Friday 31 May 2013

No, Mrs Tait. No, That's Not The Problem..

The problem is that staff are not trained to look after pupils like Charlotte and so, by trying to diffuse the situation, they actually just escalate it,’ Mrs Tait said.
The problem is that you've raised an obese monster that you've pandered to and cosseted, to the point of insanity, and now she's simply uncontrollable thanks to her enormous and totally unearned sense of entitlement.
‘We feel completely let down by the system. The help Charlotte needs is not available and we’re having to go through hell to try and get it.’
Cut out the sugar and instil some proper discipline, and you won't NEED state intervention...

Post Title Of The Month

Anna Raccoon on the rise of UKIP:

Quote Of The Month

Via Bucko, who has noticed that old TV series 'Sliders' actually visited our reality once:
"The series was created in 1995. I bet they never imagined that less than twenty years later there would be a multitude of lobby groups, all funded by the taxpayer, demanding the creation of the fantasy world in that clip.
That's what the bansturbators want. That's what we need to stop."

Post Of The Month

And it's actually a series of posts this month - it's Tom Paine's incredible road trip across America in a Ferrari. Enjoy!

Oh, Yes, That Arts Council Money Isn't Wasted, Oh, Dear Me, No...

John Wedgwood Clarke, described by eminent Yorkshire poet Simon Armitage as among the best modern bards, plans to visit a North Yorkshire County Council household waste recycling centre over the next year to observe what people throw away and ask them for their views on waste.
The project will conclude with a collection of 12 poems and creative writing sessions at local schools through a project based around the Seamer Carr depot in Scarborough and funded by an Arts Council award.
Nice 'work' if you can get it...
Dr Wedgwood Clarke, Leverhulme Poet in Residence at the University of Hull’s Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences, who has a Doctorate of Philosophy in modernist poetics from the University of York, said he had always been fascinated about what happened to people’s rubbish, which inspired him to begin a journey of poetic discovery with a difference.
Would be even more of 'a difference' if he'd funded it himself...
Coun Chris Metcalfe, the country’s council’s executive member for waste management, said: “This unique project will bring the message of the importance of reducing and recycling waste to a new audience in a very creative way.”
Don't you already have a council department doing that?

Thursday 30 May 2013

Welcome To England, Mrs Kalsoon…

…where the victims are punished but no-one dare ‘disadvantage’ the perpetrator:
Mrs Kalsoon said: “It’s maddening that the person who did this can just get on with their exams, and my child has had his life brought to a standstill. “
Maddening, yes. Unexpected, no.
Adam, who was attacked in a classroom at Sir John Thursby Community College, in Eastern Avenue, Burnley, will miss the rest of his GCSE exams, which are taking place this week.
Lancashire Police said investigations into the incident, which took place at 8.45am on May 13, were ongoing, but that no arrests had been made.
It is understood the boy who hit Adam, who cannot be named, has been excluded from the school, but will still be allowed to sit his remaining exams.
Well, of course! No doubt he has 'issues', poor wee lamb.

Stupid, Pointless And Authoritarian?

Must be another new Conservative policy then!
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has decided that, for the first time, the 50,000 criminals a year who are jailed for less than 12 months will be prevented from leaving Britain if released on licence or under a ‘supervision period’.
Mr Grayling said some of those released would also be prevented from moving around the country and would need permission from probation officers to spend a night away from their ‘approved’ residence.
No, no, this is nothing to do with protecting the public. Far from it:
He believes that criminals released after short sentences should not be able to enjoy foreign holidays and should focus instead on finding a job in their local community.
It's not up to you what they do with their time once they've served their debt to society - when you leave prison, you leave it a free man. That's a bulwark of our justice system, isn't it?

If you feel they've not been adequately punished, then don't release them early!
‘We want to help offenders help themselves.
‘If they are to finally step out from the gloomy shadows of criminality, they need to be given every chance,’ said Mr Grayling.
But you're not 'giving them every chance', you fork-tongued hypocrite!
‘Sometimes that will mean taking a firm position and restricting someone’s movements. But it is for the purpose of giving them a better chance in life and helping them become law-abiding members of their community.’
C S Lewis was bang on the money, wasn't he?
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

I Think I'll Move To Salford...

...I mean, it must be a paradise - the roads must be pot-hole free, the parks green and well-kept, the refuse services second to none.

It must be all those thing, surely, if the council has nothing to do but fret over what the population puts in their mouths?
Chip shops, kebab houses and fast-food chains such as McDonald’s near schools would not be allowed to serve hot food to any customers – including adults – before 5pm in a shake-up of planning regulations put forward by Salford council.
No, it's not April 1st:
Margaret Morris, the council’s assistant mayor, said: ‘Takeaways create jobs and provide a service, but these ideas are to make sure they are opening in the right places and not having a negative impact.
‘We don’t think they should be serving hot food before 5pm near schools, as children should be encouraged to eat healthily.
'Public health and helping to reduce obesity levels are a top priority, and while planners cannot control the food that is sold we would like every new premise to offer well promoted healthy alternatives so people can have an informed choice about the food they eat.
'Residents are encouraged to come forward with any comments or suggestions so they can be taken into consideration before a decision is made on the future of planning in our city.'
I've got some comments and suggestions for you, Margaret...
Local residents were sceptical about whether the idea would work.
Really? Not utterly outraged at the presumption of these jumped up little Hitlers?
Nursery nurse Rebecca Hanlon-Jones, 23, said: 'I don’t think it will work. Obesity starts at home, and it depends much more on what the parents are feeding them the rest of the time.
'The ban would hit grown-up workers too - maybe that’s a good thing as some of them need it.'
You can go take a long walk off a short pier too, Rebecca.

Wednesday 29 May 2013

Looks Like Social Workers Are Catching Up With Teachers….

…at least, in the social media faux pas stakes:
Three boys aged four, seven and nine were taken into care following a private court hearing in Chelmsford Crown Court on May 9.
Within minutes of the court hearing, Siobhan Condon, said to be a senior Basildon social worker based at Ely House had commented on her Facebook page about the case.
She said: “Just experienced His Honour Judge [sic] give parents a massive rollicking. It was an amazing and extraordinary moment in my career.”
She added: “So the day is complete. Its so powerful to know that three children’s lives have just massively changed for the better and now they are safe and protected from and now have every hope for the future.”
Ouch! Do they never learn from the mistakes of others?

Well, I suppose since they don't learn from their own mistakes, it'd be daft to expect them to, but still...
The outspoken comments on a confidential matter have left the children’s parents distraught.
Their 39-year-old father said: “On the same day as the court case we found she had put all this on Facebook. The site was public until we complained to Essex County Council then they contacted Facebook and the page was suspended.
“I want it in the open and I want an apology.
And given the public nature of the boob, it was a lot swifter in coming than in any other social worker FAIL! situation:
An Essex County Council spokeman said: “Essex County Council has apologised to the family for what has happened. We take this matter extremely seriously. This is unacceptable and appropriate action will be taken.”
Bet she won't suffer more than having an interview without coffee. And she can go right on with her colleagues, who are, even as we read this, planning to trial a Brave New World north of the border...

H/T: Anna Raccoon

A Statement That Sums Up The Idiocy Of Tabloid-Driven Legislation...

