Saturday, 14 September 2019

Fill In The Blank...

Is it 'funding'? Is it 'discipline'?

Well, look who is writing the column for a clue. means choices, and there are competing ideas about what school is for. The position firmly in place now in England, thanks largely to the influence of Michael Gove during his time as education secretary, is that our schools should focus their attention on producing units of sellable labour power (school leavers), and these units should be seen as being more or less able to compete in what ministers call the global labour market; there is an agreed amount of knowledge that needs to be transferred from teachers to pupils so that they can become these competitive units.
Yes, yes, it's all about producing obedient drones for the communist mach... excuse me, for the capitalist machine, isn't it?

Well, what would you have them learn instead..?
I might soon arrive at a school and do a poetry workshop with some younger teenagers. It could well go like this. They make it clear that they don’t like poetry. I tell them poetry comes in hundreds of different shapes, sizes, rhythms and moods; one way we can make poems is in a group and without writing anything down. For example, the people who are in charge of us in life have ways of showing they are fed up with us, angry with us, or through which they try to control us; punish us, even. What do such people say? I suggest they go into pairs and say these kinds of things to each other – in role, as parents, teachers, carers. We select the best lines. Then I say, can we create this into a scene? They suggest that all the lines should be said to just one of them sitting in a chair; the rest stand in a semicircle around him, and as they each say their line they point at the boy in the chair and then step back, while the semicircle repeats a chosen chorus.
We have made a snapshot of one aspect of their lives. It has rhythm, structure, solo and chorus, movement and mimesis. Later they can perform it for others, write a transcript of it and “publish” it on a school blog. We can talk about what we have made: what worked? Was it like any other poems or plays? This is the arts in action.
If so, you can keep it, Michael.

Because what you're doing is not 'art'. What you are doing is focussing young minds on their grievances, with no thought given to why these parents, teachers and carers are saying what they are saying to these children.

But then, how else can you ensure a steady stream of future Labour voters?

I Don't Think The Code Duello Applies In This Case, Amjad...

A man shot a knife-wielding boy at close range without warning following a chase on a Tube, a court has heard.
How rude!
Bienvenu Vangu allegedly shot the teenager, who is from Newham but cannot be named for legal reasons, as the Hammersmith and City line train was arriving at Barking station on February 20.
Ah, such vibrant diversity! I wonder again just why it is Billy Bragg won't live here?
Amjad Malik QC, prosecuting, said: "Mr Vangu chose not to pull the emergency alarm. He wasn't going to use that gun to threaten him.
"He wasn't going to say to him, 'Stay back or I'll shoot you'.
He didn't even shoot in the air to give him warning not to come any closer.
"He didn't even shoot him in his arm or leg to disable him to stop him. He was going to shoot him so he would not miss, in the most vulnerable part of his body.
"[Mr Vangu] used a gun he was carrying to shoot deliberately, at close range, in order to kill."
Well, so would I, if my partner in crime turned on me with a knife...
In eyewitness statements, one woman described the boy as "almost stalking or hunting" the man through the carriages.
Are we not enriched..?

Friday, 13 September 2019

It's Always Fun When The 'Guardian' Goes Walkabout...

...and meets with the sort of people they despise:
Talk of coups and warnings about threats to democracy were given short shrift by high-street shoppers enjoying the midday sun in the Thames estuary town of Grays on Thursday.
“It’s fearmongering. I’ll tell you what’s undemocratic: not finally delivering on what the people voted for back in 2016,” said Maureen Fowler as she paused from a shoe shopping expedition in the largest town in the Essex district of Thurrock, where 72% of voters backed leave in the EU referendum.
Heh! Our intrepid explorer forges on, questioning people who are trying to make a living:
Selling toy bubble-blowing guns (“£4.99 and it comes with two bottles of mixture”) from a stall halfway along the high street, Zoe Scarrott shrugged her shoulders and shook her head when asked if she shared the concerns of others elsewhere that the prorogation of parliament might be profoundly undemocratic.
“I think that they, the MPs, need to deliver what the people voted for and if he [Boris Johnson] thinks that he can do it this way then people are not really going to care,” she said.
Ouch! Not going well so far, eh?

