Thursday 30 April 2009

If Only....

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Newham Council Suddenly Discovers Non-White Racism…

Not sure that anyone’s coming out of the court case over the teacher ‘poisoned’ by a pupil at an East Ham school covered in glory.

Certainly not the complainant, who doesn’t come across as ideal teaching material:
Although she recovered from the physical effects of the attack, she claims she was mentally scarred by it.

Miss Alexis, 52, is said to have been so scared of leaving her classroom when she returned to work that she once urinated in a wastepaper bin.
She eventually lost her job at Brampton Manor School in Newham, east London, in August 2006 because of her poor attendance record, and so was unable to realise her ambition of being promoted to headteacher or department head, it is claimed.
That’s quite an ambition! Sadly, she doesn’t seem to have any, oh, what’s the word…?

Ah, yes! Skills:
She has since tried to set up a number of companies without any financial success.

The former teacher has now launched a claim for £700,000 in damages against the London Borough of Newham, mainly to cover lost earnings and pension entitlements.
Her hired mouthpiece is doing his best, describing her as the next best thing to having Mr Chips reincarnated:
Her barrister, William McCormick, told the High Court in London that she had been described before the poisoning as an "excellent teacher" and a "valuable member of staff".

He said her prospects for a successful career in education had been "very, very good" and denied that she was "swinging the lead" after the schoolgirl's prank, claiming she desperately wanted to return to the job she loved.
However, Newham council are taking a rather different view:
Arun Katyar, representing Newham, told the court it is "inherently unlikely" that she would have reached the heights of the teaching profession, and said colleagues will testify that she would have been held back by her "racism" and "poor grammar".
Well, well, well.

The girl who administered the ‘poison’ claims she did so because when she was putting on make-up in class, she was told by Alexis ‘You look like one of them white prostitutes on Green Street’.

This gets better and better, doesn’t it…?
Even if she had not been poisoned, the barrister claimed, "her days in the teaching profession were likely to be numbered".
So, why did you hire her in the first place? And is the school you are defending the source of any of her barrister’s reports of outstanding feedback for her teaching ability?

It’ll be interesting to see how this develops…

Encouraging Signs…

Yesterday, hints to Gordon’s imminent Commons defeat were appearing in the MSM:
Dozens of Labour backbenchers are expected to vote against the Government's treatment of the Gurkhas.

The revolt comes after the Labour-dominated Home Affairs Committee told the Government to do more for the Gurkhas and summoned Phil Woolas, the immigration minister, to explain its stance.
Of course, as we now know, they did indeed lose that vote, though not by as large a motion as I’d have liked. There were still 246 MPs who preferred that the UK take in the likes of this woman, or this man, while denying citizenship to those who had fought for us, and whose values so closely match our own.
Mr Woolas has claimed that giving free access to all former Gurkhas and their families could mean as many as 100,000 people moving to Britain.
Yes, this vile, hypocritical little toad would actually try to use the spectre of ‘mass immigration’ to cow his backbenchers without once pointing out that Labour’s open door policy on immigration has been an unmitigated disaster which has forced their core voters into either apathy, or the arms of the BNP.

I mean, when even the odious creep Vaz can see which way the wind is blowing, and trym his sails accordingly, how dumb can you be?
Keith Vaz, the Labour chairman of the committee said ministers should "do the honourable thing" and admit the Gurkhas.
I think this decision spells the end for Gordon – it’ll be a long-drawn-out, protracted end, but I think the sharks are beginning to circle at last...

Wednesday 29 April 2009

That Council 'Twinning' Idea Has A Lot To Answer For...

A local teenager said: 'Both gangs model themselves on LA gangs - O-Tray are affiliated with the Bloods and ABM are with the Crips.'

”Sorry Goose, but it's time to buzz a tower.”

A Boeing 747 used as a back-up to Air Force One by President Barack Obama flew low over New York City on Monday morning accompanied by two fighter jets, briefly raising fears among workers in skyscrapers of a terrorist attack.
Oh, can you imagine the howls and rending of garments had this happened on Bush’s watch, instead of His Magnificence, Barack Hussein Obama...?

And it appears I owe the Aussies an apology!
Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, criticised the government and his own administration for failing to warn the public.

"The good news is it was nothing more than an inconsiderate, badly conceived and insensitive photo op with the taxpayers' money," Mr Bloomberg said.

But compared to the enormous bank bailout BHO pushed through Congress, quite a cheap one. So, there’s that...

Tuesday 28 April 2009

Now, Let’s Not Be Hasty….!

Thugs killed dozens of animals at a children’s mini zoo - after using them as footballs, horrified staff said today.

Vandals, who broke in overnight, also used a dog to slaughter 30 dead rabbits and 20 chickens, workers at the attraction claimed.

Cockatiels, guinea pigs, lemurs and chinchillas were also released from their enclosures and several are still missing.
Well, sadly, it’s not unknown.

However, it doesn’t seem as if this kind of sick action is viewed quite as seriously as it warrants:
A police spokesman said: ‘It appears vandals gained entry to the premises and caused considerable damage to cages and enclosures, releasing many of the animals and birds.

‘Security at the site is being stepped up and police are making enquiries.’
Eh..? According to the owners, they did a bit more than mere ‘vandalism’!

Still, there’s an answer for everything, if you look hard enough:
The spokesman added that some of the chickens could have been killed by a fox following their release from the enclosure.
Look, chaps, if you do ALL the excusing and explaining away up front like this, what’s going to be left for the little darlings’ defence solicitors, youth workers and psychiatrists?

Assuming you ever catch anyone that is…

I Can't Think Of A Better Example Of 'Maritime Safety', Myself...

Luckily for cruise ship 'Melody', she had an Israeli security team aboard when the Somali pirates came knocking. And they didn't stick around long, being beaten off with waterhoses and gunfire.

But that spirited show of resistance didn't please everyone:
Though the crew's actions might have saved the Melody from capture, a maritime safety official said they should have used other methods to shake off the pirates.

'Only military ships should have weapons,' added Andrew Mwangura from the Seafarers' Assistance Programme.
Perhapd the next ship planning to sail close to the benighted Somali coastline should take Andrew with them. And when they start to climb aboard, ask him 'Any suggestions, old chap...?'

Natalie Hanman Needs A New Dictionary...

She regales us with a tale of her recent 'subversive culinary event' in 'CiF':
This weekend, I celebrated the 250th anniversary of the birth of Mary Wollstonecraft, one of the mothers of western feminism, by eating a cake baked entirely by men.
Now, I don't know about you, but I don't find that in the least 'subversive'.

'Made entirely of men' maybe. But not just 'by men'....

Monday 27 April 2009

Soon, They Will Require An ‘Operational Procedure’ To Enable Them To Breathe In And Out...

Knocking off time is sacred in most councils. Even if you haven’t quite completed your job, it seems:
Eight people were stranded in a cliff-side lift for more than an hour after workers turned it off and went home.
So there were people still in it? So what!
The occupants were released from the carriage after firefighters contacted an engineer who helped restart the 285ft (87m) lift on Wednesday evening.

Scarborough council has blamed "staff error" and apologised for the incident.
So, they’ll be sacked for gross negligence, then....?

Maybe not:
Brian Bennett, Scarborough Borough Council's head of tourism and culture, said: "At this stage, we are able to confirm that this unfortunate incident was the result of a staff error and not a technical problem with the operation of the lift.

"We are continuing to investigate the matter fully and are reviewing all our operational procedures.
Do you really need an ‘operational procedure’ to ensure your staff don’t simply knock off on the dot without checking to see if the lift is empty....?

What sort of people are you employing, for heaven’s sake! And why are you still employing them?

Righteous Commandment Number Three: Thou Shalt Not... thy opinion on anything in the UK today.

Even if you appear on a programme where you are asked questions, it seems:
David Starkey has provoked fury by describing Scotland, Wales and Ireland as 'feeble little' countries.

The acid-tongued historian also said Scottish poet Robert Burns was 'deeply boring' and dismissed bagpipes as 'awful'.
Well, you might say, he’s entitled to his opinion. And I have to agree with him on the bagpipes, at least!

