Tuesday, 30 April 2013

If Only They’d Had To Submit Travel Papers!

Essex County Council agreed the former Olympic venue, in Chapel Lane could play host to a school games event last Friday after plans to hold it in Danbury Park fell through due to heavy snowfall that month.
The council was assured only 600 young athletes from 14 schools would be transported to the venue in three separate coaches.
And it apparently never occurred to them that anyone else might come along…
However, each school had invited every parent of every child to watch, causing hundreds of cars to descend on the park leaving residential roads filled to breaking point.
Stewards on the site were unable to cope with the influx of traffic and worried residents even turned to the police after being unable to get out of their driveways.
Amazingly, the council didn’t immediately say ‘Mea culpa!’. In fact, they tried to deflect blame by suggesting oh so subtly that it was very unreasonable of people not to give the council advance notice of their intentions to… ummm… freely travel to a place like free people do:
A spokeswoman from Essex County Council said: “Essex County Council’s 2012 Legacy Team had original planned to host a School Games event at Danbury park on 18th March 2013. However due to the heavy snow a late venue change was required and with agreement from the Salvation Army, the event was held at Hadleigh Farm.
“ECC were expecting 600 young children to attend the event from the 14 different School Sports partnerships across Essex, Southend and Thurrock and had put in place the required procedures to handle these numbers.
“However, without prior notice, parents and friends also arrived at the event causing minor delays in traffic entering the venue to park. ECC have engaged over 4,000 children in the School Games initiative, which is one of the legacy strands from the London 2012 Games, since the scheme started in September last year.
Yeah. You do realise people don’t need to give you prior notice, right?

“The attendance at this event is testament the enthusiasm of Essex residents in engaging young people in more sport.”
It’s also testament to the ability of council staff to overlook the most basic planning requirements for school events.

Post Title Of The Month

DumbJon skewers Cameron in delicious style:

Quote Of The Month

Obo The Clown, on religion and the State:
Irrational, prone to violent and unreasoning reaction to heretics, filled with internecine squabbles and ridiculous sects, governed by arcane rules interpreted by people of dubious morality using their shamanic powers to hide disgusting deeds: religion has not gone away at all, the world has just adopted a hungrier, more violent god.

Post Of The Month

This month, I'm selecting Fahrenheit211, for this one.

The Very Definition Of Futility...

A father has had to pay 70 parking tickets for illegally parking near his home.
Steven Spencer has lived in his house in Derby Road, Stapleford, for the last 12 years but the constant introduction of new parking regulations in surrounding streets has cost him up to £4,900 over the last five years.
Mr Spencer has only ever been able to park outside his house for an hour at a time, which was never a problem until new restrictions in the surrounding roads were brought in.
And you never saw it coming? Really? This is rather like those people who buy a house near an airport and then complain bitterly when it announces more flights, or a new runway...
He says he is now forced to pay £1.50 a day to use one of the nearest car parks to Derby Road, which is five minutes' walk away in Halls Road. But he has been caught out numerous times trying to park for short periods outside his home.
So...you know the restrictions are in force, but do it anyway? *taps Give-a-Fuckometer* Hmmm. Needs recalibration.
Improvements manager Kate Butler from Notts County Council added: "With all such schemes there is always some conflict of interest and we have to balance the needs of local residents alongside those of businesses in the area.
"The West End Street scheme itself doesn't have the capacity to allow all residents of Derby Road a permit. We have done our very best to provide a solution which keeps the majority of people happy."
The majority of people who, I suppose, don't have cars?

Monday, 29 April 2013

PC Mask Slips, Nickie..?

Nickie Aiken, cabinet member for community protection and premises at Westminster council (Ed: Oh, hai!), said the situation in the square was “typical of an endemic issue” affecting the capital.
You don't say...
She added: “The fact is that we have around 60 Romanians sleeping rough in Westminster, and we just do not have the resources to keep dealing with this. We are spending thousands of pounds cleaning up after rough sleepers, and that is council taxpayers’ money that should be going to pay for other things.
Like fleecing the residents out of more money to park their cars or have their refuse taken away?
“We have absolutely no issue with Romanian people who come here to work and pay their way. The particular problem here is largely with Roma people, who have Romanian identity cards, some of whom drift into low level crime, nuisance and intimidation of the sort we have heard reported in Bryanston Square.
Ooooh, it's going to be an uncomfortable time at the next Diversity Workshop for you now, Nickie!
“We do what we can to break up these camps, but it is difficult for local people and I wholly understand their frustrations.”
A spokesman for the Met said officers were looking into the Bryanston Square incident.
They are mounting a token effort while the cameras are on them, you mean?

Only In Croydon…

Keith Preddie, 44, of Stanger Road, South Norwood. was forced to give up his work at the Family Centre in Fieldway, New Addington, after being arrested for assaulting Emma Preddie in a row over Christmas presents at their home in Coulsdon on December 18.
But now, after being given a conditional discharge, ordered to pay £100 compensation to Mrs Preddie, as well as £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge, the 2010 GMTV Dad Of The Year, hopes to claw back what he can of his old life.
Not, presumably, by walking straight back into his old job at the Family Centre? Even if it is in Croydon!
"People are telling me I should be celebrating but I'm not. My wife, my children and I have been through so much and I don't condone any domestic violence, be that by a man or a woman, so no I am not celebrating."
You’ve ‘been through so much’..?

He said: "I have no idea what I can do in the future now. It's not like I was a plumber or something, I was working with children and vulnerable people, you can't have a criminal record.
"It's up to the powers that be whether I get to go back. I'd go back today if I could. My brain is still functioning; I can still do the job I did for nine and a half years, the job I love. I have bills to pay and children to feed, I don't know what I'm going to do."
You really think you can work at a Family Centre with your record?

Two-Tier Justice...

A vulnerable man was punched in a "nasty" unprovoked attack. The 53-year-old man, who suffers with mental health issues, was attacked outside the Crystal Nail Bar, in Stonecot Hill, on Saturday, April 13, between 5pm and 5.30pm.
So, was he attacked as a ‘special victim’? Well, no:
He had just been to the Game Exchange shop when a man walked towards him and punched him in the face.
No taunting, no prior threats or discriminatory language:
Police believe the attacker, who was swearing loudly as he walked along the street, then got on the 413 bus towards Sutton.
So, what makes this different, more awful, than if he’d punched me. Or you. Or your friends?

And anyone want to bet if they catch this chap, his defence will immediately be that he's a 'vulnerable man' too?

This Blog Is Five Today!

It doesn't feel like I've been doing this for five years...but it seems I have!

Sunday, 28 April 2013

The Very Epitome Of 'Shit Duty'...

Sergeant Mark McQuade of the Castle Point neighbourhood team for Essex Police, has pledged to offer police support to help tackle the on-going problem.
Sergeant McQuade said: “If there is a problem with dog fouling, just tell us roughly where and what time this is taking place then I will do my best to get an officer down there to check it out.”
"Right, you 'orrible lot! We've had reports of a dog turd on Canvey Seafront! You! Go down there and look into it!"

It Wouldn't Be Sunday...

...without another grocer's apostrophe in the 'Mail':


I Know It's Not Yet Christmas....

...but something about this headline makes me want to sing 'Noel'...


Sunday Funnies...

Oh, I'm sure real life beats the movies here, though not by much...

Saturday, 27 April 2013

It’s Elementary!

A father whose eldest son was "executed" because of a gangland feud involving his brother has told the Advertiser: "My boy is not to blame."
Oh, really? It appears the Tufail paterfamilias is quite the detective, exercising his leetle grey cells on behalf of his youngest:
"I know my son – he doesn't have it in him to stab anyone," said Sajid.
"The problem is the victim or victim's family don't get a say in the court process. Instead the criminals get to make the allegations and Amir can't defend himself. Sanchez Thomas obviously said a lot of things. But let's look at the facts. It was in broad daylight. Tooting is an extremely busy place. It was near where he worked. It was near the hospital and there was lots of CCTV. Amir wouldn't do anything like that."
But others, clearly, would:
The court heard how Thomas pulled alongside Umar, who was sitting in a car outside his home, at around 4.30pm on July 15 last year.
So…also in a public place, also in broad daylight?

