Friday, 31 January 2014

Maybe They Don’t Like Garage Coffee, Councillor?

Coun Barrie Yates, vice-chairman of Samlesbury Parish Council, who also represents the area at borough and county council level, said he was against the proposal.
“This will be of no benefit to the local community or anyone else because there are coffee facilities at the garage near the motorway.”
No benefit at all? Are you sure?
If approved at the council meeting on Wednesday, four full-time and eight part-time jobs will be created.
I guess you've got full employment in your area, Barrie…

Post Title Of The Month

I wondered if this would be bettered, but it wasn't - MacHeath with the curious new chav mourning ritual:

Quote Of The Month

From Tom Paine:
"I am embarrassed by the creeping communisation of Britain. I am embarrassed by the creeping tyranny that is destroying free speech. I am particularly embarrassed to read the linked article, which is an American perspective on our present situation. The author luxuriates in the benefits of 18th Century English thought, by virtue of his country's constitution. We, the people who came up with those wonderful ideas are increasingly lost to their merits."

Post Of The Month

S Weasel on the oddities to be found in a can...

You're Lucky. You Don't Want To Know What My Preferred Punishment Would Have Been...

Speaking after Monday’s hearing, Mr Hussain said he should have told the council about his medical condition.
He said he discovered his allergy when his eyes ‘puffed up’ after coming close to a pet, and that he had never been asked to pick up a dog in his taxi before this incident on October 17 last year.
He said: “I had to inform the council about my illness at the time and I didn’t. I’m glad I’m still working because what has happened is very harsh.
“The council are going to give me a (medical exemption) certificate.”
I bloody hope they are going to insist on a doctor's accompanying letter!

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Soft Colonialism…

Khalid Mustafa Medani (associate professor of political science at McGill University, Canada) on the political unrest in Sudan, and how it’s all our fault:
Behind the violence in South Sudan, according to much of the coverage, is a power struggle between political rivals in the ruling Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM), and a conflict rooted in hostility between two of South Sudan's largest ethnic groups: the Dinka and the Nuer.
So, basically, little different from the rest of Africa?
However, the roots of the conflict are more complex.
Oh, really?
They stem from political and economic grievances, shared by the majority of South Sudanese: the persistent, undemocratic nature of the government in Juba; and increasing competition over the country's resources, particularly oil.
And it’s that oil that Khalid thinks is the problem. Or rather, might provide a solution.
South Sudan is more dependent on oil than any other oil-exporting country in the world. Between 2005 and 2011, oil exports amounted to $9.5bn (£5.8bn) and accounted for 98% of total state revenues. But rather than utilising this revenue to invest in infrastructure and public services to improve livelihoods, the government financed a military and security apparatus, itself factionalised along ethnic lines.
Well, so what, you might say? It’s up to a sovereign country how they use their resources, isn't it? Anything else is colonialism, isn't it?
Today the west has a responsibility not only to bring a halt to the violence, but to work towards a lasting and sustainable peace in the country.
Clearly not. Or, if it is, it’s the sort of colonialism that the progressives like:
… western nations must use their considerable influence with Juba to insist on fully implementing the key protocols of the 2005 peace agreement – including governance and constitutional reform, disarmament of militias, and, most importantly, a national oil policy that is accountable to the aspirations and basic needs of the country's citizens.
Yes, I can’t see how insisting a country change it’s political structure isn't a form of colonialism either.

Perhaps it helps to be a progressive?

Just Let Darwin Sort It Out…

Calls have been made to make a busy road safer after a schoolgirl was knocked down by a car.
Oh, like footbridges and crossings?
Emergency services rushed to Clays Hill Road in Basildon, outside Kingswood Infant and Junior School, at 9am on Friday after onlookers reported the girl ran out across the road in front of a car.
Hmmm. Caused, I suppose, by the lack of footbridges and crossings?
The accident has raised serious concerns over the safety of children and parents who are often seen crossing the road, despite there being a footbridge and a crossing nearby.
Andrew Gordon, Labour councillor for Nethermayne ward, said he would be speaking to Essex County Council about safety improvements.
He said: “I’m glad the girl is okay but this is a worry. “The girl’s mother must have petrified. If this is happening then something needs to be done (Ed: ARGGGHHHH!) because at the end of the day if people are getting hurt then this is not acceptable practice.
“We have a similar thing happening at Lee Chapel School where parents just park up causing a backlog up the road which creates a dangerous situation.
“Often people feel that nothing is done until something like this happens, but that cannot be the case.
“It’s my job to get the facts together and speak to Essex County Council about what can be done.”
You could station snipers there and shoot anyone not using the crossing or the footbridge? Just a thought...

See What You’ve Done, Warburtons?

The family firm posted a lighthearted quiz on its Facebook page, asking people what they like to call their favourite bread-based product.
And, controversially, Warbies did not even include “barm” as one of its four options — instead preferring rolls, baps, cobs or “other” .
Unleash the Northerners!
So we asked the Bolton public what they call this particular product — and they replied in their thousands. And those who responded from this fair town were overwhelmingly in favour of — barm.
Anthony Barry, from Bolton, said: “Barm. You wouldn't go in a chippy and ask for a chip teacake would you.”
Dawnie Atkinson added: “A muffin is sweet, like you get in Costa or Starbucks. A cob is crusty. A roll is longer and this is nothing but a Balm (sic). End of.”
Karl Dalglish, from Farnworth, wrote: “It is and always will be a barm cake. End of.”
Brad Hooton, from Bolton, said: “It's a barm. Fact.”
I hope you’ve all got that?
Several readers felt so strongly about the issue they even felt the need to put pen to paper about the issue.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

If They Aren’t Believable Or Credible, Why Are They Still Police Officers?

Four officers broke into Mr Fleming’s home on the night of August 6, 2009, following an argument between him and PC Burch (Ed: his neighbour) a few hours earlier about the volume of his music.
He was arrested and charged with a public order offence before being released on bail terms prohibiting him from returning to his three-bedroom home until the case had been dealt with in the courts.
Three months later, the case was thrown out at Southend Magistrates’ Court, which labelled the officers’ evidence “neither believable nor credible” .
In 2011, the Independent Police Complaints Commission later found PC Burch had changed his story from initially telling officers he was in fear of his life, to telling investigators he had called the nonemergency number because there was no threat to him.
He gets £24,000. What do the police officers get? Nothing, it seems.

Well, I feel safer. How about you?

Where Are All These ‘Charities’ Coming From?

Tens of thousands of teenage girls living in London do not know anyone with a job and are getting their career inspiration from television programmes, a charity has warned.
Really? There's a charity for everything now!
Nick Chambers, director of the charity, said: “These 50,000 girls don’t necessarily have role models in work.
“They don’t have links to different types of jobs. Often they find it very hard to get insights into the world of work and what jobs they would like.
“For many of these young people a lot of their knowledge is influenced by the television and social media. People see roles on TV — doctors or brainy scientists — and think that’s what science is all about.
“They don’t realise there is a whole team of people doing a wide variety of jobs, some of which they would be very well suited for.”
So, little Chlamydia might not have a cat in hell's chance of getting the A levels needed to get into university to become a neurologist, what with being up the duff to Wayne or Kyle or possible Syed or that cousin of his with the wonky eye, but fear not! She could always get a job cleaning the lab!
He added that programmes including Call the Midwife and CSI: Miami had inspired interest in midwifery and forensic science, while the “Brian Cox” effect had seen an upturn in physics.
Mr Chambers said: “This is positive, but just seeing someone on TV doesn’t help you find out how to actually get that job. A lot of people see a role but don’t know how to get there and what A-levels to take, especially if they don’t have a careers service or family connections.”
And why don't they have a careers service? Is that no longer a school's job?
Mr Chambers said some children in these homes were from the second or third generation who had never worked, adding: “It’s incredibly hard. ... These kids don’t have the networks. We want to level the playing field.”
If they are from that sort of family, it's not 'networks' that they lack, is it?

