Thursday, 31 May 2012

Blog Title Of The Month

Anna Raccoon takes the prize with this one, recounting Archbishop Cranmer's issues with the advertising standards people:

Quote Of The Month

From 'The Defence Brief' on the inability of the justice system to follow through on its threats:
What happened to the threat of immediate imprisonment unless he explained himself? I do think that defendants and toddlers have some similarities in that if a judge or a parent threatens a consequence if their orders are not obeyed then they should be ready to go through with their threat or risk losing the power of their threat. If defendants know that they can openly disobey court orders with impunity then why would anybody bother complying?
Talk about 'from the horse's mouth'!

Post Of The Month

Unenlightened Commentary on the left's ideologues...

Clearly, It'll Be An Open Marriage?

Unemployed Lee Moss, 40, was already serving a 12-month suspended sentence for running a drug farm when he punched two young men in a takeaway following a night out.
Although Moss should have been sent to prison for breaching the terms of his sentence, a judge said jailing him would ‘ruin his life’ and freed him. would it do that?
Judge Andrew Woolman, sitting at Preston Crown Court, handed Moss a six-week home curfew, ending in time for his big day and honeymoon to Egypt next month.
The judge said: ‘It would destroy your life in the short term if I was to imprison you immediately – you would not be able to attend your wedding.’
Well, yes. Those are called 'consequences'. You should really have to expect them when you launch an unprovoked assault on strangers...

Still, if he's otherwise compliant with the court's ...

Moss, who the court heard had also failed to complete the community service element of his sentence, is due to marry his long-standing girlfriend, Michelle Bell, 39, on June 24.
What a lucky woman, eh?
Last night Moss, who has two sons aged nine and four, said the judge had ‘saved his life’ by allowing him to walk free.
He added: ‘We both feared the worst and Michelle has been a nervous wreck. I was so sure I wouldn’t be going on the honeymoon I told her to look at taking a friend.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

For The Umpteenth Time, The Safety Of Other People's Children Is Not My Concern!

After the inquest Mr and Mrs Winfield said: ‘We feel very privileged to have had our son, Arthur, for two years and nine months.
‘As the youngest, he was the centre of our family and our daughter’s best friend,’ they said in a statement.
‘We are completely lost following his sudden death.
‘Our daughter has saved us from the worst depths of despair.’
Yes, it's yet another toddler strangled by a blind cord. Very sad, but it must be one of the most common causes of accidental death, after falling in ponds and getting run over.

But no-one mourns and moves on, any more. Now, they join campaigns to raise awareness, because all the newspaper reports of the deaths aren't apparently warning enough:.
The couple have since backed a campaign by the British Blind and Shutter Association to raise awareness of the potential dangers of blinds.
They are joined by the parents of another recent victim, Emily Warner, also two, who died last year after she was strangled in a blind cord.
 But hey, you say! Why such a misanthrope? If it makes them feel better, why not let them?

Well, because of the attitude that, even if you don't have any children and don't want any children, you must still do the heavy lifting for all the potential hard-of-thinking out there:
Mr and Mrs Winfield said: ‘Looped blinds and curtain pulls can kill and severely brain damage children. They are already in thousands of houses, communal halls, doctors’ surgeries and other public buildings. Please, please make these safe using cleats or replace them.
‘Even if you do not have children, children may visit or you may sell your house to a family with children.’
If I do, it's still their responsibility to look out for their offspring. Not mine.

Vietnamese? Chinese? Thai?

Mr Gibbs said: "The complainant said they were arguing because the defendant was being objectionable about Asian people, which is odd because they're both Asian."
Are they? Are they really?

We aren't given the name of the victim, which is odd, because he was 20, but the attacker was Anwar Shah. 

Doesn't sound very Mongolian or Korean to me...
In mitigation, Jacqui Callan said Shah was a promotions manager and events organiser, with contracts across the UK.
That's mitigation...?
Miss Callan added: "He was horrified when watching his actions on the screen and struggled to comprehend it as he's someone who trains others in city nightclub environments not to behave in this way."
I guess he got the 'Do' and 'Do Not' columns mixed up?

You're Right, Judge, I Do Feel 'A Sense Of Shame'...

...but it's not over our citizens being 'subject to such behaviour' but over the way the justice system has been subverted and corrupted to the point that a physical assault leaving injury means the attackers walk free, while a verbal rant sees the miscreant sentenced to a frankly incredible 21 weeks:
Jacqueline Woodhouse, 42, was jailed for 21 weeks for her foul-mouthed tirade. She snarled at shocked commuters seated beside her: ‘I used to live in England and now I live in the United Nations.’
That's how I often feel. Should I say it in public, would I too be subject to arrest?

And the 'shock and distress' allegedly experienced by the passengers didn't, as Longrider points out at 'Orphans', prevent then standing there and filming it, did it?

And isn't it odd that the magic get-out-of-jail-free card of alcohol consumption doesn't work?
Ms Lee also explained her client recognised her actions were linked to heavy alcohol consumption, adding she had sought help from her GP and counselling since the incident.
How strange...

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Ooooh, I Smell A Compensation Demand!

Charmaine Williams and her two daughters, Toni and Tori, aged nine and 18 months, were asleep in their Stanley Road home when officers armed with guns, tasers and riot shields broke down their front door just before 2am on Friday, May 18.
The officers were responding to an anonymous tip-off that a woman was being held at gun-point.
Whoops! No harm done, though, right?
Toni, a pupil at Woodside Junior School, said: "They were shouting and talking so fast, we couldn't hear them properly. I nearly fainted, somebody told them a lie that we had a gun in our house.
"The police have done something wrong, they were supposed to knock on the door before they bang it down. I was so confused, I didn't know what was going on."

Clearly, not the brains of the family, this one!
Mrs Williams said she will be making a complaint to the IPCC.
Or that one, either.
She said: "No one told me why they came in my property, no one gave me a document, I just don't understand. If I had the money I would sue them.
"My daughter needs someone to talk to, she is bottling it up. I'm going to take her to the doctors to see if she can see a therapist.
"The little one she has started to shout, I don't know if its related but she shouts and then starts crying."
Translation: “Waaaah! Give me moneys!”

Two's Company, Three's A Crowd Beating...

Samuels had organised the liaison on Facebook and invited mother-of-one Reid and the victim to his house in King Edwards Road, Barking, Essex, last July 14.
But a row broke out when the victim became jealous of the attention Reid and Samuels were paying each other, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.
Violence flared when Samuels - a youth worker with Barking and Dagenham Council - caught her trying to steal his watch. He slapped her repeatedly around the face before forcing her against a CD rack, sending discs tumbling to the floor.
When she failed to replace them in the correct slots he slapped her again and held a baseball bat aloft over his trembling victim before Reid grabbed a screwdriver and threatened to stab her. She then kicked and punched the woman before biting her on her face.
Samuels grabbed the whip and forced the victim to pull her jeans down before beating her on her back and buttocks. Reid whipped her on her forearms before forcing vodka down her throat.
The woman eventually escaped and was found in a distressed state by a passer-by, who called the police.
And people wonder why Barking & Dagenham has problems with violent youths?
At the time of the attack, Reid was subject to a one-year suspended sentence for unlawful wounding after she hurled a glass bottle in a woman's face at a nightclub on March 11 last year.
How...surprising. Not.
Edward Boateng-Addo, for Samuels, said the offences were out of character and his conviction has had a 'substantial impact' on his family, including his mother whom he was caring for.
He added: 'He was an impressive member of society, for two years worked as an intervention worker dedicated to helping youths and gained employment in that field.
'For a man who had such potential and support from his family, friends and colleagues, it can only be described as tragic how his life has turned out to date.'
Mmmmm. If you say so, chum.