Your defence is that your son is smarter than the two murderers who shot your other son and would have made a better job of it?

In 2013, Beggars Not Only Should Be Choosers, But Should Be Pandered To By The State!

I have known her for a long time and in desperation she asked me to complain to the council for her, in the hope that someone with an English accent might make more headway.
I was taken aback by the council official's response, reporting back on a visit by the landlords to the flat: "They stated that they witnessed first-hand that the windows were shut and they saw a pan on the hob boiling food and generating steam. As you are aware, this is not conducive to a healthy house and will have a negative impact on the property."
So the message is: if you're poor, don't presume to cook in your own home and don't even think about keeping your windows closed even if it's below zero outside and you can't afford central heating. According to council advice, steamy baths or showers, along with drying clothes after they've been washed, are also high-risk activities in a damp home.
Well, yes. They are. That’s sound advice, because while she waits to get the long-term problem seen to (by the council), she’s contributing to the growing requirements for the mould she’s complaining about!

But…hang on! Just why should an English accent make a difference?
Hawa is a new refugee housed in temporary accommodation by a London borough, while she, her toddler son and baby daughter endure the ever-lengthening wait for a council property... Hawa's English is poor and she was robbed of the opportunity to get an education by the circumstances that caused her to flee her home country.
Ah! Now the penny drops. Since we aren't told anything about Hawa’s origins, we can’t say whether a mouldy & damp council flat paid for with the taxes of citizens of this country is a step up in the living conditions she’s been used to, but I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that it is.

And that’s before we get to the whole ‘taken in by country after she fled for her life’ stuff!
The Victorians divided the poor into the deserving and the undeserving. That was bad enough. But this government views poor people as collectively culpable for the things they suffer. Those who succeed in society are applauded, whether or not privileges conferred on them by social class, wealth and genes eased their path.
Hasn’t she already ‘succeeded’ in society by abandoning her country & coming here to live at our expense?
Fewer and fewer adjustments are being made to support those who have the misfortune to be born and to grow up without this cluster of advantages.
This is not a landlord complaint at all, is it? It's yet another front on the Open Borders ideological war...

Don't Get Horse Racing Tips Off Zoe Williams...

On 13/03/2013:
Five disabled people are in court today, seeking to take the government's decision to scrap the independent living fund to judicial review.
I have a good feeling about it; I can picture Iain Duncan Smith, stomping away from reporters in a fortnight's time, looking like he has a mouthful of ash, clarifying huffily: "We haven't lost, we merely didn't win."
On 24/4/2013:
In court 28 of the Royal Courts of Justice this morning, a decision was reached about the independent living fund… No matter, concluded the judge; the consultation didn't breach the equality duty requirement. The decision to close the fund doesn't breach it. The minister for disabled people had been made aware of her obligations – and therefore her duty had been met.
Oh dear! Zoe concealed her discomfiture with an incredible attack of hyperbole:
But getting back to court 28. It's an inaccessible courtroom, so the people who brought the action couldn't get into the room to hear the verdict.
I know, yet more leftie bleating – when am I going to just face the fact that this country is out of money and we can no longer afford for disabled people to be pandered to with their ceaseless demands for ramps and handrails and other apparatus which, in fact, already exists elsewhere in the Royal Courts of Justice.
So it's not a dastardly plot to snub disabled people, it's just a lack of space or a calendar clash within the court?

No. Can't possibly be that.
The message, very clearly, is that disabled people have no right to open justice. Adam Lotun, a 50-year-old wheelchair user outside the courts, had a fractionally kinder interpretation: "I don't think the judge wanted to see any disabled faces in court – with the verdict he was giving."
 Oh, for...!
The claimants have announced their decision to appeal.
But she’s not making any predictions about that…

Friday, 26 April 2013

Back To ‘Business As Usual’…

South Wales Police say they will not take any action against the owner of a dog that attacked a woman in Treherbert.
The force said that the dog responsible for the attack, which occurred inside the premises, was an American Bull Dog which is not an illegal breed.
Though, if these people get their way, it will be. Along with everything else they decide is 'a dangerous breed'.

But since their little movement seems to consist of little more than one man and his, errr, dog, there's thankfully scant chance of anyone taking the slightest bit of notice of their ideas. Even today's venal and stupid politicians aren't quite that stupid or venal...
The woman owner of the dog, who is well known to the victim of the attack, agreed for the dog to be destroyed and this procedure has taken place.
And now, with no court action or punishment on the horizon, nothing whatsoever to stop her getting another one.

The Very Definition Of ‘A Bad Idea’…

The community is invited to come together and have lunch with their neighbours at The Big Lunch in June.
The annual event which started in 2009, part of a national campaign from the Eden Project, aims to bring together neighbours on a single street.
But organisers Beverley Newbury, Joanne Quarrinton and Kelly Carey all of New Addington, have gone one step further and invited the whole of New Addington to their event on June 2.
Oh my! There’s not enough popcorn in the world….!

Of course, as this is New Addington, they are on the scrounge.
Organisers are now looking for New Addington businesses to sponsor the event and are welcoming donations of items that can be used on the day, such as tables and chairs.
Mrs Newbury added: "We are looking for any kind of sponsorships from businesses in New Addington and also for donations of items such as table, chairs and gazebos.
"It would also be great to have some more help with leaflets and posters and we are also looking for people to get involved to run the cake stall and cake competition."
I wouldn't try the hash brownies if I were you…
"We want to make it a real community event and want lots of people to get involved."
First, you’ll need a real community, won’t you?

More Calls For More Pointless Legislation

A pensioner has been left too traumatised to go out after her dog was mauled by a runaway Staffordshire bull terrier. Boss the 8-year-old springer spaniel needed stitches to his shoulder after being savaged, leaving owners Marilyn and Eric Jones with a vets bill of £430.
What will solve this problem? MOAR LEGISLATION!
Now a councillor has taken up the case and wants legal measures introduced to make it an offence to have dogs off the lead anywhere within the boundaries of Gnoll Country Park.
So…what sort of owners were involved on the attacker side?
Mrs Jones, who lives in Cimla, took Boss for a walk and was heading towards the Gnoll Woods, near Cimla Common, when the incident happened. She said the bull terrier's owner was there with another man and both were drinking from cans of beer.
I’m getting a picture of them, and it isn’t labelled ‘responsible owners who will obey laws’…
"I did report it to the police but they said there was nothing they could do because it had not attacked a person."
So that makes you hopeful for any future enforcement of any new legislation, eh?

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Yet Another Thing Not Due To ‘The Cuts’…

Last year more than 150 drivers were attacked in Brighton and Hove after customers revealed they had no money to pay the fare.
Yes, and..? I mean, is this not pretty common in any other ‘party town’?
Firms want Brighton and Hove City Council to pay for signs in every car to remind passengers not to assault their cabbie.
Oh. Right. I’m sure that’ll do the trick…
Andy Cheesman, from the Brighton and Hove Taxi Forum, said the problem – called “bilking” – had become worse in recent years. He said: “It must be something to do with the state of the economy.
“People get into the car but at the end of the journey they just say they haven’t got any money.”
And just how is this the fault of the economy?
He said: “They’re out of their brains half the time. They’ve spent their money on booze and drugs. “
Quite! So, nothing whatsoever to do with the economy! More to do with the type of people who are getting cabs late at night in Brighton.

And a familiar refrain...