*Grabs Big Bag Of Popcorn*

Bromley Borough Food Bank has been allowed to use a shop rent free for three years as its premises where hard up people come for essential foodstuffs to help them survive.
But the council says from January it must pay rent, thought to be around £8,500 a year, for the property in Cotmandene Crescent, St Paul’s Cray.
Let the wailing and rending of garments commence!
Food bank project manager Mary Beckingham said: “I have not found anybody that has not been shocked, surprised and horrified and that’s from people in the street, people from churches and the people that hold our vouchers; it’s across the board.”
I'm not any of those things.
“There are still shops empty in the street so what was need for us to have to pay rent?”
 Because...yours isn't empty.
“I think the council needs to look at its priorities.
“It’s nice to have flowers round the roundabouts but perhaps they should be helping the people and feeding the people.”
With flowers? *confused*

And since when was 'feeding the people' considered a vital job of the council?
A Bromley Council spokesman said: “We have supported the Food Bank with a rent free period of three years whilst it has established itself but we cannot go on with this arrangement indefinitely and simply cannot give rent free terms to each and every charity, regardless of how worthy their aims are.
“We are continuing to support the Food Bank which is why we have offered them a lease for premises in Cotmandene Crescent, which is their preferred location and not in our original thinking.
“I should point out businesses are interested in the same premises and that any rental income ultimately helps support the provision of our frontline services which are vital to so many residents, when the council continues to face unprecedented financial budgetary pressures over the coming years.”
That's an awful lot of words to say 'The free ride's over' isn't it?

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

If Twelve Angry Men Won’t Do…

…we should try … fifteen?
In an unusual move, three extra jurors are to be sworn in on top of the usual panel of 12.
How very curious...
They have been told to ignore any newspaper reports they may have seen when the first trial began in December.
Isn't that rather like being told ‘Don’t think of an elephant!’..?

Are You Bothered By Scrap Metal Collectors?

Fed up with them ringing bells? Want to see them driven off the roads?

Well, it seems the answer’s simple:
Police investigating reports of a van acting suspiciously near schools in Great Barr have arrested three men.
A teacher at Perry Beaches School raised concerns after parents reported a van cruising the area.
Officers detained the men, aged between 22 and 41, after stopping a white Ford transit van, which was collecting scrap metal, as it travelled along Sterndale Road, Great Barr at 8:50am this morning (Thursday 23 January).
It’s rather frightening, isn't it? I’d better put my foot down when I next pass a school – don't want anyone to get the wrong idea!

Yeah, Well, It Takes Two To Tango…

In a YouTube clip, watched more than 250,000 times, a white Audi saloon is seen edging into the advanced stop lane – a space at traffic lights designed to give cyclists a head-start on motorists.
The suited cyclist then approaches the vehicle, a white Audi saloon, to point out the area is a cycle lane, at which point the lights change and the car speeds off.
The description under the YouTube video, captured by the headcam of a 26-year-old magazine editor called Jude, says the driver “possibly” runs over his foot.
Both the cyclist and filming rider eventually catch up with the Audi at the next set of lights, where Jude turns around just in time for his headcam to capture a man – who appears to have got out the car – punching the cyclist in the face and pushing him into a nearby taxi.
Hmmm, something missing from that bland verbatim description of the video, methinks…
Jude, who asked not to be named, has reported the incident to the police and is now calling for the victim to come forward.
The keen cyclist said: “I am surprised that it has got this many hits - I put it up purely to find the cyclist and make a statement that this kind of thing is unacceptable.
“We are seeing an increased use of these cameras now due to the safety that they create. It takes away the ‘your word against mine’. ”
Yes, it also shows when the so-called ‘victim’ has proven to be the author of his own misfortune. Doesn't it, Jude?

H/T: David Vance via Twitter

Monday, 27 January 2014

Is This A Court Report Or An Article From The ‘Daily Mash’?

A thief wanted to look smart when he appeared before a judge…
Very sensible!
… so he stole a £224 suit.
John Faulkner, 42, helped himself to the Austin Reed suit from Boundary Mll in Colne and was then said to have threatened to stab a security guard when challenged by staff.
Burnley Crown Court heard that the offence breached an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for a year, which had also included a nine-month drugs programme.
Well, you might think he’s bound for a spell inside, mightn’t you? That is, until you realise our old friend Beverley Lunt is presiding…
Judge Lunt gave him a 12- month conditional discharge and added a month to the drugs requirement.

Another Hopeless Parent…

Well, actually, John Naughton’s a grandparent, but same diff…
It's 4.30 on a gloomy winter's afternoon. I'm sitting with my grandson having one of those conversations in which grandsons explain complicated stuff to their grandads.
The conversation turns to computing and he inquires whether I have Talking Tom Cat on my iPad. "No," I say. "What is it?" He explains that it's a cool game that his grandma has on her iPad.
Silver surfers, eh? So they download and play the game. Why not? It’s free.
I ask him what else Tom can do. Well, explains my grandson, you can dress him up. You can, for example, give him a funny hat. Or make him wear heart-shaped sunglasses. This is accomplished by pressing on a clothes-hanger icon which brings up a list of items including hats, eyewear, accessories and a category labelled "seasonal". Each item costs a number of gold coins. The heart-shaped sunglasses, for example, cost 1,099 coins, and we only have the 254 we were granted when we first opened the app.
Oh, you can see where this is going, can’t you?
So how do we acquire the dosh needed for the sunglasses? There appear to be two ways: the first involves playing a tedious game in which Tom has to tiptoe and leap across a range of precipitous columns; the second involves shelling out some real money for them. Seventy-four thousand of them will cost you £17.49, which represents an exchange rate of 4,231 Tomcoins to the pound.
Well, consider this a valuable chance to impart one of life’s lessons to the youngling. You can play the ‘tedious game’, earn your Tomcoins and feel superior to all those who took the easy way out. Consider it useful to explain the concept of ‘work’.

But no. Of course not.
Now you might think that it's a dirty trick to sneak hard cash transactions into a charming game designed for four-year-olds, but I couldn't possibly comment
Yes, it’s apparently Apple’s duty to have ‘corporate social responsibility’ and take over the duties of parents somehow...

Remember, Leave This To The Trained Professionals!

An armed police officer was today in hospital after accidentally shooting himself in the leg.
The male officer, a member of the Met’s Flying Squad, was holstering a police-issued firearm at a station in Putney, south London, when it went off.
Well, at least he wasn't cleaning it, I suppose.

Maybe the Met would like to consider adverts from suitable companies? Answers on a postcard...

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Yes, I Need To Get A New One Too...

...I think it must have developed a leak, and I don't want to waste washing up liquid or water.




There Speaks A Future Darwin Award Contender...

The 54-year-old said: 'It was incredibly long. It was easily as thick as my leg, and so, so heavy.
'We were so surprised to stumble across it and we poked it with a stick to see if it was alive.'
It's rather amazing he's lived to the age of 54, isn't it?

I Think You've Been Taken Over... the people holding a coffee morning for the illiterate.

Sunday Funnies...

Proof that no-one ever listens to the words...

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Hearken To The Wise Words Of The Minstrel!

