Monday, 30 June 2008

Not-So-Dim Bulbs

The government wants your old-fashioned energy-hungry incandescent tungsten light bulb gone, and gone soon. But some people are willing to go to great lengths to hang onto the lights they love.
It seems some people aren’t so willing to accept the decisions of the Greenies and are stockpiling normal bulbs for later use:
The 150w, in particular, is seriously rare. They're gone from Tesco. Morrisons have already chosen to ditch them, with 100w to follow in the autumn and 60w next year.
My tip…? Boot sales!

It’s not just a case of disliking the attempt to force us all to use the ‘green’ option, either:
"I'm stocking up now, before they're banned or get ridiculously expensive," says Bradley, an insurance broker from West Sussex. "The green ones might save you money and everything, but I just can't stand them."

"They don't look right," he explains. "They're not bright enough and they take an age to come on. That's not what you want from a light bulb. You want it to light up the whole room, just like that." He clicks his fingers.

Jo, who works in the same office, agrees. "I did try the energy saving ones," she says, "but they're not the same. One of them made a buzzing noise, one of them kept going on and off. We gave up on them."
And then there’s the mercury problem:
Government advice says that because of the mercury in low energy bulbs, if you break one you should leave the room for 15 minutes, clear up the pieces with rubber gloves, not with a vacuum cleaner, and take them in a sealed bag to your local council. The bulbs should not be thrown in normal waste.
None of that sways the ecoloonies, mind you:
Campaigners see the hoarding of bulbs in a dim light (Ed: Ho, ho….). "It's a bad idea," says Ben Stewart of Greenpeace. "They're not only bad for the climate but mean a bigger electricity bill. Incandescent light bulbs were invented in the 1880s and use 80% more electricity than energy saving ones. The time has come to move into the 21st Century."
Changing to something that doesn’t work as well, is disliked by the consumer and poses disposal problems is moving forwards…?

Crikey, Bruce!

Defence officials have had to allay the concerns of Sydney office workers, who watched as an air force fighter chased what appeared to be a passenger plane.

Some people thought Australia's most populous city might be coming under attack.
It was just a flypast, to bid farewell to a retiring aircraft, and the ‘fighter’ was just a Hawk trainer shadowing it for photos.
One eyewitness said the sight and sound of the planes was "terrifying".

Another said he'd never been so scared.
*Sigh* Are we all wimps now, after 9/11…? Even the Aussies….?

Sunday, 29 June 2008

When The Weather Is Fine, You Know It's The Time...

...for messin' about on the river:
River police have carried out raids on pleasure boats on the Thames in London as part of a new summer campaign to clamp down on drugs and weapons. Officers used search arches, handheld scanners and search dogs to search people boarding the boats.

"We know that a small minority of people are using drugs and carrying weapons on party boats," said Ch Insp Derek Caterer.

"They wrongly assume that because they're on the water the police can't reach them.

"This operation is all about clamping down on the violence and drugs that can be a feature of night life on the Thames."
Wow! Last time I was on a Thames party boat, the most dangerous thing on it was the rather dodgy catering, and the slippery gangplank that you used to get on and off. So, how many tooled up gangsters did this massive operation net?
During the operation on Friday, four people were arrested on suspicion of cannabis possession. They are currently being held in police custody.

Five other people were given warnings for possession of cannabis.
Still, it was a nice evening, and it beats pounding the mean streets of the capital. Mind how you go, officer!

What Councils Are Spending Your Money On....

....salt shakers with fewer holes:
...councils believe they have found a better use for their money: reducing the number of holes in chip shop salt shakers.

Research has suggested that slashing the holes from the traditional 17 to five could cut the amount people sprinkle on their food by more than half.

And so at least six councils have ordered five-hole shakers – at taxpayers’ expense – and begun giving them away to chip shops and takeaways in their areas.
I'd be a lot happier if they paid some attention to the huge holes in the roads in my area, frankly.
Gateshead Council defended its decision. A spokesman said: ‘Research carried out by us discovered customers were often receiving huge quantities of salt with their fish and chips – up to half their daily allowance. The council was so disturbed it decided to commission a manufacturer to produce a salt shaker with fewer holes, which it distributed free to every fish and chip shop and hot food takeaway in Gateshead.

We believe the cost to be a small price to pay for potentially saving lives.’
Well, of course you believe the cost is a small price to pay! It isn't your bloody money!

Epic Fail! (Part II)

An arsonist was remanded into the care of Ashen Hill mental unit after sectioning for repeatedly starting fires. So hospital staff gave him treatment, right?

Well, not quite. They gave him lighters:
...despite the concerns of his mother, workers at the unit refused to take lighters off him saying he needed to learn to take responsibility for his actions.

Instead when Perkins set fire to his room on March 4 hospital bosses contacted police and pushed for him to be prosecuted.
That's a certain amount of cheek right there....

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Good Times Ahead...

More trouble over 10p tax rate for Gordon.

Darling under fire agrees to at 'look again' at plans to increase Vehicle Excise Duty.

Labour begin to turn on each other over Henley disaster.

Another by-election looms:
Mr Marshall has been ill for some time. It is understood that the illness may be related to depression.
And I thought we were headed for a summer of discontent... ;)

Friday, 27 June 2008

Just Another Dead Baby, Nothing To See, Move Along….

A 30-year-old mother whose baby son died from a drug overdose has been jailed for five years for manslaughter.
Another of those flash-in-the-pan, hard to predict, totally-out-of-the-blue cases no doubt…? Oh, yes, it seems so:
Ex-prostitute Sabrina Ross would regularly collapse at her Bristol home, leaving 14-month old son Rio access to her Class A drugs.

On the night he died, Ross had gone out to buy drugs and returned to find him dead after drinking methadone.
Yup, no-one could possibly have forseen that this child might meet a bad end at the hands of his mother!
The judge at Bristol Crown Court said she had created an "unsafe" environment for the baby.
No shit, Sherlock Your Honour….
Prosecutor Giles Nelson said: "During the night of July 20 and 21 last year the defendant was clearly more concerned about her consumption of illegal drugs than she was about the welfare of her child."
Yes, quite unlike all other junkies. It’s a real mystery, this one….
After the case Claude Knights, of the charity Kidscape, said: "This case underlines the need for vigilance and a support network around the mother, including the social services and the extended family."
If you like, Claude. Most normal people would think it underlines the need to immediately remove a baby from an ex-prostitute mother catastrophically addicted to drugs until she’d kicked the habit, but your mileage might vary…

All together now, for a rousing chorus of the Social Worker’s Anthem: ‘We must learn lessons from this unfortunate and totally unforseen case….’

Epic Fail! ……

….for Labour candidate Richard McKenzie, who lost the Henley by-election to the Conservative candidate. Which wasn’t really a surprise.

Though Labour dropping to fifth might have been.

After the Green Party, and the BNP.

And losing their deposit

In the immortal words of Nelson Muntz: “Ha ha!”

Thursday, 26 June 2008

‘For The Chiillldreeen…!’ Part 457

A quarter of the adult population faces an "anti-paedophile" test in an escalation of child protection policies, according to a report.

The launch of a new Government agency will see 11.3million people vetted for any criminal past before they are approved to have contact with children aged under 16.
Even sociologists are beginning to think they might have gone too far:

But the increase in child protection measures is so great it is "poisoning" relationships between the generations, according to respected sociologist Professor Frank Furedi. In a report for think tank Civitas, he said the use of criminal records bureau checks to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults has created an atmosphere of suspicion.

As a result ordinary parents - many of whom are volunteers at sports and social clubs - now find themselves regarded "potential child abusers".

In related news:

It was meant to be a gently embarrassing centrepiece for her son's 21st birthday. But when Gail Jordan asked bakery staff at Asda to print a photograph of him as a baby on to a cake they didn't see the funny side.

After one look at the photograph – which featured her son David at about five months and lying on his front – they declared that putting it on the cake would constitute pornography because his bare bottom could be seen.

You Mean, He Isn’t Already…?