Nobody Wins

Returning to Lancashire, I see this dispute over halal meat suppliers is still rumbling on:
The leader of the county council has accused mosque chiefs of using Muslim children as pawns in their battle with the authority over halal food in schools.
It comes as the Lancashire Council of Mosques (LCM) renewed its call for parents to urge their children to boycott any meals supplied by Lancashire County Council.
Well, this is a 'community' drawn from a religion not unfamiliar with the concept of using their offspring as human shields and suicide bombers, so I rather think you're expecting a bit much, Geoff...
A meeting between bosses of the two authorities ended in deadlock after council leader Geoff Driver refused to agree to allow animals which have not been stunned before slaughter be put on school menus.
Interesting! A clash between the Mohammedans and the animal rights people! * gets popcorn*
Salim Mulla, chairman of the LCM, said: “The county council is supposed to afford exemptions to people with religious requirements.
“They’re not listening to the requests from Muslim parents and the boycott will continue until they do.”
Hey, it's your kids you're hurting! Go right ahead...
County Coun Driver said: “We asked the LCM if they would consider letting the children eat fish and vegetarian options provided by the county council.
“They said they would only do this if we removed the halal meat from menus from schools we provide to.
So…someone’s eating it? Just not this little (perhaps unrepresentative) group?
“This would put us in breach of equality laws and we can’t do it.
And just to show what an own goal they've scored here:
“It’s really very unfortunate that they’ve gone ahead with the boycott because a good number of the children affected are on free school meals.
“I think it’s extremely wrong for LCM to use the children as pawns in their battle with the county council over what they consider halal.”
I think it's funny as all hell...

”… it is understood no panthers had been reported missing in the area.”

A terrified New Cross woman says she "freaked out" after seeing a panther in the street.
The woman, who was on her way to work at the time, fled back to her house and called police after seeing the beast in Southern Gateway, a residential area near Fordham Park and Deptford Green School.
But when police arrived to investigate, there was no sign of the wild animal and it is understood no panthers had been reported missing in the area.

Of course, she wasn't going to leave it at that, was she? Who you gonna call?
The woman also contacted expert Neil Arnold who runs Kent Big Cat Research and has been tracking sightings across the south east.
Oh dear...
"I am disappointed that I wasn't taken more seriously by the local police who asked me almost straight away if I had been drinking when I first reported it. "
Mr Arnold said he was hoping to get more information on the sighting and that he was surprised nobody else had seen it in such a densely populated area.
He said: "It's interesting regarding that area because I do get sightings from Sydenham and Bromley. But New Cross, not far from the station - I just don't know why it would be there."
Catching a train, maybe? If it's good enough for pigeons...

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Wish I Could Say I Was Surprised…

…but if you will flaunt your total lack of concern for other road users and residents, what do you expect?
Organisers of UK Cycling’s New Forest Spring Sportive were forced to take drastic action at the start of the two-day event when the participants were put in jeopardy by the reckless actions of the vandals.
Marshals had to sweep up the tacks off the road in Boldre – but some tyres were still punctured. And event organisers also found that more than 1,000 direction and safety signs had been removed or defaced, forcing safety teams to replace them before the 1,850 cyclists set off.
Even the weather set its face against the two-wheeled menace:
Heavy rain added to the organisers’ problems, forcing them to cancel the second day as the hosting field in Brockenhurst became waterlogged.
You’d have to have a heart of stone, wouldn't you? Luckily, I do.
Martin Barden, director of UK Cycling, said there were no injuries but he was “appalled” at the action of the vandals.
He said: “A small minority of people have taken to vigilante lengths to stop the events. Their behaviour is unacceptable. “
And yet your behaviour is also deemed ‘unacceptable’ by, well, rather more people:
The event had attracted criticism in the week leading up to it, with some residents of the New Forest claiming that cyclists were an increasing nuisance as they flocked to the park to enjoy its breathtaking views.
Mr Barden said that the number of participants had been kept low out of respect to those living there.
“We could have had 10,000 people here but we reduced the figures. We did it consciously to be considerate to the local residents. The same courtesy has not been extended the other way, in some parts,” he added.
Yes, well, claiming that you only inflicted a mild beating instead of the more violent one you could have inflicted isn't the best way to endear yourself to the residents, now is it?
Before the weekend’s event, a spokesman for the New Forest Equestrian Association said that there was a big risk to horses and riders from such events, especially when cyclists came up quickly and silently from behind.
Train your horses to kick. That should solve it.


Christopher Graney and his girlfriend Samantha Fenton, both 19, kicked and punched Andrew Connan, now 79, after pushing him to the ground at a bus stop in Bromley last October.
Mr Connan had been standing at a bus stop when he noticed Graney was driving without headlights and indicated that he should turn them on.
Fenton then said to him “are you going to let him get away with that?” before the pair stopped the car, got out and punched and kicked Mr Connan.
 Note how it's always the female who provokes these confrontations?
Graney, of Beckenham, and Fenton were arrested that night at Fenton’s home in Bromley and later convicted of ABH at Croydon crown court.
Graney, who also admitted a separate attack in 2011 where he hit a man with a metal bar, was jailed for three years and Fenton for two and a half.
 Wow! That showed them!
Sentencing the two today, Judge Stephen Weller said: “In my judgment only a custodial sentence is appropriate and indeed one that demonstrates the public’s abhorrence.”
Don't think you quite managed it, your worship...

Some Solicitors Just Phone It In Now…

A gang carried out a brazen day-time burglary unaware their every move was being watched by police officers.
Bring on the flamboyant and unlikely excuses!
Sam Jones, for Maguire, said his client had run into financial difficulties after having to pay for the funeral of his mother-in-law.
Giles Nelson, for Murphy, said his client had been made redundant in Ireland two years ago and was struggling financially.
Derek Perry, for O'Driscoll, said his client had relapsed into drugs and had come to Weston to seek rehabilitation and was vulnerable.
Splendid, one and all! And the last?
Mark Worsley for Mansfield said his client had been naive.
Oh, dear! What’s up, Mark? Off your game?

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

"I Say, I Say, Our Audience Member Has No Nose!"

"How does she smell?"

Ahhh, the old ones are the best...
A woman had her nose bitten off during a performance of Jack and the Beanstalk at a Butlins holiday resort.
Blimey! Was it one of the giants?
“A 27-year old woman from Dartford, Kent, was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and has now been released on police bail until June 16 while enquiries continue.”

*crosses Bognor off the list of holiday destinations*

H/T: Macheath via email


The problem arose when Mrs Kerswell was telephoned by the surgery and informed that her kidney condition demanded an urgent urine test.
She told them she was perfectly healthy but the surgery insisted that her records showed she was a heavy smoker and suffered from Alzheimer's Disease, a kidney condition and had undergone a hysterectomy and a double hip replacement.
Well, who are you gonna believe, your computer system, or the actual patient herself?

It’s really a no-brainer for a doctor’s receptionist, isn't it?

Been Watching Too Much ‘Hill Street Blues’, Have We..?

"The police wanted to know if I wanted to press charges, but I don't want to, I don't want any more trouble. "
‘Press charges’? That’s an Americanism. Maybe he's paraphrasing, but honestly, with the sort of quality officers we see gracing our streets these days, who can be sure?

Besides, the police shouldn't need permission from the victim – a man minding his own business and subjected to an unprovoked attack - to pursue and charge his attackers, should they? Would it make a difference if he'd been a Goth?

Isn't it an offence against the Crown, and not the person? I thought that was what made us different from the Yanks.
Police have now launched an appeal for people with any information about the attack to come forward.
Well, it's a little late now, isn't it?

Monday, 22 April 2013

Well, When You Don't Have 10KG Of Dog Poo To Hand...

...or more likely, not even as much get-up-and-go as the last chap to decide to protest life's unfairness:
Michael Clare, representing Leeds, said: “He’s not a man of piercing intellect and he attended, was brushed off, told to come back and that someone would meet him. They didn’t.”
I doubt he's enhanced his employment prospects much...

