Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Bad News For The Animal Rights Loons…

In 1994, four of the world’s most famous supermodels were splashed across billboards under the slogan “We’d rather go naked than wear fur”. Fast-forward 21 years and it seems it is now another story for Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Elle Macpherson and Cindy Crawford, who have been pictured in fur coats, gilets and trimmed parkas.
Wouldn’t be the first time a sleb was revealed as a hypocrite, mind you. But as anyone who has eyes to see could have told you, fur is no longer verboten. You see it everywhere on the high street, mostly as trim.
They are not alone in falling off the anti-fur wagon. Figures from the International Fur Federation show that the industry is enjoying another year of considerable growth. The demand for mink, sable, fox and ferret has soared and farmers have stepped up production.
But not, of course, in England. Where animal welfare concerns could be regulated and addressed.
On the British catwalks last year, more than 60% of shows featured fur, and at New York fashion week the figure topped 70%. While luxury labels such as Fendi have a long history of featuring real fur in their shows, fur is increasingly being used by newer brands as well. In New York, the up-and-coming label Cushnie Et Ochs said fur was its favourite material of the season, adding that it was “not ashamed”.
Why should they be? Fur is organic and often free-range!

Post Title Of The Month

LegIron on the banning of pigs from literature...

Quote Of The Month

Petunia Winegum at Anna Raccoon's blog nails the Met Police:
"This is not the police asking for witnesses of a recorded crime to come forward to enable detectives to complete their case; this is the police sending a signal to every fantasist straight out of therapy that their confused belief they were a victim of a celebrity rape counts as proof of a crime. And the consequence will be more high-profile raids and arrests resulting in months on bail without the guarantee of even being charged, not to mention the possibility of further show-trials in which the damage done by the amateur psychologist industry will be laid bare yet again."

Post Of The Month

MacHeath on the folly of council credit cards...

Chavmum Speaks…

Oh boy, these are always fun!
The mum, who does not want to be named, says she was met by a council employee and teacher at Hamstel Infant School. She said: “Over the past week there has been a council employee quizzing people on why they are late.
“We turned up late and he started telling me people can be fined.
“I’m disgusted. It’s a money making scheme and sometimes I can’t help being late.
“Mornings get quite hectic, I could get up at 4.30am but still be late because right before we leave one of the kids will need the toilet or will need a nappy changed.”
Oh, cry me a river! Most people manage to get their kids to school without any issue, and certainly don’t run bawling to the local press if they can’t.

Why should you be different?
“ The council employee was also insulting as I asked if he had ever had to dress and get his kids ready in the morning every day on his own, to which he said yes and also stated they didn’t have tantrums because they were raised properly.”
ROFL! Hey, ask a silly question…
Anne Jones, Southend’s councillor for children and learning, said: “The officer will remind parents about the legal implications and legal powers available to the council to ensure regular and punctual school attendance and tackle persistent lateness and absenteeism.
“This can include the issuing a fixed penalty notice. We do not want to be prosecuting parents, and it is always an absolutely last resort to do this. But we also want children to be in school and there comes a time where we have no further options.
“Starting legal action is not a decision we ever take lightly, but it is a decision we will make if it is in the best interests of the child and those parents refuse to work with the school and us to resolve the issues.”
“Fixed penalty notices are rarely issued for lateness alone and would never be issued for one day’s lateness or where a child was late with good reason for example, but they can be issued for persistent lateness once the register is closed.”
See..? It’s not that parents are late, it’s that they are repeatedly late and refuse to do anything about it.
In the comments, someone purporting to be the mother in question hops in to attempt to reclaim the moral high ground by saying it was other parents she was concerned for..
“Firstly, I am not continually late, not the whole story, I can understand the policy for continually late parents but it was described to me by the school as £50 per day whenever you were late, which I felt a little over the top as someone who has never been late could face a fine. Secondly I wasn't late the day I went to speak to the council employee, I went after taking my child to class, to ask some questions like, where does the money go and what happens if you don't have it. Which by the way it doesn't go to the school, and should you not be able to pay, goes to debt collection. Thirdly the 4:30am comment was sarcasm, learn to understand it. when I was under the impression it was £50 a day all I way saying is it's a little unfair, people don't purposely do it as you never know what's going to happen last minute, but it would seem you all claim to be as perfect as the council employee not a normal person. lastly to the person who said about social sevices, what a vile thing to say, you think just by this story you can tell how my situation is. I was considering everyones scenario that may make others late. you dare presume that I do not look after my children.”
Yes. And I have a bridge to sell you.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Then Why Is ‘More Education Needed’ Always The Go-To Suggestion, Estelle..?

Estelle Morris on the importance of PSHE:
Demanding something be taught does not guarantee it will be learned. This is especially the case with areas of knowledge and understanding as difficult and sensitive as those covered by PSHE.
Doesn’t it? Yet whenever something like racism or homophobia rears its head, the cry goes up ‘We need more education on this!’ from the progressives…
The subject needs the best possible conditions if it is to succeed – and I would suggest two that are essential.
Gosh! I can’t wait to find out…
First, it needs well-trained teachers and status in the school curriculum. Yet the government allocates no initial teacher training places to PSHE – although more than 33,000 teachers find themselves teaching it – and we know it has to battle for time on the curriculum. It’s not surprising Ofsted has judged that more than 40% of schools do not have good PSHE lessons.
Ah. Of course. MOAR TEACHERS! Who will swell the coffers of the NuT…
Second, the complexity of the challenge needs to be understood. Compulsory PSHE by itself won’t protect young people from the dangers that surround them or make sure they make wise choices. It needs more. Schools don’t only teach students through what goes on in the classroom. Some develop their students’ self-esteem, extend their horizons and make them feel valued in a quite remarkable way. This is not easy to measure and is impossible to grade, but its worth can be seen in the confidence and ambition of students. Yet, where in the system is this success recognised? Which schools excel? How can we make sure others learn from them? There are no ways or means.
It’s considered ‘success’ now to produce students woefully ignorant of reading or writing or maths but with boundless unearned self-esteem?

One Of Those Existential Questions, Miss Hynes…

Miss Hynes was told by Essex Police they had no proof the people in the garage were causing the damage.
She said: “I’m completely exasperated by the idiocy of it all. Why are there laws if people can break them and not be held responsible?
Why indeed..?
Miss Hynes understands police were made aware the vagrants had moved in to her garage in Cherrydown, Basildon, around February 16 after neighbours spotted someone breaking in and injecting themselves with drugs in the doorway.
However, she claims the authorities did not inform her about the complaints until March 6.
Miss Hynes said: “The council went round there to check and found five people sitting inside.
“They called a police officer, but when they arrived the group said they had permission to be there so they let them stay.”
That’s how it works, eh? You’re spotted gaining access to premises you don’t own - by breaking in - and the police will just accept (without checking) that the owner of those premises is happy to let druggie scumbags shoot up and screw on their premises?

Or is it more plausible in Essex?

