Anna Raccoon on the Harvey Proctor affair:
Monday, 31 August 2015
Longrider points out the absurdity of blaming the Baby Boomer Generation for everything:
"I have to say, I’ve been sick of the anti-boomer barrage of bollocks over the past few years. The reality is as stated in the report, the only commonality is the year of birth. Sure, things like university education was free to the student and people had grants for subsistence. However, this was balanced by very few going to university. "
One of the men in the back seat, Grant Taylor, said he had heard one of the other passengers in the car saying "whoa, slow down dude" to Mitchell in the moments before the smash.I expect if you had a voice recorder going in most high-speed crashes you’d get something pretty similar in all of them…
Knight told jurors he had seen "eyes" that he believed were those of "a deer or a fox" in the undergrowth beside the road when he swerved, and had been travelling "between 65 and 70mph" at the time of the collision.
"I saw what I believed to be an animal or eyes at the side of the road," he said.
"I was surprised, shocked. Then I pulled the steering wheel over to the right."And why would you be ‘surprised and shocked’?
Knight said he had become depressed following the crash, and attempted to take his own life.They always attempt it, but it’s funny how they never seem to succeed, isn’t it? You could be forgiven for thinking it was just a ploy for sympathy.
Asked if his driving had fallen "far below" the standard of careful driving, he replied: "Absolutely not. "It was not dangerous driving."
Prosecuting, Andy Houston said there were road signs warning of animals in the road for three miles placed a mile-and-a-half away from the scene of the crash.
"The speed limit is 60mph and you have accepted that you drove between 65and 70mph - do you still maintain you have done nothing wrong?" he asked. Knight replied: "I didn't see it as dangerous.
"It wasn't a dangerous speed for that sort of road. It was completely straight."/facepalm
Sunday, 30 August 2015
The news that a Green politician had the nerve to be a - *gasp* - hunter rocked the MSM's world last week.
And prompted them on a predictable trawl through the guy's Facebook and a complete failure to read what he'd actually shot:
And prompted them on a predictable trawl through the guy's Facebook and a complete failure to read what he'd actually shot:
Errr, no. A gnu. Wildebeest, if you prefer.
Nope, still a gnu.
This is what a buff looks like, dummies!
H/T: Stephen Brown, via email
NB: They aren't all that hot at English, either:
He's painting a what..?!?
Saturday, 29 August 2015
Some people were so moved by the plight of migrants in Calais, they traveled to France to donate clothes and food.And for ‘some people’, don’t read hard-working taxpayers, but – of course!- the usual suspects, just like the last time:
Juliet Kilpin, 45, from Westcliff, a member of Avenue Baptist Church and co-ordinator at mission agency Urban Expression, visited the camp with two others.
She went with Matt Dominey, 17, a pupil at Southend High School for Boys, and 20-year-old university student Grace Claydon, from Hawkwell.
They decided to act after becoming increasingly frustrated at the “dehumanisation of migrants trying to find a way into the UK”.This seems to be becoming a trend – opinionated do-gooders demanding recognition in local newspapers.
Mrs Kilpin said: “David Cameron made me do it when he described the migrants as a swarm.
“The national media have demonised these people and have stoked fear among the British public, so I wanted to go over myself and see what it is like.
“I put the word out that I was going and 48 hours later we had a car-full of stuff in donations and £1,000 to take over.
“One of our friends had made contact with the grassroots charities and volunteers, so we gave them the clothes and helped form a system to hand out food.
“We took over about 350 packs of biscuits and when they ran out there were still people queuing. There must have been about 500 there needing food.
“It was very eye-opening – we saw the world in one square mile. Everyone had heartbreaking stories as to why they were there.”Yes, I’m sure they did. They always do, because they know there are people – like you! – naïve enough to lap that stuff up.
And never ask awkward questions, like ‘Where are all the women and children?’ or ‘Why have you ‘poor starvlings’ all got smartphones and new trainers?’…
Matt, who is studying politics, history, sociology and English literature, is a family friend of Mrs Kilpin and shared her views on the situation. He and Grace, an international development student, wanted to see the crisis at first hand.
He said: “I was aware of the situation, but what struck me the most was the scale of it.
“If there is a war-torn country in the world, then they were represented in Calais. “They want to make a life for themselves, they were excited by English culture and had a respect for it.”Yup, they have so much respect for English culture they break our laws to get here. Back to the classroom, sonny…
When a man told me, “our skin may be different colours, but we are all one blood”, I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed by the demonising rhetoric being used by some back home against the hundreds of people I met.You ought to feel embarrassed at your naivety. I hope this story is around in about 20 years time so you can cringe at just how much of an idiot you were.
Entering Parliament Square, the queue to visit Westminster Abbey snaked far beyond the gate, a wait of more than an hour. At this time of year, there are main London thoroughfares – Whitehall and Oxford Street among them – where you can barely walk or breathe for people. It’s the same in every tourist town: Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, York. Massive groups lumber along chaotically behind their tour leaders. When they stop, without warning, to commune with their selfie sticks, I don’t know whether to be proud that Britain is in such global demand.
I can’t decide if I’m hopeful that their money might keep my taxes down, or irritated that their presence in such numbers makes it harder for residents to go about their business.Yes, it’s awful when you feel like an alien in your own country, isn’t it? As long as it's only tourists that make you feel that way, of course.
