Thursday, 22 March 2018

I Suspect The Clue Is In The Name...

Leif Bersweden, botanist and PhD student at Kew Gardens, told The Independent it was "arguably the most toxic plant native to Britain" and that anyone who ate it would suffer convulsions, seizures and "definitely" die within 24 hours.
"The roots have a lot more of the toxin, the stem has a lot, and the leaves slightly less," he said. "But if you just touch the leaves and then eat a sandwich, say, then you’re going to get really ill."
Has anyone told Putin...?

"Keeping You Safe, Citizens!" Part 30726

Canvey Town Council has thousands of pounds set aside for extra policing on the island...but has now been told the scheme has been put “on hold”.
What? Why? If anywhere needs more police, it's Canvey Island!
Police Fire and Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst, launched the project allowing councils to fund its own PCSOs, or special constables, to be based in specific areas. The town council has earmarked £5,000 in the forthcoming financial year’s budget to fund officers’ hours.
Ah. Well, I suppose they are better than nothing...
However, the council has now been told the scheme has been put on ice, due to ‘procedural issues’.
Which are never expanded upon. One can only hope it's because they are planning to divert the money into a more robust scheme:

Yup, that ought to do it.    

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Losing Your Focus...

Nationwide say they will talk to police after Twitter users got so angry about a pair of singing sisters on the building society's adverts that some even said they wished they were dead.
Except that from the article, no-one actually did that. You'd have to be an idiot (or a publicity hungry chief marketing officer) to think so.
The songs by comedy duo Flo and Joan to promote the society's financial products have provoked rare online ire, as one user wrote: 'So who's chipping in to get these two singing sisters from the Nationwide advert brutally murdered?'
Another said: 'I don't condone violence of any kind. But it'd benefit us all if the women off the Nationwide advert were left on an uninhabited island far, far away. For the rest of their lives.'
A third added: 'Hypothetically - If #floandjoan (the two singing witches from the Nationwide advert) were to suddenly go missing in mysterious circumstances, there'd actually be 60 million suspects.'
A curious thing for a building society to concern itself with simple banter, no? Unless the adverts aren't getting them enough clicks, I suppose...

Nationwide's Chief Marketing officer Sara Bennison told Ok! is important to call out those persistent offenders who put out vile comments on a regular basis and who should really know better.
'That is why Nationwide is looking to work with other brands, industry bodies, such as ISBA, and the Met Police to look at the true scale of this worrying trend to spread hate from behind a keyboard and attempt to create a solution to tackle the issue.
'It’s one thing not to like an advert, another to threaten to kill the stars of it. Abuse is abuse and that’s never OK in our book.'
I know that 'no publicity is bad publicity', but did Nationwide really hire you to get their name in the paper this way?

At Last! Someone Speaks Truth To Power!

'O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!' Finally CiF can no longer hide what we all know is self-evident truth.
As a child I was taught that silence was golden. On our way to assembly the teachers would make us press our fingers over our lips so only the sound of us padding to the hall could be heard. The local vicar stood at the front of the class every year at Lent to tell us that Jesus was silent in the face of his accusers. He would tell us that silence “can be more eloquent than a speech and louder than a shout”.
He would draw on the passage from St Matthew’s Gospel in which, after his betrayal and arrest in Gethsemane, Jesus is brought before Pilate, and refuses to answer his questions. I was confused by the silence of Jesus – why didn’t he speak out? Of course, various interpretations have read this silence as a way of wresting power back from Pilate. But as a child the message was clear to me: silence was strength; and in the face of adversity or abuse, it was dignified.

Ah. I might have known, really...

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

In Today's 'You Couldn't Make It Up' News...

An armed robber has walked free from prison after raiding a corner shop with a shotgun to pay off drug debts.
Wait, what...?
Tristan Bassett, 20, had been bundled into a car, assaulted and threatened with having his family’s home burnt down before he was then given a shotgun and ordered by his dealers to raid a convenience store to get the money he owed them.
He proved as inept at this as everything else, and was run off by the shopkeeper's wife, without ever getting the shotgun out.