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished…

A foodbank worker was left “heartbroken” after her mobile phone with treasured pictures of her young son was stolen as she helped people in need.
*searches for give-a-fuck-ometer*
Miss Lent said she was cleaning on Tuesday afternoon at the charity’s main centre in Charminster when a client (Ed: wha..?) asked for help.
“A client asked me to change something in their food parcel so I went out the back,” she said.
“I put my phone down with the cleaning products. I was only out there for a minute or so. When I went back to pick up the cleaning stuff the phone was gone.”
Miss Lent believes one of the foodbank users may have stolen the white iPhone 5 when she left the room. She said: “I was heartbroken. They are desperate so I get why they did it but I just want the phone back. I would pay to get it back.
“I just want the pictures. They weren’t backed-up and I’m not the kind of person to put them on Facebook. A year and a half of memories is on that phone.”
I’m reminded of the phrase ‘If God didn’t want ‘em shorn, he wouldn’t have made ‘em sheep’ once more…

H/T: @BBCPropaganda via Twitter

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Suzanne Moore Illustrates Why Emotions Should Not Be Part Of Budget Considerations…

Since my daughter fell ill I have met and corresponded with many survivors of meningitis B, quite astonishing people who, after losing limbs, have gone on to lead full and extraordinary lives. But I have also met people whose children did not survive. When Jeremy Hunt tells us that he is in negotiations with the drug company to find a price that is acceptable before the NHS can roll out the vaccine nationally (it is, of course, available privately for £75), I think three things.
*girds loins*
The first is this, and it is obviously emotional. If you have sat in a room where a doctor explains to you the odds on the outcomes for your baby, the worst being death, the next amputation of all limbs, then the loss of “just toes and fingers”, then brain damage with profound hearing loss being possibly the best hope, then yes, you think: if we have a way to stop this, we should move heaven and earth to do so.
Sure. OK. We’ll shell out for whatever drug is needed, no cost too much.

Meanwhile, that money needs to come from somewhere, so do you want to pay higher taxes, or shall we cut something else to afford it?

How about abortions or tattoo removal? Gender reassignment surgery?
Second, and maybe not so emotional, is that this is actually the market in all its gloriously free form. It is a choice. The market can charge what it likes for vaccinations against meningitis, as it will do for Ebola or malaria if these are developed. Cancer drugs, retrovirals, the new anti-rheumotoids: they are all expensive. There is something utterly immoral about the market holding not just the NHS to ransom, but the sick and the suffering around the globe. These untramelled market forces must be challenged.
Yes, as Tim Worstall points out, let’s demand that a company that spent millions on research and development of the drug in question has to charge a ‘fair’ price for it. That’ll help get new drugs and vaccines
Third, the anti-vaxxers currently gearing up in the US are not only anti-science but selfishly antisocial. We vaccinate our children not just to save our own precious kids but to rid entire communities of disease. Meningitis is an odd one, as many of us carry the bacteria anyway and we are not quite sure how it travels. But it is the illness, quite rightly, that parents most fear.
"Children's bodies are inviolate and no adult may make free with them! But I have the right to demand you stuff chemicals in your child's body to make mine safe!"

Semantics With The 'Guardian'...

It's a feature that runs all the way through the article:
They were being used by a housing association to accommodate families on Barnet Council’s waiting list, but under Hands’s control, Annington plans to replace them with 229 houses and flats for sale
At least 45 of them were granted homes on the estate only after declaring themselves homeless, and some have said they now face that prospect again.
Jeanette Ewans, a housing campaigner who opposes demolition, said: “We have got to get out of this mindset that homes are investments. It enrages me the owners treat us like pieces of furniture. We are going to make it impossible for them not to change their minds. We want everyone who has left the estate to be brought back.”
Residents and campaigners occupying the homes have been summoned to court next week by lawyers for Annington, which is seeking possession and prevention of further trespass.
To the 'Guardian', it would seem that a house only makes the transition to a 'home' when someone other than the occupier actually owns it...

Oooooh, Yeah, That's A Tough One...

...let's try "Because Churchill had a team of MPs & civil servants around him & he couldn't lock them out of No 10 while he flew the country into a bloody mountain!", shall we..?

Friday, 27 March 2015

Why Can’t These People Learn..?

The Morley Town councillor was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary after the end of her finger was bitten off during the attack. Coun Sanders is now warning fellow councillors to be careful in the run-up to the election.
What, they needed a warning not to put their fingers through the letterbox? Are they that dim?
Coun Sanders was shocked to find out that she was not the only councillor to lose part of her finger electioneering.
Oh. It would seem Sanders is that dim, since this is hardly something that hasn’t been covered – and covered well – by the media.

How can someone so incurious and unaware of issues think they have what it takes to be a councillor?
The councillor also wants owners of pets which are thought to be aggressive to put a cage around their letter box and a “beware of the dog” notice on the door.
Police have since ordered the owner of the dog which attacked her to do this following the incident.
How about you simply spread the word that putting your fingers in the letterbox isn’t a good idea?

In fact, in this increasingly risk-averse society we live in, I’m surprised it’s not issued as an advisory note to all campaigners & letterbox-litterers…

"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.."

Postmen are refusing to deliver to a block of flats in London unless they are escorted by a group of female pensioners.
Yes, you read that right. And no, it's not April 1st yet...
The arrangement began six months ago after a 34-year-old woman living in Rowland Hill flats was accused of assaulting a postman as well as sending threatening emails to Royal Mail.
As part of the bizarre operation, two female pensioners living at the flats watch the postman’s van in case his tyres are slashed.

Clearly, Not Close Enough…

Gary Harvey, defending, said it was an extremely distressing case.
It was accepted the sheep owner would have been extremely distressed by what had occurred.
His client was also extremely upset. She had been very close to all three dogs.
Not enough to have prevented them savaging her neighbour’s stock. Twice.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Well, What Else Is Facebook For..?

Hateful comments about the homeless sparked outrage after they were posted on Facebook.
How ‘hateful’ are we talking about here?
Morrisons assistant manager Greg Darvill was criticised over the comments saying: “I hate the homeless” on the social media website.
He was sent a request to like the Helping Britain’s Homeless page, but the response sent from his Facebook account said: “Please don’t invite me to help the homeless… I hate the homeless. They make the risk of me being out of a job by thieving rife. Thanks.”
Fair enough. And who could blame him?

Except, of course, the Legions of the Perpetually Offended and those who make a nice living by farming these unfortunates like human cattle:
After the comments were criticised more were posted from the account of Mr Darvill, who works at the M-Local store in Queen’s Road, near Brighton station. It stated: “I don’t represent a company. I work for a company. I’m entitled to my own opinion. Sorry you feel my views are harsh.”
That didn’t help, except to anger the Legion even further at the temerity of this little oik:
Mr Darvill’s Facebook account has now been deleted.
*sighs* He’s probably better off without it, frankly.
Louise Blampied, of Helping Britain’s Homeless, an awareness group which shared the post, said the post “shocked and appalled” them. She said: “It is disheartening to know that there are people out there that feel the same way as him.
“However, we have had an incredible response to the Facebook page and it just shows the compassion and love of the majority of the public opposed to one small-minded, ignorant view.”
Just one, love? Oh, I think you’ll find it isn’t just one. I can’t stand the beggars!

H/T: @pperrin via Twitter

Oh, I’m Sure They’ll Snap Him Up…

Mr Mochrie said the teenager had recently found work as an administration assistant, and was hoping to get a licence to work in security.
Errr, yes…

We Could Claw More Back If We Put Her On The Game…

A mother-of-five who falsely claimed more than £68,000 in benefits over four years was spared prison after a judge was told there was no-one to care for her kids.
Well, at least we’ll get the money ba..

She is currently repaying £13 a fortnight - which at that rate will take 201 years to clear the debt.
Jim Withyman, mitigating, said she was a woman of previous good character and the claim had not originally been fraudulent. He urged the judge to show mercy and said any jail sentence could be suspended given the circumstances and the young family Grey supported.
“She is embarrassed and ashamed by what she has done. She won’t be back before these courts again.”
Well, not for 201 years, anyway…
Judge Walford, who was sitting at Teesside Crown Court, said decent, law abiding, hard working families who struggled to get by without being dishonest would be appalled. He said: “It is sucking money out of the monies available to help the most vulnerable in society.”
The judge suggested the public would want Grey to go jail, to which Mr Withyman replied: “The banks have got off scot-free for the last five years and they have been doing exactly the same thing to the country.”
No, they haven’t.