Kele Okereke (a singer in the band Bloc Party, apparently, in case you wondered) opines:
Over the weekend, at a sold-out screening in Brixton, I watched Steve McQueen's much-lauded 12 Years a Slave. Having read a lot about the film beforehand, I knew that it was going to be hard to watch but nothing prepared me for the skin-rending violence I was about to see.
Many people have asked why it has taken so long for a film to address America's past.
‘Many people’? Really? Is it a subject on the lips of many Brits, or just those Kele encounters at Brixton arts venues?
McQueen suggests that an explanation for this interest is in part the Obama effect. Henry Louis Gates, who was the historical consultant for 12 Years a Slave, believes it is as a result of black studies finally being on the agenda in traditionally white academic institutions.
Ah, yes. The subject most favoured by the chin-stroking exhibitionists David Thompson so mercilessly skewers every week.
The size of the black middle class has increased in recent years, but the appeal of this film cannot solely be down to its reliance on black audiences. This is a film that seems to be resonating with people across racial divides. In Brixton it was a majority-white audience and I saw tears in the eyes of men and women as they left the cinema.
Mmm, yes, but I venture to suggest to poor confused Kele that 'a majority-white audience in Brixton' might not be entirely representative of a majority-white audience in, say, Basildon or Brixham.
Here in Britain we have a chequered history in examining our own hand in similar atrocities. Our colonial past is not taught in GCSE or A-level history syllabuses, where the emphasis is always on the first and second world wars.
Good point. We should discuss the Mau Mau atrocities more often.
Britain has a long history of multiculturalism, in part due to our colonial ties. Workers from the Commonwealth have come to this island and enriched life here. With the current emphasis that is being placed on immigration, perhaps if we could take an honest look backwards we wouldn't feel so threatened about what is to come.
Oh, really, Kele, what is to come then?
Only in examining our past will it redefine what it means for us be British in the present day.
Gosh, yes. Let's be more like the Scandinavians, let's agonise about racism and worry about the difficult subjects...

*Sigh* Here We Go Again…

Schools should pay for their poorest pupils to have internet access at home because they risk falling behind without it, campaigners said today.
Education charity the e-Learning Foundation urged schools to pay for pupils’ home internet connections using the pupil premium funding — government cash given to schools to boost the results of the poorest children.
The campaign, which is jointly run with education website, called on every school in London to find out which of their children cannot get online at home.
Right, so it's basically just rent-seeking?
Valerie Thompson, chief executive of the e-Learning Foundation, said teachers often get a surprise when they find out how many children in their class do not have the internet at home. More than 150,000 London pupils are believed to be without access. She called on teachers to use some of the pupil premium funding, around £900 per child on free school meals, to rectify the situation.
She said: “A lot of schools think they are not allowed to spend it on this. But the money has a purpose which is to
Provide you with a reason to exist?
close the attainment gap.”
She said the money could be used in a variety of ways, from installing broadband in a child’s home to giving them a tablet with 3G that does not require wifi. She added:
“Every child deserves the same opportunity to succeed in their education. This campaign takes an important step forward to help achieve that.”
Hmm, I wonder if you've got any connections to any firms that offer netnanny type software?
Matt Tavender, acting head at Cunningham Junior School in St Albans, surveyed his pupils and found that 17 of the 239 children could not use the internet at home. He plans to use the pupil premium to provide internet access for all disadvantaged pupils in the future.
He said: “We need to make sure all children are able to improve their skills and engage in their learning fully, and make sure every child has a level and fair playing field to work from.”
Paid for by someone else, of course!
Holly Seddon, editor of, said: “As a mum of three, I am very passionate about giving every child the best possible skills and experiences so that they can grab every opportunity both now and in the future.
“No child should be at a disadvantage through something as fixable as access to the internet.”
Fixable, that is, with other people's money...

Shakespeare Was Right…

Blitz USA is based in Miami, Okla., and is the largest manufacturer of portable gas cans in the country.
But Blitz has filed for bankruptcy and will shut its doors at the end of the month. Why? Because it can no longer afford product liability insurance, Marketplace’s Sally Herships reports.
And why should they need it?

Consumers have accused the company of making faulty cans that explode when used to pour gasoline onto fires.
But wait! Surely that’s not the fault of the company?
Blitz says its cans carry warnings that say you should never use gasoline to start or accelerate a fire.
And yet, even being in the right doesn't save them. This is, after all, America, the land where no matter how dumb your cause, it's not too dumb for a lawyer to take it on:
Even winning is expensive. Blitz beat one lawsuit in Texas, Marketplace reports, but the fight still cost the company about $2.5 million.
H/T: Protein Wisdom (via comments)

Friday, 24 January 2014

Yes, We All Do, Frankly...

..but hey, there you go:
Mr Fulcher also admitted during cross-examination that he had become "frustrated" that Halliwell had refused to answer any more questions, having finally spoken to a solicitor.
"I thought it was utterly ridiculous that someone would take me, 12 other people and a surveillance helicopter to the deposition site of two bodies and then seek to find some loophole or quirk in the law to get away from the fact he was a multiple murderer," he said.

I just...

Isn't that just what multiple murderers do? Shouldn't an experienced cop expect this?

Hang On, Isn’t That Your Job?

Listing 37 reasons why it should close, Sussex Police claims JJ Whispers failed to prevent crime and disorder as it served alcohol to crowds of up to 700 people.
Yes, it’s the police war on nightclubs, pubs (and any other places where people have been known to misbehave) again. And when you look at the incidents mentioned in the report, they do seem to be expecting rather more from the club staff than seems reasonable:
Among the incidents reported include staff failing to call police after a woman was bitten by her ex and threatened with a brick.
OK, so just what incentive is there for them to do so, if it’d count against them at a license review like this one? And if she wanted it reported, why couldn’t she just do so herself?
On another occasion, officers claim a reveller at the club had to be stretchered out after vomiting because she had drunk so much.
Yes, there’s an onus on the staff not to serve someone who is intoxicated, but if someone else is buying rounds/has a low tolerance for alcohol/has ‘preloaded’ before arrival, how are they to know before they keel over?
On another occasion a man who had been drinking in the club was nearly knocked over by a vehicle as he left.
And…that’s the club’s fault how..? Are people to have no personal responsibility whatsoever?
Officers also criticised the club for advertising drinks promotions and on one occasion allegedly showing punters swinging from 28% proof bottles of alcohol on a Facebook video.
Well, how very dare a club advertise drinks promotions! And obviously selling 28% proof alcohol is illegal.

Isn’t it?


So…what are the police going to do when they've closed down every pub and nightclub and yet they still find that crime and disorder happens?

Nobody Tell Them About Cock Robin, For The Love Of God!

The couple issued a statement: ‘On Friday morning at 7.30am the rabbit family living in Carters Park were slaughtered.
The rabbit 'family'...?

And these people manage a park? Good grief!
‘The person who killed the rabbits very unkindly told a staff member what he had done and that he was taking them home and eating them for his dinner.

Yes, and?
'He said he had acted on behalf of the bowls club.
‘We have seen the rabbits grow up this summer and there were about eight of them. On Saturday, there were none left.’
And this time next year, if left alone, there'd have been eighty!

And it's not as though Carter's Park were some sort of Sylvanian Family wonderland, either:
Holbeach in Bloom chairman Coun Graham Rudkin said: “The judges commented on certain things about Carter’s Park such as some of the weeds that are smothering a number of trees in the park.
“The hedge alongside the footpath is in a bit of a state and we’re looking to put a new fence in after an accident last month when a car crashed through the fence.
“Carter’s Park is used a lot by people in Holbeach and we want to start improving it to make it a better place for everybody.”
Perhaps they'd like to do something about the weeds rather than whinging about the destruction of pests? Though I doubt they could find anyone to eat them...

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Stop Immigration From Pakistan IMMEDIATELY!

