Monday, 31 August 2009

It's A Good Thing Obama Ushered In That 'Post Racial US'...

...but I think there's more work to do on getting the message out:
A memo arguing that African-Americans should unite behind a single black candidate in the race for mayor of Atlanta is about to become a prime topic of debate.
Just to be clear, they should unite behind this candidate because of skin colour, to prevent this dreadful event from occurring:
1. There is a chance for the first time in 25 years that African Americans could lose the Mayoral seat in Atlanta, Georgia, especially if there is a run-off
Not 'Democrats'. Not 'Republicans'. Not 'Independents'.

'African Americans'. It doesn't matter what policies this candidate espouses, so long as they have the right pigment in their skin. Remind me again - there's a word for this sort of behaviour, isn't there?

Martin Luther King must be spinning in his grave...

It Looks Like It's Not Just The UK...

...that has a plethora of self-absorbed loons desperate to get noticed for the right cause.

Over in Sweden, one dingbat's bright idea was to fake psychosis to go undercover to 'highlight the treatment of mental patients'. She's now facing criminal charges.

It wasn't the cakewalk she obviously thought it'd be either:
At the hospital she was immediately placed in restraints and repeatedly sedated – something which she has not been able to forget.
Perhaps they should have tried ECT...

Should've Gone To Specsavers...

A flower business came close to being raided by Northamptonshire police after being mistaken for a cannabis factory.
How could this happen, you ask?

Well, the sales manager thinks he knows:
"From what I understand from the police, the man who reported us was a council inspector who was looking at a nearby building that's being extended.

"If he'd looked up our address he'd have seen we are a registered flower hire business, or if he'd gone round the front he would have seen the huge sign."
Obviously more than his job was worth, though...
Mr Sherkle said he thought the plant the man may have got confused about was Boston Fern, which has similar "spiky leaves" to cannabis.
Oh, really?

Boston Fern:

Why, the resemblance is uncanny... that they are both green.

And it seems there's a lot of this going around:
Mr Clark-Roden said he answered a knock at his door to see the officer looking at his plants.

He said: "He looked over to me and said 'do all of those plants belong to you?'

"I said 'well yes they do' and he was staring at the tomato plants and I actually said 'do you think they are dope plants' and he looked at me and said 'we have received a complaint'.

"Then I pointed at the tomatoes and we both sort of laughed."

Sunday, 30 August 2009

I Don't Think These Are The 'Dum Dums' We Need To Worry About...

From Friday's 'Metro':
There are fears that police could increase the use of controversial 'dum dum' bullets amid claims their present ammunition is too powerful.

Traditional bullets may be 'over-penetrating' suspects and endangering innocent bystanders, according to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
So, is this a realistic proposal then?

Well, there's no doubt that the bullets fired at a manic depressive threatening an armed police team with a gun did 'over penetrate' the target:
The warning came in a report in the wake of the police shooting of David Sycamore outside Guilford Cathedral in November. Mr Sycamore was shot and killed with Heckler and Koch G36 rifles and hard shell bullets when he went to the cathedral armed with a replica gun and refused to put it down.

One of the two bullets which hit him then 'went through a window, hit a wall, went through another window and came to rest within the cathedral'.

The second bullet struck the cathedral wall after travelling through Mr Sycamore's body.
One would hope that the police knew their bullets would travel through the body, and only fired when they had a clear shot with no danger of any bystanders in the area.

That would be SOP, wouldn't it?

But anyway, as a result of this report, are the police going to start using different ammo?

The IPCC wrote to the Association of Chief Police Officers shortly after the shooting to highlight the dangers, saying: 'It may be only a matter of time before a stray bullet kills or seriously injures an innocent person.'

But Met Police Authority member Jenny Jones said dum dum (or hollow point bullets) were 'not the way forward'.

'I am very worried about any moves towards increasing the use of dum dum bullets,' she added.

Dum dum bullets are made of soft metal and expand to more than twice their diameter on entering the body.
So, no story then? So why the screaming headlines?

Sunday Funnies...

Well, since it is nearly the end of 'Silly Season'...

Better luck next year, MSM! Maybe the Chris Grayling/'Wire' story will make it in...?

Saturday, 29 August 2009

The Silence Of The Lambs Lines

Two swine flu call centres are to close just weeks after opening because staff have been spending most of their time playing cards and board games.
How much did it all cost?

Hundreds of thousands. But it's ok, it was just taxpayers' money!
...staff said far fewer calls were made than predicted and supervisors allowed them to play cards and games such as Trivial Pursuit and Monopoly to help pass the long hours between calls.

One said that for most of the four weeks he was working at the NHS centre in Farnborough, Hampshire, each staff member took on average just two five-minute calls per eight-hour shift.
Nice work, if you can get it!

New Labour's Celebrity Icon...

...must surely be Kerry Katona, mustn't it?

Sorry, I meant 'troubled Kerry Katona', as it seems she is always referred to these days:
Troubled star Kerry Katona was released by police ­yesterday after being arrested on suspicion of punching her ­accountant.
You'd think the last person who'd punch an accountant would be Kerry Katona, wouldn't you?

Given how much in need of one she has been since...ohh, forever.
The mother-of-four is accused of hitting David McHugh, 50, in the face and smashing up his office ­during a row over her dwindling finances.
I can see why she was the chosen face of Iceland, can't you?
A worker called police on Wednesday after Kerry, 28, allegedly forced her way into the office in Warrington and screamed at Mr McHugh: “You’ve ruined my life.”
He has...?

You don't think some of that might be down to you?

Of course not. How silly of me...
It is believed the incident at his office was sparked after bankruptcy advisers told Kerry she was running out of money. She allegedly blamed Mr McHugh for her financial woes.
Why not? It's the Nu Labour way, innit?

Though she really, really should pick better accountants:
The accountant, banned from being a company director until 2010, was jailed in 2004 for fraud after setting up a company to help firms recover debts.
Well, I know that'd convince me that Mr McHugh was the man for the job...


Two stories in the news last week about car crashes showed surprisingly differing attitudes on the part of the bystanders and onlookers.

First, the awful story of the two women killed by joyriders in a stolen car:
One nearby resident said: 'The impact of the crash actually shook our house, it was that horrendous.

'I heard the sirens, a huge bang, and then more sirens as more police and ambulances came to the scene.'

Another said: 'I saw the girls standing there and I was going to go over and say "Are you all right?" because I thought it must have all just been a terrible accident. 'I'm glad I didn't now.'
The two 15 year old girls, you see, were in the car that hit (and totally destroyed) the other driver's Ford Fiesta.

But contrast that first (albeit mistaken) impulse with the next story, that of the driver who hit a child in the road:
A shocked driver was forced to flee an angry mob who turned on him as he tried to help a dying toddler he had accidentally knocked down in his car.

The 45-year old motorist stopped his silver estate after it struck three-year-old Harley Huetson who was playing on a scooter in the road.

But as the unnamed driver tried to help resuscitate Harley, angry locals confronted the man and began pushing and jostling him on the street.

They began hurling abuse and even smashed his car windows.
I know which attitude I prefer to see in this country, even if it did turn out to be a wrong asumption...

I Want To Believe...

Yesterday's story was clearly the news that the Mayor of Baltimore had criticised Chris Grayling for comparing Britain to 'The Wire'.

This went round the MSM and the blogosphere like wildfire, as mostly left-leaning organisations and commentators pointed to in in justification and delight at the discomfiture of the enemy. Yes, this from people that had all but wrapped themselves in the flag and sung 'God save the Queen' when the Yanks were criticising the NHS a few days ago, now suddenly we're bezzie mates again.

Only problem was, it was a hoax. And by one of their own, too...