Lots in the media this morning about the 12 year old white boy picked up as a result of circulating video clips of terrorist beheadings:
A 12-year-old white schoolboy is among 120 people being dealt with by police in a new project combating Islamic-inspired violent extremism, it was revealed today.

The child, who has only been identified by the initials BC, was reported by his school in West Yorkshire after he was found circulating video clips of terrorists beheading Westerners.
It was the following, however, that stuck me as a little odd:
Police revealed the child arrived in Britain as an asylum seeker in July 2005, and at the age of eight allegedly assisted a nine-year-old and a 12-year-old boy in the forced rape of his sister, although he was never prosecuted.

West Yorkshire Chief Constable Sir Norman Bettison revealed: 'The white child that we are working with has been downloading Jihadist beheading videos and circulating them around school.

'That was bad enough, but he also has an unnatural interest in guns and weapons. He spoke openly of his wish to be a sniper and spoke of his curiosity of what it would be like to kill someone.'

'He is at risk of being a violent young man and a threat to society,' the chief constable said.
‘At risk of being’…? What more would he have to do to be one…?!

Beware Of Mad Cows – They Might Charge Sue…

A businesswoman who was trampled by cows as she walked through a field is suing the farmer who owns the herd for £1 million. Shirley McKaskie, 49, a company director, was seriously injured by the cattle on her way to meet her boyfriend in a pub in a Cumbrian village.

The court heard that Ms McKaskie and her five-month-old Jack Russell terrier, Tina, were heading to the village when they used a public footpath to cut across a field at Greystoke Gill, a nearby hamlet.
At 49 years old, shouldn’t she have a bit more common sense when entering a field of cows with calves accompanied by a dog?

I’d like to say she has no chance of winning, but you never know. Hopefully, this will help the farmer:
A Health and Safety Executive investigation following the incident decided to take no action against Mr Cameron.

Ms McKaskie diverted from the public footpath, which could make her a trespasser and therefore not protected by law.

Ms McKaskie was asked, if there had been a sign, warning of animals in the field, whether she would have gone into it.

"No definitely not," she told Mr Purchas.
This despite the fact that she didn’t take any notice of the footpath….

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Lost - Journalistic Integrity. If Found, Please Return to 'Daily Mail' Offices...

John Leslie issued a statement yesterday over the new rape allegations put to him after 13 years had elapsed:
Mr Leslie said he "certainly did not attack this person", claimed the inquiry had been "leaked" and said that he again faced "trial by media".

He said that, "if I sound bitter, it is because I am."
It’s difficult not to agree with him on that score, if you read Alison Boshoff’s biased and disgusting little article in the ‘Mail’ today:
At the age of 43, Leslie remains in flight from any kind of conventional private life. His friends like to call him an 'eternal bachelor' - others might describe him as on the cusp of being a dirty old man.

'He is a nightmare around women,' one said, when detailing Leslie's compulsive flirtin, which continues unabated.
Oh, noes! Flirting! And with women! How appalling….
Despite the scandals which drove him out of the public eye, Leslie is not short of female attention. He craves it and gets it easily.
Women seek him out in nightclubs, and one friend said that his mobile telephone periodically receives saucy photo messages from partially-clothed female acquaintances who are keen to get to know him better.
‘Famous, rich man goes to nightclub, women throw themselves at him! News at Eleven!’
But the good looks which helped him to attract hundreds of willing sexual partners during his years of fame have faded considerably.

He is paunchy and going grey. Little remains of the clean-cut Blue Peter presenter who had a romance with a little-known actress named Catherine Zeta Jones.
Yes, quite unlike other aging former television stars, I’m sure. And so what if he is going paunchy and grey? I get the feeling if anyone had dared to describe an over-the-hill female TV personality in such terms, Ms Boshoff’s finely tuned sense of indignation would have gone into overdrive…
Since being sacked as the presenter of ITV's This Morning for his indiscretions, Leslie has been quietly engaged in making money in property.

He has amassed around £4million - a tidy fortune - and has broadened his portfolio to embrace 'dozens' of properties.

Ironically, Leslie is probably financially better off than he could ever have been as a television presenter.
You mean, he’s had the temerity to become a property developer..?! For shame! Doesn’t he know, after being falsely accused of rape, a man’s only choice is to become a hermit in penance for the sin of possessing a penis…?
Leslie's lifestyle is extremely comfortable - but it comes as little surprise that his sleazy habits remain.

There have been allegations of continued drug use, a fondness for sex toys and degrading group sex in sensationalist Sunday newspapers.
Oh, well, if it’s been in the Sunday papers, it MUST be true!
Leslie was charged and the case came to court, but on the eve of the trial the actress then presented the police with 'new information' and the indecent assault charges were dropped.

The judge said that Leslie left court 'without a stain on his character'.

This, of course, was not true. Such a volume of women had presented allegations which were so similar it was hard for people not to conclude that Leslie's private life was, at the very least, rather sleazy.
Well, I think the courts will be the judge of that, sweetie. As much as you might like to wish it wasn’t the case, he did indeed leave the court without a stain on his character.

Unhappily, so did his accuser, who like this latest one, retains her anonymity, while Leslie has his character assassinated even after acquittal by second-rate media journalists.

This vile and corrosive article is an affront to journalism, and little Ms Boshoff needs a lesson in ethics. It underlines exactly what is wrong with the media today.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

'Unexplained'...? No, Not Really...

A talented A-level student was stabbed to death in a ‘mindless and unprovoked’ attack by a drunken youth who had been released from custody only three days earlier.

Mr Macdonald (prosecution) said: ‘This was an unprovoked attack by Brook on an unarmed person. In effect it was an unexplained attack.’
Was it though? Well, no, not really. Let's take a look at Brook's history, shall we?

Alcoholic and drug addict from 'a very early age'
Age 12 - in care
Age 13 - received first custodial sentence

Total number of court appearances before murdering Hassan - 44!

No, not so unexplained. He was consistently let off by a weak justice system hidebound by liberal theories and 'one last chance' magistrates, starved of funding and space, and unable to cope with serial offenders who flout court orders because there are no comebacks on them - ever!

The stabbing itself may be unexplained, in the sense that the young man he stabbed to death (a model pupil with a bright future) was doing his best to avoid a confrontation and was murdered for no reason. But who could possibly say, looking at the criminal record of this waste of oxygen, that this was truly 'unexplained' in the full meaning of the word?

'Could Do Better. See Me After School....'

Following on from yesterday's story, it seems that schools are becoming emboldened by policies that seek to reverse the parent/child relationship to the point that they are sending notes home to mum & dad:
Parents cleaning out their child's lunchbox at the end of the school day could be in for a nasty surprise — a scolding note from teacher alongside the half-eaten sandwiches and empty crisp packets.

The School Food Trust wants teachers to send out warning letters to parents who fail to comply with school healthy-eating policies. And in advice that could be seen as patronising, the government-funded body suggests further that they send congratulatory letters to those who pack healthy lunches for their children.
Note the language being used - 'fail to comply'...
In guidance sent as an example to head teachers and governors, the trust lists the foods pupils should not take to school: crisps, chocolate bars, chocolate-coated biscuits and sweets. “Cakes and biscuits are allowed but encourage your child to eat these only as part of a balanced meal,” it says.
House of Dumb has it right - remember this at the next PTA when your child's teacher whines about cutbacks and lack of Government investment as a reason your child can't read and write - this is what they are doing instead of teaching.

"That's (Not) The Chicago Way!"

Residents in one of the toughest cities in the US are being terrorised by....small birds:
Chicago residents have been warned to beware of blackbirds after a spate of dive-bombing attacks on cyclists and pedestrians. The fiercely territorial behaviour of the male red-winged blackbird has been blamed for a series of incidents.

People have complained of being chased for up to 100 yards, pecked in the head and had their hair clawed.
Chicago's most famous fictional resident could not be reached for comment...

Death By A Thousand Cuts

Not planning on commenting much on the Boris Johnson/James McGrath manufactured 'racism ' affair, mainly because I'm doing it on the comment thread at 'CiF', and because Pub Philosopher and Fulham Reactionary have covered it perfectly.