GovNet Communications Never Heard Of The 'Streisand Effect'...

It appears Witterings From Whitney has attracted the attention of some unsavoury types for a post he wrote about GovNet Communications - three years ago!

I think they are about to learn not just about the Streisand Effect, but that bloggers are a pack. Not a herd.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Strange Sort Of 'Community' Then...

Parveen Akhtar, prosecuting, said Mr Wilkinson, a painter and decorator, had been travelling up Barkerhouse Road, Nelson, towards a mini roundabout, when Naveed’s taxi came out of Netherfield Road, causing him to slam on his brakes to avoid a crash.
The defendant stopped, got out, threw the bottle and opened Mr Wilkinson's door as the victim tried to close it. He kicked him, using the flat of his shoe, connecting with the side of his head and dragging his foot down the victim's ear, causing it to bleed.
The defendant then punched Mr Wilkinson a number of times with such force his head was knocked back. The victim’s son then tried to stop Naveed who later fled in his cab before police were called.
And the penalty for this sort of utter savagery?
He was given 26 weeks in jail, suspended for two years, with 200 hours unpaid work and must pay £400 compensation and £100 costs.
Wonderful! Mitigation must have been stunning...
Kamran Yousaf, for Naveed, said he had been a taxi driver since he was 17, had built up his business and had 14 employees. The incident last October 18 was isolated and the defendant felt enormous regret.
Naveed would say Mr Wilkinson made a gesture and he accepted he made a mistake in stopping his vehicle and retaliating.
Mr Yousaf continued :" He just saw red. He didn't realise what he was doing. He can't understand what went through his mind for him to go and do what he did. He accepts his actions were out of order."
The solicitor added Naveed was held in high esteem in the community.
And has that changed, I wonder? Because it's amazing what you can do with the apparent blessing (or at least, not outright and vocal condemnation) of your 'community' as Baroness Warsi* pointed out last week...

*H/T: Kevin B via email

Do You Know Where Your Children Are?

Oh. Clearly not.
Michelle Smith, aged 43, contacted Tamworth Police on March 18 demanding to know the whereabouts of her daughter.
"I need to f*****g know where my daughter is," said Smith to operator Katie Price.
After being warned of her language, Smith replied: "If you don't take my call I'll kick your f*****g head off".
Mother of the year!
Ms Thompson added: "Police officers were sent to arrest Mrs Smith but she was very difficult upon arrest."
Back at Burton Police Station, Smith "lashed out" at a police officer in the custody suite causing a bloody nose and reddening to the face.
Smith's previous criminal record was also mentioned by the prosecution, detailing an assault on a PC in 2005.

We aren't told why Mrs Smith thought the police might know where her daughter was, but I think we can guess.
Solicitor Roger Eddowes, representing Smith, made no representations anticipating the magistrates' wish for an all options pre-sentence report to be carried out by the Probation Service to assist them with sentencing.
After originally ordering the report on a fast delivery basis for later that day, the case was later adjourned until June 1 to allow for the reports to be completed.
Smith was remanded in custody ahead of her return to Burton Magistrates' Court.
Custody..? That's a little unusual, no?

Let Them Eat Rice Cake!

A BBC report on the costs to the NHS of gluten-free food brought back fond memories of the 'NHS Blog Doctor' blog, now sadly closed, and his impotent fury at the cost of prescriptions for doughy-faced teenagers demanding bread, cakes and pizza bases.

But any suggestion that bread isn't needed for survival is met with shock and horror at the very idea that people shouldn't have this paid for by the rest of us:

And if the costs are challenged, then the tack switches immediately to how 'mean' you are to refuse 'free' food:

Meanwhile, the pressure groups are moving in too, demanding their 'free' lunch:
Many patients find it challenging to manage a life‐long gluten‐free diet.
I have no doubt they do. I'm sure peanut-allergy sufferers have the occasional craving for a Planter's too. And diabetics for that delicious-looking meringue.

But why should I have to pay to take that responsibility away from them?

H/T: Robert Hale via email

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Wales In 'Shortage Of Lettuce' SHOCK!

'It was difficult for Georgia to maintain her weight loss because she couldn't find the right foods in the supermarket in Aberdare.'
Mr Treloar, 73, told the Sun on Sunday how Georgia had been gaining weight since her return from fat camp - staying in her bedroom watching television or messaging her friends.
He said Georgia managed to come downstairs to eat or talk to her family by sliding down on her bottom, but last Monday she confessed she could no longer stand up.
And yet, earlier reports claim that she was her parents' carer..?

Maybe Just A Rumour, Maybe Not…

A Chafford Hundred pub was the scene of a mass brawl involving 100 people.
The Grays Harvester, which sits on the junction of the North Stifford Arterial Road and Clockhouse Lane, had a window smashed as a large fight took place outside it on Friday night.
Lovely! Well, it is Grays…
An eyewitness, who lives opposite the pub and restaurant, told the Gazette there was a huge crowd of people.
Well, should be easy to provide descriptions, then?
“It’s very unusual to see that sort of thing around here. I’ve never seen anything like it before.
“There is a rumour that gipsies were involved, but I think that’s just a silly rumour.”
Really? Well, it would indeed be quite uncharacteristic for them, wouldn’t it?
Police were called to the pub at 10.15pm after reports of a disturbance.
On arrival, they were forced to call for back-up due to the number of people involved.
The crowd were eventually dispersed, however, and neighbourhood officers patrolled the area for some time after the incident to ensure trouble did not flare up again.
No arrests were made and there were no reports of any injuries.
‘No arrests were made’..?

Hmmm, maybe those rumours are spot on, then…

All The News That's Fit To Print!

Albeit, not all that interesting or exciting...

Sunday Funnies

If you're 'going home in an ambulance', as the song says, you might not make it!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Gosh, I Wonder Why The Police Aren’t The First Port Of Call Anymore?

A group of ravers who claim they were attacked at a party by men with dogs say that they are going to claim for damages – even though they admit they were on the land illegally.
Well, good luck with that. I suspect you’ll have as much luck as this chap, frankly…
One of them, 22-year-old Steven, said: "Four men with four Alsatian dogs turned up and pushed over our sound system and speakers.
"We told them we would leave immediately but they started dragging people from cars and setting the dogs on people dancing.
"I saw a young girl being dragged across the floor with the dogs attacking her. It was disgusting. What sort of grown man would beat up a 16-year-old girl? "
Yes, it is disgusting. What sort of 16 year old girl would think she had the right to do as she pleased on other people’s property?

So, why didn’t they just call the police to remove the ravers? After all, they are quick enough to act in other areas. Though not so much in others, especially when outnumbered...
The group, aged between 15 and 30, say they have been organising the free parties throughout the countryside for several years and during that time have never experienced any trouble.
Steven said: "We expect the police to turn up but they don't set upon people with mindless violence, they make sure the party is under control and tell people to leave the site.
"The problem is there is nothing to do for people our age in Radstock or Midsomer Norton: this gives everyone something positive to do.
Yeah, like that’s any excuse! Your parents must be so proud of their offspring’s whinging excuse for trespass, eh?

