Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Well, Stop Challenging Then!

A West Midlands Police spokesman said: "These are challenging times and our officers are adapting to the new legislation and guidance which has changed many times during the pandemic.
"Government law says that no person may, without reasonable excuse, enter or remain within a relevant place without wearing a face covering.
"We understand that these restrictions are difficult for everyone, but we must all follow the rules to overcome this pandemic."

It helps if you teach your officers what those rules actually are, rather than allowing them to make it up as they go along: 

The 28-year-old said he told officers he had asthma and he was medically exempt but claimed one of them demanded his details and threatened to arrest him in a branch of Lidl in Birmingham.
Mr O'Hagan said he insisted he did not "need to disclose his medical history" but claimed he was eventually handcuffed in front of other shoppers and taken outside. "I'd forgotten my phone, my wallet, my inhaler and they kept going: 'You need to prove it, you need to prove it'."
He went on: "I explained - as per the Government website - you don't have to have a card on you and it was just a verbal thing you needed to say."
Mr O'Hagan said his partner returned home to collect his exemption cards and inhaler, but this was not enough to satisfy the police.
He added: "They took me out of handcuffs, de-arrested me and had a look at my records but said that, because my inhaler didn't have my name on it, they would still have to fine me."

We shouldn't be surprised, for one thing, WMP are the most dysfunctional farce in the country, and for another, the real reason for this dogged determination to pin something on the poor sod is because he had the temerity to argue. 

Mr O'Hagan appealed the fine and the fixed penalty notice was quashed. He has now complained to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), the force watchdog.

Will they take appropriate action? Probably not. 

H/T: Suzanne Evans via Twitter 

It's OK, The British Big Cats Will Get Them All...

Police are investigating I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!...

Well, it's about time! For crimes against entertainment?

...over concerns non-native wildlife could have escaped into the Welsh countryside during bushtucker trials, the Guardian can reveal.

Oh... 

Authorities are investigating ITV after complaints by the TV presenter and naturalist Iolo Williams, who was appalled after watching the show last week and seeing thousands of cockroaches being poured over contestants.
Williams said: “Cockroaches are the ultimate survivors, and if they survive in north Wales and escape into the wild there, what effect are they going to have? I don’t know, nobody knows … I just find it incredible that they’re allowed to do this, and I’m not being a killjoy here. Why not use fish guts, or offal?”

I have to say, if the Welsh countryside can be 'threatened by cockroaches', it's doomed... 

Natural Resources Wales, which gives out licences for the release of species, did not receive an application from ITV to release non-native species. If these species have been released without a licence it would be a breach of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
A spokesperson for north Wales police said: “The matter is being investigated by officers from our rural crime team.”

I would love to see this in one of those fly-on-the-wall police documentaries in the future... 

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

It's Not Just The Dog Who's Crackers...

The abandoned dog, called Crackers, had been brutally attacked by a previous owner who had beaten him about the head with a metal pole.
The dog carried out the attacks in Malvern just 12 hours after being adopted by the couple where it was hoped he would go on to live out a better, happier life. Although the dog will not be destroyed, he will now have to spend the rest of his life in a rescue centre to protect the public and must be muzzled and kept on a lead at all times if he goes outdoors.
Wait, what..? Why on earth wouldn't this thing be disposed of immediately?
The rescue dog, previously known as Kaiser (but renamed by the couple), had been in their possession just 12 hours when he bit Geraldine Price on the hand in Duke of Edinburgh Way in Malvern on March 15 this year.
The dog, which the couple adopted from Birch Hill kennels in Worcester, bit John Southall later the same day at Malvern Retail Park, the couple claiming they had been at the shops to buy a muzzle after the first attack.

/facepalm 

By chance the two victims met in A&E at Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester where they were both receiving treatment. When they began a conversation they 'both realised they had both been bitten by the same dog'.

You couldn't make it up, could you? 

The dog, which had been described as ‘nervous’ by the kennels which rehomed him, had given instructions that the animal was to be properly managed and should have a harness and sign to say he was a nervous dog.
It seems that had not been done” said the prosecutor.

Ya think?!? 

In interview Prangley claimed the victim of the first attack had been ‘flicking keys which had scared the dog’. She said she had not been fully informed about the dog’s temperament.

Well, of course she did... 

Mark Sheward, defending, said the couple had never been told the dog should be kept on a muzzle. He said of the kennels: “It would seem they are seeking to minimise their responsibility in allowing their dog out when they had concerns about it themselves.”

Wouldn't the sensible thing to do be put down any large, powerful dog who shows signs of a poor temperament? 