A dog which attacked and killed a 79-year-old man in Liverpool was not a banned breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act (1991), police confirmed.
Whew! I guess we can all sleep safer in our beds knowing that the two dim, careless bitches that owned the beast they were unable to prevent from killing their neighbour and menacing the neighbourhood weren't lawbreakers...

So, just what was the creature?
The dog involved was a bull mastiff crossed with "either a Presa Canario or a Bandog", Merseyside Police said.
Ah. Right. So, just a powerful legal breed (despite causing deaths) crossed with a dog with a history of similar attacks and a known fighting breed not on the DDA, then?

And almost certainly a dog that, had anyone had the time or inclination to investigate, could almost certainly be said to fall under the act's non-breed-specific instructions.

But no-one did. Because it's time-consuming and expensive and the courts don't give a damn, because judges don't live in the areas where these types of dog are commonplace.

Judges live in areas where if a family gets a dog, it's a cocker spaniel or Labrador. Where the rest of us have to live or work, it's bull mastiffs, indeterminate Staffie crossbreeds or the other chav's favourite giant breed, the American Bulldog.

I saw one of these at a bootsale at the weekend, a huge brindle & white beast being walked by its peroxide and permatanned owner, with a chest harness that looked like Conan The Barbarian had given it to charity because it was too big for him, and a chain that could have anchored the Titanic in dock. It saw an elderly greyhound being fussed over by a family in the next row, and headed there. It did this despite the shouts of 'No!' and 'Heel' of its walker, who it merely dragged along, stilletto heels churning up dirt as she struggled in vain. She might as well have tried to halt a car.

Luckily, it was only just out of puppyhood despite its size and power; the tail was wagging and its intentions were friendly - when it reached the greyhound, it merely wanted to play.

But had its intentions been otherwise, this woman had neither the physical strength not the authoritative control to prevent it. Absent Tarzan showing up, I'm not sure who would.
Luciana Berger, MP for Liverpool Wavertree, supported calls from Mr Clarke's family for tighter dog controls.
She said: "I want the government to give this issue the attention it deserves and take some serious action... and look at how you can prevent the attacks from happening in the first place."
Perhaps by paying less attention to the specific type and breeding and temperament of the animal at one end of the leash, and a hell of a lot more on the specific type and breeding and temperament of the animal at the other?

Nicole And Ronnie Aren't Looking Good Either, Sadhbh...

Sadhbh Walshe totally jumps the shark with concern for…OJ Simpson?!?
Whatever people might think of the merits of his case, however, I think everyone can agree that the five years he has spent so far in prison have not been kind to him.
Much of the discussion surrounding Simpson's showing in court last week centered on his dilapidated appearance. In the relatively short time he's been locked up, he seems to have aged about 20 years and has that bloated look people get when they eat too much processed or otherwise unhealthy food and get little exercise. He is also apparently suffering from a bad case of arthritis.
Yeah, love, it's not like your other columns haven't been firmly in Nano Violin territory, but this one..?

I mean, OJ's older and merely suffering from the aches and pains of old age- and as a former football star, some degeneration in old age is to be expected.

Pity it'll slow him down in the hunt for those real killers should he ever get out, but hey, what are ya gonna do?
…Simpson's rapid demise highlights the urgent need to take better care of prisoners, for the simple reason that the health problems generated behind bars all end up back in society and we all end up paying.
Not if the US manages to repeal ObamaCare, they won't...
Adequate medical care isn't the only thing lacking in prisons as OJ Simpson recently made known to us. In a recent interview the former football star revealed that if he is released the first thing he is going to do is to switch to an all fruit and vegetable diet. Lack of adequate nutrition is a common complaint among prisoners who are lucky if they get one cup or half a cup of fresh fruit or vegetables a day.
Even if the state is reluctant to invest in better prison food, commissaries could at least stock some nutritious items along with the beef jerky and cheese straws they allow inmates to buy with their own money.
And if they still don't buy it? Are you going to demand they be force fed?

Tuesday 28 May 2013

It's The Fact She Didn't Need A Bag Over The Head That Gave The Game Away?

God knows, most of the English liars do...
A 19-year-old aspiring model has been arrested after she threw herself into a ditch with a plastic Walmart bag over her head and falsely claimed she was raped - all in an effort to win back her ex-boyfriend, police say.
Luckily, no-one was arrested as a result. In the States, clearly, they don't just assume the woman can't possibly be lying:
However, as detectives interviewed her, they began to notice holes in her tale, according to the Birmingham News.
How refreshing!

H/T: Mark Wadsworth via email

Meet The New Groups, Same As The Old Groups...

The new groups in charge of NHS commissioning in Bexley and Dartford have alerted GPs to the chance victims of Jimmy Savile may come forward.
*stunned disbelief*
A letter from NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh to all Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) says doctors should be aware those abused by the former BBC TV star could present themselves as investigations into his crimes continue.
You mean, while there's still cash to be had? Bet they dry up when the money does!
Professor Keogh says not all victims may live within reach of support services set up around the three hospitals.
He said: "The investigation teams are in the process of contacting victims and other witnesses in order to take statements from them, with the possibility of then interviewing them.
 "It is likely that many of those who are contacted about their recollections of Jimmy Savile will find it extremely distressing and disturbing to have to relive their experiences."
Grief counsellors everywhere have little '£' signs in their eyes at that statement...

Tell Me Again, Do-Gooders, How We Shouldn't Have The Death Penalty?

Three jailed Islamic extremists stabbed a warder and beat him for four hours, after the prison imam called on them to pray for murdered soldier Lee Rigby, it was reported last night.
That went well, then?
The prison's National Tactical Response Group were called and eventually managed to free him and he was taken to hospital with serious injuries.
I do like that 'eventually'..

Four hours is one hell of an 'eventually'.
The gang's leader is said to be an al Qaeda-linked terrorist currently serving a life sentence for plotting to murder a British Muslim soldier, believed to have been an inspiration for last week's attack.
His accomplices were an African-born fanatic and British man who converted to Islam while in prison.
Maybe someone from the Prison Reform Trust should have been sent in first?

Monday 27 May 2013

I Knew That 'Sussex Police' Blog Tag Would Come In Useful...

...they do indeed feature a lot for this sort of thing:
Police warned against posting “anti-Islam” comments on social networking sites following the Woolwich tragedy.
A Sussex Police officer, writing on Facebook, said: “It’s been brought to my attention that, following the very sad death of one of our soldiers, comments are being posted that are anti Islam.
“Please don't take part in this by making comments yourself or liking others comments. The vast majority of people, whatever their religion, believe what has happened to be totally unacceptable. Please don't allowed the actions of a tiny minority to colour your views.”
A 'tiny minority'? Oh, Unknown Police Officer, if only it was 'a tiny minority'.

Will this attempt at blatant censorship work?

Heh! Clearly not...

Who Says The Age Of Superstition Is Now Past?

Demolishing the house where Tia Sharp was sexually assaulted and murdered will prevent it from becoming a sick “tourist” attraction, a local councillor has said.

I just...

Well, no wonder we have a housing crisis!
Councillor Simon Hall worries the site will receive the sort of interest which followed other prominent murder cases, such as the Gloucester home of serial killers Fred and Rosemary West.
“I don’t feel it’s right to expect anyone to live in the house or to have it potentially as a place which attracts undue attention over the months or years to come,” he said.
Why not ask all those legions of homeless whether they'd be happy to live there?
Croydon Council plans to eventually replace the house where Tia was killed with new homes.
“It is our intention to demolish the properties at 19, 20 and 21 The Lindens, New Addington, as soon as we can,” a spokesman said.
“We then plan to build family homes in their place.”
Good news for whoever's got the contract with the council. Bad news for the Croydon taxpayer.

And After Bournemouth, Southend..?

Cllr John Beesley wants to stop the town’s taxpayers from having to “carry the burden” of helping those who relocate to the resort with nowhere to live. Speaking at a Poole Hill Neighbourhood Watch meeting, Cllr Beesley said: “For too long, Bournemouth has been seen as a nice place for homeless people to come to and be sent to.
“We need to look after people and make sure we don’t have to carry the burden of other local authorities at the same time.”
Hurrah! Long overdue.

Please can some Southend councillors adopt the same policy? Then maybe I won't be hassled for money while walking down the High Street..
He added: “If they have not got a local connection, we look after them temporarily and look at getting them in a position to get them back to where they came from and make sure their local authority is aware of that and get to the point of taking on their responsibility.”
I applaud you.

And, for once, I disagree with Al Jahom and a lot of the Tweeters who boarded the Outrage! Bus over this police action in Redbridge:
Police swooped on the homeless, grabbing sleeping bags and food parcels donated by the public, in co-ordinated raids around the borough.
Adam Jaskowiak was one of the men targeted and said he pleaded with police to be able to keep his things but was ignored. He was sleeping with eight other people finding shelter for the night in the former Ilford Baths in High Road, Ilford.
Rousting our undesirables and running them out of town is what we expect the police to do, isn't it? Far better they do this, than policing freedom of speech or unauthorised cheese-rolling!

And as the police statement points out, the story given by the interviewees might be a touch embellished:
Police entered and a man and a woman, who are not as named in the Ilford Recorder article, were found. Police spoke with them and they left with their sleeping bags and personal possessions. No items were seized by police. Local authority staff cleared up drug paraphernalia, a soiled gym mattress, rotting food and other rubbish from the location.
Gosh! Who'd have thought a street dosser might not have told the unvarnished truth?
An unoccupied tent with a sleeping bag inside was found on a gravestone, a note was left for the owner to remove it within one week. StreetScene staff assisted in the removal of rubbish from the bushes, including two soiled sleeping bags. These abandoned items, which were considered a health hazard, and the other rubbish, were placed in a bin lorry. Police also visited a local supermarket car park and spoke to a woman, who was sleeping in an alcove of a nearby building; nothing was taken from her.
The police are unrepentant about their actions. And for once, they are right to be so.
“I am committed to Partnership working to tackle the problem of homelessness, and street drinking in Redbridge. But at the same time police will deal with criminal offences anti-social behaviour that makes the public feel unsafe.”
Three cheers for Redbridge Police! Now, have a word with your Essex colleagues, eh?

H/T: Ant via Twitter

Standard 'Daily Mail' Headline: "IS THERE A KILLER IN YOUR HOUSE!!!???"

Admittedly, usually it's cancer-causing chemicals in your shampoo or deadly germs lurking on yout keyboard. But they've really excelled themselves this time:


And now, all over Britain, people are pausing on their way to the grill, bacon in hand, nervously eyeing their dozing Springer Spaniel or Dalmatian, wondering if today's the day they meet their maker...

I mean, really, how have we all survived up until now? Every Sunday, millions of lunches are cooked without anyone needing to engage in hand-to-paw combat with a crazed beast.

I suppose it makes a nice change from the left-wing, press, all far too busy trying to excuse murderous Islamic killers to worry about trying to excuse Fido. But still, it's ridiculous. There's only one reason why this poor man was savaged to death in his garden.

Well, actually, two, it seems:
Mr Clarke’s next-door neighbours – two women, 27 and 28 – were arrested.
He was savaged to death because - while we frown on guns in this country, despite no gun in the history of the world ever loading itself & jumping next door's fence to shoot someone -  we allow the underclass to own and raise four-legged burglar burglar-defence systems with no restrictions whatsoever...

Sunday 26 May 2013

The Pages Of The Newsshopper....

...where it's important to be first with the news:

Even if you really don't know anything at all....

Well, Yes. Something I Often Feel...

...whenever I navigate to the pages of the 'Guardian':

It's not usually my PC I'm worried about though. More my blood pressure!

"Taxonomy Team, To The 'Daily Telegraph' Office.."


I just...


And you know the best bit? This was sent to me on 13th May. And the error's still not corrected!

H/T: Stephen Brown via email

Sunday Funnies...

Humour and topicality today.

I spoil you, don't I?

Saturday 25 May 2013

Pity The Man Who Is Suzanne Moore's Accountant...

Two gems from Suzanne Moore’s column on house prices:
My pension fund has collapsed. So I reach for a buy-to-let property – yes, the insane spiral of property madness – that was to provide my pension, but must now, I feel, go towards my children. Therefore I have to work for ever, which is as bad for you as it is for me.
Oh, no, Suzanne. Trust me. Reading these columns you churn out (what you describe as ‘work’) is far, far worse for us!
If property is theft, though, do I want to live in a tent? My accountant always asks this patiently when I explain my house is worth a fair bit.
You know, I can almost summon up the image of the expression on the face of the poor man as he asks this. I hope he has good blood pressure medication…

Yet More Politics Of Envy In The 'Guardian'...

Danny Dorling (a ‘professor of human geography’...) joins the swelling chorus of envy at the ‘Guardian’:
One British household in every 10 now has total assets exceeding £1m, according to a new book based on work by researchers at the London School of Economics.
Hurrah! More people are getting richer. A good thing. Right?

No. Apparently wrong:
Hill – who previously headed Whitehall's National Equality Panel – points out this is real money, and a little bit of it will be used to secure an extra social advantage for the offspring of the tenth who now are so wealthy. It will pay for that master's degree, or the deposit on their "starter" home.
Families working to support themselves and their children through life. *shudder* How awful
That will have the effect of reducing social mobility because educational attainment will begin to depend more on having parents who can pay, and being able to take that good job in London will depend on having parents who can help you buy a place to live should you wish to stay in the job for long.
Shocking! All ‘help’ should flow from the state, clearly, once it’s taken the money from everyone in taxes!
So why are house prices so high? It is not, as often suggested, because we have too few homes. Prices are high because a few have so much more money to spend than before. They buy a big house for a small family, or more than one home, and reduce what is available for everyone else.
How dare people buy a house that’s too large for their needs (according to Danny, who clearly knows just what everyone needs)!
And why do you think parents are so frightened about their children's futures? It is not because our schools are poor.
Oh? Really? That's not what they themselves often say. But you clearly know better...
We've never had so many well-qualified and committed teachers working per child, and we have never had so many university places available per child.
And we’ve never had such poor exam results and so many children leaving school unable to read and write…
And why are so many young people unemployed? Our overall wage and salary bill has never been higher. It is not that we don't have enough money to employ them. If fewer people were allowed to hoard so much wealth, and those at the top were paid a little less than they currently are, it is not hard to calculate that everyone aged under 25 without a job could have one, full-time paid at the living wage.
Oh, Danny, I think I know just what sort of system you are describing.
So, what is to be done? Rising inflation will eat away at the wealth of the rich. Housing bubbles all burst, eventually, it is just that no one knows when the London crash will begin, but one day someone will calculate the cost of a square foot of land in Kensington and work out that even if it were tiled in gold it would not be worth this much. Then they will buy some gold instead of that apartment, and theirs will be the very first decision of many that will bring us a little nearer together again.
Unlikely. As Mark Wadsworth points out, the 'danger' is rather an exaggeration.

Be Careful What You Wish For, Michele…

Michele Hanson compares public baths with private swimming pools, and lets her inner Envy Monster out for a romp:
On the edge of Hampstead Heath, north London, is one new, almost completed steel and glass house, costing squillions. Enormous silver chutes twirl down its outside, into this one family's very own private basement pool. Shove your ostentatious wealth up our noses, why don't you?
The owners could probably save the Victoria Baths with their pocket money.Were I Empress of England, I would order them, and their show-off neighbours, to do so. Sadly, it won't happen.
I don't think there's anything 'sad' about the fact that a spiteful adult child like you will never be Empress of England, Michele...
Nobody seems able to stop the rich doing as they please: not HM Revenue & Customs; not Margaret Hodge; not Occupy, shareholders or shame; not me.
Well, there's a damned good reason for that. It's called 'free enjoyment of property'. Even the EU HRC recognises it. Why can't some 'Guardian' columnists?

And .... really, Margaret Hodge? Oh, Michele, she's not part of your solution, she's part of your problem!
Last week, in a foaming temper, I was moaning on about it to another dog-walker, hoping, at least, that the super-rich were stuck at Freud's anal stage and secretly miserable as sin. "Wrong," says she. "I have a very wealthy friend. She lives in another world, which you can barely imagine. And she's very happy indeed."
Heh! Of course, for someone like Michele, whose happiness is clearly dependent on the misery of those she envies, it can't have improved her 'foaming temper', can it?
general fury and discontent seems to be building up. And you surely can't trample people into the dirt for ever. Eventually, they blow.
Another 'Guardian' column relishing the prospect of riots? What are they putting in the watercooler there?
Can't wait.
Well, no. But then, I expect you think you’ll be on the side that gets the upper hand. Your kind always do…

Friday 24 May 2013

For Once, They Have A Point…

Parents have called for action to protect their children from danger drivers on a road dubbed a “death trap”.
Angry mums and dads want at least two school crossings put in outside Janet Duke Primary School in Markhams Chase, Laindon, claiming youngsters are at risk due to speeding and illegally parked drivers.
 For once, I'm going to agree. Because a quick glance at Google Maps shows that there's not even one:

Now, it may simply be that the maps aren't up to date, and there's clearly still building work going on at the housing estate in them. But a school with no pedestrian crossings anywhere near it is asking for trouble, surely?
Many, who turned up to a public meeting about the issue last week, blame other parents for making the situation such a hazard.
Not themselves. Oh no! It's always the others...
Headteacher Mrs Phelps-Knights said: “This has been an issue for too long now but we need parents to accept some responsibility.
“Parents need to stay with their children and make sure they don’t lose control of them as they cross. I have written a number of letters to parents detailing the issue but we need a solution.”
I'd have to agree. Here's hoping they get one.

On The Contrary, Judge, It’s Pretty Enviable…

Judge Peter Johnson said Davies had an “unenviable record”.
After all, in any other country, a man who’d clocked up 20 convictions would be looking at life behind bars. Or worse. Certainly not the sort of suspended sentence you've just dished out.
Carolyn Branford-Wood, prosecuting, said the thief also caused damage that cost the salon owners £1,300 to repair.
The attack came just months after owners of 16 years Tanya and Dave Hutton spent thousands of pounds revamping the premises.
 Mitigation is...well, pretty much as you'd expect:
Rob Griffiths, mitigating, said: “It was Christmas time and he wanted some money so he went out and committed a burglary. Other people would save up but that’s not how he operates. This was not a terribly sophisticated operation.”
 It seems to be achieving its objective with no adverse consequences. Does it need to be 'sophisticated'?
“He is familiar with institutional life and it causes him no problems.”
 And that's the real issue, isn't it? Does the judge buy this hogwash?
“I have no doubt that you have caused a great deal of upset and distress to the owner, and I have no doubt there will be concerns which remain in the mind and continue to remain in the mind as to whether it might happen again,” he said.
 Oh oh...
The judge said he faced a “stark choice”, but a pre-sentence report had suggested there may be “green shoots” of change in Davies.
*hurls PC across room*

A New Police Force – The Tactical Photography Squad

Police equipped with cameras had to be called after scores of children ran wild on their last day at school.
"Freeze sunshine, this Instamatic is loaded!"
People living close to Priory School in Lewes watched in horror as Year 11 pupils hurled paint, flour and eggs at them and passing cars.
The teenagers also swore at teachers and younger pupils.
 Lovely! Of course, the adults (supposedly) in charge showed the sound reasoning and grasp of the situation we've come to expect:
Teachers called police and officers arrived in vans to film the GCSE students misbehaving in the playground and around the school in Mountfield Road.
Eventually head teacher Tony Smith sent a “significant” proportion of the 15 and 16-year-olds home and cancelled the celebration the school had planned for the next day for them.
Thus telling all the others who didn't misbehave that there's no point in not misbehaving. You get punished along with the rest...
Head teacher Mr Smith said: “Traditionally, on the last Wednesday before the end of the year, the pupils march to school.
“Previously there has been trouble but last year went very well and we thought we had changed the culture.
“Unfortunately this year a significant number of Year 11 pupils had to be sent home.
“They threw coloured powder and water around the school and would not move.
“There were also eggs thrown and, unfortunately, poor language was used.
“They were over-excited and so were sent home.
“Those that had exams were told to tidy up and do their exams.
“It is such a shame this happened.”
I had to double-check the age of the pupils involved - he sounds like he's talking about 5 year olds, doesn't he?

Thursday 23 May 2013

Henry V Was Right...

September 11, 2001, Pennsylvania, USA: Flight 93 is hijacked by armed Muslim fanatics. Passengers (despite knowing the danger to themselves) revolt, breach the cockpit and force the plane to crash in a field, away from its intended target.

May 22, 2013, London, England: Two armed Muslim fanatics crash a car into an unarmed man, hack him to pieces in the street and then...stand around for 20 minutes giving speeches to the gathering crowd of able-bodied men who film them, confronted only by women, while witnesses claim the first police on the scene stay back and wait for armed units to show up.

And don't tell me 'Oh, but the onlookers were all unarmed!'. They weren't. They had more options that those brave souls on Flight 93. They just couldn't be bothered to use them.

I'm a little sickened by, and ashamed of, my country right now. But not, clearly, in the way the left-wing press are.

For he to-day that sheds his blood with me 
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile, 
This day shall gentle his condition; 
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed 
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here, 
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks 
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

Wednesday 22 May 2013

Judge Alistair McCreath - Psychic To The Court!

Judge Alistair McCreath said: ‘This is a man whose mental health has been shattered by life’s events.
‘I am perfectly satisfied that whatever impression he may have given through his movements and actions, he had no intention to harm anyone except himself.’
Oh. Right. Well, that's that then...
He continued: ‘You were genuinely convinced you have been denied justice by legal manipulation on the part of a person you believed defrauded you.
‘This belief has become almost obsessional with you to the point where it has driven you mad.’
 I sort of know how he feels. The justice system in this country is driving me a bit loopy too...
The judge added: ‘Just don’t ever do this again, it’s stupid so far as you’re concerned and it’s not great for the public having to see people doing what you were doing.’
Yes. Just do it somewhere else, there's a good chap....

Keep Talking, Mr Khan…

The lawyer for Stephen Lawrence’s family today warned that legal aid cuts planned by the Government will be a “disaster” for black Londoners.
A disaster for bloodsuckers and racehustlers, you mean...
Mr Khan said the changes would make it difficult to take on complex and costly cases, such as the Lawrence murder, which could produce changes that benefit all Londoners.
And do tell me, Mr Khan, just how that case 'benefited all Londoners'. I'm all ears...!
He claimed the new system would lead to large law firms offering “bulk buying” prices that would force many ethnic minority solicitors out of business.
Oh dear, so sad, too bad...

I'm going to have to stop the post here, I can't see to type through my tears!

The First Rule Of (Children’s) Fight Club…

…is that there will be no Fight Club. At least, not if Southend Council have their way:
The Elite Fighting Championship: Double Impact event was supposed to take place at the Chase Sports and Fitness Centre in Westcliff on Saturday. However, a council spokesman said on Friday:
“Unfortunately we have had to ask for this mixed Thai and boxing event to be cancelled due to fundamental concerns over child protection.
“This centred around the apparent age of the children competing in this event.”
 Yes. That's all.

Oh, that and they had the nerve to fail to genuflect and ask their ruler's permission, of course:
The spokesman said had the council been involved from the beginning the outcome may have been different.
Oh, really? So, it's not really the age you object to at all, it's that they had the temerity to think they could do something without involving the State?
He said: “Then we would have been able to raise our concerns over the age of some competitors; the event organiser could have perhaps has a modified format, allowing it to go-ahead.”
 Even better - this was a charity event.
The poster for the Westcliff bouts features pictures of both children and adults, and advertised it as being a mixed “muay thai, K1 and boxing event” which was donating money to the Macmillan Cancer Support Fund.
/golfclap for Southend Council there, then...

Tuesday 21 May 2013

I Don’t Know About Growing To Look Like Their Pets…

…but certainly, the IQ seems to drop to match theirs:
Ms Wood said: “It was so scary. I feel terribly responsible, it was awful. The snake just came out of no-where, we didn’t even notice it because it was all curled up. At first we didn’t realise Boss had been bitten because there was no bite mark so we thought he had just stepped on the snake’s head.
“Then he started getting all woozy like he was going to sleep so we knew something was wrong. We just grabbed him rushed to the car and it wasn’t until he was seen by the vet that we knew he was poisoned and needed anti-venom.”
Ms Wood added: “We take the dog walking through there all the time and of course we know there is wildlife over there like foxes and badgers and things but it just doesn’t register that you should be on alert for snakes.
“I think warning signs should be put up maybe to make pet owners more aware and to be on their guard.“
Kate, who lives with 16-year-old son Callum in Acorn Avenue, said: “This should never have been able to happen. The gates on the entrance to Walking Field Lane do not display any danger warning signs.
“There was obviously a hole in the fence that he was able to climb under and get on to the tracks.“
She added: “It should be impossible for anyone to get on to the track and our dog was not a small slim dog. I am really concerned that a child could get on to the track.”
Sad events, but really, both could have been resolved by keeping your pets on leashes.

They Get Away With It Because No Senior Council Staff Or Top Cops Live In That Road…

… despite calls from rattled and sleep-deprived residents about the problems - which started last summer - they say Lewisham Council officers have failed to stop the music and police cars have just driven on by.
There's a shocker. What, no targets for it?
Arranged by flyer beforehand, residents say guests are charged upwards of £10 to get in, a bouncer is put on the door, and cars pull up all night delivering supplies for the raves.
Hmmm... A commercial enterprise? Perhaps HMRC would show more teeth in this instance?
Leslie Keener, 76, said: "The sound system they've got is meant for a hall not a house. "But what can you do? They seem to get away with it."
Oh, the council does show up. But that's all.
Neighbours said Lewisham Council officers turned up early during the last party but, shortly after they left, the music just started again.
A Lewisham Council spokesman said: “We attended the address on May 5 following a complaint of loud music. The resident was told to turn down the music which she subsequently did.
“On May 9 we wrote to the resident informing them of our noise policy and that if we get any more complaints about noise then we will take further appropriate action as needed.”
You'll turn up again, tell them to put a lid on it, then scarper? Great! That'll help.
A spokeswoman for Lewisham police said: “We are aware of a number of complaints that have been made by residents regarding this address and it is being investigated along with our partners at Lewisham Council.”
Really? They can do that by....just driving past?
Inspector Daren Donoghue of Safer Neighbourhoods Lewisham said: "We take a robust stance to dealing with any unlicensed event.
“Illegal gatherings cause a great deal of disruption and distress to local communities and often result in damage being caused to property and land. Anyone considering holding such an event should reconsider their intentions carefully."
Did he wag his finger and frown as he said that?

It's Raining Cats & (Sniffer) Dogs!

Chunk the sniffer dog was so keen when his handler lifted up a trap door during a search at a shisha bar raid, he dived straight in and fell ten feet through a false ceiling.
This blog loves happy endings, so I'm glad to report he suffered no ill effects. The owner of the shop wasn't so happy at the cleanup, though.
Floors and Doors owner Mack Shaikh said the incident left him with a mess and a bill of several hundreds of pounds following the black labrador’s leap into his shop from the Velvet shisha lounge in Weir Street
Now 46-year-old Mr Shaikh wants the police to compensate him for the damage, repairs and a lost day of trading to clear up.
Seems only right...
A Lancashire police spokesman: “Our understanding is the owner was spoken to and advised to contact the landlord about any damage. He seemed happy with that.
“We are not aware of a claim for compensation but we will consider any submitted.”
And so you should! You broke it (where 'it' belongs to an innocent third party), it should be considered that you bought it...

Monday 20 May 2013

Progressives – Not So Keen On Actual Progress…

The first time I went to the undercroft at South Bank, the spiritual home of UK skateboarding, I was 11 years old. I had a little blue plastic Rolling Star board. It was 1977, the height of the skate craze.
Savour that. An 11 year old wandering London alone. How times change, eh?
Like a unit of forgotten troops left behind after the action had moved on, we were our own dedicated urban ronin, masterless samurai drawn together by our love and devotion to this thing, this simple rolling piece of wood that delivered such joy, valour and freedom.
No. You were a bunch of kids playing with a wooden board with wheels.
Despite the banks and legendary wall being closed off some years ago, the undercroft remains an icon of global skateboard culture – a culture that still inspires talent and creativity across the arts, in film, TV, visual culture, sound culture and alternative spaces. The visionless proposals to replace the undercroft with yet more soulless glass-fronted corporate retail units is an attack on our communal spaces and ability to lead creative lives with spontaneity and a measure of freedom.
Funny, so many people seem to be perfectly able to 'lead creative lives' without demanding the world be left stuck in amber to help them achieve this...
These qualities are the bedrock of creative possibility. Our culture industry is envied around the world. The people currently making all those 'cool' adverts, innovative designs, original music – the kinds of creative arts and theatre that makes the chattering classes feel so smug and excited – are mostly of the generation that was inspired by pirate radio, warehouse parties, street skating, graffiti: all those urban activities that are necessarily messy and unstructured and that allow playfulness and creative exploration room to flower and blossom.
Yeah. Now they've grown up, and got jobs.
There is no reason why the existing site cannot be accommodated into plans by developers with vision and a sense of continuity. By doing so the South Bank complex would remain an exciting, multidimensional urban space that includes all aspects of culture, high and low, street and salon, loose and structured. This is the sort of public space we need, not another glut of privately owned, heavily regulated opportunities to spend what little money we have left.
I don't seem to have problems spending my money...
Moving the skaters to a purpose-built spot along the river misses the point. Reclaimed urban spaces are more than just bits of forgotten concrete. They have memories. They resonate with ghosts of the past. They contribute to the richness and diversity of our lives. Their value cannot be measured in material terms. We need South Bank.
So, who is this fearless warrior for the non-corporate way of life, anyway?
Crispin Robinson is a skater who was sponsored by Madrid and Santa Cruz Skateboards from 1986 to 1990.
Ah. Clearly, corporations that give him money are ok...

Surely They Could Find Something More Recent?

Children are being summoned to take part in the trial of Ewell's very own witch this month. Bourne Hall Museum Kids Club will re-enact the trial of Joan Butts, which was held in 1682.
You know, I can't quite put my finger on it, but I'm sure we have far more modern examples of credulous fools being led by the nose and seeking out imaginary witches to show the kiddiewinks the folly of hysteria...
On Wednesday, May 29, the club will return to the days when dark magic was blamed for anything unexplained. Professional storyteller Janet Dowling and the children will try to decide if the witch or the trial was more wicked.
A question we might well ask adults.

More Danger Inflation…

'I don't want this to happen to anyone else. People have got to get the message before a baby goes face first into the hot sand in the same situation.'
Because it’s not sufficiently awful that a six year old had this accident – it could have been a baby. A BABY!!

So…what message do people need to get? What needs to be done?

More warning signs on beaches? Bigger warning signs on disposable BBQ packaging?
Olivia's grandmother Pauline Gilmour said: 'I would like to see these barbecues banned from the beach altogether.
'Once that barbecue's been taken away there's nothing to see on the sand - and that's clearly dangerous.'
Well, of course you do. Isn't that the modern way, after all?

The fact that there are other hidden dangers lurking on beaches below the sand (broken glass, dog droppings, razor-sharp shells) is perhaps more a sign that maybe going barefoot isn't sensible…

“Stop, Or I’ll Shout ‘Stop’ Again!”…

Action could be taken against those who breached an injunction forbidding them to attend a horse drive on Sunday.
Judge Jeremy Richardson warned those attending the prohibited event in Endike Lane could face prison after hundreds turned up to a similar event last year, causing mayhem.
I see a lot of 'could' there. Is that supposed to be a deterrent?
About 20 horse and cart riders turned up this time, despite the warning, and now Humberside Police and Hull City Council are mulling over whether to prosecute.
Well, what's the point in issuing a warning then? What's to mull over?
Jane Price, area director for Riverside, Wyke and West, said: "We are currently working with Humberside Police to establish if there has been a breach of the injunction and if any further action is needed."
You told them not to come. They came. Now, over to you. Pour encourager les autres...

Sunday 19 May 2013

Unfortunate Juxtaposition Of Stories...

Please, please don't take that idea any further.

And if you do, don't let the likes of Gregg Warrillow get their hands on one...

The Inland Revenue’s ‘Hector’ Was Tame In Comparison…

… the yuru kyara, or loose characters – a nationwide fraternity of about 1,000 different mascots who provide a touch of whimsy to the serious business of collecting taxes and saving the environment, to promoting tourist spots and regional cuisine.
Prince Pickles is animated face of Japan's self-defence forces, while Pipo-kun represents the Tokyo metropolitan police. Eeta-kun, whose head resembles a computer screen, encourages people to file their tax returns online.
Well, he’s better than 'Hector' or even Moira Stewart, I suppose!
Spare a thought for Pluto-kun, or Little Mr Pluto, who appeared in the mid-1990s to soften the image of plutonium on behalf of Japan's nuclear industry.
Spare a thought for Sento-kun, who made his debut in 2008 as the "personification of the energy" of the ancient capital of Nara as it prepared to celebrate its 1,300th anniversary. But his shaved head, topped with a pair of antlers – apropos of the city's Buddhist tradition and large deer population – lent him an appearance that was widely denounced as the stuff of childhood nightmares.
For all his clever cultural references, Sento-kun was guilty of the most serious crime in the Japanese mascot world: he simply wasn't cute.
Well, I don’t know about that. He’s rather like a chubby, oriental Herne The Hunter!

But then, as Pavlov’s Cat will tell you, mascots in Japan can be rather...odd! The kids got lucky with just antlers...

You Can Always Rely On The Great British Local Newspaper Commenter...

A woman had to be taken to hospital in an ambulance after suffering injuries caused by getting her arm stuck in a letterbox.
The incident took place at 3pm today. Fire crews attended and the 21-year-old was freed half-an-hour later. The incident took place in Old Shoreham Road, Southwick.
Were you the woman involved? How did you do it?
Unleash the commenters!


Sunday Funnies...

Once again, Mother Nature says 'Don't have nightmares'...

Saturday 18 May 2013

Oooh, About Time!

I've been thinking about upgrading my armory, and they've finally included the 8x57 Anchütz for purchase:


It looks like a good buy. I can't wait to try it...

Oh, hang on. Excuse me a minute. I think that was a knock at the door.
Helen Huntley, headteacher of Haybrook College, which Millside is linked to, said: 'We apologise if the boy’s mother is upset.'
'If'..? 'If'?!?
'But we have a duty of care and, although there was no weapon, if we hadn't taken action and there had been, the consequences could have been devastating.'
I very much doubt it, for you. It never seems to happen to public sector workers, no matter how badly they screw up, does it?

So just so we're clear, real, genuine Muslims actually preying on young white girls = 'nothing to see hear, can't jump to conclusions'. Little Johnny discussing his XBox games = ''ellom, 'ello, 'ello, what do we 'ave 'ere then?'

Is that about how it goes now?

What Upsets 'The Daily Mail'...

...about Surrey Police:
Despite criticism that the police force, which is having to cut its budget by £30m by 2016, could spend its time better by catching criminals rather than writing jokes about them, Surrey Police's Tandridge Beat has nearly 1,500 'likes' on its webpage.
The police have won a huge following thanks to their casual style and light-hearted posts about their force and its work in Surrey just south of the M25 near Godstone.
Meanwhile, earlier in the week, the official Surrey Police feed sent this out:


Yet this sinister invitation to spy on your fellow citizens based on nothing more than envy passed without comment by any national newspaper.

Is is me, or...?

And Once Again, Sympathy Goes To....

