Sunday, 30 June 2013

Well, I Suppose It All Comes Down To What They Plan To Do About Them...

Social workers will routinely go into new parents’ homes to check for dangers such as staircases and sharp table edges, under ‘intrusive’ plans drawn up by safety campaigners.
Will it be the hastily-drafted letter, or...something else?
A social worker has been suspended for 12 months after she turned up at a couple's house shouting 'baby murderers' and threatening to kill them.
Joanna Burgess admitted being part of a mob outside the house in July last year, where she was heard to shout out threats to kill before a brick was thrown at the property.
Well, I suppose at least she seems to care, unlike the rest of her ilk...

Isn't This What They Call 'Damning With Faint Praise'?

...I mean, who isn't?

In Haringey, Literacy's Optional...

...yes, even in their local paper.

Sunday Funnies...

Well, gosh, I thought received wisdom these days was that it causes them...

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Some Consistency, Ladies, Please!

Undercover officers had sex without disclosing what they were? OUTRAGE!!! Sue, demonstrate, lobby!

Transexual people might be considered sex offenders if they had sex without disclosing what they were? OUTRAGE!!! Sue, demonstrate, lobby!

C'mon, ladies! Which is it? I know we are supposed to be notoriously unreliable and whimsical, changing our opinions at the drop of a hat, but this is ridiculous, no?

As WoaR points out, the bunfight is only just starting...

Post Title Of The Month

For the second month running, Anna Raccoon runs away with it:

Quote Of The Month

Leg-Iron's topical opener to a post about the increasing desperation of the Righteous:
"There is a spider in my greenhouse, not a mouse. I thought it was a mouse because it’s brown and about the same size but it’s a spider. To quote one of the few intelligible lines from Trout Mask Replica, it’s fast and bulbous. I have had no problems at all with insects eating my plants, no sign of slugs and I would not be at all surprised to find a Romanian squatter wrapped in silk in there one day."

Post Of The Month

Obo the Clown continues his return to top blogging form with this broadside against the Righteous...

Who's The Tragedy For, Judge Michael Taylor?

Is it for the accused man, perhaps?
The young father's relationship fell apart amid whispering in his community after Philippa Costello claimed she had been attacked in April 2011.
He was arrested and held for 15 hours, had intimate samples taken, and had to wait two months before the investigation against him was dropped.
I mean, it surely can't be for the defendant, can it?
Costello, 28, from Dishforth, North Yorkshire, continued with her cruel lie even though town centre CCTV footage proved the man was innocent.
She did not confess until she was due to go on trial last month on a charge of doing an act tending or intended to pervert the course of justice.
Her barrister, Alun Jones, told the court yesterday: "She felt stuck in a track. When she found herself in that hole, she kept digging, and she regrets that."
 No. Surely not.

Oh, wait...
Judge Michael Taylor told Costello: "It is a tragedy for you to be standing before me in court today . . . I regret to say a prison sentence is inevitable.

But wait!
"Regrettably, offences like this are not uncommon and a clear message has got to be sent out by the courts that those who make such allegations leading to the arrest and detention of perfectly innocent people must be marked out by way of being punished."
Oooh, the 'women don't lie about rape!' mob will be joining forces with the 'Well, if they do, it's only a tiny percentages and a rare occurrence!' mob to demand your sacking, I fear...

H/T: Anna Raccoon via email

Friday, 28 June 2013

You Probably Aren’t Paranoid Now, They Probably Are Out To Get You…

…and it’s well deserved:
Winter was first convicted of the two animal cruelty offences in April in her absence after she failed to turn up to court.
She appealed the decision on the basis that she “suffered from paranoia” and did not have enough credit on her phone to warn the court she was unable to face giving evidence.
For once, the magistrates weren't in the mood to swallow it.
She now faces a maximum sentence of 51 weeks in prison and a fine of up to £20,000.
Hmmm. I doubt it.
She was released on unconditional bail and will be sentenced at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on July 18.
Watch this space…


A decision on who will benefit from a £500,000 crime reduction fund has been delayed because so many groups have applied.

Sounds rather familiar...

Gosh! Where does the money come from, I wonder?
Police and crime commissioner Nick Alston secured an extra £500,000 for community groups after a council tax rise.
Well, who doesn't like a ‘free’ lunch, right?

If A Law Is Patently Unworkable In 2013, Do We Scrap It, Or Carry On Regardless?

Sussex Police in full King Canute mode say 'Halt, tide! Go back, I command you!':
Sussex Police have confirmed they are liaising with the CPS to look into whether social media users are committing a criminal offence. On Tuesday a Sussex police spokesman said: 'We are aware that the girl has been named on a number of social media sites.'
He added: 'We will be talking to colleagues from the Crown Prosecution Service about to establish whether there are any social media offences and if so what action should be taken.'
Yes, it's the Forrest case. Which is already raising serious questions about the competence of the authorities and the motives of some deeply unpleasant people in fakecharities.
The case highlights the problematic nature of people breaking laws designed to protect the identity of victims of crime by identifying them on social media.
With one special little wrinkle  This is, after all, no thugball player gettin' jiggy wit it with some teenager with stars in her eyes and a lassaiz-faire approach to moral standards  accompanied by most of his team.
The identity of the girl was widely reported on at the time of her abduction.
And now, despite her name being on everyone's lips, her picture being in every paper and more hourly updates on the case than there's yet been for some ailing South African ex-terrorist, everyone must profess that, verily, they know her not.

The law seems intent on proving it's an ass, doesn't it?

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Man Shall Not Live By Bread Alone!

Marius Bartoc, 31, of Sterry Road, pleaded guilty to the theft that took place on May 28 at a Tesco in Goodmayes.
Barkingside Magistrates Court heard last Thursday, how Bartoc made the move to England from Romania only a few months ago after being promised employment once he arrived. He had to leave his wife and two children in his home country, magistrates were told.
However, on arriving here the job offer turned out not to exist at ll and he had to find manual labour work to get by.
His defence lawyer told how a “moment of desperation” made the defendant, who does not have any previous convictions, commit the theft at the supermarket, in High Road.
Ah, well, I suppose under the circumstance, we should forgive him for simply helping himself to the staples of life?

So...what did he steal?
...a trolley-load of alcohol, confectionary and vegetables worth £500...
*throws away broken Give-A-Fuck-Ometer*

Yeah, I’ll Believe The Police Claims Of ‘Lack Of Resources’…

…when they start actually showing a lack of resources:
Richmond Bridge was closed for more than an hour today after it was believed two girls were attempting to jump off the bridge.
Witnesses said the girls “appeared drunk” and were “messing about” near the edge of the bridge.
One witness said: “Two girls were on the outside of the bridge and two local police got them to come back on to the bridge.
“They were just laughing and screaming. People were telling them to get off of the bridge and two PCSOs arrived, swiftly followed by three fire engines, two ambulances, four police cars and a police van and the bridge was blocked off at both ends.
“We have sat there and watched the local resources for two drunk girls.”
Ah, if only they’d had access to a bus full of schoolchildren as well! Or is that sort of drastic action only reserved for certain sections of the ‘community’?