This bears repeating, from FR's post:
The justification given for McGrath's sacking, by Johnson and others, is that, while McGrath's comments were not racist, they might have given rise to a public perception that the man who made them was. However, this is a public perception (or perhaps only an illusion of one) that is formed and driven by the left, and which will only be given credence by the Tories caving in as easily as they have done.
Indeed. If these are the 'New Tories', what exactly distinguishes them from 'New Labour', other than the colour of the rosette...?

Monday, 23 June 2008

Indoctrination, Indoctrination, Indoctrination….

One in three parents say their children know more about healthy eating campaigns than they do, a poll shows.

And most told the Department of Health survey that rising food prices put five portions of fruit and vegetables a day out of their reach.

The survey of 1,000 parents in England also revealed three-quarters of them were unaware that frozen and canned varieties counted towards the total. Food experts said school campaigns were improving children's knowledge.
So far so good, though you wish they’d have as much success teaching kids to read and write. But this line in the article betrays a worrying attitude:
School campaigns mean that many children are aware of what they can and cannot eat, but the surveyed suggests that many parents are not.

One mother, Debbie Hussey, told the survey that she had to be told by her daughter to swap baked potato for broccoli to reach the target.
I didn’t realise that some food was verboten in Brown’s Britain, or that we’d swapped the natural order of parents telling their children what to eat!
Azmina Govindji, from the British Dietetic Association, said that getting children involved in shopping or cooking made them more likely to eat healthier food.

She added: "If healthy eating messages can get through to children, then they have a lot of power in the home, and can ask their parents for the kind of food they need to be eating."
Yup, more power in the home. That’s what children need!

I used to regularly ask for the kind of food I felt I should be eating too, when I was six. Funnily enough, the answer was always ‘Shut up and eat the vegetables on your plate, or go hungry…’

A Plan To Help Small Large Businesses!

Manchester’s congestion charging proposal is unlikely to be greeted with delight by small businesses, who are precisely the ones most feeling the high fuel costs pinch at the moment:
Motorcyclists and disabled drivers will be exempt from Manchester's congestion charge - but city delivery drivers could pay up to £10 a day.

Although drivers of commercial vehicles pay the same rates as cars, they face higher charges if they cross the charging ring repeatedly.

Commercial drivers with multi-drop deliveries could have faced the prospect of racking up huge fees by repeatedly crossing the inner ring, but AGMA says their charge will be capped at £10.
Got to keep little grocers like Tesco, Sainsbury and Asda happy!

Didn’t We Do This A Long Time Ago….?

I’m fairly sure I heard ‘Buck up and just get on with it!’ quite a few times when I was growing up, but it seems that attitude is a new concept to some:
Children should be taught how to be mentally tough as well as happy, a leading academic has said.

Mentally robust children are more likely to resist bullying and are not put off when they make mistakes, according to research.

Promoting a tough attitude among pupils can improve their performance in exams, as well as improving behaviour, said Peter Clough, head of psychology at the University of Hull.
Long overdue, no doubt, but we have a long, long way to go before the damage done by the ‘all must have prizes’ concept has been purged from education theory:
The research will pose a threat to 'happiness lessons', which are used in many schools to teach children how to empathise with one another and think positively.

Dr Clough said: "All the positive thinking in the world isn't going to make a third look like a 2:1."

Sunday, 22 June 2008

"I'm From The Government, And I'm Here To Help Charge You To Look At Your Trees"

Yet another 'health and safety' initiative is proposed that further encourages people to view their own property as the property of the Government:
Homeowners could have to pay a specialist to regularly examine their garden trees, under proposals for a new safety standard which could lead to thousands being felled.

The British standard for tree safety inspection would require tree-owners to conduct an annual "walk-by" inspection and get them checked by a "trained person" every three years.

A more rigorous and expensive "expert inspection" would then need to be carried out by a qualified arboriculturist every five years.
And there'd have to be people to record the checks, and then to check the checkers, and then to report the statistics, and they'd need running cost budgets, and publicity budgets, and consultation budgets, and...

I think we can all see where this is going, can't we?

Friday, 20 June 2008

Keeping The Border Safe....

The new UK Borders Agency, launched with such fanfare, has claimed its first scalp:
Martha Stewart has been refused a visa to Britain because of her criminal convictions for obstructing justice, the Daily Telegraph has learned.
I can't think why we believe that public sector agencies go for soft, easy targets instead of tackling the tricky cases, can you...?

We salute you, brave guardians of the UK Border! May you forever keep us safe from evildoers and American cookery show hosts!

Love Music, Hate Racism, Kinda Keen On Violence Part II

It seems that Essex public sector workers are a particularly delicate bunch of flowers. Not to be outdone by the Southend council swan rape dilemma, Barking College principal Ted Parker is all a-twitter over the 'threatening behaviour' of a BNP councillor:
Mr Parker told the Recorder: "He was perfectly civil but he was obviously agitated. He seemed to be saying our students were in danger.

"As he left he said 'you have been warned', which sort of stuck it my mind. I thought it was a little strange.
The warning was issued over a 'Love Music, Hate Racism' shindig at the college. Naturally, rent-a-quote lefties were quick to jump on the publicity bandwagon offered by the 'Recorder':
Bunny La Roche, of LMHR, said: "We feel the BNP doesn't represent London at all. The reason we have a demo is that there's an absolute anger in London and the country about the fact the BNP have got a seat.
Well, except for those who elected them, Bunny. But what do they matter, eh...?

So, where did Councillor Bailey get the idea that there might be trouble at a LMHR event, though not from the BNP...?

Such an idea is nonsensical!

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Fine Art…? Not Here, Comrade…!

Workers at Southend’s council offices have more to worry about, it seems, than their support for the Labour Party:
A bronze statue depicting a mythological rape has finally found a new home at the mayor of Southend's official residence.

The controversial statue of Leda and the Swan was specially commissioned by Southend Council in the Sixties and first stood outside the courthouse in Victoria Avenue.

Later it was moved to the Civic Square and then to the courtyard of the Palace Theatre, in Westcliff. Later, it was moved to the Civic Centre when it caused outrage among staff.
This thing has migrated more often than a real swan! But what could possibly get the council workers so outraged about this (taxpayers might get upset at the cost of these moves, naturally…)?
Workers claimed the statue, representing the rape of Leda by the Greek god Zeus disguised as a swan, glorified rape as an art form.
Yeah, I had to read that twice too! Obviously, a classical education
is not a requirement for a Southend Council job. I suppose the ‘don’t be so bloody stupid!’ approach didn’t occur to them either?

Try as I might, I couldn’t find an image of the sculpture anywhere online, and it’s obviously far too scandalous for the ‘Echo’ to show. Still, the Mayor of Southend has come up with an innovative approach to this troublesome piece of art – take it home!
Rob Tinlin, Southend Council's chief executive and town clerk, said : "The statue of Leda and the Swan was located at the Civic Centre until a suitable location was found.

"The statue is permanently on display in the garden of the mayor's residence, Porters in Southchurch Road.

"It is in an appropriately landscaped area next to the pond."
I wonder how much that little fiasco cost the taxpayer..?

Rats Leaving A Sinking Ship…

More bad news for Gordon:
Labour's traditional supporters are deserting the party in "droves", with public sector workers joining the "exodus", a new poll suggests.

Research for Unison showed that almost half of supporters who have regularly voted Labour are now less likely to support the party.

The Ipsos Mori poll of more than 1,000 adults showed that 19% of public sector workers were less likely to vote Labour than in 2005.


It seems Presidential hopeful The Obamassiah hasn’t quite managed to impress his message of ‘hope’ and ‘change’ to his people, who are running a more typical, PR-conscious campaign:
Barack Obama's campaign has been forced to apologise to two Muslim women barred from sitting behind him at a public event.
The two women in headscarves were asked not to sit in view of cameras at a rally in Detroit on Monday, where Al Gore endorsed Mr Obama.

Hebba Aref, a 25-year-old lawyer, told Politico magazine: "I was coming to support him, and I felt like I was discriminated against.

"The message that I thought was delivered to us was that they do not want him associated with Muslims or Muslim supporters."
Can’t think why….
Campaign spokesman Bill Burton said: "This is of course not the policy of the campaign. It is offensive and counter to Obama's commitment to bring Americans together and simply not the kind of campaign we run.

