Saturday 30 November 2013

Two-Wheeled Cargo Cult...

...emphasis very much on the 'cult' aspect:
Hundreds of police officers were deployed across London today in a road safety blitz after the death of six cyclists in a fortnight.
The officers were stationed at the capital’s most dangerous junctions and handed out fixed penalty notices to those breaking the law.
We aren’t told to whom, or how many, or any other details. But we are treated to the sight of one of the Two-Wheeled Righteous in high dudgeon.
Ben Watson, who was taking his two children to school in a “cargo bike” this morning, was stopped near Euston Station before being released after it was decided he had done nothing illegal.
The 57-year-old, who criticised the officer for not knowing the law, said: “This policeman called me over and said ‘is that bike legal?’
I thought ‘well you’re the policeman surely you should be telling me whether its legal or not’”.
Mr Watson has clearly never heard of a rhetorical question…
The house husband from Somers Town added: “I think it seems a bit unfair as this operation is making out cyclists are the problem when it is actually cars that are the problem.
“I know my lights, I know where I’m going. I’ve been taking the kids to school on this route for four years, I know what I’m doing.”
Well, here’s the chappie himself. You decide:

It's a wonder he managed to reproduce, being this stupid...

Naturally, the ‘How very DARE you!’ contingent is in full flow:
Matthew Gidley, 42, who works in marketing and commutes by train from Birmingham before getting on his bike, said: “I’ve always felt safe cycling in London, but what the Mayor said about cyclists needing to be more aware sends a coded message to drivers that cyclists are in the wrong.
“There’s the feeling that the ‘swarms of cyclists’ have somehow got out of control and now they deserve this or something. That needs to be reigned in a bit.”
But lorry driver, Ian Arnold, 58, from Essex, disagreed. He said: “Cyclists take liberties, they drive all over the place and come up down the side of the road, they go through red lights, everything. When the police are here they behave but usually they’re all over the place. I drive in central London so I see it all the time.”
And, though stats aren’t given for this exercise at the time of writing, a previous one yielded interesting results:
Last Monday, the Met carried out spot-checks on cyclists and HGVs in Vauxhall. In four hours, the officers stopped 70 lorries and issued 15 fixed penalty notices for offences such as the vehicles not being fit for the road.
They also stopped 100 cyclists, who were given safety advice.
Which would suggest it’s NOT the motorists that are the issue…

'Fourth Emergency Service' As Disappointing As First Three...

...after all, police, firemen and now, courtesy of WoaR, paramedics, have their low points.

 So, a breakdown, a crash, a tragedy. And oh! If only the Knights of the Road had got there sooner:
A spokesman for the RAC said they were en-route to recover the caravan when the crash occured.
He said: 'We are extremely saddened to learn that a young woman has been injured and that three dogs have lost their lives as a result of this incident.
'We had despatched a specialist recovery vehicle to attend, but unfortunately the accident occurred while the vehicle was en route to the scene.'
Such a shame, but then, they can't be everywh...

Wait. What's this in the comments?

Hmmm. More to this tale than meets the eye?

Wouldn't you think the 'Mail', being a newspaper (Stop laughing at the back!) would pursue this, rather than rely on the statement from the RAC's PR department?

Consolidate Police Power… For The Children!!!

The row started when the hotel applied to Rochford Council for an extension of Zero 6 for two hours, ending the night at 5am rather than the usual 3am.
During that hearing police raised a number of concerns about the venue, claiming the hotel hadn’t answered a number of questions about safety.
The police’s licensing officer told the council committee: “Police are not satisfied that sufficient management measures were in place to safeguard people on site during the event.”
Excessive caution leading to the prevention or closure of a legitimate business is, of course, a hallmark of modern policing.

I'm not suggesting that this is a factor of the police getting more and more lazy and choosy about what crimes they action, but it should be noticed that this is Essex...

And a new excuse for such caution has been found!
He added: “This kind of event could impact on children potentially staying at the hotel by way of noise. There could also be a risk to children if people in attendance were under the influence of recreational drugs.”

