Tuesday, 30 September 2014

There’s Another Message, Frank…

..and that’s that you shouldn’t have children you can’t afford:
More than 1.5 million poor children over the age of eight lose out on free school meals because their parents are in work, a leading anti-poverty campaigner reveals today.
They ain’t free. We, the taxpayer, are paying for them. Money spent on this is not available for something else.
Labour MP Frank Field told The Independent that research by his office had uncovered that parents in receipt of working tax credits no longer qualify for free school meals, even if their income is below the eligibility threshold of £16,190 a year.
Which is a given, when you set up a maze of requirements and eligibility criteria for handing someone money back.

Why not simply not tax them so much (or at all) in the first place?
“One and a half million poor children are being punished by the system because their parents are working for their poverty,” said Mr Field.
“As well as trying to cover their rent and utilities, these families are told that they must somehow find huge sums in their budget to make sure their children get a decent meal at lunchtime.
“The clear message given to poor parents is that it doesn’t pay to work – the total opposite to government rhetoric.”
Actually, the message it should be sending is: ‘You breed ‘em, you’ll have to feed ‘em..’

For all families.

Post Title Of The Month

Petunia Winegum at Anna Raccoon has a pithy turn of phrase...

Quote Of The Month

DumbJon on the MSM's sudden and curious lack of interest in Rotherham:
The MSM published millions of words of agonised opinionating over whether or not the police were 'insensitive' to the family of Stephen Lawrence, but now we have a case where, amongst other things, evidence in a rape case was lost and the MSM reports that like it's just one of those things. Could happen to anyone. Probably down the back of the sofa. Let's just draw a line under it and move on.

Post Of The Month

MacHeath finds the process of opening a bank account somewhat sub-optimal...

Well, That Was Hardly A Surprise…

A shop owner feels “completely let down” after the yobs who threatened to kill his family had their prison sentences overturned.
Yup, these charmers.
… on Friday, a judge at Basildon Crown Court overturned the sentences, on the grounds they were “excessive” , instead handing them community orders with unpaid work.
However, Speaking after the hearing, Mr Reno, said: “I feel completely let down by the courts.
“I’ve not had justice and I don’t feel the judge has realised the impact this has had on me and my family.
“The courts should be set up to punish people when they commit crime to stop them doing it again.
“A community order is not a deterrent.
“Now I believe it’s just a matter of time until they do this again.
“The courts just seem to be there to protect criminals instead of victims.”
Yes. They do, don't they?

Monday, 29 September 2014

No, No, It’s A Cover Up, All Right…

…and remember, it’s ALWAYS the cover up that does you in, not the original event:
A spokeswoman said: “Two members of our security team approached a small party of guests who were taking photos of our ride staff and guests during the evacuation.
“They were politely asked to delete these images as neither our staff nor the guests in question had given permission for their photos to be taken.”
She said the policy helped the safe evacuation of the ride but insisted that anyone resisting would not have been threatened with removal from the park.
She said: “It’s for safety. It’s not a cover-up.”
*chuckles* Yeah, love, if you say so...
The amusement park said it was following a policy of protecting the privacy of its guests.
How do they manage on a daily basis then? Everyone taking pictures with others in the background would be required to obtain permission!

Pull the other one, it’s got bells on…
News of the move sparked an online backlash against the theme park, which has suffered a number of mechanical breakdowns in recent years.
Mike Burkitt wrote on Facebook: ”Nothing to do with protecting anyone’s privacy and everything to do with protecting the reputation of the business.”
Which, as a result of this heavy-handedness, has now taken yet another nose-dive…

Well, Have You Looked In Syria?

After all, it seems that’s where most of ‘em go:
Ibrahim Kamara, 19, from Newmarket Road, is believed to be the first Briton to die in the attacks against militants along the Syrian/Iraqi border.
Last night his mother Khadijah Kamara, 35, told The Argus she found out about his death on Tuesday afternoon through Facebook.
How very modern! Can we ‘Like’ that?

Rather Unconvincing...

Paul Hartle, 27, said his dog, believed to be a pit bull terrier, is a family pet and not dangerous.
Oh, really?
Officers were called to the house after it fell out with Mr Hartle’s Staffordshire bull terrier, Blitz, four.
So 'not dangerous' that when it has a scrap with another dog, you call the police..?!?

Sunday, 28 September 2014

"When You Absolutely, Positively, Need To Make A Clean Getaway..."

"...accept no substitutes!"

A..a what!? 

Oh. You mean one of these?

A Renault 'Escape'...

*shakes head sadly at Eastern Daily Press*

H/T: Dave Ward via email

"Homophones? They're, Like, People Who Hate Gays, Right?"

I sort of know what they mean, though...

At least - presumably when the phone calls started coming in - they fessed up!

H/T: Dave Ward via email

A Lesson In Anatomy (And Gullibility) For The 'Metro' Editor...


Anyone can see it's just a rat skeleton with the head twisted around over the back...

Sunday Funnies...

Go home, evolution, you're drunk...

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Time For A Change – This Should Not Be Considered ‘Appropriate Care’

A Durham Police spokesman said tonight he remains in hospital with serious arm injuries, which continue to be described as “non-life threatening”.
“Police are aware that the injured man is also the owner of a number of other dogs.
“These dogs live at his property in Low Pittington.
“An assessment carried out by officers from the force’s dog support unit has concluded the remaining dogs are being cared for appropriately ...”

You really have to be kidding me, surely?

This is 'appropriate' living quarters for the sort of 'pets' capable of mauling someone so badly doctors have to finish the job of amputating the arm?

The sort of 'pets' where there's some doubt as to what needs to happen to them when this occurs?

They Do Things Differently In France…

Patrick Vélain of the civil service union said officials were growing tired of being pelted with eggs and abused by furious taxpayers.
Oooh, can you imagine that over here? I can’t!
Brittany has often been a focus of unrest and was the scene of serious clashes with police during demonstrations against a planned pollution tax last year.
Over here, we just grumble and pay up.

France really is a different country, non?

Of All The Things To Riot Over…

…I really can’t see this being a goer:
London could see riots again unless
Well, I’m agog, I don’t know about you!
more trains and buses are provided at affordable fares for the poorest communities as the population soars, the city's transport commissioner has warned.
Errr, seriously? I’m pretty sure none of the rioters last time were of the sort who worry about how they are going to get to work.
Despite an annual investment of about £1bn in tube upgrades and the £14.8bn spent building Crossrail, a rapidly expanding population means an additional 6m trips will be made in the capital each day by the end of the next decade, swallowing up the new capacity on public transport.
Ah, so, roughly translated: “Give us more money or the city gets it!”
London's population is officially estimated at 8.4 million and is rising by about 80,000 people a year. It is expected to reach 10 million by 2030. "If you contemplate a London in 2030 without continuous investment and more revenue money, we will have the kind of congestion you're looking at in Mumbai," he said.
Well, it seems we already have the population to match, in some areas…

Friday, 26 September 2014

Best Christmas Present EVER!!!

A major children’s charity being kept afloat by celebrity philanthropists including JK Rowling and Coldplay faces closure unless the government steps in with significant funding, its founder warned today.
Oh? Which one?
Camila Batmanghelidjh, 51, said Kids Company, which supports 36,000 vulnerable children in London, Bristol and Liverpool, will not survive beyond Christmas without the funds.
*fireworks, champagne corks, heavenly choir*
She said the government had to do more to help the charity, which has four centres and a therapy house in London and offers therapeutic and social work services in over 40 schools.
Newsflash – ‘the government’ doesn’t have any money. We, the taxpayer, have it, until it’s taken off us by force to pay for things 'of benefit to society'.

And keeping you in canapés and cocktails ain’t meeting my definition of ‘things of benefit to society’.

Not by a long chalk.

Sadly, Not The Same Suspended Sentence The Dog Got...