Reaction was depressingly predictable. The Beeb did a stealth edit on a question they had put in their quiz, while the 'Guardian' and 'Independent' were quite good sports about it and admitted to their readers that they'd been caught out. And the man himself told Guido that it made him laugh.

From humourless lefties like Smirking Tit Sunny Hundal, the reaction was rather different: Waaaah! Mummy, make the nasty men stop! Waaah!.

The moderators had a field day on LC trying to spare Sunny's blushes, but they couldn't quite manage to extinguish the smell of FAIL! that hung in the ether there...

But why did they fall for it in the first place, since it should have been quite easy to check? All the clues were there.

Simples! It was what they wanted to believe, and so they did.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Next Time, Try 'Milk of Magnesia' Instead

The court heard how Jablonski had driven his load of washing machines through Italy and France before entering the UK and had started drinking to ease 'stomach problems'.
Well, I know a bottle of whisky plus a bottle of vodka would clear up any 'stomach problems' I had. Permanently...

You have to hand it to his defence though. Even though his client had been apprehended after parking his HGV in the middle of the M20 and attempting to sleep off his bender, he wasn't going down without a fight:
Andrew Main, defending, said his client had been ill the weekend before with an upset stomach and had been unable to sleep or eat.

He said Jablonski had 'sipped' from a bottle of vodka since arriving in England on August 17.

Mr Main said his client had been tired and was planning to stop once he reached his drop-off point, adding: 'Mr Jablonski is a man of previous good character.

'He does not speak a word of English so how he is going to cope in a British prison I have no idea. Any sentence will be that much harder.
I wouldn't have though not speaking English was much of a problem for anyone in prison these days.

And if he couldn't speak English, how was he reading the road signs and obeying our traffic laws an...

Oh. Right.

When Traffic Wardens Attack...

Jason John Pheasey, a traffic warden in Manchester (we're not told if he was on or off duty at the time) got into a bit of a tizzy with another motorist after an incident at a traffic light where 'words were exchanged':
For several miles Pheasey then stalked Mr Robinson, who was so frightened he did not stop to pick up a learner driver waiting for a lesson.

Pheasey, 30, then forced Mr Robinson to stop by swerving his car into his path.

In a bizarre twist Pheasey, from Chadderton, phoned colleagues at Manchester's CCTV control room asking them to focus cameras on the scene.

He then got out of his vehicle, blocked Mr Robinson from leaving his car and abused him.

When Mr Robinson, from Failsworth, finally got out of his car Pheasey punched him in the face. Mr Robinson suffered a cut lip and several teeth were dislodged from his dentures.

You must be wondering how a man with such anger management difficulties could get to be a traffic warden, aren't you?

Well, it gets better:
Pheasey, who has a conviction for theft, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Wait, what...?

A conviction for theft isn't enough to prevent you from becoming a traffic warden?

Still, no doubt he's now behind bars, reflecting on...

He was given a 15 week community order and three month curfew. Magistrate Roger Walker said: "You are very lucky that you are not being sent to prison.

Oh, and the reason Pheasey had the altercation in the first place? The fat slob ran a red light! I guess that means he's now unemploy...

Oh, FFS!
Tim Hopley, defending, said: "Pheasey is not bad, neither a violent person and is very disappointed with himself for hitting him. "It was a moment of madness. He can't recall striking the blow but accepts that he did. "He is now subject to a disciplinary hearing and there is a strong possibility he will lose his job."
Only a 'strong possibility'?

You really, really couldn't make it up....

"You There, With The Dog And The White Stick..."

"'s all over for you chummy, you're nicked!":
A blind man who complained to police about cars parking on a pavement was arrested when he threatened to let down the vehicles' tyres.
Bloody hell!
Mr Duckfield, who became blind in December 1999, claimed police were not doing enough to tackle motorists parking illegally on pavements near his home.

He said he had repeatedly complained to officers about cars blocking his path when he went out of his house, forcing him and his guide dog to walk on a main road. Last week, after phoning officers and feeling he was getting no help, he went a step further.
He wrote to his MP? He actually went and damaged the cars? He went berserk, climbed a water tower and started shooting?

Well, hardly the latter, this wasn't Texas...
He said: "I said all right, if you're not going to do anything I'll do something myself, I'll let the tyres down and I'll write 'no parking' on the windscreen.

"I went to the door [and] locked the door. By the time I got 50 yards down my street there was a policeman running towards me.

"He told me he was going to arrest me because I had threatened to let tyres down and threatened to write on windscreens."
Oh, they had a policeman within 50 yards of his house, did they? Was he on his way to ticket the cars, perhaps?

Or was he on his way to have a word with some nuisance who kept phoning the police station, when suddenly all his dreams came true, and the suspect left his own house in a suspicious manner..?
Mr Duckfield said he was taken to a police station and held in a cell before being cautioned. (Ed: There was his mistake - he should have told them to shove it, and taken his chances with a magistrate...)

He said: "I thought it was absolutely disgusting. I came back here and I sat down and I almost cried but I thought, no, the temper took over me."
And in case you thought he was making too much of a fuss about this:
Mr Duckfield said the arrest meant he would no longer be asked to visit schools with his guide dog.
Dyfed-Powys Police said the force had held a crackdown on illegal parking in Narberth last month. (Ed: Obviously didn't work, did it?)

A spokesperson added: "It is unfortunate Mr Duckfield decided to take matters into his own hands on this occasion."
How? By walking down his front path?

He didn't actually damage anything, did he?

Welcome to Labour's Britain. Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime - meaning the people who complain about crime...

How Not To Win People To Your Cause... appearing to be pointless, petty little bigots yourselves:
A secular group is demanding that tourism groups stop promoting a "Creationist" zoo which questions the traditional view of evolution.

The Noah's Ark Zoo, in Wraxall, near Bristol, is accused by the British Humanist Association (BHA) of misleading tens of thousands of annual visitors and "threatening public understanding".
No, me neither...

Andrew Copson, the group's director of education and public affairs, pontificated thusly:
"We have therefore asked the South West England and Visit Britain tourist boards to stop promoting the zoo.

"As they are public bodies, we believe it is inappropriate that they should support establishments that seek to urge religious or ideological beliefs upon people in these ways."
So, that's Westminster Abbey and Canterbury Cathedral trips out then..?
"As Noah's Ark Farm Zoo threatens the public understanding of the natural world we have asked the local authority, who issues the zoo with its licence, to ensure that the zoo's education practices are in line with relevant Government and other guidelines."
I have to say, having stood outside many zoo enclosures and listened to the general public express their limited understanding of the natural world, I don't think this single solitary zoo is going to be anyone's main concern...

And since when did a zoo have to meet with government guidelines on anything other than public safety and animal welfare, for god's sake?

The zoo's chosen spokeswoman must be a lady well versed in making chippy little nincompoops like Andrew feel two inches tall:
Noah's Ark research assistant Jon Woodward said: "To say that we are not upfront with our beliefs is unfounded. The name Noah's Ark is the first indicator."
"Out of 120,000, of which a vast amount are made up of parents and school trips, we get approximately 10 complaints a year regarding this topic which is very low. Clearly the public do not share the British Humanist view point."
Or, to translate, 'Sit on that and swivel, monkey-boy!'

But isn't this just typical of today's society, where it's not enough to be free to have your own beliefs, you also feel free to stifle another's because it's in direct opposition to yours?

Leg-Iron has some choice words for this bunch too.

Now, That's Chutzpah!

The wife of Colchester’s MP has slammed guerrilla gardeners who planted flowers in council beds then left them to die.

Well, it seems it stems from a council decision to grass over a fifth of their roadside beds to save money. A couple of 'guerilla gardeners' came in and planted flowers in them. Free flowers, free planting! You'd think the council would be happy, no?