But it seems that some people ‘took offense’ and would like to prevent such opinions from sullying their ears in future:
The comments on BBC1's Question Time prompted a backlash from viewers and politicians, who called them 'silly', 'offensive' and 'disrespectful'.
You know, it takes two – one to give offense, the other to take it.

And ‘disrespectful’...? Sheesh...
Scotland's culture and external affairs minister Mike Russell accused him of simply creating controversy to attract publicity.
Which by your outburst, you’ve promptly given him, you cretin...
Russell Brown, Labour MP for Dumfries and Galloway, where Burns lived for many years and is buried, said: 'Starkey should apologise to Scotland.
All of them? Individually?
Starkey's agent last night insisted he would not be making an apology, adding: 'I don't think David has anything further to add at this stage.'
Other than ‘Get a life, idiots’, one presumes...

Oh, What A Tangled Web We Weave...

...when we let civil service bureaucracy have unfettered license to design healthcare systems:
A mother-to-be has been turned down for free dental treatment - because the surgery will not accept that she is expecting.

Sarah Luisis, 27, who is five months pregnant, has been told she needs to provide more proof that she has a baby on the way.
Well, fair dos. Some women these days are huge, and you can’t expect them to just assume that she’s pregnant, instead of just had too much chocolate!

If only she had some sort of medical confirma...

That is despite the fact that she has a big bump, a doctor's certificate, antenatal notes and ultrasound pictures of her unborn child.
And that isn’t considered ‘evidence’?

No, it seems she’s missing a magical document that will open the world of free dentistry to her. And if she doesn’t have that particular document no other will do.

Welcome to the NHS, envy of the world!
... the mother of one was turned away from St John's dental practice in Romford because she did not have a Maternity Exemption Certificate.

She said: 'I filled in a form to get the certificate when I found out I was pregnant and sent it off.

'But I've discovered that the form was never received in Newcastle where the certificates are issued.

'I now have to fill in another form but that could take up to four weeks to be approved.'
And if that one also gets lost in the post, she could have actually delivered by the time she gets to see a dentist!

Needless to say, the cries of ‘It’s not our fault!’ ring out loud and clear:
A spokesman for the dental surgery said: 'This is not our policy. It comes from the health authority.

'The PCT have said to us, "We will not pay you if you don't have this information".

'It's not up to us, and we used to take people's word.'
Aha. They used to take people’s word. I wonder why they now don’t?

Is it because the system was abused? And, in order to prevent the abuse, a magical document, the One Form of Pregnancy, was created? I bet that’s what happened...

And now, in spite of the fact that she has other medically-certified forms of proof, without that document, she can’t get treatment.

Because people’s judgement isn’t good enough. All must worship The System. And Pay Homage to Its Forms and Procedures....

Sunday 26 April 2009

Carry On Spying...

A Britsh agent has thrown the war against drug traffickers into chaos by leaving top secret information about covert operations on a bus in South America.

In a blunder that has cost taxpayers millions of pounds and put scores of lives at risk, the drugs liaison officer lost a computer memory stick said to contain a list of undercover agents’ names and details of more than five years of intelligence work.
Less 007, more Maxwell Smart...
It happened when the MI6-trained agent left her handbag on a transit coach at El Dorado airport in Bogota, Colombia. Intelligence chiefs were forced to wind up operations and relocate dozens of agents and informants amid fears the device could fall into the hands of drugs barons.

And once again, it’s Jacqui and her jowls that are in the frame:
The incident, which was hushed up by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), the agent’s employer, is an embarrassment for the government. It is another blow for Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, who has ultimate responsibility for Britain’s anti-drugs operations and the safeguarding of criminal intelligence.
The most mindboggling aspect, however, is the excuse SOCA came up with:
The agency yesterday confirmed the data loss but said it had happened soon after Soca had been set up in 2006, “whilst staff were still working to the data-handling policies of precursor agencies”.
Whose data-handling policies were, presumably, quite blasé about the recording of sensitive material onto datasticks and then popping them into your handbag...?

Sunday Funnies...

From (where else..?) 'Cracked', it's the ACME Corp ideal shopping list.

And I love their suggestion for no:2....

Saturday 25 April 2009


...despite the fact that Harrow council has teams of police standing by to swoop on peddlers of fattening desserts, North Hertfordshire can’t seem to get a dogcatcher elected:
A playground in Hertfordshire is suspected of being used to train fighting dogs, a council has said.

Teeth marks have been found on damaged swings in one play area in Royston.
So, arrange to get the people training their fighting dogs on the equipment caught in the act and arrested, right?

The council believes bull terriers are made to grip equipment and are swung round to increase biting strength. Now they may have to close the play areas.
Because resolving the situation while not inconveniencing the people who aren’t abusing the equipment is just too damn hard...
Police said they were not aware of a fighting dog problem in Royston but were increasing patrols after reports of vandalism and graffiti.
Have they looked...? Seriously, I mean, unless Royston is the only town without some kind of beat bobby, even if the plastic kind, have they not noticed the vandalism?
North Hertfordshire District Council has threatened to stop funding repairs after spending £60,000 mending vandalised equipment.

The bill for damage at Newmarket Road, Serby Avenue and Priory Gardens in Royston took a third of the council's total budget for repairing play equipment, a council statement said.
It would be cheaper to hire a pest control expert for a few nights, with a high powered rifle, who could swear that he thought the big, bulky, short-coated, aggressive beast was a fox.

And if he also pots the animal at the other end of the leash, so much the better!
Council leader John Smith said the council could not keep funding a "seemingly endless black hole".

He called on members of the public to report any suspicious activity.

He added: "The last thing we want to do is stop small children playing.

"They have done nothing wrong and would be punished for the selfish, wilful actions of people old enough to know better.
Well, don’t punish them just because it's the easy thing to do, then! Is that too hard to try and figure out?

Tough On Ice Cream, Tough On The Causes Of Ice Cream...

The jolly jingle of a nearby ice cream van is a sure sign of the approach of summer.

But the familiar sound could soon be a thing of the past if council officials have their way.

They are banning ice cream vendors from parking in residential streets for fear they will cause a nuisance or make children fat.
Yup, in a recession, the best thing Harrow council can think to do is ensure it’s harder for people to earn a living!
Traders who break the rules are being moved on by police within as little as five minutes.
Hah! Try getting them to come out to a burglary that quick!
Earlier this week, officers moved on Kypros Kimonos five minutes after he parked his van in a Harrow street. His customers were brusquely told to go home.

The 50-year- old from Wembley said: ‘They told me they would arrest me because I did not have a licence to trade.

But I spoke to the council and they told me there is no way I can get one – it does not exist

‘There are at least 20 ice cream vans on the streets of Harrow, does this mean they all have to go away immediately?
There’s a nice Catch 22 – you need a piece of paper to work, but the piece of paper doesn’t officially exist! Sounds oddly familiar!
A spokesman for Harrow’s environmental health department said the council had banned vendors from all public land including parks and streets.

He added: ‘Police are clamping down on it now – we have been very lax. The same applies for hotdog vans, burger vans, any type of vans.’
‘We have been very lax’, have we?

I wonder, has there been a flood of irate council tax payers demanding to have fewer choices of food vendor in their area? No? Well then, ‘we’ don’t need to worry about it, do ‘we’...?

Or have ‘we’ forgotten that ‘we’ work for us?
Angela Mawle, of the UK Public Health Association, said research was needed to see if a ban on ice cream vans would work.

‘Ice cream is a fattening product, a luxury item. Councils need to start thinking about how they can promote healthy communities,’ she said. ‘However, the priority should be fast food.’
No, Angela, councils should not be thinking about how they can promote healthy communities. That’s not why we have councils.

They should be thinking about keeping the streets clean and well maintained, the potholes to a minimum, helping (not hindering) businesses and ensuring the basic services are in place and work promptly.

No one, but no one, pays council tax for this type of council ‘action’...

‘War On Drugs’: Waving The White Flag…?

Heroin dealers will no longer face automatic jail sentences and could escape with community service order under reforms put forward by Government advisers yesterday.