Oh. Hang on. Clearly, they were the ones who provided you with your massive, unearned sense of entitlement:
Gael, who accompanied her son and his friends to the party to ensure they were safe and had a lift home, said: "My own son was dragged through the window of my car by these men.
"The young people who were at the party were not doing any harm. They were simply dancing in a field with their friends.
A field that didn’t belong to them, and where they were not authorised to be…
"The music they were playing wasn't excessively loud; I could still hear my own music I was playing in the car over it.
Thus adding to the din?
"They are good kids who want an alternative to standing around on the streets drinking. They organise the parties because there is no other form of entertainment for them locally.
So why not approach the landowner and ask permission? Is that not something ‘good kids’ should do?
A spokeswoman for Avon and Somerset Police confirmed that they were investigating a series of complaints following allegations of assault, criminal damage and possession of a dog in a non-public place causing injury.
Well, don’t investigate too hard, will you? Just put in the same amount of effort as you put in to all complaints of trespass and squatting, and it’ll be fine.

Or, you could just put MORE effort into resolving those issues, and then maybe people won’t have to take the law into their own hands?

Just a thought…

Never Mind The Crime & The Depravity, Look At The Art Deco Cinema!

Owen Hatherley (author of Militant Modernism; A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain) in CiF on the wonders of Wythenshawe:
The second-largest council estate in the country, after Becontree in East London, it's best known of late for three media appearances – Sarah Ferguson's The Duchess on the Estate; Shameless, for which it provided many of the sets; and a photograph of David Cameron on the stump, with a hooded youth making gun signs behind him.
In appearance, though, Wythenshawe doesn't correspond much to stereotype.
Really? Are you sure about that, Owen? Are you really, really sure?

Owing To The Cutbacks, Horse’s Heads Have Been Phased Out…

In a statement, Ms White said she was left shaken and frightened after finding the package when she returned home from her first official meeting at Bassetlaw District Council.
"I came home after the council's AGM and found a pile of post waiting for me," she said. "Whilst there was an unpleasant smell I thought nothing of it until I began opening the last package when the smell became so overwhelming I retched and felt really sick."
There was a dead magpie on the verge outside my house yesterday. I can’t say it activated my gag reflex, but then, it was quite fresh, not having had to travel first class post.

Still, you can expect these things when you’re a politician, I suppose. So just dispose of it in the bin and… 

Wait. What?
Ms White, who was elected to the Worksop East ward at this month's local elections, added: "I put the package outside and called the police, who have been absolutely brilliant.
"They took away the bird and the package for DNA investigation – I really hope they find whoever did this."
What do they expect to find?

And a commenter points out that when he had a burglary recently, the police didn’t bother to turn up to take samples for that! They are somewhat blasé about hammer attacks too…
A Notts Police spokesman said: "We can confirm we are investigating this incident and our inquiries are on-going."
Crime must be very low in Notts!

Friday, 25 May 2012

And THAT, Boys & Girls, Is How... deal with abusive trolls on FaceBook and Twitter:
Mr Simpson told the Guardian: "If I'm brutally frank about it, I really don't give a toss what people think about what they think I went through. Nobody has the first idea, really.
"The book and the film were as accurate as they could be and they don't come anywhere near describing what it was like.
A bunch of spotty schoolkids who can't read and can't pass their exams, and who start calling me a 'crevasse w-----', I find really quite amusing actually."
Not by demanding new legislation or whinging that you get attacked because you're a woman, but by telling them to sod off and using the 'block' option!

But then, this is a man who climbed a mountain, not some charity media whore or would-be control freak..

Such A ‘Nice’ Boy, Clearly…

Former Thomas Tallis pupil Stephen Ojerinola, who boasted to pals he "would die for money", dealt drugs in the Kidbrooke area before he went missing in April last year, jurors heard.
His body was eventually found by police last November buried beneath a hastily-assembled shed at Lynsted Gardens, Eltham, where one of his alleged killers William Regan lived. He had multiple stab wounds.
Such a heartwarming modern tale, eh?
The witness, who came forward to police in November after seeing messages about her friend's death on Facebook, said she had last seen her friend in April.
She claimed: "He said that he was going to rob Will for money and that was it and he'd be back in a few hours. He never came back."
But you didn’t do anything about it then?
After Mr Ojerinola went missing, she became concerned but said other male friends did not.
She said: "I don't think they think like us girls. They don't use their brains. Especially men that are from the streets - all they care about is themselves."
Doesn’t sound to me as though the distaff side have much to boast about in the IQ department, actually.
She said: "He was just a strong person. He cared a lot for people.
"He wasn't heartless or nothing like that. He was nice."
Apart from the drug dealing and the attempted robbery, that is..?

Sounds Like It’s The Mother Who’s ‘Unsafe’…

A toddler escaped with just a broken jaw after falling from an open window on the third floor of an apartment block (Ed: no, not in New York - I think that's what they call 'flats' now...).
The 22-month-old boy landed on a ledge above a shop in Amhurst Road in Hackney, where he was seen crawling by passers-by who rescued him using a ladder.
And who is at fault for this? Why, clearly, the architect of the building!
His grandmother said his mother had left him on his own as she got ready to go out. She added:
“The windows open out wide and the sill is low enough for a baby to climb up on. The whole place is unsafe.”
Haven’t you ever heard of child-proof window locks and not leaving babies alone in rooms without these..?

Yes, They Always Are Denied, Aren’t They?

Claims that a city council manager jumped the queue to secure a three-bedroom house in a high-demand area have been denied by the authority.
But they seem to happen with regularity, all the same…
At a time when more than 13,000 people were on the council's housing waiting list, customer services manager Lee Turnbull was given the semi-detached home within a few weeks of registering himself as homeless following a divorce.
Funny. That’s just what happened in Barking and Dagenham, too…
In a statement, the council said the allocation was made "entirely in accordance with policies and procedures".
Funny. That’s just what they said in Barking and Dagenham too…
A total of 51 bids were originally submitted for the property in Sleights Close, west Hull, under the council's bidding system for available housing. Mr Turnbull was eventually ranked fourth but he was the only bidder to be offered the keys.
Council documents show three bidders ranked above him had a higher number of priority points for rehousing. Two were also in a higher priority band used by the council to assess cases of urgent housing need.
Is anyone surprised? Anyone? Bueller?

Still, we must think of the kiddiewinks, mustn’t we? Why should they suffer because…

What? Oh…
The documents, which have been seen by the Mail, show Mr Turnbull was awarded extra points by stating on his application form he would be living with his two young daughters.
However, they are understood to live with their mother for most of the week at another address.
Isn’t this fraud?

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Going For Broke…

Geoff White, speaking in mitigation, said Newsome had told him she suffered from schizophrenia and that she was "having a turn" on that day.
Mr White also told the court she was a heroin user. He added that she had been given community orders for previous offences but that it had not helped or stopped her reoffending.
A drug addict and a schizophrenic? That’s a bit greedy, Geoff, leave some ‘mitigation’ for all those other lawyers, won’t you?
Newsome pleaded guilty to assault by beating, racially aggravated assault and racially aggravated harassment causing alarm and distress.
District judge Stephen Nicholls adjourned the case for psychiatric reports ahead of sentencing.
Newsome was released on unconditional bail to appear back at the same court on June 25.

Well, I suppose she doesn’t live anywhere near Mr Nicholls, or Mr White, for that matter. And they probably shop in Waitrose.