H/T: CJ Nerd via email

Where No-One Calls The Police…

Prosecutor Paul Spratt told Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court how Gayle Davenport, another woman who has not been prosecuted, and two juveniles carried out the assault on the evening of July 12 last year.
He said: "The prostitute and her friend indicated they would move on.
"But the women had determined she was a cause of nuisance and they were going to take out their anger on her. She was punched repeatedly to the face and was repeatedly kicked with force on the floor.
"To protect herself, she asserted she was pregnant, but that did nothing but inflame the situation. She was kicked with force."
 Because that's how some people settle disputes now. Call the police? Nah, that Cameron geezer said we 'ad a 'Big Society', innit?

This does seem rather an inbred sort of place, mind you...
The woman ran to a kebab shop for help. But the group followed her to the takeaway and continued the assault.
She was punched in the face, dragged outside and punched again.
In another development, Lee Bloor, who was in a flat overlooking the kebab shop, thought he saw his brother and women he knew in trouble. He accepted he misread the situation and picked up a silver gate hinge, ran to the takeaway and swung it in the direction of an employee.
But he did not strike anyone and when he was told the man had done nothing he stopped, apologised and shook his hand.

Punishment? Oh, glad you asked:
Davenport, aged 34, of Hamil Road, Burslem; Bloor, aged 32, of Newport Lane, Burslem and two juveniles admitted affray.
Recorder Bal Dhaliwal spared them all immediate jail sentences. She gave the two juveniles youth rehabilitation orders with 12 months supervision and a 30 hours activity requirement. They must also pay the prostitute £100 compensation.
Davenport was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, with supervision and a three month curfew from 8pm to 7am. She must pay £250 in compensation.
And Bloor was given a 12 month sentence, suspended for two years, with a three month curfew from 8pm to 7am.
It's no wonder they resort to DIY, isn't it?

I Bet I Know What Films Interested Him Most...

In October, he followed his victim to the Duke of York pub in St Werburgh's. She was drinking with a friend when he approached and asked for a cigarette. Her friend gave him one, but he did not leave. He said to his victim: "I want to draw naked pictures of you. I want to make naked muppets of you so I can make them dance." 
Oh oh!
The court heard by this point she had become scared of Myers. 
Well, yes. Who wouldn't be?
On one occasion, as he walked past her stall he said: "You should get over yourself. Stop flattering yourself. Learn some social manners."
On February 16, he approached her stall with his fists raised, gesturing towards her. 
All the red lights flashing, she did what anyone would do - she called the police.
Upset and in tears, she called the police, who spoke to Myers the next day and warned him to leave her alone. But on March 1, he went to Corn Street again and said to her three times: "Oi, why are you doing this to me?" 
And then the State swung into action:
Myers, of previous good character, admitted stalking and harassment without violence at an earlier hearing
Should be an open and shut case, then?
Yesterday District Judge Simon Cooper imposed a restraining order banning him from contacting the victim in any way, or following her, as well as banning him from Corn Street and St Nicholas market.
He also imposed a two-year conditional discharge, meaning if Myers commits another offence during that period he could be punished again for this one. 
He hasn't been punished once yet! And he's clearly not learned his lesson, either:
Despite having previously admitted the charge, Myers stood up in court and told the judge: "I'm not stalking this girl and harassing this girl." 
Myers' solicitor Selina Dines said as well as being an artist, Myers was an avid fan of the theatre and film.
Yes. I'll just bet...

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Modern Day Funerary Tributes…

Shocked family and friends have paid tribute to a young Witham man found hanged.
As this is 2013, you’ll never guess what counts as a ‘tribute’…
Floral tributes, candles and cans of Stella have been laid in a secluded spot by the river near Pattison Close where his body was discovered.
Lovely! It’s what he would have wanted. Innit?
Comments are closed on this article.
I think that’s probably for the best, don’t you?

Try Hiring Traffic Wardens Who Can Read…

A Bexley Council spokeswoman said: "Parking contractor NSL wish to express sincere apologies for any inconvenience the resident has been caused in this instance.
"Having investigated this complaint with NSL, we are satisfied a genuine error led to the civil enforcement officer temporarily parking in the disabled bay to carry out enforcement. "
Hans Christian Anderson couldn't have written a better one than that…

I Can See Why You’re Aggrieved, Phil…

…after all, that’s the council’s job!
Outspoken Phil Turner said: “They may as well be throwing taxpayers money out of the window and this council will not stand for it.”
Oh, the council seems to quite enjoy standing for it

Sunday Funnies...

Given the alternatives, who the hell would complain about penguins?!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Enter It For The Turner Prize!

Debbie Ballard had an armchair she didn't want. What to do? Well, what else but just leave it in her front garden?
The council sent Ms Ballard a letter last week demanding the mum-of-two remove the chair within 14 days, labelling it as “rubbish”.
Did this shame her into moving it? Did it make her wonder if perhaps she, a 47 year old jobless single mother reliant on state handouts, had some responsibility not to (further) blight the area around her? Did she look at the neat gardens around her and think maybe they'd rather not live next to a tip?

Reader, it did not:
… the former IT manager pointed out many front yards in the street had rubbish, broken furniture and debris piled high and pavements were covered with litter and dog mess. Ms Ballard called on the council to focus on street cleaning and worse eyesores before targeting on her single chair.
Ah, yes. The ‘But everyone else does it even more!’ gambit. Did that work when you were a kid? It didn't when I was. It certainly doesn't work when it can be seen that the houses around her aren't like this, when the 'Daily Mail' photographer comes to call...

And then what else, for today’s attention-seeking child-adult, but go one step further in protest at daddy council’s order?
Debbie Ballard has built a quaint living room scene, complete with potted plants and framed pictures of pets, in the front garden of her Westcliff home after Southend Council asked her to remove an armchair.
Strangers have been turning up at the house in Salisbury Avenue to take photographs.
A perfect vignette of a certain section of modern society. Innit?

Amelia Gentleman And The Philpott Families… (continued)

We meet the two other families in Cusack’s list, all depressingly familiar; there Lisa (a typical drug addict):
Lisa's family were not told they were categorised as troubled. She is dismayed when she hears the programme's title.
"I think it's an insult – just the name. It makes you sound as if people should keep away from you, because you are trouble. You wonder how they came up with that name," she says, adding that she would have told Cusack to "get stuffed" if she had told her.
And then there’s Emma, who is probably just feckless, but gets to blame ‘depression’ for this:
She is grateful for the support she has had from the programme – help with housing, with schools and encouragement to get treatment for her depression. New schools have been found for the children and they no longer have a child protection plan, so are not in danger of being removed. But she says she had spent months asking social services to help her and wonders if there is something wrong with a system that makes you wait until crisis point before it steps in to help.
"You have to do something bad before you get this support. You don't get it until you do something serious."
Personally, I think there’s something wrong with a system that regards this as ‘help’.

But CiF and all the charities waiting to take over some of Cusack's work - for a large government grant, of course! - simply point to perceived savings, as if that was the only thing that mattered:
An official calculation of how much Cusack's work with Estelle's family has saved the state will only be done once her work there has finished.
However, she has fed data for an earlier case into an official computerised system for ascertaining how much the work has saved and come up with an estimated saving of £427,195 a year – taking into account the previous annual cost of arrests, police visits, prison stints, antisocial behaviour orders, ambulance callouts and drug counselling.
There is, however, no estimation for the cost of the damage being done to society by encouraging State dependant families to continue on their merry way with a taxpayer-funded 'parent' installed to keep a check on them, is there?

Some will object to the classification of these people as 'Philpott families', pointing out that they haven't killed anyone (yet). But that's ALL that separates them. Isn't it?