They claimed that long jail terms do not deter dealers and that courts should focus on confiscating the profits of drug barons.
I thought we did both…? Thus preventing them from making more profit while incarcerated.
The Sentencing Advisory Panel also said it was wrong that drug pushers can go to jail for longer periods than other serious criminals such as rapists, violent attackers or dangerous drivers.
And, of course, no one jumped to the obvious conclusion that this is not because the sentences for drug dealers are too long, but that the sentences for rapists, violent attackers and dangerous drivers are too short, did they?

Not that there’s an ulterior motive, or anything…
Criminologist Dr David Green of the Civitas think-tank claimed the proposals were 'intended to reduce the prison population because there is too little prison space.'

He added: 'All the real evidence on drug dealing and deterrence shows that deterrence does work.'
Only if you mean it, David, and only if you stick to it. Not things our justice system is renowned for, unfortunately.

Going To Hell In A Handcart Express Train…

I wonder how Jack Jones, that ‘quietly spoken, articulate man’ who died on Tuesday after a life-long career in the Union fighting for the rights of workers, would regard the ambitions of some of the youth of today, as outlined by Alice Miles in her ‘Times’ run up to the Budget:
Neets (young people not in employment, education or training) will find themselves at the centre of the political battleground today as Gordon Brown unveils his “Budget for jobs” .
Well, we know now what the so-called ‘Budget for Jobs’ is worth, don’t we…?

But the issues she raised are worth looking at in depth, and not just for their supposed connection to the Budget:
What do you do with Carl: 21 years old, still living at home with his six younger siblings, never had a job, abusive to his mother - and angry that the housing association sees no reason to give him his own place? I met him recently in Tonbridge, Kent, his language a barrage of curses, his behaviour bordering deranged.

Carl did not even sign on, a new one on me: somebody so utterly lethargic he couldn't even be bothered to claim benefits, presumably in case he was expected to do something at some point in return.
I think we can figure out for ourselves where his income (meagre as it may be) comes from, can’t we….?

If Carl is typical of a growing number of these ‘Neets’ (and I fear he is), this isn’t just a financial problem, it’s a social one.
There is a slice of society that does not want to work. Benefits staff say that the problem is greatest among the young, who unlike older workers are unembarrassed about signing on.
Because in the UK, we don’t ‘do’ shame anymore. Wasn’t that supposed to be a good thing, according to all the experts?

And it’s a problem that is growing:
In the eight years to 2008, at a time of rising employment, the proportion of under-25s who were unemployed rose across both sexes and age groups, 16-18 and 19-24.

Ministers believe that only a small minority of these do not want to work. They point to evidence that relatively few claimants are “sanctioned” by having their benefits payments cut if they fail to look for work.
Ah, of course. Let’s fall back on the statistics, after all, figures can’t be manipulated, can they?
But the number of sanctions does not begin to represent the number of loafers.

Sanctioning is viewed by benefits staff as an extreme step.
Because the staff see the unemployed as their reason for existence, of course! No-one wants to jeopardise their own employment prospects by allowing their herd of carefully-tended human cattle to stray off the reservation…

Plans are afoot to farm out the management of these ‘Neets’ to private companies with targets for getting them into work, presumably in the hope that they will prove more efficient. But they won’t, and they won’t for the same reasons (a reduction in their earning potential) and for one, crucial, overriding one:
What is missing from Carl and Shane and Paul, and from the single mothers who believe they cannot possibly work while they have to pick Lauren up from school, is ambition and determination - and those are hard to subsidise.
And even harder to put back into a generation, once your ‘progressive’ social policies have bred them out…

And don’t hope for a better handle on this burgeoning underclass from the Tories:
Ministers will focus today not on the unwilling but on the 88 per cent of benefits claimants who they believe are willing workers. The Tories address a similar target group with their new master's degrees, and apprenticeships, and their proposal for street education youth workers. Look out, from the Government, for pledges to local authorities and businesses to subsidise heavily the creation of new posts specifically for Neets or longer-term unemployed, to the tune of far more than the £2,500 at present on offer.

It could be up to half the £12,000 minimum wage salary for a full-time job; a subsidy for a job rather than a benefit, although at twice the cost to the taxpayer (and more than that if you consider that the council taxpayer may be funding the other half).
And all of those will fail to attract the likes of Carl and Shane and Paul into these new ‘opportunities’ for the same reason.

They don’t want to work, and there is no social stigma anymore about being unemployed.

And it’s not just a financial disgrace to allow this state of affairs to continue. It’s a big, big problem for the future of all areas of our society to allow a generation to grow up feeling that they owe society nothing, while ‘the State’ owes them everything.

Anyone doubting this should read mummylongleg’s cautionary tale of her recent A&E experience. These are the inevitable consequences of allowing the rise in the numbers of disaffected, unemployable young people who have nothing to do but drink, fight and screw for amusement.

The ‘Guardian’ obituary says of Jack Jones:
Despite the immense power he wielded, Jones remained a modest figure. He remained in his council flat in Denmark Hill in south London and turned down invitations to go into the House of Lords.
What a contrast to today’s ‘what can I get for free?’ generation…

”The nine most terrifying words in the English language…”

“…are ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help’…”
A research vessel for the federal agency charged with protecting the endangered right whale hit one of the animals off the Massachusetts coast this weekend, cutting into the animal's left tail fluke with its propeller.
And before anyone points out that this was a total accident that could happen to anyone, and therefore should not be used to draw any conclusions, you can rest easy – the single-issue fanatics are waaaaayyyy ahead of you.

At least, on the ‘drawing conclusions’ front:
But the accident shows how difficult it is to protect the animal, even with the extraordinary precautions taken by a NOAA boat, said Regina Asmutis-Silvia, a Plymouth-based biologist with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.

"To me, if it can happen to NOAA, it can happen to anybody," Ms Asmutis-Silvia said. "Therefore, everybody needs to up the ante and up their vigilance and take the issue much more seriously."
Yup, the fact that a government boat, presumably crewed by ‘professionals’, was unable to avoid this collision just means that all you proles out there need to work so much harder to avoid whales…

Or, we could just conclude that accidents happen, even when you set out with the best of intentions.

But that doesn’t help to push your agenda, does it, Regina…?

Friday 24 April 2009

Actually, West Yorkshire Police, You Are The Ones That Have Some Explaining To Do...

Janice Carrick was informed she had been captured exceeding the 30mph limit on her Meyra 12-volt electric scooter by a roadside camera.

However, at the time her vehicle was in for repairs and she was at a hospital appointment almost 40 miles away.

Nice job, WYP....
Miss Carrick said: "I'd need to make a few modifications to my scooter to be able to get to Leeds let alone travel at 41 mph.
Indeed. You’d think they’d realise that when they looked at the photo before sending...

West Yorkshire's Safety Casualty Reduction Partnership, has re-examined the vehicle photographed and now found the vehicle involved was not a four-wheel electric mobility scooter.
And the person who made the error has been sent to Specsavers, one hopes. If not sacked for gross negligence.

But it seems that being shown up to be a bunch of incompetent jobsworths doesn’t put a crimp in their stride one little bit:
Police believe the mix-up may have resulted from someone cloning a number plate. A spokesman said: "We would urge Miss Carrick to contact us herself and explain the circumstances so that we can investigate the matter further."
Really...? She needs to contact you?

For what? A grovelling apology and a large bunch of flowers, I’d hope. After all, what more can there be to ‘explain’...?

This Council Stuff Is Boring...

...who wants to go into business instead?
Following on from opening a bank and running post offices, Essex County Council has set up Essex Communications to offer PR services.

Eleven staff are being recruited, with job adverts on the council’s website for account managers and account executives up to £42,000 a year.
Splendid! So Essex council tax payers, instead of funding ‘schools ‘n ‘ospitals’, are funding the creation of a nice little business in peddling lies to the public.

In a recession. When PR firms are already ten a penny.

Can’t see this going wrong. Can you?
Giles Roca, the authority’s head of communications who is running the agency, said it has already secured its first client in independent think-tank the Local Government Information Unit.
You mean, the ‘independent think tank’ set up to ’provide support to councils and champion local democracy’ and which is ‘owned and governed by its members, the majority of who are local authorities’..?