Has this ever been a factor before?
Mr Stavrinides told the committee that the club had risk assessments in place and that safe events regularly ran there.
However, based on the police advice, Rochford Council refused the extension time and police have now applied for the licence review.
Mind boggling!
Speaking yesterday, Mr Stavrinides said: “Any children staying in the hotel would be with their parents or guardians in any event.
“Access from the hotel to the Zero 6 is limited and only allowed to staff and authorised people under the supervision of doormen.
“Even if there were children in the hotel, no questions were raised about their protection up to 3am. All of a sudden the police were concerned about their protection. This took us by way of shock.”
I'm as baffled as you...

Friday 29 November 2013

A Tale Of Three Crimes…

Immediate arrest:
A man has been arrested in connection with a spate of racist graffiti that tarnished vehicles, homes and businesses at the weekend.
The 24-year-old was taken from his home at 5.20am this morning from an address in Blackburn.
Insp Ilyas Mohmed, of Blackburn police, said the man was helping police with their inquiries in relation to the incident which occured between midnight on Friday and 4.30am on Saturday.
Assurance of a higher priority:
A student who attended a Sophie Lancaster Foundation benefit gig found himself subject to a hate crime only a day later.
Darius reported the incident, which happened around 7pm, to police who told him they would treat the assault as a hate crime.
“It’s sad that people who belong to a subculture feel they can’t walk the streets of their own town without being called names or being at risk.”
A mother who was racially abused when she tried to protect her daughter from a gang of girls has called on authorities to do more to stop similar attacks on other children.
As Ms Fenton was speaking to a park attendant, one of the girls assaulted her daughter for a second time. The gang then shouted abuse as they followed the mother and daughter from the park.
Ms Fenton, of Woodford, has since complained to both Haringey Police and the council and asked them to take action.
She said: “I grew up in Tottenham and I’m ashamed of the place after this.
“There are gangs of children running around terrorising and threatening to stab people and nobody seems to be doing anything.
“This isn’t just about the crime against me and my daughter, it’s about stopping it happening to other children who live in the area.”
A council spokesman said: “We are aware of Ms Fenton’s complaint and we will be contacting her directly to get more information about this incident.”
Officers are appealing for information. Anyone who witnessed this incident or has information concerning the identity of the girls should contact Detective Constable Gemma Goldsbro of Haringey Community Safety Unit on 020 3276 3170.
Why the seemingly lackadaisical response to this report, and the overkill on the others?

Well, if you've read the stories, I think you'll have reached your own conclusion, won't you?

Post Title Of The Month

Leg-Iron took an early lead, courtesy of a shopping trip to Lidl for exotic meat:

And then Pavlov's Cat came up on the inside, with the help of the 'Daily Mail' Facepalm Team, to make it a photo finish:

Quote Of The Month

MacHeath on the rather odd choice of items suggested for foodbank donation:
"The oddest item on the list, though, has to be 'crackers'. Since they later stipulate 'crackers for cheese', it appears that they are asking for party ones, surely an unusual item for a foodbank to be distributing and an expensive one for the donors when the same amount of money would buy a respectable amount of protein or fresh produce.
Christmas has long since lost its religious significance for a large part of the population - assisted by the Hanukkah-friendly 'holiday season' TV, films and music of the USA - and been replaced by an ever-increasing consumerfest of vanities in which everyone is entitled to join, even if it is at someone else's expense."

Post Of The Month

DumbJon hits another out of the ballpark with the hypocrisy of the Left...

Gosh! *Rummages In Cupboard* I'm Sure It's Here Somewhere...

A teenage murderer hanged himself just days after being jailed at one of Britain’s highest security prisons.
Imran Douglas, 18, faced a minimum of 18 years behind bars for the horrific killing of a bed-ridden pensioner.
Ah! There it is!

A Met spokesman confirmed that police are investigating the death of Douglas. He said: ‘A special post-mortem examination gave cause of death as injuries consistent with self-suspension.
The death is being treated as non-suspicious.’
And fortuitous.

Thursday 28 November 2013

Mea Culpa!