A man and woman involved in the hanging of a dog at a house in Wiltshire have both been given suspended jail terms.
Still, at least a lifetime ban on....

Both were banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

"He may merely be castrated..."

Sadly, they aren't talking about the right animal:
Arundel has already admitted being the owner of a dog which caused injury while dangerously out of control in a public place. He is also awaiting sentence for burgling a shed.
The judge, Recorder Jamie Hill QC, bailed Arundel until he is sentenced on October 17. 
He said: “Although I can’t rule out a custodial sentence at this stage, I’ve got a completely open mind about this.”
Mine's not...

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Note The 'Could Have'...

...but it's long overdue, isn't it?
Travellers could have their vehicles seized as officials get tough on the rising number of illegal camps in Coventry.
Well, well, well...
Deputy city council leader Phil Townshend will present the hardline idea at a meeting of the Coventry Police and Crime Board this afternoon. Speaking to the Telegraph ahead of the meeting, he said: “We are a tolerant city with great depth of human kindness, but we are being taken advantage of.”
More than 100 sites across the city could also be given protected status, making it illegal for travellers to set up camp in the first place, and easier for bailiffs to evict them if they do.
Is it really a 'hardline idea'? Is it such a strange concept, that those who repeatedly flout the law should start having to pay for this?

And does it have a prayer of becoming reality?
A court would have to approve both sets of plans before they could be adopted. 
Ah. Well, I guess that'll be the end of that then...

H/T: Wiggia via email

How, By Giving Them Taser..?

Jennifer Stafford, 39, was working as a residential support worker at children's home Hargrave House, in Great Baddow, when she was repeatedly hit by the 6ft 2in teenager.
Essex County Council has now admitted liability for the long-term injuries she sustained...
You'll never guess why...
...after switching off the fob alarms issued to staff, but insists it has since improved safety for those working with children with special needs.
You couldn't make it up, could you?

Yeah, Well, Good Luck With That, Diane...

Labour MP Diane Abbott said the case was the "tip of the iceberg" and told Channel 4 News: "Until officers get disciplined for incidents like this, these types of incidents will continue to happen."
After all, they seem to be able to get away with just about anything!

If only he'd been a dental nurse, eh? Clearly, their professional body is a lot stricter.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

”… a deadly weapon, shooting to kill every radical bone in your body…”

What is? Well, according to Viv Groskop, ‘Downton Abbey’

Yes. Really
You can watch the show in Persian, Russian and Korean, and it has an estimated global audience of 160 million. On a cycling trip to Angkor Wat, in Cambodia, the actor Jim Carter, who plays the butler, was greeted by a throng of tourists screaming “Mr Carson!”.
The series did well abroad immediately and, as series five starts in the UK on Sunday, the upward curve of viewers shows no sign of flattening. The US in particular has taken the series to heart: Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Tom Hanks and Katy Perry are all fans, while Michelle Obama requested early previews of the last series. Should you wish, you can buy Downton Abbey wine, soap and jewellery.
Hurrah, a British success! Join me in a toast, Viv?
… Downton is just the latest in a long line of conservative cultural phenomena that get lapped up internationally and end up representing Brand Britain, whether we like it or not. From Merchant Ivory and Jeeves and Wooster to Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill via royal baby fever, our best-known cultural exports are painfully reinforcing “olde worlde” class stereotypes.
So..? It seems to be what the viewers like. Well, when they aren’t liking superhero stuff.
What we’re actually exporting is nostalgia, an unhealthy obsession with class, and a peculiarly dusty form of conservatism. It turns out that people can’t get enough of these things.
I trust the irony of a CiFer scorning someone else’s ‘unhealthy obsession with class’ isn’t lost on anyone…

Identity Politics Crowd Make An Arse Of Themselves

Fashion magazine Vogue has attracted criticism for an article published online last week discussing …
God, I shudder to think…
… the rise of the big booty.
*nonplussed face*
In the article written by Patricia Garcia and entitled "We're Officially in the Era of the Big Booty" the magazine argues that a large derriere has become ubiquitous. Garcia uses examples including Jennifer Lopez, Iggy Azalea, Rose McGowan and Kim Kardashian to demonstrate the popularity of big behinds.
And just why is that controversial? Well, because they are all white.

No, I can’t quite figure that out either, but it somehow offends ‘diversity’.
The feature immediately sparked criticism for supposedly being out of touch with popular culture and ignoring cultural diversity by focusing predominately on white celebrities. Critics argue that the feature ignores the history of larger bottoms and focuses on the trend as it has emerged in recent years on white woman.
Oh, I see now. Allow me to translate: “Boo hoo!” No-one cared when black people loved fat bottoms, now white people are into it and it’s JUST …. NOT….FAAAAAAAIIIIIR!”

Never Explain, Never Apologise…

All he did was donate three bin bags full of his children’s unwanted clothes to his local charity shop. 
 The dad-of-three’s good deed ended in a nightmare when he was wrongly accused of breaking into a charity shop in Portswood.
Wrongly accused by whom..?
The drama unfolded late on Thursday night when the 26- year-old’s front door was knocked on as he and his partner were heading to bed. Concerned with who could be banging on his door so late, he went to the window and was shocked to see two police officers on his doorstep.
Worried that they may not be who they claimed to be, he asked them to put their badges through the letterbox but when they refused he said he wouldn’t open the door unless they calmed down as his young children were asleep upstairs.
Now, there’s some comment under the story that he should have accepted their identity at face value. Were his concerns well-founded? Yes, indeed they were, imposters aren’t unknown.
Mr Horne claims the police then threatened to break the door down, with one starting to kick the door and another reappearing with a door enforcer.
For a charity shop burglary? It’s a little on the nose, isn’t it? I mean, it’s not as if he was being accused of grooming schoolkids or anything…

Oh, wait, they don’t come to your door in the dead of night for that either now, do they?
When he opened the door he says he was handcuffed and told he was under arrest on suspicion of burglary, before being taken to a police cell. Dazed and confused by what was happening, it was only during his hour-long interview that he started piecing together what he was being accused of.
He claims officers told him they were investigating a burglary at the Help the Aged shop, in Portswood Road, overnight on August 11, and that his fingerprints were found on a black bin liner.
Which he’d delivered his donations in. And, as he clearly had a criminal history, his prints being on file, the police put two & two together. And got five.
It wasn’t long after explaining this that Mr Horne said he was released at around 2am, with no further action, but he received no apology from police.
Of course he didn’t. That would be to admit that they were precipitate, and might go against them in any future complaint. It’s standard public sector procedure.
“This could have all been avoided if they had checked with the shop’s donation register first, because they would have seen that I had signed a form relating to my donation. “To come to my door like they did, at that time of night, is in my opinion, disgraceful.”
I’d have to agree. The police, of course, will say that they do this to ensure the suspected crim is home (although, shouldn’t they be out burgling?).

But surely they’ve had enough time in this case to eliminate staff and genuine donors dabs?

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

So, Bribery Is The Future?

Primary school pupils are to be given toys for good behaviour. The new scheme at Estcourt Primary, Mersey Primary and Craven Primary allows students to earn vouchers for good behaviour and taking part in school activities.
They can then use those vouchers to buy treats from Toys 'R' Us.
Nikki Leslie, a co-ordinator at Estcourt Primary and Mersey Primary, said the scheme will encourage children to take part in school life.
"Pupils earn credits for things like always having their PE kit or opening a door for a member of staff," she said. "It's not just based on behaviour though. Every child will be given the chance to earn credits.
"This is something new that we have never done before, but we think it has a lot of potential."
Shouldn’t kids be brought up to do these things as a matter of course, and not for the reward?

Or am I just hopelessly out of touch?

Our Policy Isn’t Working, So Let’s Try More Of It!