The Fire Brigade is in full ‘Not us, guv, it was the fault of the other lot!’ mode:
A London Fire Brigade spokeswoman said: “We were called at 2.17pm to reports that some people were threatening to jump off the bridge.
“We sent three fire engines and a couple of fire rescue units. The police led on the incident.”
I think both of you can be safely ignored next time you complain about lack of resources…

These Aren’t ‘Exceptional Circumstances’…

…these are consequences:
A man who put a sign outside his house threatening non-Asians they would be seriously assaulted or carjacked if they tried to speak to his family has been found guilty of a public order offence.
Well, hurrah!
Gova claimed the sign was to protect friends from attack following an incident a week before in which his neighbour was carjacked.
You see, he’s the victim, according to him.
Although district judge Karen Hammond agreed that Gova thought he was acting reasonably, in the eyes of the law, he was not.
And that’s all that matters.
DJ Hammond said that due to the exceptional circumstances of the case - in that Gova would lose his tenancy if convicted - he was given an absolute discharge but ordered to pay £325 in costs.
If the place is so bad, according to him, why worry? Isn’t it in his best interests to live elsewhere anyway?

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Blimey, Surely Judge Richard Haywood Doesn't Live In Whitehawk?

Yesterday Judge Richard Haywood refused to sentence Tongeman for one count of affray in relation to the wood-throwing incident in September 2012 and one count of possessing an offensive weapon in relation to the sword incident in August 2012.
He said he would not deal with him until he had looked psychologists “in the eyes” and they had explained why Tongeman was not dangerous – branding him “a disaster waiting to happen” and a “ticking time bomb”.
Time bombs being, it seems, the only weapons this chap hasn't yet been found to possess...
Speaking about Tongeman – who has 11 convictions for 47 offences – Judge Haywood said: “He has delusional ideas about his neighbours. Petrol bombs were found in his home. He is a high risk of offending. He made terrible threats.”
He dismissed claims in a psychiatrist’s report from February this year that Tongeman was “not any real risk” – and said he found this synopsis “troubling”.
He continued: “It seems to me he is a ticking time bomb.”
He added if Tongeman was released there was the potential for a “disaster”, and added the public would be at risk.

Well, We'll Re-Open It When It's National 'Kill Yourself On The Railway' Week...

The move has sparked anger from cyclists, who point out it is National Bike Week.
'The move' being...?

Well, simply stopping them from killing themselves (and more importantly, traumatising a train driver and inconveniencing passengers):
A rail crossing popular with cycle commuters has been closed for safety reasons.
Network Rail has locked gates on a path linking the Wivenhoe Trail with Essex University, meaning it is only accessible by pedestrians using a stile.
Concerns had been raised bike riders were using the crossing without checking for trains, and with the gates left open by cyclists liability could fall on the landowner or the rail body if there was an accident.
The people who are outraged at this are, no doubt, the same ones who scream blue murder every time some two-wheeled idiot tried to beat a 5 ton truck away from the lights and loses, thereby giving them cause to demand restrictions 'for safety'...

I Guess This Is One Of Those ‘Vulnerable Women’?

Blackburn magistrates heard witnesses said Rebecca Ford was ‘cowering in fear’ as her partner, Carl Daniel Raynor, shouted abuse at her.
Police called at 6.30am found Raynor frothing at the mouth, and had to use a Taser to subdue him before he could be arrested.
Love’s young dream, they are not.
Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said Raynor and the aggrieved had to be taken to hospital after the incident as a result of their drug taking.
“It seems they both get into psychotic states when they have taken drugs,” said Miss Allan.
That’s right. Both.
Andrew Church-Taylor, defending, said Raynor had previously been diagnosed as having acute psychosis and had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act in the past.
He said on the night of the incident they had both been taking amphetamine and were staying at her mother’s house in Accrington.
So I guess, were this couple to live in Essex, she'd be classed as one of those 'vulnerable domestic violence victims' that Essex Police Farce is accused of 'failing'?

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

You'd Have Been Better Off Calling The RSPCA...

...after all, they are less likely to let animals live in squalor than social services are to let children live in it:
'Unbelievably social services said I was intimidating the children by going around and asking for rent money.
'I don't know how they said that with a straight face - what is intimidating is the Third-World squalor they have been living among.'
He added: 'I can't believe social services went in and thought the place fit to live in.
I can. Very easily.

Close Enough For Government BTP Work…

The BTP officers were looking for a man wearing a blue shirt who had reportedly performed a sex act on himself in a train carriage a woman was travelling in on the 6.28pm train from Petts Wood to Bromley.
And our fearless investigators swung into action…
Mr Jones had been on that train and was wearing a blue jacket so when officers found him on a train travelling back to his home about two hours later they arrested him.
Just because of the shirt? Did he otherwise match the description of the suspect?
After being questioned at Orpington he was locked in a cell at Ebury Bridge (Victoria) Transport Police station for several hours before a formal interview took place. During this interview it emerged the suspect the police were looking for was in his late 20s, had blondish hair and was travelling in the back carriage. Mr Jones is 49 years old and was travelling in the front carriage.
But he had A BLUE JACKET! OK, it’s not a shirt, but come on, how can we expect BTP to know the difference? It’s not like there was CCTV or someth…

Oh. Wait…
He was eliminated from the BTP enquiries after officers watched the CCTV from the train.
Well, can’t expect them to do it before they arrest someone, I guess.
Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Jason Schweiger said: “We need to act quickly when we receive a report of this nature, a suspect could still be at the scene and we need to do our best to identify the person responsible. “
Your best clearly wasn't good enough.
“In this case, a description of a man we were looking for in connection with the incident was circulated and a man of similar description who had travelled on the train in question was arrested.”
But it wasn’t a man ‘of similar description’, was it?

Coming Over Here, Sleeping On Our Streets...

Local business owners have complained about problems caused by homeless people sleeping in Albert Road, including discarded litter and human waste, for several years.
Back in October 2009 local businessman Stephen Bath, of Bath Travel, frustrated by the sight of empty bottles, dried vomit and dirty clothing marring the street, called on the council to act.
And amazingly enough, they did!
Nathaniel Rendell, owner of the Consortium clothes shop, said he believed the move was a positive step towards Albert Road regaining its former glory. “I have sympathy for the homeless but these particular people have been creating a problem where we are trying to run a business,” he said.
Amen! Preach it, brother!
Lorraine Mealings, Strategic Housing Services Manager for Bournemouth council, said the authority has been working with Crime Reduction Initiatives, Dorset Police and the UK Border Agency to move the homeless people to “suitable accommodation”.
Wait, whoa, hold up! Why would the UKBA get involved?

Surely you aren't telling us that we have a foreign-imported 'homelessness problem'?

Monday, 24 June 2013

The Justice System Is Limp…

…unlike the significant member of this story:
A flasher had a prison sentence for sexual assault hanging over him, and was waiting to be handed another, when he exposed himself to a woman taking the bus to work.
I guess she was taking the bus to work. Not him?
A judge had already given him a 50-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, at Blackfriars Crown Court last May, after he sexually assaulted a woman on a train in February. He was also put on the sex offenders register.
But, less than a month later with the prospect of prison in the background, he sexually assaulted another woman in a nightclub. He was handed another suspended prison sentence, of 15 months, when a judge, this time at Reading Crown Court, sentenced him in January this year.
Willis has been warned he could face prison at Kingston Crown Court when he is sentenced for indecent exposure.
Only ‘could’..?

As Anna Raccoon points out, it could be oh-so-different if he'd only take up a hobby...

“But….But I Don’t Understand! We Have A Gun Ban!”

A 34-year-old man was shot in Fontaine Court in Southgate at approximately 7.20pm yesterday and pronounced dead at the scene.
The Enfield Independent understands the victim was Turkish, from Tottenham, although this remains unconfirmed.
Well, well, well

Naturally, this is a totally mystifying event, for some:
Councillor Henry Lamprecht, who leads Southgate Green, said: “There has been a quantum leap from people knifing each other to shooting each other now, and this by all accounts is just an execution on the streets, it’s just frightening.
“We need to nip this in the bud - we need to find out where these guns are coming from. It’s a leap that is taking place from people walking with knives that are easily obtainable to guns that shouldn’t be easily obtainable. “
I guess criminals don’t obey laws. Still, never mind.