"We sincerely apologise for the behaviour of these volunteers."
That’s what happens when you surround yourself with enthusiastic amateurs. They see all sorts of things that aren’t there!

Or are they…?

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

New Labour, Old Ideas....

I think I've found out where Labour are getting their policy ideas:
Responding to the report the government said it would "immediately take forward" some of the recommendations including "greater use of uniforms for offenders" on community payback schemes and the use of "community panels" to select the work done.

It also backed "online crime maps" across England and Wales and teams of "community champions" - people in each area who are "equipped with the skills and know-how to play a stronger role in tackling crime".
The 70's...

I blame 'Life on Mars' :)

Thin Blue Line

The police come in for criticism occasionally, on this blog and on others, but it’s on their own blogs that the true reality of this modern society that progressives are so proud of can be shown.

Two that I read today bear witness to that. They are posts that, for the most part, highlight the depressing effects of the welfare state on some communities.
Yes, we rightly criticise them when they overstep the bounds, due to political correctness or a need to chase ever more bizarre government targets.

But never forget what they have to deal with…

'Sign Her Up, She's Perfect...!'

Police have taken the unusual step of releasing a picture of a missing mother of five who has fled with her children because she found out they were to be taken into care:
Police said they are concerned for the safety of the girls, aged between five and 13, because Ms Bracht suffers from a 'histrionic personality disorder'.
According to the 'Northumberland Gazette', 'histrionic personality disorder' is characterised by:

"....the constant seeking of reassurance or approval, excessive dramatics with exaggerated displays of emotion, excessive sensitivity to criticism or disapproval, a need to be the centre of attention, rapidly shifting emotional states and a tendency to make rash decisions."
There's no truth to the rumour that if she's found, Gordon Brown would like to sign her up to fight the by-election against David Davies for Labour...

Joined Up Government...

Labour rottweiler Louise Casey is desperate to get some good headlines for Brown:
Ms Casey, the government's crime and communities adviser, and former "respect tsar", undertook the year-long review, which is based on the views of 13,000 people in England and Wales who were consulted over an eight-month period.

She said people do not believe crime has fallen, and think the law is stacked in favour of offenders' rights.

"We're all a little tired of hearing about the human rights and civil liberties of people who break the law.

"For years we have been listening to that - who is speaking up for the rights of law-abiding decent people?" she told BBC Breakfast.
That should keep the 'Daily Mail' readers happy! But on the other hand:
Escaped prisoners will not have to serve all of the time they spent on the run behind bars once they are caught and returned to jail, prison governors have been told.

There are currently 110 prisoners on the run. Typically, escapees are on the run for around three years while one offender has been at large for five years.

However, new rules from the Ministry of Justice state that the day of escape and capture both count as time served in jail - effectively shaving two days off the time they should spend behind bars.

The guidance also states that governors are allowed to count up to a month of time spent at large as having been served, without referring the case to the Justice Secretary.
Never look at what the government says it will do - look at what it actually does...

Poverty Causes Crime....

Or then again, maybe not:
Southampton players Nathan Dyer, 20, and Bradley Wright-Phillips, 23, were charged following an incident at the Bar Bluu club in Southsea, Hants, on Feb 28.

Police were alerted after the pair were allegedly captured on CCTV entering an unlocked staff room at the club with a group of friends during the early hours of the morning.

Staff later claimed that three mobile phones, £145 in cash, student cards and cigarettes had been stolen from three handbags.
Poor lambs! They must have been starving to do what they did, or under peer pressure to have the right trainers (a desire stoked by those evil capitalists, of course...):
Striker Wright-Phillips, who lives in Southampton, earns about £8,000 a week.

Winger Dyer, who also lives in the city, earns about £5,000 a week. Each player was fined two weeks wages.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Data Security...? What Data Security!

Determined not to be outdone by a couple of nameless civil servants leaving papers on trains, Hazel Blears, Community Minister (hah!) has gone one better:
A personal computer holding sensitive documents relating to defence and extremism has been stolen from Hazel Blears' constituency office in Salford.

The machine contained a combination of constituency and government information which should not have been held on it.
Oh, yeah. These are the people to trust with ID cards and an NHS database, all right....
The spokesman said "none of the departmental material included sensitive personal data about the public or would be of use to criminals".

He added: "The PC did not contain any secret or top secret information and the contents of the PC are protected and clearly this is now subject to a routine police investigation."
If the thief is reading this, try 'password'. I doubt Blears could remember anything trickier.

"It's So Unfair!"

Mr Jamieson said: 'I was beaten repeatedly on my back and the back of my head. My back was turned and I was hit three or four times.

"We did not think that the moment a few sticks came over the police would pull out solid aluminium rods.

'They are blood hungry - it was absolutely unprovoked.'
Throw things at the police and try to breach barriers and they'll defend themselves. And they have better weaponry and training than your average Swuppie.

Who knew...?! :)

Kipling Was Right - Part II

A teenage girl was set on fire by another girl who accused her of kissing her boyfriend.
I guess some ladies took the words of the Eurythmics a little too much to heart...

Kipling Was Right...

"WHEN the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.
But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male."
No wildly slashing, uncoordinated attack either:
Mr Altman added: "She had been the victim of a single stab wound to the chest. The knife that killed her passed through her lung and entered the heart causing shock and massive internal bleeding. Nothing could be done to save her."
And what provoked the fragrant Ms Bennett...? It's the old story (updated for the modern age):
Jurors were told that the row centred on Nathan Davidson, who had fathered a child with Miss Simpson's cousin, Chantelle Campbell.

Miss Bennett was said to be angry with Mr Davidson for going to visit that son while her best friend, Daniele Cooke, was also pregnant by him.

She left a voice message on his phone, which Chantelle heard, jurors were told. It said: "You hear what I am saying, yeah? I am coming to your mum's house so if she's there she's going to get ****** up and so are you."
This must be the chav version of extreme sports. Mr Davidson likes to live dangerously!

Monday, 16 June 2008

Leadership Means Never Having To Say 'You're Right, I'm Sorry'...

Over at The Devil's Kitchen, Ian_QT notes the EU in 'sudden revelation of real agenda' mode:
Referenda and Democracy

The EU has now accumulated significant (bad) experiences with referenda. It was very delicately yet effectively communicated by the Romanian social-democrat MEPs: “The referendum in Ireland has demonstrated that direct democracy (by way of referendum) cannot ensure the progress of the European process.

The security, liberty and prosperity of hundreds of millions of
European citizens ask for complex leadership actions, which cannot be appreciated by heterogeneous populations, from the point of view of the information level and the education one.

European integration is a process that must be conducted politically by the elected representatives of the European citizens.”
He says:
This should be on every newspaper and news bulletin in Europe - with the headline 'This is what they think of you'.
Couldn't agree more...

‘Right Wing Bloggers’ – Oooh, Scary…

Over at the Community Care Blogs (which I frequent from time to time, purely for entertainment purposes), a blogger posts on the new menace sweeping the UK – people who don’t think like they should:
Apparently former soviet leader Yuri Andropov thought personal computers would be the end of socialism and the number of right wing bloggers seems to bear that out.
Oh noes!! The right wing bloggers are coming, comrades!!

But the lefties have a cunning plan to foil this blogosphere domination:
Community Care has also started its own political blog Outside Left, which as the title suggests is not right wing. Blogger Mike would love people to get involved and comment.
So far, ‘blogger Mike’ is going to be disappointed, since there’s no more comments on it than on the main blog...

In the comments to the article, one of their tiny population of commenters is struggling with a few basic concepts, asking:
As for influencing academic research, I personally, think it compromises the entire position. Why can't academics be noble but struggling idealists?!?
Because they need to eat, perhaps….?

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Don't We Have A Law Against 'Aiding And Abetting'...?

Leftie bloggers are wetting their knickers in delight over this report in the 'Guardian':
All across the country, communities are organising themselves to stop their friends and neighbours from being deported. From lobbying the Home Office to foiling dawn raids, the resistance will stop at nothing to keep failed asylum seekers safe in Britain.
'The resistance'...?
...Assist also has a list of families and individuals who will let failed asylum seekers sleep in their spare rooms.
It comes as no surprise that the Guardianistas have found some civil disobediance they like, though it contrasts a little with their attitude to fuel protestors.

Says one woman with too much time on her hands:
"I think we've made it very hard for the Home Office to remove families that are settled. And every MP up and down the country will know that, because they will have been lobbied in the way we've lobbied ours. There must have been pressure to sort this out in a humane way, but to keep it quiet because if the Daily Mail finds out about this, it will be unpopular."
Think the 'Guardian' has just given the 'Mail' a heads up with this report, love...

Last word goes to the Scottish battleaxe who started off the report: Donnachie sets up for the weekly women's group she runs on the Kingsway, she, too, says the benefits are all hers. "We've so many people from so many different cultures and places here now," she says. "We're the ones who are gaining - wonderful people, wonderful families with children who want to do things for this country. Britain's going to be a better place for them, not a worse place, so I just don't know what the problem is."
Yup, Britain needs more people who ignore its law, I'm sure...

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Chutzpah - Modern UK Definition

The incompetent social worker sacked for failing to do her job in the Victoria Climbie case has had the cheek to complain about her treatment, now that the Care Standards Tribunal has decided that screwing up so badly that a child died in a freezing bathtub with 128 injuries is really no bar to social work:
The Care Standards Tribunal said it will allow Ms Arthurworrey to re-register pending an assessment of her mental health. It says her state of health has been affected by what she has been through.

Ms Arthurworrey says she was made a scapegoat by senior management at north London's Haringey Council.
In one sense, that's true - others up the chain of command should have been sacked too. But she was directly responsible for Victoria's welfare as her caseworker.
Ms Arthurworrey told the BBC: "This is probably the worst case of institutionalised scapegoating this country has ever seen.

"I'm now in this position where I'm expected to take responsibility for my team manager, the commissioning manager, the director of Haringey Council - a useful scapegoat for all.

"There were failings in Victoria's case. That's where my inexperience in child protection let me down."
I guess she'd have gone for 'institutionalised racism' if she could have gotten away with it. As she can't, she'll just have to invent a new phrase. But she isn't finished with the self-pity ditty just yet:
"It has destroyed my life and I've experienced great problems because of who I am."
It's destroyed her life...? Pardon me, but it's little Victoria that is actually dead. Her life was destroyed, and not metaphorically either...
"I don't actually believe that people understand the failings that were made in Victoria's case.

"I see Victoria as a child who lost her life prematurely, unnecessarily, at the hands of the people who murdered her, but alongside a system that was flawed and unable to protect her."
People understand the failings all too well. It was people, after all, not the so-called 'experts', that raised the alarm. People like her childminder, Priscilla Cameron, and the taxi driver Salman Pinarbasi, who could see with their untrained eyes what the 'experts' apparantly could not, for all their training.

If the system was flawed, it was because it was owned and operated by utter incompetents like Lisa Arthurworrey with her politically-correct training, and not by people like Ms Cameron and Mr Pinarbasi, with their common sense and humanity.

The Automoble - Older Than You Might Think...

A priest who was so irritated to find a car blocking the pavement in front of him that he took revenge by scraping a key along the side has been ordered to pay £200 in compensation to the driver.
Too much 'Father Ted' and not enough studying of scripture, perhaps...
He also shouted that "the police are all protestants" and claimed, after being hauled in front of magistrates, that he was prosecuted because he was wearing a dog collar, adding: "The church had to contend with this for the first 300 years of its existence."
I don't think parking on the pavement has been going on that long, has it?

Knife Crime - It's Not Just A Problem For Kids...

A Conservative councillor whose wife stabbed him three times in the back over his alleged affair with another woman has pleaded with a judge to save her from going to prison.
Once might be a moment of madness, but three times? He likes to live dangerously...
Judge Willems described the case as "tragic" and said the suspended sentence reflected the fact that Pearson was a "genuinely good member of our society".
I'm not so sure about that, your Honour...

Gordon Brown: 'No' Doesn't Mean 'No' If I Say It Doesn't...

In the only popular vote on the treaty to be held in the EU, 53.4 per cent of the Irish electorate rejected its terms – plunging the EU's plans to create a new European president and foreign minister into turmoil.

MPs and campaigners from across the political spectrum called on the Prime Minister to halt moves towards British ratification of the text in the wake of the vote, with David Cameron saying the treaty should now be "declared dead".
Well, can Gordon make himself popular by agreeing? No, because he's determined to go down in flames, it seems:
Mr Brown however, is preparing to defy British public opinion by pushing ahead with the treaty's ratification in parliament. Government legislation ratifying the text is due to get its third and final reading in the House of Lords on Wednesday.
He isn't the only one wanting to take his ball home after the other kids decided not to play it his way:
However, European leaders were making plans to find a legal way around the Irish 'No' vote.

Nicholas Sarkozy, the French President, was working with EU leaders and diplomats to plan a special "legal arrangement" to bypass the referendum rejection.
Anyone left in any doubt about the scum who now rule us from Brussels, with the connivance of our politicians..?

Friday, 13 June 2008

The Times, They Are A Changin'...

First a council member begins to consider fairness for motorists. Then a politician decides he has some principles after all.

Now, some judges have come to their senses:
People who injure themselves during hazardous sporting activities can blame no one but themselves, the appeal court has ruled.

The judgment, which could help protect the leisure industry from future litigation, came in a case in which a young man "with everything to live for" was left paralysed after falling from a climbing wall.
Wonders will never cease!
Lord Justice May, sitting with Lord Justice Richards and Sir Paul Kennedy, said: "Adults who choose to engage in physical activities which obviously give rise to a degree of unavoidable risk may find that they have no means of recompense if the risk materialises so that they are injured."
Summer used to be silly season. Looks like this summer is going to be the opposite...

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Update to 'Modern UK'

The man attacked by vicious thug Tony Virasami in Sainsbury yesterday has now died.

And according to the 'Mail', Virasami was on bail for another offence and was wearing a tag when he launched the unprovoked attack on 57 year old Kevin Tripp, mistaking him for a teenager that had insulted his girlfriend:
Witnesses said the assault was sparked by an earlier row involving an 18-year-old in the supermarket's car park in Merton High Street.

The teenager had apparently insulted the assailant's wife moments earlier.

His wife then spotted the youth arguing with a member of staff at the customer services counter and alerted her husband.

But as the angry husband approached, he apparently mistakenly picked on Mr Tripp who was waiting in the queue behind the lout, knocking him to the ground.
There's at least one consolation:
Scotland Yard said the death would now be treated as a murder investigation.
Let's hope so. And let's hope the punishment truly fits the crime, for once.

But let's hope some unwelcome attention also focuses on the justice system in this country, which ought to be overhauled in the face of this latest failure to keep the scum behind bars where they belong.

Modern UK...

A 57-year-old shopper was in a critical condition
after he was attacked inside a supermarket by a man who accused him of queue-jumping.

The victim was left unconscious and bleeding after being punched to the ground in front of horrified shoppers at the Sainsbury's superstore in Merton, South West London.

The victim, who has a long-term partner and a five-year-old child, is in a coma and it is thought he may not survive the serious head injuries which he sustained in the attack, which occurred shortly after 7pm on Tuesday.
You wouldn’t think a grown man would be so incensed by someone nipping in front of him at the checkout, would you? Well, it’s worse than that:
A dispute is said to have broken out in the store when a woman accused a fellow shopper of jumping the queue at the checkout.

She is reportedly shown on CCTV telephoning her boyfriend, who arrived a few minutes later, and pointing out the man she thought had pushed in.

A 37-year-old man arrested in connection with the assault is in custody at a south London police station.

The woman who apparently complained about queue jumping was also being questioned by police.
Let’s hope they both get prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The ‘Mail’ has a few more details:
Tony Virasami, 37, from Lewisham, will appear before Wimbledon Magistrates' Court today.

A police source said: 'There can be no more chilling example of yob Britain than an innocent man being subjected to a vicious attack in a supermarket over something so trivial.