Longer school days could help improve the poor performance of white working class children, the Government has admitted. In its response to an inquiry, the Department for Education said that the extra time could be used to introduce “character-building activities” aimed at boosting pupils’ confidence.
If you can’t educate them in the time you’ve got available, what makes you think more time would help?

And the last thing the kids lack is confidence, it’s mostly misplaced confidence, based on nothing concrete, because they are continually praised for the slightest thing.
“The Government believes there is a clear moral imperative to tackle head-on the unacceptable link between the circumstances of a child’s birth and their future education outcomes,” said the DfE.
You’d expect the teaching unions, which love to have special groups getting special attention to mitigate against perceived injustice, would love this, right?

Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: “We welcome the focus on underachieving children but would like to see it applied to all underachieving children, whatever their ethnic or socioeconomic background.”
Really? Are you sure?

Let’s Play The Blame Game!

Here’s your scenario:
Lee Bennett of Mangold Way, Erith was walking by a bus stop at the junction between Wolvercote Road and Yarnton Way on August 23 around 10.50am with a friend when a shopping trolley was thrown from the walk-way which crosses over the road.
Lee was hit on the back by the trolley which knocked him to the floor - he tried to get up and collapsed. He was taken to hospital with a suspected broken back but escaped with a badly bruised back and concussion.
Met Police officers are looking to speak to a man and woman spotting arguing on the bridge shortly before the trolley was thrown.
OK, guess the blame!

What, the couple who threw it off the bridge?

Oh, dear me no. That will never do!
TLNowell says...
I have seen children in the same area playing inside the trollies and throwing each other down the stairs in them. It's time the supermarkets realized this is a problem that could kill someone and stood up and stopped people taking the trolleys out of the store. 
mouthalmighty says...
TLNowell wrote: I have seen children in the same area playing inside the trollies and throwing each other down the stairs in them. It's time the supermarkets realized this is a problem that could kill someone and stood up and stopped people taking the trolleys out of the store.
Agree. Supermarkets earn a lot of money, so some of it should be used to safeguard customers and residents in the surrounding area. I hope Lee is recovering well.
See! It’s the fault of the supermarket, silly!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Exhibitionist Complains About Exposure…

White Dee, the star of Benefits Street and Celebrity Big Brother, has moved away from the home made famous by the Channel 4 documentary series after her children suffered racial abuse online.
I’m not sure how changing your physical address helps with online abuse, but then I’m not a dolescrounger who’s appeared on CBB, I guess …
Her manager, Barry Thomas (Ed: Seriously..? FFS!), confirmed to the Huffington Post UK that she had relocated from her house on James Turner Street in Birmingham to a new residence in the city.
"It just got a bit silly," he said. "The abuse has got bigger and bigger. She's been getting quite a lot of hateful stuff on Twitter, and it's clearly going to get a lot worse."
The abuse ‘got bigger’? How? Did they start typing it in all caps?
Thomas went on to tell the publication that while White Dee is currently staying in a "secret bolthole", she doesn’t plan to leave James Turner Street permanently.
"I did try and get her to move five months ago, and told her it would only get worse," he said.
"But she didn't want to - she loves the street. Dee is Dee, she loves sitting on that front wall having a fag and drinking a cup of tea, talking to people."
Well, it beats working…
"We've had people throw eggs at the house, and there's been a brick thrown on one occasion when she was here doing an interview.
"It's just the small proportion of nut-jobs and idiots – 90 per cent of people love her."
Hurrah! I’m finally one of the 10%!

British Police Priorities…

In Rotherham, too busy with car crime to recue abused children from predatory Muslims.

In Bolton, plenty of time to investigate complaints by…well, I never, Muslims again!
Parents complained to police and Bolton Council following the alleged incident at Sunning Hill Primary School, Daubhill, on Wednesday.
It is claimed a girl at the school was fidgeting with her headscarf and the teacher involved was heard to say: “If she was in my class I would chuck the scarf in the bin.”
The woman is alleged to have made the comments about the traditional female Muslim head dress in earshot of several pupils.
Amazingly, she’s been suspended. This is referred to as…wait for it…a ‘neutral act’.
A council spokesman said: “We can confirm that a teacher at Sunning Hill Primary School has been suspended as a neutral act pending an investigation.”
It’s Orwellian, isn’t it?
A police spokesman said: “An incident was reported to us on Wednesday evening at 10pm.
“It surrounds a comment made towards pupils at Sunning Hill Primary School.” It is understood police were taking statements from complainants last night.
That’s our police for you – tough on comments, tough on the causes of comments!

There’s Gratitude For Us…

A former child soldier in the Libyan army has been…
Honoured with a ‘Good Citizen’ award?
… jailed for stabbing a teenager in a New Malden park.
But it was OK, because the victim was a scumbag too!
"The victim is a man of some reputation in the area as being from a gang."
Oh, well, it’s not like he has a street na…

Four days later he carved the first initial of his street name on to the body of a man who had been beaten unconscious.
Recorder Reid said: "That's a disturbing incident which casts worry over your future behaviour.
"Knives are a menace. You are very lucky, as is your victim [in] that he did not die.
"It's time for you to grow up and realise the consequences of your actions. Choose your friends and your activities more wisely than you have been.
"You are unlikely ever to be tried as leniently as you have been today. You are 18, you are a man. In the future you will be tried as the man that you are."
Elmaarfi was sentenced to 18 months in jail for unlawful wounding and nine months for possessing an offensive weapon, to run concurrently.
‘Unlikely ever to be tried as leniently’..?


Sunday, 21 September 2014

Chavnames A-Go-Go!

Gran Jackie Bravo has a double reason to celebrate after taking delivery of two newborn grandsons in just eight hours.
Remember when 'grandmother' meant little apple-cheeked old lady?

Her son Loz’s wife Chrissie gave birth to Koby, their second child, in the early hours.
Then she got the call to say that daughter Lucia had gone into labour. Baby Beau, Lucia and Ryan Brett’s first-born, arrived hours later.
Nor is that the only oddity.
Loz, a forklift truck engineer, and Chrissie, both aged 28, who have a daughter, Eyva, four, live nearby in Chatham.
School registers must be fun reading, eh?

H/T: anon in comments

Letters To The Editor...

Via Dave Ward, this little beauty from the 'Eastern Daily Press':


I just...

I Think The ‘Telegraph’ Is Hiring Ex-‘Mail’ Staff Again…

A man-eating leopard has claimed its latest victim, following a string of attacks on mainly drunken villagers as they attempt to make their way home.
We could do with a couple roaming most British high streets after pub chucking out time…
Belinda Wright, the leading conservationist and head of the Wildlife Protection Society of India, told the newspaper she doubts that leopards are targeting drunks, but rather that their behaviour made them vulnerable.
"Quite frankly when people are drunk and weave their way back home to the village they are easy prey. I don't think the leopard is targeting drunk people, just people stumbling along the path at night.
"I'm sure you won't taste any better because you've consumed liquor," she said.
Oh, I don’t know. We love coq au vin, don’t we?
Leopards and tigers usually turn to attacking humans when they are injured or old and can no longer catch dogs - their favoured prey.
Errr, no. Leopards yes, but tigers, definitely not!

Sunday Funnies...

One for the keen gardeners...

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Zoe Williams Take Out An Onion For … Well, Who Else?

Criminals, of course.
I’m pretty sure it’s a political confection, the visceral hatred of criminals this government exhibits. It doesn’t indicate any serious reflection on who is actually in prison, what happens to them during their sentence, or what it will take for society to reabsorb them when they’re released.
Society seems to lag behind politics in that respect, with so many old lags totally unaffected by a spell in chokey…
It’s there to establish their credentials as men – tough, morally certain and on the side of right.
You have noticed that they aren’t all men? And, speaking as a not-man, I’m pretty hot on crims being punished for their crimes, Zoe..
Ken Clarke made genuine efforts to reduce prison numbers; professionals said at the time that it was the first time in years they’d had a justice secretary who understood the prison estate and what it needed.
It didn’t play too well with the voters, though, did it? And they are the ones politicians need to please, not the liberal bleeding hearts in the Prison Service.
Chris Grayling, his replacement, seems to take a kind of giddy delight in how little he comprehends of a business before “reforming” it . As a direct result of his policies and tough-guy posturing, the number of prisoners increases every week. It even went up in August, which is unheard of because courts are on holiday.
Hurrah! Maybe that’s why crime is said to be down?