It Doesn’t Work, And There Are Hidden Costs? Must Be A Government Project!

In a report, the cross-party Commons public accounts committee said that access to a high quality early years education was supposed to have a “lasting positive impact” on standards.
But MPs found “no clear evidence” of a knock-on effect on pupils at the age of seven, raising concerns that up to £1.9bn a year is being misspent.
No kidding..?

Oh, and the government’s desire to try to ignore the laws of economics isn’t working, either. How surprising…
Access to state-funded childcare was introduced under Labour in the late 90s and expanded by the Coalition. Currently, all three and four-year-olds receive 15 hours of free education each week.
But the report found that large numbers of parents were being forced to pay “top-up” fees – often equal to hundreds of pounds a month – because nurseries refused to accept the cap on state funding.
Nurseries exist because they are businesses. Not because they like to mind the screaming, snotty-nosed offspring of the proletariat, and are happy to make a loss doing so...
Assessments carried out last summer showed some 15 per cent of seven-year-olds – 80,000 – were unable to read after two full years of primary school.
As someone who was able to read (thanks to my parents and grandparents) before starting primary school, I find that astonishing, but sadly, less than surprising.
A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “We’ve seen big year-on year improvements in children’s development at five as a result of free early education – but we know there are many factors that influence attainment at school.
“We are commissioning a major piece of longitudinal research to look at how early education impacts on later attainment and to understand more about how a high quality early education leads to better results at seven and beyond. “
Well, clearly, for a significant minority, it doesn’t. So wouldn’t that research be better targeted at finding out how to identify the 15%?

Or would you not like to see the results of such research? Might it pose too many questions?

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Shock Survey Finds One In Five Shoppers Is As Thick As The Mince They Don't Like, But Buy Anyway!

One in five shoppers regularly ends up binning goods bought on supermarket buy-one-get-one-free offers, it emerged yesterday.
Research revealed a large percentage of consumers who snap up BOGOFs and three for two deals find sell by dates often expire before the items are used.
The report also found the average household succumbs to six special offers in a typical week.
And worryingly, one in five of those polled said they often buy food they don't like - just because it's cheap.
So, what conclusions do we draw from this? That there's a lot of dim people about, who don't understand how freezers work?
Yesterday a spokesperson for the Organic, Naturally Different campaign, which carried out the research, said: 'It's completely unnecessary that so much food is going to waste.
'The findings show that just because a certain food is discounted or part of an offer people feel the urge to give in and buy it regardless of whether they need it or not.
'It's false economics if you end up buying food because it's cheap but subsequently don't like it or end up throwing it away.'
Yes. Yes, it is. But that's hardly the fault of the companies that sell it, is it?

So good luck with your campaign to point out how stupid a lot of people are, and hope that they will therefore buy organic foo...

Oh. Hang on. You're not stupid, clearly!

If Only There Was An Estate Agent In The Mix…

…it’d be the ‘Perfect Storm’ of unsympathetic figures losing out big time!
Social worker Sylvia Henry won a libel action against The Sun, which made false allegations about her over the Baby P case, but she now faces the possibility of being almost £300,000 out of pocket.
That's the amount of shortfall in the legal costs she is able to claim from the paper's publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN).
Social workers, lawyers and newspapermen in ‘Can’t they all lose?’ drama!

Oh dear, so sad, too bad…

But why is she so out of pocket?
Following that hearing, the London legal firm that acted for Henry, Taylor Hampton, have been seeking costs from NGN. It exceeded the previous agreed amounts, it said, because of the way the defence was conducted.
Master Hurst said NGN has "mounted a vigorous and lengthy defence which was amended four times. They served 10 lists of documents.
"I do not suggest that the defendant was not entitled to act as it did, but it cannot now try to pass off this constantly changing scenario as being no more than a minor inconvenience to the claimant."
But the costs judge said that Henry's lawyers had "largely ignored the provisions of the practice direction" in relation to the budgeting of costs.
He suggested that Henry's lawyers should have raised the matter of the extra costs earlier in the litigation and he therefore ruled in NGN's favour.
Hmmmm. Maybe she can find another set of lawyers to sue the first set for incompetence?

*gets popcorn*

Well, This Answers A Few Questions...

A juror on a rape trial who smoked a cannabis joint in his lunch hour was today fined £450 after admitting contempt of court.
The feminazis will no doubt have a field day with that one!
The father-of-one from Hamel Street, Bolton had been one of 12 jurors on a week-long case of a man accused of raping a child.
Last Friday lunch time, with the jury about to go out to consider its verdicts later that afternoon, the father-of-one went outside on his break when he was spotted smoking the joint by the other juror, who retrieved the used butt from the pavement to hand to police.
Hussain at first denied it was his until he had a change of heart and apologised when warned by Pc Michael Bailey that the butt could be examined for his DNA.
That's not 'a change of heart'. That's 'Oh, yeah. I forgot about DNA!'...
Ben Lawrence, defending, told the judge there were significant mitigating circumstances to explain the Hussain’s behaviour.
'Mr Hussain is no more than an occasional user of cannabis. He uses it probably unwisely to deal with times of stress,' Mr Lawrence said.
'Probably' unwisely..?

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

They Shouldn't Be Hard To Find..?

The woman, described as black and aged in her late 20s, then launched into a ferocious attack....
Their suspect is aged between 28-35, is about five foot five tall and has short ginger hair.
She was with a friend, who also fled the scene, who is described as a black woman of a similar age. She is roughly five foot seven tall, has shoulder-length black hair, has a heavy build and two facial piercings.
Well, you'd think, anyway. And the obvious question gets asked in comments:
vikki w says...
Funny if it was the other way round this would of been classed as a racist attack the things she was shouting when its a white person its a different story hmmm
It is indeed.

How Can People Act Like This With Impunity?

Mr Fitzpatrick’s attackers were described as acting like “a pack of wolves” by storming into the pub near his home in Dollis Hill.
Police said the killing followed an argument in the pub though some witnesses said it occurred after a dispute in a shop opposite.
Three people were arrested, including two 17-year-old men who still being questioned in custody today.
And who can’t be named, of course.
The victim’s best friend, Ricci Whiteside, 25, who was with him all evening said: “There was an argument in the shop opposite the pub at half-time. Luke wasn’t anything to do with it, but we all heard that something had gone on.
"A group of black guys arrived at the door of the pub with bats and knives and they were looking for someone who had been outside the shop earlier.
“People were throwing chairs at the door to try and stop them from coming in.
“There was a lot of confusion. They got Luke and dragged him outside. They were pulling him up the road.
“His dad was running after them. But by the time he got to Luke he was already on the floor. Bernie threw himself on top of Luke. He was trying to protect him, but it was too late.”
So how can this sort of thing happen, in England, in 2012?

Well, one clue to this is…it’s because they know they can get away with it:
A father told today how a fellow parent ambushed him with a claw hammer as he was picking up his daughters from a dance class — and that police took more than 24 hours to respond.
Paul Dilworth feared he was going to die as he tried to shield himself from the blows the stranger aimed at his head.
And what started this all off? Why, the same sort of attitude to the one above, the feeling that you can do whatever you want and if you are ever challenged, you simply tool up and go in mob-handed, because you know that your opponent, being a decent law-abiding man or woman, won't be armed:
His ordeal — which left him with a badly injured hand — began as he chatted to his sister-in-law outside Sanders Draper School in Hornchurch, when a car with a mother and father inside nudged him.
Mr Dilworth, 43, said: “The lady then walked past without an apology, so I sarcastically said ‘excuse me’. Her partner shouted a torrent of abuse at me, then drove the car into my leg.”
Shaken but uninjured, Mr Dilworth left and returned three hours later to collect his seven-year-old twins, Elise and Tabitha. But he said the other father and a friend were lying in wait armed with a foot-long claw hammer.
In a company van. With the name and telephone number on the side.