I was doing some housekeeping on the blog this afternoon, and I seem to have inadvertently removed all comments (including my own!) back to Monday... :(

Sorry about that. *blushes*

It’s Not Just The Dogs Which Are A Different Species…

The scene reminds me of one in Richmond. Jake is somehow managing to balance an ice cream, a cigarette and a leash in one hand while texting with the other. Something on his phone bothers him.
He sighs and looks up, momentarily dazzled by the winter sun. An expensively dressed woman passes with a Dalmatian on a leash. "That's her kind of dog and Ali's mine," he says, then laughs and tosses away the cigarette.
"This ice cream is wicked. Ice-cream vans don't come to our area," he says, and gives the remainder of his cone to Ali.
Read and weep. For the animals.

It’s An OUTRAGE!!! … That I’ve Been Caught Out

A councillor whose car was pictured parked in a disabled bay has insisted she did nothing wrong
Cue much ‘Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it infamy!’…
Cllr Kellett slammed the person who sent the photograph to The Bolton News for a “political move”, and said they were cowardly in hiding behind anonymity.
She said: “I believe this is political, and I have a strong suspicion as to who might have sent it. If I was doing anything wrong, these people would presumably have sent the photo to the authorities, rather than to the newspaper. ”
Oh, no. Going straight to the newspaper is quite the norm now, I think you’ll find. They actually do something about it, you see.
She said: “I don’t believe members of the public can access the back car park anyway, and I was told by the caretaker that I could park there in the evenings.
“My understanding is that you can only access the car park with a tag, so it should not affect disabled people.“
So, you think you may never have disabled colleagues?

Still, at least you haven’t tried the ‘I’m a woman!’ optio…

“As a pensioner, in the winter months and the dark it can be quite frightening going up unlit side streets, and I thought this would be a way to avoid that, without causing any harm.
“It is a matter of safety more than anything else, and I wouldn’t dream of parking in that spot without permission, but I was told it was okay. “
It’s terribly unedifying to blame someone else, isn’t it? But, hey, it’s the Labour way…
“I’m the first person to criticise people for parking in disabled bays.”
Here’s a mirror, love. Knock yourself out!

Rather Missing The Point Here…

John Patterson, ‘Guardian’ film critic:
I have to wonder what the motivation is for re-releasing Gone With The Wind just a couple months before 12 Years A Slave, its polar opposite among films dealing with the peculiar institution of American slavery.
Well, old films get rereleased all the time. Why not rerelease this one?

But, being alert to all things race, like a good little Guardianista, he scents a hidden agenda…
Gone With The Wind wants to be about Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler, not slavery.
Ummm, well, yes. That’s hardly surprising, is it, since they are the main characters, and the focus of the novel? So noting that slavery is only mentioned in passing, as background, is rather like noticing that ‘Life Of Pi’ is all about a man and a tiger, and not about the sea…

But if you thought that was the greatest absurdity in this, think again:
Sometimes moments of unself-conscious period racism do make it to the screen, and it is almost refreshing to see it kicked out from under its stone. Preston Sturges's comedies feature some nasty racial jibes (I cite the cook in Sullivan's Travels) and Raoul Walsh serially demeans the bug-eyed and superstitious Stepin Fetchit in High Sierra, while Tarzan's New York Adventure is quite staggeringly racist (it's all Cheeta's fault).
Wha..? But Cheeta's the ape, so that means you...

Ooooh! I wouldn't go there if I were you!

Wednesday 27 November 2013

You’d Have To Have A Heart Of Stone…

Town hall chiefs have issued an apology after a pork product was discovered in…
Oh oh!
chocolate mousse being served to Muslim youngsters as part of their school dinner.
Pork gelatine, to be precise.

And the tidal wave of obsequiousness crashes over the pages of the local psaper:
A Bolton Council spokesman said: “We would like to sincerely apologise for any upset caused to parents and children by this mistake.
“This incident occurred at one school and we would like to stress that this was an isolated incident.
"A batch of frozen chocolate mousses was supplied by one of our food suppliers in place of the halal accredited frozen yoghurts that we had ordered.
"When it came to our notice that the mousses contained pork gelatine they were immediately withdrawn.
“We would also like to reassure the community that we are working closely with Bolton Council of Mosques and we are reviewing our own procedures to ensure that this does not happen again.
"We will ensure that any specific improvements that are identified are rolled out to all of our schools.”
Whew! I got tired just reading that! Did I say tidal wave? More like a tsunami of dhimmitude.