And, of course, there are other ways of reducing the prison population…
Suicides have gone up by 64%. Everybody knows what causes suicides in prison. Too many inmates have mental health problems and shouldn’t even be in prison in the first place. Had the sentencing magistrate been better trained, or simply more sensitive, they would have been handed a community sentence and stood a chance of getting the healthcare they needed (though, considering the underfunding of mental health services, not a very strong chance).
I really, really don’t think we need more sensitive magistrates. The ones we have are already as wet as the ocean.
Wandsworth prison four years ago was a huge success story of modern jailcraft – it had a flagship education system, award-winning sex offender rehabilitation programmes and responsive, highly trained prison officers. In 2010 it had 427 officers; this June it had 260, to manage 1,634 prisoners. Four men have killed themselves since the beginning of the year.
Well, fewer crims means fewer staff needed!
One appalling detail is that all deaths have shot up, even deaths from illness. Heart attacks that needn’t be fatal are, because there aren’t the staffing levels to get people to hospital in time. … It would be instructive for Grayling to go into a prison in the days after a suicide, or on the day of the funeral. The staff are destroyed by these events.
Really? Were staff in floods of tears when Fred West topped himself? Frankly, that ought to be a sackable offence!
This is what prisons look like when the political rhetoric is all about the victim, and the criminal is relevant only insofar as he or she is seen to get their just deserts.
Yup, those wretched victims of crime, wanting their pound of flesh, eh, Zoe?

Ellie Mae O’Hagan Crushes The Dreams Of Progressive Girlie Men Everywhere…

Equal rights are achieved when those who are denied them organise and take power. This was the ethos that led working people to form the Labour Representation Committee, which became the Labour party. And it’s the same ethos that led to the foundation of the Feminist Initiative party in Sweden, which has just missed out on seats in the country’s election. Here’s hoping the party isn’t disheartened, and continues to organise – and let’s do the same in the UK .
Right on, sister! I’m sure all the wet males at CiF will have your back!
What would this party look like? Well, for a start, no men would be allowed.
Our primary aim would be to ensure female autonomy: that no women should be economically dependent on men, confined by sexist social norms and at risk of violence, or have their destinies determined by their sexual organs.
So…who are women going to be economically dependant on – the State?
Under a feminist party there would be no headlines about equal pay taking another 60 years to be realised, no tabloids publishing shaming stories of girls having sex on holiday, no quibbling over whether to make domestic violence a separate offence, and full reproductive rights for all.
Don’t you have to get elected first? And then negotiate and horsetrade with the opposition parties to get relevant legislation through?

Good lord, it’s as if you’re a silly little airhead who hasn’t thought any of this through, isn’t it?

H/T: Tim Worstall

Well, There’s Always The ‘Off’ Button?

In an era when every second movie seems to be an offshoot of DC Comics or Marvel, television used to provide relief. Cinema, with its love of big-budget bombast, might be in thrall to the age of the superhero, but surely TV was immune?
Ooops, clearly a bad time for non-superhero TV viewers who can’t find the ‘off’ button and don’t know how to change channels…
Well, think again – because a host of new television shows are set to put the superhero centre stage, from the much-hyped Batman prequel Gotham, which starts on Channel 5 this autumn, to Netflix's take on four Marvel characters, the first of which, Daredevil, arrives early next year.
I’m not aware that anyone’s forced to watch them..?
Yet are we really all holding out for these heroes? While Arrow, a new look at DC Comics' Oliver Queen, aka Green Arrow, has been a success for Sky One, ensuring that the channel also splashed out for spin-off show The Flash (both airing this October), it's hard not to view the sudden proliferation of superhero shows with a slowly sinking heart.
So…have you considered reading a book? Going for a walk in the park? Watching one of the hundreds of other channels instead?
… all the synergy in the world can't disguise lazy programming. Television is at its best when it makes you view the world through new eyes. Even a procedural can look fresh given the right treatment – just ask fans of Happy Valley, Line of Duty or True Detective. What doesn't work is to say simply: "Here's this stuff that gets them queuing at the movies. Let's stick it on TV too, only minus the charisma and with half the budget."
Let me explain to you how the TV ratings system works – if they aren’t popular, they don’t get taken up. If they start out popular but then shed viewers like a dead dog sheds fleas (I’m looking at you, ‘Lost’…) they get cancelled.

Why any of this should somehow be of ‘concern’ is anyone’s guess…

Friday, 19 September 2014

Police Body Cameras – A Great Idea, Though Race Hustlers Might Starve…

…actually, come to think of it, that makes it an even better idea!
In Jones’s version of events, told to an overly credulous Da Lin, a reporter from local CBS affiliate KPIX, his sons were “traumatized” by the police officer, who told them to put their hands up and not to move.
“And his hand is on his gun,” Jones said in the interview, “he was crouched, he was low, and he was basically in a shooting stance.”
Cue the usual suspects?

Alas for Mr. Jones, there will be no Al Sharpton, no Eric Holder, no FBI, and no action, for the Oakland Police Department released a video of the incident, captured on the officer’s body camera, and it confirms that though the officer was cautious and even a bit brusque at the outset, he did nothing improper during the entire incident.
Lying through their teeth while getting caught out by technology? Seems like a habit with black firemen in the States.

And let’s not forget ‘I was only kissing my white boyfriend!’ turned out to be a little more complex than that, after the left-wing media had already mounted their hobby horses & galloped off…

H/T: Ruby_Monroe via Twitter

Because It Only Bites In Wigan Town Centre…

…and nowhere else?
A man whose dangerous dog bit a toddler’s face has been banned from taking it through Wigan town centre after a court ruling saved its life.
The court heard Goldstraw, 40, was begging on Bradshawgate, Leigh, during the afternoon of May 6 when the toddler and his mother approached him and the dog, which was on a lead.
While patting the animal, the youngster was bitten “within a split second” after which Goldstraw pulled the dog back and was said to have “hit it on the head” as punishment.
Stupid mother, stupid dog owner. And how does a beggar afford an Akita?
When interviewed by police, Goldstraw, of Glebe Street, Leigh, was questioned about an incident a week earlier when the dog had reared up and put its paws on the shoulders of a 10-year-old girl and caused scratches.
And did the police do anything? No, clearly.
Andrew Stock, defending, said his client’s situation had now changed and he was in a better financial position to look after the dog and that a destruction order would not be a “proportional punishment.”
Depends on whether it was issued on the dog, or on him.…
He added that the previous incident should not be given too much weight given that dogs often rear up at people.
He said: “If you walk through Haigh Hall or Mesnes Park every day there will be dogs jumping up at you.”
No doubt. That doesn’t make it right, does it?

Storm In A Pint Glass!

The Jolly Brewer displayed a blackboard which said: “Men no shirt, no service. Women no shirt, free beer.”
A little feeble, but it raised a smile. Not, of course, with everyone
The landlord and landlady at the pub on Ditchling Road, Brighton, say although the sign was purely intended to make customers chuckle, they have been forced to take it down after complaints the wording was “offensive.”
‘Forced’..? It doesn’t say by whom, or even who would have the power to do so.