And the fact that you bring this up in ‘mitigation’ of your underclass client makes you, as far as I’m concerned, of less worth to society than her!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015


Lewisham Police were massed outside McDonalds on Lewisham High Street to investigate a public disorder scene.
Lewisham McDonalds shift manager George Morgans told News Shopper: "As I was coming in to work there were about 2-300 kids and people were saying there was going to be a fight."
A Lewisham Police spokeswoman said: "Police attended McDonalds on Lewisham High Street at approximately 2:43pm following a report of a large number of young people gathering inside and outside the premises.
"There were concerns that a disturbance might take place.
"Officers attended and dispersed the crowd.
"A male was arrested at the location for a public order offence and is currently in custody."
There are photos at the news report. So yes, this is exactly the sort of crowd you'd expect.

As a glance at the comments would have told you:
Isaidit44 says...
I was at the 47 bus stop, infront of McDonald's. Lots of dumb school children, inside and outside shop. Screaming loudly anytime the police horses came near them. One schoolboy was arrested inside the shop and taken away. It's hard to believe that so many of them, turned up to watch a fight instead of getting on the bus and going home. Pathetic and disgraceful display.
Womblingbarnacle says...
Apparently exam results are higher than ever! Dunno how that tallies with the amount of half wits with the mental age of 8 in secondary schools. I lived in Germany for a bit - totally different world. And no it wasn't a posh area. You just don't see anywhere near so many morons of secondary school age. They're just...normal. What is the UK education system and culture doing to produce so many shrieking, goading, aggressive idiots?
Bexleyheath Resident says...
Maybe if kids were in school at 2:43 this wouldn't be a problem. They seem to be let out earlier and earlier, at that time they've not long finished lunch. No wonder they aren't ready for the world of work!! they're only in lessons a few hours a day, how do they have time to learn anything! Crazy!
We're doomed, aren't we?

*Schoolkids Of No Appearance

Such A Pleasant Family Gathering…

A woman says she feels let-down after prosecutors dropped criminal charges against a man accused of assaulting her.
Jo Cooper was taken to hospital with a black eye and bruising to her face after an incident at a family party.
Her brother-in-law, Paul Cross, 44, of Capel Avenue, Peacehaven, denied one count of assault against her and was due to stand trial in a crown court.
But prosecutors dropped their case, saying conflicting statements would make it hard to challenge his claim that he was acting in self-defence.
Blimey! Of course, this won’t sit well with the outraged kinfolk:
Mrs Cooper’s mother, Lea Mylton-Thorley, who was at the party, said: “We did not get a chance [to talk to police].
“They took an hour to get ambulance and police there.”
“They went straight into him and they did not have any interest in anybody else.”
That must have been some party!

In the details, all suddenly becomes clear…
Sussex Police said officers attending the scene were “led to believe” Mrs Cooper was the assailant and she was too “intoxicated” to give a clear account herself.
Inspector Rob Lovell added: “It is not clear whether if the man had initially been identified as the suspect by those at the scene, the case would have progressed to Crown Court, but we respect our CPS colleagues’ decision to discontinue it.”
Which can be read any number of ways, can’t it?

Our Criminal Justice System…

Cox was identified by a Southend police officer as he was reviewing CCTV of the incident. The court heard Cox had 47 convictions for 72 offences dating back to when he was 12.
In 2013, Cox was locked up in a young offenders’ institution for stabbing a man at a railway station.
In mitigation, the court heard Cox had a difficult childhood, but he now had a two-year-old daughter and was trying to turn his life around.
Not trying very hard, clearly.

He’s now been locked up for 16 months (inevitably, he won’t serve all of that). Is it me, or should the question instead be ‘Why bother ever letting him out’..?

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Money Tap Is Turned Off, SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!!!

Sabrina Mahfouz (a writer of theatre, poetry and TV, apparently) is a great fan of the arts. As long as someone else is paying, of course:
When I first came across the boldly branded IdeasTap online I had two high-pressure jobs, in the wildly divergent fields of Mayfair nightclubs and the civil service, in order to pay my way through a part-time MA in international politics (hence the nightclubs) and to start a sensible, safe career trajectory (hence the civil service).
She doesn’t say what department she works for, so one can only guess just which might consider an MA in international politics useful…

But just what’s this ‘IdeasTap’ thingie?
The charity centres around a website where young people from around the UK create visual profiles and portfolios to showcase their work and to search for other creatives they might be able to collaborate with. This enables a cross-arts, cross-country approach to empowering emerging artists that I don’t believe has been achieved at this level by any other organisation. It provides a ready-made network of contacts and funding opportunities within an industry that is notoriously difficult to enter unless you have the financial backing of parents or the support of well-meaning friends in artistic places.
Maybe I’m missing something, but doesn’t it merely do what LinkedIn and Facebook groups and all those other social media applications do?

But of course, that’s not solely what it does. What it does – and what attracts the likes of Ms Mahfouz - is give out money:
In 2009 Dean Atta and I were awarded an innovator’s fund of £1,000 to host our first large-scale poetry event, Rhymes Won’t Wait, alongside Hollie McNish and Chiméne Suleyman. … I applied via IdeasTap for the 2013 Sky Arts Academy Scholarship – £30,000 to work on your dream arts project and help take your career to the next stage. I was honoured to be one of the winners. The scholarship allowed me to write poems for a new book; commission other artists to create new work – including Shame by John Berkavitch and London Matter by Deanna Rodger; and to write and produce a poetry-infused play, Chef, which will transfer to Soho Theatre this summer.
Can that last? Reader, it cannot:
So the news that it will be closing its digital and physical doors on 2 June after six tremendous years is extremely disheartening; especially as it comes at a time when young people face such a multitude of challenges in pursuing the career they want.
Mainly, the challenges of eating and keeping warm in a world that doesn’t value your thrilling performance art, you mean?
… why those who have been helped by the charity at some stage are now joining together to work out how to save this valuable resource for diversity in the arts. This spirit is the very thing that challenges the mainstream narrative, which favours privilege over talent and rejects the dreams of its young.
I hope that the answer isn’t going to be ‘demand yet more money from the gubbmint’, but I suspect it won’t be far down the list of demands…

OK, Judge Adrian, How About She Stays With You This Time?

Homeless Karen Bulmer, 47, has spent years making frequent appearances before magistrates courts in York and Leeds for her objectionable drunken behaviour that includes baring her bottom in public, urinating in a café and being aggressive towards staff and police.
She is currently serving a ten-week prison sentence after admitting the latest of many breaches of an antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) aimed at protecting the public. North Yorkshire Police with the Crown Prosecution Service applied for the successor to ASBOs, a criminal behaviour order (CBO), to be made, with conditions including banning Bulmer from York.
She opposed the order at York Magistrates Court through solicitor Craig Robertson.
Paid for – of course! – out of the legal aid budget. Still, if it brings some respite to the York populace, I’m all for it.
District judge Adrian Lower threw the application out saying there was no point in making the order as Bulmer had shown many times that the ASBO did not act as a deterrent, so it was unlikely any other order would improve her behaviour.
The judge said: “The sad fact is Karen Bulmer will change her ways when she wants to change her ways.
“There is little anyone can do to stop her from behaving in the way she has behaved,” he said.
Well, yes, if no-one bothers to use the laws granted by Parliament to do anything to try, she'll never stop. She might never stop anyway, but for the sake of everyone else, why not give it a shot?

