Posts Tagged Peter Allen

peterallenwatch: a bumper edition…

Peter Allen, a journalist I am keeping a close eye on, appears to be the “man in France” for the British press. In addition to the lack of grasp of military history and overuse of Babelfish which is something of common feature of the modern hack, Allen also seems to have something of an obsession with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni. Indeed on the resource journalisted.com, which lists all articles by those writing for the UK press, Allen’s summary states that he has written ‘more about Sarkozy than anyone else’ and ‘a lot about Sarkozy’ in the last month. In addition to informing the world about the threat of a second Normandy invasion by fans of panzerace.net, of course.

This week Allen has been particularly productive – it must be the weather or something. The stories from the continent range from the dramatic to the bizarre, and yes – there is among them a piece on Carla.

One of the articles covers a story that is sure to draw political lines across Europe – Sarkozy’s statement on the Islamic headdress, the Burqa.

“The burqa is not a sign of religion, it is a sign of subservience. It will not be welcome on the territory of the French republic.”

Bold words indeed.

I would for very obvious reasons choose not to trust Allen’s translation of Sarkozy’s actual statement, but it is fairly clear what the gist is. What is absolutely certain is that the French President has done a rare thing for an elected European leader – he has finally stood up and jabbed a finger back in the eye of what is a growing problem on this continent. Yes, some may argue that women walking around in costumes that make them look like Daleks may be a minor issue, but it is simply the thin end of the wedge.

One has to wonder what the clowns in Labour Party Towers think of all this – after all, Sarko has made a statement little different from that of Dutch politician and Geert Wilders, who was turned around at Heathrow back in February like some common criminal. What with his alleged snub of the Queen over the D-Day commemorations, Sarko is increasing his chances of being the next Euro politician to be shown the door by our otherwise very welcoming immigration officers.

Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminaaaaaaaaaate!

Sarkozy’s statement was more than likely made in response to that made by US President Barack Obama last week about “the freedom to bare arms (or not, in the case of certain Islamic-fundi types) – which is all the more admirable as it would have been far easier to simply revert to type and crawl further up Obama’s behind.

I am beginning to quite like Baruch Hussein – he seems to be at one with the people and has proven himself to be a master fly-swatter – but he would do well not to meddle in what are European social affairs. He may be more well-travelled and urbane that your average American politician, but he knows little of what actually goes on in the streets of many European cities; it would be the same as a European leader lecturing him on how to deal with poverty and crime in Compton and Watts.

Moving away from this and onto migration of another sort, Allen also wrote last week about a plan currently underway in France to prevent the threat of a dangerous breed of mosquitoes making their way across the channel – according to this article, there has been a mass chemical carpet-bombing of wide swathes of Northern France and Western Belgium.

Perhaps it hasn’t struck those concerned – or Peter Allen – that these chemicals might actually be better employed on another sort of parasite, that of the two-legged variety. I am not talking about the massed armies of marauding illegal immigrants, but their army of crusty do-gooder protectors apparently making their way towards Calais to demand an end to border controls between France and Britain. Some people should get a job.

And then we have the Carla story.

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Saturday morning press scour…

Saturday morning press scour...

Maybe it’s hope, maybe some people are reading this blog and taking note, but today I was pleased to see that some mainstream journalists have offered similar comments on two otherwise disparate stories I touched on this week. Read the rest of this entry »

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A shocking discovery… lol.

So… [drum roll…] it’s the Daily Mail Nazi Story of the Week time!

In a dramatic article entitled Three Lions on the (Black)Shirt: Rare Nazi badge with striking resemblance to England squad logo discovered, we are told that a rare collar patch that looks a little like the three lions on the England football shirt is up for sale – which, perhaps, is the only newsworthy aspect of this excuse to churn out more of the same.

The collar patch is from the uniform of the Britisches Freikorps (British Free Corps, or BFC), the result of the rather futile effort by the Nazi authorities to get British fascist sympathisers, deserters, chancers and various other ne’er-do-wells to fight the red menace from the East under Hitler’s banner.

You just have to love the headline – as if this is some massive, nasty hidden secret hidden from the rest of the world. A sordid tale resting at the bottom of the historical pit until discovered by the intrepid hacks of the Daily Mail. Amazing!