How cozy. Not exactly competing in the cut-throat business jungle, though, is it?
Concerns have been raised at the creation of a business backed with public money.
Yes, I’ll just bet they have...
Mr Roca added: “No business can go from zero to turning a profit straight away, and we see the county council’s funding as like an overdraft, which we hope to have paid off within three years and then start bringing money in.”
Would that be in the same way that Alastair Darling ‘hopes’ to see growth in the UK economy that will bail him out of his ludicrous budget?

Yeah, I think they’ve got about as much chance, frankly...
Tom Smith-Hughes, leader of the authority’s Lib Dem group, said the council needed to become a four-star performing authority before embarking on other ventures.

Mr Smith-Hughes said: “Until they have the maximum four stars and are improving strongly I think they should focus on providing the basic services at a better quality to residents.

“We have had to complain about misleading and innaccurate advertising coming out of County Hall. I think they need to sort out their own PR before looking to do it for others.”
If you were competing in the business market, you’d think so. But if you are just flogging your services to ‘independent think tanks’, and later on, no doubt, other councils, quangos, probably some fakecharities too, you probably don’t have to bother about all...
Labour group leader Paul Kirkman said he has asked the council’s lawyers to investigate the legality of the scheme.

He said: “I’ve got no idea what could be next – perhaps a rocket ship to the moon.

“We’re losing the focus on core services like potholes and looking after vulnerable children.”
And if they do their PR as well as they do those two things, I think we can forget them paying back the ‘loan’.


Too Good To Wait Until Sunday...

This just sums up a certain section of the Internet, in song no less!

Here you are. But NSFW! Very much NSFW...

Why All The Fuss?

After all, they are just protecting their valuable livestock:
Social workers and police armed with a battering ram mounted an "invasion" to take an 86-year-old woman away from her family, her daughter has said.
Was she mistreating her, then?

Well, no. But it didn’t look to her as if the care home she was in was living up to its name:
Rosalind Figg had initially withdrawn her frail mother from a care home in the city because she had apparently asked to return home, where her daughter could look after her.

But Mrs Figg was returned to the Butts Croft House home on Monday when four police officers, two social workers and a doctor came to the house on Keresley Close with a battering ram and a warrant to take her away. They threw a blanket over her head but Mrs Figg threw it off, her daughter said.
They threw a blanket over her head…?

Why? They were putting her in an ambulance, not into the stalls for the 3.20 at Chepstow!
Ms Figg added she had given up the running of a local pottery shop to care for her mother who suffers from dementia and had experience as a carer.
And, according to the ‘Mail’, she had done everything asked of her, and more:
Divorced mother-of-four Miss Figg and her partner Christopher Roberts, 41, created the downstairs bedroom, installed wheelchair ramps and had a special bed delivered with sensors in the mattress so an alarm would wake them if the old lady got up in the night.

But a council occupational health specialist ruled the three-bedroom semi-detached home was still not suitable for Mrs Figg.
No details are given as to why not, but I can’t see how a care home could possibly provide this level of personal care.

However, it seems that Coventry City Council were determined to hang on to Mrs Figg at all costs:
A spokesman for Coventry City Council said: "Staff from a number of agencies are involved in safeguarding Mrs Figg, including using statutory powers to protect her against further moves and to provide a mental health assessment after she was removed from a residential care home by her daughter against advice from the Older People's Community Mental Health Team, which includes representatives from health agencies and Social Care."
Yeah, see, the thing about ‘advice’? You don’t have to take it! Unless, it seems, you are under the ‘care’ of Coventry City Council social services.

But why would they go to such lengths, given the recession and the resource-hungry task of caring for dementia patients (and that’s not including the potential litigation nightmare if it turns out your employees might be the sort that like to burn elderly people alive), to wrest this lady from the family that wanted to care for her, and had gone to considerable lengths to do so, at the cost to their own lives?

Here’s a possible clue:
Yesterday she was back in her room at £2,000-a-month Butts Croft House in Corley, Warwickshire.
They always say ‘follow the money’, don’t they..?

And in a telling little footnote:
Butts Croft House is a 28-bed home which specialises in dementia care. It has not been rated by the Care Quality Commission since changing ownership in October. It was inspected for the first time under the new regime last month.

A spokesman for the CQC said the report was still being finalised and was not due to be published until late May.
So, they can’t really be sure if it is officially the most appropriate place for Mrs Figg, but they are damn sure that her daughter’s house isn’t?

Something stinks…

Update: LegIron has this one too.

”What are we supposed to use? Harsh language?”

It’s not just the UK police who take a dim view of ‘vigilantes’, by which they usually mean people who decide they are mad as hell and aren’t going to take it any more:
Initial investigations have found residents reacted when Mungiki tried to expel people who came from a neighboring district, Kirinyaga, because members of Mungiki had been lynched in Kirinyaga, Kiraithe said.

(police spokesman Eric)Kiraithe urged members of the public to stop "using criminal violence to resist crime."
When did ‘resisting crime’ become something we are not supposed to do….?

As they say, when seconds count, remember, the police are only minutes away. I suspect that’s probably hours in Kenya…

Thursday 23 April 2009

"'s my flag too, and I want it back..."

I think I first heard about this band via 'The Last Ditch' blog. Not a big folk fan, personally, but this band is really something special*. I bought the album as a result.

Happy St George's Day!

*even if the video does look as if they have Anthony Worrell Thompson on strings!

Wednesday 22 April 2009

Unintentionally Revealing BBC Headline...

Well, indeed.

After all, thanks to Protocol 6 of the ECHR, we can't plan them any more...

"Joey, you like movies about gladiators?"

Wow! And I thought this guy was pushing the envelope for improbable excuses...
The paramedic, who was credited with saving hundreds of lives in his career, told police he had downloaded the 450 graphic images and videos of children being abused as a means to get away from his day-to-day life.
Lest we are tempted to have a smidgen of sympathy, or believe that this might be another 'Operation Ore' foulup:
At least 170 of the images were rated at level four and five - showing the worst forms of child abuse.
Still, at least he's safely locked up now where he can atone for...

Oh. Wait.
Taylor was given a community sentence after Judge Gordon Risius decided to spare him jail.

"Ha ha ha, hee hee hee,..."

"...I'm a laughing naked gnome and you can't catch have me...."

At least, not if the council have anything to say about it. And it seems they do:
The grandmother has been forced to put clothes on the ornaments after a neighbour complained to Bromsgrove District Council and an officer phoned her.
I have to say, I find it hard to see what council regulation she might have broken. But then, we are talking about the West Midlands.
The offended neighbour confirmed she had made the complaint. The woman, who did not wish to be named, said she thought the gnomes were "pathetic".

"I don't think they should be in a garden with my young kids running around nearby," she said.

"They are childish and I think it pathetic that they are in a front garden in full view of everyone."
So, let's recap:

Tacky garden ornaments in someone else's garden that you don't care for? 'Childish', 'pathetic' and (somehow) a threat to your children's wellbeing.

Dobbing in your neighbour to the local gauleiter for unapproved garden statuary? Just tickety-boo...

I say again - anyone wondering why the emigration figures are going up. And up. And up....?

Tuesday 21 April 2009

The ‘Lolspeak’ Generation….

Letter writing is becoming a lost art, according to education chiefs.

They said teenagers are increasingly unlikely to be able to address a letter correctly, spell 'sincerely' or sign off with their name.

Basic punctuation is being abandoned as emails, text messages and gossip magazine-style 'cliches' take over.
No-one who has glanced at the ‘comments’ section of any local paper, particularly on a story followed by youngsters, will be surprised at that. Their comments are almost unreadable.

Or check out most ‘Facebook’ pages or ‘MySpace’ entries written by young people.

And anyone pointing this out as a problem has their concerns poo-poohed as ‘well, that’s only when they comment online, they will adapt their communication styles accordingly when they need to’.

Yet, for many, it seems they won’t…
The problems were highlighted by the country's largest exam board, the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance, in a series of reports on last summer's English GCSEs.

In one question, candidates were found lacking when asked to address a letter to a Government minister about education.

'There were surprisingly few who: put an address, included a date, wrote an appropriate salutation, signed off appropriately and consistently with the salutation, included the name of the sender,' the report said.
All, you’ll note, things that you don’t need for online communication (because the software inserts it for you).