Churches Meddling In Politics Again…

The report said: “We are disturbed that a benefit system intended to provide for the needy and vulnerable is used as a means of coercion and compliance.
“The penalties often do not appear reasonable or proportionate to the ‘failure’ that has occurred.
“If a similar system operated in a workplace, where pay was removed for a month for being late for a meeting or not achieving a target, we might reasonably expect action to be taken against the employer.”
Might we..? I don’t think so. I think we might see that that company had trouble attracting or retaining employees.

But that’s not an issue that we will ever get with the benefit classes, is it?
Niall Cooper, of Church Action on Poverty, which helped write the report, added: “If you commit a crime, no court is allowed to make you go hungry as a punishment. “But if you’re late for an appointment at the Jobcentre they can remove all your income and leave you unable to feed you or your family for weeks.”
So…don’t be late for that appointment. Because it’s not the Job Centre’s job to feed your children.

It’s your job.

Monday, 23 March 2015

What Is It You Don’t Understand About Supply And Demand?

A foodbank claims it is short of supplies after seeing a surge in families needing help over halfterm.
‘Needing help’ translating as ‘Waaah! I have to feed my kids now? I was relying on the school to do it! How am I going to buy my fags now?’
Cass Francis, warehouse co-ordinator for the charity, said: “We are running out of things like tinned pies and fish, carrots, sweetcorn and pasta sauce. We’re also getting low on nice things like sugar and tinned custard and puddings, chocolates, crisps and treats.
“Over half-term we had more families than usual, but that’s to be expected as children aren’t having school meals.
“We’ve seen a gentle increase in demand as we open more distribution centres from Tuesday to Saturday across the borough. The more places we open, the more food we are able to give. ”
Gosh, it’s astonishing how that happens, isn’t it?

“It’s a shame, in a country which is so affluent, we have people who have to turn to foodbanks.”
Yes, it’s a shame that in a land stocked with natural prey, we have animals that would rather scavenge crisps & pizza.

That’s why we discourage it.

The Green Party’s Loss Is Labour’s Gain…

Jack Monroe undergoes a characteristically bitter divorce:
For a long time now I have found myself defending my membership of the Labour party while wondering what values of mine it defended any more. I didn’t leave the Labour party. It left me, and many others besides.
The joy of living in a free and democratic country is that you can work out what your fundamental ethics and values are and vote for someone who you feel represents them.
Sure! And if enough people share your ethics and values, you get to vote them in. Like the Greens were voted in in Brighton.

Reckon they’ll hold on to that seat, Jack?
… it’s easier to launch personal attacks than political arguments, easier to insult and scaremonger than to reflect on why so many core and loyal voters are edging away uncomfortably. “Vote Green and you’ll get Tories!” they shriek at me. I voted Labour last year. I got Tories. There are no guarantees in a first-past-the-post system that we get the government that represents us.
Maybe because there’s not enough people (yet) who are stupid enough to believe the Green catastrophe would be a good horse to back…

But Not ‘Devastated And Upset’ That He Could Have Killed Someone Drink Driving?

Joe’s parents Nick and Jane said the inquest was ‘gruelling and frustrating’ because neither the the IPCC’s report nor GMP’s response were heard as evidence.
In a statement, they hit out at the ‘behaviour and attitude of the custody officers’, adding: “We love Joe and will continue to miss him every day for the rest of our lives.”
Awww, diddums! Perhaps if he hadn’t got himself arrested for drink driving he’d still be here?

And why should someone old enough to drive not take the consequences of driving otherwise than in accordance with the licence?
His devastated family, who believe Joe feared he had ruined his life, weren’t aware of his arrest because, at the time, 17-year-olds weren’t treated as children in custody.
Joe, who had been due to appear in court two days after his death, didn’t ask for his parents to be informed.
Laws have now changed after a campaign led by his parents.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission investigated the contact officers had with Joe after the family raised concerns. Its recommendations can now be revealed after an inquest jury recorded a verdict of suicide with a number of contributing factors, including an ‘anomaly’ in how the law deals with teenagers.
It wasn't an anomaly at all. And what happened to shame? Don't they have any?

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Except....It Clearly Doesn't. Does It?

Hmmm, what say you, OED?

That's that, then.

Or...It Might Not.

What to do when you can't get a picture to illustrate your news item?

The 'Newsshopper' stock image bank to the rescue!

What Did The Romans Do For Us..?

....apart from live long lives and...

Wait. What?

Good god, you managed to get it right in the headline..!

Sunday Funnies...

And I really rather enjoyed Titus Andronicus, too..!

Saturday, 21 March 2015

And The Snooper’s Charter Rolls On And On And On…

The joint Haringey Council, Haringey Borough Police and Haringey Local Safeguarding Children’s Board campaign “say something if you see something” calls on the business community to lookout for the warning signs of child sexual exploitation.
Why do you feel they need this?

If I recall correctly, it was members of the ‘business community’ (a taxi driver and childminder) who raised the alarm in the notorious Victoria Climbie case, was it not? While those highly paid agents of the state sidestepped, avoided and suppressed the issues?

But this is just another council hastily DOING SOMETHING about a social problem without mentioning, much less targeting, the most likely perpetrators of that problem,,,
Business premises, care homes and those working in leisure and licensed premises will be given information to help them recognise scenarios which should raise concerns and give them advice on what action should be taken if they suspect a child is at risk.
Examples of signs to look out for include young people being picked up and taken to hotels, particularly at odd times of the day and night.
So single fathers booking in with their child will get the third degree now? Seriously?

Do you not realise that vastly increasing the noise to signal ratio – all the while you plead ‘lack of resources’ – is a recipe for disaster?
DI Sharon Freeman-Woods of Haringey CID said: "It is essential that not only police and partners, but also the wider community, are alert to the warning signs. CSE is a hidden crime and this initiative will help us raise awareness within a vital group - those who witness all manner of scenarios on a daily basis.”
You mean, like police used to do, back when they walked a beat and got to know their neighbourhood?

When they adhered to Peelian principles and expected everyone to obey the law of the land, no matter which identity group they belonged to?

Life’s Little Inconveniences…

Parents claim staff at the Mount Pleasant Sure Start Centre in Darlington have forbidden them from bringing prams into their building, citing health and safety reasons.
If you’re wondering how a small, elegant Silver Cross pram of your childhood could possibly be considered so, well, forget that.

There’s a picture of these prams. They are the size of golf buggies (as, indeed, are many of the women pushing them).
Parents say the change is driving people away from the centre and means prams could be stolen or damaged. Concerns include having to place newborn babies into cold prams, disturbing sleeping children and being unable to easily collect older siblings.
Oh, the humanity! How can a baby cope with a cold pram? Or being disturbed?