Ah, well. There's always the 'Look, they are racists!' subtext to fall back on:
Like the others, the restoration of lost sovereignty was a priority but there was also a personal motivation, as she saw it, for wanting to see Brexit realised.
“My little boy is six and is extremely bright but he’s being held back because the school he goes to is one where there has been a massive influx of Romanians, Poles and other people, and the teacher’s time is being taken up with teaching their children how to speak English in the first place,” said Scarrott, who noted that most of her customers spoke in accents that appeared to be from overseas.
And with that, our guide to the wilds scurries back to the safety of Islington, where the nannies and gardeners and doulas have learned to hide their accents.

If At First You Don't Succeed...

...try, try again!
Her case comes six months after Britain's first transgender hate crime prosecution was halted by a judge who declared: 'There is no case and never was a case.'
Miranda Yardley, 51, said she was put through ten months of hell after being accused of harassing a transgender activist on Twitter.
But District Judge John Woollard dismissed the case after a one-day hearing at Basildon Magistrates' Court in Essex, saying there was no evidence of a crime.
What's the evidence this time then?
Mrs Scottow, 38, will face magistrates on charges of making malicious communications over social media comments about trans campaigner Stephanie Hayden (Ed: yeah, that one...).
The Crown Prosecution Service said she had been charged over 'persistent' messages designed to cause 'annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety' to another person between September 2018 and May 2019.
She is due to appear at Stevenage Magistrates' Court on September 18.
Let's see if whoever gets this case is also disinclined to use the bully pulpit of the law to resolve an online spat between single-issue nutters, like his honour was...

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Is There Anything In That Bag...

...that'll help if a police helicopter crashes on your pub, then? Or you're lying in a ditch in a crashed car awaiting rescue that never comes?

Naturally, this being Twitter, the mocking was immediate, savage and merciless:

Not that the police will learn anything from it. It's as if Superman constantly forgets he's vulnerable to Kryptonite...

Brighton & Hove Streets Are Not Paved With Gold...

But with something a little more unsavory:
In June, Brighton and Hove City Council expanded its fining scheme which was previously reserved for litter-bugs, graffiti and dog mess.
It announced that human defecation, spitting and urinating would be punished too under its fines for “extreme antisocial behaviour”.
The move came after a rise in complaints to the council about these types of deeply offensive activities.
Well, it's now September. How's it gone?
But, two months on, no one has received a fine, a council spokeswoman confirmed.

Seems to be a theme developing here:
Brighton and Hove City Council brought in “public space protection orders” (PSPO) in 2017.
The powers were billed as effective tools to tackle antisocial activities including people living in vehicles and tents in the city’s public spaces.
The council promised that, on request by an authorised officer, police officer or police community support officer, anyone challenged would need to remove any vehicle, caravan or tent within 12 hours.
Yeah. You guessed. They lied.
Now the council has said the order can only “ask” people to move the tents.
Pity the Advertising Standards Authority can't get involved. It could bankrupt every useless council in the country.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Maybe Recruiting Armed Services Veterans Isn't The Answer For The Police After All...

'Opportunistic' PC Oliver Darby, 42, stole a bank card and provisional driving licence from Gary Steel when he discovered him dead at his home during a welfare check.
And he'd probably have got away with it if he hadn't also upset a fellow cop:
The Army veteran's "despicable" theft, in January 2017, was uncovered when his home was searched after a female PC accused him of being a Peeping Tom.
Just the sort of modern police officer we need!
Darby, of Camberwell Green, appeared for sentencing for three counts of theft at Blackfriars Crown Court after being convicted by a jury earlier this month.
He was sentenced to do 200 hours of unpaid work with 20 days of rehabilitation during a 12-month community order.
Let's see if PTSD gets raised in the excuse...
Heather Oliver, mitigating, said: "He's an Army veteran, he served his country for 16 years, he served his community as a police officer for nearly five years."
Ooh, nearly!
"Mr Darby is very shortly to be without an income and he will struggle to find employment given these convictions."
Ooh, I don't know about that!

'All Cultures Are Equal', Eh...?


This is the treatment of wildlife in the First World:

This is the treatment of wildlife in the Third World:

Any questions?

Monday, 9 September 2019

He Didn't 'Fall'...

...did he, 'Guardian'?

It's easy to see which papers are 'progressive':

The 'Sun', the 'Mail', several local papers, have no problems whatsoever telling it like it is.
A reporting restriction prevents the identities of both the victim and the defendant from being made public.
It doesn't prevent the papers from telling the public what really happened though, does it?

