ChopperC
It is relatively easy not to burn food
on a barbecue, and it can taste better,
or at least different, than when
cooked in a kitchen. Thistledae
Next week
Is there any point in taking out an Isa? My partner takes one out at the start
of every tax year and says I should too. But the rates are rubbish, and I can’t
see what the tax benefits are any longer. Should I carry on saving in one?
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:51 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
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•
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
Money
51
How I spend it
Mitchell Stuart pictured with
his Jeep and a new Porsche, worth
£70,000 (although it only set him
back £10,000 after a trade-in).
‘I didn’t have a penny to my name
and now I can walk into a dealership
and buy an iconic fast car outright.
That feels good’
PHOTOGRAPH: PHIL YEOMANS/BNPS
Name
Mitchell
Stuart
Age 21
Income
£100,000
(after tax)
Occupation
Social media
entrepreneur
We are keen
to hear how
you spend it:
maybe you’re
a “squeezed
middle” just
about coping
financially;
a pensioner
working part
time; or a young
adult saving
furiously for
a home. If you
would like to
appear in this
column, contact
spend.it@
theguardian.
com
I
started my social media
consultancy business from
scratch at the age of 17,
selling targeted advertising
space on social media sites
like Facebook. Four years
later, it’s a multimillion-pound
business and I earn a five-figure
sum every month, but I’m still young
– and I want to have as much fun as
I can and see what the world has to
offer. So I usually take a couple of
weeks off work every month and go
abroad.
I prefer to travel by private jet
because you can rock up at the
airport 10 minutes before the flight.
There’s no queuing and you get
driven right from the plane door to
immigration. I must save at least
six hours of my time per round trip.
That’s important to me, because I
tend to work incredibly hard when
I’m not on holiday, typically putting
in a 10- to 15-hour day.
I must have taken 45 or 50 flights
in the past year to 30 different
places. I like to go skiing or visit
Paris, Milan and new places – I love
immersing myself in new cultures.
I don’t own my own jet; I pay for a
membership service that enables
me to get seats on private charters.
I see the expense as cost-neutral
because I often meet other CEOs
and business leaders onboard.
We’ll have a friendly conversation,
build up a relationship and end up
doing business together. I reckon
I’ve drummed up around £250,000
of work for my business over the
last few months, just by taking
private jets.
I’ll usually stay in a hotel that
costs £200 to £800 a night or in
the summer I’ll charter a boat for
£1,000 to £2,000 a day. I want to
experience the best things in life.
The service you get when you pay
that kind of money is immaculate
and the food you eat is delicious.
£300
£1,000
The top amount spent per month on
his dog Charlie, which can include
steak in the pub (no sauce!)
The amount often made overnight
from bitcoin investments, although
he lost £7k when the market fell
I like eating out most days. I think
I only cooked one meal last week.
I must spend about £300 to £500 a
week on food, maybe more.
As a treat, last year, I flew my
mum to Scotland on a private jet and
took her to a spa. She loved that.
Home is a three-bed apartment on
the cliffs near Poole in Dorset. I live
alone, except for my English springer
spaniel, Charlie. I must spend £200
to £300 a month on her. When I take
her on a walk to my local pub, I’ll buy
her a cooked steak – no sauce.
I’ve got a six-figure sum invested
in cryptocurrencies, and it’s not
uncommon for me to make around
£1,000 overnight. I’ve made around
£60,000 to £70,000 in total although
I lost £7,000 recently when bitcoin
fell back.
I have two buy-to-let properties
I own which pay my mortgage, and
I’m about to take on a third one. And
I do guaranteed rentals; I rent, say,
a three-bed home and pay £1,500 a
month to the landlord guaranteed
for five years, then I make it an HMO
(house of multiple occupation)
doing things like changing the
lounge into a bedroom and earning
more than the £1,500 rent.
Recently, I bought a £12,000 jet
ski. I also bought a £70,000 Porsche.
I traded in another car I owned to
get the Porsche, so it actually only
cost me about £10,000 upfront. I
enjoy driving, the business is going
well and I’ve always aspired to own
nice things so I thought: why not?
Just three years ago, I didn’t have
a penny to my name and now I can
walk into a dealership and buy an
iconic fast car outright. That feels
good.
I still appreciate the value of
money. I’m a young entrepreneur,
and I’ve worked hard for
everything I’ve earned – nobody
gave me the money to start my
business. But I don’t believe in just
working, working, working to earn
money. I can’t buy myself time and
the more money I make, the more I
want to maximise my time on this
planet. In my opinion, that is money
well spent.
As told to Donna Ferguson
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52
Classified
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•
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
Money
53
Holmfirth, West Yorkshire
£850,000
Sit on the veranda-style patio of this large,
four double-bedroom house and admire
the stunning vista of the Holme Valley. With
a smart and elegant interior, perhaps the
best thing about this hillside property is the
1.5 acres of private gardens replete with lawn
surrounded by mature trees and shrubs at
the front and a woodland area to the rear. The
sense of privacy is accentuated by a sweeping
driveway entrance accessed by electric gates.
The house also boasts a big basement with
both a utility room and some storage space.
William H Brown 01484 687 818
▲ Wye Valley, Glos
£475,000
Fantasy
house hunt
Five of the best
hillside homes
The Mount in Lydbrook overlooks a
tributary of the Wye, woodland and
rolling hills. The detached cottage,
well decorated with period features,
hosts a living room, kitchen/diner,
utility room and shower room on the
ground floor plus four bedrooms,
one en-suite, and a family bathroom
upstairs. The half acre of gardens
span various levels, with several
buildings including a former stable.
Fine & Country 01989 764 132.
Compiled by Jill Papworth
Malvern, Worcestershire
£1,095,000
Nearly 1,000 feet above sea level,
Wycheway House straddles
the border of Worcestershire
and Herefordshire on the top
of the Malvern Hills. To say it
offers “breathtaking” views over
seven counties is, for once, not
exaggerated estate agents’ speak.
The house is large, eco-friendly and
sleekly contemporary arranged as
a three-bed house on the ground
floor and a self-contained two bed
apartment on the lower ground.
A mile from Great Malvern and 10
miles from Worcester.
Knight Frank, 01905 723 438
▼ Selattyn, Oswestry
£600,000
Ty Pant, a detached five-bed house
close to the Welsh border seems to
go on forever, just like the views
which extend across Shropshire
and Cheshire. Downstairs, there’s a
lounge, sitting room, dining room,
study, sun room, studio/workshop
and a large kitchen/breakfast room.
Outside, there’s 12 acres and a deck
that makes the most of the almost
360-degree views. Purple Bricks,
08008 108 008
Brandsby, York
£2.35m
Cherry Hill, a restored Edwardian
country house, stands in its own
6.7 acres of grounds close to the
village of Brandsby on the edge of
the Howardian Hills. Its elevated
position means uninterrupted
views across to York, 15 miles away.