...other women:
Sentencing her, Judge Ian Pringles told Miss Debanks 'Those who suffer genuine rape are undermined by people like you. You undermine the whole system of justice.'
To hell with the poor sod falsely accused and forced to undergo intimate sample collection, eh, judge?
He added: 'I would be failing in my duty today if I was not to pass an immediate prison sentence.'
 Not something that your learned colleagues care too much about...
Lucy Ffrench, defending, said Debanks had suffered a difficult time, including the loss of her father to cancer and of her uncle in a freak accident, as well as other personal issues.
'She has been looking in the wrong places for the attention she craves,' said Ms Ffrench.
You mean, with her boozing, crack-cocaine smoking friends?

Friday 17 May 2013

Thank You, Minority Interest Pressure Groups, For This!

Welsh councils should delay implementing new local development plans until new government guidelines on their Welsh language impact are published, Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg has insisted.
Oh, for...!
Toni Schiavone, the language group's sustainable communities spokesman, says Cymdeithas members will seek meetings with council leaders, chief executives and planning officers to call for the postponement.
Well, will you be speaking English to do that? Because otherwise, no-one'll understand you!
They also want local reports on the state of the Welsh language locally and to set targets to increase the number of Welsh speakers in each community.
If your minority language needs government help to survive, it's time to face facts. It's dying.
Mr Schiavone said: "All this delay in publishing these new guidelines is a mystery.
''It's causing frustration, but most importantly, it is highly damaging to the Welsh language," he added.

Thank You, EU, For This!

Pet-lovers are being warned of the dangers of buying illegally imported animals which may have been smuggled into the UK.
Dogs and cats are the main risk of importing rabies into the UK and East Riding Council's animal health team is urging people to only buy pets from trusted breeders.
Fantastic! Now, as well as inbreeding, kennel-cough and distemper to worry about, you have interesting exotic (and potentially disastrous) diseases to be on the lookout for!
Councillor Jackie Cracknell, portfolio holder for community involvement and performance at East Riding Council, said: "Anyone who is considering buying a cat or dog needs to be aware of what the requirements are for imported animals before they view.
"Always ask to see any papers, certificates or passports and inspect them carefully before agreeing to buy or handing over any money, and never be tempted to buy a puppy from the back of a car or a pub car park. If a price seems too good to be true, it probably is."
Sound advice that most sensible people will heed, and didn't need in the first place. But with the craze for 'handbag-sized' dogs amongst the ladies of the underclass, how long will it be before a set of forged papers brings La Rage to these shores?

Thank You, Multiculturalism, For This!

Coun Taylor hit trouble when he was trying to book a taxi to pick up him and Henry from his mum’s office and drive them back to Mirfield.
We rang lots of taxi companies in Huddersfield and not one would take a dog and me,” Coun Taylor said.
“None of them would bring him home so I had to come home by myself and leave the dog. He was crying and he was howling when I left him.”
Coun Kath Taylor’s colleague had to take the dog home later that day.
Which is fine, if you have relatives or friends with cars. Not so fine if you don't, or if it's an emergency, as the councillor points out.

Nor was he just unlucky.
That night, Coun Taylor rang 30 taxi companies asking if they would take his dog to the vets, and only two agreed.
I hope he's noted down those two for future reference. And I hope they grow and thrive due to the extra business thrown their way...
“What happens if you’ve not got a car and your dog has a heart attack in the middle of the night?” Coun Taylor said.
The law says that taxi drivers should allow pets unless they have a reasonable excuse, but Akooji Badat from the Kirklees Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Associations, said it was at driver’s discretion.
“I don’t have a problem taking dogs,” he said.
Now, clearly, this will be pooh-poohed as a minor matter to worry about, by the non-pet-lovers and the diversity approvists.

But I can't be the only one for whom it rings warning bells, surely?

Thursday 16 May 2013

Face It – Collective Punishment Is Popular

…at least, with a small, statistically-irrelevant number of people:
The majority of people agree with introducing more dog exclusion areas across North Lincolnshire, according to a poll conducted this week.
So...this poll surveyed ALL the people in North Lincolnshire?

No. Of course not. It didn't even survey all the dog-owners!
This website asked people whether they agreed that the number of dog exclusion areas should be extended by North Lincolnshire Council. 61 per cent voted Yes, with 39 per cent saying No - with 325 people taking part in our poll.
Completely statistically insignificant, then? But it'll be used to guide further restrictions, I bet:
There are 23 additional exclusion areas proposed for around the region, adding to 84 which are already in place.
Council officials say the areas will keep irresponsible dog owners in line with the majority of responsible dog owners.
Ummmm..... what?!
Nigel Sherwood, cabinet member for highways and neighbourhoods at the council, said the exclusion areas should stop offending.
He said: "We recognise the majority of dog owners in North Lincolnshire are responsible and take care of their animals.
"However, for the few irresponsible dog owners, the new exclusion areas should deter them from offending. "
No they won't. No you don't. No it won't.

No, The Road’s Not Dangerous…

...the actions of the pedestrians are, however.
Diana James, 47, said: “After getting off the bus I heard the girl crossed the road between two buses and was hit.
“I think it had been parked behind the bus when it stopped, went round it and sped out without seeing her.
“This road is so dangerous - there have been a few accidents here in the past few years, including two young children who have died.”
 While I'm sure this is a tragedy for the family, it's a little hard to blame the road here. Or the driver:
The driver of the lorry stopped at the scene, on the South Circular road, but has not been arrested.
As we know, that tells you a lot...

A Departure From ‘A Rare Event’..?

Det Con Richard Walker, said: "This was a violent assault on lone female as she made her way home.
“We believe that there were people near to the scene at the time of the offence and I urge anyone with information to contact Southend CID on 101, or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Do we get that soothing, reassuring phrase trotted out?

Reader, we don't...
Mr Walker added: "While we are investigating this crime, which is worrying that it was an unprovoked attack on a woman, it would be advisable for people out late at night to try to walk home with another person and to be wary of strangers.”

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Art For Art's Sake: Landseer

I've never seen a Landseer piece I didn't like, even the ubiquitous 'Monarch Of The Glen' or the overblown pomposity of 'Man Proposes, God Disposes'. And I can't walk or drive past Trafalgar Square without glancing at Nelson's Column and those lions.

But my favourite is this one, entitled 'The Random Shot':


It's not the cutesy-poo painting of a dog and child that made him the darling of the Victorians, is it? No wonder that Prince Albert, who commissioned the painting, allegedly found it too painful to live with!

It's the modern affectation to sneer at this type of work, of course, but I rather doubt that, when one of the darlings of the modern art world shuffles off this mortal coil, he will get a funeral the like of Landseer's, where 'shops and houses lowered their blinds and large crowds lined the streets to watch his funeral cortege pass'...

It helps that, as Richard Dormant noted in 'The Telegraph', "Landseer's art gets up a lot of people's noses".

Oddly enough, just after I'd finished compiling my little list (but long before I'd got around to writing the post) this very image featured on the BBC's 'The One Show' 5 minute art piece, on 21st Feb and is still at their 'Your Paintings' website.