And how very dare anyone put any inconvenience in the way of these women’s busy lifestyles?
The buggy ban means Darlington mother Emma Easterby, 34, is no longer able to take her four-month-old daughter Alexis to use the sensory room at the centre.
She said: “My baby has underdeveloped eyesight and doctors told me to use the sensory room there but I can’t now as I can’t take her pram in.
“I’m really upset about it and she’s suffering as a result – I’ve had to go out and buy sensory things for her but there’s a free room there. ”
Quite! Why should you have to spend fags & bingo money on stimulating your spawn, when the state will sequester money from the taxpayer for you? The indignity!
“It’s disgusting, people spend lots of money on prams and I couldn’t afford to replace mine if it was stolen, it’s a rough estate and they could be targeted. ”
A rough estate, eh? You could have fooled me…
After refusing to leave her pram unattended, Natalie Henderson claims she was told to take her baby to another centre to be weighed.
The 28-year-old said: “I went to the centre twice a week until they told me to leave my pram outside.
“I’m not putting my baby into a freezing cold pram – it needs sorting, I can’t get my baby weighed.”
Have you tried the local zoo? Or Highway Agency weighing station? If baby grows up to be anything like you, you might consider it.
Darlington’s MP Jenny Chapman said the move could put parents off accessing services.
Really? Did you not hear them? It’s free, they aren’t going anywhere else, trust me!
Jenni Cooke, Service Director, Children, Families and Learning with Darlington Borough Council added: “We haven’t banned people from bringing prams and buggies into the centre but it is a question of safety for everyone who uses it.
“We’ve asked people to use their judgement (Ed: Well, that was your first mistake!), particularly at busy times, and park their prams and buggies in the covered, on-site buggy park and will provide locks and help people get in and out of the centre if they need help.”
What more could they possibly do to ensure that these specimens of the entitlement class are kept happy, I wonder? Answers on a postcard…

Don’t Worry, The State Will Parent Your Children For You!

A US federal judge said Facebook Inc must face a nationwide class-action lawsuit seeking to force the social media company to provide refunds when children spend their parents’ money on its website without permission.
I’m tempted to say ‘Only in the land of fruits and nuts…’ (California) but honestly, can you really not see this happening here too?
The April 2012 lawsuit said Facebook let children use their parents’ credit and debit cards to buy the virtual currency Facebook Credits…
Wrong! The parents let their children use them, or in some cases, didn’t safeguard their cards and had them stolen by their precious little cherubs.
The lawsuit was brought by two children and their parents.
One child said his mother let him spend $20 on her credit card toward the game “Ninja Saga,” but was later charged several hundred dollars for purchases he thought he made with “virtual, in-game currency.”
I’ll try that in Ladbrokes, shall I? “Wait, you don’t understand, I thought I was putting my life savings on a winner, not the one that fell at the first fence!”
The other said he took a debit card from his parents without permission and spent $1,059.
And…that’s hardly the fault of Facebook, is it?

Declare your child a thief, get the US equivalent of a crime number and then the bank might refund you. But don’t seek to blame a third party for your carelessness or the disobedience of your offspring.

I have little hope that this will be thrown out by an increasingly risk-averse US government. So remember, in a year’s time, when you are struggling to navigate the labyrinthine systems set up to purchase something online (which used to be a simple ‘sign in and click’ process), the reason you are having to jump through all those hoops is because some people are hopeless parents, and have persuaded the State that somehow, that’s not their fault.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Beggars Really Can’t Be Choosers…

Rachael Sims, 32, husband Tony, 42, and their daughters Hayley, 17, and Chloe, 14, were forced to move out of their privately rented three-bedroom semi-detached home in Seaton Road on March 3 as the landlord wants to sell.
As happens to lots of people. Why is it a problem for this family (nicely illustrated with artfully-posed photos shot on the Town Hall steps)?
News Shopper reported in January that on finding out they were to be made homeless, the Sims family were told by Bexley Council that due to a shortage of temporary accommodation in the south east, they had been sending applicants to Manchester - some 230 miles away.
The family descended on Bexley Council offices again last week where they were told they had no choice but to move into two bedrooms in 10-bed shared accommodation in Longfield Street, Dartford, or face homelessness.
So, despite them all working full-time or being in full-time education, they cannot afford to rent another house in the area? Or even out of the area (but not as far as Manchester)?

Well, it seems a comment purporting to be from the Council might explain:
London Borough of Bexley says...
We provided the paper with some more information, which they did not include in their final story. This was that, for several weeks prior to their eviction, the Council’s Housing Support Service had been working with the Sims family to find alternative private rented properties. Although a number of properties were identified, the family chose not to pursue this option.
Well, well, well…
A council spokesman said: "As we have explained to Mrs Sims, we cannot ‘reserve’ emergency accommodation in advance.
"Unfortunately when the Sims family presented as homeless the only availability was the shared accommodation in Dartford.
"It is not unusual for this property, or similar, to be used in order to meet our duty to homeless households.
"The alternative to using this accommodation would have been to place the family in a hotel, which is more expensive and would not be a good use of council tax payer's money."
Indeed it wouldn’t. Don’t like the council’s offer? Find suitable rental accommodation yourself.

And...when did it become the job of the council to assist two able-bodied adults to source accommodation?

YCMIU Part 54879452

Taxi drivers in Castle Point could be given mandatory training about child sexual exploitation as part of an awareness campaign.
They could bring in cabbies from Rotherham, Oldham and Oxford to do it!
It wants to avoid the borough becoming subject to major incidents such as those reported in Rotherham and Oxford.
Oh. OK. Maybe not...
A report compiled by council officer Melanie Harris will be discussed by Castle Point Council’s cabinet meeting on Wednesday. One policy proposed is providing a handbook and free training to taxi drivers, which would be a requirement for anyone seeking paid work in the borough.
A handbook? What languages are they going to print it in?
“Awareness raising will be targeted at people working in taxi companies, licensed premises, restaurants and fast food outlets.”
Fast food outlets, eh? That must be such a comfort to Charlene Downes' relatives...

But that part of Essex doesn't have the ... ummm .... demographic match of those other areas, does it?
At a meeting in December, councillors identified Thorney Bay caravan park, off Thorney Bay Road, Canvey, as a site where urgent action was needed to protect vulnerable children.
Simon Hart, of the Essex Safeguarding Children Board, told members youths living on the park were at risk of alcohol and substance abuse.
Ah. Of course. It has another demographic known for this sort of thing.

Well, No, Actually…

A cousin of the explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes stabbed to death in an upmarket tapas bar was a “kind, loving” father who died because of his “generosity of spirit” , his family said today.
…he died because of an outdated concept of ‘care in the community’ and the reluctance of doctors to lock up seriously mentally unwell and dangerous people unless they are judged to be ‘treatable’.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Police: Experts In The Laws They Enforce..?

Six-year-old Nathan Dodd was hit by a bike while playing on a footpath on January 24. The male rider, in his 20s, pedalled off after the accident without checking if the boy was okay.
Police were called to the scene, however Nathan's mother, Vicky Young, said officers later told her they would not investigate because Nathan had been hit by a bicycle rather than a motorised vehicle.
Durham Constabulary said they were aware of the incident and were examining the force's response.
What’s to examine? Either it’s a crime or it’s not a crime, and aren’t you supposed to be the people that know about these things?

Your colleagues in Grantham seem to think it is, no matter who is doing it:
On returning home, both his wife, Emma, and mother-in-law, Margaret Stephenson, were shocked by the events, and after looking into the law themselves rang up Grantham police station only to get contradictory responses.
Mrs Stephenson said: “One said the law applied to everyone – no-one can ride a bike on the pavement. But another said it shouldn’t have happened, as it’s different with children.”
Well, which is it? Or did you just get a brighter one, the second time around?
Lincolnshire Police have not yet identified any police officer involved, but said they are investigating.
A Lincolnshire Police spokesman said: “Safety is our priority and cycling on the pavement is illegal. However, common sense obviously prevails and in the case of young children, officers would use their discretion and offer the most appropriate advice for the circumstances.”
That’s the problem with discretion – it gives people the discretion to be utter swines.

And that’d be OK, if the response to this from their employer was to rain opprobrium down on those who misused their discretion, pour encourager les autres. But it isn’t. It’s a mealy-mouthed PR statement.

And so another small sliver of trust & respect is removed from the public’s perception of the police force.

H/T: @IvorGrumble via Twitter

The British Civil Service, Folks! Give It A Big Hand!