With nine bedrooms already on the
first floor, there is enough space on
the second – once the nursery and
school rooms – to create a home
office or even a separate flat. Within
the grounds are formal, terraced
gardens, a tennis court, a 2.5-acre
paddock and – rather unexpected
in North Yorkshire – an open-air
swimming pool, thankfully heated.
Savills York, 01904 617 820
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54
Classified
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•
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
Money
55
Consumer champions
Miles Brignall & Rebecca Smithers
Not-so-smart meters, BT won’t stop cancelling
our broadband, and Milk & yet more complaints
Clouds over our ‘Sunny Boy’
We have a problem with our energy supplier, Green
Star. In February it offered us the free installation of
a smart meter, and it seemed like a good idea to go
ahead. A young man changed both the electricity and
gas meters. He was only here for a very short time,
even though he initially expressed concern that it
would be impossible to fit a new gas meter because of
the lead piping attached to the old one.
A week later, on a sunny day, I noticed that
our wireless “Sunny Boy” meter was recording
no energy generated by our eight solar panels.
Further investigation revealed that the inverter,
that processes the energy produced, had stopped
working due to a “voltage error”. It happened at the
exact time that the smart meter installation was
going on, so I feel it is safe to assume that the two
incidents are connected.
Since then, I have been trying to get Green Star to
come and rectify the problem. I keep getting told that
the matter will be addressed in the next seven days
but nothing happens. We are losing out on the income
that the panels should be producing.
NB, Leicester
Green Star Energy – one of the challenger suppliers –
told us that of the many smart meters the installation
company has fitted, this is the first time it has seen
such an issue. It confirmed that the inverter cut out
as a safety feature. It has now sent a team member to
visit your home to reset the safety device. This did not
work, so it has arranged for an engineer to attend.
It has also apologised for failing to respond quickly
enough and said that it will make up any income lost as
said it was more profitable for him and easier to service
his customers if it was not done via the company
website.
JS, by email
Our postbag suggests that lots of people appear to be at
the end of their tether with the M&M website, and this is
at least one solution. The Brignall household left them a
few years ago and, instead, switched to a local dairy that
has been very reliable and quite a bit cheaper.
And finally …
BT … sorry, but it won’t all ‘be fine’
Since we started our broadband with BT in June 2017,
they have three times cancelled our service despite us
assuring them we still wanted it. And each time they did
this, they tried to bill us for the remaining amount of our
contracts.
This first started when neighbours moved in next
door and we started receiving “somebody wants to
take over your line” messages. After this, we were set
up on an 18-month contract, but were assured that we
could cancel six months in. However, this contract was
cancelled again and we received another bill for early
termination. All in all BT has tried to bill us £370, then
£550, and now £239. Each time I complain I am told “it
will be fine” but nothing gets resolved.
BM, by email
Milkman delivers the answer
PHOTOGRAPH: DAVID J GREEN/ALAMY
PHOTOGRAPH:
ANDREW PATERSON/
ALAMY
a result, although given that the sun has barely appeared
in the last few months, that won’t be a huge amount.
On a wider issue, I would strongly advise readers to
be cautious of having a smart meter installed, unless
you get a written guarantee that it will be a second
generation, Smets2 version.
It emerged in February that only 80 of these improved
meters that allow easy switching, and better remote
reading, had so far been installed in the UK. Over 9m
of the Smets1 meters are in UK homes, but users have
found that after they switched supplier, they lost the
meter’s smart functions. The meter then had to be read
manually.
The whole thing is a giant, expensive mess.
Last month, the National Audit Office, the public
spending watchdog, opened an investigation into
the smart meter programme, which has cost £11bn so
far — scandalously paid for by all of us through higher
electricity bills.
What a saga this has been, and you are not the first BT
customer to complain its staff appear powerless to
resolve problems. The company told us your problems
were caused by an error in matching addresses when a
new customer applied for service.
Happily, the matter is now resolved. BT has
apologised, refunded the charges, paid you £30 for loss
of service and a further £30 as a goodwill gesture.
▲ Some smart meters, it seems, are smarter than others.
For one
customer, direct
communication
with the
milkman proved
easier than going
through the Milk
& More website.
Following the comments regarding the poor service
from Milk & More last week, I just wanted to add that
I opted out of the company’s internet service and
returned to direct communication with our milkman.
I think it was because he was a franchisee. My milkman
We welcome
letters but
cannot answer
individually.
Email us at
consumer.
champions@
theguardian.
com or write
to Consumer
Champions,
Money, the
Guardian,
90 York Way,
London N1 9GU.
Please include
a daytime
phone number.
Submission
and publication
of all letters is
subject to our
terms and
conditions:
http://gu.com/
letters-terms
Several readers have contacted us in recent weeks angry
and frustrated with what they allege is a collapse in
service standards at British Gas’s HomeCare division
during the recent “beast from the east”. Julia Edwards
was not alone in complaining that it had stopped
answering its phones entirely when she tried to claim
on her HomeCare agreement. It later emerged that the
British Gas call centres in Scotland only had a skeleton
staff because of the snow.
Others, many elderly, who have been paying £600
a year to the firm, say they were left without heating
and hot water for days during the cold spell. Add in
the complaints we have received saying the company
stretches its “annual” service to a year and a half, and
you can see why it could be time to bin these policies.
• If you have a condensing boiler that stops working in
the very cold weather, the first thing to do is to check
that the condensate pipe hasn’t become blocked with
ice. A couple of readers needlessly sat for days without
heating. The pipe comes out of the back of the boiler
to the outside, and normally drips small amounts
of water. If the temperature is below freezing over
several days it freezes, and the boiler will shut down.
Either some hot – not boiling – water or a hot water
bottle, will soon unblock it, and the boiler should
work again.
You won’t be waiting days for a plumber to turn up
either, or pay a £100 call-out charge for this super easy
job to be done. It’s worth spending 10 minutes locating
your pipe, at some point before next winter. There are a
host of clips on YouTube explaining what to do.
Compiled this week by Miles Brignall
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•••
Membership
57
▼ The long read: ‘It’s never easy
to explain, but the great ideas
are immediately exciting’
ILLUSTRATION: NATHALIE LEES
How we make … the long read
From the rise of the sandwich
to the fall of globalisation
It often takes months to
prepare the three long-form
stories we publish each week
Jonathan Shainin
B
efore we launched
the long read in 2014,
dozens of my new
colleagues at the
Guardian asked me
versions of the same
question: “So, what is a long read?”
In other words, what will actually go
into this new section of the paper?
And how will it be different from the
many features the paper is already
publishing, apart from being longer?