And we see that we have no shortage of people like them. We see it in the news that families in Gosport decided to 'celebrate' the funeral of a former stateswoman by burning her in effigy. She, you see, is the 'cause' of their plight, not their inability to recognise that the world has changed, and they too must change. We see it in the news that a trial had to be abandoned because another child-adult cannot grasp the basic concept of justice (but would no doubt howl should that same fate be visited upon him). We see it in the news that one of the Thatcher 'death party' organisers has, in fact, benefited from the very policies that she claims to have despised, and what's more, thinks that won't be uncovered.

We have a generation engineered to never grow up. A Neoteny Generation. And it's growing.

Amelia Gentleman And The Philpott Families…

No. It isn't a sub-‘Harry Potter’ child’s book series draft. It’s not as amusing as that.

Amelia Gentleman, the ‘Guardian’ bio tells us, ‘writes on social affairs’ and ‘won the George Orwell prize 2012’. So she’s the perfect person to look into ‘troubled families’ for the Guardian, by following Julie Cusack, underclass fixer, on her rounds in Manchester.

Let’s have a look at one. You won’t be too surprised by the details, if you've been paying attention to this blog:
Sometime after midday, Daniel Smith, 19, gets up from the sofa, where he has been sleeping beneath a grey, coverless duvet, and races upstairs to his mum's room, which is open because in a fit of unexplained fury last week he kicked the door off its hinges. The door is leaning against the wall, waiting for someone to fix it. He rummages through some papers on the windowsill and finds an appointment letter for a meeting with the Work Programme, the government's initiative to get people off benefits and into jobs.
When he sees the time of the appointment (11am) he swears and curses the programme officials because he has missed it. His mother, Estelle, who is lying on her bed in a pink leopard-skin onesie, looks at him kindly but doesn't say anything. Tara, the oldest of his three sisters, who is dressed and sitting on the bed, leaning against her mother's knees, stroking the family's black-and-white cat, says maybe he should call to try to rearrange. Daniel shouts that his benefits are going to be sanctioned and stamps downstairs in a fury, but does not make the call.
Another sister, Sadie, comes in with a friend, with KFC meals for lunch, which they unpack on Estelle's bed. As they eat they examine a framed picture of an older brother's soon-to-be born second daughter, captured in the fuzzy black-and-white outline of the medical scan. A grandmother and an uncle are smoking downstairs and no one wants to sit with them in the grey fog they've created. It has been snowing on and off all morning, but there is no money on the gas meter so the heating is off and everyone complains about the cold. After a while Estelle goes to the kitchen where she makes a start on the washing up.
I suspect that description, ghastly as it may be, won’t be entirely unfamiliar to some of the police bloggers. Families with, shall we say, a casual attitude to hygiene and work, where they spend their money on fripperies and then complain about being unable to afford necessities, where its always someone else;s fault? They must, sadly, be common in some areas...
There is so little drama in this terrace home, where Estelle, a single mother, lives with four of her six children, that it is hard to understand how this household features on the troubled families list.
Really?!? Well, what would you say, Amelia, if instead of living in some social housing area, they were to move in next to you?
When Cusack sets out the scale of the problems which existed here 18 months ago, it becomes clearer why they were identified as in need of support, although it's not clear that the root of the problems is, as Cameron put it, "a culture of disruption and irresponsibility that cascades through generations".
I repeat myself: Really?!? What else is it?
"Mum struggled to understand her responsibilities as a parent," Cusack's report on the family states. "She presented with a low level of understanding and potentially an undiagnosed learning disability. The children had taken on the role of parenting and decision-making."
And the response and remedy to this situation is... ah, well, read on:
When the family was first put on the scheme, they were about to be evicted from the home where they had lived for 15 years because the house had become a meeting point for young people who would drift in and out throughout the evening until the early hours, without asking Estelle if she minded. Neighbours objected to the noise and chaos which spilled from the front door.
Police were investigating allegations of sexual assault by men who visited the house, against two of the daughters. Estelle faced prosecution because Sadie's school attendance was at a rate of just 7%.
Sadie, 15, had been excluded on a couple of occasions and had taken to cutting her arms when she felt stressed (which was often). The police were also involved because of alleged cruelty to animals; two dogs and 10 of the family's 11 cats have been removed.
"Much of the property was covered in animal faeces and flies," Cusack's report states. Four of the children had been taken into care a few years earlier because of their living conditions and concerns about neglect, and the youngest remains on the child protection register. When Cusack began working with them, two of the children were very underweight, and at least two were being bullied at school because (and she struggles for a sensitive way of putting it) "they were not managing their hygiene".
Utterly sickening. And note that the animals at least are rescued from this hell, except for one poor unfortunate cat (perhaps acquired since the raid?).
Since Cusack's involvement things have improved considerably. The concept of a family intervention programme – which is the preferred model for turning these families around – means the key worker is intensively involved in their life, liable to make unannounced visits four or five times a week to begin with, any time between 7am and late at night.
In short, she’s become their State-employed parent. Remember: this is supposed to be a step forward.
Clearly Cusack's work is unfinished. Although they are no longer on the point of eviction and the antisocial behaviour has disappeared, Daniel still has rages, and no one seems to know why he kicked down his mother's door.
Cusack challenges him about his missed appointment and tells him firmly (while his mother remains silent) that it is not acceptable to call the jobcentre workers "dicks", when it was his fault he missed the appointment. She wonders if he has some mild, undiagnosed learning difficulties.
Of course! It can't possibly be that he's a child brought up with no boundaries, who has been allowed to develop into a surly, arrogant and rude adult! It must be that he just can't help himself!

So, she’s not even a real parent to this dysfunctional bunch, she’s an enabler and excuser.
… the family is well-disposed to Cusack and very grateful for what she is doing.
"At first I didn't want to know," Estelle says. "I thought she was going to be like the social services, quite snotty. But Julie's office is much calmer. They talk to you with more respect. They put a lot of effort in."
Another hallmark of the underclass, this demand for unearned respect. What is there to ‘respect’ in the family’s lifestyle?
Sadie says she refused to go to school after years of being told by other pupils that her clothes smelt bad.
"It made me feel really bad. Sometimes I reacted really badly. I'd seen my sisters being bullied, but I was not going to let it happen to me," she says; she fought back, was excluded and refused to go.
With Cusack's help she has transferred to a school which specialises in helping unwilling pupils, her attendance has risen to around 35% and last summer she took a maths GCSE. She thinks she got an F, but Cusack tells her this was still an achievement worth noting.
There are no words, are there?

To be continued. I was going to dip in and out, but there's so much here (presented as if this scheme was a success story), that I just can't, and I think it's just too big for one post..

Friday, 19 April 2013

Well, I Suppose You Could Call It 'Justice' If You Wanted To...

Investigating officer DC Paul Miller, said after sentencing: “This was a vicious assault that left the victim needing hospital treatment.”
“BTP takes violent crime very seriously and anyone caught carrying a weapon on the railway network will be arrested and prosecuted.
“Incidents such as this are thankfully very rare on the London Underground network and the chances of becoming a victim are very slim, but when they do happen, BTP takes them very seriously and will do everything in our power to bring offenders to justice.”
Quite right! You can’t get away with viciously beating a stranger on a late night Tube tra…

Harmel, 19, of Rookery Crescent, Dagenham, was identified on CCTV and his image circulated on police intelligence systems, which led to his arrest.
He received a nine month sentence suspended for 18 months and was given a 28 day supervision requirement at Snaresbrook Crown Court on March 22.
Well. I guess you can

The ‘No Responsibility’ Generation

Cleethorpes seafront came to a standstill yesterday as crowds stopped to watch a dramatic dog rescue unfold.
How heartwarming! Everyone loves a dog rescue story! And how lucky the owner must feel to…

Oh. Wait.
It is understood that the dog's owner, who had called the emergency services at about 10.40am, had to leave to go to work while the rescue attempt was being carried out.

I just…

And in the comments, further detail:
by lou_lou_1962
“This dog should not be on the beach they are banned between Good Friday an 30th september.”