Keen gardener Mrs Russell said: “If there is one thing worse than flowers not being planted, it is people who say they are interested in flowers allowing them to die through wilful neglect.”
What, you wanted them to water and weed too, you ungrateful cow?

Seems to me you should be asking your husband (Bob Russell - no, sadly, not this one...) why the council didn't make more of the beds themselves once they'd been planted up...

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Couldn't They Have Phrased This Better...?

OMG! Fruit Porn!

Yes, really:
Simon Simpkins was buying Haribo MAOAM sour candies for his children when he noticed the 'pornographic' illustrations of limes, lemons and cherries romping with each other.
So he did what any socially-responsible parent does in the Noughties.

He began berating the poor bloody shop owner:
He told said (sic): 'I demanded to see the shop manager and, during a heated exchange, my wife became quite distressed and had to sit down in the car park.'
Well, yes. I can't really blame her.

If I found out I was married to a bloke who blew his stack over a cartoon of cherries in coitus, I'd need to sit down in the...

Oh, wait. No I wouldn't. I'd just drive straight to the nearest divorce lawyer!

Scaremongering, Or Something Else...?

First, we had this:
An amateur scientist sparked a full-scale bomb alert after buying chemicals online.

Special Branch officers arrested Nicholas Witham and his home was sealed for two days while Army bomb disposal experts and forensic teams searched the property.

But Mr Witham, 38, who suffers from anxiety and depression, insists he is innocent and has accused the police of massively over-reacting.
Next, the police seem to have found time between harassing tourists and breaking into houses to start checking up on those enemies of the state, hairdressers:
The inquiry which involves checking every salon in the county is to find out how much of the chemical - which is used in hair bleaching - is being stored and if it is being kept in a safe place.

Barbers and stylists are being asked where they get their supplies from, how much they use, where it is kept and if their premises have CCTV or are fitted with a burglar alarm.

The hairdressers are also being urged to report any theft of peroxide to police immediately.
What's going on?

Is this just more scaremongering? Or is there something in the wind?

Quote Of The Month

From Raedwald on the Baby Peter affair:
When Beveridge declared war on the evils of Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness he was making a moral judgement on the wrongs of the underclass lifestyle; he didn't urge us to accept in an inclusive and non-judgemental way the lifestyle choices of whores, deviants, bullies, thieves and the brutish and chaotic lives of those at the bottom of society. Mandelson can hold his fragrant posy to his noble nose as he returns to his Regent's Park mansion to waft away the stench of failure, corruption and moral decay that defines this Labour administration, but in filthy welfare slums across the nation thousands remain locked in a grinding, hopeless welfare slavery of Labour's making.

Post of the Month

We have a tie this month, both on a similar theme. This post from NorthNorthwester and this post from Winston Smith.

Read 'em and weep...

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Don't Picture This, Whatever You Do...

...'this' being a train:
When trainspotter Stephen White noticed some interesting engines, he wasted no time in taking pictures of them for his collection.

It was the start of a bizarre sequence of events involving midnight phone calls, police raids and even, it is claimed, suspected terrorism.
You see, not only did Stephen take a picture of some trains at Milford Haven Oil Refinery (this fact probably has some bearing on the situation), but when the police - having been alerted by the oil refinery staff, who caught this on CCTV - asked to see his pictures, he and his wife refused.
Miss White's car number plate was also noted and police traced it to her home in Lincolnshire, where a neighbour gave them her mobile phone number.

An officer then phoned her in the early hours, waking her daughter Jessica, 11, and six-year-old son Bryn, and demanded she take the photos to a police station despite her innocent explanation.

Not wishing to interrupt the family holiday, Miss White, a 41-year-old civil servant, refused.
I don't blame her a bit.

But rather than assume they were telling the truth, the police decided some harassment would ensure compliance:
Police swooped on the campsite the next day, and again demanded to take the photos.

But Mr White and his sister say they were so annoyed with the officers for not believing that they were not terrorists and for harassing them that they refused to hand over the snaps.

The next day, they say, their car was pulled over by a police officer with his blue lights flashing. Again, he demanded the camera and pictures, but the family stood their ground.
Now, if the police had any right to take the pictures, they would have. And they must have realised by now that not only was this no terrorist scouting for sites to blow up (I'd imagine MI5 just laughed and put the phone down, if they ever even bothered to seek advice) but their efforts to get their hands on the pictures (Why? By now, there was no good reason for this stubbornness) were actually making things worse. For themselves.
Mr White, from Yatton, Somerset, said: 'I suppose the police tracked us down from the registration plate on Helen's car and then it went from there. Their reaction is totally over the top.

'The police officers from Dyfed Powys who came to our campsite were very heavy-handed and were threatening to send Special Branch round to see us and the house. They wanted to know what I'd been doing and I tried to explain I was just a trainspotter and wasn't some sort of Al Qaeda terrorist.

'It's just an innocent photo - which you could find on Google Earth anyway. I've put a complaint in to the police already but they still won't let it rest.'
And the police's account of themselves?
A spokesman for Dyfed Powys Police confirmed that officers 'sought an explanation from Mr White regarding his activities following a report of suspicious behaviour at an oil refinery site in West Wales.

'Following an explanation from him, no further action was taken.'

And remember, this wasn't a case of a single cop deciding to be a complete arse. This must have been a whole bunch of 'em! And all because the people involved knew their rights, and decided to stand up for themselves.

Do you feel safer know that the police behave this way even when the law isn't on their side? I know I don't.

Picture This...

So, you're 33 years old, and you decide to celebrate with a skyjump, instead of going to a male stripclub with your girlfriends and sinking 15 mojitos. Well, each to their own, I suppose...

But something goes wrong, and your main chute fails to deploy. Your instructor, with whom you are jumping tandem, heroically saves the day, deploys the backup chute, and you land safely.

Do you:

a) Drop to your knees in breathless gratitude and show him some...errr....appreciation? Or,

b) Sue him because in the panic and landing, you broke a couple of fingers?

If I tell you this happened in New York State, does that make the task easier?

Happily, this was too much even for an American court to take, and the skyjump firm got the case thrown out.

Nice to know it's not just the UK that breeds dumb ingratitude into their people, isn't it?

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Things That Make You Go 'Eeeeeewwww!'

Science. Is there anything it can't do?

Oh. Sorry I asked!

Oh, and NSFW!

Perhaps He Should Have Put The Stockings On First...

...over his head?
One woman was so worried that she even installed a covert camera in her bedroom.

But when she showed police the recording, it revealed a semi-naked man going through her drawers, putting on her underwear and then performing a lurid sex act.

He doesn't look like the sort of bloke who does that sort of thing. Does he?

Via Pavlov's Cat, who has a musical accompaniment for this story.

Tips For Dealing With The Media When You've Raised A Problem Child

Tip No 1: Don't agree to the photograph unless you look sympathetic.

I mean, I can see your little hellion is a pretty husky lass for 10, but a flowery dress, and bow in her hair, and you standing on a box would help to say 'I'm just a poor wee lass who was scared when the big bad policeman put me in handcuffs', rather than a hardened little thugette who'd sneer at a fully-equipped CIA interrogation team armed with Black & Deckers.

Oh, it helps if you dress in your sunday best too. What's that? This is your...?

Oh, ok then.

Tip No 2: Don't give the reporter a statement that incriminates your little hellspawn.
Mr Blake said: 'Shannon had been playing in the BMX park when she went to stroke this man's dog.

'He shouted at her so she slapped him and gave him a push. My daughter has never been in trouble before. She's a bit of a tomboy but that's it.'
You see, Mr Blake, where you come from, it may seem perfectly natural that the response to someone shouting at you is physical violence. me on this one, ok, I'm here to help...where most people come from, it would be considered a totally unwarranted assault, and that's a crime. Yes, it'd be a crime if you did it too. It would be a little bit more expected from you, because frankly, you...