The mandatory reporting regulations, sent to medical staff by the Department of Health, say that any woman whose labia or clitoris has been pierced must be classed as suffering FGM.
But surely this won’t apply to…

The rules will apply even when women have consented to the piercing and had the procedure in the belief that it will improve their sex lives and enhance their attractiveness.
As Tim Worstall points out: “The very same people who insist that a woman can and should be able to do anything she likes with her own pregnancy seem to be the same people who insist that she cannot do what she wants with her own fanny.”

Indeed. But that’s the price you pay for insisting on blanket legislation to avoid pointing fingers at the people who are doing things you want to stop, isn’t it?
It means that each of the women will also be classed as a potential crime victim and that those responsible for carrying out the piercing could be deemed guilty of an offence under legislation banning FGM.
A Department of Health spokesman confirmed the move and said that piercings were a form of FGM even when performed on consenting adult women.
He added: “While there are challenges in this area and adult women may have genital piercings, in some communities girls are forced to have them.
“The World Health Organisation has quite rightly defined this as a form of FGM. We are taking every precaution to record genital piercings that have been done within an abusive context.”
And that’s subject to interpretation and over-zealousness and all the other things we’ve come to expect from agents of the benevolent State, isn’t it?

Dr Judith Is Cross…

...how dare these peasants criticise the service?
Several more people say they have received the letter, signed by GP partner Dr Judith Cross, which argues that complaints should go through the proper channels.
The letter says: 'The partners at the practice are aware of your comments and how you feel. We have zero tolerance for inappropriate patient behaviour which is either face to face, over the telephone or on social media networks and do not accept this from our patients.'
The letter invites recipients to speak to the patient liaison manager and one of the GP partners, but adds 'in the absence of such a meeting, it is felt you might give consideration to finding an alternative practice to receive your general medical services'.
Oh boy. If you thought the comments were a PR blot for your practice, what do you think the publication of this hectoring, arrogant letter is going to be?

Tell me, Dr Judith, have you ever Googled the term 'Streisand Effect'? No? Well, you might want to...

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Distrust And Contempt…

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and Sussex Police initially refused to provide The Argus with any details of the major ongoing incident.
Spokespeople at the fire control and force control rooms withheld basic details such as the location, saying they had been told not to give away any information by their superiors.
Despite an inspector being at the scene, a Sussex Police spokesman blamed their attendance on staff shortages, telling a reporter the incident was minor and “nothing for the press to worry about.”
Really? Sounds like a strange way to describe any incident requiring:
”…two riot vans, three police cars and about 20 officers…”
Doesn’t it?

After the event, of course, the police were very forthcoming about the disruption and resource-intensive effort required by this ‘minor incident’:
Later that afternoon – after the arrest was made - the police released a statement in which inspector Rachel Glenton said: “This was a potentially serious incident which was safely and professionally resolved by our officers, working with the other emergency services. We were also grateful for the co-operation of the nearby residents whose lives were temporarily disrupted.”
Hmmm, did they really have a choice?
A 20-year-old neighbour, and Brighton University student, was evacuated from her house with the rest of her flat mates. She said: “I’m shocked the police initially were saying this wasn’t a major incident. It was a big deal. We were scared that our lives were in danger and the house could get blown up. We were evacuated from the house but the police wouldn’t tell us anything. We all had deadlines to meet and work to do but we had to go to a friend’s house for a while to be in safety.”
Better to get people out of the way in case he made good his threat to blow up the gas in the house (that they’d cut off)? Or better to get people out of the way so the police don’t have to deal with awkward questions?

Either way, it’s pretty worrying when the police tell one story to the press, and another to concerned residents.

Who might, next time their taxes are due, start to ask why the police need to employ a whole division of PR-trained staff to not communicate anything…

There Might Be No Such Thing As A Free Lunch…

...but a free diet? That’s on the cards!
Overweight doctors and nurses are to be offered free Slimming World classes as part of a drive by the NHS to “practise what we preach”.
Offer away! What are you going to do if they don’t take up the offer, though?
Simon Stevens, the NHS chief executive, was expected to outline the plans to encourage staff to lose weight in a speech on Monday, The Daily Telegraph reported. He was due to say that “intensive lifestyle change interventions” had been showed to have a dramatic effect on weight-related health issues.
“For over a decade we’ve known that obesity prevention cuts diabetes and saves lives,” he will say.
“If these results were from a pill we’d doubtless be popping it, but instead this programme succeeds by supporting people to lose weight, exercise and eat better.”
Assuming they want and desire that support. What if they don’t? When does the offer become the one you can’t refuse?
Mr Stevens will add that “practising what we preach” would help tackle the current obesity crisis, which has seen the UK become the second fattest country in Europe.
I’ve got a better idea. How about the NHS stops worrying about stuff like this? For its staff, and for the public?

Why Don't You Look Up The Word 'Pollution'?

Lord True, leader of Richmond Council, claimed the organisation challenged the council to use taxpayers' money to sue them when they rasied (sic) objections about the advertising tactic.
He said: "First we have multinationals evading tax. Now we have multinationals evading planning rules and seeking to pollute public spaces...
With what..?
...with their logos free of charge.
"Nothing surprises me now in the arrogant behaviour of giants like Reebok and their agents who fancy themselves impervious to the law."
Oh. Right. So, they spray painted their logos somewhere, or something?
Between eight to 10 of the sports retail giant's logo, along with the slogan "Be more human #breakyourselfie", were believed to have been applied this morning with high pressure water and a stencil.

FFS! Since when has water been a pollutant?!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

OK, League Against Cruel Sports, You Win…

…we’ll just turn them all out into fields and let them starve to death through overgrazing and overpopulation instead.

That’ll be OK with you, right?
Mr Pearce said: "I told Douglas Batchelor about the problems with the deer and said they could not just give them hay because they needed more food. Some of the land should be ploughed and swedes planted and there should be more pasture provided.
"I also told him the deer were becoming interbred because the stags were serving their own daughters and granddaughters. The deer were becoming smaller as a result.
"He did assure me he would mention it to the league's committee and tell me what they decided but when I called him later he told me to mind my own business.
"When I said that I would go public, he told me that what I was doing was political."
So, mind your own business, LACS. What you’re doing is political.

H/T: @Shot_Fox via Twitter

A Dog Is For Life, Not Just For Christmas Employment…

A mum of two is starting a campaign to help her disabled daughter get the ability dog that she desperately needs to help her live a more normal life.
Ability dogs have now become more common with dogs being trained to work with autistic, disabled and deaf people.
They all wear coats that give them the same privileges as guide dogs and are allowed inside restaurants and shops.
A good idea! So, is the daughter deaf, disabled or autistic?
Debbie Beer is hoping to raise £3,000 to contribute towards the training of a new dog for her five-year-old daughter Poppy who has Down Syndrome.
The ability dog that is being trained for Poppy will allow her to have more freedom as it will stop near roads and even improve her reading skills.
Debbie said: “Poppy has no understanding of danger or road awareness and she can run off at any moment.
“She will be attached to the dog and if she tries to run away the dog will lie down to keep her safe. They are bombproof and Willow, who is in the picture and the dog we had on trial, could even unload the washing machine. ”
Yes, well, I can see how that might make mum’s life easier by passing on some of her parental & domestic responsibilities to a canine, but I’m struggling to see how it’ll help the kid!
“Also, studies have proved that children enjoy reading to dogs for longer periods of time, which in turn significantly improves speech and reading skills.”
She doesn’t need her own ‘ability dog’ for that, does she? Presumably any old mutt will do?

Maybe It Should Be The First..?