‘In Pakistan you can walk across the track.’
Hey, if it saves one life, right?
His death prompted his family and a local councillor to call for greater emphasis on rail-side warnings, especially in an age when more people are travelling to Britain to live and work.
ARGHHHH! *hurls PC out of window* FFS!
Afterwards Mr Choudhary said: ‘What we have to do is make the public more aware of the dangers of people jumping onto the tracks.
‘A large number of people are coming from Europe, Asia and Africa and there needs to be a system to let the public know it’s dangerous.
‘The warnings have to be on the platform, in front of you.’
In how many bloody different languages!!!??? And what's wrong with this?

They are at every train station I've ever visited...

But It's OK, They 'Planned To Hold A Meeting As A Matter Of Urgency'...

...OK, they never actually held it, but even so...
The report slammed the decision to send a student social worker to deal with the troubled family, calling it 'most inappropriate in the circumstances'.
It revealed that even after a worried lawyer urged the council to send a more experienced worker to solve the situation, the student was still sent on most visits.
An unannounced Ofsted inspection in July 2010 in the area where the family lived found that cases were 'carried out by unqualified staff or staff who are not yet registered as social workers'.
At the time, the inspector said: 'This practice falls well below expected standards and may place children at risk of inadequate protection'.
But they aren't to blame for the deaths! Because...


Errr. Sorry, I can't figure out why not from the 'Mail' report.
The report also found the mother’s mental health had been assessed before the birth of her first child, but never after she became a mother, despite longstanding concerns.
It identified 13 ‘learning points’, aimed at preventing future tragedies.
Ha ha ha ha! It'd actually be funny, if it wasn't so bloody tragic...
But it concluded that staff had been hampered by the mother’s unwillingness to engage with social workers...

When is this going to be considered as a clue, and not an excuse?

I’m Not Sure ‘Instructive’ Was The Word I’d Have Used…

As Michelle Obama prepares to host her 50th birthday party later this month, the type of celebration she has chosen is generating some confusion in the US press.
Those lucky enough to have received an invitation have been advised to "wear comfortable shoes, eat before you come, and practise your dance moves", according to the Chicago Tribune.
The chutzpah of the woman knows no bounds...
Lizzie Post – who has credentials as both the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post and co-author of Great Get-Togethers: Casual Gatherings and Elegant Parties at Home – told the Washington Post that she would have worded the invitation differently.
"My advice to people would be not to put 'eat before you come' on an invite. And this is not a specific etiquette thing. To me it just sounds so instructive."
Well, that's one word for it...

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

I Can’t Think Why Elvis Costello Didn’t Want To Go To Chelsea…

A Thamesmead mum in a block of flats which was left without water for more than 30 hours says the problem ‘would not happen in Chelsea’.
Because in Chelsea, they have magic water supplies that never ever break down…

“We Were (Probably) Right, So There!”

Mr Dover, of Hampstead, was held after his wife became concerned for his well-being and called the NHS 111 out-of-hours number.
Authorities feared he might be suicidal and the Metropolitan Police launched a helicopter search. He was having a coffee nearby.
So, all’s well, false alarm, and…

Oh. Wait.
After being detained last September, the IT consultant was taken to Highgate Mental Health Centre, where doctors suspected he had a delusional disorder. He was later sectioned.
He got ‘better’ rather quickly:
On October 2, following a five-hour hearing, a tribunal found that it was “not satisfied that he was suffering from a mental disorder” .
Mr Dover was freed immediately with no further treatment required.
He’s now suing the mental health authorities for overreacting. They aren’t going to take that lying down:
A spokesman for Highgate Mental Health Centre, which is run by Camden and Islington Trust, said: “The tribunal makes a decision on whether further detention is warranted based on the assessment to date, and their own interviews.
“The decision that no further detention is needed does not make the original detention for assessment wrong or illegal.”
Or, “you were mad as a box of frogs on the day, but you’re all better now!”..?

I Think Our Enriched Dough Is Going Stale…

Too many young Londoners are “morally ambiguous” about forced marriage and must be taught about human rights, campaigners warned today.
‘Londoners’? Those cheeky Cockney chappies? Or…others?
Ms Otoo-Orteney (executive director of the charity FORWARD) said: “The biggest recommendation from the young people was that education on FGM and forced marriage should be taught in schools and this confirms the need to have stronger involvement from the Department of Education.”
And to provide people like you with a job for life?

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Oh, I’m Sure A Thinking Skills Programme Will Fix This…

William Angus, 28, of no fixed address, admitted a charge of simple arson in December after setting fire to the top-floor maisonette on Craylands, in Basildon, on Friday, June 28 2013.
50 people were evacuated from their home and the blaze caused around £140,000 worth of damage to the property.
Not that he’ll have to pay it…
He said he had 'flicked' a lighter at the sofa, which had started the blaze, after an argument with his girlfriend Abby Hockwood, who was then 38-weeks pregnant.
Angus was given a 20-month sentence, suspended for 18 months. He will be monitored via an electronic curfew between 8pm and 6am for the next four months and will have to carry out 150 hours unpaid work.
He will also be signed up to a thinking skills programme.
Ian Clift, defending, said Angus hadn’t thought about the consequences of his actions and was ‘extremely shocked and remorseful’ on finding out the amount of damage caused.
He added Angus, who has two children, was ‘a very mature and polite man’ who had promised to grow up.
Why would ‘a mature man’ need to ‘grow up’?

Oh. Right:
Angus has previous convictions stretching back to 1999 including criminal damage, actual bodily harm, driving with excess alcohol, driving uninsured and breaching community orders.
Clearly prime breeding stock. Well, incredibly enough, Miss Hockwood still seems to think so!
Since the blaze Angus and Miss Hockwood have reconciled although, unlike his parents and step-father, she was not present at court.
There’s no hope for the child, is there?

Parenting & Restaurant Dining – Like Oil & Water?

Ben Pobjie is a Melbourne writer and comedian. He’s also clearly the sort of parent who thinks children should be not just seen and heard but tolerated, nay, enjoyed, by everyone:
In this case Chicago chef Grant Achatz, who runs a three Michelin-starred restaurant called Alinea, was distressed by his patrons' crying baby. Taking to Twitter, he asked whether maybe it was time to tell people they can’t bring their offspring to his eatery. And he seems to have gained quite a bit of support for the suggestion.
Fancy that! How surprising…
I once came very close to being assaulted by an enormous slab of a bearded South Australian after I called him a rude name because he had sworn at my son while we were eating out (my son was not, for the record, crying – he was just prancing about like a lunatic because he was seven).
And what were you doing about this, nothing? No wonder you nearly got lamped!
And I could see his point – it must be just awful having your meal interrupted by our, you know, avoidance of our species’ extinction. Pardon us for propagating.
I think you meant ‘procreating’. Unless you’re a vegetable. Which is possible.
… if you don’t allow kids in restaurants because of how they behave, what you’re doing is raising a whole bunch of kids who’ll never know how to behave in restaurants. I consider taking my kids out to eat an educational moment: teaching them while they gorge.
But clearly your kid didn't learn anything, other than if he makes enough noise, someone’ll try and stick one on Daddy.

The Tap’s Being Turned Off…

Jan Frances, West Mercia Women’s Aid chief executive, said she feared women risked more violence if services are faced with the cuts, as calls have increased from 1,800 a year to more than 3,200.
“If the cut comes in we’ll have longer waiting lists, fewer calls getting answered when they ring, and longer delays in getting back to people,” she said.
"I don’t blame the council, because I know their funding is going down, but these are cuts on cuts.”
But the council is, quite rightly, looking at it’s ‘must haves’ and discarding the ‘nice to haves’:
Councillor Sheila Blagg, cabinet member for adult social care, said services needed to be prioritised.
“We know we need to do things differently and with an ageing population, we are reforming adult social care to meet the needs of more people with less money,” she said.
After all, no-one has a choice about whether to get old. But picking a partner who isn’t violent to you (and the vast majority do know or suspect what they might be letting themselves in for), well, that’s within your own reach.
“It is important to be clear that we have decided not to change the eligibility criteria for adult social care and that the Future Lives programme is also about empowering people to stay healthy for longer, remain in their own homes where possible, and find support easily.
"We need to review all services and prioritise those which we legally must provide.”
I expect the fakecharities will make their next big push getting on that list of ‘services councils must legally provide’.