Are We Not Allowed To Point Out There's A Good Reason For This..?

Black people in Essex are still eight times more likely to be stopped and searched by police as white people.
Errr, yes. And...? There's a massive county lines drug problem in Southend, due to its proximity to London.

Who do you think is selling these drugs?

But of course, it's an excuse for the usual suspects to start braying like donkeys:
In an open letter to the the Home Secretary, a coalition of 20 race equality organisations expressed grave concerns with the new scheme.
They said: “Home Secretary Patel’s claims that ‘stop and search’ tactics are the foremost way to curtail serious youth violence are erroneous at best and disingenuous at worst.
“The latest announcements by the Home Secretary represent regressive and counterproductive policing policy and cheap political point scoring.
“Deliberately or not, the Section 60 proposals are too often discriminatory, inflammatory, ineffectual in reducing serious violent crime, and ultimately alienating to a generation of young children and adults that are from black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) heritage.
Are the public allowed to have an opinion on it?

Guess not...

Saturday, 7 September 2019

"Human kind cannot bear very much reality."

And boy, is that also true of Twitter:

Seems reasonable enough? But batten down the hatches, here come the OUTRAGED!

You have to tell Claire everything, she DEMANDS it!

Who eats three meals a day of noodles..?

Criticising his cooking now?

They are really frothing now. 

I give up. If buying stuff off the reduced counter is 'theft', then come get me, coppers!

"Help Me, Judge Samantha Leigh, You're My Only Hope!"

At Basildon Crown Court on Friday, Noel Casey, prosecuting, said: “There was a degree of struggle from all three people in the car to resist the officers.
“The defendant, who was driving, refused to let go of the wheel or open the windows despite the officers’ instructions.
“During this time, the two other people made good their escape from the police.
“He was revving the engine and the officers feared he may drive off even if they managed to get in.
“He then stalled the Focus causing it to collide with the police vehicle.”
Leeks was handcuffed by the officers, one of whom suffered minor injuries when trying to break the windows of the car. Inside the Focus, a baseball bat, angle grinders, flares and other tools were found and seized.
The other two people remain at large.
Bang to rights! But.... wait.
Mitigating, Craig Harris told Judge Samantha Leigh that Leeks is the sole carer for his 15-year-old daughter and had made the attempt to steal the tools because “he was desperate” for money to help care for her.
*bangs head on table*
Judge Leigh chose to defer Leeks’ sentencing until January 31 to prove to her he could continue being a responsible parent.
What do you mean, 'continue', you senile old bat! He hasn't even begun to be a responsible parent!
Judge Leigh ordered Leeks to pay £500 to the two officers, who she also praised for putting their safety at risk to stop him.
He had his sentence deferred for six months after admitting theft and handling stolen goods in Basildon.
How do you think he's going to make that money?

Friday, 6 September 2019

Feel The Enrichment!

The 19-year-old told police he was trying to buy a drink priced at £1.40 but an argument erupted after a shop assistant charged him 60p more.
The customer was then stabbed in the abdomen with a 4cm-long salad knife before the suspect fled.
As the police dealt with the stabbing, a relative of the victim and another staff member were seen fighting.
The stabbing triggered a manhunt with police appealing for help finding 41-year old Turkish national Halil Ates wanted on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm.
Aren't we so lucky in London?
At a meeting of Newham Council's licensing sub-committee on Thursday, August 15, councillors agreed to suspend the shop's alcohol licence.
Should have closed it all down...
Four staff members failed to co-operate with officers after they requested access to the shop's CCTV, police documents show.
Officers seized the footage but it failed to show the attack while a second CCTV system in the shop's ceiling had been tampered with.
Gosh. It's almost as if our laws aren't respected, isn't it?

Other Road Users Were Failed Too...

A man who died during a police chase after absconding from hospital was let down by failings in mental health services, a damning report has revealed.
How do you die during a police chase when you shouldn't have been allowed to leave hospital?
A safeguarding adult review, obtained under a Freedom of Information Request, revealed Mr Rich was not properly assessed after being moved from Kingston to Springfield hospital in Tooting.
He endured excessive waiting times, which caused him to become “agitated”, and decisions were made by inexperienced staff despite his history of mental illness.
Almost 24 hours after being sectioned he ran out of hospital, to his home in Richmond where he got into his Audi TT.
Police pursued Mr Rich for nearly seven miles. He crashed near Kempton and died.
Thankfully, he only killed himself. More, I suspect, through luck than judgement. But how does someone who is sectioned 'leave the hospital'..?