We destroyed our pistol shooting industry and needlessly inconvenienced future sportsmen and women, so, there’s that…
Cllr Lamprecht said the shooting, in a built up area, could have led to more fatalities. The Conservative politician said: “It is entirely possible that these bullets could have gone astray and killed more people. If they can get guns so easily what is preventing a massive tragedy from happening?“
The fact that they’re only interested in killing each other? So far, anyway.

Meanwhile, in Croydon:
Rival gangs have been battling for control of Croydon’s London Road, leaving residents and shopkeepers terrified. Two incidents within a week of each other last month left several men with serious injuries after clashes between rival Tamil gangs.
Now, why do these gangs act with such impunity?
A restaurant worker who was also too scared to be identified in fear of reprisal attacks, said: “These people do not care about the police.
In my country they would run as fast as they can from the police but here they just laugh at them.”

So Close, But No Cigar…

Problem dog owners who abandon dangerous and banned animals in Blackburn and Darwen should be prosecuted, a leading councillor has warned.
Well, hurrah! At last! Someone gets it, do they?

Clearly, it was too much to hope for, though:
Blackburn councillor Mike Lee, the Conservative group leader, said: “The dogs are not looked after properly and they become aggressive.
We need to start targeting these owners and challenging their right to own these breeds of dog. There’s no reason why a home owner needs a bull terrier.”
*sighs* We’ve seen this kind of ‘logic’ before, haven’t we?

There’s no reason why they shouldn’t own one, provided they are responsible and train the beast properly. It's the ones who aren't and don't that need the close scrutiny...
Darwen councillor Paul Browne said: “I get a lot of complaints about stray dogs in the estates, and I’ve seen lads in their twenties walking around with these bull terriers and trying to make a statement. I’m petrified of these dogs and just get out of their way.”
Well, that’s exactly why they own these dogs, isn't it?

Sunday, 23 June 2013

'Daily Mail' Shocked, SHOCKED, To Discover Optics Company Makes....Optics!

For years the Nikon camera company has been synonymous with wildlife photography.
Stunning images of animals are used to promote its products, features on top wildlife photographers appear on its website and the firm even sponsors several global conservation projects.
Hurrah for Nikon! Hurrah, hurrah!
So it may come as quite a shock to animal lovers to discover that the Japanese manufacturer also produces a rifle scope specifically designed to be used for big game hunting in Africa.

How dare they make anything like this! What do they think they are! Some sort of company making products, or something?
Stefano Unterthiner, winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the year in 2008, himself a user of Nikon cameras has now condemned the firm for producing such a product.
I don't think they're forcing you to use it, Stefano. Nor do I think your camera will suddenly turn deadly in your hands as a result...
'I always saw Nikon as a company close to nature, but I was wrong.'
I don't think it's possible to get closer to nature than hunting it, do you?

Mrs Beamish Lives!

A vicar has quit after elderly parishioners mounted a whispering campaign against him for introducing ’happy clappy’ hymns into his church services.
The Rev David Dickinson had boosted congregations at his church in the picturesque Lancashire village, attracting dozens of young families and their children. 
But his efforts to modernise the church services caused a wave of resentment among older worshippers.

I salute you, villagers of Hoghton!

I Say, I Say, How Dumb Are 'Daily Mail' Readers?

Well, this should answer that question - dumb enough they need to point out which corpse is that of the rhino, and which is that of a man....

Sunday Funnies...

Another list I'm thankful - and not a little surprised - that Britain doesn't feature on....yet!

H/T: Angry Exile via Twitter

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Sounds Like It Already Is, Boris…

…well, for some definitions of ‘exciting’, anyway:
The Mayor of London has said Tottenham is going to be the next exciting place to live in the capital.


Comment Sections...

It seems every local newspaper has them.

Bucko outlines some issues with them, and their selective publishing guidelines which ensure hanging remotely controversial is squelched before too many citizens realise they aren't alone in holding doubleplusungood views.

But they have help! In every comments sections, if you read it long enough, you get the characters - the never-serious commenter, the one who always wants to turn the subject round to their pet hate/love, and now, a new one, one dedicated to stamping out any comment they feel isn't 'respectful'.

These usually show up on stories where some chav has died doing something foolish. So I see a lot of them, as you can imagine.

The usual themes are there - although you have the right to say what you want, subject to the paper's editorial rules for commenters, these people would rather you didn't. We mustn't be 'unnecessary' or 'disrespectful'. We certainly must never, ever, judge

Which brings me to my favourite recent comment:


Helen Lewis Boards The Outrage Bus

How far should a brand go to stay edgy, even if it means their readers end up dead?
Well, that’s probably too far! A small percentage of their readers, they could maybe cope with.
Vice magazine is aiming to find out.
Oh ho! How?
The youth culture magazine has published a fashion spread of models recreating the suicides of famous female writers. There is Sylvia Plath poised in front of the gas oven, wearing an on-trend Suno dress and Virginia Woolf wading into the water in a gothic Christian Siriano coat and vintage frock.
How very daring! And probably lost on their readership, who likely won’t know who any of these people are. They’ll have to do a modern celebrity version, with Kurt Cobain and Michael Hutchence.

That’ll put the cat among the (already outraged) pigeons:
Creating a Twitter storm every so often is exactly what Vice wants. It doesn't have aspirations to be taken seriously, so it doesn't need to apologise if anyone is offended. It doesn't have the kind of editors who are likely to be hauled in front of a select committee to explain themselves. And although it publishes a British edition, it doesn't feel like part of the fabric of the British media.
In which case, why start one off? Well, the usual reason, of course – because SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!
But let's not be in any doubt about what Vice has done. The Samaritans have guidelines covering both journalistic and creative depictions of suicide, and they are very clear: avoid glamorising suicide and avoid giving details of the methods.
Guidelines, Helen, are voluntary.
It is widely accepted that following these rules reduces copycat suicides.
Wait, I thought you said they were guidelines? Rules are different. You do know that, surely?
If you live in London, you'll regularly hear announcements about passenger incidents and delays due to a person under a train, but you won't find them routinely written up in the Evening Standard. That's for a very good reason: the Samaritans quote studies from Vienna and Toronto where voluntary restrictions on reporting subway suicides reduced their occurrence by 75%.
Similarly, the inclusion of a particular suicide method in a popular television show or prominent media report has been shown to increase suicide attempts by that method.
So..? Must we steer clear of mentioning deaths at all? I though you progressives were keen to see death on the curriculum at the earliest possible stage!
Every year in England and Wales, about 24,000 young people between the age of 10 and 19 attempt suicide. What will children in that kind of distress see when they look at those Vice pictures? They will see a menu.
Children of that age are reading 'Vice'? Really?
As a journalist, covering suicide is always hard because there is a fine line between raising awareness of a vital public health issue and contributing to a spectacle that could harm vulnerable people.
Well, indeed! Because, added to this column, this little note:
• This article was amended on 18 June 2013 to remove a reference to a particular method of suicide

Friday, 21 June 2013

”Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside…”

Police were called after a man in his 20s from London suffered puncture wounds to his buttocks, leg and arm during an altercation at a shop in Old Road at abour 6.50pm on Wednesday April 10.
He was taken to hospital but later discharged himself. Johnathan Blaize, 26 and unemployed from Lightermans Way, Greenhithe, Kent has been charged with affray and theft; 23 year old unemployed Jamal Coipel from St Andrews Road, Clacton; 27 year old unemployed Markel Greenridge from Dunbar Street, London SE27 and 28 year old Damien Dunstan (Ed: Wow! He has a job?) from Grange Road, London E13 have all been charged with affray.
I remember when a day out at the seaside meant a walk up the pier, fish & chips, and an ice cream….

