England's glory. Photo: Getty Images
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What's the deal with Tories and bricks?

If there's one thing a Conservative loves, it's a brick. Or maybe a bit of scaffolding.

What's the deal with the Tories and bricks?

The week before the party conference in Birmingham saw education secretary Nicky Morgan appearing in a photoshoot straight out of The Thick Of It, proudly holding a "brick of aspiration":

Then Boris Johnson took a diversion on the way to conference, stopping in at Ibstock Brick in Staffordshire to admire some bricks being produced for new homes in London.

It was the least romantic remake of Ghost imaginable:

Boris then waved a brick around during his speech the next day, emphasising that love 'twixt man and brick was nothing to be ashamed of:


Photo: Getty Images

And, as many observers have noted, when there's a chance to don a hard hat and a high-visibility vest, it's impossible to get Gideon not to take it - especially when there's a chance to fondle some big bits of wood:


Photo: Getty Images

The PM and his chancellor even took some time out yesterday to visit the ongoing construction work at Birmingham's New Street Station, concrete and scaffolding and all:

This Mole can't help but notice that the Tory love of construction is in stark contrast to the party's record on the issue over the last few years. Maybe they just love bricks and mortar too much to go without handling them on a regular basis.

Which is fine, of course. But we wonder.

I'm a mole, innit.

New Statesman
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Quiz: Can you identify fake news?

The furore around "fake" news shows no sign of abating. Can you spot what's real and what's not?

Hillary Clinton has spoken out today to warn about the fake news epidemic sweeping the world. Clinton went as far as to say that "lives are at risk" from fake news, the day after Pope Francis compared reading fake news to eating poop. (Side note: with real news like that, who needs the fake stuff?)

The sweeping distrust in fake news has caused some confusion, however, as many are unsure about how to actually tell the reals and the fakes apart. Short from seeing whether the logo will scratch off and asking the man from the market where he got it from, how can you really identify fake news? Take our test to see whether you have all the answers.

 

 

In all seriousness, many claim that identifying fake news is a simple matter of checking the source and disbelieving anything "too good to be true". Unfortunately, however, fake news outlets post real stories too, and real news outlets often slip up and publish the fakes. Use fact-checking websites like Snopes to really get to the bottom of a story, and always do a quick Google before you share anything. 

Amelia Tait is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman.