Monday, 19 March 2018

It's Not Hard At All...

The advice of almost every charity is never to give to beggars; in the words of the Big Issue’s founder, John Bird, “It locks the beggar in a downward spiral of abject dependency and victimhood, where all self-respect, honesty and hope are lost.”
Most beggars – as many as 80% – are doing so to fund a drug habit. Better instead to give money to charities, say the charities, so that they can fund drop-in centres and other projects that have a chance of changing the beggar’s life.
There’s something unreal about this position, however: when you have so much more than the person asking for it, refusing money can be hard.
No, actually. It isn't. Thousands of us have to do it every day, when we are accosted by obviously-addicted beggars.
What I notice is that the beggar and the begged-from are far less separate than before. Often, a young woman will kneel down to talk to a ragged man or walk out of her way to fetch him a coffee. Friendships of a kind have been formed. Perhaps a feeling is dawning: we’re in the same boat.
No, we aren't. And thankfully, we never will be.

You Never Forget Your Schooldays...

Lisa French, aged 44, saw her Staffordshire Bull Terrier/Hungarian Vizsla cross clench its teeth on the woman’s left calf in the grounds of Lipson Co-operative Academy.
PE teacher Wendy Woodstock was forced to take time off work after surgery and was still on restricted duties three months later, Plymouth Crown Court heard.
Judge Ian Lawrie handed French a suspended prison sentence and decided not to have the dog, called Diesel, destroyed. But the defendant must pay the teacher almost £800 in compensation.
He added that the two-year-old animal was not dangerous.
Judge Lawrie said: “I do not see it posing any threat. This was an unpleasant incident, but the dog reacted in a way to a combination of circumstances.”
Those circumstances being...?
Emmi Wilson, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Ms Woodstock approached French as she walked three dogs and asked whether a nearby vehicle was hers.
She added that Diesel ran over and clenched its teeth around the teacher’s left calf.
Ah, I see. Someone approaching the owner. Well, how often might that happen...?
Ali Rafati, for French, said she and her mother were allowing the three dogs to run around a field. He added Ms Woodstock told them that they should not have the animals there.
The barrister said the teacher “waved her arms around”.
Mr Rafati added: “The dogs started running towards her and we have discovered that this lady has been attacked by a dog before.
"Understandably, when Diesel gets to her she tried to get him away by kicking out with her foot. It prompted Diesel to take a bite.”
That's the best bit of victim blaming I've ever seen! The comments are somewhat interesting too...

Blimey! Someone hated PE with a passion.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

"Look, Social Justice Warriors, Really, It's All Your Fault.."

No, for once, that's not me saying that!
The Church of England may have “overcompensated” for earlier repressive attitudes to gay clergy with a reluctance to deal rigorously with priests who sexually abused children, Rowan Williams, the former archbishop of Canterbury, has said.
You sort of have to admire the chutzpah here, don't you?

I mean, once you get past the horror and revulsion that this preening popinjay can actually advance this as an excuse, of course.
In recent years, “more and more people [are] coming out of the closet. The question of clergy sexuality has been more openly discussed. The change in climate has been quite striking … I think there has been a sea change.
He went on: “At a time when people were beginning to feel awkward about traditional closeted attitudes, there was perhaps an overcompensation, [people] saying, ‘Well, we don’t want to be to be judgmental about people’s sexual activities … We must therefore give people a second chance and understand the pressures,’ and so on.”
He suggested that “a rather paradoxical consequence of the traditional view of homosexuality within the church [is that] you want to overcompensate a bit for it.”
I'm not religious, but I rather suspect that that's not what the phrase 'suffer the little children' means...

This Is Not The Fault Of The Police....

Deborah says she is now looking to lodge a complaint against West Yorkshire Police.
...though I'm prepared (just) to give her a pass because grieving people say strange things:
Uninsured driver Yasser Iqbal, 29, of Norman Grove, Idle, was jailed for 15 months in January at Bradford Crown Court after he ploughed into Kenneth as he crossed the road to get a takeaway.
The 71-year-old, who had six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, was treated by paramedics at the scene of the crash but was later pronounced dead. Kenneth’s family initially hit out at the “unforgivable” actions of Iqbal, who fled the scene, before abandoning the van two miles down the road on September 23, 2016.
But Kenneth’s daughter, Deborah “broke down” when she saw the van back parked in Iqbal’s driveway after it was returned by police following the end of the court case.
Well, yes. Of course it was returned.
She said: “The police took it away until it went to court because they needed it as evidence and then just out of the blue last Saturday it turned up in the driveway. I thought, ‘how inconsiderate it that?’, the windscreen was still smashed and it’s just two minutes away from my house, where is the compassion?
“It just brings everything back, I get flashbacks anyway.”
But the police are obliged to do this. What's the point in complaining to them?
A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: “The collision which caused Mr Parratt’s death was hugely traumatic and distressing for his family. It is standard procedure that property which is seized as part of the investigation or for court proceedings is not retained indefinitely and would be returned to the legal owner once the court process is fully concluded, as they have in this case. Officers fully understand and sympathise with the terrible loss Mr Parratt’s family have suffered.”
I have no doubt they do.

But, frankly, they have enough on their plate without having to fend off whining snowflakes who can't seem to grasp that the world doesn't revolve around them.

That there will always be reminders all around of upsetting incidents, and that how we cope with that is a sign of maturity.

That demanding the world change to assuage their grief is not healthy.

Friday, 16 March 2018

They Heard 'Gangs' Because It Was A Gang....

...homicides are not always so straightforward, especially in cases of spontaneous violence, such as a street fight. One defendant might throw a few punches without intending that anybody should use a knife. Should their commission of assault imply their guilt of murder?
Yes. Because we don't want roaming gangs of youths feeling free to attack people in the street.

Why is this so difficult to understand?
Joint enterprise’s crisis of legitimacy has also been intensified by its grossly unequal application. In a study of the cases of 294 people under 26 who were given sentences of 15 years or more, researchers at Cambridge University found that those convicted under joint enterprise comprised more than half of their sample, and observed a stark pattern in the composition of this group: more than half were black or mixed-race.
Ah. Of course. Yet more statistics that must at all costs be ignored, more reality that progressives cannot bear.
All 11 of those convicted in the Moss Side case are black or mixed-race. The youngest was 14 at the time of the attack, and the oldest was 20. Their family members say that the academic research confirms their fear that their loved ones have been convicted in part because of the colour of their skin. “The jury made up their mind as soon as they saw them,” said Devon’ta Neish’s aunt Anna, an administrator at a local school. “They saw black boys from Moss Side, they heard ‘gangs’, and that was it.”
Because it was, indisputably, a gang.
...on Thursday 12 May 2016, a young man named Abdul Wahab Hafidah was seen on CCTV cameras running westward through busy traffic across Princess Road in Moss Side, a crowded, diverse, working-class neighbourhood two miles south of Manchester city centre. He was pursued by two young men on foot, and another on a bicycle. As traffic slowed at the junction of Princess Road and Moss Lane East, Hafidah tried desperately to open the door of a passing car, before turning to face his pursuers, waving a knife. They stepped back, and he ran off down Moss Lane East. Someone threw a hammer at him, but missed. The chase went on, joined – or followed – by seven other young men who made their way across Princess Road over the next 45 seconds. Hafidah was drunk, and he was scared. He knew some of the boys who were chasing him, and he knew they were angry with him.
On Moss Lane East, he tried once more to get into a passing vehicle. As he ran across the street, he was hit by more than one car, one of which was a Vauxhall Corsa, driven by a friend of some of those pursuing him. A pathologist later found that he had suffered leg injuries suggesting “a glancing blow” at low speed.
At around 5.14pm, near the junction of Moss Lane East and Denhill Road, roughly 100 metres west of Princess Road, several of Hafidah’s pursuers caught up to him. He was punched, kicked and stamped on, although witnesses remember the details and the number of attackers differently. According to statements taken by the police, a student walking home from college saw “at least three or four” people drag Hafidah to the ground, punching and kicking him. A man working in an office overlooking the scene saw “a couple of youths” fighting on the northern side of the road, and “six or seven youths” watching from a nearby grass verge. Another witness, a lab assistant, thought there were five attackers. A woman on her way home from work saw three young men knock Hafidah to the ground. He curled up into a ball while they kicked him around the legs, torso and head.
A gang. Clearly. If they'd been wolves, we'd have called them a pack.

Why the squeamishness about calling them what they are, and treating them appropriately?
The youth worker Akemia Minott, who has known most of the defendants for years, is consumed by anger. “I don’t understand how they can justify themselves,” she said of the police and the courts. “It’s not a game. This shit’s not a game, this is real people’s lives. These lives aren’t less valuable than yours, these lives aren’t inferior to yours, or insignificant in comparison to yours. So why is the criminal justice system of a supposedly civilised and advanced country able to use certain people as just pawns in their game of chess?”
Personally, I think the recruitment of 'youth workers' has gone seriously wrong somewhere. And is contributing to the mess we are in.

A Little Consistency Would Be Nice...

Taken directly from Nottinghamshire Police Farce's page on 'hate crime':

Dad Mohamed said they believed the attack was racially-motivated and added: 'My daughter has never had a problem with any girl in the city before.
'I don't know why they attacked her the first time, but they recognised her the second time and went after her again.
'My wife and I think it was racially motivated because Mariam didn't know these girls, why would you attack someone randomly?
'They were all of different colour skin to Mariam maybe that is why they did this - they also called her "black rose".
'I just don't know why they would attack her, when she did nothing wrong.'
 Open and shut case, then?
Nottinghamshire Police said they did not think the attack was 'motivated by hate' but 'continued to keep an open mind'.
But according to your own published guidelines, it doesn't matter what you think, does it? You may have good reason to disregard this as being a hate crime, of course. But if so, then surely you should be qualifying your statement on your website?

Or awkward questions might be asked.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

The World Is Changing...

Philip Pullman has called on publishers to stop damaging “the ecology of the book world” and start giving authors a fairer share of the money their books earn.
...and if you don't like it, there are other options.
“To allow corporate profits to be so high at a time when author earnings are markedly falling is, apart from anything else, shockingly bad husbandry. It’s perfectly possible to make a good profit and pay a fair return to all of those on whose work, after all, everything else depends. But that’s not happening at the moment,” said Pullman.
 Instead of whining, change the process yourself! It's not easy, but when is anything worthwhile easy?
The Society of Authors has set out a range of challenges for publishers, calling on them to “commit to paying authors a higher proportion of turnover”; to be more transparent about how writers, illustrators and translators are paid; and to draw from “a wider pool, not just celebrities, but writers from across society”.
Yes. More 'diversity'. That's what's needed.