One thing’s for certain – they won’t go away.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Because, Michael, It’s Not Their Property, But The State’s…

Michael Rosen doesn’t understand the difference between private property and social housing:
I've kept nearly everything he (his son, Eddie) left behind after he died. For a while, these sat in his room which, for a while, I left almost as it was. … Sometimes I went in. Sometimes other people did. I would sit on the bed, and look at Eddie's things, usually without handling them: hockey sticks, broken bags and holdalls, medals, books, his school work, his sax, his didgeridoo, his notebooks.
Yes, and as it’s your house, you can do as you please.
Lucky me, I had the luxury of being able to preserve the room for as long as I wanted.
It’s not ‘a luxury’ – it’s simply the ability to enjoy your own property. Why else did you buy it, if not for the ability to do as you want with it?
Under government plans, a bereaved family will become eligible for the bedroom tax after three months – an incentive to clear out the room, to get rid of the kinds of things I was able to keep. It's more of the same: with poverty there often comes a disruption of place.
Sorry, but this is not going to hit every bereaved family, but only a subset of them – it’s going to hit only those on housing benefit.

And why? Because they don’t own their housing. They are dependent on the State for it. It’s as simple and as bald as that. He who pays the piper sets the tune.
With the proposal about the bedrooms of those who've died, they are cutting quality of life. Rich people are using the power they have to force poor people to do things that they, the rich, never would or could force on themselves.
Well, yes. That’s why we should be encouraging people to strive not to be poor. Because if you are, you have fewer choices. In everything.

No Complaints Please, We’re Greens!

Council chiefs have told householders not to tell them if they haven’t had their bins emptied as rubbish continues to pile up on the streets.
With residents bombarding Brighton and Hove City Council’s call centre with complaints, the local authority has urged people to stop contacting it.
Because they already know they are useless (and don't care) so no need to keep pointing it out...
A council spokesman said: “We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by the delays to refuse and recycling collections.
“There have been some problems with refuse vehicles breaking down, and the bad weather has also slowed us down.
Well, fair enough. But you knew the weather was coming, at least...
Extra crews were out over the weekend and we had four extra crews out yesterday collecting rubbish missed last week in Saltdean, Hangleton, Patcham, Mile Oak and Hanover.
“If your collection has been missed please leave your bins out and we will collect as soon as we can.
“We are confident that the refuse collection rounds will work well again once we have caught up from the festive period and the bad weather.”'s just the bad weather, is it?
The backlog has been created after the council introduced new rounds in October. But unions have repeatedly warned the local authority that the changes, which saw a number of vehicles taken off the road to save money, have left workers with too much to do.

It Used To Be 'Hang The Rich'. Now, It's 'Blame Them'...

Dreda Say Mitchell, the gap-toothed crime novelist, on the recently-departed Duggan:
Meanwhile, it seems some sections of the media are just as much into postcode wars as any gang. Mark Duggan came from Tottenham? That's all they need to know. They scoffed at the notion he might have been a much-loved family man.
He probably was. But the sort of 'family' that loved him showed their true colours at the inquest verdict, didn't they?
No one likes crime, especially its victims; it messes everything up. No one likes hearing what they think are excuses being made for it either. But the truth is that all crime has a backdrop. And in the case of gangs, part of that backdrop is poor communities that have been on a downward curve for decades and are now being expected to pick up the tab for the mistakes of the rich.
I'm sorry? What mistakes? What did 'the rich' do that made Duggan decide to go into drug dealing, other than be able to pay his prices, that is..?
It's perfectly legitimate to demand that individuals from estates take responsibility for what they do. But there are others in our society who should also accept some responsibility.
Yes, you're right there. The entire soft justice system that fails to deal appropriately with the Duggans of this world, for a start...

Sunday, 19 January 2014

You Had One Job To Do, Tesco Signwriter...


Ain't Nature Magnificent?

A musician was walking down his road when a falcon and a seagull fell out the sky just metres away from him.
No, it's not the start of a joke. Well, certainly not for the seagull...
Mr Jones said: “They just landed in front of me on the pavement and fought to the death – the seagull lost the battle.”
Yes, well. Was that outcome ever in doubt?
“I tried initially to separate them as I thought the seagull was fighting its young...
...but then I saw it was a bird of prey and thought I’d better leave them to it because they can snap at you.”
“We just had to let nature take its course.
“It took me by surprise. You might expect to see a dog fight, but not this.”
*still boggling*
“It was a weird sensation – it was a very sinister occurrence in a suburb street and reminded me of a Hitchcock moment.
It makes me wonder if a domestic cat would be safe.
I guess seagulls are plentiful for avian predators, but it might have forgotten whose neighbourhood it was hunting in.”
*permanently boggling*

Well, I Guess Even Spellcheck Wouldn't Have Caught It...

Don't feel too bad, though, Oxford Mail. Even the big boys screw up:


And let's not forget why it was dubbed 'The Grauniad':


Sunday Funnies...

Yeah, real life does it every time...

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Seems Only Fair, Since You’re Not Entitled To A Pain Free Murder…

…on Monday a federal judge in Columbus, Ohio, ruled that McGuire's execution could go ahead. Judge Gregory Frost found that there was insufficient evidence to show a substantial risk of severe pain for the condemned man and said that “Ohio is free to innovate and to evolve its procedures for administering capital punishment.”
An Ohio state prosecutor, addressing the court, said: "You're not entitled to a pain-free execution.”
My heart bleeds for him. No, really. But why has this situation arisen in the first place?

Well, because of interference from the anti death penalty squad, of course:
Ohio's use of the new two-drug combination is a move of desperation, one forced by shortages of the anaesthetic pentobarbital that had been relied upon in the three-drug cocktail used for executions by lethal injection all over the US. The approved supplies of pentobarbital in death penalty states across the US have all passed their expiration dates following European restrictions on exportation of the substance and a strict prohibition of sales to prison services imposed in 2011 by the drug's Danish manufacturer Lundbeck.
Ah, those unintended consequences again…

And it seems it caused a few problems in Oklahoma, where a convicted murderer being put to death was reported to have felt ‘a burning sensation’.

The sensations of his victim weren’t recorded by the world’s media, strangely enough.
Maya Foa, the acting director of the death penalty team at Reprieve, said her “strong suspicion” was that Oklahoma had used pentobarbital made by a local compounding pharmacy. Further evidence pointing to that likelihood is that an investigation by St Louis Public Radio and the Beacon revealed that Missouri intends to execute one of its death row inmates later this month using pentobarbital compounded in Oklahoma.
“We know from recent history that compounded drugs can be ineffective or contaminated.” Foa said.
They don’t seem ‘ineffective’ to me. He’s still dead, isn’t he?
David Waisel, an associate professor of anaesthesia at Harvard medical school, said that last week's execution in Oklahoma might be an example of the possible risks involved in using compounded drugs.
“Whatever you say about the death penalty, the penalty itself is not supposed to be suffering. Society should not seek to add pain, as death is enough,” he said.
But ‘society’ isn't involved here, it’s just pressure groups. Pressure groups who calculated that if they made it difficult enough, the states would just give up and commute death sentences to life imprisonment.