Magistrates ordered Prangley to pay £150 in compensation to Miss Price. Hiles was ordered to pay £150 to Mr Southall. The pair were disqualified from keeping dogs for two years.

And presumably the kennels get off scot free? 

'Their Best Efforts' Should Have Been Better...

Insp Paul Shortt, from Nottinghamshire Police, said: "This was a horrible incident and has sadly resulted in one dog's death.
"Force dog handlers joined officers swiftly on scene. Despite their best efforts and a number of different tactics to stop the attacks, they couldn't save the dog's life.
"Officers did successfully control and contain the animals with no further injury."

This wasn't a job for dog handlers in the first place. It was a job for armed officers.  

The two dogs have been seized and their owners have been interviewed by police.

And now an expensive trial and a long wait in kennels when two bullets would have resolved things then and there.  

Monday, 23 November 2020

I'd Love To Know How It's Being Defined, Neil...

A surge in online extremism, at a time of COVID-related isolation, has created a "perfect storm" for radicalisation, according to the UK's top counter terrorism police officer.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu has said growing numbers of young people in particular have been sucked in by the increase in hateful ideology online and set on a path towards violent extremism.

Yeah, it's not like that's not obvious to anyone with a brain or who reads the news, Neil... 

For MI5 and Counter Terror Command at Scotland Yard, the vast majority of their work is still centred on the threat from Islamist extremism.
But Mr Basu has warned the threat from far right extremism is growing rapidly, adding that 10 out of the 12 under 18s who were arrested for terrorism last year were linked to extreme right wing ideology.

Eh..? 

Remind me, someone, how many deadly 'far right' terror attacks have been launched on British soil? 

What is 'far right' ideology, anyway?

He said: "There has definitely been a growth in nationalistic material online, white supremacist literature, things that are extremely disturbing."

Well, good lord, we can't have nationalism, can we? 

You Don't Seem To Be 'Making Paignton A Safer Place' After All, Do You?

Certainly not if the perpetrator is the local nut. This appeal popped up on my Facebook feed:


It appears that after initially 'investigating' (i.e. sending a PCSO, of which they seem to have a fair few), and actually registering an official crime number (CR/095369/20), the police and press hastily reversed course and immediately deleted all references and appeals they'd made for information. Press reports were hastily deleted. They have refused to consider assisting the distraught cat's owners. Despite the claims that this man has done the same before. 

And why? Because the magic words 'mental health issues' were apparently uttered. Whereupon the state's agents and fearless local press crusaders immediately decided he was the real victim here.

How, one might ask, does this keep Paignton a safer place?

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Saturday, 21 November 2020

Here We Go Again...


Wait, what?

Perceptions of racism in fantasy go back to the origins of the genre. Is it a coincidence that D&D’s dishonourable, dark-skinned elves come from a matriarchal society, or that its savage orcs bear uncanny resemblance to a traditionally white, western conceptualisation of barbaric peoples from the “uncivilised” world?

*sighs* More race-obsessives. They're everywhere now, in every type of hobby or pastime...

Take JRR Tolkien. On the one hand, he spoke out against Nazi race doctrine and has been heralded for “multiculturalism” in his work. Nevertheless, his stories are steeped in Eurocentric bias.

See? It's not enough for fanatics that you denounce things. They can always find something that makes you guilty. 

And if they can't they'll just invent it! 

One of the best – or worst – examples of a flawed understanding of history leading to perceptions of a racist representation is George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, seen on TV as Game of Thrones. Martin has said: “I wanted my books to be strongly grounded in history and to show what medieval society was like.” But the sexualising of young women, exoticising of non-white characters and white saviour storylines in the series are typical of the prevalent white-washing of medieval history.

And the 'pushback' against it leads to absurdities like a black Anne Boleyn. They might as well put a dragon in there too!

The pushback to structural racism in fantasy, be it fiction, television or gaming, comes in many forms. Starting conversations about diversity and inclusion in publishing is a start.

Aren't we all bored to tears with 'conversations about diversity' by now? The race-obsessives are the only ones who really care. 

“Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is strength, for only a diverse group of adventurers can overcome the many challenges a D&D story presents,” begins Wizards of the Coast’s diversity statement. But in an unequal world, words such as “diversity” are loaded. Pushing past the legacy of colonialism is the only way to create a more level playing field; fantasy should not be an excuse for stories to perpetuate the prejudice that resulted from imperialism.
“Part of our work will never end,” continues the statement. In that, at least, it is right.

Well, there can be no more implacable and relentless foe in fantasy than the one in real life, that's for sure...