"Hey! No! Not US! WE'RE Special!" Part 2584

It took two years for Sussex Police to issue just 100 fines to cyclists using pavements in the county. But following complaints from residents of Kemp Town about two-wheelers abusing Marine Parade, police handed out 45 in just 120 minutes last week.
Now, doesn't that bring a smile to everyone’s face?
Cycling groups have criticised the police, declaring the measures over the top.
Oh. Well, they would. Wouldn't they?
Becky Reynolds, from the cyclers’ campaign group Bricycle, said: “The police don’t always definitively know where it is and isn’t legal to cycle.
“In the past there have been errors where cyclists have been given fixed penalty notices when they were not cycling illegally and fines have had to be cancelled after we have challenged the action.“
“Fixed penalty notices were never intended for responsible cyclists, who sometimes use the pavement out of fear of traffic. “
Really? I guess no-one remembered to write that little exception clause, eh?
“I have previously had to challenge the use of the phrase ‘zero tolerance’ by police for pavement cycling. “
Oh, really? And what came of this ‘challenge’?
“Cyclists should always behave responsibly, but pedestrians have far more to fear from contact with motor vehicles. “
Which is very, very rarely a problem on pavements
“With police resources spread thinly I would hope that the police and PCSOs are prioritising enforcement against the most dangerous road behaviour, not picking on people, particularly children, who are avoiding traffic or unfriendly road design. Education is preferable to fines.”
What, you think the cyclists who do this don’t know it’s illegal? Someone should challenge their actions, then. Isn't that a job for…errrr….you?

And as for ‘most dangerous behaviour’, well, what do you call breaking someone’s hip?

Update: Panic over! It's back to 'normal'...

An Olympic Legacy They Don’t Want To Advertise…

…unlike the building projects:
Three west African Olympic athletes and a coach who vanished after last summer’s Games are among “missing people” Newham police are searching for, it was revealed this week.
Perhaps they thought they were entered for the 2012 Hide And Seek, and no one told them that wasn’t an official event?
The whereabouts of female sprinter, Assiata Toure, 20, from Guinea; Cameroon wonen’s football team’s reserve goalkeeper, Laure Ngako Tchimi, 25; Judo player Mandembo Kebika Cedric, 29, from the Democratic Republic of Congo; and Ivory Coast’s wrestling coach, Yves Adje, 30, remain a mystery.
Yeah. It’s not like they’ll stick out in Stratford.
Det Ch Insp, Dave Rock, investigating officer for Newham’s Missing Persons Unit, said: “We’re working with the UK Border Agency to find them, but I think we can assume they have simply wandered off to make a better life for themselves in this country.”
Oh, I think so too. Say, shouldn't there be a government agency set up to ensure that doesn't happen?

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Blackburn Police, Serving And Protecting Punishing The Victim…

Blackburn magistrates heard Mohammed Shazan had made more than 30 complaints to police about behaviour towards his wife and children before taking the law into his own hands and assaulting two 13-year-old boys who had been bullying his son.
Strange, because aren’t we always told that the police take such complaints seriously?
And speaking after magistrates had expressed sympathy with his predicament and acknowledged a ‘greater degree of provocation’ he said: “I just want to look after my family. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I just want to be left alone to live my life.”
Shazan, 31, of Whalley Road, Clitheroe, pleaded guilty to two charges of assault. He was fined £110 with £20 victim surcharge.
We aren’t told what action was taken – if any was – regarding the complaints. Nor what fines – if any - were imposed on the perpetrators.
Passing sentence the chairman of the magistrates said it was not acceptable, however distressed the defendant had been, to go round hitting people, especially young boys.
“We are not ordering compensation because of the extensive historic provocation and the provocation at the time,” he said.
“It is noteworthy that, having viewed the CCTV, one of the boys appears to be a bit of a drama queen and the other didn’t seem bothered because he was juggling a ball.”
Which makes me wonder why the police – knowing the same history and having access to the same CCTV – pursued the case at all?

Or is this just police policy now?

It's Good News Time!

The designer behind the stunning Olympic cauldron is planning a giant £60 million floating garden to bridge the Thames.
Thomas Heatherwick’s design would be the first new crossing since the Millennium Bridge opened to the public in 2002 and would create a new route from Covent Garden to the South Bank.
Well, excellent news! Though hopefully the architect's skills will, this time, fully match the artist's vision...
… the go-ahead is dependent on Mr Heatherwick raising the cash from private sponsors because the Greater London Authority will not invest public money.
Even better news!

So Have The Immigration Officials…

The family of a woman stabbed to death by a psychotic neighbour weeks after he was discharged from hospital today accused mental health chiefs of having “blood on their hands”.
Oh, they are to blame for releasing him, no question. But they aren't the only ones to blame.

What about those responsible for him being here in the first place?
Ross Johnson, the killer’s barrister, said Abdillahi had a history of self-harming and depression. He came to Britain in 1999 with a passport that claimed he was born in 1980 - he was actually born in 1974.
He settled in Cardiff after winning indefinite leave to remain..
You won’t find any mention of this case in the ‘Guardian’, oddly enough. They are too busy fretting over the way the killers are treated

Just as you won’t read anything about Reema Ramzan either...

Strange, that. The 'Guardian' IS a newspaper, isn't it?

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Art For Art's Sake: Ziolkowski

The scale of this one never ceases to amaze me - like the original artist, sadly, I won't live to see it finished:


I first read about it in a sci-fi novel, 'Logan's Run' by George Clayton Johnson and William F. Nolan - being sci-fi, the idea of a mountain sculpture hiding a supercomputer and guarded by lethal cybernetic eagles was just part of the make-believe world. Or, so I thought at the time.

Years later, I learned the truth. Amazingly, it is indeed real (though minus the supercomputer and the eagles, which is a real shame!). Or...will be real, anyway.

In 1929, Henry Standing Bear, a Lakota elder, wrote to the sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski to propose it. Why did he choose Ziolkowski, a Polish American? I haven't been able to find out, but I can only assume that it was on the basis of his work on the more-famous Mount Rushmore monument. I admire his vision, and his steadfast refusal to take any form of government grant...

And if only all modern art were so grand and uplifting!

Talk Is Great, But Action Is What Works...

Almost 100 crimes in Dartford were committed using weapons in the past year, News Shopper can reveal.
The campaigning mother of Sidcup knife victim Rob Knox says she is not surprised by the figure, obtained through a Freedom of Information request.
I'm not surprised by the figure, either. Though for a very different reason:
She told News Shopper: “From working on the ground with young people it does not surprise me at all, to be quite honest.
“I always say to the kids, 'put your hand up if you know someone who carries a knife'.
“And whatever area, whatever school, be it boys or girls, in what can be perceived a good area, at least 50 per cent of them would put their hand up.
“So this figure doesn’t surprise me at all. It’s quite upsetting.”
Well, you see, Mrs Knox, there's really no consequences to carrying knives any more  The government you cosy up to tells you there is, and promises new legislation, but like all their promises, these prove to be worthless.
Mrs Knox added: “It’s a real uphill battle but I can’t give up.”
Oh, you might as well. The police have, and who can blame them?