They gambled, they lost.
“From the first lethal injection in 1982, to last week's events in Oklahoma, lethal injections have been botched repeatedly over the past 32 years,” said Deborah Denno, a specialist in execution methods who is a law professor at Fordham University. “The lethal injection has never been more unpredictable and more at risk than it is right now.”
We can always go back to shooting ‘em…

Oh, Yes, Let’s Go Forgo Medical Advancements…

…purely for the sake of those who are backward. Yes, that’s really what Rajendra Kale is suggesting:
When I wrote the editorial “‘It’s a girl!’ – could be a death sentence” in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 2012 it caused a media uproar. This was expected given that the piece touched on issues such as abortion, women’s rights, foetal rights, and ethnicity.
He was swiftly replaced at the helm of the Canadian equivalent of the BMJ. And he’s clearly learnt his lesson. More genuflecting towards backwards cultures is required:
The solution I proposed caused further debate. I suggested that the sex of the foetus should be disclosed to all women after 30 weeks of pregnancy, when an abortion is practically impossible. The sex of the foetus is medically irrelevant, except in rare instances of genetic disorders linked to X chromosomes. So why should healthcare professionals be obliged to disclose medically irrelevant information that has reduced the number of women by millions?
Because it’s not the information that’s doing it. It’s people. And if Unity's sums are correct, it's not even all that many people, either.

Let’s be honest here. Mrs Smith is not going to suddenly decide on a termination if it’s not a boy. Mrs Patel might. Why on earth withhold the information from Mrs Smith as a result? Yet that’s what he’s suggesting.

Because anything else is just too hard and difficult to carry out, and risks ‘upsetting’ people. Doctors should never have to do that, I guess.
Arguably the sex of the foetus should be withheld only from those women who are at high risk of aborting female foetuses, but how can one identify these women? Having separate disclosure rules for women who belong to certain ethnic minorities would attract accusations of discrimination.
So, their paler sisters should just take one for the team! Give up the idea that medical advancement is here for all, if one other person misuses it, then we’ll take it away.

You can’t have nice things, Mrs Smith!
Mothers want to know the sex of their baby as soon as possible out of curiosity and because it helps them to plan for its arrival. If they wait till 30 weeks they could save the lives of girls who would otherwise be aborted and still have enough time to decorate the nursery in pink or blue. Dealing with the heightened curiosity of waiting for 30 weeks is a small price to pay for helping to save millions of women globally.
But you aren't paying it, are you, Rajendra? You’re expected all these other women to pay it, just so your fellow doctors don’t have to have an uncomfortable conversation. You want these other women to take the pressure off you by giving up an advancement.

And that’s not right.

“All Your Kidz Are Belong To Us!!”

The actions of Valence Primary School head Elizabeth Chaplin, as outlined in the Barking Post last week (and picked up by the ‘Mail’) really shouldn’t have surprised anyone, should they?

After all, we’ve been here before. Haven’t we? With the power-mad who think they are there to do everything except teach reading, writing and maths?

Added to this the desire to gain brownie points by fitting in with the latest communiqué or scheme from the centre, and it’s a recipe for disaster.
Headteacher Elizabeth Chaplin said that the school had a policy where midday supervisors disposed of half-empty drinks and yoghurt pots to prevent spillages in lunchboxes.
She added that children who were questioned over their drink contents were “more than happy to confirm or demonstrate the water content”.
And so, because the kids aren’t worried, then the parents shouldn’t be either, I suppose?
She confirmed the parents who wanted to take their children out of school had been offered transfer forms, but they had not been completed and the children had returned to school. She said: “Regrettably our attempts to promote a healthier lifestyle have been received negatively by a very small minority.
“We are undertaking a review of the whole lunchtime provision and the review group will include representatives from the parents, pupils, staff and governors.”
Maybe the publicity will have emboldened a few more parents to stand up and say ‘No! This is not why we send our kids to school!’.

Still, could be worse. Elizabeth can only dream of the power schools seemingly have in Canada*:
A Manitoba mom was slapped with a $10 fine because the lunches she packed for her kids’ lunches didn’t have any Ritz crackers.
It happened a few years ago, but has only recently come to light. It caused a fuss at the time, but, frankly, not enough of one:
According to Weighty Matters blog, which first reported her story, Bartkiw says the Canadian province has moved to a hot lunch program in daycares in order to remedy the problem of parents sending less than ‘balanced’ lunches with their kids.
She says she likes the new policy much better.
So she’s actually quite happy for the school to dictate what her kid eats, so long as it causes no trouble or (immediate) cost for her?

*H/T: SadButMadLad via Twitter

Friday, 17 January 2014

Teacher Learns Valuable Lesson…

…that, enticing and diverse and exotic as they may sound, foreign countries just ain’t England:
The teacher of a Bexley teenager who collapsed on a desert trek has told of the devastating moment she realised no ambulance was coming for him as he lay dying.
The group were allegedly assured by local guide Ibrahim Chejja a 4x4 ambulance was on its way and would be able to reach Samuel where he lay by a farm building down a narrow track some way from the main road. …
“Then we looked up and the feeling when this minibus pulled up and I said to Ibrahim ‘is that it?’ and he said ‘yes’ – that was just devastation.
“That is what they sent to help us and we were in the middle of nowhere.”
Well, what did you expect? It’s Morocco, not Maidstone!
Mrs Scott said, not long after Samuel died, a translator told her she needed to go and see (World Challenge ground agent) Mr Lmouden urgently. She went to meet him in an alley nearby, only to allegedly find the guide had removed his World Challenge t-shirt and was wearing a different one.
She said: “He told me ‘you can’t say you had a guide because I could be held responsible and I could go to prison’.
Suddenly the exotic ways of the Moroccan people don’t look quite so enthralling, do they?

The Price We Pay For Diversity In The NHS…

…is a certain Third World fatalism, apparently:
A nurse who pointed at a patient and said "Oh, he’s dead" instead of trying to resuscitate him is set to be struck off.
In evidence heard by the panel, a staff nurse who was working on the evening of the patient’s death, April 2, 2012, said when Mr Muyinda reported the patient’s unresponsive condition to her his manner was casual and without any sense of urgency.
Well, I suppose he wasn't getting any deader, was he?
Mr Muyinda admitted to all seven charges put before him. These included failing to tell the resuscitation team when he found the patient showing no signs of life, not starting CPR for the patient and not recording the care given to the patient in the daily progress and evaluation notes.
The NMC panel has decided imposing a striking-off order is the only sanction sufficient to protect the public from the nurse.
Probably already working in a care home near you under an assumed name..

The Owner's Belly Is Yellow...

Police describe the dog as a white and black staff with a collar and a white belly.
PC Russell Cherrington-Cook, in charge of the investigation, said: "From our initial investigation, it appears that the owner of the dog did not make attempts to help the children and showed a complete disregard for what happened by walking on whilst the attack took place."
Gosh. From the description I'd never have thought that might be the reaction...

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Why So Shocked?

McDonald's in Sidcup caused outrage among fast food loving youngsters when it …
… posted a sign announcing they would not be served after 7pm.
Two signs stating "No youths will be served after 7pm" were posted in the High Street branch this week in a bid to prevent anti-social behaviour.
However, the signs were swiftly removed after News Shopper got in contact with the restaurant's head office.
Ah. I see. Some poor beleaguered shop manager tried to resolve the issue the only way he knows how - with a bit of collective punishment, like everyone else - and it backfired.
A McDonald’s spokeswoman said: "I can confirm that there is no age restriction policy in place at the McDonald’s restaurant on Sidcup High Street.
On Saturday evening, the restaurant experienced problems with a group of individuals causing sustained disruption to the restaurant, affecting fellow customers and employees.
"As a result, following consultation with local police, the restaurant management took urgent steps to try and prevent repeat anti-social behaviour.
"The wording of the initial signage displayed in the restaurant was incorrect and we apologise for any confusion caused."
Rather than 'consult with local police', why not simply point out that you pay business rates? And that the little scrotes' lives should be made hell until they get the message?