Which provided quite the excuse-generator for his mouthpiece:
James Partridge, defending, told the court that although the robbery was not under duress – the drug dealers remained nearby but not in sight of the shop – it amounted to exceptional circumstances.
He said Bassett, who appeared in court via video link from prison, should be dealt with leniently.
He said: “He used cannabis and alcohol in the past as a crutch for him which made his situation worst (sic).
“He ended up in a situation where he owed money for drugs. On October 21 he encountered the men and was bundled in the car.
“The gun was something given to him to carry out the robbery and he did not take it out.”
Yeah, that's not going to fly, surely?
Judge David Rennie accepted the case had exceptional circumstances, allowing him not to impose the minimum sentence of five years for firearms offences.
Oh. Silly me.
He said: “It was your fault you got into debt, but nothing would prepare you for the situation you were forced into by the individuals who saw it as a way to get their money back. Yes you could have run away when they car drove off, but I understand you were unable to do so, governed by fear.”
Did he name the dealers? We aren't told. 

Ha Ha Ha Ha! Stop. You're Killing Me!

UKIP councillor Steven Hodge said: “We have received several complaints about this incident which was lawless, like something from the Wild West.
"Tesco staff were instructed not to challenge them.
"It seems it is one rule for us and other for the travellers.”
 Oh, you are a wag!
Independent councillor Kerry Smith added: “Apparently the staff were threatened by the main leader of the traveller group not to get them arrested or they would trash the store. The staff then emptied many of the shelves because they were walking in an out and taking what they wanted, as well as using the toilets like a washroom.
“Yesterday afternoon I contacted the Police Crime and Fire commissioner of Essex, to get his officers out and get them arrested for public order offences.”
*wipes away tear of mirth* Good one! Got any more?

Monday, 19 March 2018

It's Not Hard At All...

The advice of almost every charity is never to give to beggars; in the words of the Big Issue’s founder, John Bird, “It locks the beggar in a downward spiral of abject dependency and victimhood, where all self-respect, honesty and hope are lost.”
Most beggars – as many as 80% – are doing so to fund a drug habit. Better instead to give money to charities, say the charities, so that they can fund drop-in centres and other projects that have a chance of changing the beggar’s life.
There’s something unreal about this position, however: when you have so much more than the person asking for it, refusing money can be hard.
No, actually. It isn't. Thousands of us have to do it every day, when we are accosted by obviously-addicted beggars.
What I notice is that the beggar and the begged-from are far less separate than before. Often, a young woman will kneel down to talk to a ragged man or walk out of her way to fetch him a coffee. Friendships of a kind have been formed. Perhaps a feeling is dawning: we’re in the same boat.
No, we aren't. And thankfully, we never will be.

You Never Forget Your Schooldays...

Lisa French, aged 44, saw her Staffordshire Bull Terrier/Hungarian Vizsla cross clench its teeth on the woman’s left calf in the grounds of Lipson Co-operative Academy.
PE teacher Wendy Woodstock was forced to take time off work after surgery and was still on restricted duties three months later, Plymouth Crown Court heard.
Judge Ian Lawrie handed French a suspended prison sentence and decided not to have the dog, called Diesel, destroyed. But the defendant must pay the teacher almost £800 in compensation.
He added that the two-year-old animal was not dangerous.
Judge Lawrie said: “I do not see it posing any threat. This was an unpleasant incident, but the dog reacted in a way to a combination of circumstances.”
Those circumstances being...?
Emmi Wilson, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Ms Woodstock approached French as she walked three dogs and asked whether a nearby vehicle was hers.
She added that Diesel ran over and clenched its teeth around the teacher’s left calf.
Ah, I see. Someone approaching the owner. Well, how often might that happen...?
Ali Rafati, for French, said she and her mother were allowing the three dogs to run around a field. He added Ms Woodstock told them that they should not have the animals there.
The barrister said the teacher “waved her arms around”.
Mr Rafati added: “The dogs started running towards her and we have discovered that this lady has been attacked by a dog before.
"Understandably, when Diesel gets to her she tried to get him away by kicking out with her foot. It prompted Diesel to take a bite.”
That's the best bit of victim blaming I've ever seen! The comments are somewhat interesting too...

Blimey! Someone hated PE with a passion.