So, why are students no longer told that there are times and places for that style of communication, and times and places for real written communication?
Of another paper, which also called for the writing of a letter, the alliance said: 'The misuse or lack of capital letters were the commonest errors, an error often compounded by poor hand-writing and illegibility.

Initial letters in sentences are frequently written in lower case; random capitals are used throughout the response, and the personal pronoun "I" is written in lower case.
This cannot have just come to light at exam time – it must have been apparent in their classes. Why is it not being picked up by teachers?

What roles are these young people being educated for?
Meanwhile, examiners at Oxford and Cambridge have warned about the death of the apostrophe due to increased use of text messaging.

They criticised pupils' limited vocabularies, which left them 'trapped firmly in the world of magazine-speak and dully predictable cliche; such as "you will love it".'
Hmmm, ‘magazine-speak’ and ‘dully predictable cliches’…

I’ve got it! They are training the next generation of media wonks and politicians!

Farewell, Great Gates Of Frinton….

For the people of Frinton, their Victorian railway gates were a proud symbol of their heritage and old-fashioned values.

The seaside resort has always clung tenaciously to its past and it was not until 2000 that the first pub was allowed to open for business.

But - in an operation carried out in the 2am darkness - Network Rail chiefs have removed the crossing gates to replace them with their modern equivalents.
Boooo……! Another blow for conformity and ‘sameness’.

It seems they were unsuccessful in gaining English Heritage listing for their gates, so allowing Network Rail’s actions. Which, given some of the eyesores gaining listed status, beggars belief….
Terry Allen, the town's mayor, said: 'Paris has its Eiffel Tower, London has Tower Bridge and in Frinton we have the gates. Everyone seems to want to change us.

'It is gradual erosion, once you let things slip we will become just like any other resort and we don't want that.'
But we can’t have people deciding for themselves what kind of railway gates they want!

Pretty soon, they’ll start to think they can decide on how (and by whom) they are represented in local councils and Parliament, rather than accepting whoever the party puts in place, and that would never do…

So individualism is stamped on once again.
A spokesman for Network Rail said: 'We appreciate the importance of the level crossing gates to the people of Frinton. We'll be looking to donate the old gates to be preserved by the local community.'
That’s a nice gesture, but utterly pointless. They don’t want the gates as a pretty piece of sculpture for the village green.

They wanted them as working objects on the level crossing where they belonged.

Monday 20 April 2009


A man was arrested after police tried to stop travellers taking part in illegal horse racing down the A127.
I love the phrasing there – ‘tried to stop…’.

Can we take it they weren’t all that successful?
Three horses and traps were seen racing along the eastbound carriageway of the A127 between Great Warley and West Horndon junctions shortly after 7am on Sunday morning.

About 20 vehicles followed the horses, several completely blocking the carriageways, hard shoulder, a cycle track and the pavement.
So, three racers with one, maybe two people in each, 20 vehicles (minimum of 2 people in each), that makes at least 46 people involved.

And only one arrest…?
Inspector Stephen Pearce of Chigwell Road Policing Unit said that there had been an increase in this kind of incident and several races had been held along that stretch of road since the start of the year.

He said: "We believe the people involved have absolutely no regard for the safety of other road users."
No kidding…

But then, why should they have, if one arrest is the only consequence of endangering their animals and inconveniencing other road users, while making thousands betting on the outcome of the race, according to one of the comments left at the ‘Echo’ website. A nice little day out!
A man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of obstructing police, dangerous driving and having an offensive weapon and is being questioned by police.
No doubt the usual excuses will be proffered for the lack of enforcement action – not enough resources, not a priority, the need to tread softly with this ‘minority group’, etc.

Perhaps the long-suffering Essex residents should get together a convoy of about 20 vehicles and drive slowly down the A127 next Sunday morning with protest banners. See how long, and what response, that generates in the traffic cops…

Quote Of The Month

This month, it's a tie, between:

Jerub-Baal's Spleen Vent on Libertarianism -
"So when someone tells you we need the NHS, the welfare state or a big government they are really saying:

"Cant someone else do it?"

I say in return:

"No - but you can"."
and The Devil's Kitchen on much the same thing -
"This has caused a fractured society, in which "helping someone" is redefined as "stealing money off someone else, by force, and giving it to someone anonymous in order that they should be employed to help the equally anonymous poor". And so our culture has led not to people thinking, "there is another human being in pain: how can I help?" but "why hasn't the state sorted that out?""

Post Of The Month

This month, there can be only one...

Sunday 19 April 2009

You Can Tell A Man By The Company He Keeps Causes He Espouses...

Back in March, the champion of criminal's voting rights and fearless slayer of elderly landladies, the 'Jailhouse Lawyer' (only one part of his chosen nom de guerre being correct, by the way...), was cheering on notorious police killer Harry Roberts in his attempt to gain parole.

Well, the 'Mail' now has successfully been able to print an appalling story of this man's campaign to intimidate and harass an elderly animal rescue worker in an attempt to gain parole. He was able to do this under the very noses of the prison authorities.

'Good old Harry' indeed....

Sunday Funnies...

Well, lord knows, I need a laugh after yesterday's papers, and the Case Of The Footballer Who Smiled And Laughed In The Tribute in particular.

Luckily, 'Cracked' never fails to provide something appropriate...

Saturday 18 April 2009

The UK Today: Mawkish Sentimentality 'R Us...

I always wondered how bloggers became 'swearbloggers'. Is it because they have a natural flair with the scatalogical descriptive?

Or is it because one day, they see, read or hear something that cannot be conveyed using plain English, so clearly is it an indication of how this country is completely losing its collective shit! FFS! WTFF!..!

*whew* Glad to get that off my chest...

And what prompts this, you ask? Well, it seems a footballer (no, not a famous one - I think, anyway!) has been suspended from his club for 14 days for 'inappropriate behaviour'.

Well, you'll say, that's typical. What did he do? Smash up his Ferrari? Spit roast a couple of teenage groupies? Assault someone after a drunken nightclub evening?

Well, no. He failed to show adequate interest in the Two Minute Hate Sorrow.

To translate this into English, he can be seen 'smiling and nudging a team-mate'.

He didn't drop his trousers and moon the stands, he didn't stick two fingers up to the opposing team. He didn't vault onto the pitch and urinate on the referee.

He simply failed to stand there and play along with the rest of the players, who may (or may not) have been thinking of the Hillsborough tragedy, but certainly looked as if they were. And in the UK today, that's all that matters...

And the Football Authorities are minded to have him made an example of, lest their supporters deluge their mailbags with self-pitying, self-righteous complaints that a young French man employed on £stupidmoney per month simply to kick a leather ball around a pitch failed to understand that he needs to fit in with the superstitions and practices of the locals:
Les Lawson, secretary of the Merseyside branch of the official Liverpool Supporters' Club, said: "I think he should be sacked.

"There is no excuse for not showing respect to the 96 supporters.

"It was a sombre occasion and for him to do what he was doing was a total and utter disgrace.


Nope, I still can't figure out why he should be sacked, either. A few words about his behaviour are all that would be necessary. Hell, a glare from a coach of the likes of Bryan Clough would once have been adequate punishment. But that was then, and this is now.

Christ, why don't we just go the whole hog, overthrow the Queen, install Jeremy Kyle as the monarch (with Tricia or Vanessa as his consort), replace the national anthem with Elton John's 'Candle In The Wind' and have done with it...

The UK - a nation of self-pitying, overblown hysterics. No wonder everyone's leaving.

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only...."

"...because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

George Orwell

And while the media is distracted by one of the benefit-scrounging wastes of oxygen (currently employing the top gutter publicist in the UK to hawk her story around the media) we seem to produce on a never-ending conveyor belt of dependancy, the people we pay to stand against armed burglars are wondering just what the hell is going on when the death of a police officer in the line of duty is given less regard than music shops holding a 'Record Store Day' by our State broadcaster.

As Landed Underclass points out, there's little we can do about it except boycott them. And point out the discrepancy.

I'm sure normal service here will resume the next time some PCSO gets too far ahead of himself, or 'elf and safety ostensibly prevents more officers from doing their job. But let's remember why they are there.