A Funny Thing For A Feminist To Say...

Tanya Gold on the awful pressures on mothers:
So much posturing, so much fear! And as ever, a hole in the debate that, for now, is full of shouting. Simply put – where are the men?

Spotted A Trapped Wild Animal? Who Ya Gonna Call?

Well, just don't make it the RSPCA:
RSPCA inspector Zenon Brown (Ed: FFS!), who arrived to rescue the struggling creature, said she was not able to access the property and had no option but to humanely euthanase the fox.
See, they'll fetch the police to break your door down if there's a camera crew around, but if there isn't, and it looks like it might be a bit too much like hard work too late at night, well, they'll just shoot it.
"These situations can be avoided if people were to remove or raise netting when it is not in use and store it away in a shed or garage. We would urge anyone with netting on their property to check it regularly for trapped wildlife."
Why, you need more target practice?

And no, pets aren't exempt from the RSPCA's idea of 'care' either.

I repeat, never, ever, EVER give these vile bastards money...

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Southend Council wants to give its counter-fraud teams new powers so they can carry out investigations independently of police and other law enforcement agencies.
The new powers would enable council officers to execute search warrants and seize assets that could be the proceeds of crime.
Note that: 'could be..'

These are the people that can't collect your bins without a song & dance, are always unprepared for ice & snow on the roads and would rather you didn't have any right of reply.
Martin Terry, leader of the council’s independent group, cautiously welcomed the plans.
So much for 'independence' then...
He said: “It seems a bit draconian for council officers to be able to search people’s homes and my biggest concern is that at some point they get it wrong.
Gosh, really?
“But, in principle, I support this, if it is to seize back money from people who have genuinely defrauded the taxpayer.”
And are we going to let them decide that?

Still, it'll give them something else to recruit a network of junior spies for, I suppose...

…Except, That Is, For The Lack Of Nazis, U-Boats And Dinosaurs.

Residents of three blocks of flats which were surrounded by floodwater feel they are living in “the land that time forgot” .

"Ethel, no need to worry about next-door's pitbull any more..."
Mr Richards said the flats should be given better flood protection.
“I think about 25-30 years ago a feasibility study was carried out on getting a bund put in. I would have bitten their hand off but residents at the time said no because it would spoil their views of the river,” he said.
Gosh. That sounds familiar.

Well, I'm Puzzled...

...OK, the first is a little odd, but surely the second is the very reason people go to nightclubs in the first place?

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The Warning Signs Of All Charities About To Lose Their Way..

‘It is no longer about rescuing as many cats as possible, it has become about cutting as many costs as possible,’ said former volunteer Bernice Moorhouse.
Well, damn. Is there any charity out there not yet subverted?
Mary Millar told how administrators chipped away at funding for her branch in Inverclyde, until they closed it for good in October.
She said her branch had requested £9,000 for neutering in 2013, based on the number of cats brought in the previous year, but had been given only £1,600.
She said: ‘It’s appalling the way they treat the volunteers by cutting back, irrespective of the effects on the animals.’
And what are they spending the money they are saving on?

Well, a salary of £100,000 for its chief executive and more staff at the HQ doing anything else that a big charity does, like political lobbying and expensive advertising campaigns to screw yet more money out of the public, of course.
How can they justify paying themselves such high salaries while shutting the centres where the real work is carried out?’
Probably because they've seen that all the other charities get away with it...
Another volunteer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, accused ‘heartless’ Cats Protection of putting down cats unnecessarily.
‘When I was working for them I was fostering a lot of cats and they said they would take a couple off my hands and rehome them.
‘I stupidly believed them. One of them was a six-month old kitten and they ended up putting her down. They said she was too frightened on her own in the pen. But they didn’t make any efforts to help her. In my opinion it was just easier and cheaper for them to get rid of her.
‘They also wanted us to put down any cats that were over ten years old,’ added the former volunteer. ‘And if blood tests revealed the cats had any diseases, regardless of age, we had to put them down too, rather than pay a vet to cure them.’
However, Cats Protection deny the claim and say they ‘never put a healthy cat to sleep’ and put down sick cats only on vets’ advice.
Sadly, as we've seen with that other large charity, they never seem to have any problem finding vets who are prepared to say anything they want, do they?

Because Tattoos Are Now Passé…

…at least, as a tribute to a dearly departed:
Friends of a talented writer who drowned after being swept away by storm waves on New Year's Day are campaigning to have the storm named after him.
We don’t name storms in this country. So Harry’s bereaved chums can call it whatever they wish, but it’ll have no effect.
In a blog post, friend Tom Luddington said: "We are campaigning that the storm, named by the US media as Hercules, be re-named Storm Harry in his memory."
He added: "Harry was such an amazing character, so full of life, warmth and plans for the future. He will be so missed."
Supporters are using the hashtag #StormHarry on Twitter to get people behind the campaign.
The campaign seems as ill-judged as Harry’s stroll along that Cornish beach in gale force winds and a 15ft swell…

"Back Off, Copper! I've Got An 18thC Duelling Pistol & I Ain't Afraid To Use It!"

"We've got Heckler & Kochs, mate. Make our day...!
NABIS also maintains surveillance on multiple “routes” used to acquire weaponry. One is the rise in the use of so-called “antique” pistols and revolvers, some of them dating back as far as the First World War and even the American Civil War, by criminals who are finding their paths to new weapons smuggled into Britain narrowed.
Oh, really? That's a big threat, is it?
...whether antique or not, many of these weapons are in the same working order as the day they were made.
Martin Parker, head of forensics at NABIS, said: “The technology in these weapons has not changed for a century or more. An antique weapon can still be lethal but it is classified as a collector’s piece with no formal requirement for it to be registered.
“The problem occurs when criminals find they can’t get new weapons from outside of the country. It would be fair to say we have seen an emerging increase in the use of these antique guns.”
Gosh, I wonder what would 'solve' that? Let me think...
One urgent priority is work by NABIS and ACPO with the Home Office to revisit the regulations surrounding “antique” guns to ensure viable handguns are prohibited or more tightly controlled.
Thought so...

Monday, 13 January 2014

Because It's Different..?

The Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO) says his chief attacker spewed racist abuse at him while his fellow warden, who is of Asian origin (Ed: Oh, we know what that means, don't we?), looked on in horror. Mr Keen told News Shopper: "The guy shouted 'Are you sucking your black African boss’s c**k?’
"They were basically saying I was a black man’s pet.
"He was saying ‘You’re not going to leave this close alive; you’ll be in a coma'.
"I was screaming for my life, screaming down the radio ‘Get the police'."
Well, well, well...
Huseyin Mehmet, 49, told News Shopper: "I did say that about his boss but that was after he called me a b**tard and said he was going to ticket 'all the foreigners' cars'.
"He was screaming 'all the foreigners are attacking me' when he was running down the street.
"I don't regret what I said. Why should I? He should not have been stubborn and ignorant."
Ah, you'll be sorry. The police are hot on racist abuse of traffic wardens, mate!

Oh. Hang on.
A Bexley police spokesman confirmed a 49-year-old man has been cautioned for common assault while officers are investigating whether to caution or charge others who may have been involved.
Taking you a long time, isn't it? I wonder why...

Top Marks To Tesco!