'The victim is in a very poor way and it will be an absolute miracle if he lives.' Detectives appealed for more witnesses from among the dozens of shoppers who were in the store.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said the victim was white and the attacker black. Scotland Yard confirmed that murder squad detectives from the Specialist Crimes Directorate were already investigating the case.
Hmm, if the victim’s identities were reversed, no doubt we’d be hearing the usual suspects claiming this as a ‘racial incident’. I wonder if the involvement of the ‘Specialist Crimes Directorate’ is intended to nip any suggestion of that in the bud…?

"If The Rapture's Today, Someone Grab My Steering Wheel Blackberry…!"

A new internet service allows Christian subscribers to send emails to non-believing friends and relatives after they have died. offers users a facility to store emails and documents that are sent to up to 63 email addresses six days after the sender and fellow believers have been transported to Heaven.
Wow, the ingenuity of some people when it comes to rooking their fellow human beings never fails to astonish me. The enterprising chap behind this is Mark Heard, a 49-year-old supermarket shelf-stacker from Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
He said he got the idea in 1999 while trading in shares online. It suddenly occurred to him that he would not be able to send his trading password to his wife if the Rapture suddenly took him, he said.

Membership costs $40 (£20) a year but Mr Heard would not reveal how many people had signed up.
A lot, I suspect. Although since the article doesn’t describe him as a ‘former supermarket shelf-stacker’, perhaps business isn’t as brisk as he’d hoped. So, how’s this supposed to work, then? Well:
Recognising when the Rapture has actually happened is obviously an issue for the email server.

The service will be triggered if any three of Mr Heard's five employees fail to log on to their work accounts for six days.

"We don't want these things to go out early," said Mr Heard.
Quite! Although I suspect it’s a little naïve, though touching, that Mr Heard expects to employ the kind of staff that would naturally be taken up in the Rapture…
Randy Maddox, a theology professor at Duke University, was sceptical.

He told ABC News : "In one sense, they're arguing it will be a time of great disaster, but in another sense he's saying, 'I promise my website will be working'.

There are logical incongruities with the model."
I guess ‘sceptical’ is newspaper-speak for ‘rolling around the floor, laughing hysterically and crying ‘Stop! Please, no more, it hurts my ribs’..’.

Good luck to you, Mr Heard. You've brightened my day, at least...

Pouring Oil Activists On Troubled Waters

Over at ‘Fulham Reactionary’, a cunning plan to get people to support high levels of immigration has been spotted:
Miss Blears said: "The change in the population has caused some friction and some tensions there. And they have had a few incidents. We are sending in some specialists who have a background in grassroots activism.
I couldn’t put it any better than FR has:
As Ronald Reagan once said, "the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government, and I'm here to help'". I can't help but hear those words as I read about Blears' proposals.
Go, read. It’s an eyeopener.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Credit Where Credit’s Due

Just to show it isn’t all doom and gloom with local councils, thousands of motorists who were fined £30 for using tram lanes in Sheffield are to get their money back.
The so-called tram "gates" were introduced in the Hillsborough area last year, to allow buses and trams to bypass congested sections of roads.

An adjudicator looked at the cases of seven people who were fined for using the gates, and agreed the warning signs to motorists were not clear enough.
So far, so good. This is where you’d normally see councils whining at how unfair it was that they’d have to give the money back. Not so, in this case:
Council leader Paul Scriven said: "I want common sense to prevail here. An independent adjudicator has reviewed seven appeals and felt that the signs may not be as clear as they could be. The adjudicator did not say that the council should refund all fines, but I want to be fair and give motorists the chance to get their money back."
Good man, Paul Scriven! And he’s a Lib Dem, too….

Storm In A Teacup Cookpot

The Animal Rights loonies and militant vegetarians have been gunning for top chef Gordon Ramsey for a while now, for the crime of, horror of horrors, showing tv viewers where their food comes from.

Now I hold no brief for Ramsey, who was earlier advancing the barmy policy of fining restaurants that serve out-of-season produce, but the latest broadside from the fluffy bunny brigade is a little bizarre even by their standards:
Celebrity TV chef Gordon Ramsay has angered conservationists by trapping and cooking endangered eels. He was filmed trapping elvers - young eels - on the River Severn for his F Word show and then cooking them on a barbecue before serving them on toast.
My God, from the breathless tone of the article, you’d think he’d whipped up a panda-haunch roast with a side order of snow leopard tongues. Various publicity-hungry quango spokesmen come out to point out the error of his ways:
Mark Salt, secretary of the National Anguilla Club (Ed - the what…?!), said Ramsay should be "ashamed" of cooking endangered eels which conservationists are trying to save.

He said: "With eels stocks at their lowest ever, Gordon Ramsay should be thoroughly ashamed of his exploits.

"For a chef who is supposedly responsible, preaching conservation and sustainable food sources, this sort of behaviour is deplorable."

Melissa Pritchard, fisheries policy officer for the Marine Conservation Society, said they recommended people not to eat elvers because of their dwindling numbers and said the celebrity chef had sent out the wrong message.
Well, there must be something to this then, if these people are so convinced…! Has Gordon broken the law? Are the Special Branch gearing up even now to slam him in the cooler for crimes against the environment?

No, not quite:
An Environment Agency spokeswoman said: "Anyone wishing to fish for elvers must have a valid licence from the Environment Agency and the permission of the land and fishery owner. "We can confirm that Gordon Ramsay was licensed to fish for elvers."
That’s how ‘threatened’ and ‘endangered’ elvers are, for all the bluff, bluster and outrage from the likes of Mark and Melissa. Not at all, according to the Environment Agency.

If you fancy some, you just need a license.

And a big net…

Scaremongering Emails – Women, Minorities Hardest Hit

We’ve all had them – chain emails that warn of scams, fiddles and crimewaves. Most of us check them out at and delete. But over at the Guardian, Viv Groskop is incensed at the implications of what she sees as their target audience :
Where do these "helpful warnings" come from and why do so many of them target women? Tony Neate, a former police detective and now managing director of Get Safe Online, says most unsolicited emails are a form of spam…Women are targeted because "they'll prey on anybody they can scare, anybody who is vulnerable".
Sensible approach. But he’s a man, so what does he know. I’m sure if Viv keeps looking, she’ll find someone who supports her viewpoint. Ah, here we go:
Brett Christensen, who runs the internet site Hoax Slayer, says…"A lot of the stories are inherently sexist in that they involve an apparently helpless and unobservant female who needs to be 'saved' by a more attentive individual, depicted as male in most versions," says Christensen. "Such tales pander to the traditional gender role models of the female victim, the male protector and the evil male predator and are underpinned by overt or covert sexual themes."
That’s the spirit, Brett! So, it’s evil men who are solely responsible for causing this phenomenon, then? Well, no:
For many women, forwarding these warnings is almost a superstitious impulse. The friend who sent the email to me and 44 others admitted that she found it a little far-fetched but took the view "better safe than sorry". The problem is, if half those she sent it to took the same view and sent it on, it could easily reach tens of thousands of people within hours. Increasingly, these scares are also doing the rounds on MySpace and Facebook.
Hmm, so perhaps women should just toughen up, get netsavvy and stop forwarding the damn things to all their girlfriends, instead of whining about how ‘sexist’ it all is!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

‘This Fire Is Raging Out Of Control – Quick, More Gasoline!’

A crack team of cybernauts will form a rapid response internet “war room” to track and respond aggressively to online rumours that Barack Obama is unpatriotic and a Muslim.
Because having your minions furiously hammering away at keyboards refuting Internet rumours = ‘hope’ and ‘change’ obviously…
Jen Psaki, a spokeswomen for Mr Obama, told The Times that the internet team was still being finalised.

She added: “The only way to run a campaign is to respond immediately when inaccurate information is put out. The [the e-mails] are saying he’s a Muslim. He’s not.

He’s a Christian. He often brings up the e-mails that are out there and the smear campaign that’s been run against him on the internet.”
Yeah, bring up his Christianity. That hasn’t been a problem, has it….?