In those early months, I found
this hard to answer. Or maybe my
elaborate descriptions of criteria
for hypothetical stories were not
very illuminating, because nobody
seemed to understand what I was on
about.
About four years and 500 stories
later, I think colleagues and readers
know what to expect from the long
read. But it’s still not easy to answer
the question “what is it?” in a way
that defines the common thread
between stories about the rise of
the British sandwich, the meaning
of neoliberalism, the war between
humans and rats, or the invention of
political correctness – other than a
commitment to produce stories that
are worth the time it takes to read
(or, increasingly, to listen to on our
podcast).
In a way, the best answer is that
the most distinctive thing about our
section is not the large number of
words in each story but the small
number of stories in our pages. We
publish three pieces each week –
on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Each story takes up three pages in
the print newspaper – or about 15
minutes to read on your phone.
As an editor, that means whatever
we put in that space had better be
worth the time – the time for you to
read it, of course, but also the time
it takes to report, write and edit it, a
process that usually takes more than
a month and sometimes stretches
to five or six. In comparison with
the hectic working pace of our
colleagues on the newsdesk, our
process sometimes looks more like
making a television programme
or a documentary film, although
with rather less glamour and much
smaller budgets.
The making of a long read almost
always starts with a series of
meetings. Most start with a pitch:
every week we get about 50 ideas
from journalists around the world,
along with suggestions from our
Guardian colleagues. At the end of
the week I sit down with the other
two long read editors, Clare Longrigg
and David Wolf, to review this pile
of ideas and discuss new projects we
might assign to our stable of regular
writers. Should we do an essay about
the rise of “clean eating”? Is there a
good story to be written about the
huge political scandal in Brazil? Why
do so many leading politicians have
PPE degrees from Oxford? What’s
actually going to happen when the
Queen dies?
What are we looking for in a
story? It’s never easy to explain
what separates the best ideas from
the rest – but the great ones are
immediately exciting. As soon as
you hear it, you want to know more.
Sometimes because it’s surprising or
shocking or scandalous: the parents
who murdered their adopted child,
the policeman who killed 100
suspects, the lawyer who defends
pornographers. Sometimes a great
idea shows you something you took
for granted ( banter, bottled water or
betting shops) from an entirely new
angle. Sometimes it’s a story about
ideas themselves, and how they
have shaped the news we read every
day: how globalisation turned sour,
how statistics lost their power, how
technology disrupted the truth.
We like to tell writers that a
great story has to grab the reader,
point out of the window and say:
“Whoa! Look over there! Something
important is happening!” We’re
looking for stories that feel urgent
to this moment, that can be
informative and definitive – but
also for stories that are astonishing,
unexpected and entertaining.
Of course, the idea is only the
beginning. The next step is another
meeting to talk about how to tell
In comparison with
the hectic newsdesk,
our process looks
like making a film,
although with rather
less glamour
the story. You’ve got 5,000 words:
what’s going in the first section?
What happens in the middle? How
does it end? Is there one main
character? Or many separate scenes?
Is it about one big idea? Does it
proceed chronologically or start in
the present and flash back to the
past?
We often ask the writer to produce
an outline that sketches how they
envision the piece, and then they
start reporting. We ask them to
produce a more detailed outline
before they begin writing so that we
can discuss the best way to marshal
the material into a first draft. After
the first draft there’s usually another
meeting – and then a second draft,
and often a third, sometimes a
fourth, a fifth. You get the picture.
When we started, there was still
some scepticism about whether
digital readers would make time
for stories of this sort – or whether
there was a large audience for
deeply reported and intensively
edited pieces about big ideas and
unexpected topics. But it turns out
that readers (and listeners) love the
sense of getting beneath the surface
of something – getting the definitive
story from a journalist who has done
months of reporting.
As our editor, Katharine Viner,
wrote in a 2016 long read about how
technology changed the media:
“The journalism that people value
the most is that for which they can
tell someone has put in a lot of work
– where they can feel the effort that
has been expended on their behalf,
over tasks big or small, important or
entertaining.” So that’s what we do.
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:58 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
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•
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
58
The week
that was
South Africa
Winnie MadikizelaMandela dies, aged 81
Space
China’s Tiangong-1 space
station crashes into Pacific
China’s defunct Tiangong-1 space
station fell out of orbit on Monday
and crashed into the southern
Pacific Ocean. China’s space agency
said Tiangong-1 would have mostly
burned up in the atmosphere before
any remnants hit the sea.
Tiangong-1, or Heavenly Palace 1,
was a symbol of China’s rise
when it launched in 2011 as part
of the country’s ambitious space
programme, which aims to place a
permanent station in orbit by 2023.
The US military confirmed the
space station’s demise. The orbiting
laboratory – last visited by Chinese
astronauts in 2013 – was known to
have been out of control for about
two years.
The original plan was to
decommission the space station in
2013 but its mission was repeatedly
extended. It became apparent in
2016 that China had lost control
of the craft, which had stopped
functioning and was no longer
responding to commands from the
ground.
In December 2017, China alerted
the UN that Tiangong-1 would come
down by late March 2018 but could
not predict exactly when or where.
Madikizela-Mandela, a hero
of the anti-apartheid struggle
in South Africa but also one of
its most controversial figures,
died on Monday, aged 81.
The ex-wife of the late
Nelson Mandela, former
South African president, she
died in Johannesburg after
a long illness.
Seen as the “mother of the
nation” by many who admired
her leadership, rhetoric and
activism against a brutal racist
regime, Madikizela-Mandela
was also repeatedly accused
of being linked to violence
and corruption.
She was one of the few
remaining representatives
of the generation of activists
who led the fight against
apartheid. Her often negative
image abroad contrasts with
her deep and long-lasting
popularity in her homeland.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
said she was “a defining
symbol” of the anti-apartheid
struggle whose “courageous
defiance was deeply
inspirational”.
MadikizelaMandela
addresses
a crowd in
Kagiso in 1986
GIDEON MENDEL/AFP/
GETTY
Crime
Gender pay gap
Woman dead after gun
attack at YouTube’s HQ
Wage reporting reveals
widespread disparities
A shooting at the headquarters
of YouTube in California left one
woman dead, believed to the
attacker, and at least three people
wounded. The shooter was later
named as Nasim Najafi Aghdam.
Aghdam opened fire on the
campus of the video-sharing
company in Silicon Valley about
lunchtime on Tuesday, forcing
employees to barricade themselves
in rooms or flee outside.
“Heard shots and saw people
running while at my desk. Now
barricaded inside a room with
co-workers,” Vadim Lavrusik, a
YouTube employee, said on Twitter.
Aghdam was a vegan activist
who ran a website where she posted
about Persian culture and veganism,
as well as long critiques of YouTube.