But then, I guess maybe there really is no such thing as bad publicity?
Amy Phipps, 29, of Preston Circus, said she witnessed 40-year-old men laughing and jeering at the wording when she saw the sign.
She said: “It’s just offensive and derogatory. There are schools near here, it worries me young girls and children could see it and think it’s acceptable to objectify women. Sadly these comments are common but it’s shocking when it’s right in front of you.”
*rolls eyes*
Gary Hills, partner to landlady Nicky Hills, said the complaints were from “very sad people” and claimed the phrase was a well-known joke featured on a website which suggests funny anecdotes for pub signs.
He said: “We put a new one out each week to make people laugh. The landlady picked it, so she doesn’t mind. We’ve taken it down now but we just can’t believe this has happened. It was just a joke and everyone we have spoken to thought it was funny. We saw people take pictures, smiling as they walked past.”
Not everyone, clearly.
Angela Upton said: “It’s a joke just for men who are misogynistic and are unlikely to treat women with the respect they deserve.”
I always thought respect should be earned…
A 23-year-old male staff member at Corner News And Booze, on Upper Hollingdean Road, said: “It’s not offensive. There are more important things to worry about.”
And a 58-year-old resident of nearby Nettledon and Dudeney flats, said: “It’s a joke. There are other things that go on in our area which are more offensive.”
Indeed so. But I suspect the likes of Angela and Amy would really rather not challenge those, for fear of the consequences…

Thursday, 18 September 2014

And Yet, You Look Like You Can Handle Yourself...

“It held me prisoner in my own property.“
Frankly, that's the sort of hysteria you expect from a 'Guardian' reading New Man, not a 53 year old dock worker from Canvey Island!
“My wife, Christine, even threw a pan of water at it. She is terrified.
“I couldn’t get any closer than four feet to it. What happens if it bites me?“
What, from four feet away?
Mr Tappin, who works at Tilbury Docks, was unable to go to work while he tried to sort the problem.

And Mr Dinu's Not Wrong, Is He...?

Mr Dinu had told the Channel 5 programme that he and other Romanians had come to the UK because it was a “soft touch” the court heard.
And what happens when people object? Why, the fearless guardians of society spring into action .... to see the complainers punished:
Hawksby was arrested after his picture was taken by University of York Professor Nick Brown, who shared the images with North Yorkshire Police on Facebook.
Hawksby told officers: “He is not even from York. It costs 23 to 25 quid on the train so he must be earning some right money busking.”
Hawksby denied racially aggravated threatening behaviour but was convicted.
He was given a four month suspended jail sentence and ordered to pay £100 costs and an £80 surcharge.
If he takes up busking to pay for it, will North Yorkshire Police tolerate him, I wonder?

That’s An Awful Lot Of Words…

…to say “Oh, do please take the sex and travel option, you idiots!” isn’t it?
An ad for the film Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes that showed an ape shooting a man dead with an automatic weapon has been cleared following 119 complaints.
One hundred and nineteen people actually phoned, wrote and (presumably) emailed. One hundred and nineteen!
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the majority of complainants believed the ad was inappropriate for children to see
Right, OK, fair enough. Wait, when was it shown, again?
… while others believed the theme and content was unsuitable for juxtaposition with a mainstream sporting event.
Oh, I dunno. A bunch of out-of-control apes running amok seems quite fitting, somehow. But…back to the broadcast time:
The ASA said the ad was unsuitable for young children and the 9pm restriction reflected this. It said: "While it was unfortunate that any distress was caused to younger viewers who did see the ad, we considered that the scheduling restriction in place, together with the time of broadcast, 9.50 pm, meant that it had been directed away from younger viewers."
Quite! So, if you let your precious kiddiewinks stay up past the threshold, and they were traumatised, you’ve only yourself to blame. You’re the adult.

On the other hand, if you were traumatised, maybe you’re not really such an adult after all…

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

One Swallow Does Not Make A Summer…

Frances Ryan weeps and wails in CiF:
I’ll resist calling Clapson’s death a tragedy. Tragedy suggests a one-off incident, a rarity that couldn’t be prevented. What was done to Clapson – and it was done, not something that simply happened – is a particularly horrific example of what has, almost silently, turned into a widespread crisis. More than a million people in this country have had their benefits stopped over the past year.
And have a million people starved to death?


It’s a tragedy then.

Two Bald Men Fighting Over A Comb…

A shopping centre struggling to attract customers has 26 empty shops, a survey reveals.
A management count of Southend’s Victoria Centre’s 63 units this week showed 41 per cent are vacant.
It’s an old refrain. The place has never been filled since opening, probably due to the sky-high rents charged which drove out old favourites.

Even those shops which have relocated to the Victoria have left behind gaping wounds in the High Street which are filled (if at all) with the sort of stores no-one in their right mind would buy from…
Yesterday, the Echo told how traders there blamed changes to the Victoria Gateway for hitting trade. They blame politicians for not acting quickly enough to address their concerns over the lack of shoppers.
Wha..? What have politicians got to do with it?
The association believes a second crossing in the shared space area, which was completed in 2011, has diverted people from an escalator leading to the centre, resulting in a drop of more than 500,000 visitors. Traders say they want the crossing removed or fenced off.
They also believe the recent introduction of trees and seats proved there was money in the pot and the opportunity to do something to help the centre had been ignored.
Oh, FFS! The crossing has little to do with the lack of footfall, since even people using it are directed up the side of the Odeon and then can enter the Victoria at midlevel on the left, should they wish. 

Clearly, should they not wish, these idiots would like to see them forced into it. At gunpoint, probably.
Graham Longley, deputy leader and councillor responsible for enterprise, tourism and economic regeneration, said he believed the problems at the centre were temporary. He said: “I think it is a superb centre and the owners have done an awful lot of work on it.
“The centre has just had a major new business start there with the Pound Shop moving in.
“I think the centre has maybe been through a hard patch, but I think it’s a short-term issue.
“The council is always doing all it can to encourage businesses, but I think it is a matter of encouraging the right blend of businesses to come in.”
Get the right blend of businesses, and customers will beat a path to your door. Get the wrong one (and remember, you’re competing with the Internet now) and…they won’t.

There’s very little government – local or national - can do to help you if you are selling things people don’t want to buy, or can get cheaper elsewhere.

Spotlight On The EU And Its Vital Work…

Controversial internet regulations have struck the Worcester News for the first time.
Google has removed a five-year-old article from its searches, as part of the controversial EU ‘right to be forgotten’ law.
Ah. One of those
The story in question was about artist Dan Roach, who received a scholarship from the University of Worcester in 2009. Published alongside the piece was this photograph of Mr Roach with some of his artwork from the time.

I’m baffled. So what? There’s no denying it really was his artwork, so what’s the problem?
In a statement to your Worcester News, Mr Roach said: “Since 2009, when the story and photograph originally appeared in the Worcester News, my paintings have developed; the work depicted in the 2009 article bears little resemblance to the paintings I’m now making.”
*nonplussed face*
“The popularity and high traffic of the Worcester News website meant that a search on Google would bring up an outdated image as the first item, which in turn meant that anyone researching my work may view it with an outdated perspective.
“I had hoped for some flexibility with the image in the piece, however the Worcester News explained they do not usually take articles down, something I fully respect.
“The decision to ask for the link to be removed from Google was based on no more than a wish to highlight my new work, rather than the old.”
You’re serious? You went to court to remove an old image of your work because your newer work is so much better?

And this is why a ‘right to be forgotten’ was considered so important by the EU?