And what would happen if they weren't there. At all.

Just for today, at least...

Running Scared Of The Mood In The Country…

Steve Richards in ‘The Independent’ had a little whinge yesterday about how dashed unfair it was for people to attack the beloved Leader and his team of dedicated, hard-working ministers:
…I have not observed so much hypocritical, sanctimonious hand-wringing since the last time a parochial story about the interplay between politicians and the media erupted.
Sounds a little bit scared, doesn’t he? Is he feeling the hot breath of redundancy blowing into his cozy media world, I wonder?

The answer seems to be ‘Yes’:
…The entire New Labour spin operation and the timid policies that accompanied it were set up not out of arrogance but from a defensive fear of being destroyed by newspapers and now the internet.
Or to paraphrase: ”We had to destroy the good name of politics in order to save it…”
On the Guido Fawkes website Brown is described as the Prime Mentalist and portrayed as bonkers. If you happen to be an ally of the Prime Minister, or indeed the Prime Minister himself, you might wish to put a slightly different point of view.

Conveying a different point of view can be a risky business. We have reached one of those phases where anyone in the media who defends the government is ridiculed or attacked, a reverse police state.
You mean, the little people have found a voice, and aren’t prepared to simply listen, silent and rapt, at the feet of the media pontificators anymore? Quelle horreur!

And to describe this state of affairs as in any way ‘a police state’ is to miss the point so spectacularly as to make people wonder just why they ever believed that the media pundits held all the answers…
When Draper set up the website Labourlist he became an immediate target of right-wing sites. They were quite open about why they were attacking him. He was supporting the government and they regarded this as unacceptable. They pointed out, rightly, that sites like the brilliantly innovative ConservativeHome contained criticism of the Tory leadership.

But what they did not acknowledge was that there are plenty of places to go if you wish to find strong support for the Conservatives' leadership. There is almost nowhere to find anyone putting arguments that highlight the positive impact of some government policies.
And that’s all the fault of those wretched blogs, isn’t it, Stevie-boy?

It’s got nothing to do with the fact that this government is the worst on record, announcing policies for that five-minute soundbite that are then discarded as soon as everyone realises they are totally unworkable, while they stuff themselves with every perk going, use the police as their personal bullyboys to cow the opposition and, when caught smearing political rivals, have to be dragged kicking and screaming to an apology?
The easiest column to write is an attack on Brown. You are part of the pack, safely protected by hundreds of other articles and blogs all making the same points and you know you will be showered with praise for your boldness.
You don’t seem to wonder why there are so many articles on Brown’s incompetence. None of them, after all, are untrue.

Is it possible that the circles you move in aren’t showing you the real picture of the well-earned contempt in which he (and his rotten government) is held by the vast majority of the people?
Will some newspapers and the bloggers turn on Cameron and the Conservatives if they win the next election? It depends on what the government is like.
Ah, maybe you do understand after all…

Obo and Iain Dale also lay into this cretin too, each in their own inimitable style.

Pirates Are People Too…!

Daniela Kroslak in the ‘Independent’ is quick to point out that the outbreaks of piracy off the coast of Somalia are not, as you might have expected, the result of opportunistic criminals, but the fault of the western world’s failure to yet again share their wealth with the deserving third world.

Oh, and of course, America:
Living in the West, you could be forgiven for thinking that Somalia was little more than a dark and dangerous pirate theme park where American ship captains and US special forces go to gain their 15 minutes of fame.
Yes, I’m sure that’s why they rescued those hostages – the CNN appearances.

Hard though it may be to understand, sweetie, but when criminals take hostages and threaten international trading routes, some people aren’t prepared to immediately look to see how they can ‘understand’ and appease them, in order to keep themselves in a safe, secure, well paid job.

But please, continue telling us all how it’s everyone else’s fault that these poor souls are driven to a life of crime:
But piracy off the coast of the Horn of Africa is merely a symptom, not the disease. The underlying issue is that the world has left Somalia to fester as a failed state for 18 years.
Why is it the responsibility of ‘the world’ to resolve the problems of Somalia? It’s a sovereign country. Let it resolve its own problems.

But it seems that there’s nothing that can’t be resolved by having well-paid ‘crisis workers’ on the ground promising aid money to prevent people from having to break maritime laws:
The epicentre of the problem manifested in the piracy upsurge is the semi-autonomous region of Puntland. After being a relative success story within Somalia, Puntland risks becoming another failure. The international community needs to focus on training a coastguard and security forces more widely and engage with pirate groups to draw them into a refashioned security sector.

This has to go hand-in-hand with an economic rescue package that would revive Puntland and create an alternative for those drawn to piracy out of sheer survival.
Or as we prefer to call it in the unenlightened west, ‘protection money’.

Seriously, how is this different from paying the Mafia to not burn your business down? If I employ Rentokil for a vermin problem, I expect them to find and exterminate the vermin, not provide them with an alternative food source somewhere else.
The international community should also draw up a list of individuals who pull the strings of the piracy business, undercut their distribution systems and threaten travel bans and legal procedures against those – the majority, in fact – who have dual Somali/Western nationality.
Who are we talking about here, then? Don’t play coy – name names!
Instead of conducting military operations that would give the pirates and the insurgency a common cause, the international community should bring radicals to the negotiation table and be willing to make concessions to them for the benefit of peace, if and when they abandon their aggressive anti-government campaign.
Sorry, sweetie, but I think we here in the west prefer to reduce the numbers of vermin, rather than encourage them to act less verminous (for a short time) with tempting offers of other people’s money.

It’s a shame if that means that there will be less need for ‘crisis negotiators’ in future, but it’s a tough world…

Friday 17 April 2009

When All You Have Is A Hammer….

So, what’s the first thing you do when you create a Frankenstein’s monster of a government department, stitched together from several other government departments (and destined to perform as well as your last failed experiment in civil service vivisection)?

If you answered ‘Blow nearly £8 million on publicity’, then congratulations! You must work for the government:
The Home Office body has allocated large sums to its promotional budget despite growing concern about its failures to stem illegal immigration into Britain.

While other government departments and private sector companies are cutting jobs in the downturn, the agency is currently advertising for a range of roles in a new communications campaign team paying up to £56,000 a year.
Well, perhaps that’s Damian McBride and Dolly Draper sorted then…
Damian Green, the shadow immigration minister, called for more money to be invested in front-line officers rather than publicity.

"In a crisis you can guarantee that New Labour will put spin before substance," Mr Green said.

"So at a time when our borders are open, and confidence in the immigration system is low, what do they do? They spend millions on advertising, and increase the size of what they call the 'professional communications community'."
But of course! It’s all they know how to do

It’s also the actions of rats ensuring that their fellows will be taken care of, now that they are forced to admit, even to themselves, that the ship is definitely sinking.

When Are The Police Not The Police…?

A man was detained as a terrorist suspect for taking a photo of a police car being driven erratically across a public park.
Another spectacular own goal by the police?
Malcolm Sleath, who is chairman of his local park society, was stopped by two officers and told he had breached Section 44 of the Terrorism Act.

The law was amended in February to allow police to stop and search anyone they consider is a terrorist threat.
The police acting as bully boys again?
…Mr Sleath, acting chairman of the Friends of Town Park in Enfield, North London, was furious because police are not allowed to drive in that area of park.

The 62-year-old management consultant said: 'It was coming a public footpath and leaving tyre marks everywhere and making people move out of the way.

'They are supposed to park and investigate things on foot, so I wanted to show the picture to the sergeant.

'(The officer) was clearly embarrassed to be photographed where he shouldn't have been and wanted to intimidate me.'
Oh, oh, looks like we’ve got these police bang to ri…

Oh, wait:
The two PCSOs had been dispatched to the park to look for evidence of drug use in the surrounding bushes.
So, not real police after all.

Yet, they are driving a police car while engaged in police work, detaining ‘suspects’ without cause to try to deflect criticism of their own actions, and proving themselves ignorant of the law.

Does it not occur to the people in charge that their actions therefore reflect badly on the police themselves? Or, is that the point?
But their bosses issued an immediate apology to Mr Sleath after the incident and admitted the pair should have been on foot.