I Wonder What This Means…

Lal, who worked at Pharma Health Care on Canvey, had his registration suspended following a hearing last year.
But a review panel has now banned him permanently claiming he was making limited progress on a sexual misconduct training course.
Answers in the comments, please…

Thursday, 18 April 2013

There Are No Words...

Surayya Khan's family has helped to launch a safety campaign urging the importance of being aware of fire risk in the kitchen.

Can they really claim she wasn't?!?

Magistrates And Alligators - Both Will Swallow Just About Anything...

Responsible dog ownership:
Leonora Kelleher had her pet Toby destroyed after he mauled a dog in the grounds of St Andrew’s Church in Bishop Auckland on January 11, magistrates in Newton Aycliffe were told. …
Alan Meehan in mitigation said Toby had come from a rescue centre and was fine around people and children but could become aggressive with other dogs.
He said Toby was destroyed soon after the attack and Kelleher, who had never even been in trouble with the police before, wrote a letter of apology to Timmy’s owner.
Magistrates gave her a conditional discharge for six months and ordered her to pay £54.91 to cover Timmy’s vet bills and a £15 victim surcharge.
Irresponsible dog ownership:
Miss Samantha Powis defending said the terrier had been frightened by the firework in Haden Hill Park and it broke free from Fowkes despite his best efforts to hang onto his pet.
She said: "I want to make the distinction between people who let bull terriers and staffies off in the park and these law abiding people."
"They do not want to see their dog destroyed when they have done all they can to make sure the dog is secure." …
Mr Linnemann told Wolverhampton Crown Court the terrier had a history of aggression and in an earlier incident it had attacked a pensioner.
He said: "A dog with this history having inadequate equipment to control it is perhaps not excusable."
And yet, magistrates think otherwise. Why? God only knows...

”Kaii knows when Derek hisses he is to attack.”

Duncan, 24, denies assaulting her at a flat in Mains Loan, Dundee, on August 7 last year after she threw a two-day-old takeaway meal in the bin.
According to Miss Crowe, Duncan told her: "I don't want a new meal - I wanted that one," before starting to slap her, pin her down with his knees and repeatedly punch her in the face.
"While he was punching my face his dog bit my left ear," she told the jury.
Miss Crowe said she and Duncan had enjoyed a "brother-sister relationship" before the alleged attack on August 7.
Eeeeewwww! Even lovelier!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Art For Art's Sake: Heatherwick

I'm not, it can be said, a lover of modern art. And especially of modern sculpture which seems too often to delight in the grotesquely ugly purely for it's shock value.

But some modern art is just breathtaking - and this is - was, sadly - the epitome of such; Thomas Heatherwick's 'The B Of the Bang':

When it was announced I had some regular trips North planned for work, and I always meant to spend some time to go and see it while I was up there, and see if it really looked as amazing 'in the flesh' as it looked in pictures, posed against the sky like a 3D Lichtenstein cartoon explosion.

But it never seemed to work out.

Sadly, I never got a chance to see it - the build quality failed to match the artist's vision (and isn't that a metaphor for something?) and it was, tragically, sold for scrap. Surely a mistake, because what encapsulates the theory of 'modern art' better than the faint chance it will skewer some random Mancunians?

Next month: Landseer

Requiescat in pace, Margaret...

 Well done, thou good and faithful servant...

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Well, If This Approach Worked For York Police…

It's a sadly familiar story:
Two adult horses and foal have been seen wandering around Roundshaw Downs all day and, at just after 2pm, the large black mare wandered into the busy road.
Fortunately some traffic management workers were on hand to stop the traffic and redirect her back onto the downs. One witness reported seeing the horses at 8am this morning and said: “I rang the council and they have had calls as well as the police.
“I got back this afternoon and they were right by Purley Way. They could cause mayhem.”
Who could possibly have...

Oh. Of course:
Two people, believed to be travellers, turned up just after 2.30pm and moved all three horses on.
There's a shocker, eh? And what are the police doing about such a dangerous occurrence?
A police spokesperson said: “We have received a couple of calls from residents about this.
“Officers from our Safer Parks Team went down there this morning to find two horses and a foal un-tethered.
“We have reported the matter to Sutton Council and we will continue to monitor the situation and liaise with the council as appropriate.”
'As appropriate' meaning 'so we don't upset an established identity group and thus blight our careers'...

Will We See The Left Up In Arms About This Case Of ‘Defrauding The Revenue’?

Because I suspect we won’t:
… the judge let Bircham, who wept throughout the hearing and has turned to teaching after her business flopped, walk free.
He imposed an 18-month suspended jail term and ordered her to complete 150 hours unpaid work. She will be subject to a six-month curfew.
Robert Tolhurst, defending, said the business, Scoop SkinCare Ltd, had been set up legitimately but turned “sour”.
The defendant’s 13-year-old son would be forced to uproot his life from London to Wales if she was jailed, he added.
Oh, well, clearly that would be cruel and unusual punishment!

”Don’t tell me, that you get sick of living, when the summer's so forgiving …”

Concluding, Dr Palmer said: "I don't have clear evidence of his intentions. There was no-one else involved.
"I can't be sure beyond reasonable doubt that he intended to die by his actions. "It is distinctly possible, but that is not enough.
"There's nothing to say it was an accident and it was not natural so I will return an open verdict."
 Coroners will, it seems, do almost anything to avoid a verdict of suicide:
Kit-Kuen Lai, 62, was found in his bedroom in a flat above Sichuan Garden Chinese restaurant in Brighton Road, Coulsdon, with his head wrapped in cling-film on September 9, last year.
The former Balham man had bladder cancer and gambling debts.
A post-mortem examination revealed he had swallowed some bleach before he died but Dr Palmer said it was unlikely this would have been what killed him.
Yes. Clearly there's room for doubt....

Still, I salute you, Mr Lai - at a time when so many suicides seem to choose the option of hurling themselves in front of Tubes or trains, thus turning the poor bloody driver into an emotional wreck and leaving a ghastly scene for the emergency services - at least your exit was thoughtful.

And nor did you feel the selfish, self-absorbed need to take four innocent lives along with you...

Monday, 15 April 2013

Local Council ‘Planning’…

Purley War Memorial Hospital is being revamped. For a greater capacity of throughput. Hurrah?

Well, no. Not if you want to drive there:
Just 40 spaces have been included in the plans, following lobbying by the Croydon Council's previous chief exec, despite an estimated 3,000 visitors a week.
Whoops! And that doesn't includes staff parking, because there isn't any of that:
At the moment, the 40 spaces included in the planning permission will be reserved for patients and ambulances – staff will have to park elsewhere in the town during their shifts.
So, if you work unsociable shifts and can’t therefore depend on public transport, too bad!
Tarsem Flora, a local architect and the group's chairman, said: "We are looking at double the number of visitors to the hospital but no parking provision. It will be a nightmare."
Is it idiocy? It's an existential question, as @patently observed:

But no. It’s just the dogma of the ‘save the earth!’ brigade once more:
In a letter seen by the Advertiser, the then chief executive of Croydon Council, Jon Rouse, argued Purley had a high "public transport accessibility level" which meant planning policy "encouraged a reduction in onsite parking provision". He also said the town's public car parks could cater for the hospital's visitors.
And the staff? Oh, but why would you care?
However, Purley's residents are concerned the number of people coming to use the new hospital will be far higher than the number using the old. They fear the lack of spaces will result in irresponsible and dangerous parking throughout the town.
Ain't ‘sustainable policies’ grand?

The Return Of ‘Men Of No Appearance’!

The men told him how they had walked into the towerblock at about 11.15pm on Thursday and were approached by two robbers in the lobby.
The men demanded money - but when their victims refused they pulled out a carving knife and a smaller knife and began slashing.
Luckily, they managed to flee their attackers before they got help in North Road.
In the comments - should they still be up - there's some speculation about the identity of these mysterious men of no appearance.