A spokesman for GMP said an animal is only destroyed "as a last resort".
Why waste time trying to get it under control when it’s already injured other people as well as its cretinous owner??
Inspector Nicki Tompsett said: "Clearly the destruction of any animal is not something we as a police force take lightly, and in this instance considerable efforts were made to control the animal.
"However, the dog continued to behave in such an aggressive way and its demeanour was such that we could not attend to the man who had been seriously injured, and therefore the decision was made to destroy the dog before anyone else could be hurt or the victim himself sustained further, life-changing injuries.
"However, I also want to stress that the ultimate responsibility lies with the owner of the dogs. Dangerous dogs are bred, not born, so it is incumbent on all dog owners to ensure their pets are well brought-up and friendly.
"Legislation is now in place to prosecute those who fail to control their dogs or breed them for criminal or violent purposes and we will enforce that legislation to protect innocent members of our community from being attacked."
Good to here. I look forward to the eventual prosecution once he’s out of hospital.

There will be one, won’t there?

Vale, Good Men And True...

First, late evening bad news yesterday, via Twitter, about Capt Ranty

And now I wake to sad news about Ross of Unenlightened Commentary fame.

Both left family, I believe. What to say, other than they brightened the world by being in it, and it's a little dimmer and sadder place for their passing.

Monday, 16 March 2015

”Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards artists, for they are subtle and quick to anger…”

Mr Roscoe, a member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and a winner of the Ondaatje Prize for Portraiture, did not mince his words when he came forward to admit hiding the insult in his portrait of Oddie, a former member of the Goodies comedy trio.
“Bill Oddie was a horrible person, quite awful actually, so I added a ghost of a bird with its name in Latin written alongside,” he told The Independent Mr Roscoe added: “I was testing his knowledge as an ornithologist. It was my cheeky way of describing him – something along the lines of a 'long-tailed tit’, Aegithalos caudatus – as he was 'long in the tooth’ and it sounded like a bit of an insult.”
Hmmm. What, I wonder, did the manic ex-Goodie do to so incur the petulant wrath of this artist?
Oddie said: “I don’t really take offence at it. If it makes him happy then fine. But as one artist said, it’s difficult enough to paint someone’s portrait without putting in silly little messages which people are unlikely to either see or understand.”
The wildlife presenter, known for his work on BBC’s Springwatch and Autumnwatch, was at a loss to explain why the painter would describe him as “horrible” and “awful”.
“The only thing I may have said at the time about the Roscoe portrait could have been something along the lines of 'that’s great, but it’s a little bit camp’, which in truth it is, with that toy monkey wearing a pith helmet and holding a pot of flowers.”
Whoops! He’s got a point though, hasn’t he?

Because Facebook Or Twitter Is The Only Place They Could Pick This Up, Right?

A primary school headteacher has warned parents about children using social media after hearing “inappropriate language” in her classrooms.
Kerry Jones has written to parents of children at Phoenix Primary School, Laindon, asking them to monitor youngsters’ online activity.
The head is worried about pupils using mobile phones, tablets and computers to visit unsuitable websites.
Because before the invention of the Internet (Thanks, Al Gore!), schoolchildren were totally oblivious to the world of profanity.

They never picked it up from parents or relatives or other schoolchildren…
Jerry Glazier, Essex general secretary for the National Union of Teachers backed Mrs Jones’s view.
Yup, you’re clearly an idiot as well, then. But I guess we had warning with the ‘NUT’ bit.
Phoenix Primary School refused to comment further on the head’s message to parents.
An appropriate name for a school destined to go down in flames.

Have You Just Admitted To The Local Press You Don’t Know Your Job?

Carlie Norbury, one of the managers at the pub, said staff acted in line with pub policy to accept only passports and driving licences.
She said that policy was in line with what they understood to be authorities’ advice, but had reviewed matters in light of the incident.
She said: “Since this happened we have been looking into it just to know exactly what the law is.
I think in the past it was not acceptable but I think it is now. This should not be a problem now.”
Not now you’ve shown yourself up as clueless about the law, no, I suppose it won’t. I bet a lot of other things suddenly become problems, though...

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Has Anyone Suggested Looking Above Nick Clegg's Career..?

Just sayin'...

The 'Times' Photo Editor Making A Political Statement...

...with his choice of image placing? Nah. Perish the thought.

I Beg Your Pardon..?!?

Lesley Ashton, prosecuting, said: "The lover responded by going around to the defendant's home where she had a conversation with the defendant's wife.
"The defendant arrived at the address and essentially told the lover to get out of the house.
"The defendant agrees that he did tell the lover to get out of his house, that he was pushing at her, that he did get hold of her pink stick (Ed: !!!!) and did spit at her.
"Clearly being spat at is an unpleasant experience. I do ask you to consider compensation if you think it is appropriate."

District judge Nigel Cadbury gave him credit for his early guilty plea. However he said: "I do have to bear in mind you have a number of convictions, one of which was similar although on that occasion it was an assault on your wife and on this occasion a different female.
"To be angry with the female and blame it on anybody else is quite wrong. I think you appreciate that now if you didn't at the time."
Unemployed Akhtar was given a 12 month community order to include supervision for 12 months and unpaid work for 100 hours.

Sunday Funnies...

OK, I remembered why I don't fly anymore...

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Quite The Biggest Load Of Self-Justifying Bollocks I’ve Ever Seen…

…and as it’s a ‘Guardian’ piece on riots by rioter Bryn Phillips, that’s quite something:
You saw it happen on the news and read about it in the papers. Maybe you were told it was brought about by unbridled consumerism, or were fed the convenient deceit by politicians and the media that the disenfranchised poor of our nation were fighting the police and smashing up their neighbourhoods because they wanted a new pair of trainers. But this wasn’t the case.
Yes. Yes, it demonstrably was. Not always trainers, either…

A citizen fights back against the unbridled forces of consumerism by...ummm...
…research published by the University of Oxford has suggested that the riots were actually linked to economic inequality and distrust of the police.
You’d go quite a long way to find someone with more distrust of the police than me, and yet, funnily enough, I wasn’t out there lobbing bricks.

And if ‘economic equality’ was really at the heart of things, why trash their own areas, and further disenfranchise their fellow citizens?
Now the smoke has cleared, we must have an honest discussion about what happened during those depressing summer days.
It doesn’t seem like you want one.
Rising inequality still scars a land where the poor are left cleaning the corridors of power instead of walking them. Unbridled market forces have cleared great swaths of our cities of the low-paid, breaking up families and communities in the process, leaving youngsters bereft of homes and jobs.
Yes, yes. The same old Left wing boilerplate. It didn’t wash then, and it won’t wash now.
The young people I work with through the church are hungry for justice. They tell me we need to reappraise those dreadful events of 2011, now, before it’s too late. They are willing to show responsibility but they also want power.
Of course they do. And they’ve no idea how to get it, short of demanding it. And nor, it seems, do you…

Maybe You’d Like To Support Them By Giving Them Your Property..?

…and not by complacently assuming that else should give them their property?
According to the farmers, a number of people have promised to visit the farm in order to show their support for the residents.
Neighbouring resident Richard Wood said he supported the "vision" of Yorkley Court Community Farm. "I fully support the sustainable farmers, I was at a meeting they called at the Bailey Inn on Saturday and I find their vision for community land use inspiring."
Margaret and Michael Rose, who live in Yorkley, have promised to lend their support to the farmers and will be heading to the site ahead of the potential arrival of bailiffs.
"They are a great asset to our community and should be allowed to remain on the land," said Mr Rose.
It’s not their land. If you have land to give them, do so. But don’t demand that someone else should relinquish their property rights because you like someone’s ‘vision’.

Because that’s theft.