The PCSO concerned has also received 'formal words of advice', a police spokesman said.
He’s proven to be utterly incompetent at his job, unable to follow instructions and inclined to be an abusive bullyboy when (rightly) challenged by the people that pay his wages.

Why does he still have a job…?

Celebrity Opens Mouth, Inserts Foot Part 372

Yet another ‘celebrity’ lets his tongue off the leash while his brain is distracted for a moment:
Foxx was heard saying on the show: "Who is Miley Cyrus? The one with all the gums? She need to get a gum transplant!"

He also suggests she should make a sex tape, take heroin or smoke crack.
Ah, a Hollywood celebrity who is well aware of the approved routes to fame…
Cyrus did not release an official response but posted an entry on her Twitter page saying: "If you can't say something nice don't say anything at all."
Nice sentiment, but sadly no longer appropriate for the modern age. Saying nothing at all doesn’t get you headlines and publicity.
He told American talk show host Jay Leno: "I so apologise, and this is sincere - I am a comedian, and you guys know that whatever I say, I don't mean any of it, and sometimes, as comedians, as we do, we go a little bit too far."
He’s a comedian? I thought he was an actor?

Oh. Maybe he’s right about that after all

Thursday 16 April 2009

”Stop Engines! Reverse course! Reverse..!”

A three-year Government study into classroom behaviour will call for greater use of parenting contracts for mothers and fathers failing to keep children in line and £50 penalties for those condoning truancy.
Which will no doubt either go unpaid, or, for those on benefits, be paid by the taxpayer…
More schools will also be encouraged to use traditional methods such as detentions, suspensions, isolation rooms and lunchtime curfews to punish badly behaved pupils. They will be told to order pupils to remove caps and confiscate mobile phones.
You mean, all those old traditional methods that the progressives and their helpers in the teaching unions have spent decades undermining, campaigning against, sidelining and ridiculing?

Don’t you think it’s a bit late to now expect the teachers you’ve put through training academies, learning the best way to boost self-esteem in little Kylie and Jason and encourage creative use of spray paint and matches to express themselves, to act like a paramilitary bouncer instead?
Guidance also calls on schools to punish rowdy behaviour, bullying and fighting outside the school gates, including incidents on public transport, to stop poor behaviour spilling onto the streets.
So, as well as suddenly becoming Robocop in the classroom, they are going to be expected to become Judge Dredd on the streets and buses too…?

And how many, seeing a crowd of their pupils smashing up a bus shelter or abusing a child from another school, are going to flash on the reports of headmaster Philip Lawrence’s murder, and wonder if in their midst lurks another Learco Chindamo? And so walk quietly on by.

If they did, could anyone blame them?
Jules Donaldson, from the NASUWT teachers' union, claimed some headteachers were fuelling the problem by handing out prizes if children promise to behave instead of setting proper boundaries.
Really..? A reward for doing what they were supposed to do in the first place?

Can’t think where they got that idea, myself….
More than six-in-10 teachers said they were unaware of their rights to discipline pupils, including the freedom to impose detentions, search children, confiscate mobile phones and punish bad behaviour occurring outside school.
Perhaps that’s because, for so long, it’s been drilled into them that they have no such rights?

That children’s ‘human rights’ are paramount, even to the extent that nursery staff are unable to do more than follow a toddler at a distance as it leaves the premises and walks home?

You’ve broken the system, Righteous, perhaps irreparably. Resolving these problems is going to take far, far more than a three year report and the promise of legislation and more legislation, to be carried out by the people you’ve spent decades training to be the antithesis of what you now find you actually need, after all.

@RoseLee Need more stocks of lucky white heather soonest...

Yesterday, we learned about the £2 million Giant Head of St Helens. Well, it seems South Cambridge District Council has entered the running for 'Barmiest Project of 2009' with their idea, a mobile internet café for gypsies:
The bus will come equipped with the latest computer technology to enable gypsy families to surf the web for reduced rates.
Now, this is much, much cheaper, and won’t be as easy to classify as ‘art’, but it does score those vital ‘diversity’ points!
The suggestion is part of a £60,000 planned investment by South Cambridgeshire District Council to revamp Blackwell and its neighbour site at Whaddon.

Officials plan to spend a total of £26,600 on the improvements, and a further £32,487 on an official to oversee the work.
Yes, you did read that right, they are planning to spend more on the wages for the guy overseeing the project than on the actual work itself.

Is anyone surprised…?
South Cambridgeshire District Council claims the proposals are designed to encourage travellers to use council services and promote integration.

A spokeswoman said: "Without the provision of these support services these marginalised groups could continue to experience social exclusion and poor health and educational attainment.

"The council has a duty to make its services accessible to all and operates a race equality scheme to eliminate unlawful discrimination and to promote race equality and good race relations.

"The scheme gives priority to work with the biggest ethnic minority in South Cambridgeshire."
Oh, where to start….

Firstly, there seems to be no bar to travellers using services for benefits and free legal advice, or for mounting campaigns against their eviction notices. At places like Crays Hill in Essex, they have successfully held at bay the forces of the local council for years.

Secondly, any ‘social exclusion’ is entirely of their own making. It is, in fact, part of their chosen ‘lifestyle’.

Thirdly, the council does indeed have a duty to make its services accessible to all. But that doesn’t mean by sending a mobile internet café right to their doorstep, paid for by everyone else. If they want internet services, they are available to them, just as they are to everyone else. Job done.

Or are mobile internet cafes planned for old folk’s homes, rural villages and other spots of low internet access, at public expense?

If not, why not?

If You Can’t Beat ‘em….

Teenage girls will be offered a GCSE-level qualification in being a young parent.

Those who are 'considering becoming pregnant' or are so already will learn about caring for newborn babies, breastfeeding, family finances and how to deal with toddler tantrums.
To be fair, it’s obvious that the UK isn’t going to win any prizes in the readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmatic stakes, so why not introduce something our underclass do excel at…?
Under the plan, Edexcel, the country's biggest exam board, will recognise teen parenting courses already coordinated by the National Community Learning Partnership.

There is no lower age limit, and some girls who have been on the courses were just 12.

Wednesday 15 April 2009

"You can research browse and shop, until you’ve had enough and you're ready to stop..."

Mr Henderson has been suspended since October after being discovered allegedly accessing pornography in his office.

It is understood he has argued it was not illegal and he only viewed images at school because long working hours meant he had no time at his home in Watford to access websites.
Best excuse ever....!

”Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair…”

Spokeswoman for the 'Dream' project, Catherine Braithwaite said: "The decision to erect the sculpture was not taken lightly and consultation took over three years. The end result will be amazing."
It will indeed, Catherine.

People will marvel at how a council can flush away £2 million of council taxpayer’s money on a giant elongated head in the middle of a recession. And they will probably also marvel at the fact that the taxpayers of St Helens didn’t storm the ton hall, drag out the useless council ‘worker’ who approved this and nail his tattered remains to the piece of ‘art’ he is responsible for.

I can only wonder that the council didn’t decide to sum up its contempt for the people that pay its wages by commissioning a completely different body part instead…

Taking ‘Liberties’…

Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty, said: "It is very difficult to understand what justifies a gargantuan police officer assaulting a smaller woman for having the audacity to complain."
Take a good look at the video. Is the harridan protestor just ‘complaining’, as Shami claims…?

No, she’s screaming and swearing into the officer’s face and goading him, presumably with the hope of getting something on camera for later use. As Inspector Gadget’s blog points out, try doing that in almost any other country in the world, and see if you get away with a slap.

And I’d lay off the ‘oh, she’s just a weak and feeble woman being abused by a uniformed brute!’ angle, if I were you. It’s the 21st century, sweetie, not the 18th…

Tuesday 14 April 2009

Lost: Sense Of Proportion...

...if found, please return to MEP Caroline Lucas:
When asked if flying to Spain was as bad as knifing a person in the street, Ms Lucas said: ‘Yes - because they are dying from climate change.’
Yes, that's the leader of the Green Party...
A Green Party spokesman said the comments have been taken out of context.
...before breaking into sobbing hysterics and getting on the phone to the nearest whorehouse, begging to be allowed to play the piano there, so he could tell people he had a respectable job for once.