If it's not just tourists, well, the State's agents will be along shortly...
Cheap air travel, the information revolution, the privilege of a First World passport, have all given me and my contemporaries unprecedented freedom of the world. I luxuriated in the cosmopolitan benevolence of London during the Olympics, and it did the city a power of good.
But there are now places – Paris, for one – where I try to go only out of tourist season, because eating, drinking, shopping and gallery visiting have become less of a pleasure than a chore. If your approach to the Louvre or the Galeries Lafayette, not to mention your progress around them, feels more like a minor suburb of Beijing, you may start to ask why you are there.Well, quite! However, maybe you should ask why they are there instead?
Yet tourism, and specifically increasing it, remains an objective shared by cities and countries around the world. It is regarded as an engine of economic growth – or so the orthodox thinking goes. A flourishing tourist “industry” is a hallmark of success in the presumed global competition. London and the UK compare themselves compulsively with their presumed rivals and celebrate a move up the league tables.Well, yes. Haven't you noticed we are in a recession? Tourist money is to be welcomed, because tourists go home eventually.
But can tourism be too much of a good thing? When all the undoubted benefits are outweighed by the sheer aggravation, when numbers and money, the measurable things, are eclipsed by less quantifiable downsides, such as congestion, jobs that remain low-paid and insecure, and a deterioration in life quality for permanent residents? One European city thinks so, and is daring to challenge the conventional wisdom that tourism is the bright white hope of a modern economy. The new Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, was elected with a mandate to clip the mighty tourist industry’s wings. The last straw for residents, it seems, was the large number of young visitors fuelling a night-time economy deemed ever more antisocial. That, and the magnet that favourite areas of the city offered to petty criminals who saw tourists as easy prey.
The mayor has now declared a moratorium on new hotel licences and moved to clamp down on unregistered and illegal apartment-lets. The night-time economy will be subject to tougher policing. Business is already blaming her for killing the goose that laid the golden egg. But is she? Or is it rather a matter of the residents’ reclaiming the city as their own? And could Barcelona offer an example to other cities, including London?I'm all for residents reclaiming their own. But I can't help but wonder if you'd support all such efforts, or only those that target tourists, Mary....
… Londoners who feel crowded out by tourists would do well to keep an eye on Barcelona. For if the UK capital is to go on extending its welcome – and, despite the occasional scamming rickshaw, that welcome remains open and warm – its year-round residents will need to feel that tourism is more than a cash cow for the national economy, that their city is more than a stage-set frozen in time, and that their interests – above all in having a liveable city – are recognised, too.I applaud your desire to have a livable city, for the natural born residents of that city to have a say in who settles there. I just think you might, perhaps, have chosen the wrong target.
Friday, 28 August 2015
A woman has been fined nearly £300 for stealing three bottles of baby milk at South Derbyshire Magistrates Court this week.
Janis Butans, 34, was given a six-week community order with a curfew and ordered to pay a £150 criminal court fee, £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge after sentenced for stealing the bottles from a Sainsbury’s in Intu Derby shopping centre coming to a total of £295, according to the Derby Telegraph.
It comes less than a week after the Independent reported a crowdfunding campaign had been set up to help a woman in Kidderminster pay court fines of nearly £330 for stealing a 75p pack of Mars Bars.Naturally, the usual suspect s are OUTRAGED! at this:
Mandatory court fines were brought in by former Justice Secretary Chris Grayling shortly before the general election in May to make the courts more self financing. But the charges have been denounced by legal reform charity, the Howard League, as “unequitable”.
The charity’s chief executive Frances Crook said: “There is no leeway. Its a fixed charge and the courts cannot vary it because of circumstance, they have to impose it”Well, yes.
Because soft-hearted do-gooders (like yourself) on the bench were constantly indulging their own wet consciences at the expense of the taxpayer and the poor bloody shopkeeper or member of the public, freedom to impose these fines had to be removed from them.
In a blogpost on the league’s website, she said the reports of “the homeless and hungry” being heavily fined “read like something from pre-Dickens” .
She has called for urgent reform of magistrates court saying the courts “would still be recognisable to an 18th century observer.”Actually, our courts would indeed be ‘unrecognisable’, but not for the reasons you propose. They’d think we were far too lenient!
“The court charge, whilst being manifestly unfair, has at least focused attention on the financial penalties applied to people who are stealing food and clothing” she said,
“These people are annoying and they are sometimes intimidating. But they are not serious criminals. What kind of country have we become?”They might not be serious criminals, but I think you vastly underestimate the nuisance factor. Probably because you rarely experience it.
Just last week, I watched a hi-vis-clad construction worker come out of McDonalds with a cup of coffee for the familiar beggar who often panhandles for spare change just outside. He walked away, and she followed me into the shop to tip the full cup straight into the bin then go back outside to resume begging.
She wasn’t “’ungry an’ ‘omeless!” despite her familiar refrain, she simply wants money for booze or drugs. Often, the ‘small thefts of food or clothing’ aren’t, as Frances simperingly imagines, to keep body and soul together, but because they are the easiest items to sell on.
So while they might not be the most serious offenders, they are often persistent recidivists. Anything that helps to remove the nuisance factor is to be welcomed.