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

And After That, They’ll Bring Peace To The Middle East And Get Cats And Dogs Living Together…

Sussex’s police chief has called on forces nationally to improve the way they treat gay and transgender officers and to root out sexual prejudice in their ranks.
Blimey, couldn’t they just concentrate on being better policemen & women?
Mr York, who joined Sussex Police in 2008, questioned why so many officers felt they could not ‘come out’ at work and said police were “not balanced yet” on the issue.
Really? Because later on, the article says:
Sussex Police said about 5% (266 people) of its 5,800 staff and officers identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual in the latest report …
Which rather nicely mirrors the percentage of the general population, surely? So what’s the issue again?
He urged delegates at the Police Superintendents’ Association of England and Wales (PSA) to understand what it feels like to be an “other” in society and “once you have got it personally, drive it organisationally”.
What on earth does that even mean..?!
Mr York said gay communities had historically been “hounded” by the policing of public sex environments, adding: “We still have prejudices today and I think the learning we need to do on this is how we don’t let them boil through into discriminatory behaviour.”
Newsflash, chum: I don’t want to walk into a public toilet and see heterosexual couples making the beast with two backs either!

This Is Where Identity Politics Leads….

A judge has criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for shoddy evidence and said a case should never have been brought to court after a former pupil at a £30,000 a-year public school was cleared of sexually assaulting a friend.
It was a shambles from start to finish. Nor was it just the hapless CPS on the hook:
Judge Morris said he would never have allowed the case to go ahead if he had known that the allegations had not been properly investigated.
When the CPS opted to press ahead despite the judge’s reservations, the trial was beset with problems as gaping holes in the police investigation emerged.
Oh, surely not!
The jury struggled to follow a video interview with the alleged victim, and it was left to the defence team to produce a transcript. Police experts had been unable to download key texts sent and received by the woman, and had resorted to taking photos of the screens which were barely legible.
Forced into yet another adjournment because evidence was not ready, Judge Morris exclaimed: “I would never have started this case if I had known it would take this course.”
It then emerged that vital messages sent by the alleged victim hours after the incident had been wiped. Police were forced to admit they had not seized her phone after she first complained, and waited six months before starting to analyse it.
An increasingly exasperated Judge Morris said: “I would have expected that to be taken from the complainant at the time of her interview and examined there and then.
“That is a shortcoming of the investigation of this matter.”
You’re not kidding…
When he learned that the alleged victim had not been questioned about the missing texts, the judge criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for opting to pursue the case. “Sometimes it would be helpful for someone from the CPS to be in court and see the problems created at cases which aren't investigated properly, and the consequences, instead of being at the end of the phone opining whether cases should go ahead or not.”
In terse exchanges with Ms Chan, the judge asked whether the CPS knew “what a mess had been made of the telephone evidence”.
Perhaps he would have been better off asking if they cared, so long as this ticked another ‘we’ve prosecuted a man’ box..?
He walked free from court after being discharged by the judge. His barrister Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC said she was considering making a wasted costs application in addition to her client's defence costs because of the way the case was handled.
The judge said any costs application would be heard at a later date.
Perhaps it ought to come out of the pockets of the gender warriors in the CPS and the complacent ‘investigators’ in the police, who insist on forcing through these cases for ideological reasons, rather than from public funds?

Just Give Him A Voucher For A Free Sausage Roll…

A devout Muslim says he is “disgusted” that…
*rolls eyes* Now what..?
… a blunder by a high-street sandwich shop meant he ate bacon and ham, contrary to his strongly-held beliefs.
Oh dear, so sad, never mind.

Just think of all those poor Sikhs who’ve been consuming halal, in contravention of their strongly-held beliefs…
Amar Bhatti is angry at food store Pret A Manger after a blunder by staff meant that a product labelled as a vegetarian croissant he ate actually contained two different pork products.
The 28-year-old sales manager said the store had not gone far enough to make amends for what he describes as a major error.
What did he want, a grovelling apology on national TV?
He said: “They told me we have just got a new guy in and they’ve made a little mistake. I said ‘it’s not a little mistake, it’s a big mistake’.
No, sonny, Three Mile Island and Chernobyl were big mistakes. You getting a mouthful of ham doesn’t even register on the scale.
“There’s a big difference between how the vegetarian croissant and meat croissant look like, it’s not complicated to label them up right. ”
And yet, you clearly didn’t see the difference quickly enough to avoid shoving it in your gob, did you?
“They offered me vouchers but I am not sure I want to eat there again after this.
“I think for what they have done they should be offering me something more in compensation.”
I doubt your custom is so valuable that they’ll be falling all over themselves to retain it, somehow…

Monday, 15 September 2014

The Arrogance Of The Always-Employable Social Worker…

A social worker who posted Facebook messages bragging about removing three children from their parents has been found guilty of misconduct at a fitness to practice hearing.
Took long enough, didn’t it?
The panel said Miss Condon could continue working as a social worker under supervision, despite saying she had demonstrated “a serious failing” and that she had “not fully remediated her actions in terms of her values as a social work professional and the fundamental importance of confidentiality”.
But Essex, quite rightly, weren’t about to take any chances…
Essex County Council chose not to renew Miss Condon’s contract after the case which involved three boys, all aged under ten, who were taken into care after a private hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court last year.
Not that that means she’s currently practicing new skills, like salting the fries before putting them in the packet, oh, dear me, no.

Just because Essex didn’t want her, well, there’s always an authority out there whose standards are even lower:
Miss Condon, who now works for another authority, told the panel she acknowledged her unprofessional conduct and without seeking to excuse her conduct, blamed the pressures at work at the relevant time. She also said if her manager, sitting next to her when two of the comments were posted, had told her to take them down she would have done so immediately.
I’m sorry? Work was so ‘pressured’ you had time to update your private Facebook page while at work..?!?

Nor was this the only example of blatant chutzpah:
Despite posting sensitive confidential information about the family on a social media site, Siobhan Condon attempted to have the hearing held in private. Miss Condon cited issues related to the disproportionate effect on her and her family of media reporting of her conduct.
However, the panel ruled it was unclear what benefit there would be in a private hearing when the case had already been publicised.
The panel said it had “carefully considered the application and, whilst appreciating the impact already made on Miss Condon’s private life by the reporting of her alleged misconduct within the media, it did not consider that she had made out a compelling case for overriding the presumption of open justice”.
Utterly breathtaking.

“We’re From The Muttaween, Son, And We ‘Avent ‘Ad Our Halal Dinner!”

A video showing a semi-naked man wearing a burka while doing an ice bucket challenge outside a mosque is being …
Shared on FaceBook? Sent on Twitter?
… investigated by police.
You’re kidding me?
The man, wearing only his underwear, socks and shoes and a makeshift burka — a traditional female Muslim headscarf — makes several offensive remarks about Islam.
It is believed a number of people reported the incident to police, who are now investigating the incident as a hate crime.
And, the police being overstretched (or so they constantly tell us…), they laughed and shelved it.

Ha! Kidding! No, of course they didn’t.
PC Mel Jackson said: “We are aware of a video. “The content is offensive and has caused distress in the local community - a hate incident has been recorded and is being investigated.
“If anyone knows the identity of any of those in the video we would urge them to contact us.”
And of course, the usual suspects are displaying unimaginable amount of chutzpah:
Imteyaz Ali, from Bolton Council of Mosques, said: “Frankly this sort of behaviour is unacceptable and not welcomed by anybody or any group.
“If this is an ice bucket challenge, it’s about time these people cooled their extremist views. "
*chokes* You’re ‘avin a laugh, aren’t you?
"It is not helpful and the people prosecuted should be dealt with robustly by the authorities.
“They could do something like this outside any place of worship, whether it’s an Islamic one or not, and this is what I would think.”
Yes, indeed they could, but it seems only one religion would spit its dummy like this, eh?
Police are also investigating after a video showing the beheading of American journalist James Foley was posted on the Stop The Astley Bridge Mosque page.
They are investigating what, exactly?

Shouldn't The Police Be More Concerned About Other Aspects Of This Case..?

Police are thought to be concerned that assumptions have been made on the internet about a minor who may never be charged.
They never seem too worried about that when it's a false rape claim, do they?