Bit Hard To Cry ‘Racism!’ This Time..?

Former Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o today claimed he was the victim of racism when he went shopping in a west London jewellers.
Those awful white peop…

Wait a minute.
Eto’o — once the world’s highest-paid player on £350,000 a week — had gone into the store with his brother, but said he was viewed suspiciously by the shop assistant: “I went to go buy a watch at a jewellers, not too far from my house. The watch I wanted to see was expensive. I asked the saleswoman — who was also black — ‘Could you show me that watch please?’
“First, I saw her turn to her co-workers like, ‘Uh, what should I do?’ Eventually, she let me see the watch. I looked at it and said, ‘OK, I’ll buy it.’ I took out my credit card and when she went to go run it through the machine, she came back and said it was declined.
The striker — the seventh-richest footballer currently playing, with an estimated £62 million fortune — said he asked her: “Was it declined or did you not want it to be accepted?”
He told CNN: “My brother asked, ‘What’s going on?’ And she said, ‘Nothing, nothing.’ But he said, ‘No, because when I came in, I saw how all of you were looking at us ... My brother can afford this and the way you’re treating him shows that you think just because he’s black, he can’t afford this watch.
I’d have loved to see this!
“The woman then slipped up and said, ‘No, it’s just that we had some Nigerians in the store the other day who came in with fake credit cards.’
No, that’s not a ‘slip up’ – that’s an explanation for her reticence!
“I don’t know if you can imagine the weight of what she said. If one of my own makes a mistake, they judge us all. I don’t think she’s a racist person, but she stereotyped all black people as ‘those people’.”
Firstly, you can’t say ‘one of our own’ and then legitimately whinge about others regarding you as a homogenised group, and secondly, a ‘mistake’..? Please!

Friday, 13 March 2015

”I fear the British heart has turned to ice and now not even God can melt it.”

So quoth Yasmin Alibhai Brown, who surely prays to a very different ‘god’ than most of the British would recognise.

And her issue? Well, what else?
Few Britons know much about the 12 detention centres where migrants and asylum-seekers are held until deported. Even fewer care about what happens there. The poor in our country get little pity or understanding. And foreigners who desperately need our help are seen as a threat, a silent enemy.
Hardly surprising, is it? Look how so many of them turn out.
If this were Zimbabwe or Congo or Syria, Britons would be horrified and vocal. But when the violated from those same countries come to us, outrage is replaced by paranoia: “If we show them kindness, attend to their suffering, give them basic rights, think of the millions who will rush in. How then will we cope?” That must be the psychological defence which comes into play, and I do, in part, sympathise. But remember this: we take hardly any refugees in this country.
Given how you turned out, clearly we’re right not to take more…

Health And Safety? Nah, It’s The Tube, We’ll Give It A Pass…

Jack Smith, 25, an NHS worker from Clapham, said; “I was on the platform and the Tube was pulling away when I heard this prolonged scream from 20m down the platform.
“There were loads of women around her screaming and pointing. The driver put on the emergency breaks (sic) and we were all evacuated.
Those platforms are too narrow and there’s just not enough space for it to cope with those numbers of people in the morning.
“Everyone was piling on the buses. It was just so busy.”
I can vouch for this, having had several meetings in central London recently and having to travel in rush hour. The crush at pinch points (like platforms & escalators) and general overcrowding is appalling.

It’s ironic, too, that this comes at a time when the police are being castigated for management of similar dangerous overcrowding at Hillsborough
James Callen, a corporate services executive, said: “We were slightly further down the platform, but as the Tube pulled in people inevitably shuffled forward and the woman was pushed under the tube.
“There were horrendous screams coming from her and the people who were standing around her. We were ushered out pretty quickly and it was complete chaos a lot of people were crying as well.
“The station was closed and an ambulance and two fire engines arrived very quickly. People just started to walk across the common as queues for buses were hundreds of people long. I managed to share a cab with three other people who had been on the platform at the time.
It’s so dangerous in the morning. I am surprised it doesn’t happen more often.”
Me too.

And you have to ask just why there’s time to focus on fripperies like all-night running of the Tube, and yet none to spare for tackling the dangerous overcrowding that already exists. No venue would be allowed to open if it anticipated numbers it couldn’t handle, yet – just as with the disability access law – the Tube gets a pass due to the impossibility of complying with the legislation.

And it’s a salient point that those who demand Open Borders for all never, ever seem to worry about the inevitable impact on travel and transport (or housing, services, etc).

The Biter Bit…

A mum-of-three won compensation after being “forced out” of her job … when she returned from maternity leave.
Disgraceful! This is why we need strong unions to safeguard the rights of wor…

Catherine McClennan, from Ainsdale, took the Trades Union Congress (TUC) to court claiming she was stripped of her responsibilities following the birth of her third child.
She argued this was discrimination and an employment tribunal in Liverpool ruled in her favour this month.
Ms McClennan, 43, said: “The TUC needs to start practising what it preaches. The TUC should be an exemplar employer, but that couldn’t be further from the truth in my case.”
*gets biggest ever bag of popcorn*
A TUC spokesman said: “We vigorously contested this case, but the tribunal has made an award for injury to feelings even though there was no malicious or conscious attempt to discriminate by the TUC.”

*pauses for breath*


Thursday, 12 March 2015

Media Panics...

Remember this case?

Oh, how could you forget it? Ghastly swarthy foreigners taking advantage of a poor woman? OUTRAGE!

So, when do we get the screaming headlines in the national press about the trial resu...

Oh. Wait.

Gosh, that was unexpected, wasn't it?

I Have A Feeling This Might Backfire...

Police officers in Surbiton have come up with a new wheeze to reassure residents they are on the beat.
Surbiton Hill officers have begun logging their foot patrols using their phones and posting the maps online. Sergeant Paul Marshall said the idea was to reassure people who might not see an officer on patrol during the day that the bobbies really are out and about.
So, if you see a dog/cat/urban fox/vehicle with a mobile phone duct-taped to it, worry not!
Officers' tracking apps log not only their route - up to six miles - but the number of calories burned, Sgt Marshall said.
Well done, Sgt Marshall. I’m sure that will be looked on favourably for your promotion. The residents would probably prefer you caught some burglars instead, though.

Your Taxes Are Keeping This Man In Benefits…

And of course he leaves the court grinning having gotten away with no punishment at all.
The court heard Wayle had not worked for 30 years because of a head injury and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Magistrates gave him a 12-month conditional discharge after he admitted a charge of intentionally killing a wild bird.
And his explanation for having cannabis on him?
Actually witnessed this as well as a few very small children and bout 30 adults. It was absolutely beautiful day and what he did was pure cruelty. When confronted by members of the public he pushed a woman. He should be punished more than what he did.
Yes, indeed he should. He seems fit & well enough to be working. Isn’t it time his benefits were reviewed?

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Gaming 1989: "Sim City" (unknown brand 386)

Moving up to a real PC now (I can't remember who built it, just that it was a 386, a number than meant little to me at the time), and a great classic, my first real PC game - Maxis classic, 'Sim City'.

Everyone’s favourite city-sim, and a great trainer for future town planners and local council planning teams (I’d make it compulsory to have played before getting an interview!), this marvellous series goes from strength to strength, with the latest incarnation maybe sacrificing a bit of the gameplay for easy accessibility, but boasting some incredible graphics.

I spent many, many hours with the original game, obsessively setting out my ‘perfect’ city. Despite the initially clunky graphics, which now look rather sad when compared to the modern incarnation, it was - of course! - considered an amazing game going on the standards of the previous games I'd played on the Speccie.

Sadly, the studio closed just this month. Making this a rather poignant choice.