Thanks, But I'll Still Give It A Miss...

Van Badham asks:
Did anyone attend the live performance of Mikala Dwyer's Goldene Bender  at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art the other day?
Nope! For two reasons.

The first being, I don’t live in Australia. The second being, I've read all I need to know about it at David Thompson’s site.

So I’ll give this ‘nuanced examination through performance of the precise moment that our private selves know public shame’ a miss, thanks all the same.

Van, however, thinks this sort of thing isn't so much art, as it is quid pro quo:
Just as I'm forced to mentally excise myself from the reality that my personal tax contributions pay for refugee internment camps, so the Australian right must suck it up, accept that libertarianism is more than just a conservative attempt at a groovy haircut, and learn to live with the free and democratic expressions of people whom they don't like.
Nicely comparing border protection apples with adolescent tantrum display oranges there…

Don’t Round Up The Usual Suspects!

A cyclist was assaulted in York, following an argument with
No! I know what you’re thinking…
another cyclist.
There’s a turn-up for the books, eh?
The man, who is in his thirties, was cycling over the railway bridge in Crichton Avenue, at about 6.30pm on Wednesday, June 5, when the front of his bike was clipped by another cyclist travelling in the opposite direction.
A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said the victim was punched by the second cyclist, and a scuffle broke out before a passer by intervened.
The victim was not seriously hurt and not require hospital treatment.
The suspect apologised before cycling away in the direction of Wigginton Road, but police want to speak to anyone who saw the incident.
You get a politer class of road rage attacker on a bike, I guess… ;)

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Do You Remember When You Did Your Exams?

A state-of-the art chicken coop, complete with a gym, is the latest addition to Surbiton High School.
Kavita Patel, head of biology, claims watching the chickens is calming for the students.
And why do they need ‘calming’?
Kavita Patel, head of biology, said: “Having the chickens outside it is about having live animals, and getting everybody to see them every day.
"The students can see them at breaks and lining up for exams. They are calming, they are good for the exam period.”
Ah. I see. When they finally graduate and get jobs, I hope they won’t be stressful ones. Because I can’t see employers taking anything other than a dim view of a demand for ‘calming’ techniques when there’s a rush job on or a deadline to meet.

And…when did schools take it upon themselves to cosset their students, and remove all traces of stress from their lives? Stress is natural, hardship is a part of life.

Back when I did exams the idea that they should be ‘stress free’ was an alien concept. If you’d asked any of my teachers what they were doing to avoid burdening their pupils with this, they’d have stared at you blankly and wondered what you’d been smoking...

Want To Get Out Of Jury Service?

Don’t wash for the week before the trial. Simples!
A murder trial has collapsed after a female juror complained that the man sitting next to her in the court smelled.
So…move him, or hand him a can of deodorant. Simples! No..?

The trial into the death of 20-year-old Jamie Sanderson, who was stabbed in Oceana nightclub, was two days into a six week trial when Judge Wendy Joseph discharged the jury.
She said:“There is a problem. There is nothing that the poor man can do about it. I am not prepared to force him to sit in another part of the court room. “
Well, it’s only public money, judge. It’s not like it costs you anything, is it?

And we can’t have any hint of ‘discrimination’ towards the man with the offensive body odour, can we?
The juror in question was spoken to by the court matron about his cleanliness.
While the jury were out of the court room, lawyers were told he had no health issues, regularly showered and washed his clothes.
So…why did he smell?
The judge considered moving him into the press box but said she felt this may ostracise him.
Judge Joseph said: “He was pretty comfortable where he was in the jury box and did not wish to be put to one side. In light of that, it would be wrong of me to make him do that.
“He believes that the complaint has come from a number of jurors.”
So the trial collapses because of her wish not to ‘ostracise’ the man. Unbelievable!
She also said it worried her that as the weather got warmer it could lead to more complaints.
This is an English summer. I really wouldn't worry too much about that

This Is Not What Most People Would Regard As ‘Without Incident’…

Iain Cochrane, chief executive of Glasgow Prestwick, said: “We carefully plan and train for this kind of eventuality and I am relieved it ended safely and without incident.”
Oh. Really?
Five passengers from a flight that was forced to make an emergency landing in Scotland after the discovery of a threat to start a fire on board are now claiming asylum in Britain, police have revealed.
That’s an ‘incident’, isn’t it?

Monday, 17 June 2013

Why Does It Take Three Years..?

Dudley Magistrates’ Court heard how Mohammed Mahdizada made no attempt to intervene when the Japanese akitas launched at Alan Pearce’s Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Oscar.
When Mr Pearce put his hand down to stop the two dogs, one bit his hand before biting him again on his two feet as he fell and slipped to the ground in the Fen Pool Nature Reserve in Pensnett, Dudley.
Mahdizada, 27, an asylum seeker from Iran who lives in Walpole Street, Wolverhampton, then walked away with the two dogs, making no contact with Mr Pearce, who later needed eight stitches to his feet.
Mahdizada was convicted following a trial last month of allowing a dog to be out of control in a public place. He claims to be looking after the dogs in his home while the owner is away in Iran.
Gosh, I hope the owner left him plenty of cans of Pedigree Chum too. After all, asylum seekers live in penury, according to the progressives…
The situation has left police unable to get owner’s permission to assess the dogs for their danger to the public from their owner – so an application to destroy them cannot be made.
Surely it can be made once Mr Anon returns? In the meantime, they are under the temporary ownership of Mr Mahdizada, so why cannot he give permission?

Would a vet refuse to treat them because he's not the owner?
Yesterday at the court hearing, deputy district judge Mr Prakash Aujla said: “If someone can’t be bothered to obey laws in this country or assist this court, they deserve the punishment it warrants.”
Oooh, I bet that didn't go down too well…
Mr Roy Paterson, defending, said Mahdizada had been living in the country as an asylum seeker for three years and did not work.
Why does it take three years to assess his claim?
Mahdizada will be sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court on July 10.
One to watch.

Well, Stop Them Defining ‘Vital Services’ For Themselves, Then…

Dozens of local authorities are on the brink of financial collapse but ministers have failed to come up with adequate contingency plans to prop up vital services, according to a committee of MPs.
Oh, really? ‘Vital services’, eh..?
Hodge warned that some councils may have no option but to cut services as a result of tight finances.
"Local authorities are tending to cope with funding reductions. But in the long term there might well be little room for further efficiency gains and services would have to be cut. There needs to be frank and open dialogue between central and local government and the public on just what services councils will be expected to provide in a prolonged period of declining funding."
Well, I’ll tell you what I consider to be 'services councils should provide', and I’ll certainly tell you a service that they shouldn’t provide.

Feeding other people’s kids for ‘free’:
Free healthy breakfasts could soon be on the menu at all primary schools in Hull, the Mail can reveal today. The move is part of a fresh drive to improve the health of children in the city, as figures confirm rising obesity rates.
Let’s get this straight – feeding children is the responsibility of their parents. It’s not the responsibility of the school, or the council, or anyone else.
The board, which is a partnership between the council and public health experts, is expected to approve a number of new initiatives costing about £200,000 at a meeting later this month.
There’s £200,000 that can be saved immediately, then, and put to work on repairing potholes, ensuring that refuse is collected and fly-tippers prosecuted and that local parks are maintained. All services the council should be providing…
Cllr Inglis said: "What I have been trying to do is focus the board's activities on younger age groups.
"This really has the same principles behind the free school meals initiative – catch them early, get them into good habits and we all reap the benefits in 20 or 30 years' time.
"For me it's almost a no-brainer."
It certainly takes a no-brainer to come up with it, though perhaps not in the way you meant!
Blackpool council leader Simon Blackburn said as well the nutritional and educational benefits, the scheme was designed to tackle poverty.
"This is not about helping kids whose parents are on benefits, it's about people earning £12,000-a-year and struggling to make ends meet."
Perhaps you should ask yourself why people earning that amount might struggle? Could it be because they are paying too much in tax that then goes to feed other people’s children?