Monday, 9 June 2008

I Know Just The Thing To Provide For Their 'Needs'....

Will Pearse, a graduate, said: 'We are not saying people shouldn't go crabbing which is fun - but there are concerns at the way in which they are treated.

'We want people to learn about crabs and understand their captive needs.
....some brown bread, butter and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Here's An Idea.....

....why not have these two sets of parents just swap babies for a while?

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Loose Lips Sink Ships Magistrates...

Police have been accused of an 'Orwellian' attempt to silence a man who said he was harassed by Britain's youngest magistrate.

In what was viewed by politicians last night as an attack on the freedom of speech, detectives made him sign a statement promising not talk to the Press about the case - after details appeared in The Mail on Sunday.
Hmm, I wonder what legal validity such a statement would have...? And what effect the involvement of Denis McShane and Austin Mitchell will have in getting to the truth about this bizarre partisanship shown by West Yorkshire Police?

Still, it's nice to know the police can turn up for some harassment cases (albeit on the side of the harrasser rather than harrassee...). Pity they aren't so quick to act in others.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

'Journalistic Integrity'. What's That Supposed To Mean Again...?

A journalist has received a police caution after supplying alcohol to teenagers who were later involved in violence that left one in a coma.
Ahh, the MSM. It has such high standards...
The 28-year-old journalist, who has not been named, was working for a news agency at the time.

He allowed the 16-year-olds to keep the alcohol when the shoot finished.

Officers believe the pictures were taken for a national newspaper which had launched a campaign to tackle underage drinking.

They refused to name the journalist involved.
'When the shoot was finished'...? In other words, they needed to do a piece on underage drinking, so they bought some alcohol, and gave it to some underage kids...? Classy!

Let's hope their next feature isn't on knife crime...

Roll Up, Roll Up! Victimhood Cage Match..! Free Admission!

Over at the Social Care Experts Blog, one of the few postings to garner any comments at all was one provocatively titled 'My Problem With Trade Unions'. This had a massive seven replies so I had a look. It's written by one Simon Stevens, who describes himself as 'an independent disability trainer and consultant':
One of the interesting things to come out of personalisation is that suddenly trade unions have pricked up their ears and want a piece of the action after failing to recognise personal assistants for the past few decades.

Now the revolution is upon us, they are realising, like social workers and care providers, that their power base is also under threat from this new thing called a service user. My opinion of trade unions is somewhat low as all I see is national strikes deliberately causing pain and suffering to the public for political point-scoring and overpaid union fatcats shouting the odds at how men should have the divine right to work down a mine, be paid in gold, have 60 weeks' holiday a year and have their feet licked by the evil Victorian mill owners who apparently run the country!
Ouch! Light the blue touch paper...

He goes on:
I strongly believe that if my staff were forced to join a trade union, I would be better off dead.
This last comment is a little odd, because over on his personal blog, he has a post entitled '74 Ways of upsetting a disabled person', where no 3 is 'Tell a disabled person they are better off dead'.

Ooopsie! That's something he castigates the 'normals'* for...

The responses from TU reps are pretty amusing, needless to say. A rather excellent 'blue on blue' incident...

* 'Normals' are non-disabled people. Such sensitivity...

'English People...? So Boring, Dahling...'

Over on the Social Work Blog, the caring sharing types are getting revved up for a new series of Big Brother, which promises a diverse experience this time around:
This year there are two refugees: 21-year old student Sylvia from Sierra Leone and Mohamed, a toy demonstrator from Somalia, as well as Darnell, a black albino man raised in America, Michael, a blind Scottish radio producer and Kathreya a massage therapist from Thailand who eats a lot of biscuits.
Gosh, what fun! A truly representative sample.
I'm particularly interested in how Sylvia, who fled civil war with her family when she was aged 11, and Mohamed, who moved here as a teenager after having to leave his homeland and the six other countries they tried to settle in because of war, are received. They and their families have lived through some dreadful experiences; the sort of thing most British folk will never - thankfully - have to endure on the streets of their villages, towns and cities.
I'm not sure what sticks in my throat the most - the fact that this dumb woman is watching a ratings-garnering, lowest common denominator freakshow on Channel 4 in the belief that it's a true social experiment, or the contempt for the norm that shines through in her evident delight to have these vibrant, uniquely diverse people to watch...

Caught Red Handed? No Problem!

A church in South Yorkshire had suffered such a plague of lead thieves
that the roof had been stripped of lead worth £100,000. Villagers mounted a watch, and were delighted to spot three men on the roof - in balaclavas and masks – with lead taken off and rolled up nearby ready to be taken away.

So they called the police, who arrived and arrested them. Right? Err, no:
But to the astonishment of residents they only got a caution because officers decided they may just have been admiring the view.

Churchwarden's wife Carole Robinson says 85 per cent of the lead on the roof has been taken.

She added: 'It was beyond belief. The police said they could claim they had only gone up to look at the view. It left people furious.”
Perhaps the villagers would have been better off alleging a Health and Safety breach instead of theft...?

Not The Best Defence I Ever Heard....

Entwistle claims he travelled to Britain because he was distraught after finding his wife and child slain and wanted to be with his parents. He did not call for help because it was obvious they were dead, he says.

Friday, 6 June 2008

‘Proof..? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Proof’ Says Soon-To-Be-Ex-Top Cop...

Obviously, Sir Ian Blair is being driven insane by the lack of action taken against the real threat to our society – models on drugs:
Sir Ian wants the Crown Prosecution Service to look again at current rules which state that police cannot charge someone if they are unsure what substance they have been filmed taking.
Yeah, I think there’s a reason for that, Sir Ian. My favourite bit from ‘A Few Good Men’ springs to mind:

Lieutenant Spradling: I'm going to charge him with possession and being under the influence while on duty. You plead guilty I recommend 30 days in the brig with loss of rank and pay.
Kaffee: It was oregano, Dave. It was 10 dollars worth of oregano.
Lieutenant Spradling: Yeah, but your client thought it was marijuana.
Kaffee: My client's a moron, that's not against the law.
Lieutenant Spradling: Kaffee, I have people to answer to just like you do. I'm going to charge him.
Kaffee: With what? Possession of a condiment?

You Youngsters Don’t Know You’re Born….

….says aging hard man Charles Bronson in a letter to a prison journal:
In a letter to prison journal Inside Time, Bronson claims that jail is "no longer porridge, it's cornflakes" and hit out at those who complain about conditions despite having access to TVs, radios and CDs.

"I just wish some of you cons could live my existence for just a month, then and only then you'd wake up and start to appreciate just what you have got; TV, radios, CDs, carpets, curtains, flasks, own clothes, open visits, phone calls, gym, pool, canteen - even the food is not so bad.

"Accept it, be grateful for it, and stop moaning about pathetic things."

Thursday, 5 June 2008

I'm Sorry, I Must Read That Again...

A postman described by police as a warped loner has admitted targeting foreign nationals with racist letters and a hoax bomb.
No doubt this will provoke the usual suspects into claiming that the BNP's electoral successes recently have been instrumental in starting a new wave of extremist...

Wait a minute..
Their content featured swastikas and names of extreme right-wing groups, but police said Azevedo had been acting alone.

In February last year, Brazilian-born Azevedo placed a hoax bomb on a bridge over the A27 near Havant, closing the road and causing five-mile tailbacks.
Maybe not. As you were...

I Can Haz Glacier Mint...?

Just wait for people to claim this as evidence of global warming:
The first polar bear to swim to Iceland in 15 years has been shot dead by police, sparking an angry row about whether it should have been spared.
Predictably, the animal rights lunatics are quick to castigate the police for not wishing to take chances with a hungry 551lb predator:
"No one was justified in taking the life of the polar bear...

The Minister of the Environment should be fired and/or severely reprimanded. This country has no reverence for what is right. I live here and see and read each day how “environmental” you really are...

Polar bears have been coming to Iceland for a while, so to tell the public you had no tranquilizers to use is ridiculous.

The policeman, hunters (that were hoping to get the chance to shoot yesterday), and Minister of the Environment should hang their heads in shame!

I wonder what Leonardo DiCaprio is thinking of this country now or better yet… Al Gore.

