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.
Oh. FAIL!
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?

Well….no.
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.
WTF..?
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.
/facepalm

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?

No?

It’s a tragedy then.