Not to be outdone, the school joined in the 'Please don't hurt us!' chorus:
Headteacher Emily Kirk said: “As a school we are all really upset by what has happened.
“Fortunately our staff reacted very quickly as soon as the issue was identified, which was early on into our lunchtime, and the product was instantly removed.
“We immediately informed all of our parents, who I would like to thank for their continued support and understanding.
"Bolton Council, who provide our school meals, acted very promptly and held a meeting to further reassure our parents, supported by Bolton Council of Mosques.
“I would like to stress that this has never happened here before.
“As a school we are extremely proud of our school meals which provide our children with a nutritionally balanced meal and this contributes significantly to their health and wellbeing.”
As commenter MMHolmes points out:
"Reading the language used in this article and the general tone of it would make you think they'd found ground up glass in the mousse, not a bit of non-PC gelatin."
Do you remember quite such hysteria when horsemeat was discovered in school meals? I don't.

But then, Bolton Council has a reputation to uphold:
Bolton Council’s school meals recently won the "best partnership working" prize at the Association of Public Service Excellence awards for its work with Bolton Council of Mosques.
It's not our country any more, is it?

I Wouldn’t Be So Quick To Assign Blame There…

Joann White, 40, suffered severe whiplash after the crash last Tuesday, which saw her car written off.
She told the Comet: “I had picked a friend up and we were just going out for a while. We were going to have coffee.
Two girls just walked straight out from behind the van. They’re really lucky.
“They walked out, I braked, and the person behind me hit me.”
Did they have their iPods on? Were they too busy gossiping? Or more likely, had their heads buried in Smartphones, together but apart..
Mrs White, who lives in Banstead and uses the Broadway regularly, criticised the Greenway revamp, saying the changes have made the road dangerous.
She said: “Everyone just walks out in front of you down there now. No one knows where to cross the road. “
Well, I wouldn't be so quick to blame road changes - they do that everywhere now! And, it seems, have done since time immemorial.

Why The Extended Compliance Time?

Martin Terry, Independent Group leader at the council, said: “I am delighted with the outcome as this is the right decision.
“It is the wrong location and should not be there. But the compliance time is too long.
“In six months there could be time to appeal to the High Court and it could just go on and on and meanwhile residents are suffering.”
What sort of application gets this much leeway?
The mosque, which has been operating in an old bungalow in Fairfax Drive, Westcliff, for the past two years, has been attended by up to 150 people at a time.
However, planning inspector Felix Bourne threw out the appeal by Jaafriya Islamic Centre, made after Southend Council issued enforcement notices ordering them to shut down the mosque by this February.
Ah. Now it’s all clear…
Nasser Hussain, 56, head trustee of the centre, said: “What we need to do is read through the report properly and make sense of it and then speak to our architect about where we go from here.”
You mean, prevaricate and stall for (at least) another two years, knowing full well the council won’t enforce this..?

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Information Overload!

A mobile phone app called Schoop – a contraction of Schools in the Loop – was inspired after one dad discovered he needed to provide a lamb’s heart for his daughter’s science project.
The FitzWimarc School, in Rayleigh, is the first secondary school in Essex to adopt Schoop, which is being marketed by a Leigh company.
The app was devised by Paul Smith, 44, from Cardiff.
And...just what does it do?
He said: “My wife’s a teacher, and we have teenage kids in a high school that only communicates with mum.
“She’d get e-mails that end up in the junk folder, and the occasional text message.
“Schoop was born out of frustration, particularly when we missed deadlines for school trip deposits, and simple equipment reminders that could have been alerted by the teacher if they had a simple way to tell us.
“It was when my daughter told me she needed a lamb’s heart for a science project at 8am that triggered the idea.
“Six months later, Schoop was alive and being tested in my wife’s school.”
So…to sum up, Mr Wilson’s wife doesn’t know how to work her PC spam filter and fails to communicate with her darling hubby when she receives a text message about school requirements.