Second Bites At The Leniency Cherry…

A schoolgirl who tricked another teenage girl into a sexual relationship by making her believe she was a boy has been released from prison after judges decided her sentence was too harsh.
Oh, the poor thing! She’s a victim too, you see!
McNally's counsel argued that judge James Patrick, who passed sentence in March, did not pay heed to her own youth and vulnerability, or give her credit for her decision to plead guilty.
Psychiatric reports found McNally had self-harmed and was having suicidal thoughts, the court heard.
Lord Justice Leveson, sitting with Mr Justice Kenneth Parker and Mr Justice Stewart, acknowledged the victim suffered substantial harm, describing the case as extremely difficult.
They imposed a two-year supervision order to go with the suspended sentence. McNally spent 82 days at Holloway prison in London.
That’s right. Only 82 days…

Meanwhile, since the Pussy Pass is in full swing:
A woman jailed for eight years after aborting her unborn baby within a week of her due date has had her sentence reduced to three-and-a-half years.
Lady Justice Rafferty, heading a panel of three judges in the Court of Appeal, said it was an extraordinarily difficult sentencing exercise, but the term was manifestly excessive. Catt sobbed in the dock throughout the hearing in London.
Lady Justice Rafferty said that Catt's complicated obstetric history, which involved adoption, seeking termination and concealment of pregnancy, threw up a "potential for disturbance, personal misery and long lasting difficulty".
All of which, someone less forgiving than our judges seem to be might say, is surely just the consequences of what she did?
Catt, who was described at her trial as "cold and calculating", had no relevant previous convictions and a psychiatric report excluded mental disorder.
But what do they know, eh, Rafferty?

Sunday, 16 June 2013

It's All Going Down In Leigh!

Hold the front page!

Fun With Taxonomy At The 'Daily Mail' ... Again!

They attempt to qualify this later on:
Tawny Frogmouths are an Australian cousin to the owl...
Well, only in the sense that the flamingo is 'cousin to an owl'!

Wiki has them nailed:
The Tawny Frogmouth is often mistaken for an owl.
They must be familiar with 'Mail' journalists.

Well, I Don't Know Where He's Going To Get The 40p From...


...but OK, Mark, it's a deal. Cough up!

Sunday Funnies..

It won't matter, you can't reason people out of something if it wasn't reason that got them there in the first place...

Saturday, 15 June 2013

A Nice Vignette Of What 13 Years Of Labour Has Produced….

Steven Rea, 39, of Baleside Close, Chelsfield, is charged with one count of common assault after the incident at Bexleyheath Police Station on October 13 last year.
The youngster, who was 14 at the time, had been arrested on suspicion of stealing a bottle of vodka from Iceland in Erith town centre.
And despite the worry from the progressives about how stressful and intimidating young people find interaction with the justice system, he wasn't exactly chastened by his experience:
Defence counsel Billy Emlyn Jones suggested the youngster provoked the attack by showing Rea his middle finger after he had been brought into custody.

Nor was that all…
Mr Emlyn Jones added: "You have no respect for the police doing their job.
"You did absolutely nothing to cooperate when you had been arrested.
"You made their job as difficult as you possibly could deliberately.
"The police had no choice but to try and pick you up and get you to a cell using force."
Still, I'm sure his brief has coached him well on how to be contrite and express regret now he’s in the d…

After viewing the footage the boy said: "You f**king mug. I haven't even seen this before and that is not right.
"I was drunk, that is what I am like when I am drunk.
"But what I did, I did not deserve that.
"It is not hard, they could have just picked me up and put me in a cell."
Yes, indeed. Why should there be any consequences, he (quite reasonably) asks, when there haven’t been any up until now?

Another Triumph For The CPS?

Christopher Nathaniel, 40, who told the court he once helped former prime minister Tony Blair launch an anti-knife crime campaign, was found not guilty along with seven other men of the fatal stabbing of Danny O’Shea,18.
Remember this one? I wonder what the family think now?

There is some small scrap of comfort:
Nugent Rowe, 29, from Pinner, Middlesex, was convicted of the murder.
Great! Now give him the sentence all the others who took part in the attack would have got on top of his own.

Unless he names – and gives evidence against – them…
Jurors were told the attack took place a week after Nathaniel’s business partner Paul Boadi, 34, had been attacked by as many as seven men when his phone was stolen.
It was alleged that he spoke to Nathaniel and arranged to return to the area with another eight men to hunt for those responsible when Mr O’Shea was killed.
Have the police closed their case? Are they still looking for the rest?

I'm Just Pre-empting Tomorrow's Newspapers...

Police were today urgently searching for a 14-year-old girl who is believed to have disappeared with a 'professional fraudster' more than twice her age.
Schoolgirl [redacted] and former car dealer John Bush, 35, both of Doncaster, South Yorkshire, are thought to have been in the Highfields area of the town over the past two days.
The teenager was last seen on Monday at 2.30pm at [redacted] in Adwick in her school uniform, although South Yorkshire Police said it was unlikely that she will still be wearing this. [redacted] was described by the force as being [redacted]. Bush was described as white, of stocky build and having receding dark blonde hair.
Her mother [redacted], who lives in [redacted] area of the town, said on Facebook: 'Please come home, my gorgeous girl. Am so worried about you. I love you so much. '
Because, after all, the minute, the instant, charges are laid we must forget all about the name we've seen plastered all over the media. Nothing that identifies her will be permitted. She will be referred to only as 'the schoolgirl'.

Such is our justice system...

Friday, 14 June 2013

There’s A Time And Place To Open Your Mouth…

…but in Basildon, they’ve not learned that lesson yet:
Police were out in force on Eastmayne and Felmores, in Basildon, on Wednesday as they carried out the latest in a series of operations in the borough.
Officers were out to snare motorists flouting the law by committing offences such as driving while uninsured and not wearing seatbelts.
Hmmm, agree with the first one (after all, it can have consequences far beyond that initial offence), but the last one shouldn't even be a crime. But, well, it is, and so I suppose the police have to address it wherever they see it.
During the safety drive, police and road safety officers from Essex County Council also carried out a “speedwatch” outside the Willows Primary School in Church Road, Basildon.
Using speed guns they stopped passing motorists caught breaking the limit and drivers were given the chance to receive a £60 fine and three penalty points or be questioned by the children about their poor driving.
I wonder how they have time for this, when they are supposed to be in school learning all those things the teachers think are important?

And do the parents get to consent before their children are used as props in a law enforcement drive? Not that it would matter to some parents:
While outside the school, officers were forced to confront one woman who had parked on the zig-zag lines, which are designed to keep children safe when crossing. But the woman became abusive and began swearing at police, in front of the shocked children.
She has now been summoned to court for parking and public order offences.
Heh! It'll be even funnier if she's the parent of one of the police's Scolding Moppet Squad!