Almost eight in 10 companies and
public-sector bodies pay men more
than women it was revealed, as the
deadline passed for businesses to
report their gender pay gap.
Eight years after a law was tabled to
compel companies across Britain to
reveal the extent of the difference
between male and female wages,
the data showed that women were
being paid a median hourly rate that,
on average, was 9.7% less than their
male colleagues.
By midnight on Wednesday, 3,010
organisations, from a total of 10,014
that had filed, reported a pay gap
that was higher than the national
median of 18.4%.
Earlier figures from public-sector
organisations, which had to report
their gender pay gaps by 30 March,
suggested nine in 10 paid men more
than women, with an overall gender
pay gap of 14%.
More than 1,100 companies
reported their figures in the 24
hours before the deadline – more
than the total number of companies
that had reported in the first 326
days of the scheme. Companies
had to file data based on a
“snapshot” of their payroll taken on
5 April 2017. Companies will
now have to repeat the exercise on a
yearly basis.
The data-gathering exercise –
unmatched anywhere else to date
– will force employers to look at the
barriers facing women’s progression
in the workplace, according to Sam
Smethers, the chief executive of
the Fawcett Society. “It’s a game
changer. It forces employers to
look at themselves and understand
their organisations and it prompts
employees to ask some hard
questions,” she said.
Television
Steven Bochco, producer
of Hill Street Blues, dies
Bochco, the writer and producer
known for creating the police drama
Hill Street Blues, died on Sunday
after a battle with cancer.
During its seven-season run in the
1980s, the show won 26 Emmys and
launched Bochco on a course that
led to dozens of series and earned
him 10 Emmys. Bochco’s other hit
▲ Steven Bochco won several Emmy
awards for his ground-breaking work
series included LA Law, NYPD Blue
and Doogie Howser, MD.
With a sprawling universe of
engaging yet flawed characters, a
zippy pace and layers of overlapping,
scripted dialogue, shot in a
documentary style – Hill Street Blues
helped the way for the HBO-led TV
revolution of the late 90s and 00s.
The show conveyed the sheer
jostle and bustle of a modern
police department. Here, multiple
officers wrestled with typewriters,
shouted down phones or at each
other and tried to conduct police
business while under-resourced
and time-skint in the face of a tide
of criminality. Bochco challenged
the viewer to accept a new form of
dramatic overload as well as a more
realistic depiction of crime fighting
and the people wearing the badge.
Bochco’s vision and aptitude for
storytelling and narrative arcs were
an inspiration to the likes of David
Simon and David Chase.
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:59 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
In brief
Sent at 6/4/2018 14:13
•
Zero
55
Number of female acts in Radio X listeners’
list of 100 great British songs (Although New
Order and Pulp each have a female member.)
Oasis (right) had five tracks in the top 20 alone
Art
FRAUNHOFER FHR / AFP / MOVIESTORE/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK / REX
Lost Paolozzi mural comes
back to life in Berlin
Tourists heading to Berlin this spring will not
have to pay an entrance fee to a gallery to view
the city’s best-kept art secret. On the corner
of Kurfürstenstrasse and Budapester Strasse,
just across from the Berlin aquarium, visitors
can admire a black and white work by the pop
art pioneer Eduardo Paolozzi, lost to the world
for three decades until its re-emergence this
year. Painted on the side of a building in 1976 to
mark the end of the Scottish artist’s year-long
stay in Berlin, the mural was soon covered up
by banking offices that are currently being
demolished, thus briefly revealing its retrofuturistic curves, just as a smaller replica of
the same work is on display at the Berlinische
Galerie on the other side of the city.
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
59
Number of murder investigations
conducted by Scotland Yard in 2018
Two deaths in Hackney on Wednesday
were the latest killings in London
Fossils
Japan
The Isle of Skye’s latest
dinosaur discovery
Women helping ill mayor
kicked out of sumo ring
It’s now a windswept island boasting
pine martens, red deer and puffins.
But 170m years ago, some very
different beasts were leaving their
mark on the Isle of Skye. Researchers
have unearthed a site of about 50
tracks, some as big as a car tyre, from
dinosaurs that roamed the island
during the Middle Jurassic.
The study, published in the
Scottish Journal of Geology, builds
on previous dinosaur finds on the
island – not least a huge array of
tracks discovered in the north of
Skye in 2015 by the same team.
That site showed hundreds
of footprints, almost all from
enormous, long-necked, planteating dinosaurs known as
sauropods. But the newly discovered
site reveals that these hefty beasts
were sharing their spot with another
type of dinosaur: a meat-eater.
Women who rushed to the aid of a
man suffering a stroke while giving
a speech at a sumo event in Japan
were ordered off the raised ring due
to rules banning females from the
sacred space.
The 66-year-old mayor of Maizuru
city, Ryozo Tatami, collapsed on
the dohyo sumo ring in Kyoto on
Wednesday. The ring is traditionally
regarded as a sacred place in the
ancient sport and purified with
rituals by shinto priests before sumo
bouts. Women are banned from
participating in sumo tournaments
or ceremonies, as well as touching or
stepping on to the ring.
Nobuyoshi Hokutoumi, the
chairman of the Japan Sumo
Association (JSA) and a former
grand champion, later apologised
for the incident and expressed his
appreciation for the women’s help.
Environment
Anthropology
German fraudster makes
€1m ‘recycling bottles’
Research sheds light on
Neanderthals’ features
Recycling used bottles benefits
the environment and is good for
your conscience. But in Germany,
criminals have allegedly found
ways in which it can make you a
millionaire.
A 27-year-old man faced court on
Thursday in Bochum after allegedly
making €1.2m (£1.1m) through
manipulating machines used for the
German deposit return scheme.
He is accused of defrauding
drinks manufacturers by disabling
the mechanism on two machines,
allowing him to claim back deposits
for the same bottles over and over
again. With each plastic bottle
usually earning a 25-cent return,
the accused man would have had to
“recycle” his bottles 4.8m times.
With their prominent noses,
protruding faces and swept-back
cheekbones, Neanderthals were
nothing if not striking. Now
researchers say they have unpicked
why our big-browed cousins had
such distinctive features.
Previous research has suggested
a number of explanations for
Neanderthals’ facial shape, notably
that it enabled a forceful bite with
the front teeth.
The new study appears to rule
out that theory, instead supporting
other explanations including that it
provided an efficient way to warm
and moisten cold, dry air and move
large volumes of air through the
nasal passage – useful for life in a
harsh, cold climate.
Issue of
the week
Donald Trump’s
‘trade war’ with China
Fears that Donald Trump is
embroiling America in a global trade
war intensified this week after China
imposed tit-for-tat import taxes on
the US and stock markets plunged.