Well, let's not go into that. Suffice to say, it's not considered normal behaviour for a ten year old. Especially a girl.

Tip No 3: Don't whine about how unjustly you feel she was treated by the police when you've totally ignored Tips No 1 and 2.

Trust me, people aren't going to read this story and think 'Poor child!':
He said: 'It seems absolutely ridiculous, she was treated like a criminal. I never received any information about it until more than two hours later.

'They locked her in a cell with a bucket if she wanted to use the toilet.

'They took her shoes away and the strings of her trousers.

'They finger-printed her and took her photo and then gave her a sandwich and half a cup of cold tea.

'It's absolutely appalling they can treat a 10-year-old in that way - what they did was really heavy-handed.

'What are they doing putting cuffs on a young girl? They should have just brought her home to me and I would have dealt with it.'
Mr Blake, how can I put this...?

OK, first off, she wasn't tasered or pepper sprayed (which maybe took a bit of restraint on the cops' part), she was treated as any other young girl who'd assaulted a stranger would be.

And secondly, I'm sure you can see that people aren't about to take your word that you'll 'deal with it' on account of the fact that you've raised a child who acts like she does in the first place.

You can see their point, surely? What's that? No, no, I absolutely wasn't calling you 'Shirley'..!

Tip No 4: Don't be economical with the truth.

Because if the police story seems to indicate that maybe your little angel isn't the aggrieved party you are making her out to be, they'll print that too.

And then won't you look stupid?
But police say they received a 999 call from a member of the public claiming that up to 20 youths were attacking a man who had been walking his dog.

Shannon was arrested with two boys aged 16 and 15 and taken to Heavitree Road Police Station in Exeter, Devon...'Handcuffing a 10-year-old is never done as a matter of routine. A decision was made by the officer at the scene, based on the girl's demeanour, likelihood of escape and likelihood of injuring someone else.

'The officer that made the decision considered it serious enough to use the handcuffs.
Ooops! Check the comments, Mr Blake. You haven't helped, have you?

This has been a Public Service Announcement.

"No more worries for me and you, for a week or two."

It seems the CiF columnists aren't enjoying their breaks as much as they deserve to, the poor dears.

First up is man-hating feminist fruitcake Julie Bindel, who has had to suffer other people's children in Tuscany:
I am used to middle-class kids behaving outrageously, living as I do in what child-free residents call "nappy valley" – an area of London teaming with young parents and their expensive double buggies and nannies, but holidays tend to bring out the best and worst of all of us. Next door to me right now sleep a total of 13 people, all of whom gather around the pool each day like locusts swarming on an oasis. Five of them are children. They have this game where, just as we (I am here with my partner, two friends and their two teenaged, considerate children) take out our books for a peaceful read or slide into the water to cool off, they dive-bomb in the pool together screaming at the tops of their voices. They take over the whole (large) pool in a way that prevents any of us from swimming a length.
Next, via Longrider, James Bennett bemoans the fact that the French don't want to work all hours god sends so that a chippy Englishman can get served 24/7/365:
Ever since the 35-hour working week was adopted in February 2000 under prime minister Lionel Jospin's socialist government, France has become a nation of languid retailers, invisible tourism employees and workshy shopkeepers. Try and find a cafe open in peak tourist season on a Monday, Wednesday or Sunday in Normandy and I'll break into the Louvre and deliver the Mona Lisa to you by hand. Even if you do manage to catch someone selling something in a shop or restaurant in France, they'll probably turn you away as they shirk off for a two-and-a-half hour lunch break.
Oh dear. What a shame...

Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Monday, 24 August 2009

Too Much Time On Their Hands….

It seems that quangos are still intent on providing fodder for the tabloids in ‘PC madness’ stories:
Right-hand man, gentleman's agreement and whiter than white are the latest phrases to fall foul of the political correctness lobby.

Government quangos have issued fresh lists of phrases they are seeking to ban to avoid causing offence.
You cannot ever avoid causing offence, unless you wish to spend your life in a small room, doing nothing and speaking to no-one.

So, what ‘causes offence’ for these quangos? Oh, the list is long and ridiculous:
Staff at the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission have been advised to use 'miserable day' instead of 'black day'. The Commission claims that certain words carry a 'hierarchical valuation of skin colour'.
You might ask why they think they won’t be held up to ridicule for these sorts of proclamations.

Well, because they thought no-one would ever find out, until Labour shot themselves in the foot:
The examples of political correctness emerged in answer to a series of Freedom of Information requests.

Some of the examples quoted make me think that the 60s are alive and well at least in the minds of some quangocrats:
The Learning and Skills Council wants staff to 'perfect' their brief rather than 'master' it while Newcastle University reckons 'master bedroom' can be problematic.
The National Gallery in London says the phrase gentleman's agreement may be considered offensive to women and suggests using 'unwritten agreement' or ' agreement based on trust' instead.
Advice issued by the South West Regional Development Agency says: 'Terms such as black sheep of the family, black looks and black mark have no direct link to skin colour but potentially serve to reinforce a negative view of all things black.

'Equally, certain terms imply a negative image of black by reinforcing the positive aspects of white.

'For example, in the context of being above suspicion, the phrase whiter than white is often used. Purer than pure or cleaner than clean are alternatives which do not infer that anything other than white should be regarded with suspicion.'
There’s no black coffee for sale in the canteen, I take it?
Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: 'Most people assumed that this sort of PC madness went out in the 1980s, when Margaret Thatcher reined in the Left-wing councils, so it's unbelievable that it's rearing its head again.

'This nonsense proves that quangos need to be culled. They're unaccountable, undemocratic and wasteful.'
Well, Matthew, most people probably did think this, but then, a lot of people realised that they were still there, and suffered no public opprobrium or real job-related consequence for their incompetence, so why wouldn’t they simply bide their time until the stars aligned in their favour again?

And we can make the argument that if they have time for this stuff, they must be seriously overmanned…
Marie Clair, of the Plain English Campaign, said: 'Political correctness has good intentions but things can be taken to an extreme. What is really needed is a bit of common sense.'
Yes. Not just here, either.

We need it in a lot of other places too…

Taxi!” “Ambulance!”

Reading the report about the boy who claimed to have been ‘hanged’ by some other children, one thing stood out:
Within an hour of the incident, on Tuesday July 28, rope-burn marks appeared around Bradley's neck - prompting his distressed family to call an ambulance.

Mrs McLachlan said: "There were marks under his chin and they went right up around the back of his head, that's when we called the ambulance."
I despair, I absolutely do…

Rope burns? You called an emergency ambulance for marks on the skin, rather than take him to casualty by car or on public transport?!

But then of course, why not? It is, after all, ‘free’, isn’t it?

And this is why the NHS will always, always be a huge black hole that will swallow any money we care to throw into it….

Things That Make You Go 'Huh?'

A 43-year-old man has admitted sexually assaulting teenage girls he persuaded to give him a piggy-back by pretending he had a bad leg.

Only in Brighton...

Public Relations FAIL!

It seems Colchester is arranging a 'broken windows' style services blitz on one of its worst estates:
Tim Young, Colchester councillor responsible for street and waste services, said the scheme was building on three days of action in the estate, as well as High Woods and Greenstead, over the past year.

He added: “This will be a sustained period of activity involving tackling anti-social behaviour, keeping the place clean, cutting graffiti and basically making people feel proud of their area.
If your area required this type of activity to remain habitable, would you 'feel proud'?

I know I wouldn't...

But Timmy isn't quite finished, and still has some room in his mouth for a bit more foot:
“Colchester is the only area having one of these pilots and we’re absolutely delighted.”
Good for you, Timmy...

I Can’t See An English Judge Saying This, Can You?