A quick and easy collar for the cops? Well, yes. If anyone ever bothered to turn up…
Mr Dilworth rang 999 but after waiting an hour and half he drove himself to Queen’s Hospital in Romford, where doctors treated his hand.
Detectives finally spoke to Mr Dilworth last Monday, more than a day after the attack.
Mr Dilworth said: “The police did apologise but I can’t believe they’re letting lunatics run round hitting people with hammers. It should be a very easy job to find them, I’ve got the company on Google Maps.”
You’d think it would, wouldn’t you? But you'd be wrong.
A spokesman for Havering police said: “If any member of the public is unhappy with the response to an incident then they are free to make an official complaint.”
No arrests have been made.
‘Broken Britain’ indeed…

Monday, 21 May 2012

No Wonder There's A Facebook Status: 'It's Complicated'...

A schoolboy found dead after taking a lethal cocktail of heroin, alcohol and an anti-depressant probably obtained the drugs from his family, an inquest was told.
So sad. But the family history reads like....well, like something the scriptwriter of 'Eastenders' would reject as too implausible:
The previous year Drew had discovered the girl he thought was his sister, Samantha, who was fighting heroin addiction, was in fact his mother.
At the time of his death she was in rehab and he was spending time with his biological father and his aunt.
His uncle, who lived with them in the child’s grandparents’ house, was also a heroin user.
His uncle and aunt both used citalopram and his mother a similar drug.
Relatives insisted he had taken the news about his parentage “really well” and was the “happiest he had ever been”.
He spent his last evening playing computer games with his uncle Michael Quinlan junior. But the next morning grandfather Michael Quinlan senior found the teenager’s lifeless body.
And before anyonre says 'Typical council housing estate underclass trash!', well, he was found.. his grandfather face down on a sofa at his family’s £4 million house in Richmond...

I've Got A Better Idea For All That Chicken Wire...

‘It is understood that Mr Taylor, who had erected a temporary chicken run, had let the hens out to roam the garden. Mr Marriott has subsequently freely offered Mr and Mrs Taylor as much chicken wire as they might require to keep their chickens in.
Why don't you wrap it round your garden and keep your dog in?

Or perhaps next time it makes it off your property and onto someone else's to wreak havoc, it might not make it back...

Sunday, 20 May 2012

"Panic on the streets of London, panic on the streets of Birmingham..."

...and a fair amount of high anxiety in Basildon:

My god! They'll have to eat in Pizza Hut instead! This is a disaster, I tell you!

Mmmm, You Might Want To Be Careful With That Headline...

...or someone (like me, for instance) is bound to point out that he clearly didn't miss.

And Edwin Greenwood has an even better example.

Posting Over The Next Few Days Might Be Light... we have two new additions to the family:

Not been here 24 hours yet, and they've already pulled the router cable out of the back of the PC!

Sunday Funnies

So much classier than 'Hey! D'you spill my pint?'...

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Ahhhh, Never Mind The Violence, Just Feel The Cultural Enrichment!

Koc, who lived with his parents ever since coming to Britain in 1993, would spend his days watching television, listening to music and spending his benefit money in the betting shop.
Well, I know it's a small price to pay, isn't it, to be able to get a doner after midnight when the pubs close?
In December 2010 his benefits had been stopped and between attacks he would abuse, often racially, DWP staff.
I suspect, should one of the benefit staff have snapped and abused him back in similar fashion, his feet wouldn't have touched the ground. It'd be one of the few things that would get you sacked from a civil service position.

Yet he bore a relatively charmed life:
Koc, has a long history of past convictions dating back to 2000 and had been to prison five times before.
Never, it seems, for long enough.
In a searing victim impact statement read to the court which reduced one juror to tears, John Needell said: “I’ve seen the individual in the dock not adding to society but taking money, support and other people’s lives and happiness.
“With a disdain for others, his selfish nature was so completely opposite to my father I wonder if he could ever be part of the same species as the rest of humanity.
“Frankly I pity him for what is obviously such a bleak and pointless existence. He is a weak individual who offers nothing positive to anyone, even himself.”
The only thing that would complete this picture of just how low modern Britain has sunk is if some ghastly pressure group now started a campaign to get Mr Needell prosecuted for racial hatred.

Well, would you be surprised?

Another 'Right' You Never Knew You Had!

“He’s not a naughty child, he has dyslexia and the school can’t seem to cope with learning difficulties. He got his attendance up from 63 per cent to 78 per cent. Then we find out short notice he’s not allowed to go.
It’s every child’s right to go to their prom.
Is it? Is it really?

Comments aren't sympathetic, in the main.

"Let Me Off Baby, One More Time!"

Question: When does 'one last chance' not mean 'one last chance'..?

Answer: When you're up before Judge Carol Hagen:
A career criminal with more than 100 offences has again walked free from court, despite getting a 'last chance' from the same judge two years ago.
And yes, if that name seems familiar, you're right. She's featured on this blog before.

And if she continues in this vein, she almost certainly will again:
She told Spaulding: ‘You present me with a real problem Sundee Spaulding. You commit offence after offence and always there is some excuse on your part.
‘The question for me is do I send you to prison or not. I am persuaded that it is in the interests of justice that I do not activate that suspended sentence.
‘It seems to me to offer the best chance at this point in time to dissuade you from committing further criminal offences.
‘I’m giving you a final chance. If any of these conditions I impose are breached you are going to prison for 12 months.
‘This is a real opportunity.’
Yes, you read that right - the best chance to prevent her committing further crimes is to not punish her for this one.



 One's a useless waste of state funding and oxygen, the other's the defendant.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Momtaz Begum-Hussain Had A Problem, And No-one Else Could Help... she set out to find The A-Team...

Wait, no, that's not right. She turned to Twitter, of course!
I've made a decision. From now on, if I need help, I'm heading straight to Twitter. I've tweeted pleas before. I once posted that I needed a job and the same afternoon got commissioned to write an article. But a few weeks ago, I discovered the true benefits of the virtual world.
Awwww, how heartwarming! Was was her problem? Lost kitten? Stuck tap? Locked out of her house?
It was election day and on my way back from a lunchtime trip to the launderette I discovered a huge BNP banner had been tied to the lamp post outside my flat. My immediate reaction was to pull it down. The trouble was, I'm short and it was higher than my tallest chair could reach. So I sent out a tweet. Could anyone help me tear down this monstrosity?
I pondered the idea of knocking door-to-door until I found a ladder-owning resident, but it's a busy main road where people are closely guarded and don't stop and chat. Then I spotted my immediate neighbour who's exceptionally tall. When I told him about the banner and the fact I needed help, he laughed and went indoors.
Well, yes, after all, he perhaps quite sensibly reasoned it was a legitimate political party so who was he to help you censor them?
I was contacted by a local councillor and a member of another political party, who advised that I should deal with the issue legally.
Did they? Spoilsports!
Finally I got it. The tweet that saved the day. A message from a stranger to say assistance was on the way. Sure enough, two gentlemen promptly arrived with a ladder in tow. I tweeted a photo of them, and have since found out who they were, marking a satisfactory end to my tale.
At least with CiF, you can usually get some common sense below the line. And the first comment (and highest rated) points out the truth of the matter:

Well, indeed. Welcome to the new politics. So much improved by our addition of tribalist, communalist cultures, eh?