After Washington unveiled
plans to impose tariffs on $50bn
in Chinese imports on Tuesday,
President Xi Jinping hit back with
plans to tax a matching $50bn of
US products, including beef, cars,
planes, soya beans and whiskey.
Trump claimed last month on
Twitter: “Trade wars are good, and
easy to win.”
Larry Elliott,
in the Guardian
“For the moment, this is a game
of chicken. If Trump withdraws
his threatened tariffs, the Chinese
will do the same. A trade war is
not inevitable, but the risk of
sleepwalking into a conflict that
nobody really wants is there. The
economic consequences of this spat
still look less serious than they were
in the 1930s, when protectionism
was a response to a deep slump. The
global economy is growing quickly,
and it will take more than a 25% levy
on a combined $100bn of imports to
change that.”
Linda Yueh,
in the Guardian
“An escalation in this dispute
would be damaging for the US and
Chinese economies since global
companies, such as Apple, invest in
both countries. This would affect
not only US businesses but also
American consumers. Retailers
such as Walmart import goods
from China, so prices would go
up and living standards would be
squeezed. And since US goods are
sold worldwide, if they are reliant on
parts from China, consumers here in
the UK and in the rest of the world
would also be affected. The same
applies to Chinese consumers and
producers, particularly since about
half of Chinese exports are made by
enterprises with foreign investors.”
Paul Krugman,
in the New York
Times
“Even if we are headed for a trade
war, estimates of the costs of such
a war don’t come close to 10% of
GDP. In fact, it’s one of the dirty
little secrets of economics that
standard estimates of the cost of
protectionism, while not trivial,
aren’t usually earthshaking either.
The costs of protectionism come,
instead, from moving your economy
away from things you’re relatively
good at to things you aren’t –
American workers could sew clothes
together, instead of importing
apparel from Bangladesh.”
▼ The Scottish artist Eduardo
Paolozzi’s ‘lost’ 1976 mural
– now on display in Berlin
PHOTOGRAPH: HARRY SCHNITGER
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:60 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 11:46
•
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
60
The week
in culture
Pop
Kylie Minogue: Golden
(BMG)
★★★☆☆
Pop princess
finds a raw
poignancy in
banjo clucks
Film
A Quiet Place
★★★★★
Silence has
seldom
sounded so
terrifying
If ever a film had me mentally
tiptoeing over a booby-trapped
carpet of eggshells while quietly
gibbering with anxiety, it’s this
brutal sci-fi suspense thriller,
written by horror specialists Scott
Beck and Bryan Woods and directed
by John Krasinski, who developed
the screenplay with them and stars
– alongside Emily Blunt. It’s set in
a post-apocalyptic wasteland. But
this isn’t a young adult drama, it’s
a prematurely old adult drama,
a world in which innocence,
childhood and happiness have been
blowtorched off the face of the earth.
There has been some sort of
ecological disaster or invasion and
now all of humanity, or everyone in
this indeterminate part of the United
States, lives in fear of giant reptile
predators. The thing is, they’re blind
but have advanced hearing. So, as
long as you can keep silent all the
time, in a 24/7 hyper-alert state of
anticipation, you’re all right. But
making the slightest noise brings
them out, doing everything but sniff
the air, like a horrible mix of Ridley
Scott’s Alien, Spielberg’s T rex and
Robert Helpmann’s Child Catcher in
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Krasinski and Blunt play Lee and
Evelyn, a couple who run an efficient
Trappist-survivalist smallholding
in the countryside, while making
forays into the town for supplies. We
get the time-honoured scenes in the
ruined supermarket, and that weird
frisson of seeing stuff that you could
just take if you wanted, but who
cares now that law and order has
utterly broken down? One of their
kids wants to take a space shuttle toy
(poignantly yearning for a rocket to
take them all away from this ruined
planet) but Lee fixes him with a
bayonet gaze of disapproval, while
grabbing this unexploded noisebomb and silently removing the
batteries. That thing’s too dangerous.
Their son Marcus (Noah Jupe)
and daughter Megan (Millicent
Simmonds) are well drilled in the
new soundless, wordless discipline.
Megan is hearing impaired, so the
whole family has already had to
learn sign language to communicate.
Lee has even got his soldering iron
out and adapted a new hearing aid
for her. It is Megan’s disability that
has enabled the family to cope – an
elegant narrative contrivance. Yet,
a new challenge arrives. Evelyn is
pregnant, and now the adults must
wonder how she is going to have the
baby without modern anaesthetic
and without making a sound.
A world of horror is on the way.
A Quiet Place allows you to worry
at a strange thought: might it be
possible to live life entirely safely
and even normally in this situation,
if you could somehow mentally
train yourself, or evolve over a few
generations, to do without sound?
Might this be a workable, natural
mode of existence? Could you
internalise the fear and remain silent
to avoid the predators in the way
that you might naturally change
your habits in some locales to avoid
bears or snakes?
▲ A cracking back-to-basics thriller
… Emily Blunt in A Quiet Place
PHOTOGRAPH: JONNY COURNOYER/AP
Lee and Evelyn’s family have
developed a habit of joining hands
before they eat their meals: perhaps
what they used to do before saying
grace. In fact, there are certain times
they are allowed to make a moderate
amount of sound, and they have
war-gamed out certain situations
in which the production of sound
might help them in an all-out
confrontations with the beasts.
But the point is that suppressing
noise makes them yearn for it, not
simply as human expression but a
howl of rage or horror or despair at
what is happening. The movie shows
that suicide-by-scream is an openended possibility.
In its simplicity and punch, this
film feels as if it could have been made
decades ago, in the classic age of
Planet of the Apes or The Omega
Man. It is a cracking back-to-basics
thriller that does not depend too
much on what these creatures
look like. Krasinski rather cleverly
addresses this issue by keeping
them glimpsed only subliminally at
first, but then, without giving any
clearer idea of what they look like,
we graduate to a surreally extreme
close-up of the beast’s hideous,
undulating ear. A satanically
sensitive orifice. Peter Bradshaw
What others said
“In an era of wearisome poltergeist
movies, haunted house stories and
torture porn, this is a refreshingly
pared-down and very original affair.”
Geoffrey Macnab The Independent
“As with the most successful horror,
it has more to say about its humans
than its monsters, especially the way
families fail to communicate.”
Joanna Robinson Vanity Fair
The “Nashville album” offers artists
a chance to work with bulletproof
songwriters, foreground their
craft, or age gracefully. This is the
backdrop to Kylie Minogue’s 14th
album, the product of two weeks
writing in London (before recording
it over there).
Yet Kylie opts not for copperbottomed songcraft, but the
unholy intersection of country
and EDM: drops beget scratchy
fiddle breakdowns, while banjo
clucks meet tropical house in a
mush of mild euphoria. Even the
most traditional track, Stop Me
From Falling, is more Lumineers
than Loretta.