The truth is that us military historians have known about the BFC for years (I first read about them in the early 1980s when I was still a teenager) and a number of books have been written on the unit, the best of which is Adrian Weale’s Renegades: Hitler’s Englishmen, published in 1994.

Given that the unit was to be comprised of Englishmen, the choice of the three lions for the collar patch is not exactly a shock – unless you are nameless Daily Mail hack who has no knowledge of military history. Shame, I couldn’t even point the finger at poor old Peter Allen for this one.

The Nazi unit who wore them, which is shrouded in mystery, is thought to have been formed in January 1944.

“Shrouded in mystery”? Er, no. Adrian Weale’s book has been around for some fifteen years, and in it you can find an excellent history of the background, formation and eventual fate of the unit – as well as biographies of a number of the key protagonists.

The best known former BFC member was onetime conscientious objector Eric Pleasants, who after deserting the Berlin-based unit was held prisoner in the Soviet Union before being repatriated back to Britain to live a life of relative obscurity as a martial arts teacher in Norfolk. Pleasants died in 1998, but his highly interesting autobiography, Hitler’s Bastard: Through Hell and Back in Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Russia, was posthumously released in 2003.

If the hacks at the offices of the Daily Mail had any research skills whatsover, they could have found out all of these details by playing around with that helpful tool called Google.

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peterallenwatch: And then there were none…

Now that I have started to make it a point of analysing the “stories” submitted by Peter Allen – the Daily Mail’s (and God knows who else’s) man in Paris – it’s a case of getting a laugh a minute.

Only yesterday I noticed a rather dramatic headline suggesting that two named terrorists had been on board the Air France airliner which tragically crashed last week; naturally, I scoured the the story – replete with its unnamed sources and quickly-manufactured conclusions – and asked Caroline to have a brief look through what had been written in France. Apart from one solitary article that had been little more than a collection of suggestions, there was nothing to be found.

I am now rather glad that I didn’t provide a link to the original article, as I would have ended up looking like an idiot: the headline has now been amended to Two passengers on doomed Air France jet cleared of links to Islamic terrorism.

“Cleared”? By whom? As far as I am concerned they were never even charged. It was an investigation, Mr Allen – an investigation carried out by professionals, unlike your fine self. Then we have this little nugget:

Posthumous security checks into the backgrounds of the men found that they solely ‘shared the same name’ as known Islamic radicals, even though their bodies have not yet been found.

After unravelling this gibberish, one gets to the nub of the story. They shared the same names. Oh-ho! I have to wonder what these names were – Ahmed and Mohammad, perhaps? Oh dear, following this sort of insane logic we probably have organised terrorist cells in every branch of KFC across the country. The next time you are thinking of getting that chicken meal folks, you should perhaps consider the little-known fact that KFC actually means “Koranic Fundamentalist Cell” and that there is a far more sinister meaning to the name hot wings. And that “Bargain Bucket” is in fact a code name for Ryanair.

Of course, Allen’s drivel is the ultimate example of the tabloid non-story: digest some gossip, write a headline-grabbing story, and then amend it on the fly when the truth starts to filter back. Of course, we all know that if this tragedy was indeed a terrorist attack, the group ultimately responsible would have informed us all by now.

Not that Peter Allen cares about the truth, of course.

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peterallenwatch

It’s funny how blogs develop organically. This one started out just as a six of one, half a dozen of the other sort of project – observations, little cartoons, curious asides… That sort of thing. Then came the realisation that the Daily Mail were obsessed by the Second World War and the Nazis, which provided the basis for Daily Mail Nazi Story of the Week.

Following the rather childish and badly-researched article on my Panzer Ace website by the hack Peter Allen, I did a little digging on this scribbler and found a number of articles of equal quality: either badly-researched hatchet jobs or childish doggerel. Hence my new little project: peterallenwatch.

Much of the childish doggerel is focussed on current French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni – if there is a story to be found that mentions Carla’s current fashion statement or Nico’s lack of height, Mr Allen is right there on the spot. The obsession with Sarkozy’s height is now rather tired: yes, he’s 5′ 5″. A shortarse. Napoleonesque. OK, yes, whatever.