A Muslim asylum seeker has been sentenced to life in prison after killing his German-born wife because she was 'too independent', a court in Germany heard today.

The 27-year-old Kurdish man, identified only as Onder B, was found guilty today of stabbing his wife in the eyes, beating her with a billiard cue and then running over her in his car.
I wonder if the recent furore over this case played on the minds of all involved in prosecuting this case?

Oh. Maybe not:
Bielefeld District Court judge Jutta Albert clashed repeatedly this week with family members of both victim and defendant as details of the horrific case unfolded.

'One more remark from you and you'll be removed!' she told the victim’s mother. 'Do you think you can behave here as if you were in a Turkish bazaar?'
I guess the theory and practice of ‘multiculturalism’ hasn’t embedded in Germany yet.

Lucky them…

Sunday, 23 August 2009

"It's possible. The point is getting away with it. And speaking as a professional, that's a very important consideration."

Never mind speeders or road hogs, now there is a new peril facing British motorists – signpost snipers.

The RAC Foundation has warned of the growing phenomenon of gunmen firing at road signs at locations across Britain.
And not with paintball guns either...
Philip Gomm, from the RAC Foundation, warned that it was only a matter of time before a motorist or pedestrian was killed.

"This isn't a motoring misdemeanour," he said. "This is serious criminality that endangers life and it has to be treated as such.

"The evidence is very disturbing. To learn that an irresponsible minority of drivers and their passengers, armed with guns, are touring around and shooting up signs is alarming and what is particularly worrying is the increasing use of high-velocity weapons.
Why would someone do this? Well, boredom and 'because they can' don't make for very readable scare stories in the meejah, so the RAC needed to pump it up a bit.

Matt Seiber, who compiled the report for the RAC, has read a bit too much Freddie Forsyth:
"What is worse is the fact that they are virtually untouchable and they know it. Whatever they are testing or rehearsing for goes unseen and totally unreported and that is fundamentally wrong as well as being sinister and downright dangerous."
Hmmmm. Better look for a man buying watermelons...

'MODA'* Is The New MONA...

Ann Desics, who lives near the scene, said that she was woken up by people arguing in the road outside the footballer’s mother's house shortly before 5am.

"I just thought it was people passing by but then the ambulances came," she said. "I didn't see the incident, I just heard all this shouting.

"The main person shouting had a very strong Caribbean accent. It's an awful thing to happen - I hope he's okay."
Interesting that he was stabbed in the legs.

Because he's a footballer? Or maybe...

* Men Of Discernable Accent

Sunday Funnies (Extra)

From 'Ace of Spades', the only game walkthrough you'll ever need....

Sunday Funnies...

Got a feeling I should probably save this for the next time Valentine's Day occurs on a Sunday. But who can wait...?

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Spending More, Getting Less….

That’s government healthcare for you:
The NHS is spending more money helping people stop smoking - but fewer are quitting, say official figures.

The cost per quitter was £219 in 2008/09 compared with £173 in 2007/08 and £160 in 2006/07.
Which I’m guessing can’t be covered just by inflation?

Well, since one of the main methods for giving up is left out of these figures, I’m guessing that’s ‘No’:
The proportion of people successfully quitting last year went down four per cent. But spending went up 21 per cent last year to £74m - not including the cost of nicotine replacement therapy.
Why not include it?

Our New Generation…

Reading the paper last week, two reports caught my eye.

First, the two law students in Brazil:
The two British backpackers who falsely claimed they had been robbed in an insurance scam must stay in Brazil until next April to complete their punishment.

Shanti Andrews and Rebecca Turner were yesterday handed 16 months' community service by judge in Rio de Janeiro.
Which some might say meant they got off lightly…
They were said to be 'stunned and upset', having expected a much lighter punishment after pleading guilty two days ago to attempting to defraud their insurance firm.
Sadly, ladies, Brazil is not the UK. I expect even you’ve figured that out by now.
Turner, from Newbury in Berkshire, and Andrews, from Tunbridge Wells in Kent, are both likely to be barred from entering the legal profession on their return to the UK because of their criminal record.
Good. The last thing we need is people like this going in to law.

Secondly, the waste of oxygen who thought it would be fun to kill her neighbour’s cat with a crossbow that her equally useless current sperm-donor had bought her:
A drunken teenage girl fired a crossbow bolt at her neighbour's cat in Hyde and then left it to die.

Chloe O'Connor, 19, shot the cat from her bedroom window and fired the weapon with such force that it went through the pet's stomach and out the other side.
O'Connor, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and handed in various character references to the court.

Sentencing was adjourned until September 9 while the probation service prepares full reports.
‘Character references’ and ‘probation reports’? Good grief…

But the thing that struck me was looking at their pictures (the pudgy cat killer’s picture was in the ‘Metro’ report, which doesn’t seem to be online) and thinking how alike they were, despite the presumed difference in upbringing, education, social class and all the other things that are supposed to matter.

They all wore the look, on their similarly-bovine and sullen faces, that said ‘What? Punishment? But there’s not supposed to be any consequences to my actions!’

Truly, they are all products of the modern society we’ve created. Can’t we be proud?

Shocked Watermelons Discover They’ve Been Patronising A Business

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey wrote a thunderous comment piece in which he derided the public option, Barack Obama's biggest campaign promise to progressives, and put forward a stridently conservative view of healthcare for America.
Why, how dare he!?
Does Mackey know who his customer base is? Did he really not foresee the backlash that has ensued – the howls across the blogosphere and Twitter, the Facebook petition to boycott Whole Foods?
Perhaps he didn’t. Perhaps he didn’t really care…
The brand Mackey created caters to a specific clientele. Customers are greeted with signage boasting of local farmers and grass-fed cattle. Whole Foods touts announcements of Green Prom projects and 100-best-companies-to-work-for accolades. The reusable shopping bags and shelves filled with yoga mats and all-natural beeswax lip balm aim to capture the same folks clicking "donate" on the MoveOn fundraising appeals.
In other words, idiots who care more for the ‘brand’ and the ability to be ‘greener than thou’ than they do about value for money.

I don’t think you could say that Mackey doesn’t know who his target customer base is.

I think he knows all too well….
These are the same people who pay large sums for a pint of organic strawberries, laughing off or even defending the "Whole Paycheque" label. They tell themselves: It's OK to pay double what those strawberries would cost elsewhere, because they're chemical-free, healthier, environmentally and ethically sound. Whole Foods customers want to feel good about their purchases and believe they are being better citizens for shopping there.

Now Mackey, the face of the company, is not only at odds with a central tenet of progressivism, but a supporter of free-market evangelism that has no space for the community-based, egalitarian solutions his customers support.
I expect Mackey has looked around and realised no-one else offers what he does, and his customer base is obviously dumb enough to have forgotten this in a few short weeks.

After all, they are dumb enough to shop there in the first place, aren’t they?

And they really should have done their homework before declaring WholeFoods an Age of Aquarius shopping phenomenon:
Mackey's history is a long line of mergers and acquisitions that would leave the 1980s titans of Wall Street breathless. One by one, Whole Foods swallowed its competition, whole, until it became the venerable giant of natural foods it is today. Union organising was fought. Accusations of corporate subterfuge were made. All of this culminated in a fight with, and finally a win over the US government, over anti-trust allegations.
The public is left wondering what happened to the John Mackey who started a tiny natural foods grocery in Austin, Texas.
Well, the answer to that is pretty clear.

He didn’t want to be a tiny natural foods grocery in Texas any more!
Whole Foods has disavowed Mackey's op-ed, but Mackey has not.

Regardless, the money in the Whole Foods coffers has given its CEO the clout to commandeer such a bully pulpit. To the chagrin of progressives, he has used their ethically conscious dollars to advocate against a set of values they hold dear. It is no wonder there was an outcry.
A ‘bully pulpit’?