Even When You Don’t Get Away With It, You Do Get Away With It!

Louise Evans, of Champion Road, Kingswood, was given an eight- month sentence in 2009 after she admitted false accounting and theft from Whitehall Rugby Club at Bristol Crown Court.
Despite selling her car and house in a bid to pay the club compensation, she was put back behind bars for another 12 months in February for not coughing up the full £27,000 she owed.
Hurrah! That’s what you should expect when you can’t meet your legal obliga…

On Friday Lord Justice Moses branded the magistrates' decision a "basic error of law" and ordered that Evans be released "as fast as humanly possible".
Lord Justice Moses, sitting with Mr Justice Eady …said: "The magistrates erred in two ways: Firstly in failing to have regard to the order of the crown court, in which it was accepted that she had no means to pay the confiscation order which was linked to the compensation order.
"The second error into which the magistrates fell arose out of their allision between the resources of her husband and her own resources."
He concluded: "She should never have been ordered to go to prison at all and the magistrates erred in serious measure in these two failings."
So if you can’t pay, the justice system won’t make you pay, and won’t punish you with jail time either. Well, if you owe money to a third party, that is.

On the other hand, if you owe a debt to the state, you can just sit in jail until you come up with the goods.

Offered Without Comment...

During his sentencing he told Judge Simon Darwall-Smith: "You don't know what it is like to wake up on a slab in a mortuary."
Judge Darwall-Smith replied: "You cannot use that as an excuse forever."

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Have They? Have They Really?

'I'm not saying my boys are angels - but they’ve got behavioural and emotional problems.'
Or, as MacHeath points out here, is that hoary old chrestnut simply being used as a means of avoiding the 'bad parent' tag, and accessing the resources of the State to cover inadequacy and laziness?

I Think His Disability Is Blindness – To How He Comes Across!

A man was fined for refusing to move his car out of the way of firefighters who were trying to reach an incident in Laindon.
Hurrah! Offender named and shamed?

Oh, no. It’s all so unfair, you see. He should never have been in court:
But Clarence Kingston, 72, who pleaded guilty to a charge of obstruction, believes he should never have been taken to court in the first place.
So, a case of mistaken identity? No, no. Nothing like that.

He just thinks they were totally unreasonable in asking for access to investigate a possible fire!
Basildon Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday how fire crews were called to an incident in Mellow Purgess Close, Laindon, last month. Mr Kingston failed to move his car when the firefighters wanted to put a ladder on his driveway to get into the flat above his property, where a smoke alarm was going off.
And his reason? Well, it was inconvenient, wasn’t it?
Speaking after the case, Mr Kingston, who is disabled and went into court on his mobility scooter, said: “I think the fine is extremely unfair and I cannot believe it has come to court.
“We have so many alarms going off round where we live, I didn’t think anything of it.
“Then, out of nowhere, at 9.30pm we had all these firemen banging on our front door.
“It wasn’t even quiet, and it seemed they were all being over the top for no reason.
“My wife was just about to go to bed and I didn’t want her to have to go out and move the car for no reason.”
She wasn’t asked to move the car for ‘no reason’, she was asked to move the car because there was a fire alarm in progress!

And in case you were wondering if Mrs Kingston is mortified by her husband’s selfish, truculent attitude, oh no! She’d rather her neighbours had their door hacked down than anyone attempt to delay her beauty sleep!
Marilyn Kingston, 58, who is her husband’s full-time carer, added: “I had just got home from bingo and I was just getting ready to go to bed when we heard all this commotion outside.
“After we told the firemen they could have got into the flat by breaking the door of the flat down, which was surely the easiest route in, we had about six police officers on my husband who arrested him.
“There wasn’t even a fire. It was just that someone had left the oven on in the flat above us. It was ridiculous.”
Altogether now! ‘Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours…’

Sorry, Rachel, But She Didn’t Actually Have One To Lose…

Rachel Mason, mitigating, said Taylor has no previous convictions and has now lost her good character.
Yes, I know. It’s a legal term, not a reflection on her life choices. Bad though they are…
She said the defendant suffers with depression.
"It seems she has been taken advantage of by a male who is the father of four children," said Miss Mason.
"He appears to step in and out of her life. He is married and in another relationship with another woman. Each know about each other.
"My client is heavily reliant on him. She has conceded she can't have him full-time. She has held on to him because she has nobody else in her life."
Apart, that is, from the state…
District Judge Timothy Gascoigne sentenced Taylor to an 18-month community order with 18 months supervision and 16 sessions at Chepstow House in Hanley, which aims to help women get their lives back on track.
And the £9,668 that she was overpaid? Does she get to keep that?

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Ex Libris: ‘Assassin of Gor’

"Kuurus, of the Caste of Assassins, crouched on the crest of the small hill, leaning with both hands on the shaft of his spear, looking down into the shallow valley, waiting. He would not yet be welcome.

In the distance he could see the white walls, and some of the towers of the city of Ko-ro-ba, which was being rebuilt."

I can’t quite recall where I bought this, but I do remember where I was when I read it – on a family holiday to Castleton (home of the famous Blue John stone, which is rather appropriate, given how the series later developed! Very blue indeed…).

Poor old John Norman (the nom de plume of Dr. John Lange, a professor of philosophy and a classical scholar) got a bad rep for the rather racier (some might say seedier) aspects of his derivative sci-fi sword n' sandals potboilers.

And in truth, when you get past book 6, they degenerate into a little bit of sci-fi adventure sandwiched between a whole lot of smut, and at Book 19, you're struggling to find any plot advancement whatsoever. They've generated a sordid little subcult that occasionally comes to the attention of the mass media with predictably hilarious - not to mention pathetic - results.

But...those first few books are actually pretty damn good.

It was the cover that drew me, drawn by Chris Achilleos, though the paperback edition I hold gives no art credit. There's just so much happening in it! Who is this man riding the giant bird, attacking this army? What sort of sci-fi world is this?

And despite being book 5, it was actually pretty easy to get into, and (if you could fight your way through the aggrieved feminists) would make a damned good film, being absolutely packed full of spectacle, intrigue and plot twists, all of which seemed to be what non-fantasy lovers enjoyed so much in the televised adaptation of 'Game Of Thrones', after all.. The climactic, nail-biting tarn race alone cries out for a proper CGI treatment!

Sadly for poor old Norman, two abortive attempts at filming his works were made and it's probably best to forget all about them.

But, on a dreary rainy day, when the equivalent of literary popcorn is required, why not take a trip to Counter Earth?

Just pack a broad mind... ;)

Gosh, Another 'Rare Case'....

A student has been spared jail for a false rape claim which led to a man being arrested and detained for nine hours.
Well, of course she has!
Byron, then studying at Teeside University, was trying to win back a former boyfriend with the claim, Teesside Crown Court was told.
Her barrister, Brian Russell, described it as extremely foolish behaviour and urged the judge to depart from the usual punishment of prison.
Well, it seems he didn't need much urging...
After the case, PC James Emery, of Cleveland Police, said: 'The innocent victim of the defendant's malicious report has been put through an enormous amount of stress, having found himself arrested, detained and questioned at length for an allegation that has now been proven to be fictitious.'
And whose fault is that?

