Ed Lines

IT’S time to cast a lighter sky over the thundering EU ruckus, which by now seems to have been going on longer than some European conflicts.

If the thought of warring armies in high heels, heavy make-up and spangly dresses brings a smile to your face – with bearded transvestites cheering from the sidelines – last Saturday’s Eurovision Song Contest ticked the box.

It’s absolutely laughable that something so childishly circuslike could have nations at each other’s throats. Sure, it would have me and wife at each other’s throats if she suggested watching it, but the trigger for war? Jeez Louise.

Russia took massive umbrage over the slap-in-the-face it got when a morbid dirge about Soviet persecution of Crimean tatars in 1944 won the contest.

Now, we should mention that Eurovision has form. Anyone remember the little 1974 ditty, Waterloo? I reckon that got ‘nul points’ from France too, but apart from the subject matter it was also a very catchy toon.

This year’s winning song however could wipe the superglued smile off Michael McIntyre’s mush. It is positively suicidal – which given that it was also a veiled attack on Russia for its recent annexation of Crimea, could prove quite prophetic for Ukraine. Vladimir Putin is not renowned for his sense of humour.

The winning song’s opening lyrics were: “When strangers are coming, they come to your house, they kill you all and say ‘We’re not guilty.”

Not quite Cliff Richard and Congratulations, is it? A bit more Lulu and Boom Bang a Bang I suppose – but only if you’re talking bombs and rockets. I won’t be booking a holiday flight that goes over Crimea any time soon.

The farce is now heightened by Eurovision organisers convoluting the points system to make it less obvious how nations voted (I’ve read about this – I didn’t watch, honest, apart from one quick glimpse to see if The Press editor David Bentley really did have front row tickets in Stockholm. He did. The disciplinary hearing is on Monday).

The 42 Eurovision national juries give their familiar 1-12 points, before phone votes are added. Post-result analysis however confirmed the old voting blocs. All the former Russian satellite states fall in line (Azerbaijan, Latvia, Armenia, Georgia etc). Greece usually gives Cyprus 12 points, the Balkan states support each other, the Scandinavians the same.

Beyond those age-old tribal alliances however, you learn more from who doesn’t get votes than who does.

Because we get a nod from the Irish and the grand old citizens of Malta, we finished 24th out of 26, the same as last year. Bottom spot went to Germany who, slap my thigh, were plum last in 2015 also – nul points in two years.

Why do you think thatwould be, given that all the songs are equally pants?

Well, one theory might be that the impoverished states already in the EU resent the rich northern powerhouses, while Greece hates Germany with a vengeance. Meanwhile the countries who want to be in the EU blame Germany for keeping them out.

Anyone who thinks the EU is fuelled by brotherly love as opposed to rabid self-interest shouldn’t be allowed a vote in the upcoming referendum.

Still, I never thought I’d see the day when I’d say ‘welcome to the club, Germany!’

AN OLD friend of mine is a probation officer.

Twice in recent months he’s told me about warders and staff being attacked and held hostage by prisoners. I passed the most serious case onto a national newspaper pal. The prison service denied everything.

In the new age of media relations, everyone from Kirklees Council to the Metropolitan Police operates a policy of brick wall denial.

They make journalists fight for every ounce of information unless it is so benign as to be meaningless.

They do, until it suits their backside-covering agendas.

Even the politically bent Met struggles to match the malign South Yorkshire Force which, in the aftermath of Hillsborough and Rotherham, should have been put in special measures. It’s really something when you need a police force to investigate a police force.

Yet in the immediate fall-out of the Hillsborough inquest verdicts, what did South Yorks do? Announce it was pursuing an ancient case against Sir Cliff Richard, the one it had gained notoriety for after alerting the BBC to cover its raid on his home.

I suspect that was them putting two fingers up at us.

It came on the heels of the police and CPS spending £5m on three trials, trying to imprison a man who had actually informed on the crime he was accused of.

He gave police months notice of a drugs deal, yet an officer destroyed evidence and the police/CPS then exposed him in court as being a long-time informant.

After all that time and public money a judge gave him an absolute discharge. He now lives in fear of his life.

Meanwhile a collapsed rape case was brought against four young men after a detective got a crush on the victim and spent more time chatting her up than investigating her claims.

Still, if the police fit you up, it seems there’s an unending supply of drugs in prison – if you don’t get radicalised by extremists first.

Anyone got a desert island we can hightail it to?

MANY years ago I was a guest at a Dewsbury Divisional CID Christmas party at the old Marmaville Country Club in Mirfield. They can let their off duty hair down with the best of us, coppers or not.

I sat quietly alongside my female Detective Constable friend listening to all of the typically ribald workplace stories – highly entertaining, although if a judge heard them he might end up opening half the cell doors in Armley. Towards the end of the night I explained that, actually, I was a journalist. That wiped a few smiles off a few faces.

But what I wouldn’t have given to be in the bar at the Senior Women in Policing conference at Manchester’s Hilton Hotel last week.

Asst Chief Constable Rebekah Sutcliffe, 46 (I think that’s reference to her age), loudly challenged Superintendent Sarah Jackson (a junior rank to ACC) over which of them had the best set of knockers; raunchiest rack, hottest hooters, loveliest love puppies. I could go on.

Now, we are not told if ACC Sutcliffe actually unloaded her funbags onto the bar top in a brazen act of busty bravado, but with my best detective hat on I’d deduce that she’s single with no kids, otherwise at 46 they’d have flopped over the bar and into the beer slops.

Their bosses at Greater Manchester Police, the rotten killjoys, have promptly suspended ACC Sutcliffe, a hearing I would desperately love to cover if only on the off-chance of witnessing the evidence first hand.

It ended an already lousy week for the Greater Manchester force, after a training exercise at the Trafford Centre featured an officer masquerading as a terrorist who launched his fake attack by shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’.

This, yawningly predictably, was roundly condemned by all the left-wing sweethearts with the police falling all over themselves to apologise at giving offence. Why, the good Lord alone knows.

Anyway, could I helpfully suggest that ACC Sutcliffe lead the next terror training exercise and run into the Trafford Centre shouting ‘Get yer t*ts out for the lads!’

Far more appropriate for Manchester.

Share this post