Kylie’s country pivot is odd:
she’s never troubled the States, and
Golden’s down-home signifiers
won’t fool country radio’s notorious
gatekeepers. The only logical
explanation seems to be that
escaping her comfort zone offers
a kind of welcome disassociation
to counterbalance the intensely
personal lyrics – something that
Kylie has spent a career avoiding,
the exception being 1997’s
Impossible Princess.
She experienced a nervous
breakdown after splitting from her
cheating fiance in 2016, and for
once, that emotional devastation
penetrates the music. “If I get hurt
again, I’ll need a lifetime to repair,”
she sings, showing unusual vocal
sensitivity as she conveys desire,
desperation and cynicism within a
few lines.
An unsettling, fatalistic streak
sets in. Every potential relationship
is just another opportunity to get
hurt. Despite sometimes sounding
defiantly youthful – Shelby 68 is
very Taylor Swift; Music’s Too Sad
Without You as doe-eyed as Lana Del
Rey – Golden is rife with death.
The bittersweet Dancing explores
Kylie’s determination to go out
on a high; she yearns for One Last
Kiss before meeting “a light in the
distance”; and Sincerely Yours is
worryingly valedictory.
She wrestles with the urge to
run away, to “find out who it is
I’m supposed to be”, she sings on
Radio On, a lovely ballad about
the salvation a good pop song can
offer: “I really need a love song that
I believe.” Golden may lack writerly
sophistication, but Kylie’s emotional
credibility is startling. While
aesthetic shifts have been crucial
to her career, Golden feels like the
first time the window dressing is a
distraction from a flawed yet deeply
admirable album. Laura Snapes
What others said
“When the country twang of
Dancing’s opening gives way
to a whoosh of dance-pop, the
hybrid hoedown has begun.”
Nick Hasted The Independent
“Kylie has a great album still in her,
but imitating artists half her age
really isn’t the way to get to it.”
Joe Muggs The Arts Desk
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:61 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
What we learned
Sent at 6/4/2018 11:46
•
Now here you go again
Fleetwood Mac’s single Dreams
is back in the US charts after a
Twitter meme pairing it with
a sassy marching band caused
streaming to rocket. Meanwhile
Rumours, the album it’s from,
jumped to No 31 in the UK. That’s its
725th week in the charts.
Tears for Ronaldo
Emanuel Santos, whose bust of
Cristiano Ronaldo (right) was
ridiculed last year, has had a second
try. An accompanying film shows
him listening to comments about
the original. “Doesn’t look anything
like him”, “Try again” people spout.
Santos is frequently in tears.
Theatre
The Fantastic Follies
of Mrs Rich
The Swan, Stratford-upon-Avon
★★★★☆
High-society
ladies turn
the tables for
theatrical gold
TV
Ordeal By Innocence
BBC One
★★★★★
A gloriously
grim start
to Christie’s
crime saga
A decanter to the skull. A gently
spreading pool of blood beneath
the body on the rug. The scream of
a servant. A houseful of suspects
assembles. We can only be watching
an Agatha Christie. WELCOME.
If Holy Week and the advent of
spring seems like an odd time to
give viewers the secular, murdery
treat of an Christie adaptation, well,
that’s because it is. It was supposed
to follow in the footsteps of writer
Sarah Phelps’ last two reworkings,
And Then There Were None and
Witness for the Prosecution, as the
centrepiece of the 2017 Christmas
schedule. When the actor Ed
Westwick became the subject of
historical sexual assault allegations,
the decision was taken to reshoot it
with a new actor, Christian Cooke.
The cast were called back, tasked
with redoing 35 scenes in 12 days.
That cast includes Anna
Chancellor as wealthy philanthropist
Rachel Argyll (soon to have her
skull decanted); Bill Nighy as her
widower Leo (soon to remarry with
his frightful secretary Gwenda
– played by Alice Eve, who was
split-screened into the reshot
scenes); Morven Christie as the
screaming servant; and Anthony
Boyle as the apparent wielder of
the fatal crystalware. Cooke plays
the volatile Mickey Argyll, one of
Rachel’s orphan charges.
If you didn’t know about the
production chaos, you wouldn’t be
able to tell. The whole thing knits
together seamlessly. It grabs you
from the opening scenes, as Rachel
is dispatched and Jack, always the
most delinquent of her adopted
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
children, is convicted of her murder.
He is killed in prison. So far so good.
But half an arch won’t stand. Where
is the rest of the premise?
A year later, as the family gathers
at the ancestral home, it arrives.
A nervous young stranger called
Dr Arthur Calgary turns up with a
suitcase and a claim that he can alibi
Jack. The game is afoot.
The next hour is spent sifting
the mingled sands of truth and lies.
Discrepancies in Arthur’s story are
discovered. Bitter divisions in the
family (and some eyebrow-raisingly
strong bonds) are gradually revealed
– none deeper than that between
monstrous mother and children.
Rachel, it turns out via a
combination of flashing glances,
elliptical threats and above all, the
simple sense of barely repressed
fury rippling through every atom
of Chancellor’s being, is A Piece of
Work. We know not why, but she is
the devil in disguise and has given
just about everyone in Denouement
Hall a reason to bump her off.
From now on, it’s just a matter of
letting the danse macabre unfold.
Phelps doesn’t get in the way of
Christie’s careful choreography. But
she and a uniformly brilliant cast
flesh out Christie’s characters, whom
the writer was often happy to leave
as ciphers in the puzzle she laid out.
The latest adaptations, rich, dark,
adult and drawing on a backdrop
of postwar grief and instability, are
a far cry from Miss Marple’s sunny
uplands or the light-filled art deco
apartments of David Suchet’s Poirot.
Our innocence has been too battered
by the ordeals of the past few years,
perhaps, for them to pass muster
now. We get the Agatha Christie
adaptations we need, it seems – and,
in the last three outings at least,
better than we deserve.
Lucy Mangan
What others said
“The pace picked up like a glorified
game of Cluedo, and by the end
of the hour, this whodunit had its
hooks into me.”
Michael Hogan The Telegraph
“Boyle can produce the kind
of creepy laugh and smile that
would send small children
running to their mothers.”
Eleanor Bley Griffiths Radio Times
Mary Pix is hardly a name to conjure
with. She was, however, sufficiently
famous in her day to be rudely
satirised, in a work called Female
Wits, as one of a trio of emerging
women dramatists. While The
Fantastic Follies, first performed in
1700 as The Beau Defeated, is not
a big rediscovery, it has been given
a scintillating revival by Jo Davies,
who brings to it the same wit and
inventiveness she has shown in her
work for Opera North.