Good grief….

Friday, 21 August 2009

Newsflash, Spector: These People Are Just Like You…

He's only months into a 19-year murder sentence, but Phil Spector appears to have abandoned any efforts to make friends with the hardened criminals with whom he may very well have to spend the rest of his natural life.
Awww, diddums….
Spector said that lawyers were working to get him moved to "a better prison, with people more like myself in it, during the appeal process – instead of all these lowlife scumbags, gangsters and Manson types...
How frightful, having to be locked up with all those other murderers….

Words Not Matching Actions...

Shamed MP Mark Oaten has claimed that he had a sexual relationship with a man when he was just nine or ten years old.
No, Mark, you didn’t. You were abused.
In the book, called 'Screwing Up: How One MP Survived Politics, Scandal and Middle Age', he says: 'Clearly it was wrong, but it happened and I've not even been that worried about it.

'I have never felt abused, hold no grudge and do not wish to drag the case up today.'
Which is why you’ve included it in your book, I suppose…?

Meet The Soon-to-be New Boss….

... same as the soon-to-be old boss:
The Tories have unveiled radical plans to crack down on the binge-drinking culture.

They would treble taxes on alcopops and strong lagers and ciders, outlaw 'loss leader' sales in supermarkets and strip takeaways and food stores of late-night licences.
How, exactly, is that ‘radical’?

I mean, teachers were doing this when I was at school: ‘OK, no-one’s owned up to writing ‘School is rubbish!’ on the bike sheds, so you’re all staying in detention’. It’s called ‘collective punishment’.

I didn’t care much for it at school, and I don’t much care for it now…
Such tax changes would mean a four-pack of extra-strong lager such as Carlsberg Special Brew costing an extra £1.30, a bottle of powerful cider an extra £1.25 and a bottle of alcopop an extra 50p.
So The Dave’s strategy for the coming election is going to be ‘Vote for me and I’ll raise taxes!’

Tory leader David Cameron believes 'serious changes' are needed amid growing evidence that the availability of cheap alcohol is wrecking people's health and fuelling violence and anti-social behaviour.

Alcohol-related crime is estimated to cost the economy £7billion a year, and almost half of victims of violence say their attacker had been drinking. Yet alcohol is around two-thirds cheaper in real terms than in 1980.
Most people would regard falling prices as a good thing. But not The Dave, who is tuning in to his inner Puritan.

It seems he’s been hanging out with the wrong people, who have reinforced this view:
Mr Cameron spoke out after joining police on patrol in Hull.

He said: 'Drink-related violence and crime are a massive problem. We need to look at the unbelievable availability of very cheap drink, getting three litres of cider for £1.99, at all hours of day and night. We've got to do something about this.'
Yes, we have. But not by raising taxes and punishing everybody.

I’m sure the cops did give you the impression that this is based on cheap booze, and that if you removed that, the people fighting and spewing and collapsing in the street would all go home and read the Bible instead.

But it’s just not true.
Higher prices, the party believes, will prompt youngsters and potential problem drinkers to buy less or switch to weaker products.
I just love the word ‘potential’ in there. Gives you so much leeway, doesn’t it, Dave?
The tax change would mean price increases for high-strength beers in pubs and bars.

Though such products represent a fraction of sales, there would be concern about any rises when pubs are already closing at an alarming rate.
You bet there would!
On supermarkets, Tory sources say the Government has made repeated threats but failed to act to stop them selling drink at below cost price as a loss leader to draw in customers.

Such promotions have been blamed by police for much of the binge-drinking and violence plaguing town centres.
Well, of course. It must be the drink, mustn’t it?

It couldn’t possibly be the fact that we've raised an uneducated, amoral generation accustomed to doing exactly as they please, or that the paperwork imposed on the police means arresting a drunkard takes them out of action for hours, or that the useless justice system has a revolving door for these people, could it?
But Ministers have shied away from a ban amid fears that responsible drinkers would object to paying more when their living expenses are already hit by the recession.

The Tories say that, if elected, they would change the law to ban loss-leader sales of alcohol.
The fact that Labour politicians, the most corrupt, illiberal and incompetent bunch in this decade, have looked at this and said ‘Oooh, no, that’s going a bit too far’ doesn’t give you pause?

Quoth The Dave:
'We want to encourage personal responsibility.
People have to be held responsible for what they do, and if they behave badly having drunk too much they should feel the weight of the law, they should be prosecuted.
Say what?!?

Is there anything between The Dave’s ears? Other than cotton wool & the slavering desire for power?

How the hell can you say, in one breath, that you want to ‘encourage personal responsibility’ and then, in the next, bleat about how you plan to remove the demon drink that’s ‘causing’ them to do bad things, you utter, power-hungry, unprincipled cretin?

And step forward the new High Priest of the Temperance Movement to cheer you on, and urge you to even greater excesses:
Professor Ian Gilmore, a liver specialist and president of the Royal College of Physicians, said last night: 'It has become quite clear that voluntary partnerships with the drinks industry aren't sufficient, so we would welcome legislation in this area.

'The prices of cheap alcohol are a number one problem, but it would be insufficient just to tackle loss leaders. There is a lot of discounting going on, such as offers encouraging bulk-buying, that wouldn't be stopped.

'And tax will have to go up quite considerably if it is to change behaviour.'
This is the sort of NuPuritan you now have backing your plans, Cameron, and urging you on to even more illiberal legislation.

Are you proud of that? Or does it really not matter, as long as you get to step through the door of Number 10 Downing Street?

The Devil has more , and a good roundup of initial reaction across the blogosphere. Which it's safe to say, isn't good.

Lines That Make You Say 'Huh?!?'

In the 'Mail', this story of the treatment meted out to a lost dog by some of our best educated generation evah is (or should be) no surprise.

But this line gave me pause:
And mum-of-four Bev, a support worker for dwarf actors, reckons the youngsters may have carried out the beating because they didn't realise what Mugly was.
You just know the journalist who did that interview is going to be dining out on that for a while...

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Green Paper Spells Danger

Via VetNurse, a warning about Labour's plans for the disabled:
What exactly is the Green Paper about?

The green paper is about the problem of paying for care as the UK’s population ages. It proposes setting up a National Care Service, like the National Health Service, to provide a universal system of care throughout the UK. Much of the document is devoted to discussing how to pay for this service, including making everyone pay a flat rate of £25,000 before or after they die, whether they ever need care or not; or making everyone over retirement age pay into an insurance scheme; or making people pay for part of their care depending on their means.

This is in addition to the proposal to take disability benefits off claimants and hand them over to the care service.

The National Care Service would only deal with your care needs. If you had to go into residential care you would still have to pay for accommodation, heating, lighting, food, clothes, toiletries, etc.
Yeah, because the NHS is working so well, we need an NCS too...

Yes, You Have To Work Within The Law...

...yes, even you:
Millions of pounds seized from tobacco smugglers over the past eight years will have to be returned because Customs officers unlawfully confiscated their assets, The Independent has learnt.
Revenue and Customs officials are re-examining about 4,000 cases where confiscation orders were granted to seize the assets of people involved in the illicit trade in cigarettes. The agencies face having to pay it all back, plus legal costs and compensation, after failing to notice a change in the law in 2001 which severely restricted who could be targeted for such smuggling.
When you are a law enforcement agency, how can you possibly fail to notice a change in the law? Customs' excuse seems to be 'Hey! We weren't the only ones caught out!' as if that somehow makes it better...
The Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office said in a statement yesterday: "Whilst the error is deeply regrettable we were not alone in making it: the same error has been made in academic texts and by practitioners at all levels."

