Saturday, 10 April 2021

Something's Been Hijacked, If Not The Nave Andromeda...

Remember this incident?
...16 members of the elite Navy force, the Special Boat Service, based only a few miles away in Poole, Dorset, were hailed as heroes for bringing the incident to a swift conclusion after they fast roped down on to the deck of the ship from helicopters while snipers in another helicopter patrolled above.

Well, we can't let that stand, can we? Our armed forces, heroes? Good grief!  

Politicians and human rights campaigners have called for an inquiry into the incident.

Of course they have! But, dear Reader, it's not into how a bunch of illegal immigrants got close to our shores, oh, dear me, no...

One of the stowaways, John*, who has now claimed asylum, said that on the day of the SBS raid he and the six other stowaways were locked in a cabin, as they had been for the previous 12 days since being discovered while tying themselves to the exterior of the ship. “Everything was very quiet on the ship. We thought maybe the crew had left because the ship was sinking and they were leaving us to drown. We shouted but nobody came. We waited for many hours and then broke down the cabin door and went up on deck,” said the 27-year-old.

Hmmm... 

All seven had tied themselves to the exterior of the ship using strong ropes in the early hours of 5 October when the vessel was docked in Lagos, Nigeria.

Wait, if they were discovered in Nigeria, why weren't they thrown ashore? This doesn't add up. 

They were not discovered until the ship docked in Spain where they were taken on board the ship by the captain.

So they weren't discovered in Nigeria? And why did the captain not offload them in Spain? 

He said all seven of the stowaways were shocked when the SBS arrived. “They came down from the chopper like they were going to war. They had guns and they couldn’t let us look into their faces. They told us to lie belly down on the deck. There’s nobody on the planet who wouldn’t have been frightened about that.”

I wouldn't. But then I'm not attempting to break the law of their country... 

John’s claim for asylum and as a victim of trafficking is under consideration. He said: “If they take me back to Nigeria my life will be in critical danger. I will lose my life. I am a strong Christian. ”

Now, I'm not a believer in anything, but isn't there something in the Bible about 'bearing false witness'? And obeying the laws of the country you find yourself in? I'm pretty sure there is. 

James Wilson, acting director of the charity Detention Action, which provided support for John while he was detained, said: “This debacle raises serious questions that the government now needs to answer. The lack of a credible or verified threat is deeply concerning and the situation appears to have been badly mishandled. The public and our military deserve an urgent inquiry into how and why the home secretary took a decision to deploy elite forces against vulnerable asylum seekers to stop a hijack that never happened.”

The only 'serious questions' it raises is just who funds the likes of you, and your 'charity', James... 

I Thought You'd Been Quiet Lately, Jim...

The usual suspects are out again:
There was some controversy caused by a scene in which Adrian Dunbar’s Ted Hastings describes Boyle as a “local oddball”. Series creator Jed Mercurio and the BBC have defended the moment, with the broadcaster clarifying that the comment was “not in reference to the character Terry Boyle’s disability”. “The word ‘oddball’ means an eccentric person and has no meaning or connotation of disability,” said the BBC. Mercurio also explained on Twitter that the phrase was a “direct quote” from Barry George, who was originally convicted of killing TV presenter Jill Dando in 1999, before his conviction was overturned in 2007. George used it to describe how the police characterised him (“I was the easiest target on the case. They (police) could just say, ‘We’ve got the local oddball.’”)

Who's causing this 'controversy' then? 

Jim Gamble, the former deputy director-general of the National Crime Squad, and now CEO of an independent safeguarding organisation, aimed at protecting the young and vulnerable...

*sighs* 

...took issue with the line on Twitter, writing directly to Mercurio: “The script writer of Line of Duty needs to reflect on the line referring to a suspect with special needs as the local oddball… You are wrong on this and would be best just to admit that. This was the Supt in charge of Prof standards, not a suspect referring to themselves. If you want your lead to be seen as crass and offensive this is the way to go.”

Typically arrogant. Well, I suppose he's got the charity behind hi..

Oh! 

The Down’s Syndrome Association backed the show (“The most important part of Line of Duty was that one of the main characters in the drama has Down’s syndrome,” it said in a statement)...

Heh! Are they deterred? Reader, they are not... 

Whether the remark was deliberately “hurtful” or not, it ties into Line of Duty’s bigger problem – a lack of sensitivity. Boyle is a character who has apparently been physically and verbally abused, manipulated for years and now dumped into the middle of a murder investigation. His character is, for all that we’ve seen of him, a perennial victim – we are never really shown who he is outside the context of this abuse. Like the majority of Line of Duty’s side characters, he exists almost purely to further the propulsive twists and turns of the central plot.

It's a drama show. I think that the purpose of all the characters is that, isn't it? 

Friday, 9 April 2021

Double Standards...

Chelsea Kirtley was changing her 11-week-old son Theo’s nappy in 2017 when she spotted a mark on his stomach. Three inches long and pinkish-brown, Chelsea panicked.
Holly Kobayashi was suspected of harming her eight-day-old baby, Adventure, after he developed a bruise the size of a 5p piece on his left arm in September 2017.

And both women were totally innocent

It was only after she sought a second medical opinion that Theo was diagnosed with hypermobility — a genetic condition that can cause skin to break or damage easily, which had caused the mark on Theo’s stomach.
It took four months for Social Services to conclude that the bruise had been caused by accident.