It’s Quite A New Definition Of ‘Animal Lover’…

Berkeley’s lawyer, Adam Merrick, said his client was an animal lover, adding: “She’s someone who’s been a previous pet owner and has had no problems with looking after them before.”
So she was aware they needed food and water?
He said she had been suffering at the hands of a violent former partner and her three children had been taken into care.
He added: “The gentleman came back to this address and there was further physical violence. She left the address and moved into a refuge, and the dog was left on its own. “
Riiiight. Of course. It’s not like refuges aren’t able to help with that, is it?
“Unfortunately, as she said in an interview, she went off the rails. She did care, but her actions didn’t show it at the time.”
Well, no. That’s rather stating the obvious, isn’t it?
Berkeley did once return to the house once during the three weeks and try to release the dog into the street, he said.
Well, that was useful. I guess she didn't try hard enough.

"Well, We Did A Risk Assessment And..."

"...turns out it's more of a risk (to us) to let a car plough into gypsy kids than your kids..."

Via Mark Wadsworth, this incredible story:
The driver of the 70-seat coach was asked to use the vehicle as a barricade shortly after the incident in Battlebarrow, Cumbria, despite there being dozens of children on board.
Parents criticised police for putting the youngsters in unnecessary danger and the case was refered to the Police and Crime Commissioner.
One mother said: "The police are trained to think of every eventuality yet they don't seem to have thought that the car might ram the bus."
If you're wondering what could possibly have prompted our notoriously safety-first, risk averse no matter the inconvenience police farce to attempt such a hare-brained scheme, well, read on:
Cumbria Police said the car was heading for a road beyond the bus which was filled with spectators, horses and other schoolchildren.
At the Appleby Horse Fair.

Get it now?

Thursday, 13 June 2013

One Can Only Wonder At How Her Children Would Behave…

Melissa Kite on dog (non)training:
The man at the next table looked down at my fidgeting spaniel and shook his head. ‘Not trained,’ he said.
How rude. There I was, having a quiet drink with my friend at the local pub, when the man at the next table decided to give me some unsolicited advice about how to control my dog.
Turns out, you need it...
The noise of the spaniel howling and the chair scraping across the flagstones and me gasping ‘Oh, Cydney, please!’ every few minutes was rather ruining the ambience of one of Surrey’s most modish gastropubs (clientele include Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and there is often a queue for the helipad).
Also, it was quiz evening, so the howling did rather interfere with the compère calling out the questions. But you have to understand that Cydney has sat through a lot of these quizzes and is beginning to get a bit hacked off.
Then leave the dumb beast at home! It's not like he answers many questions, is it? And if your pooch is 'hacked off', imagine how the rest of the pub feels...
But the man at the next table didn’t see it that way. The man at the next table was in a party of people that included a visually impaired lady who had a guide dog. An impeccably behaved guide dog. A guide dog who lay at his owner’s feet and barely moved, except when Cydney pulled me across the floor on my seat and threw herself on top of it.
The man was something to do with guide dog training and had also tamed bull mastiffs, which was just about as impressive a thing as anyone on planet earth could do. He told us so after striding over to our table to make clear that my dog was what those in the dog-training business like him would technically term ‘not trained’.
Those of us not in the dog training business have choicer descriptions of it. And of the owner...
‘UP!’ he yelled furiously at her. She batted the Lab with her paws. ‘NOW!’ She stood up and turned her back on him. ‘SIT!’ She looked over towards the bar. ‘It’s no good,’ I tried to explain to him. ‘She doesn’t do sit.’
Oddly enough, it seems she had an uncontrollable horse, as well. Are we starting to see a pattern here? We can only thank god this woman has a child substitute, and not a real child...

Health & Safety At Work? What’s That?

A care worker has been given a criminal record and banned from working with children for a year after striking a “physically aggressive” child who was going for her eyes with a broom.
Striking him accidentally at that…
The eight-year-old boy, who suffered from learning disabilities, had thrown a tennis ball at Balogun’s face and attacked her with a broom after being told twice to apologise.
Lovely! But are we supposed to expect care workers to put up with it, because 'he can't help it'?
Defence counsel Susanne Cleary said: “The complainant pointed the broom at Mrs Balogun and threatened to poke her eye out.
“He was extremely physically aggressive, throwing a tennis ball at her face. All of the witnesses corroborated that.
"She asked him to stop. Other members of staff also asked him to stop doing this. He did not. He continued.
Clearly, asking nicely isn't going to work. This is not a child for whom the threat of the naughty step holds any fears.
“The complainant pointed the broom at Mrs Balogun and threatened to poke her eye out. He pushed it into her face and into her eye area.
"She asked him to refrain from doing this and he did not. He continued to use the brush to aggressively rub her face.
"She grabbed the broom and unfortunately struck the complainant in his face.
"She admits she did it by force."
Nor was she his only victim.
He attacked staff 34 times while he was at the home, the court heard.
Hmmm. Perhaps he could do with a spot of ‘negative enforcement’..? After all, it seems to work with the higher primates…
The boy’s grandmother had previously been investigated on suspicion of assaulting him, but was not prosecuted, the court heard.
The court heard his parents had also been involved in incidents.
Oh, this sounds like a wonderful family!
Balogun, from Southwark, wept in court as she was described as being “extremely remorseful” .
Andrew Millard, lead magistrate at Lavender Hill Magistrates’ Court at the sentencing on June 4, said: “This is an extremely difficult situation, but common assault is serious enough to make a community order.”
While the child in question gets away with common assault by virtue of his ‘learning disabilities’. Again and again and again…

I Guess You Couldn’t Make It Across, Then?

Joanne Gough, 20, was thrown up into the air and landed face first on the ground when she was hit as she crossed Timberlog Lane, in Basildon.
The driver of the silver Ford Ka did not stop.
Who’s to blame? Well, the car (possibly) for driving too fast and (definitely) for failing to stop.

But let’s not absolve Joanne of all blame, shall we?
Miss Gough, of Saffron Drive, Basildon, hopes speaking out about her ordeal may help to persuade the driver of the vehicle to come forward. S
he said: “It all happened so fast. This car came out of nowhere, so it was a real shock.
“As I crossed, there was nothing coming on the right side of the road, there was a bus on the left side, but it was quite far away and I could've made it across. “
You mean you weren't crossing at a designated crossing? And you misjudged the speed of the traffic?
“Then a Ka came from behind the bus quite fast and knocked me over. “
Well, that’s what happens when you jaywalk and lose. What is it with pedestrian road safety lately? It used to be quite uncommon to have to break for pedestrians sprinting across the road - adults, not children! Now, it's an everyday occurrence.
Miss Gough, who is unemployed, said she feels “absolutely disgusted” the driver didn't stop.
She added: “It could have been a child or older person they knocked over and they could've been killed. It’s done enough to me.
“They just carried on. They are just maniacs.”
Your own behaviour is nothing to commend, either. You aren't a child.

Cross the road at a designated crossing and don’t try to sprint across, then whine when you lose the race.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Collective Punishment – Always First In The List Of ‘Solutions’

Neighbourhood Sergeant Mick Burnett has asked the Padiham Town Council for its backing in shutting the toilets outside Padiham Town Hall, in Burnley Road.
What!? Why?

Oh, the usual. Men meeting other men for sex in them, which they have to do because homosexuality is frowned on and people will be persecuted in the streets for a simple show of affection.

Why, we're almost as bad as Iran. Or Tower Hamlets...