Yes, I Can See This Isn't Going To Work...

Germany is planning to bring in a new law requiring gun owners to keep weapons in safes only accessible through the owner's fingerprints.
You've decided to go on a rampage, and have killed a gun owner. You want to steal the owner's guns.

First, take a sharp knife, or pair of heavy duty secateurs...

Well, At Least This'll Cheer Gordon Up.... seems there's at least one politician even more incompetent than him:
VS Ugrappa, a Congress leader, said Mr Acharya fled when he realised he was addressing Congress workers and not his own party men.

"Red lights are flashing around me, good Lord it looks like they found me..."

Sometimes life does imitate 70s pop ballads! Comments are, errr, interesting.

Get ready for a campaign to free the Shoebury One, when he's caught...

Saturday 11 April 2009

What's Going On... HMP Ashwell?

"The disturbance at Ashwell Prison sounded 'like a war', according to one eyewitness. Beverly Cardell, who lives near the prison, said: "My son woke me at 1am and said there were loads of police about.

"We could hear lots of noise, shouting, banging and general noise from the prison.

"You could see flames and there's smoke over the prison now.

"In 23 years we've had incidents like when some lads where on the roof, but nothing ever this bad. It was like a war."

Labour's True Colours....

....are on display today.


Well played, vermin, well played indeed. Yet another own goal. Bet sales of Nokia handsets are going up!

Friday 10 April 2009

'An intellectual is someone who can listen to the "William Tell Overture" without thinking of the Lone Ranger'

Rupa Huq, in 'CiF' yesterday, proves once again that sister Konnie didn't just get all the beauty in the family - she must have hogged more than her fair share of the brains too.

Here she whines about the Mayor's cancellation of the right-on shindig for the Righteous:
The news that Boris Johnson is pulling the plug on the successful Rise festival, a London-wide event held for the past 13 years with a message of anti-racism, is not just a blow to all progressives in the nation's capital – it is a sign of things to come under a future Tory administration.
You mean, public money won't be wasted on this sort of thing in future? Woohoo! Go Boris! that he doesn't need anyone's votes until 2012 the real hard-right Boris is coming out of the closet as seen in his decision to discontinue the Rise festival, which drew a crowd of 100,000 last year at Finsbury Park.
Eh...? This is what passes for 'hard right' in the mind of Rupa Huq? Cancelling an 'anti-racist' shindig that attracted a tiny percentage of London's population?

Put the pen down, dearie, before you hurt yourself. It's not exactly krystallnacht, now, is it?
In its place will be two days of activities encouraging schoolchildren to take up musical instruments, including "street piano performances" in a number of areas that need rewarding for voting Boris in (Barnet, Redbridge, Hillingdon) and will be key Tory-Labour battlegrounds at the next general election.
Oh, noes! The pianists are coming! The pianists are coming! Run for the hills!

But wait a minute. Is there something I'm missing here, maybe? Because usually, left wingers lap up 'art' for the public on the taxpayer dime like ducks squabbling over stale bread.

Are ethnic minority children to be barred from these piano lessons, perhaps? Told they can only use the black keys, or something?

Ah. Wait. It's the 'wrong kind of music'. That's the problem here:
Furthermore, the whole idea of pianos in the suburbs and music on the official curriculum smacks of "high culture". It indicates such elitism will inform government thinking on the arts under a future Tory administration.
'High culture' instead of rap, hiphop and Peruvian nose flutes? *faints*

But luckily for those of us who would regard this as a good thing, Rupa has sniffed out the Mayor's cunning plan. She's not fooled. He plans to help the BNP into power with the aid of piano concertos:
Dunno what grandpa Ali would have made of it all but if the BNP makes further advances this summer in the European elections then this shortsighted decision really will be no laughing matter.
Yup, you heard it here first, courtesy of one of CiF's 'intellectuals' - the BNP will rise to power as a result of public piano performances...

Oh, well. Let's hope they play Wagner. I've always liked that.

Britain's Not Working...

It was a very successful advertising campaign for the Conservatives. If Call-Me-Dave had an ounce of sense, he'd dust it off again, but this time, it wouldn't refer simply to the number of unemployed.

A quick glance at the morning papers brings us news of:
Home Office offials who could care less that so-called 'students' don't appear to be studying at a reputable institution, or have the necessary funding, and simply rubber stamp their visas

Education officials who regard shooting a teacher in the face with a pellet gun as unworthy of anything more than suspension for a week for the 15 year old pupil who did it

Judges who agree to the removal of an electronic tag and curfew restrictions of a manslaughter suspect so he can go abroad on holiday

Librarians so ignorant that they file Professor Chris Stringer's 'Homo Britannicus' under 'gay literature', no doubt due to the title

Transport chiefs who enthusiastically endorse a new electric bus that can only travel 60 miles before the batteries run out, and is so quiet that noise has to be added to it to prevent it running down unwary pedestrians
The reason he doesn't dust off this old advertising campaign is, I suspect, simple. He doesn't have the slightest idea of how to fix this. Or he regards it as too much work (and it will be - a huge undertaking and not quickly resolved) and is content to take the reins of power and preside over such a broken country.

Thursday 9 April 2009

Some People Need To Grow The Hell Up...

So, late on Tuesday night, video was released to the media of a now infamous incident from the G20 demonstrations that had, initially, been reported as a purely natural death. And – for all anyone can say from the incident on the video – still is a purely natural death.

But the left wing media and blogs totally lost their collective shit.
Anyone from the ‘right’ of the blogosphere (either self identified, or those considered to be on the right by the left) who didn’t immediately post was castigated for ‘ducking the issue. By a Lib Dem blogger, no less!

Those who argued, once they’d seen the video in question, that other interpretations and conclusions were available, were howled down as the ravening pack descended on their comments section.

Wiser heads who elected to say nothing at all until more of the facts were in were mocked by commenters and pretty much told they should write about what the mob wanted them to write.

Anyone who commented on a thread and didn’t immediately sign up to the ‘all police iz pigs, innit?’ point of view, (or who pointed out what the video didn’t show) was labelled an ‘apologist’, a ‘supporter of fascism’, someone using ‘NuLabour Socialist-Speak’, etc. All those insane descriptions were actually applied to me in my little trip round my usual blog reads. A glance at my blog – not a full reading of every post, but a glance - would have shown the commenters how wrong they were, about that, but facts are, it seems, worthless. It’s how things look at this point in time that counts.

The left didn’t want to know. They had got their outrage on, and they weren’t prepared to hear anything that conflicted with that.

And that’s the difference between the ‘left’ and the ‘right’ (if those terms have meaning anymore). Emotion. With the left, emotion and immediate gratification rules. They react with passionate intensity to what they see, what they feel, and what things immediately look to be. If I’ve read once that Ian Tomlinson was ‘murdered’, ‘beaten to death’, viciously attacked’, I’ve read it a hundred times on blog comments. I’ve read that the police ‘caused his heart attack’ as if this was a) possible, and b) deliberate.

Now, many people claimed that they too were outraged about this, and that they were not ‘on the left’. But in reacting to the emotions raised by the initial video and immediately deciding that you just ‘know’ what it shows marks you out as someone who doesn’t think, someone who reacts to what they are seeing. What does that sound like to you? A child? Or an adult?

Was Ian Tomlinson ‘assaulted’? It looks like it from the video. Whether that constituted unprofessional conduct remains to be seen.

Did the police initially lie about this? They certainly put out a statement that the death was of natural causes and they had had no contact with him, but that’s typical of the PR department in any big organisation. Deny, and get your side of the story out, and hope no-one else has evidence. If not for the media-driven 24/7 news cycle, the response from the police would be ‘no comment until we’ve investigated’. Anyone want to conjecture how that would go down with the tinfoil hat brigade?

So yes, criticise the police for what they do – I do that often enough myself. They are human, and as prone to mistakes as the rest of us. And the wretched influence of the Righteous is responsible for making them what they are today – a sprawling, target-driven, ideologically schizophrenic organisation, who are required to deal with disaster and human wickedness with one hand tied behind their back, and the eyes of the world’s media on them at all times.

But remember why we need them. And remember why they were there that day:
the metropolitan police
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