A Catalogue of Lies

Another day, another catalogue of cack in the Daily Mail.

The long claw of the law: Environmentalist fined £4,000 after catching the wrong kind of crayfish‘ screamed a page 2 headline in the Daily Mail. The truth? Christopher Hemsley – as clearly stated in the Daily Mail:

was ordered to pay a total of £4,000 after admitting killing the endangered native white-clawed crayfish and taking fish in an inland water with a trap, without a licence…

South Lakeland magistrates heard that Hemsley and another man had caught around 40 crayfish over a weekend.

Some were boiled and eaten while others were put in an icebox to take back to Leeds, the court heard.

So, he wasn’t simply fined for catching the wrong kind of Crayfish at all, he was fined for having no licence, catching an endangered species as well as 39 other Crayfish which just happens to be illegal in Cumbria.

For the record it took two Daily Mail writers to come up with that headline and story: congratulations Fiona Macrae and Claire Ellicott, you are shit.

Meanwhile my old university has blogged about the Daily Mail and their ‘going to the toilet at night gives you cancer‘ story:

Readers of yesterday’s Daily Mail will have seen a story, Cancer danger of that night-time trip to the toilet, citing research by Professor Charalambos Kyriacou from our Department of Genetics and Dr Rachel Ben-Shlomo from the University of Haifa.

The article begins: “Simply turning on a light at night for a few seconds to go to the toilet can cause changes that might lead to cancer, scientists claim.” In fact, neither Professor Kyriacou nor Dr Ben-Shlomo suggest anything of the sort…

nowhere in their paper, which is published in the journal Cancer Genetics and Cytogenetics, do they mention trips to the toilet or anything even vaguely similar. That is entirely an invention of the Daily Mail.

Brilliant, nice of the university to take the time to write such a light-hearted response to the lies of the Daily Mail.

Next up, another evil Council is banning something: ‘Council bans dogs from parks leaving owners wondering where to go ‘walkies’‘. As a park footballer I understand why councils have to try and control dog owners in parks because huge amounts of them are irresponsible bastards and leave dog shit scattered all over playing fields and football pitches. Get angry at irresponsible owners, not responsible councils who provide parks for the use of everyone, not just for lazy dog owners to use as a dog toilet.

Anyway, once you get past the implications that the council has outright banned dogs from the huge majority of parks you get the obligatory bit of reality at the end of the article:

Environment manager Alan Batty said: ‘Newark and Sherwood District Council is among several hundred councils across the country to have introduced dog control orders in order to keep open spaces in the area free of dog mess.

‘The vast majority of the orders ban dogs from fenced-off children’s play areas – they do not ban dogs from the council’s four Green Flag Award-winning parks which are popular with dog walkers, or from the vast majority of open space in the district.

‘The handful of village playing fields which are now subject to exclusion orders were included at the request of the various parish councils who felt such action was needed as dog fouling had become a serious problem in those localities.

‘The council takes its responsibility seriously to work with local communities to keep children’s play areas free of dog mess and its open spaces clean and green.’

Still, don’t let that get in the way of a good bit of outrage over something being ‘banned’. Gives Mail readers a chance to cry out that another section of ‘law-abiding-citizens’ are being picked on, although of course dog fouling is illegal and a huge problem. A bit like speeding really.

Next up: ‘Sainsbury’s butchers banned from using KNIVES‘. You just know this story is rubbish as soon as you click on the link… and see the headline change to:’ Sainsbury’s butcher banned from using KNIVES to de-bone lamb… in case he ‘cuts himself’. The truth of the matter, as pointed out by a no-doubt sighing Sainsbury’s spokesman, is this:

A spokesman for Sainsbury’s said the store had a training policy on the butcher counter and not all staff were trained to use a knife for that specific task.

He said: ‘All the colleagues that work on our meat counters are trained to safely use knives but not all have received the highly specialised training needed to safely de-bone a lamb joint’.

It seems to be a case of responsible employment. If a butcher hacks off a limb whilst doing something they are not trained to do and the company was negligent for expecting that role to be performed without adequate training, they would be sued and rightly so. Therefore the staff member was covering himself by not doing something he hadn’t been specifically trained to do, whilst Sainsburys covered themselves by not allowing him to do something they had given him no specialist training to do.

So, rest assured, properly trained butchers in Sainsburys will continue to use knives to prepare meat; whilst the Daily Mail will continue to print absolute bollocks.

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