Now All We Need Is For Some Bright Spark... watch the movie 'Fortress' and take this to its logical conclusion:
A prolific thief has been jailed after being caught red-handed – thanks to the electronic tag he was wearing that let police know his exact location.
Where do we find crims that dim? Well, where else?
Glen Foster was one of a handful of hardened criminals in Hull who agreed to wear a new ankle bracelet so officers could use the latest GPS software to pinpoint his location at all times.
You'd have to be spectacularly dim to then commit crime, but, well...
Foster’s tag allowed Humberside Police to track down the 38-year-old after reports that someone had been looking into cars. He was found with an armoury of lockbreaking tools, including torches, pliers, a screwdriver and even the keys to three corned beef tins.
Despite the case, the tags are being hailed a success – and officers now want to buy 20 more as they believe they help to cut crime and save money.
There is also ‘huge demand’ from offenders themselves for the new technology. Detective Inspector Darren Webb, the officer in charge of the trial, said: ‘We have them coming to us now because they have seen how it helps other people.’
And lazy cops...

How Times Change...

Young women who took part in a female empowerment project were honoured at a special event arranged by the borough’s police commander.
The Finding the Words project involved 23 young women, aged from 12-18, and explored strong themes including female exploitation, abuse and youth violence.
Barking & Dagenham, eh? Nice, solid working class area.

They say the demographics are changing, but I think that's...


 Oh. Right.

Chutzpah Award Of 2013 – Early Front Runner

Terrence Heightley, 38, from Brighton, was released from Lewes Prison on April 22 after serving half of a four-year sentence for a street robbery.
He is in the process of applying for Employment and Support Allowance – a benefit that offers financial support to people who are disabled or too ill to work – due to his heroin addiction.
But he claims the application process is taking too long and he has no money to eat or live.
Where’s my tiny violin? No! Wait. Still too big.

I need a nano-violin!
As a result, he said he has identified potential houses to burgle in Brighton as a “last resort to survive”.
”… they’ve shoved me in the YMCA with drug addicts and criminals and it’s making everything so difficult.”
But…you’re a drug addict and criminal. Why shouldn't you be placed with your own kind?
Mr Heightley added: “I regret what happened and don’t feel proud of it, but I’ve gone into prison and been rehabilitated. I just want to get on with my life.”
No you don’t. You expect the taxpayer to fund you to do nothing for the rest of your life. Otherwise you’d be looking for work, not for a handout.
A spokesman from the Department for Work and Pensions said it doesn’t set time limits to approve applications as each one is individual.
He added: “It is only right that we carry out a thorough face-to-face assessment and consider all the medical evidence provided by the claimant before we reach a decision as to whether they are eligible for Employment and Support Allowance or if they should get help to find work.”
Good luck getting anyone to take him on...

And remember, next time you see anguished pleas in the media for people to 'stand up against government cuts to ESA', it's not just used on people with genuine disabilities - it's also lavished on the likes of Terrance.

Tuesday 14 May 2013

If It Ain't Broke, Try To Fix It Anyway...

...or people will wonder what it is you do...
Girl Guiding needs to get rid of its ‘middle-class’ reputation and show people that it is ‘cool’, according to its new chief executive.
Oh dear! Usually, a statement like this means membership is declining!
She added: 'The number of new girls joining Girl Guides has been growing over the last eight years.'
*confused face*
Miss Bentley said ‘I would have probably had the perception that Girl Guides was for middle-class girls when I was growing up, seeing as I am very working class and I was never a Brownie or a Guide.'
Ah! I see. So we need to 'have a modern, inclusive, diverse Girl Guides' then..?
‘However, the units do reflect the places they are in - in terms of social class, diversity and ethnicity.’

So...I'm at a loss here regarding just what the issue really is...
The head of Girl Guiding UK added the organisation has an image problem that she was intent on improving.
But you aren't losing members, you aren't 'hideously white' like fellow self-hating institution, the BBC. Who, other than you, is saying that you have an image problem?
Miss Bentley once described Girl Guiding as the 'ultimate feminist organisation' as it teaches girls confidence and valuable life skills.
Whereas you - a 'working class girl' in your own words, which is a mighty strange way to describe a 20 year career in the charity sector, better suited for describing someone who works in Greggs or cleans the Guiding HQ offices - just seem to have learned how to carve out a lucrative career in the third sector, endlessly reinventing the wheel and getting your name in the papers for all the wrong reasons...

Wait, We're Importing Them Now?

...I thought we had enough of our own:
Sommer, the son of wealthy plastic surgeons, was remanded in custody to May 28 for sentencing after the judge was told he was wanted on a European arrest warrant for the murder of a woman.
Coming over here, taking our 'care in the community' resources...
Judge Brian Barker, the Recorder of London, said: "Clearly public protection is uppermost in everybody's mind."
Oh, Judge, that's nowhere near as reassuring as you probably think it is...

Well, Help Us Out, Then! Give Us A Clue!

Detective Sergeant Paul Schofield, of Harrogate CID, said: "The shop is on a busy road in a residential area and we expect a number of people to have been around at the time of the robbery.
I would like anyone who was in the area at the time and witnessed the incident or saw a man matching the suspect's description to contact the police a soon as possible."

Was he tall, short, fat, thin? Was he white, brown, or black? What was his hair colour? Or...maybe he was bald?
Police searched the area around the One Stop Community Stores on Devonshire Place in Harrogate and issued an urgent witness appeal. The raider was wearing a white or grey hoodie with grey or white tracksuit bottoms.
Wait. That's it? His clothes?

And....what if they aren't the only ones he's got, Sherlock?

Monday 13 May 2013

If you thought 'Elimination Communication' Was A Daft Idea...

Mothers are choosing to let nature take its course and leave their baby’s placenta attached after birth.
Where? Well, where else..?
According to midwives, the approach is becoming “relatively widespread” in the city, where the home birth rate is among the highest in the country.
It can take up to 10 days for the placenta to fall away – and mothers must carry around the matter with their infant while they wait for it to drop off.
Could be worse. Could be a LOT worse, as David Thompson reminds us..!
Former yoga teacher Adele Allen, who had her son Ulysses (Ed: ...!!) by unassisted lotus birth at home, said it “just made sense” not to cut the cord.
She said: “The popular belief is that it’s bad for mum and baby – but it really isn't.
“After the placenta came out, we kept it in a bag next to the bed, still attached to Ulysses. We wrapped it in a cloth and we washed it every day.
“We didn't rub it with spices or anything though, so by the end it didn't smell too good. But after five days of lying in bed together it just came away naturally. It was lovely.
 If you say so...
Mrs Allen, 29, said the decision to go for a lotus birth two years ago had been “both spiritual and physical”.
She said: “It created a lot of negativity from family – but to me it just made sense.
“Our whole parental philosophy is about letting Ulysses let go only when he wants to. He still sleeps in our bed, for example. It’s a child-centred approach.
“It also keeps relatives from snatching the baby from you too soon, which I find intrusive.”
 This kid's going to be a handful when he grows up. If he ever does...
Husband Matt, 30, also a yoga teacher, said the couple had treated the placenta “almost like Ulysses’ twin”.
He said: “If you have a boy you are supposed to bury the placenta to the right side of the house to represent masculinity. If it’s a girl it should go to the left side of the house.
“Sadly we were living in a block of flats at the time so we just threw it off the end of the pier.”
Well, of course you did. It's, errr, Nature's Way, right?