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Suffer The Little Children... lecture us all:

Yeah, sure. As soon as 'young people' can be trusted not to do stupid things because 'it's the fashion':
According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, the area of the brain responsible for reasoning and thinking, the frontal cortex, continues to change and mature throughout the teenage years and into adulthood.
I'll not be lectured by someone who takes their gin up the back door, rather than in a glass with ice and a slice....

Goodness Me, What A Coincidence...

I'm sure that's all it is, though. There can't be any link. Can there?
Over the last few years the RSPCA has been called about the bodies of horses and ponies dumped like this in locations up and down the country, and more often than not they are not microchipped so the charity has no way of tracing the owner.
How convenient for them.

The owners, I mean. Not the RSPCA. I? 

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Apart From The Most Vital One...?

Yesterday a spokesman for the park claimed a fault had been located and the fountain turned off.
He added: “It looks like a small fault somewhere in the pipe work that allowed a small amount of chlorine to enter the water in the fountain.
“The good news is we have isolated the fountain and everything else is working fine.
All safety procedures were followed.”
The one where it stops your fountain spraying pure chlorine into small children's eyes? That one..?

Scared Of The Competition..?

News Shopper understands a "prostitute" may be servicing clients in the same building where reporters work.
That's handy!
Building management of Press House in Petts Wood, which contains flats and offices, has warned residents that "unsavoury characters" may be seeking the services of a sex worker.
On Thursday morning (August 15), a "shifty-looking" man was sitting in the lobby as News Shopper reporter Jess Taylor walked into the building.
The news comes to you now, Jess! No need to go out and find it!

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Aren't You Supposed To Know What's 'A Police Matter'..?

Horrified shoppers spotted a pair of French bulldogs locked in a silver van in Basildon town centre on Wednesday as temperatures neared 30 degrees.
Barking was also heard from another van in a town centre car park, off Great Oaks and opposite Basildon Fire Station, at 11.30am on Wednesday.
Concerned residents called the police immediately but have claimed they were initially told it was not a police matter.
Strange. Charities keep telling us it is:

Other police forces keep telling us it is:

Two hours later, as the situation worsened, Essex Police officers and fire crews attended, with firefighters managing to force the van’s door open.
How did the situation 'worsen' exactly?
One witness, who asked not to be named, said: “I saw the dogs and told the car park attendant.
“We stayed with the dogs but after two calls to police they said it wasn’t a police matter.
“A paramedic came over and she also stayed with us and her and another lady rang the police.
“I think they realised they had to send somebody then.”
Ah. I see. It was when the idle bastards realised how it'd play in the media if the dogs died and a whole queue of people lined up to give their story...
Essex Police failed to provide a comment when contacted by the Echo.
I expect the PR manager was hiding in the toilet, sobbing...

Gosh, Were There No Clues She Was A Liar And A Thief...?

The defendant is originally from South Africa, but has lived in Northern Ireland for a number of years and her other leading roles included the student union sector.
As well as her work with Dogs Trust, Peltz was regional co-ordinator of the Politics Plus organisation, which provides support to MLAs at Stormont.
She has also frequently been a media commentator.
Hmmm, charity worker, politician's assistant, union rep, media go-to talking head...

Nope, no clues!

Monday, 2 September 2019

"I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance."

Mr Waller said Marsh wanted to turn his back on drugs and had reached a low ebb in the past where he took an overdose in a park.
But Judge Laing QC said: “I have heard the saying, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. We are back for the third time now. I’m no fool.
“You assured me your drug rehabilitation was going well. But you ruined this young woman’s day.”
For breaching the burglary suspended sentence she jailed him for nine months, and added a further three months for the theft and for the suspended sentence in November.
The scales have dropped from at least one judge's eyes. It's a start.

A 'Massive Dog Lover'...

Ms Jackson said the owner, a girl in her 20s, and the dog "just ran off" after the attack.
She said: "I'm a massive dog lover and I know how to approach a dog - but it just went. I pulled away or it could have been a lot worse.
"I had to see a plastic surgeon as it went straight through to the inside of my nose."
Ms Jackson said she thought the dog was a "pit bull-type".
...but clearly not one that has any common sense.

Sunday, 1 September 2019