And the answer to this is…a business opportunity?
The Schoop app for Apple and Android smartphones and tablets gives all schools a quick and easy way to connect with a much wider audience than just the parents.
It allows schools to share unlimited alerts, newsletters and school calendars in one place. Schools pay to use it, but it is free to download.
Andrew Quinn, deputy headteacher at FitzWimarc, said: “Many peopleuse their mobile devices as their primary means of accessing information and communicating, so we are using Schoop to improve the school’s communication with parents and other stakeholders.”
Well, those that have smartphones, but then, these days, that's all of 'em!
Peter Moss, 54, Schoop’s managing director and former FitzWimarc pupil, said: “Schoop connects with everyone who needs to be in the loop, such as extended family, childminders, PTAs, governors, teachers, pupils and more.”
I salute you, Peter - you have indeed proved Lenin right...

Not Really What I Thought ‘Bohemian’ Meant

Passer-by Nigel Gillespie said: “I saw about ten officers gathered around the shop. It used to be called CIC, but now I think they print T-shirts.
“They went inside and pulled out a man with dreadlocks, who seemed to be struggling with them.
“Then they put him in a van and drove off.
“I have no idea what was going on, it seemed really strange. There were a lot of people gathered round watching.
This whole part of the town is a mess, I’m sick of it.”
Boscombe, of all places? Sleepy little Boscombe?
The owner of the business declined to comment on the incident, but Raye Collinson, owner of the tattoo parlour next door, said he had heard loud crashing noises.
“I’ve been here for 35 years now so I’ve seen it all before.
“It is a very bohemian area. It’s best to keep your nose clean and keep out of trouble. You can tell when they come in the shop if they are going to be a problem.
“I tell them to clear off.”
I wonder who ‘they’ are..?

How Very Dare You Write To The Council!

Police are investigating “hate” comments made on the planning section of Thurrock Council’s website.
Yes, you won’t be surprised to find it’s that perennial favourite, the unauthorised traveller encampment.
The comments were made by members of the public in response to an application to legalise a travellers site on Malvern Road in Grays.
An application which was refused two weeks ago, but which is – of course! – dragging on and on and on…
Complaints about comments on the website were made by the travellers to the police and the council, who acted to remove comments.
But removing those comments is clearly not enough! There’s quotas to fill, and identity groups to be mollified:
Thurrock Chief Inspector Ben Hodder said: “Police are investigating to see if any offences have taken place. They have been recorded as hate incidents, they become hate crimes if we believe an offence has been committed.
“There have been a number of disputes on Malvern Road, one as recently as last week. Police are there to prevent a breach of the police.”
We know full well the sort of ‘disputes’ the police get involved in…
A spokesman for Thurrock Council said: “Immediately following concerns raised by the applicants, the council’s Information Management team reviewed the letters posted online and found two letters that needed further redaction.
“All the letters were removed on Thursday, 17 October to allow time for each to be considered fully and to ensure any inflammatory comments were redacted.
“The letters were then uploaded to the website again.
“As soon as the council was made aware of the applicant’s concerns, immediate action was taken.”
What a pity that ‘immediate action’ wasn’t taken as soon as this illegal camp was set up…

Monday 25 November 2013

Dry Those Tears, Love... is, after all, merely the natural progression that these things follow:
A row has erupted after a university society removed an advert for a Brighton lesbian peformers' show called Dyke the Halls.
Sussex LGBTQ society said some had found the use of the word dyke offensive after an advert for the show was put on their Facebook page.
 Who could argue? Well...
But Rose Collis, one of the duo behind the show, said the move was “utterly unacceptable, indefensible and staggeringly insulting”.
Ms Collis said: “To say women who define themselves as dykes is wrong and the word ‘violates safe space’ is, to me, utterly unacceptable, indefensible and staggeringly insulting. It also shows incredible ignorance.
Oh, boy! *popcorn*
“I’ve been an out dyke activist and performer since 1979 and an out dyke writer for nearly 30 years. I went on my first gay rights march in 1979, before it became a trendy social event in the calendar, and in the days when the police outnumbered marchers.
“People like me put ourselves at risk to ensure that future generations – such as the Sussex students – would have greater freedom and rights. So to be told I was ‘violating safe space’ is the ultimate insult.”
*giggles uncontrollably*

It's the world you created. Just lie back and enjoy it...

The Bitch Gets A Pussy Pass...