"People in social services and others don't understand that their wild accusations can ruin people's lives. "

Oh, but they do, Mrs Pope. They do...
A nurse sacked from a leading public school after smacking her son in her home has lost her appeal for unfair dismissal.

Susan Pope, 46, furiously condemned the political correctness which she blamed for the decision.

The mother of three said it was 'nobody else's business' how decent parents choose to chastise their children at home.
That's exactly why they do it.

Pour encourager les autres....

Sauce For The Goose, Obama….

Battered for weeks by an artfully choreographed resistance campaign, President Barack Obama returned from pushing his healthcare reform plan in western states last night, amid signs that he might be ready to seek compromise on key details of it with his foes.

As was predicted before all this started, Obama has fatally overreached himself on the healthcare proposal.

And as the shine fades from their idol, the far left are up in arms:
But even as the first hints began to surface that the White House could consider dropping its insistence that a new healthcare system includes some kind of public entity offering insurance to consumers, the liberal wing of his party was rising up yesterday to denounce any such retreat.
Red-on-red. My sort of fight... :)
"I don't think it can pass without the public option," Howard Dean, the former Democratic party chairman, warned on CBS TV. "You can't really do healthcare reform without it. There are too many people who understand, including the President himself, the public option is absolutely linked to reform."

Senator John Rockefeller of West Virginia reaffirmed his support for a public insurance body. "I believe the inclusion of a strong public plan option in health reform legislation is a must," he said.
Sadly for them, even Obama can’t buck the numbers:
However, it has been clear for months that in the Senate at least, any bill with the public option stands no chance of winning bi-partisan support and may very well drive away conservative Democrats, a result that could kill the effort entirely. "There are not the votes in the US Senate for the public option," Senator Kent Conrad, a Democrat, said at the weekend.
And in the wake of this impending defeat for their ambitious plans, the progressives are eager to paint this as an organised campaign by their political enemies, rather than a sign that middle America is finally waking up to the truth behind the man they voted into office last year:
What is certain is that the administration still hasn't regained control of its reform message. The August recess has been dominated by images of members of Mr Obama's party being barracked at healthcare rallies by citizens apparently enraged by what they see as a "socialist" take-over of their healthcare choices.

Little of this is spontaneous. There is ample evidence that many of those at the town hall meetings are being encouraged to attend by conservative advocacy organisations such as Americans for Prosperity, Grassfire, Tea Party Patriots, and Resistnet, and even given tips on how to pressure legislators. FreedomWorks has reportedly posted 380,000 "August Recess Action Kits" to stoke the brouhaha.
But presumably it was just peachy when groups like ACORN and Code Pink and the unions were doing the same thing when Bush was in power?

You taught them well, Dems. Time to eat up that goose, with extra sauce…

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Throwing Money Down The Drain...

A documentary film-maker was hauled into court on a charge of stealing electricity worth 0.003p.

But by the time the ludicrous case was dropped, the bill to taxpayers was more than £5,000.

Mark Guard, 44, had to appear at two separate hearings before the Crown Prosecution Service finally saw sense.
Why would a man be persecuted like this?

Well, here's a clue:
Mr Guard, who makes documentaries about crime and the homeless...
Heads should roll for this...

Real Age Concern…

Modern Britain isn’t a place to be old, and to expect that age to be respected anymore. There are some rules for the over-sixties that might help.

In particular, never ask a young man to move his feet:
A pensioner was battered to death in broad daylight after he asked a man sitting at a bus stop to move, a court heard today.

Peter Seaman, 66, was walking his dog when he came across 20-year-old Alec Pearn sitting with his feet stretched into the pavement.

The pair had an argument which led to Pearn's bag being thrown over a hedge.
And that was something a 20 year old couldn’t tolerate from some old geezer:
A jury heard how the furious 20-year-old labourer then picked up a fallen tree branch and beat Mr Seaman to death.
And there’s an even more shocking twist to this tale of unthinking brutality:
Pearn had been waiting for his father, Andrew, to arrive when the confrontation took place.

In a grim coincidence, Mr Pearn - an off-duty paramedic - was the first to arrive on the scene and treated the man his son is accused of murdering.
You wonder what kind of family this is...

There are no details (yet) as the trial is still ongoing. But it will be interesting to see what other convictions this man has.

The defence is doing their best to throw enough chaff at the jury that they may decide the correct response to having your bag thrown over a hedge by a man 46 years older than you is to beat him to death with a lump of wood in ‘self defence’ but the prosecution has a rather easy job here:
'All the witnesses and medical evidence lead to a picture of a young man who had completely lost his temper and intended to cause really serious harm.

'He crossed the road to pick up a weapon and walked back with it. In no sense could it be described as reasonable or proportionate. You can be sure this was not self defence.'
As if it needed to be said…

And never, ever help someone else within earshot of the young:
A man has admitted killing a "selfless" grandfather who was helping a homeless woman.

Sean Lucas, 24, of Burnside Avenue, Chingford, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 64-year-old Clifford Champion at the Old Bailey on Monday.

Before the attack, Mr Champion had visited a service station in Chingford Mount Road in February this year to buy cigarettes and started talking to a woman who was begging.

He was trying to help the woman when he was approached by Lucas, who became aggressive and followed Mr Champion to Westward Road.

He then punched Mr Champion to the ground with a single blow and ran off.
Only a 40 year age difference here, and a single punch (plus a guilty plea), so I suspect he’ll be getting off quite lightly.

Are ‘reports’ needed before sentencing? You bet:
Lucas had previously entered a plea of not-guilty to murder and today the prosecution accepted a plea of guilty to manslaughter.

He will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on September 14 after a pre-sentencing report has been prepared.
What could a report possibly tell you about this waste of oxygen that would have any factor on his sentencing?

But more to the point, when did we become a society where young men believed that punching elderly men to the ground for a slight or for nothing at all was the done thing?

IanB over at 'Counting Cats' has a good post up on the topic of 'the untermenschen' and the many solutions proposed to them over the years.

I don't know the answer myself, but I don't think we can long maintain the veneer of civilisation unless an answer is found. And found quickly...

Fasten Your Seatbelts, It’s Going To Be A Bumpy Ride….

….to the General Election, as identity politics comes to the fore.

Lest week, Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick poked his head above the parapet, in a move condemned by various pundits and professional grievance-mongers as politically motivated.

One of his fellows thought this was a bandwagon worth jumping on:
A Labour peer has demanded an apology from Jim Fitzpatrick, the Farming minister, after Mr Fitzpatrick publicly criticised the segregation of men and women at Muslim weddings.

Lord Patel of Blackburn, a senior figure in Britain's Muslim community, accused Mr Fitzpatrick of launching a "cowardly attack" on Muslims who opted for a segregated wedding, accusing him of pandering to "anti-Muslim sentiment" within his constituency.
And whose sentiments are you pandering to, Lord Patel of Blackburn?
"I suspect Mr Fitzpatrick has one eye on the general election and has mistakenly used this event for political gain," he said. "He is playing to a section of the voters with whom anti-Muslim sentiment is appealing. This is underhand and dangerous."
But it was ok when Lord Ali of the M1 threatened to bring 10,000 Muslims onto the streets if Geert Wilders was allowed into the HoC, I suppose?

No ‘playing to a section of the voters’ there, eh?
The bridegroom has also asked for an apology from Mr Fitzpatrick for "hijacking" the ceremony for political gain.

Bodrul Islam said he had been "amazed and shocked" by Mr Fitzpatrick's protest.

Just why would you invite your local MP to your wedding unless you stood to gain (or believed you stood to gain) something from it?

So acting hurt and shocked now isn’t going to cut the mustard, Mr Islam…

Fitzpatrick is hitting back:
The minister blamed the decision to segregate men and women at the ceremony on the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE), a conservative group with an office at the East London Mosque next door to the wedding venue. However, Mr Islam denied that he or his wife had come under any pressure to separate their guests.