Here We Go Again….

Blue Star operations manager Paul Coin took the decision to withdraw his firm’s buses for the safety of staff and passengers.
He said: “We know that by withdrawing a service we’re disadvantaging loyal customers, which is something we don’t want to do, but we have to put the safety of our drivers and customers first.
“We are monitoring it on a daily basis. We may take a view that we might have to withdraw for a lengthier period next time but the last thing we want to do is make Millbrook a no go area.”
This is not an unknown occurrence, more’s the pity.
The suspension of services has dismayed residents. Chris Fox, 72, a retired company director, from Millbrook, said: “There are a lot of people who don’t have cars and are on benefits, so they rely on the buses to get into the city centre.”
And they are breeding the sort of morons who throw stones at the buses that are their granny's and nephew's only means of transport!
A Hampshire police spokesman said: “This seems to be mindless acts of vandalism by youths throwing stones or similar items at the buses and breaking windows, which sometimes then shatter.
“Not only does this put the passengers and driver in real danger from breaking glass and the distraction but it also means the buses have to be repaired. which takes them off the road. This can affect everyone who uses the bus service in Millbrook.
“We will be working with the bus companies to try and catch those responsible and would urge anyone with any information about who is carrying out the vandalism to contact us.”
How about some patrolling, so you can catch them in the act? How about some undercover work riding the buses, so you can catch them in the act?

Does anyone ever get caught in the act any more?

Sunday, 14 April 2013

"Hey, Sarge! Did We Ever Try This With Rabbits?"

"Errrr, no. Why?" "Oh, fuuuuuuu..."
North Yorkshire Police said officers apologised and consoled Melissa and her family immediately after the incident.
The head of the force’s dog section, Sergeant Simon Whitby, telephoned the family yesterday to apologise on behalf of the police.
That must be quite a regular task for these chaps...

H/T: Anna Raccoon via email

Yet More Taxonomic Hilarity In 'The Mail'...


A what?!?

Well, I Suppose It Makes A Change From Blue Serge & Hi-Vis*…

…but won’t it make it hard for them to run after him if he’s spotted?

* Yes, the old ones are the best.

Sunday Funnies...

The Bible - racier than you might think...

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Well, If You Will House Rubbish, Why Shouldn’t You Expect More Rubbish?

Pity the HSBC roof cleaner
Soiled nappies, sanitary waste, mouldy food and general rubbish are just some of the items being dumped out of the windows of what has become the towerblock tip.
Now one private landlord and a councillor are demanding action to clean up the “eyesore”

I mean, without some preventive action (like eviction), won’t it just recur?
Joanne Douglas, 37, from Lee Chapel South, who has owned and rented a flat in the listed building for around 15 years, said: “It’s an absolute disgrace.
“The flat that I rent out is on the other side of Brooke House but for those people who have to look at that every days it’s awful.
We pay the council a service charge, which is supposed to cover cleaning costs for the building and surrounding area, but yet this mess is still there.
“The council has also done nothing to investigate who is responsible despite the fact that it is obvious one of those involved has a baby and they clearly live on the side of the tower block which looks out on to the building next door.”
Maybe there’s just too many suspects? And of course, in the comments, the usual political claptrap about 'the government' and 'poverty'.

Time once again to recall Peter Risdon's observation:
"Not just Toynbee, of course, but she has made a particular fetish of “social exclusion”. And she claims that
…growing inequality multiplies all these problems
No, it doesn’t. What multiplies them is continued state intervention in and control over these people’s lives. They shit in stairwells because they don’t own the stairwells and they don’t feel responsible for keeping them clean. The same people will complain that the council are slow to disinfect them, before they shit in them again."

Such A Very Familiar Story...

Yet more mayhem on our streets:
A massive fight broke out in Tooting Broadway last night between two rival gangs of armed yobs. Shoppers ran for their lives as 30 youths aged 14-20 attacked each other with wood, iron bars and bottles in Sainsbury’s car park at around 6pm.
Yet more vibrant protagonists:
It began in Mitcham Road outside McDonald’s, where a group of what are believed to be Somali youths began taunting some Asians, according to one witness.
Yet more fed-up residents:
Mark Shaw, 46, frontman of 80s band Then Jerico, was caught in the chaos while carrying his shopping to the car. He said: “They picked up sticks and anything they could find. There were people screaming and shouting.
"It was like a war zone. We were absolutely terrified.
It makes me feel angry and disgusted with the Government because this country is being over-run by little scumbags.
Yet more too little, too late frontline policing:
Within minutes, three police cars arrived but the youths bolted and it is not yet known whether any were arrested.
Yet more confirmation that this is becoming normal:
Rob Sanson, manager of A Bar 2 Far, witnessed part of the fight but said it was no different to normal. He said: “There’s always antisocial behaviour, throwing bottles, smoking weed, selling drugs and everything.
“We are trying to run a clean business but we are being sidetracked by them. They are putting off our customers.
Yet more senior ranking officer trotting out bland & soothing reassurance that we should believe the force's 'community engagement strategy', and not our lyin' eyes:
Inspector Dale Anderton from Tooting safer neighbourhoods team (SNT), said: “It was an isolated incident.
"It seems that a group of up to 20 people attended the area intent on exacting some sort of revenge for a minor assault on a youth earlier in the week.
“They then met up with another group of about 20 and a fight broke out.”
He added behaviour in the area had improved recently, but that officers were increasing their patrols to tackle the remaining problems.
Coming soon to a street near you. Unless you are a senior politician, magistrate or police officer...

The Mysterious Case Of The Riot In The High Street…

Remember this news item? The one with the rather hilarious details?

Well, who’s laughing now?
Calvin Fairweather of Barrow Road, Streatham, was due to stand trial accused of two counts of inflicting grievous bodily harm, but the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence, when he appeared at Croydon Crown Court on Wednesday. Prosecutors alleged Mr Fairweather was identified on CCTV carrying a machete.
But the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was insufficient evidence to pursue a conviction.
Remind me again - what does 'CPS' stand for? 'Couldn't Prosecute Satan' is about the kindest I've heard...
Five men were taken to hospital suffering stab wounds after an incident outside J & J Halal Butcher on High Street, Thornton Heath.
 And we're so hot on knufe crime! Not...
Fairweather pleaded guilty to a new charge of affray in connection to the same incident at about 5pm on Saturday, June 2 last year. He admitted hurling an egg at a cashier during a row in the shop
He was told by Judge Jeremy Gold, he would not face an immediate custodial sentence.
Judge Gold said: "I don't regard this as a case for immediate custody, but I want to investigate other alternatives apart from community penalties that will address any difficulties he has in keeping his temper.
"You have had the good sense to plead guilty to a lesser offence at the first opportunity. I am adjourning the case for a pre-sentence report to investigate a little more about your background."
But not too much, eh? Because 'background' might turn into a bit of a minefield...

Friday, 12 April 2013

A Bit Of A Flaw?

A taxi driver told a blind woman she was not welcome in his cab – because she had a guide dog.
Disability campaigner Diane Marks said she felt “totally humiliated” by the refusal, which happened outside Brighton Station last week.
 There's no description of the driver. Well, there wouldn't be, she's blind!
As she waited for a cab home after a trip to London, a driver pulled up and wound down his window. But when he saw her guide dog Thomas, he said he was allergic to dog hair and refused to carry the pair.
Ms Marks said: “I wanted to see his exemption certificate but he wouldn’t show it to me.
“He shut both doors, locked up his windows and locked himself in. Then he just drove off. Nobody standing next to me at the taxi rank said anything.
They might have made a few gestures that she couldn't see, because she's blind.
...taxi bosses said it would be difficult to find the culprit because Ms Marks had not been able to record his registration number.
 Ummm, wait a minute!
Andy Cheesman from the Brighton and Hove Taxi Forum said similar incidents were “extremely rare”.
He said: “It’s not nice when it happens and of course it’s horrible for the person involved.
“When this sort of thing happens we suggest that they take a registration number – but of course that’s very difficult if you are blind.