The Solution Is Not ‘More Power To The Charities’!

Stephen Bubb (chief executive of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations) on the ‘spectre of inequality’ that we are facing. Apparently…
Our society's tectonic plates are shifting, and the consequences for the most disadvantaged will be profound.
Really? Do tell us more…
Firstly, we face a growing gap between social need in this country and the public resources available to spend on it…. In the long term, our ageing population means the demand on a range of social services is set to outstrip supply.
But isn’t this the stated reason for our open borders policy? That we’ll just import the workforce we’ll need?

Surely you aren’t anticipating this no longer happening at some point in the future, Stephen?
Secondly, the cuts are being implemented in the context of a growing democratic deficit. The government is devolving power to a local level, but greater power is not being accompanied by greater accountability. Local media is weak, only a third of us vote in local elections, and quangos such as the Audit Commission that once interrogated local decisions have been pared back or abolished.
If ‘only a third of us vote’, doesn’t that rather imply that the so-called ‘democratic deficit’ is down to us to rectify?
Thirdly, our society is one in which the "haves" live increasingly parallel lives to those of the "have nots". The cabinet stands accused of being divorced from normal people, but the truth is that the fractures run deeper. Too many businesses are cut off from the hard reality in their own backyards.
Hmmmm. What of the salaries of the CEOs of the big charities, then? Does that money not insulate them too?
And across the board, charity leaders talk of public attitudes hardening, with greater suspicion of anyone who relies on public-funded support, be they disabled, mentally ill or unlucky enough to be raised as a child in a "feckless" family. As one charity CEO put it, we are becoming a less civilised society.
No, people are still happy to see those in genuine need helped; they are just increasingly aware that, as the Devil points out with this timely Mencken quote, the definition of ‘genuine need’ has been stretched so far it’s at breaking point. And so are they.
The homeless, victims of domestic violence, those with mental health problems, the elderly and alone, children in broken homes – the support for these people looks likely to be eroded over the next decade, without the nation they are part of appearing to notice or care.
Oh, we do care. We really do. We’ve been pointing out that the public sector largesse can’t last forever, that we cannot keep doling out public money into ever-open hands forever. Something has to give.

We have to stop doling out money and not fixing the problem, even if that means the flow of ‘work’ to charities dries up…
We must also plug the scrutiny deficit. The government's promised army of "armchair auditors" has not come to pass. Charities could fulfil the role given the right support – for instance, if we had better access to public-sector information.
You’ve got the same access everyone else has – in fact, you’ve got more. You’ve usually got an army of backroom staff at your plush HQ to submit FOIA applications for you! And that’s all you deserve to have.

If you want to be in the public sector, be in the public sector. Don’t expect to benefit from being a charity while taking on the duties and responsibilities of being a public sector mouthpiece.

No, There’s No Such Thing As ‘Free Cable Television’, Judge….

….and it seems there’s no such thing as justice any more, either:
Julie Morris, 40, who lives on a private estate in Shirley, tried to make extra cash by selling pirate cable TV boxes from her home – cheating Virgin Media out of a whopping £7 million – all because she was "bored".
Not greedy. Just bored. Really?
When the Advertiser paid Morris's house in Shirley Oaks Village a visit on Wednesday to get a comment from her, a workman who was laying a new wooden floor in her four-bedroom detached home told us she was out shopping.
Clearly the justice system holds no terrors for her. And why should it?
The court heard the former estate agent illegally sold more than 1,000 decoders and hordes of pirate Nintendo DS video games via a website, which was run from her former home in Morris Close. She also sold instructions on how to avoid paying a subscription to Virgin Media and was only caught when trading standards officers accompanied by the police and special investigators from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) raided her home back on June 22, 2009 after an undercover operation online.
Bang to rights!
In defence, her lawyer Craig Rush said the mother-of-three had undertook (sic) the venture because she was "bored".
He said: "She was bored and for her own self-worth needed her own source of money."
And a legal source of money wouldn’t possibly do..?
Sentencing, Judge Nicholas Ainley told Morris: "There is no such thing as free cable television and you knew that."
Morris was handed a 12-month jail sentence suspended for two years, given 250 hours of community service and ordered to pay £5,000 costs.
That’ll teach her that crime doesn’t pay, won’t it?

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The 'Pussy Pass' Scores A Blinder This Time!

A Muslim woman who pretended she was raped by her boyfriend, leading to his prolonged torture by a gang, because she thought he would show explicit photos of her to her devout parents has been jailed.
For all of four years...

And in case you think this was just about the twisted 'honour' system, well, this bunch added their own special wrinkle:
During the kidnap, a series of 'truly terrifying' phone calls were made demanding money from his family, in which he could be heard screaming, the court heard.

H/T: Mark Wadsworth via email

The Natural Progression From ‘Don’t Put Nice Things On Show’, Surely?

Criminals are targeting Asian households in the hope of stealing high-quality gold heirlooms. At least three family homes were broken into in Coulsdon within the space of a fortnight, with one losing a security box containing thousands of pounds-worth of jewellery which had been handed down through the family.
And the crime prevention advice? It’s the usual, just given a little twist!
One victim, whose home was "turned upside down" at the beginning of April, said he had been warned to "make it less obvious" the house was occupied by an Asian family.
The mind boggles, it really does…
He said: "An officer advised us that any sort of Asian artefacts should be covered or taken off the front door."
Well, that would make quite a lot of sense, and be in keeping with all those interminable posters and Tweets about ‘leaving valuables on show in your car’, wouldn’t it?

But for some reason, the police are very keen to row back from this advice:
A police spokesman said: "Our advice from the burglary squad is that all residents in the Coulsdon area need to be vigilant and take crime prevention precautions, not just Asian families."
He added that he could not confirm whether victims had been advised to hide cultural artefacts "as they will have come into contact with a number of different officers".
Strange. You’re usually so proud of telling people that if they have nice things, they shouldn’t show them off

Why the discrepancy?

Appeasement Never Works…

Officers have stepped up patrols in Cluny Square to combat a rise in antisocial behaviour. The worst problems have been at the Chinese takeaway, Man Lee, which is suffering at the hands of yobs.
Paul Van Looey, independent councillor for St Luke’s, said: “A couple of weeks ago they got some racial abuse, and then kids came along lobbing milkshakes at the window. They are a bit scared.”
And what’s being done about it?
Sgt Ian Hughes, of Shoebury police, said: “The whole reason for the operation is the Chinese takeaway, in particular, has been targeted for antisocial behaviour.
“Yobs have been going into the shop, opening doors and shouting abusive names.
“But we’ve got some names of lads – people we are going to look up.”
Did you misspell ‘lock up’?