So...how on earth do stories like this one happen? Why do social services turn a blind eye to cases like this, and go in like gangbusters on middle-class Englishwomen?

Was it 'cos they is white?

The Owner's Temperament, However, Is Another Matter...

Jenner Stronge was convicted of possessing a prohibited pitbull-type dog called Bleu in January 2017, but was allowed to keep him with conditions including that he be kept on a lead and muzzled in public.

Well, those are easy to fol...

Oh. 

But, in February 2018, Mr Stronge was sentenced for failing to keep Bleu on a lead and muzzled, and an immediate destruction order was made, with Mr Stronge banned from keeping a dog for five years.

And that should be the end of it. But no, of course not. 

He failed to surrender Bleu because he was 'desperate to save his dog from destruction'.
The animal was later seized by the Metropolitan Police and held in private kennels pending the outcome of an appeal against his destruction.
Mr Stronge brought a legal challenge against the force for refusing to move Bleu to the kennels of the Dogs Trust, where he said a member of charity staff could take responsibility for Bleu and therefore could be his keeper.

I wonder how he could afford it?  

But, in a judgment today, Judge Roger ter Haar QC dismissed the claim.
The judge said Bleu had an 'excellent temperament and is not known ever to have shown aggressive or dangerous behaviour'.

Unlike the owner. 

The judge added: 'The basis of the destruction order was that the claimant was not a fit and proper person to be in charge of Bleu; the police did not suggest that Bleu's temperament or behaviour made him a danger to the public.'

Again, unlike the owner.  

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Dangerous Places, Vigils...

Police have released a picture of the 23-year-old man who was fatally stabbed in south London last night as people gathered for...

A party? 

...a vigil to remember another recent knife attack victim.

/facepalm 

Two men suffering from stab wounds left the scene in a vehicle and later attended a hospital where they were both arrested on suspicion of murder.
One of the suspects, thought to be aged in his 30s, assaulted officers and NHS staff before fleeing from hospital following his arrest. Police launched an urgent manhunt and he was returned to custody on Wednesday evening.

Why was he able to flee? Wasn't he handcuffed and guarded? 

Just Tell The Truth...

Football club owner Steve Gibson's chauffeur mistakenly sent the tycoon's wife a text calling her 'f*** nuts' - and was dismissed for it.
Mr Gibson's chauffeur of four years Gerry Glover, 53, also said Polly Gibson was 'taking the p***' when she asked him for a lift, before quickly saying sorry.
He claimed he was talking about his dog in the messages and they were intended for his wife.

As excuses go, it's not the most convincing, is it? 

A judge has branded the redundancy excuse a 'sham', ruling Mr Glover was unfairly dismissed over the 'f*** nuts' text.

Is this yet another mad decision by an employment tribunal, like all the others? 

Well, no, actually. 

Mr Gibson hired a replacement chauffeur after telling Mr Glover a driver was no longer necessary.
Judge Andrea Pitt said Mr Glover's redundancy was a 'sham'. She said he was unfairly dismissed and the actual reason he lost his job was the 'f*** nuts' message to Mrs Gibson.

So why not just tell him that was the reason? 

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Musical Interlude - April:"I know that I shall always be a lady to Colonel Pickering, because he always treats me like a lady, and always will."

Another of the great classics of cinema, never mind of musicals, what better to ease us into spring than George Cukor's adaptation of Lerner and Lowe's 'My Fair Lady'? 

Fully deserving of its status of second highest-grossing film of 1964 and its eight Academy Awards, it's a stunning - if pretty unrealistic! - look at London high society and the efforts of an unscrupulous professor to win a bet.

Here's future Sherlock Holmes, a young Jeremy Brett (dubbed by Bill Shirley) with my favourite number:

 

Question It All You Like...

Steve Gooding, from the RAC Foundation, said: "We should all choose the right vehicle for the right trip to cut the size of our carbon footprint.
"It is right to question if suburban drivers need a car capable of ploughing over rivers, across fields and up steep hills just to pop to the shops."

...so long as you turn out when it brreaks down. 

Actually, don't bother. I'm in the AA. Thankfully.

Edmund King, from the AA, told the BBC: "Talk of banning the advertising of SUVs is a naïve approach. Some of the cleanest cars come in the SUV shape but are all electric such as the Jaguar I-Pace, Tesla Model X or Hyundai Kona.
"The auto industry is developing a wide range of cleaner, greener vehicles with some of the best in SUV styles," he said. "Not all SUVs are large. Small SUVs are among the most popular cars on sale, because they usually offer the high-set driving position, practicality, safety and looks of more traditional off-roaders, but without the high price, running costs or emissions."
He added: "Cars like the Nissan Juke are often the family car of choice in suburban areas."

It seems the long march through the institutions hasn't quite made it to the AA yet.  

They Do Look Like Their Owners...


...stupid, aggressive and deformed

This is the man - if 'man' is even the right species -  who owned the two vicious beasts that mauled an 85 year old woman to death in her own back garden. 

Pictures posted online show Wheeler and two pals posing with seven similar breeds, alongside the caption: "My team looking strong."
Neighbours in Rowley Regis, West Mids, described the animals as like “ticking time bombs”.
Locals believe he breeds the puppies which can fetch up to £6,000 each, studding out his beasts as “trophy dogs”.

I guess we'll have to hope HMRC take an interest then, since they clearly have bigger teeth and are more up for a scrap than the West Midlands Police...

H/T: Dogsbite via Twitter