Mr Fitzpatrick yesterday said he had been seeking to highlight the growing influence of the IFE, rather than criticise the wishes of the families involved.
Of course, it no doubt didn’t hurt that you could frame it thus…
"There was nothing cowardly about the attack on the IFE. It was very direct and very open," he said.

"The IFE are intolerant, not the community. The community is a very generous and open one. My beef is that the IFE is starting to influence the social and political life of the Bangladeshi and Muslim community.

"I have apologised on camera to the families and to the community for any offence that I may have caused. That was not what I was trying to do."
But your opponents will frame it that way if they can.

So next time, be better prepared for the inevitable attack, Jim lad….

I Don’t Think We Do Deserve A Gold Star, Ann….

A failed asylum seeker who entered the country using a fake passport is suing the Government for £150,000 claiming his detention caused him depression.

Fridoon Sadiqi says he started having mental health problems, including post traumatic stress disorder, after he was held for three weeks while his case was investigated.
Who can I sue, then?

Because reading this is causing me depression!
He argues that a civil service re-prioritising scheme in January 2001 had the effect of 'putting on hold' old applications and he was forced to wait five years to hear whether he could stay in the UK.

Sadiqi was eventually told his asylum application had been refused after he was interviewed by immigration officers in March 2004.
And he was immediately deported?

Nah, that’s crazy talk…
He applied for discretionary leave to remain in the UK in October that year, but permission to appeal was refused by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal a month later.

Sadiqi was held at an immigration detention centre for three weeks while a further appeal was being held. When released he had to regularly report to a police station to confirm his whereabouts.

The Home Office rejected his application for leave to remain in November 2005, stating that he could apply for clearance once back in Afghanistan .

Since then he has remained in the UK while seeking a judicial review to remain in the country.
Yes, those dates are all correct. This man has been here for ten years and shows every sign of hanging on, limpet-like, for a few years more.
Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe said: 'This means that we've allowed him to remain in the country for 10 years and go through every legal challenge possible.

'Frankly I think we deserve a gold star and he should publicly thank us for our stance rather than sue us.

'If his treatment has been so bad here, then why doesn't he find another country to go claim asylum in?'
A gold star? I think we deserve everything we get, for letting this man play our system like a cheap fiddle….

Up Is Down. Black Is White. Fairness Is Unfairness….

Planning laws are deliberately biased in favour of gipsies and travellers, a Government minister has finally admitted.

After years of official denials on the issue, Communities Secretary Shahid Malik confessed that travelling families are treated differently from 'the settled community'.

Justifying the policy, the minister said: 'Fairness does not mean treating people equally; it means addressing the different needs of different people.'
Well, thanks for finally confirming what everyone has already known for a few years now….
Mr Malik's confession has been hailed by campaigners as a 'long-awaited admission of the truth' which they say reveals the way planning laws are weighted in favour of gipsies and travellers.

And it explains why many, if not most, local campaigns against unauthorised or proposed encampments are doomed to failure, no matter how justified the objections may be.
And the reason for this very un-English state of affairs?

The poisonous fruit of Labour Party and ‘progressive’ identity politics, of course:
The Chambers English Dictionary defines fairness as 'honesty, impartiality, justice'.

Mr Malik's apparent redefinition of the word stems from the Government's decision in 2000 to classify gipsies and Irish travellers as distinct racial groups under the Race Relations Act.

This decision - coupled with changes to planning law and a desire to build many more gipsy and traveller sites - conferred extra rights upon these groups under both race relations and human rights legislation.
Welcome to Labour’s Britain, where who you are confers extra privileges under law – just as it did hundreds of years ago.

Thought we’d left all that behind? Yeah, me too.

Don’t expect it to be any different in future, either:
Conservative local government spokesman Bob Neill said: 'It's not fair that planning applications are treated differently purely because of the type of person who is applying - the same, consistent rules should apply whatever your background.

'Under Labour, law-abiding families who work hard and pay their taxes face reams of red tape to extend their houses, whilst travellers are given special treatment to concrete over the Green Belt and defy planning rules.'
Words are cheap, Bob. What do you plan to do….?

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

All Cats Dogs Are Grey In The Dark

Looks like the 'Daily Fail' webteam share a photo library - and an attention to detail - with the 'Telegraph' webstaff.

They have a story from the US about a retired couple getting mauled by 'wild dogs' in Georgia. Here's the stock photo they chose to illustrate it...


`When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.`

The Citizens Advice service has banned staff from using the term 'blacklisting' over fears that it is offensive and 'fosters stereotypes'.

The taxpayer- funded quango, which advises members of the public on consumer, legal and money issues, has instead replaced it with 'blocklisting' to avoid appearing 'prejudicial'.
The two terms are both used in IT to mean the same thing. They refer to what are effectively lists of computers or computer networks which have been identified as sending spam and enable mail servers to ban or flag up mail sent from them.

Emails to members of staff at the service say the move has been made to keep 'in line with aims and principles of the Citizens Advice service'.
Oh. Not just because you have too many penpushers with very little to do, then, which was my first guess?
Critics branded it 'daft' and 'political correctness going over the top', but the Citizens Advice has refused to back down, even though critics say it renders everyday communications unintelligible.
Well, at least that fits in with the rest of these quangos’ output…
The ban on blacklisting applies across the whole of Citizens Advice. A former volunteer said banning blacklisting was 'the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen' and has stopped helping at his local branch because of it.
So, this barmy decision is actually having an effect on the staff, albeit not one they probably planned for….
A spokesman for the service said: 'Our approach to language is not prescriptive or dogmatic, but where we know or become aware that something is offensive, fosters stereotypes or prejudice, or is inaccurate, it makes sense and is respectful to use alternatives.'
If someone considers the term ‘blacklisting’ to be offensive, they undoubtedly have problems far beyond the ability of the Citizens Advice Service to fix.

So, why bother…?

‘Trojan Horse? Yeah, It Sort Of Rings A Bell…..’

I guess no-one at the Border Agency ever saw ‘Troy’:
A coach used by Border Agency workers to commute to France could have provided a route for hundreds of illegal immigrants into Britain.

A stowaway was seen fleeing from the coach in Folkestone, Kent, at the end of last month, in what appeared to be a one-off incident.

But a source close to the Border Agency has told the Mail this was just the tip of the iceberg, calling the coach a 'magnet for illegals' trying to sneak into the UK.
Now, you must be saying, surely a BA staff coach would have stringent counter-intelligence procedures and security?

It seems not:
The authorities have since discovered two overlooked hiding places either side of the coach's fuel tanks, where up to four stowaways can ride at a time.

And because its passengers are immigration officials, the vehicle is routinely waved through border checks.

It follows a predictable route and timetable and stands out as it is virtually the only coach without markings.

Let’s hope that MI5 don’t start recruiting from within UKBA ranks…
It is understood that the Border Agency specified the vehicle should have no logos to prevent identification, but this has had the opposite effect.
Well, who could foresee that? Apart, that is, from just about anybody who ever watched an episode of ‘Spooks’ or ‘Burn Notice’…
The source said: 'A large group of Border Agency staff have been staying every night for years at The Suite hotel in Coquelles - and the coach has always parked outside overnight.

'Some illegals have clearly discovered a new hiding place in it that no one had thought of before.

'The beauty of it is twofold. Firstly, in immigration officers' training, they are not trained to search for this space in a coach because no one had thought of it.
'Secondly, the coach is full of immigration offficers, so it's waved straight through by their colleagues at passport control.'

The source continued: 'I would not be surprised if the immigration service coach and its secret hiding place had been common knowledge among illegals for years.
I’d be astonished if it wasn’t…