But I digress. This cretin's answer to such a problem is not to arrest the criminals indulging in public lewd behaviour, but to remove the opportunity to do so, no matter the inconvenience to everyone else:.
Sgt Burnett told town councillors at a meeting on Monday evening that the situation was ‘impossible to police’.
Speaking afterwards he said: “This is a problem that has been going on for quite some time. We are still getting complaints from the public and reports from neighbourhood officers.
“The activity is of a sexual nature and involves a number of males. Some have scratched telephone numbers and lewd comments into the anti-vandal paint.
We can’t have the public feeling intimidated and embarrassed to go in. We are working with Burnley Council with a view to getting the toilets closed.”
 Because that's the only answer. If something's 'impossible to police', just give up! Admit defeat.
Bob Clark, whose Padiham Archive Group uses the town hall, said: “As much as I respect Sgt Burnett, these toilets are central to the town and I am determined to see this building used to the best of its ability.
“I think we should keep the toilets open but supervise it in a proper manner, put up proper signage and allow proper people to continue to use them and not be penalised for the behaviour of others.”
 How strange a concept that must be to the likes of Sgt Burnett...
John Kenyon, of Windermere Road, said: “If they close the town hall toilets then these people will just move to the ones on Church Street or Padiham Memorial Park instead.”
Sgt Burnett said: “I would say that the toilets in Church Street would be more difficult for these people to use as there is no free parking and they are more visible to CCTV.”
Well, there's your answer then! Stick up some CCTV!

Entitlement Writ Large…

The woman had placed the child in its buggy on the train before returning to the platform at South Kensington to pick up her luggage when the train doors closed.
Passenger Malcolm Dyer said the woman, who was in her late twenties or early thirties, became hugely distressed and began screaming at the driver to stop the train.
Because of course the train will wait for you. You’re a mother. You’re entitled….
“I think the woman was a little silly to try to get on. It was as though she just couldn’t wait. I know the Circle line is quite irregular, but even so.”
Well, indeed.

New Training Aid Released For Surgeons At Queens Hospital, Romford…

"This could be a lifesaver!"
Maria De Jesus, from Dagenham, was heavily pregnant when she developed pains in her stomach and was admitted to Queen’s Hospital, Romford.
Uh oh…
Today her husband, Adelino De Jesus, 53, described the “litany of errors” which lead to her tragic death less than four weeks later on 11 November 2011.
He said: “She went to hospital with stomach pains and we were told she needed to have her appendix out. She had the operation, and left hospital eight days later, but the pain continued. We wouldn't have ever imagined what they had done.”
Well, no. No one could.

Unless they too had experience of the sort of ‘service’ provided by Queens Hospital.
Last week an inquest heard that tests carried out on the removed tissue revealed that it was one of her ovaries, not her appendix, on October 31.
And this was only discovered (too late!) by histological tests.
The inquest, at Walthamstow Coroner’s court, also revealed that the initial operation on the mother-of-three was undertaken by two trainee surgeons after senior medical staff had left.
Strange. When bosses leave early, usually that’s when everyone gets their personal photocopying done or chats up the ladies in the typing pool for hours. Clearly things are different in the NHS!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Nice Idea, Shame About The Execution…

Abbotsford, BC (British Columbia, that is. It’s not a date, despite the dinosaur thinking involved!):
On Tuesday morning city workers pulled up to the green space along the railway tracks not far from the Salvation Army's Centre of Hope and began dumping chicken manure on the ground to deter the homeless from camping there.
Right. Because the smell of the chicken manure is far sweeter than the smell of tramps...?

They mayor wasn't impressed at this display of initiative:
Arriving at the camp, Barman told the media he was dismayed by the incident.
"I came to apologize to those who were affected," said Barman, after speaking with some of those affected by the city's actions.
"Like many residents, I'm embarrassed, deeply ashamed and sorry for what happened," he said. Barman said he had no prior knowledge about the plans to use manure to disperse the homeless. It's not yet clear how the concept was chosen, he said. 
After a round or two of drinks, perhaps?
"We're reviewing how that decision was made," said Barman. "Regardless of how it happened, we are going to learn to do better."
My suggestion? Elephants. They’re bigger than chickens, after all…

Oh, and no, he wasn't apologising to the town so much, for the waste of public money; he was apologising mostly to the bums!

Still, it was nice to see that, in Canada, they don't engage in mealy-mouthed blame-shuffling:
On Wednesday, Abbotsford city manager George Murray took responsibility for the city's decision to dump the manure.
"As city manager, I take this situation very seriously and retain full responsibility for the manner in which we dealt with this incident," he stated in a press release.
"I am deeply sorry for our actions."
Refreshing, no?

Unfamiliar Words...

A young girl was crushed to death by an old Army vehicle at a Cornish steam rally, an inquest has heard.
Tayla, from Yarcombe, Devon, was distracted by a helter-skelter and stopped in the path of the vehicle. The driver did not see her.
Here come the calls for 'something to be done!', the demands for compensation, the petitions to ban steam rallies 'if it saveds one life!'...
Her foster mother, Carol Thorne, said Tayla was "a lovely girl, full of character who loved playing outside".
Mrs Thorne called Tayla's death "devastating" but said it was "an accident in the true sense of the word and no blame should be put on the driver".
How refreshing! And how sadly unfamiliar in these modern times...

H/T: Paul Cox via email

The Forecast Is For More Hectoring, Nannying And Authoritarianism...

...while the potholes in the road go unfixed and your bins aren't collected:
Local councils recently took over responsibility for public health, including initiatives to cut smoking and drinking and lower obesity rates, from the NHS.
They are now under pressure to improve in order to achieve Government targets of saving 30,000 lives a year by 2020.
Yes, all the councils will now be under pressure to send you more glossy leaflets and come up with idiotic schemes in a desperate attempt to hit these targets while avoiding the actual things we pay council tax for.

Ain't life grand?

Monday, 10 June 2013

Do Letters From Trafford Council Go In The Normal Waste, Or The Recycling Bin?

And come to that, where do you put the bodies of arrogant, jumped-up little gauleiters that you just had to kill?
Emma Andrew, 27, from Greater Manchester, put in a request to Trafford council after finding that her 140 litre bin for general waste was overflowing every week.
Mrs Andrew pointed out that, with her two youngest children still in nappies, the bin was too small for the family, but was told she could not have a bigger one because the authority promotes the use of 'real' cotton nappies.
 Do as you are told, serf!
In a letter sent last June, waste office manager Heather Shackleton wrote: 'We appreciate that you may have certain circumstances which causes [sic] you as a family to produce more residual waste i.e. having three young children, two under the age of one, however we promote the use of real [cotton] nappies as opposed to disposables therefore we cannot supply you with a larger bin.'
Ms Shackleton added that the council has a deal with cotton nappy company Cottontails for Trafford residents - but Mrs Andrew and her husband - who is studying for a landscape gardening qualification - found that this would be much more expensive than using disposables.
 And here's why people rush to the media in these matters now:
The day after Trafford council was approached for a comment on the case, the family were issued with a larger 240 litre bin.
Shocker, eh? But the council say 'No, no, we were going to do this anyway...':
A council spokesman said: 'We have reviewed this case and on this occasion, we will be issuing the family with a larger bin, as the new service is due to be rolled out in their area imminently.
'Trafford council are introducing a weekly collection of food waste in phases across the borough between now and October. We have revised the criteria for those wishing to apply for a larger grey bin from six or more permanent residents in the household to five or more permanent residents in the household.'
Sure you have..
The spokesman added: 'In order to promote waste minimisation, the council do offer a one-month free trial to a nappy laundry service as an alternative to disposable nappies. Freshly laundered pure cotton nappies are delivered each week and the soiled ones taken away.'
Which, if you’re happy to live with soiled nappies for a whole week (must be lovely in summer!) is fine. If you aren't…