Perhaps they should be more concerned with their own hand in this:
A 15-year-old bailed on suspicion of causing a blaze that killed at least 50 dogs was attacked by a dangerously out-of-control dog earlier this year, it emerged last night.
Because the MEN has cleansed their files of the story, I can't even find out what the owner eventually got...

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Because You Can't Be Too Careful...

Observed in the Victoria area, three men, hi-vis'd to the nines and wearing hard hats:

Their hazardous job? Measuring parts of the pavement with a tape measure. I kid you not...

Kindle Ads Aren't Targeted, Are They?

Because, if they are, something's badly wrong with their algorithm...

Why I Love Local Newspaper Comments...

Police were first called at about 8.45pm on Wednesday after a report that someone had been spotted in trouble in the algae- ridden pond.
Officers searched the area but could not find anything.
The following morning a specialist search unit returned to the scene. A spokesman for Sussex Police said no one had been reported missing in the area.
The search was called off yesterday afternoon when the specialist team found nothing in the pond.
Release the hounds wags!

Sunday Funnies...

Never apologise, never explain...

Saturday, 13 September 2014

It’s Not ‘Victim Blaming’ If The Victim Is Actually Partly To Blame…

Hannah Giorgis (apparently a ‘black feminist writer and organizer’) opines in CiF:
Early Monday morning, TMZ released a “cleaned up” video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice beating Janay Palmer, his then-fiancée and current wife, in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino.
Wait, what? Let’s read that again:
”… Janay Palmer, his then-fiancée and current wife…”
After investigating the accusations against Rice – to which the Baltimore Ravens running back pleaded not guilty and entered an intervention program for first-time offenders to avoid a trial – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handed him a paltry two-game suspension in July.
Thousands of people, far and wide, called into question the NFL’s judgment for such a featherweight punishment of an act so violent.
And he’s now had his contract terminated. Yay, social media?

Well, surprisingly, no.
That we feel entitled (and excited) to access gut-wrenching images of a woman being abused – to be entranced by the looks of domestic violence – speaks volumes not only about the man who battered her, but also about we who gaze in parasitic rapture. We click and consume, comment and carry on. What are we saying about ourselves when we place (black) women’s pain under a microscope only to better consume the full kaleidoscope of their suffering?
How are people supposed to get angry about something they shouldn’t be allowed to see? And without that anger there’d be no Twitterstorm & no termination of the contract…
In reproducing victims’ trauma over and over, we only expose them to more harm. Throughout this six-week public ordeal, Janay Palmer’s pain has been minimalized, her judgment called into question. “Why did she marry him after he beat her?” reverberates around the web and in our minds, an accusation masquerading as a concern.
Well, shouldn’t there be some accusation here? Should people not wonder why they are being asked to gin up outrage to help a woman who seemingly hasn’t helped herself?
If we viewed victims as more than a link to be tweeted, more than statistics to be reported to a broken criminal justice system, we would have to grapple with their complex humanity. We would have to offer meaningful solutions to violence, holistic responses to trauma, and accountability for abusers whom we may love. We would have to do more than just watch.
I’m unclear just what it is you want here, other than uncritical acceptance of the ‘man bad, woman good’ meme, no matter the fact that the woman has shown hugely poor judgement.

Sob, Sob For The Real Victims..!

The boss of the Southampton hospital at the centre of the Ashya King controversy has spoken for the first time about
How awfully sorry they are? How guilty they feel about the extra stress they put this family through? How ‘lessons will be learned’ and it’ll never happen again?
… how her staff were hounded with abuse as the plight of the youngster hit international headlines.
Oh dear, really? So sad.

Wait, wait, it’s around here somewhere…

Ah! There it is!
Fiona Dalton, chief executive of the trust that runs Southampton General Hospital, told how “irate members of the public” confronted medics “aggressively” while they were bombarded with hate emails.
She went on to describe her “surprise” at the media storm the story caused and how medics from the paediatric oncology team were confronted with personal abuse from strangers.
Makes a nice change for them, I suppose, from dishing it out to desperate parents…
“I cannot imagine having to face the reality of your child being diagnosed with a brain tumour.
“But I do know that in this dreadful situation, I would want the support and care of this brilliant clinical team.”
Yeah, right up to the point at which you disagreed with them and they threatened to take your child away.
She also praised staff for their efforts in what she called a “very intense few days” and thanked them for pulling together to ensure the thousands of patients being treated at the hospital were cared for.
Otherwise known as ‘doing the job they are paid to do’.

Yet Another Demand For Legislation To Overrule Darwin…

The family of tragic Lexi Branson last night called for new laws surrounding the re-homing of dogs following an inquest into her horrific death.
Because there needs to be legislation to stop single mothers paying £50 for a bulldog of dubious history & installing it in a flat with their tiny daughter, clearly…

An inquest into her death was told staff knew the dog was not suitable to be housed with small children - yet still agreed to sell it.
They also failed to carry out a home visit despite knowing Jodi, 31, lived with Lexi in a two-bedroom flat with no secure back garden.
So, of course, we need immediate legislation, don’t we?

According to the usual grandstanding coroner desperate to place the blame elsewhere than on the grieving parent…
Senior coroner Trevor Kirkman was told kennel staff had no external training because incredibly there are no current laws in relation to re-homing dogs. Recording a narrative conclusion, Mr Kirkman said he would be writing a report with recommendations to try and "prevent future such deaths".
He added: "It seems to me, having heard the evidence, there are no national standards by which any policy for re-homing is considered.
"There is also no statutory requirement to make a home visit. The decision on whether she should have the dog was left up to Jodi.
Well, yes. She was an adult, wasn’t she? We trust adults to be competent to make their own decisions, don’t we?
"A coroner has a statutory duty to report facts which he or she believes should be reported with a view of trying to prevent future deaths.
"I will be making a report as a result of the evidence in this case, making my recommendations to the appropriate authorities."
Good grief! The RSPCA must be rubbing their hands with glee – another costly overhead for rescue centres will drive a few more of them out of business, and who will benefit?
Lexi’s grandfather, Alan Tait, 67, welcomed the move, saying: "We are pleased the coroner is going to look at the law.
"There should be some sort of legislation so the owners of kennels have to abide by some sort of strict rules with regard to rehoming stray dogs."
*rolls eyes*
"We were very surprised to hear there are currently no guidelines. I’d strongly call for them to be implemented."
Wait, which is it, thickos? ‘Strict rules’ or ‘guidelines’? And are you aware those aren’t the same things?
"You think something is there protecting people, but when you realise it isn’t, it is really quite shocking. Hopefully this will never happen again."
Spoken like good little ‘the State knows best, save us from ourselves!’ drones…

But maybe the rescue centre is culpable to some degree, after all we were just told “staff knew the dog was not suitable to be housed with small children”, weren’t we?

Well, turns out that’s utter crap too:
The hearing was told its last owner had the animal for less than 24 hours before it attacked another dog - leaving him fearing for the safety of his children. He then lied to a council dog warden by telling them it was a stray so it would be taken away for free - rather than having to pay a fee. It meant kennel staff were unaware of the previous incident and wrongly believed it was a stray that had been wandering a city park.
Kennel worker Sammi Pestell said she carried out an assessment with a colleague on Mulan before he was cleared to be re-homed.
She added the animal had a "lovely temperament" and was "very loving and sweet", showing "no signs of aggression at all".
So, the rescue centre didn’t know anything of it’s suitability or non-suitability with children based on its prior history. They can only assess what they see before them. And – while you might say they shouldn’t have given it to someone unsuited to it’s needs, and I’d agree with you on this – there’s no fault to be placed on them for the death.

That, I’m afraid, rests squarely with the mother.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Proving Them Right...