While Pix is claimed as a pioneer,
her work is reminiscent of that of her
contemporary William Congreve. As
in Congreve’s Love for Love (1695),
a key character is a moody young
man, Clerimont, suffering the pangs
of disinheritance. As in Congreve’s
The Way of the World, much sport
is had at the expense of an amorous
older woman.
The big difference is that Mrs Rich
is here at the centre of the action.
As the widow of a wealthy banker,
she pines to be accepted as a woman
of quality. Setting her sights on
an absurdly pretentious fop, she
finds her entry into high society is
achieved only when she becomes
the victim of a cruel deception.
Pix certainly gives a robust
picture of the petty snobbery of an
age filled with social aspiration. But
the play’s gender politics are hardly
progressive, since it is Mrs Rich’s
brother-in-law who is the voice of
reason. The plotting is wayward,
especially in the case of a bungled
scheme to unite the penniless but
proper Clerimont with a high-class
Indiana Joan
Steven Spielberg, who directed all
four Indiana Jones blockbusters,
has suggested his explorer hero
could be played by a woman in
future films. “We’d have to change
the name from Jones to Joan,” he
said. “And there would be nothing
wrong with that.”
woman wrongly assumed to be
offering sex for sale. Pix’s dialogue
also rarely rises above the functional
and lacks the verbal felicity that is a
hallmark of Restoration comedy.
Yet Davies and her team have
transmuted this pretty average play
into theatrical gold. Grant Olding
has written a series of beguiling
songs, mainly given to Mrs Rich.
The result is to transform her from
a stock figure of fun into a woman
whose desire for upward mobility
we begin to understand.
Wisely, the piece is played in full
period fig and Colin Richmond’s
design depends on ravishing,
painterly backdrops that tell us
exactly where each scene is set.
Sophie Stanton is a joy as Mrs
Rich. She doesn’t disguise the
absurdity of the character’s social
pretensions yet endows her with
a twinkling mischief. Arching an
eyebrow at the prospect of an allfemale duel, she asks, with suitable
innuendo: “What satisfaction can
a lady give to a lady?” It is also rare
these days to see an RSC show filled
with the weight of experience.
Michael Simkins plays Mrs Rich’s
brother-in-law with exactly the
right angrily expostulating common
sense and Jessica Turner (below,
right) lends a well-born schemer the
insinuating inflections of Maggie
Smith. Among the younger cast
members, there is good work from
Daisy Badger as a Yorkshire widow,
Solomon Israel as the morose
Clerimont and Tam Williams as a
shallow aristo enthralled by his own
kiss curl. Davies may not have staked
a claim for Pix’s play to be part of the
permanent rep but she has given it a
richly festive production, complete
with two dogs, that should cheer all
but the hardest of hearts.
Michael Billington
What others said
“A heady combo of Legally Blonde,
Keeping Up With the Kardashians
and Blackadder.”
Ann Treneman The Times
“Olding’s songs are revealed as one
of the delights of the production,
beautifully written and delivered
with clear relish. Pure musical
theatre – I longed for more of them.”
Michael Davies WhatsOnStage
61
Last night’s TV
The City and the City
BBC Two
★★★☆☆
David Morrissey is out
for justice in a dystopian
tale of maps, murder
and 70s moustaches
Where we are is not locatable on
any map. Although two maps, one
placed on top of the other, then held
up to the light, might be of some
help. This is The City and the City,
a four-part adaptation of China
Miéville’s sci-fi/detective hybrid,
which began on BBC Two last night.
It’s about the investigation that
ensues when a foreign student turns
up dead in the fictional European
city of Besźel. Or is that the fictional
European city of Ul Qoma? Or
perhaps both at the same time?
The two cities exist in the same
space, but citizens of one are taught
from childhood to “unsee” the
people, buildings and events of
the other. Anyone caught crossing
these psychological borders, or
“breaching”, risks punishment
from an all-powerful authority,
confusingly referred to as “Breach”.
In this shadowy place, David
Morrissey is an almost comically
solid presence as Inspector Tyador
Borlú. He has a weakness for the
company of his wife (Sherlock’s Lara
Pulver playing another mysterious
woman), but is an otherwise gruff,
by-the-book cop, dogged in his
pursuit of justice.
And if such straight talk offends,
best get used to it now, because
Borlú’s sidekick, Constable Corwi
(Mandeep Dhillon), swears like a Sex
Pistol let loose on live TV. Suspects
and superior officers alike get pelted
with F-bombs; it’s kind of her thing.
Previews suggest there’s a more
promising team-up with Borlú’s
Ul Qoman opposite number in the
next episode. More decorous is the
Beszélian extreme crime squad boss,
Commissar Gadlem (Ron Cook).
His thing is a thick moustache and
Deirdre Barlow glasses combo.
Yep, the 70s Istanbul look is all
the rage in Besźel. The propaganda
flyers feature umlauts, the soft
furnishings are various shades of
orange and brown and everyone
smokes indoors. This post-Soviet
exoticism is one way the series
attempts to realise the novel’s
seemingly unfilmable premise,
rendering the unseen city as blurry
images at the edge of the frame.
Miéville’s metaphor for modern life
remains clear, however. Don’t we
all conveniently “unsee” various
examples of the seedy and needy on
our way from A to B?
The Handmaid’s Tale has already
proved it’s possible to translate a
richly imagined dystopia from page
to small screen, but so far, this
flat-footed adaptation has been held
up at the border. Ellen E Jones
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:62 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 14:26
cYanmaGentaYellowbl
•
The Guardian Saturday 7 April 2018
62
Puzzles
Yesterday’s
Quick crossword
Quick crossword no 14,950
Across
1 Filled to capacity (5-1-5)
9 Strenuous activity (9)
10 Our nearest star (3)
11 Come about (5)
13 Stayed longer than intended (7)
14 Rattled (6)
15 Captain Hook, say (6)
18 Cause aversion (7)
20 Short message posted on the
internet (5)
21 Label (3)
22 What did you say? (4,5)
24 Filled up again (11)
Down
2 Shade (3)
3 Exclusive circle (7)
4 Takes over (6)
5 A failure (5)
6 Criticise severely (9)
7 Make a forceful protest (11)
8 Unintentional (11)
12 White sparkling wine (9)
16 Weeping (2,5)
17 Mariner (6)
19 From the vicinity (5)
23 Mature (3)
1
2
3
4
5
Solution no 14,949
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
21
22
Fill in the grid so
that every row,
every column and
every 3x3
box contains the
numbers 1-9. Gone
wrong? Start again
at: theguardian.
com/sudoku Get
more Sudoku
puzzles on your
mobile phone and
compete in the
Sudoku league.
Text Sudoku to
80806 to join free.
3 They started with 16, 10 & 10cc in
them, in order.