Now normally in one of these local stories, you’d get a host of local residents clamouring to provide examples of the yob’s antics. Yet not this time:
Patricia Kul, 47,who works in Cluny Bakery, said: “I haven’t had any trouble.
“Maybe a couple of cans missing now and again.
“But I know the newsagents gets trouble with a few louts in at a time taking stuff.”
What’s the secret of your success, Patricia? Is it the pies?
However, Rosemary Ariss, 63, who runs Cafe @ the Square, said the youngsters were easy to deal with. She said: “I think it’s the way you react to them, especially with the older ones.
“You treat them like adults and they are fine.
A lot of it is a respect thing. Respect goes both ways.”
It also has to be earned
Lyn Barnes, 56, of Cluny Residents’ Association, added: “We had an incident with them banging one of the signs outside.
We asked them if they wanted us to call the police and they said ‘Go on then’.
So we told them the community had got together and got them a pool table for Connexions youth centre and their attitude changed.”
Ah. So you bribed them?
Ian Mildren, vice-chairman of the association, said things had greatly improved in the area. He said: “It’s not as bad as it used to be. It used to be terrible around here.
Elderly people never used to go to the shops after 6pm, but they do now.”
I’m so glad the mark of ‘a nice place to live’ is now one where the elderly feel safe to shop after 6:00pm!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Moving The Goalposts Again…

Matthew Pennycook in CiF:
Last week, 64 low-paid cleaners working at the Department for Work and Pensions and the Foreign Office left a letter on the desk of the work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith. They asked only that they be paid a living wage.
A what?
The incident is testament to the fact that for the six million workers in Britain currently earning below a living wage (£8.30 in London and £7.20 elsewhere), pay is not doing enough to guarantee an adequate standard of living.
But wait, you cry! What about the minimum wage? I thought that was supposed to cure all ills?

Suddenly, it’s not good enough?
Over the past decade, the social consequences of Britain's endemic levels of low-wage work have been masked to a large extent by the lifeline which tax credits have offered to low- to middle-income households.
Ah, indeed. The ridiculous idea that we should take money off people merely to then turn around and hand it back to them is an utter nonsense that has rightly imploded.
Without them, many struggling families would have seen their living standards tumble sharply. Yet few, if any, believe that the growth in tax credit support that occurred over the past decade can be repeated.
That’s because the money’s run out.
Yet despite some high-profile successes, the number of accredited living wage employers remains small.
So who are they?
Those that invest in their employees are confined largely to high-profile financial and legal firms...
… and public sector bodies.
So….the organisations jumping on board this bandwagon are the ones that:

A) generally come in for all the criticism from the left for making huge profits, and
B) those that don’t have to worry about making a profit because the taxpayer’s tap is permanently switched to ‘on’?

A living wage is not about obliging employers to pay higher wages through legislation, that is what the minimum wage is for.
And oh, how quickly those goalposts moved once you’d achieved it, eh?
But even in today's economy, there are opportunities for leadership. The apparent affordability of a living wage in key sectors presents a challenge to large companies: be clear about why you cannot pay a living wage or take concrete steps to do so and thereby ensure that the wages you pay are enough to secure an adequate standard of living for your low-paid employees.
Or ignore this campaign and let your competitors go bust trying to do the impossible; appease the left!

Unrealistic Expectations…

An elderly couple have fled their Purley home after being left emotionally scarred by a brutal burglary in which they were tied up, hurled to the floor and threatened with a knife.
And one year on from the savage incident, neighbours say "it is not good enough" that police have failed to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Because they’ve been inundated with calls to the hotline, they’ve got bags-full of DNA and fingerprints, and they’re just sitting around drinking tea and eating doughnuts instead?
One neighbour, whom the Advertiser agreed not to name, said: "You would have thought they would have left enough evidence lying around for the police to find the people who did it."
Ah. I see. This is a case of ‘I watch ‘CSI’ and they can find everything they need with those blue-light thingies, so why are our lot always so slow?’.

No wonder the idiot wanted to remain anonymous…

Oh, Yes. He’s A Keeper, Love..

The hearing was told how a refuse supervisor was to tell police he had been " disgusted ," by what he had seen, as there were a lot of people around and children had been on the street on their way to school not long before.
Roberts, a young dad with a drink problem, ended up being struck with a baton and pava sprayed by police in the garden, but was so inebriated, it didn't seem to have much effect.
In fact, it had about as much effect as the justice system itself:
He was given a two month curfew, seven days a week, between 8pm and 8am and must pay £55 costs.
*sigh* Bring on the usual excuses:
Richard Taylor, for Roberts, said he had a partner and two year old child. He showed "very, very genuine remorse," for what happened. The solicitor told the bench: "He appears before you a chastened young man, embarrassed and ashamed for what he has done.
"He is somebody who recognises he has a significant problem with alcohol and since this incident, he has self referred himself to Inspire."
Totally believable. Well done for keeping a straight face, Mr Taylor.
Mr Taylor said Roberts had been at his friend's house and had gone out into the garden to urinate, but things went a stage further.
What sort of friend sends you out into the garden when you want to spend a penny!?
He continued: "Nobody under 18 witnessed this incident. As soon as police arrived on the scene, he pulled his pants up."
The solicitor added the defendant, who was on benefits, suffered from schizophrenia and was on medication, but had not been taking it at the time.
Mr Taylor added: "He recognises it's not the medication for schizophrenia that's causing the problem, it's the alcohol. This may be the wake-up call that he has needed."
Surely it’s his partner who should be heeding the wake-up call? But then if she started out with the assumption that an unemployed outdoor-urinating schizophrenic with an alcohol problem was a prime mate in the first place…

Sunday, 13 May 2012

We Don't Need Magistrates After All!

We can leave the doling out of punishment to the infrastructure instead!
The court case of a suspected football hooligan had to be adjourned after the accused was injured in the court's toilet.
Liam Melody, 19, of Stanley Gardens, Wallington, ran into court crying for his dad after a partition above the urinals at Croydon Magistrates' Court fell on his head, causing a gash.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Not so hard, are you?
Mr Melody appeared at court on Tuesday, when he faced the possibility being given a football banning order which would bar him from all grounds in the UK.
Before the incident halted proceedings, the court was told Melody was a "prominent" member of the Crystal Palace supporters' group the Holmesdale Fanatics.
PC Perry Lathwood gave evidence to the court, saying he had been in contact with Melody a "number of times", describing him as "aggressive" and "difficult to communicate with".
Did you ever try a piece of two-by-four to the back of the head? It seems to do wonders...

Of course, my amusement at this is tempered by the likelihood the weak-chinned, spotty-faced little sweetheart will probably now demand - and get! - compensation...

Well, Did You Think 'Educating Essex' Wasn't A Documentary, Then..?

Did you maybe think it was fiction? A modern version of 'Grange Hill'?
Other incidents of indiscipline recorded in the notes include children “back-chatting” their teachers, swearing at the headmaster, causing mayhem in lessons and throw objects around the class.
Where did they find inspectors who were surprised at this?
At all the worst schools it was noted how pupils were continually swearing and making inappropriate comments, while one pupil sent out of class for misbehaving then hid in a cupboard.
At one school a lesson observation had to be cancelled because all the pupils had decided to “bunk off” leaving just the inspector and the teacher in the classroom.
The only surprise is the claim that this relates to five schools only. Clearly, it's not that uncommon, though the conclusions the 'Guardian' draws (helpfully guided by the teacher's union, of course) are somewhat different as to cause...

No, We Won't Be Silenced... get back in your box, government-funded pressure groups:

For the record, I'm fully in support of civil partnerships, having been to a few. And if people want to call it marriage, who am I to argue? It's not something the government should have any business defining, anyway.

But the insistence on 'marriage' has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with 'equality', and everything to do with conquest.

As does the demand that the ASA act to silence those who disagree.

As Longrider put it, they can't shut us all up, can theybecause the Streisand Effect comes into play.

Update: A classic piece of whataboutery from SarahAB at 'Harry's Place'

Sunday Funnies

Something to think about for all you software designers. Especially the ones who came up with the 'improved' Blogger interface!