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Latest news, showbiz, sport, comment, lifestyle, city, video and pictures from the Daily Express and Sunday Express newspapers and stirim.info Sep 21, UK becomes a winter wonderland as snow falls reveal that this year was top of the league table in Met Office records dating back to Sep 22, Speaking to The Daily Express, James Madden, forecaster for Exacta Weather, warned that Britain could be hit by four months of snow.
All rather disappointing in fact. But even the Express is not prepared simply to pluck this clickbait out of thin air. It must be able to quote an authority, however flimsy their credibility may be.
So it leans on a number of people who call themselves forecasters, but some of whose credentials appear difficult to establish.
The ten things most likely to be on The Daily Express front page
For a while, such stories made abundant use of a man called Jonathan Powell, who ran a company called Positive Weather Solutions. After I revealed in the Guardian that the forecasters employed by this company did not existbut had made-up names attached to stock shots of models, Positive Weather Solutions shortly closed down.
That company also closed after bad publicity. He now runs a firm called Principality Weatherwhich appears to feature only in the Welsh press, and then rarely. Today, the man most frequently cited in improbable weather stories in the Express and sometimes elsewhere is James Madden, who runs a company called Exacta Weather.
So I sent him a list of questions. I also sent a list to the newspaper, but have not received a response. Could you explain the basis on which you made these forecasts?
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What are your qualifications as a weather forecaster? Are you deceiving potential purchasers of your service by offering this misleading account?
Why do you not publish an independent audit of your forecasting accuracy? Instead of specific answers, he sent me a note that seemed to me to consist largely of bluster and threats. I will also make people aware of this via the site, and your personal vendetta against myself, and your clear defensive nature of anything Met Office related. The only question he attempted to answer was the stopped clock query, that he addressed as follows: Have you ever thought of it that way or are you sticking to a more simplistic approach to prove some kind of point?
Well, according to The Daily Express, anyway. So, without further ado, let us get the countdown underway Dame Helen pretending to be the Queen featured on more front pages than Her Maj herself. Royal Family wives and girlfriends though are another matter. There has been a dual morbid fascination with the inner workings of Camilla's anatomy, and a seemingly equal fascination with what Kate Middleton - "our future queen" according to the Express - is wearing on the outside of her body.
If you can even find a bed, you'll probably get some form of MRSA, so why bother? Of course, that is if there are any staff left after they all lose their jobs.
- UK snow forecast: Shock chart shows HUGE BAND of snow set to engulf Britain
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- UK snow: Latest weather forecast shows FREEZING temperatures to hit Britain THIS WEEKEND
And frankly they are so poorly paid, you can't blame 'em for leaving. Stories about the NHS featured 8 times on the front page so far this year - all negative.
The ten things most likely to be on The Daily Express front page
If only someone could discover a load of ordinary foodstuffs lying around the house that could help you live for ever Celebrity Big Brother and Shilpa Shetty First they told us how bad it was, then they told us how racist it was, and then they seemed to use it as any excuse to put pictures of Shilpa Shetty, preferably showing off her mid-riff, onto the front page.
The highlight of the coverage was their anguished cry: British road signs in Polish. No, we're not joking" And, lest we forget, the Labour party donating owner of the Daily Express used to publish that well known monthly tribute to both racial and sexual equality - " Asian Babes " 7: Divorce Nothing arouses the curtain-twitching nosy neighbour instinct in us more than a glimpse behind the scenes of somebody else's marital strife.
Unless it is a glimpse of someone else's marital strife when there is lots and lots of money involved, which is the only reason I can see why the Abramovitch divorce and the ongoing McCartney split saga have propelled this topic into the top ten 'things' The Express has had on the front page so far this year.
Crime A good way to rattle the chattering British middle classes is with a good crime fear story, but actually I can't pin that on the Express so far in Their crime coverage has been driven by the suspected murder of Bob Woolmer during the Cricket World Cup, a couple of terrorism trials, the murder of a young child by a dog, and, well, erm, that's about it really.
They all added up though. So at number 6, with 8 front page mentions so far this year, It is a case of, move along swiftly sir, nothing to see here, let's get stuck into the top 5 news topics of the year so far according to the Daily Express. Royal Family WAG - Diana Fifth is frankly a lower than expected showing for the late Princess, who seemingly graces the cover of the paper every Monday.
I read somewhere that putting a picture of Diana on the front page of the paper causes a jump in sales, but by that logic you'd think every souvenir postcard stall in London would be permanently sold out of pictures of the People's PrincessTM. Perhaps their most desperate front page was the plea: Not The Express though, as you can see I expect her to fare better than 5th place later in the year.
The Express has got the mawk-fest of the Wembley tribute concert to cover, followed by the bumper 10th anniversary extravaganza in August. After all, it is what she would have wanted. Well, assuming that she wouldn't have preferred not to have been killed in a car accident.
Tax There are only three certainties in life. And the Daily Express writing about death taxes Well, to be honest, it isn't just death taxes they are worried about - it is most taxes. But especially Council Tax. One of the things about Daily Express tax stories is that they are always about "swingeing" tax rises, that will target families. They also appear to have redefined the concept of a "stealth" tax to mean any taxation that isn't income tax. Reading the headlines you'd be forgiven for thinking that Britain had a tax regime that left singletons and the co-habiting childless skipping around for joy at how light their share of the burden was.
What's behind the 'coldest winter for 100 years' headline?
Taxation has made the front page 12 times so far in Only one story was positive - "Tax refund for millions". For most newspapers a campaign is sufficient, but not the Express.
The Daily Express, you see, still uses the charming image of a Crusader knight in their masthead, and this year launched their own crusade against Inheritance Tax, which featured on the front page a few times. Well, I say launched their own crusade, what they appeared to do was use the submission form on the Number 10 ePetitions site, and let them do the hard work of collating the signatures at the taxpayers expense, rather than the paper itself actually lifting a finger.
And funnily enough, there doesn't seem to have been a front page peep out of them on what a great success their campaign was after this year's budget was announced.
House prices, interest rates and the property market The Daily Express seems to be trapped in a vicious weekly circle of publishing front pages which declare with great gusto the brilliant news that house prices are rising faster than ever before, and that every homeowner in Britain is "Rich, rich, RICH!