4 All 4 -1 and one 4 all.
5 (12 x 34 x 5) - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 = 2010.
S
E
E
P
S
Stuck? For help call 0906 200 83 83. Calls cost £1.10
per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge.
Service supplied by ATS. Call 0330 333 6946 for
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Chris Maslanka Archive
Pyrgic puzzles:
1 Greece is where it is, ex vi termini,
as we used to say in the old days.
An alibi is a defence by virtue of
one’s being elsewhere, which is quite
difficult for a country to do. And was
used to be were in counterfactuals!
2 See
diagram.
With
thanks
to Jon
‘Chappers’
Chapman.
G
A
N
N
E
T
23
Solutions
Hard No 4,027
T H
B
U
A T L A N T
E R
A
S
D O N J U A
E
D
R
E N T I M E N
S
O
W A S H
V
N
M I D A
E S
E
R
W I N S O M
N E
T
S
R E S I S T
20
24
Sudoku classic
S A B B A
A
O
S
B R U I S
R
G
A
E T H O S
H
S
O
I
B R A I N
U
S
A
R O T A T
R
U
I
O U T D O
W
E
N
6 All numbers of the form p x q (p
and q both primes) are trivially
magic. The number of primes is
infinite (Euclid); so the number of
multiplicative magic numbers must
also be infinite. Point to Ponder
What is the next multiplicative
magic number after 6? What other
forms of number besides pq are
multiplicatively magic?
Wordplay:
Wordpool d), c), b)
Wordcentre STRonghOLD
E Pluribus unum COTONEASTER
Uncle Rebus WELL OUT OF ORDER
Missing Links
a) stone/chat/room
b) rolling/stock/cube
c) human/race/horse
d) window/dressing/station
e) grape/shot/gun
f) pork/pie/ties
Can you solve
Alex Bellos’s
Monday
science puzzle?
Alex Bellos, author of Can You Solve
My Problems?, has been setting a
puzzle on the Guardian website
every two weeks since 2015.
Access it online at
gu.com/monday-puzzle
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:63 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 6/4/2018 15:55
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Saturday 7 April 2018 The Guardian
The dipper is aquatic to the bones; the
wings are both oars and hydrofoils, angled
to harness the flow and surf the body down
Journal Country diary Page 9
Weather
Saturday 7 April 2018
UK and Ireland Noon today
Forecast
Sunny Mist
Low 7 High 12
63
Around the UK
London
Fog
9
1004
Sunny intervals
Lows and highs
Precipitation
Air pollution
Tomorrow
10
16 60%
Low
70%
Low
65%
Low
10
70%
Low
10
60%
Low
Manchester
1008
Mostly cloudy
4
Overcast/dull
7
13
10
Sunny showers
Shetland
Inverness
16
Birmingham
Slight
Edinburgh
Low 6 High 12
9
Sunny and heavy showers
Glasgow
Light showers
1008
Monday
7
Sleet
Newcastle
ca
12
Belfast
Light
snow
Moderate
11
Snow showers
13
Heavy snow
Dublin
Liverpool
rpoo
ol
11
5
Bristol
Nottingham
tting
tt
35C
Birmingham
ming
30
12
Norwich
25
20
Thundery showers
14
15
1
15
L
London
Cardiff
Ca
13
10
X
Dover
5
Temperature,
ºC
0
-5
Low pressure
will be to
the north of
Scotland.
L
1016
1000
L
1016
1024
L
1008
H
1024
H
1008
H
Cold front
1016
1000
L
L
Warm front
Occluded front
1024
1016
Trough
Jet stream
A trough of low
pressure will
be stationary
over much of
western Europe
including the
UK.
Average speed, 25,000ft
Direction of
jet stream
110-159kph
160-209
210-259
60%
Moderate
13
40%
Low
Around the world
1008
992
1000
12
Weatherwatch
H
L
Moderate
Cardiff
5
The Channel Islands
1024
65%
16
-15
-20
11
Edinburgh
Plymouth
Slight
1008
7
7
13
Atlantic front
There will
be showers
across much of
England and
Wales tomorrow
and on Monday.
1004
11
-10
Wind speed,
mph
Newcastle
York
Ice
Thundery rain
12
Leeds
6
Rain
12
Atlantic Ocean
260 and above
Forecasts and graphics provided by
Accuweather, Inc ©2018
New Zealand experienced its worstever storm in April 1968 when
Cyclone Giselle met a cold front from
Antarctica over the islands and the
two merged. The resulting tempest
became known as the Wahine Storm.
On land, winds gusted at up to
150mph. Thousands of trees were
uprooted and buildings damaged.
98 roofs were torn off houses in one
Wellington suburb alone, and there
was significant flooding. The interisland ferry Wahine was blown off
course, running into a reef while
trying to enter Wellington harbour.
Captain Hector Robertson ordered
the 700 passengers and crew to stay
on board. The ship lost power and
attempts to tow her failed. Wahine
started to list dangerously and was
abandoned just before she capsized,
all within sight of the land. 53 people
died of drowning, exposure or from
being thrown on to rocks by the high
seas. The tragedy was one of the
first to be covered live on television.
A subsequent inquest exonerated
the captain of any blame, finding
that he had taken the best possible
course of action. His decision to
delay abandoning ship for as long
as possible had saved lives; the real
cause of the tragedy was the violence
of the storm. David Hambling
Algiers
22
Lagos
32
Ams’dam
20
Lima
24
Athens
20
Lisbon
13
Auckland
22
Madrid
12
B Aires
23
Malaga
18
Bangkok
26
Melb’rne
21
Barcelona
16
Mexico C
26
Basra
31
Miami
30
Beijing
11
Milan
19
Berlin
17
Mombasa
31
Bermuda
22
Montreal
2
Brussels
18
Moscow
6
Budapest
15
Mumbai
32
C’hagen
8
N Orleans
22
Cairo
28
Nairobi
25
Cape Town
20
New Delhi
35
Chicago
2
New York
7
Corfu
22
Paris
18
Dakar
23
Perth
23
Dhaka
33
Prague
17
Dublin
12
Reykjavik
3
Florence
22
Rio de J
28
Gibraltar
16
Rome
18
H Kong
23
Singapore
31
Harare
26
Stockh’m
8
Helsinki
6
Sydney
28
Istanbul
16
Tel Aviv
26
Jo’burg
25
Tenerife
20
K Lumpur
32
Tokyo
20
K’mandu
23
Vancouv’r
12
Kabul
25
Warsaw
15
Kingston
30
Wash’ton
8
Kolkata
32
Well’ton
17
L Angeles
21
Zurich
21
Section:GDN 1N PaGe:64 Edition Date:180407 Edition:01 Zone:
Sent at 5/4/2018 16:53
103 MOUNT STREET LONDON
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