During the Jet2.com flight from Budapest to Leeds Bradford Airport, Colin George Courtney and Barry John Hogan from Darlington continually shouted and swore.
They refused to be quiet during the safety demonstrations and left their seats with the warning signs still on.
Louise Pryke, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court yesterday (August 15) they used “foul and abusive language” in front of children and the elderly and many passengers asked to move.
 Airlines aren't prepared to tolerate this any longer:
Miss Pryke said as their loutish behaviour continued for the next 90 minutes a decision was taken to issue them with a warning letter and to ask for their passport details.
However, Hogan screwed his letter up and told cabin staff: “You can’t do anything to me”.
 We'll see about that!
Courtney, of Ruskin Road, and Hogan, of Parkside, both Darlington were each given 16 weeks in prison suspended for two years with 150 hours unpaid work and an £80 victim surcharge after admitting being drunk on an aircraft.
Recorder Paul Isaacs told the pair: “Your behaviour was loutish, it was unpleasant, it must have made other passengers flight a misery.”
So does your lack of spine, Recorder...

H/T: Wiggia via email

Man Bites Dog...

Luke Shearer, aged 26, of Toll Bar End, Coventry, told how he stabbed the vicious animal with garden blades repeatedly in an attempt to get the attacking Staffordshire bull terrier to release its grip from their three-year-old husky Sky.
Despite its wounds, the Staffie refused to let go until Luke wrestled the dog away by biting the animal on the head.
A clue as to what sort of owners we're talking about here:
The incident happened less than 100metres from Chace Avenue Police Station, in Oratory Drive, after the animal had broken free while being walked by two children.
And also about what sort of area...
Luke also said people in the area stood and filmed on their phones rather than helping.
“What world are we living in where they stand there and film rather than phoning for help? It’s irresponsible.”
It's the world of 'No Consequences', and also the world of 'No Urgency':
“Luke’s cracking up because of what he had to do to that dog. The police need to find the owners..”
A spokesman for West Midlands Police said police were trying to trace the owner as a criminal offence may have been committed by allowing the dog off the lead.
Ya think..?!?

Excellent Investigatory Work!

Shame about the outcome, mind you…
Jayden Nicholas of Barking Road, Newham, fought with the driver of the 287 bus after attempting to board the vehicle in Bridge Road, Rainham in April. He shouted and swore at the driver and repeatedly punched the assault screen that separated the pair, before hitting the screen with such force that he broke through it.
Nicholas then grabbed the driver by the throat and began shaking him until a passenger pulled him away from the driver and pushed him off the bus. He then ran off.
The Metropolitan Police’s Workplace Violence Unit launched an investigation which resulted in Nicholas being identified and arrested a month after the attack.
Supt Rob Revill, of the roads and transport police, said: “This was a particularly vicious, unprovoked assault on a bus driver who was just doing his job. I am pleased that the professional and thorough investigation has resulted in the suspect pleading guilty.”
Well done, thou good and faithful servant!
Nicholas was sentenced at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on August 21 after pleading guilty to common assault, criminal damage and affray.
He was sentenced to a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months and a 12-month supervision order. He was also ordered to pay £150 compensation to the victim, £360 compensation to Stagecoach, £30 each to the two passengers who witnessed the attack, and a £60 victim surcharge.
Clearly, the police in some areas have learned a lesson from this:
PC Craig Twyman, who led the investigation, said: “We had an unprecedented response to our appeal and I would like to thank the many members of the public who called and text in with information.
"I would also like to thank the local media for their assistance in publicising the appeal.”
This one didn’t even get to court. He was given a police caution!

H/T: anon in comments

Thursday, 11 September 2014

I Think We Can Take 'em...

John McTernan in CiF:
The government is currently losing a war – a long slow war of attrition.
Against the repugnant, seductive call of militant islamism?

Errr, no.
The first casualty has been Atos and Duncan Smith wants it to take the blame. But the people cutting disability benefits are the government, not the hired help. And it’s the government that the disability movement has in its sights. The question is – will mainstream politics notice?
Surely the question should be: 'Will the voters notice..?'

Today’s Hyperbole Alert…

Mr Phillips told News Shopper he is worried the notices, erected by housing association London and Quadrant (L&Q), could devalue the house prices in the road.
 One for Mark there..!
The IT consultant and musician said: "It’s just like Nazi Germany.
"They are very ugly signs and we are worried about properties being devalued.
"Someone tried to take one of the signs down in the dead of night but wasn’t able to because they couldn’t get the screws out.
It'd take a heart of stone, wouldn't it?
"These guys are cowboys. It's litter - just rubbish nailed to a telegraph pole. "L&Q have no resource legally and it just looks wrong."
'No recourse', I think that should have been. Amazingly enough, he's actually right about that...
An L&Q spokesman admitted the signs were not legally enforceable.
There's just so much stupid in this story, it's hard to know where to begin...

Oh, She’ll Stick Out Like A Sore Thumb In Westcliff…

The owner of the other dog was described as being a woman in her twenties and about 5ft 5in tall. She had shoulder-length black hair and was wearing a white vest and grey tracksuit bottoms.
Any witnesses to the incident, which took place at 4.40pm on Saturday, August 16, or anyone who can identify the woman should contact Pc Terry Wilson at Southend Police station on 101.
Sounds like they’ll have their work cut out for them if everyone does indeed report sightings of women matching that description…

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Tune Time: "She's sound asleep and she's sweeter now than the wildest dream could have seen her..."

A-Ha were everywhere in the Eighties, and it's easy to see why.

Their biggest hit was probably 'Take On Me' (because it's astonishing video captured the imagination as much as the music) but this - 'Hunting High And Low' has always been my favourite:

It's probably down to that bizarre quasi-'Manimal' video and that haunting vocal.

Sometimes, There Really Are No Words..

"Even though the keepers now wear helmets, strap the ladders to the poles firmly and have permanent foot fixing points for the ladders, Barrow Borough Council wishes to stop us from feeding in this way as they claim it to be too dangerous for the staff," said the zoo statement.
Hmmm, maybe in the interests of providing 'stimulation' for the big cats, we could replace the food poles with a few live council officials?

Running Rings Around The Authorities…

In Scotland:
Travellers have established an illegal encampment — just metres from a “half empty” site designed specifically to house them. Five caravans have parked in a layby opposite the Balmuir Wood Traveller site at Tealing, which is not fully occupied. Gas canisters and other detritus are also scattered in the layby and locals are concerned as it is often used by bus companies to collect and drop off schoolchildren.
The resident added: “Angus Council has been contacted on four separate occasions and will provide no answers to this ongoing saga.
“Dundee City Council want nothing to do with it as it is not on their land, they say.”
An Angus Council spokesman said: “We are aware of this encampment and will continue to monitor the situation in line with our policies and procedures.”
In Yorkshire:
Martin Joyce, 42, who grew up in the area and whose mother lives nearby, said the council should have been more pro-active. “They know travellers arrive at this time of year so they should have been prepared,” he said. “They have left a big field wide open. “I know the travellers have to go somewhere but they don’t do themselves any favours when they leave a mess behind.
Mum-of-two Becky Wood, 30, took her two children Lily, four, and 12-month-old Toby to the play area for the first time in two weeks.
“It’s been an absolute nightmare,” she said. “I saw them riding the quad bike and ripping up the field and rang the police but nothing happened.
“We have stayed away from the playground because it’s not safe. It’s the end of the school holidays now.”
Other residents reported that they saw the travellers smash through the gate. Another man, who asked not to be named, said: “They have forced entry so they should be turfed straight back out.
“The trouble is they know the law better than the lawyers. They know they have a week before the council goes to court and another week before they get evicted. It’s disgraceful.”
In Brighton:
The pair said: “Requests were made to the police and council to immediately move the caravans and cars.
“This was declined and councillors were advised by police that they believed the travellers would soon move on.
“It was suggested that no more would arrive because of the lack of facilities at the site.”
“Last night 20 more caravans and associated 4WDs were driven on to the Green. The elderly residents who live round the Green were disturbed into the early hours, with horns blaring and generators running.”