Mary Donofrio"
Gosh, Mary, I don't know. I suspect they are jetting round the globe or relaxing in their mansions, and so are a little too busy to come to the phone right now...

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Englis Az Shee Is Tiped...

Now, when I get a moment, there's nothing I like more than a wander around the local newsblogs, the likes of 'Newsshopper' or the 'This Is (Insert County or Area Here) Net'.

Unlike a lot of the main blogs I frequent, or the comment sections of major newspapers like the 'Telegraph' or 'Times', they seem to be uniquely inhabited by people who are.... well, 'illiterate' is probably too weak a word. Check out this thread for an example of local newsblog english at its finest...

I particularly liked George Bernard Shaw's contibution at 11:02pm. :)

All Hail Obama, Planet Healer In Waiting..!

Hmm, I think Obama dispensed with his church because he planned to run for another position than President of the US. Perhaps he was thinking of Wright's boss. After all, as Tim Blair notes, he's not a modest man:
"...this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.."
Can't wait to see how Barak Obama plans to halt the rise of oceans! This chap didn't do so well...

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

From The Department Of 'You Have Got To Be Kidding Me!'...

Just a few days after the pointy heads reported that counselling wasn't all it was cracked up to be, the powers that be have decided that, actually, it can still be useful for some people:
Islamic extremists could escape prosecution and instead receive therapy and counselling under new Government plans to "deradicalise" religious fanatics.
How much will this cost...? Oh, just 'an extra £12.5 million'...

And who will do it? Psychiatrists? Psychologists? Not quite:
Instead, the presumption should be that some such individuals would face therapy and counselling from community groups instead of criminal charges.
Once again, satire weeps, trembling, in a corner while reality straps on its kickin' boots...

Let's Hope They Wore Hard Hats...

Former BBC Radio 1 Breakfast DJ Kevin Greening (No, I'd never heard of him either...) died from a drugs overdose after taking part in a gay bondage session, an inquest has heard.
Sad, but not really shocking, given other recent reports of DJs gone wild. Must be the close proximity of the microphone...

On the day he died, he had been in a leather sling attached to scaffolding in the bedroom of the flat occupied by his boyfriend Sean Griffin, the inquest heard.

"Kevin and I had a very happy and very vigorous sex life," he said.

"It was not conventional by heterosexual norms perhaps but it was a sex life which was vigorous and imaginative and we enjoyed each other."
'Not conventional by heterosexual norms'..?!? Was it conventional by any norms....?

And if you trace back the previous BBC reports, you can see that his agent was worth his hire:
Greening's agent Chris North said he died "peacefully" in his sleep on Saturday.

The RSPCA Know Who The Real Victims Are....

This is not really 'news', it's something that anyone with a brain could have predicted:
The number of dog fights being reported has risen 15-fold in four years, according to figures from the RSPCA. The RSPCA is holding a conference to discuss ways of tackling the problem of owners using their dogs as a status symbol and to frighten people.
But the RSPCA has identified the real problem with this phenomenon:
The RSPCA's Clare Robinson told the BBC that aggressive dogs are a big problem, which is related to gang violence in inner city areas.

She said: "Anecdotal evidence from our inspectors and from some police officers suggest that some of these individuals feel that the police will do something about it if they carry a knife or they carry a gun.

"But they're not so interested if they have got a dog that is aggressive or dangerous. And so it causes us great concern when we see the welfare of these dogs not being protected properly."
Thinking she might have gone a bit too far, she added:
"And obviously, for the local communities, they're being put at risk by having dangerous dogs out there on the street."
But it's a good indicator about where some people's priorities lie...

Tough On Crime, Tough On The Causes Of Crime T-Shirts..

It seems Heathrow just can't get staff with more than one brain cell to rub together - either on the checkin desk, baggage handling, or security:
An airline passenger claimed that a security guard threatened to arrest him because he was wearing a T-shirt showing a cartoon robot with a gun.

Brad Jayakody, 30, from London, said he was stopped from passing through security at Heathrow's Terminal 5 after his Transformers T-shirt was deemed 'offensive.'
Of course, Heathrow staff are abjectly apologetic in light of the further bad publicity this has generated, right? No:
A spokesman for Heathrow operator BAA said: 'If a T-shirt had a rude word or a bomb on it, for example, a passenger may be asked to remove it.

'We are investigating what happened to see if it came under this category.

'If it's offensive, we don't want other passengers upset.'
Personally, when I fly, I hate getting stuck next to the woman with the crying kid, I find it upsetting. Can I get her thrown off, if she's got a 'Dirty Harry' t-shirt on...?

Feed The World - But Not Our Animals

Scientists everywhere agree that the practice of feeding ground-up animal remains to other animals has disastrous consequences, causing scrapie in sheep and BSE in cattle. It is banned as a practice in the UK and EU.

Not for much longer, if this guy has his way:
The EU ban on the use of animal remains to feed pigs and chickens should be lifted so that grain can be diverted to millions of starving people, one of Europe’s top food safety advisers has told The Times.

Patrick Wall, chairman of the European Food Safety Authority, questioned whether it was “morally or ethically correct” to feed grain to animals in the midst of a global food crisis.

He said that there was no scientific reason to maintain the ban.
So, it appears that the science that was once considered authoritative on the subject is now conveniently wrong, and can be disposed of:
The EU ban was imposed after the BSE crisis in Britain in 1996, when the disease was linked to livestock eating animal products. Professor Wall said that it was now safe to lift the ban.

The European Commission is considering a plan to allow pigs to be fed poultry trimmings and chickens to be given pig meat to save farmers from buying expensive grain and have asked for Professor Wall’s advice. He told The Times: “Soya meal and other grain prices are going through the roof. Is it morally and ethically correct to be destroying this food when people are starving? No one I know is worried about the science. There is only concern about consumer reaction.”

A spokesman for Defra said that it was awaiting formal advice from the European Food Standards Agency. “We would only support the proposal if we were satisfied that there was no risk to human health and that appropriate and effective testing had taken place to control the use of such proteins in pig and poultry feed,” it said.
Strangely, that doesn't seem to be the case with 'man made global warming', does it...?

Umm, What..?

The new media was full of reports yesterday about the 15 year old girl found stabbed to death in a block of flats near Waterloo, mainly because of the fact that it is rare for girls to be stabbed to death (at least, so far it is...), and it was assumed at the time that it was yet another gang-related killing. Not so:
Police later arrested a man in his 30s on Hungerford Bridge, a footbridge over the Thames about half a mile from the murder scene. It is believed he was known to the girl or her family.

The Metropolitan Police said the murder was not thought to be gang-related.
It was, however, a comment from the 'Telegraph' report that struck me as a little odd:
A detective reportedly said that the girl from Eritrea had been "the subject of unwanted attention from a man who developed an obsession with her".

He said: "There is a suggestion that she met him through a church group, but it was unrequited love, she didn’t want to know.
Don't we normally have slightly different words used to describe a 30+ year old man stalking a 15 year old schoolgirl....?

Monday, 2 June 2008

Sense Of Proportion Needed Urgently...

It appears that someone has a bit too much time on his hands:
Students have been condemned for branding people from Cornwall as "inbreds" on a website. Imperial College in London apologised and the message has been taken down from the students' union website.

The message was discovered when a Cornish councillor put the words "Cornish" and "inbred" into an internet search engine.
Wow! I didn't know they even had computers down there.... ;)
Councillor Graham Hicks of Kerrier District Council, said: "I had heard the words 'Cornish' and 'inbred' together in pubs and decided to Google them.

"I was horrified at what came up.

"It is not harmless banter, being called an inbred is highly offensive."

He said he would continue to monitor websites that used the phrase.
Nice to know he doesn't have anything more pressing to deal with. Like, maybe, pasty rustling...

That Worked Well...!

A prominent anti-gun campaigner has been stabbed to death at a flat in West Yorkshire.
Well, she wasn't shot, was she...?
A 19-year-old man, a family member, has been arrested. Police said post-mortem tests will take place later.
Hmm, call me cynical, but I think the problems for this family weren't the guns.

Or knives...