The Null Device


Police in Hampshire have used a fake game show to arrest various offenders (mostly common neds, by the sound of it) they had been looking for. The offenders, ranging from fine-dodgers to those wanted for common assault, were sent letters inviting them to appear on a game show with the chance of winning large prizes. The police then set up the event at Portsmouth Guildhall, going to great lengths to do so, even hiring former crooked Tory MP turned celebrity Neil Hamilton and his wife to present the show: (via Found)

As the "guests" arrived they were frisked and had their identities checked by a police officer dressed in a dinner suit. After having their make-up done, the contestants waited backstage where they could hear the sound of a taped studio audience. One by one they were called on to the stage, along a red carpet, through a cloud smoke and straight into the hands of two awaiting police officers.

This event, which is already being decried by civil libertarians, will be broadcast on the UK's Channel Five (the same fearless bastion of the public's right to know that recently got David Beckham's alleged lover to masturbate a pig on air.)

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It looks like both of Australia's newspaper groups have thrown their weight behind Howard, with Graham citing a Crikey newsletter stating that the Fairfax board have reportedly overruled their editors and ordered pro-Howard editorials (and there being some reportage of the Fairfax press also spinning news stories to make Latham look bad). News Ltd., as everyone knows, is staunchly pro-Tory, and allegedly has a sophisticated news-management strategy in place, minutely adjusting and filtering their coverage of issues for each demographic to ensure that the key electorates vote the right way.

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Ronnie Barker's son goes on the run after being arrested for alleged child pornography offenses. Adam Barker, 38, was arrested as part of the Operation Ore child porn sweep in July last year (the same one that got Pete Townshend), and was about to be formally charged when he skipped bail. Barker had minor acting roles in films including Shakespeare In Love and Tomorrow Never Dies.

Meanwhile, two more suspected paedophiles have committed suicide in the wake of Australia's recent child pornography sweep, bringing the total to 6. Those charged in the sweep have included teachers, ministers of religion and an owner of a network of child-care centres.

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William Shatner has a new album out. It's produced by hipster darling Ben Folds, features guest appearances by Lemon Jelly and Henry Rollins, and the first track (on the site) is an inspired semi-spoken-word cover of Pulp's Common People.

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