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Saturday, March 07, 2009 

Weekend links.

Another weekend, another bailout. We now own 65% of Lloyds-HBOS, thanks to the merger which was stitched up by Brown and Victor Blank. There's no wriggling out of this one: instead of just one other failing bank, we've now helped bring down one which would otherwise have managed better on its own, thanks purely to the hubris of both men and their back of a fag packet plan. The man who saved the world is increasingly left looking as if he's forgotten to put his pants on, let alone wearing them over the top of his trousers.

Elsewhere we have the usual mixed bag. Lenin has news that Hicham Yezza, caught up in the arrest of the Nottingham university student for having an al-Qaida training manual which he had downloaded from a US government website for his MA dissertation has been sent down for nine months, typical of the vindictive nature of the police and the CPS in getting someone over their embarrassment. Paul Linford asks whether Gordon should say sorry, Sid at PP compares a Hizbullah activist who's coming here with the banned Geert Wilders (both should be allowed to come, if that's not clear) and MediaWatchWatch notes John Beyer getting put in his place on the Grauniad's website. Causing the main ructions in the left/liberal "blogosphere" though is Amnesty International's claims that 1 in 10 women in Britain suffer rape or other violence every year. This lead to John Band claiming otherwise, although rather intemperately, which in turn led to this from Aaron. Since then both Sunny and Laurie Penny have entered the fray, while John has followed up his initial post.

In the papers, Arthur Scargill breaks his silence in the Graun with his personal view on the miners strike, which unsurprisingly are rather different to Norman Tebbit's. Ian Jack adds to the row over Julie Myerson treating her own son as book material (can't say I'm her biggest fan - I tend to disagree with more or less everything she says when on Newsnight Review), Ariane Sherine examines retorts and insults, Greg Dyke spares no punches regarding Michael Grade's running of ITV (especially interesting considering it's in the Times, what with BSkyB having around a 20% stake in ITV) Matthew Parris somehow imagines that the Conservatives will bring the end of managerialism (yeah, right) while in the Indie Deborah Orr says Brown should call an election and Johann Hari imagines that we've forgotten how to face death. Finally Peter Oborne asks whether Cameron's tragedy will toughen his stance and tell voters some home truths.

As for the worst tabloid article/comment of the weekend, we can't not comment on the Scum and Ashley Cole. It turns out it was the Scum's harrassment of Cole while he was out on Wednesday night which resulted in his arrest, having apparently taken photographs of him in a nightclub daring to talk to a woman. For now Cole has succeeded in stopping the paper from printing them, and however much Cole is loathed (and a lot of it is deserved, coming as this does from an Arsenal fan) it's not surprising how he feels about the paper considering that it first had to settle out of court with him after claiming he was gay, and then more successfully exposed him cheating on his wife with another blonde. Lorraine Kelly takes up this putrid theme in her column, saying that he doesn't deserve gorgeous pouting hideously tattooed Cheryl, regardless of any evidence that anything other than a conversation was going on in the club. The Sun's pursuit of Cole though is in stark contrast to the rest of the media's reticence when it comes to Rebekah Wade's marital status - she has just had her divorce from Ross Kemp finalised on the grounds of infidelity (his), and like when Les Hinton phoned round the other papers begging them not to print anything about it, only PA and the Press Gazette seem to have mentioned it this time round.

Actual worst article of the weekend though must go to Sue Reid, who you might recall a couple of years back was encouraging Polish people to come here and break the law so that she could write about it for the Mail. Now she's back highlighting Indians daring to work here on the Olympic site, despite Brown's call for British jobs for British workers. Call me cynical, but I don't think we can entirely trust her reliability.

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