I mean, they shouldn't have pleased poverty, obviously. They should have simply said 'No. We aren't paying AGAIN for you to do the job you're already paid to do'...
Dozens of businesses in St James’s Street area of Brighton have signed up to the city’s Business Crime Reduction Partnership as a way to club together and reduce antisocial behaviour for the greater good.
But, despite its parent company making a profit of more than £1 billion a year, the local Tesco Express told community activists it could not afford the cost.
So...what would Tesco have got for their money?
Steve Parry, who sits on the St James’s Community Action Group Policing Working Group, wrote to the firm’s chief executive Philip Clarke. The letter in Mr Parry’s name said: “We have in Brighton and Hove, as in many other parts of the UK, a Business Crime Reduction Partnership that is extremely effective.
“As with most areas having similar demographics to ours we have a serious problem with shoplifting and associated antisocial behaviour, largely centred on drug and alcohol abuse.
“We are making progress but this is hindered by the lack of support from a very limited number of traders.
When information is shared between retailers within the BCRP it is most effective when used by all shops in the area. Unfortunately Tesco Express on St James’ Street is one of the few businesses declining to work with the local community and, worse of all, has stated that the reason for not joining the BCRP is one of cost (£8 + VAT per week).
And why should it cost anything to share information? What's the money they extort actually paying for? Is it so a better class of biscuit can be enjoyed at these BCRP meetings?

Shouldn't that be the thing raising the ire of 'local campaigners'?

Are You In The Wrong Job, PC Malcolm Kirk..?

Police officer Malcolm Kirk, who was called to the incident, said an investigation was under way. He said: “This appears to have been a terrible accident with a dog which was well kept.
Yes, all responsible dog owners walk away from the vicious attack that maimed a little girl's pet (so badly it was destroyed) without calling a vet and sink a few pints in the pub instead...

Shouldn't you leave the pathetic excuses to the defence brief..?
Mr Johnson said people should consider the responsibility which comes with dog ownership. He said:“If they’re not responsible enough to control them they shouldn’t have them.”
I feel the same way about a lot of our police. When is Teresa May going to start muzzling and leashing them?

I would call for neutering, but, well...

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Well, Of Course, They've Integrated, Haven't They?

The Syrian battle of Acton is fought not with Kalashnikovs, artillery and car bombs, but with snubs, insults and severed relations.
No doubt it will soon escalate to WMD, such as parking across their drives and refusing to take parcels in when they are out...
‘People feel contempt for them,’ adds Malik al-Abdeh, an opposition journalist whose parents live right opposite the Akhrases.
‘People feel morally superior to them...
How very British!

You Had One Job To Do, Southend Council...

"Meh. It'll do..."


I'm Pretty Sure You Can Only Do This Once...


Sunday Funnies...

Ah, the movies. Always lying to us...

Saturday, 11 January 2014

That's The Way To Do It..!

The school's motto – brought to the attention of its pupils daily – says it all: "Work hard, be nice and no excuses."
It wasn't always so. Its principal, Dame Sharon Hollows, recalls trying to persuade a neighbouring school to use the school's swimming pool. "They said no," she said. "When I asked them why, they said that when they had used it in the past, the children used to throw chairs at them out of the third floor window and spit at them."

Who'd want a job cleaning out this Augean stables?
The task facing Dame Sharon as the first head of the new academy five years ago was immense.
Fourteen years ago, not a single pupil at the school achieved five A* to C grade passes at GCSE, including maths and English. A decade ago, the school was languishing in the bottom three of national school league tables with only 3 per cent.
Today it can boast 68 per cent A* to Cs – making it the top performing school in the city and above average for the country.
Well, well, well. Academy status seems to have been the key...
"I have to say it has been different to my experience in London," she said. "There I've always worked with schools with very diverse ethnic school intakes. This one is not – this is predominantly white working class. The challenges are different.
"I met so many families here who just didn't have any expectations for anything other than generation on generation of dependence on the state."
So what turned it around? Special treatment for those children experiencing 'difficulties'? Lowering expectations on them so they could be said to 'succeed'? All the things the NUT demand for their little fiefdoms?

It starts, though, with discipline and attendance, she said, so one of her first acts on taking over at Charter – apart from ensuring the motto was printed on the front of the school building for all to see when they arrived – was to insist on the wearing of a school uniform.
She also hired a team of pastoral support workers – ex-Royal Navy personnel – who patrolled the school sorting out problems.
"The Navy is a very valuable source of personnel," she said. "Most of them retire from the navy in their early forties."
If children did not turn up at school, a car was immediately despatched to their home to bring the recalcitrant pupils into school. If it did not find them on the first visit, the car went back again.
Staff also patrol the school gate before and after school to make sure the pupils arrive and leave in an orderly fashion.
 I'm astounded!
Naomi Carter, a vice-principal at the school who worked at St Luke's before the changes, said: "It has been a real privilege working for this school. In the olden days, the staff weren't challenged, the kids weren't challenged. Now it's made clear. If you're going to come here, you're going to work."
No wonder the progressives are worried! All the things they decry about formal education have been shown to work...
...other state schools in a similar situation come to Dame Sharon Hollows to learn from her.
"They are very keen to see what we've done," she said, The key, she is telling them, is to put an end to any conscious or subconscious thought along the lines of "What can you expect from these kids?".
Gove's vision is winning. Can he weather the backlash from the vested interests? I really, really hope so.

Well, Aditya, There’s One Answer To This, But You Might Not Like It…

Aditya Chakrabortty on the awful threat to civilisation posed by …. gambling machines:
Who should bear the blame for the destruction of one man and his family? Abbas, surely, but not only him.
Yes, Aditya, only him. Who else?
After all, when he first arrived from Turkey, he was the archetypal good boy …
Wait, what?
Things changed when he was introduced to what the industry calls fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBT), and what nearly everyone else refers to as the "crack cocaine of gambling".
Ah. I see now, he’s just a poor innocent unable to cope with First World temptations, is he?
In my talk with Abbas, his son Yusuf has been translating some of the trickier bits. At the end, I ask how the 14-year-old feels about what his father has said. Sat next to his bear of a dad, he looks very small. "How do I explain? Sad and angry. All that money is my family's future gone. My parents divorced, and why? Because of a machine."
Well, we can’t have little Yusufs everywhere upset, can we?

So prevent Third World immigration now!

Do it for the children

And Yet, Ian, It Doesn't...

...surprising, isn't it?
The "moral eater" faces a series of puzzles. "Eat oily fish," is the government's health advice, but if all of us did so the stocks of oily fish would be even more imperilled. "Eat more fruit," is another instruction, though unseasonal fruit often depends on aviation fuel to reach us.
Perhaps you should just stop granting the government the power to tell you what you should eat?
A diet that could reconcile the competing needs of carbon reduction, social equity, biodiversity and personal nutrition would probably consist of field-grown vegetables that have been harvested locally by well-paid labour: the diet of the £5 turnip.
It worked for the Soviet Union. Until, well, fairly obviously, it didn't...
Nonetheless, my resolution this year is to become a vegetarian.
Good! More meat for me...

Friday, 10 January 2014

BANG! And The Grime Is Gone!

No, not a cleaning product - Waitrose's new tattoo removal service:
She took to Twitter to vent her anger saying: “Thanks to Waitrose Kitchen, I now know what I would look like without my tattoos.
“I’m missing a massive deck of cards on my shoulder and a big rose underneath it. Wow. Actually stunned.”
Yes, it's celebrichav food blogger Jack Monroe again, desperate for yet more publicity.

Mind you, this being Southend, she's got some stiff competition in the 'Look at MEEEEE!' stakes!
The GP, who serves 4,000 patients at the Greenwood Surgery, South Woodham Ferrers, has been protesting against NHS cuts for years and claims he is not paid a penny and has to dip into his own pocket to pay his staff.
*chuckles* Sure you do...