And Today’s Darwin Award Contender 2013….

A man is in a specialist burns hospital after police used CS spray to break up a fight. His mother Marie, of Rockbourne Close, Leigh Park, admits her son has been arrested ‘hundreds of times’ but says it was unnecessary to use the spray.
Really? What were they supposed to use then? I mean, I’d be happy for them to use a bullet, frankly…
His mother said it was the third time he has had a reaction after being sprayed by police.
Miss Elston said: ‘He’d gone to Fareham to meet a girl but it didn’t work out.
‘When he missed the last train home he decided to walk back to Leigh Park and on the way he bumped into these blokes.
‘The police came and used CS spray – even though he told them he was allergic to it. ‘He was obviously doing something wrong or the police wouldn't have been there but they didn't have to spray him. They could have handcuffed him. He didn't deserve that.’
In order to handcuff him they have to get him under control. Clearly, he did ‘deserve that’ because he didn't learn the last two times.

What he 'doesn't deserve' is the morphine he’s getting…
She said her son has battled with drink all his life and she hoped this would be the turning point for him. He is on the waiting list for a place in a controlled house where drink and drugs are banned, to try and help him beat his alcoholism.
Newsflash: It's only a ‘battle with drink’ if you don't keep surrendering


A motorist who was refused a new disabled parking badge after his health improved was caught using a forged permit, a court heard.
Gary Palmer, 53, altered the date on his expired badge so it looked valid for an extra three years, magistrates heard. He then parked a friend’s car for free on Bloom Street in Manchester city centre last September.
Because, rather than be overjoyed his health had improved, as most normal people would be, this, for him, represented a loss...
A blue badge was displayed on the dashboard with an expiry date of December 31, 2014. But officers cross-checked the permit’s serial number with their database, which revealed it had actually expired on December 31, 2011.
When asked for more details, Palmer said it was his badge, which the council refused to renew.
He said he was consulting with doctors about his condition – which he refused to reveal in open court – and admitted he had changed the details on the badge, prosecutors said.
Palmer, defending himself in court, told the magistrates: “It was my badge. I applied for it to be renewed but they refused me. I still have the same (health) condition. I changed it (the badge) and I shouldn't have. I'm sorry for that.”
He's sorry he got caught, anyway...

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Strewth, It's Just The Same Down Under!

A young man who bashed a dog with a stick before hanging it from a clothesline should be spared prison because of his shocking upbringing, a court has heard.
Prosecutors asked Magistrate Paul Foley to impose an immediate prison term to send a message to the community that violence against animals would not be tolerated.
However, French's lawyer Amanda Lambden said her client was the victim of a horrific upbringing, in which he and his siblings were exposed to violence by their father before being placed into a series of foster homes from age six.
Ms Lambden said the community was rightly outraged at violence against animals but argued sending French to prison would do more harm than good - and that French "needs support, not a jail sentence".
 He needs the same sort of 'support' he gave his dog, although I'm sure the justice system can provide a good length of hempen rope rather than a clothesline...
"You can beat your wife and beat your kids and won't go to jail, but God help you if you beat your dog," Ms Lambden said.
The court heard French's upbringing had left him incapable of nurturing or caring for animals or children and that Buddy and another dog had been left in his care by his brother.
 So...it didn't leave his brother incapable?
Mr Foley said he was faced with a difficult decision on whether to suspend any prison term and remanded French on continuing bail for sentencing later this month.
It's not difficult at all.

A Master Of Hyperbole!

Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry has been challenged to defend the government’s benefit changes after criticism from prominent churchmen. Labour councillor Peter Hollings has written to the Tory backbencher claiming that only charity is stopping the poor from starving.
If 'the poor' are those seen frequenting pound shops, I don't think he's got a lot to worry about..
Coun Hollings, who represents Sunnyhurst ward in Blackburn with Darwen, tells Mr Berry: “Interfaith groups and keen volunteers can only do so much and it is the generosity of those better off that are keeping the poor and disadvantaged in our society from starving.
“We are fast approaching a society that keeps its citizens alive through charitable donation rather than through a welfare state.”
It's the job of society to keep you alive. Until, of course, it isn't...

Sauce For The Goose At Last

Drunken Nahit Ozarslan racially abused a bus driver before assaulting him and his colleague.
The 40-year-old, who came to Britain from Turkey in 2002, called Paul Matthews a 'white pig', Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard yesterday.
Well! This is a turn up for the books, and no mistake!
Jailing Ozarslan for 12 months, Recorder Bal Dhaliwal said: "Mr Matthews was carrying out a public service. You used his skin colour against him. Mr Breward came over to see what the problem was. He was knocked unconscious.
"This was part of ongoing harassment of the bus driver. You were constantly racially abusing him.
"Every individual has a right to carry out their work without any fear of assault, threats or racial abuse."
Goodness gracious me! Far be it from me to suggest that, instead of fitting everyone into a designated victim group, justice would be served by treating everyone equally, mind you.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Heavy Goods Vehicle…

A wheelchair user was left upset after a bus driver asked her weight before she could come aboard, her husband said.
I'm assuming he was enquiring about the combined weight, for H&S reasons?
Her husband Keith, who is also disabled, said the driver challenged them, asking for his wife’s weight in her powered wheelchair and whether they had a permit allowing them on to the bus.
Mr Miller said: “I was a bit surprised at first but I assumed he meant our disabled bus passes. “But he said no, we had to have a permit, and asked my wife’s weight. I thought it was an early April Fool or something. I said the chair is about 60kg, otherwise you can mind your own business.
“He was quite a jobsworth, eventually he said we could come aboard this time but we would need a permit in future.”
Hmmmm. How odd! What does the bus company have to say?
Yellow Buses has apologised to the couple for the mix-up over the permits, which were introduced earlier this month for users of mobility scooters following Department for Transport guidelines. The company’s head of marketing, Jenni Wilkinson, said: “We’re obviously sorry that Mr and Mrs Miller felt the need to complain to us and have apologised for the way this particular matter was handled.
“However, we totally refute any suggestion that our drivers are not completely professional when dealing with members of the public with disabilities.”
Do you? How can you be so sure?
She said drivers received thorough disability awareness training including using a wheelchair themselves, as well as glasses which simulate impaired vision, and they must undergo regular refresher courses as part of their mandatory Certificate of Professional Competence.
Gosh! I wonder how you train them to be respectful of the LGBT community?

On second thoughts, I'd rather not know...

I Think We Have Differing Views On What Constitutes ‘A Constructive Sentence Which Would Benefit The Community’…

Mr Kelcey urged for a constructive sentence which would benefit the community as well as his client.
Sadly, instead of a bullet to the back of the head, he was handed ‘12 months of drug treatment and supervision’.

His client is one of those ‘minor’ criminals we call shoplifters. But that doesn't mean that he doesn't get the full Suite of Excuses deployed for him!
The court heard he was genuinely remorseful and showing insight about where continued addiction could take him.
Ah. So, in a fit of remorse, he confessed and turned himself in? Not exactly…
Timothy Hills, prosecuting, said Stephens went to Sainsbury's in Gloucester Road and was caught on CCTV slipping three bottles of spirit inside his jacket.
When he returned later staff caught him and he was arrested, telling police he had been asked to steal by a couple of lads.
On Christmas Eve last year Stephens struck at a Sainsbury's at the top of Gloucester Road, said Mr Hills, and when chased pulled out a syringe and pointed it towards security staff.
He ran off and was arrested later but, whilst on bail, was arrested for stealing two bottles of wine from Tesco Express in Broadmead.
He refused to be interviewed or give a DNA test.
I guess ‘remorseful’ is being redefined along with ‘constructive’…