Get over it, Allen. Sarko is the President of one of the most powerful countries in the world; you, mon ami, are a clown masquerading as a journalist.

Allen’s most recent contribution to the world of news is the revelation that – get this, folksNicolas Sarkozy uses a footstool when standing behind a podium. I am still staggering at the revelation, and I still cannot see on account of my eyes having glazed over in wonderment. Groundbreaking journalism, indeed: give the man a prize.

Of course, the subject allows Allen to prattle on – for the umpteenth time – about Carla’s irritation at having to wear low-heeled shoes and her calling her husband “my little chou chou”.

I cannot wait for the next instalment – watch this space!

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And so it comes to pass…

It wasn’t wholly unexpected, but actually seeing it was rather surreal.

Yes, the Daily Mail’s “Nazi story of the week”, and my parody of their morbid obsession with the Second World War in general and the Nazis in particular, has come full circle. In a classic hatchet job, the hack Peter Allen has engaged in that typically tabloid tactic of employing the lurid headline and churning out a load of tosh laced with inaccuracies, misspellings, quotes twisted out of context and – dare I say it – a healthy dollop of sweet-smelling bullshit.

It’s like Jon Sweeney’s hysterical propaganda show at the War and Peace show all over again; it goes without saying that there is sensationalist journalism and objective military history, and never the twain shall meet. After all, one is concerned with twisting the facts, while the other is simply concerned with the facts.

Given the overly dramatic title Nazi souvenirs on sale in London ahead of D-Day anniversary – yeah right, given that they have been selling for more than four years – there is too much rubbish to cover here. Instead, I’ll direct you to my rebuttal on the Panzer Ace site.

I have to admit that notoriety is not my bag; I’d rather be known as that fellow who has helped people learn more about this interesting subject.

For what it’s worth, I posted a comment to the article; I dare them to publish it.

A totally scurrilous article with small statements from what is a large historical resource taken and twisted out of context.

I have long believed that objective military history and tabloid journalism of this sort are not happy bedfellows: one deals with the truth, and the other serves to manipulate the truth in search of a lurid headline. And given the Mail’s rather bizarre obsession with the Nazis, I would have to admit that this non-story is something of a gifthorse.

I just hope that Mr Allen didn’t spoil that French police spokesman’s lunch to let him in on the secret that an army of military enthuiasts from around the world – as far afield as the US, Australia, India, China and Malaysia – are planning on hitting the beaches on June 6th.

If you have any journalistic integrity, you will publish this response, as well as a link to my rebuttal which can be found at http://www.panzerace.net/english/pz_dmr.asp

Though I am not holding my breath.

I think a few words need to be said on the creator of this ridiculous piece of drivel, Peter Allen. Frankly, the man cannot write for toffee and has research methods that would make Shaggy from Scooby Doo look like Columbo. One even has to wonder if Allen, the Mail’s “man in Paris”, can even speak French – in a recent article covering the story of a burglary at the house of the Italian actress Monica Bellucci and her husband Vincent Cassel, Allen wrote that the thieves had “got away with £80,000 in cash” – something that was immediately picked up on by Mail Online readers who naturally went on to ask why anyone would be so stupid as to leave such a large amount lying around.

Caroline, however – who is an even better bullshit detector than me – smelled something a little funny and decided to have a glance at what the French media had to say. Needless to say she discovered that Bellucci had not been burgled of £80,000 in cash, but various items of jewellery with an estimated value of 80,000 Euros -“Les voleurs ont fait main basse sur des bijoux estimés à 80.000 euros”. (Source: Le Parisien)

Rather unsurprisingly, Allen’s other obsession apart from scribbling pointless non-stories about Nazis has been the churning out of what can only be described as childish gossip surrounding French President Sarkozy’s wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. Looking through Allen’s portfolio of articles, there are at least half a dozen stories about the poor woman, most of which I’d wager have nothing to do with the truth and everything to do with salacious gossip-mongering. OK, I’d agree that Carla should give up on her career as a chanteuse, but is it news?

The man is not just a hack, but a hack of the worst sort.

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