A man forbidden from owning dogs after his niece was fatally mauled by his pet has admitted breaching his ban – for the third time.
Oh. Him again.
On Thursday he was banned from owning a dog until 2023 and given a £1,585 fine.
Brilliant! He's already breached it twice! Maybe they think 'third time's the charm'?
Urfan Ahmed, 35, of Crawley, West Sussex, was found guilty this week of walking his girlfriend's dog when it attacked another animal in a park.
Magistrates heard he was walking his partner Linda Hood's pet dog, Fila, in a park in Pease Pottage, West Sussex,when it attacked another dog on July 11, last year.
Some women amaze me. A dangerous exotic beast in her bed isn't enough, she wants one on a leash too?
Hood, aged 46 years, of Clark Road, Crawley, West Sussex, received a 24-month conditional discharge and was also ordered to pay £775 costs.


Stairwells in public buildings will be labelled as exercise apparatus under a government-backed scheme to make office workers and commuters across Britain fitter.
Trials at three large office buildings found that signs advertising how many calories could be burnt by climbing a particular set of stairs increased the number of people using them by up to 29 per cent.
Oh, well, a nice little earner for signwriters, at least. But how much taxpayer cash is being squandered on this?
The new scheme, which will see staircases across the country labelled with calorie totals, was developed by StepJockey, with a £50 million grant from the government's Small Business Research.

Sunday 24 November 2013

Ummmm, What..?

'Daily Mail' discovers hunting, is outraged:

Well, ignoring all their many other faux pas, maybe they have a point here?

Maybe they've wised up and educated themselves on the natural world, and studied ecology and so might have a chance to make a reasoned argum...

Oh. Forget I said anything...

Update: Spot the misogyny...

Oh, wait! You won't, because not one of the feminist crackpots who'd usually fly at Gervais, claws out and fangs bared, will pipe up...

And Is There Honey Still For Tea?

Well, no. How about …teacake and scallops instead?
Fish fryer Paulos Iasonides, who runs Reedley Chippy, claims Hayley Marie Jones launched the attack after demanding her money back over a teacake and scallops dinner.
If that seems an unlikely combination, it seems they are really scalloped potatoes, which…. no, that’s even unlikelier, isn't it?

Unless ‘teacake’ really means a fishcake oop narth..?

Oh, it’s all so confusing!

On Canvey Island, Fame Is Fleeting...

...and I guess you just have to grab it where you can.

Sunday Funnies...

As a movie soundtrack connoisseur, I heartily approve...

Saturday 23 November 2013

Because Some People Are Never Satisfied…

Here, at last, is a brilliant role-model for tweenage girls: one who wouldn't be seen dead in a princess outfit in case it hindered her ability to run for her life, nor the sort of "and then my clothes fell off" fashion of so many computer-generated heroines (RIP Lara Croft).
Well, opinions are divided on that, frankly…But, hey, if it suits the feminists to claim her, go right ahead. What’s the harm?
So imagine the scene as a group of toy manufacturers meet to discuss how best to capitalise on the latest movie in the franchise – Catching Fire, out 21 November, just in time for the Christmas gift guides. There are official badges and games and figures, of course, but what about the girls who really want to ape Katniss and wield a bow and arrow? And how about the parents who would love to buy toys that encourage outdoor play, rather than the makeup ranges and handbags that seem to start screaming at our daughters earlier and earlier?
Luckily, a low-cost solution is found!
Eureka, said the brains at Hasbro: let's produce the Nerf Rebelle range of toy weaponry for the "ultimate in girl-power outdoor play". The items – called the Pink Crush Blaster, the Guardian Crossbow and, yes, the Heartbreaker Bow – all come in pink, with prettily patterned soft darts.
Who could possibly obje…

Oh. Of course.
Abi Moore … is also disappointed. "We are desperate for decent female characters in film. Then one comes along and you get this. What's so disappointing is that it has to be done in a pinkified, prettified way. It's overly feminised. Not that there's anything wrong with being feminine, but there's more than one way to be a girl. It isn't all about being pink and pretty."
Sadly, no-one told the little girls that it isn't...
Both of my daughters want the "pink bow and arrow for girls" for Christmas – even the six-year-old, who isn't allowed to watch the films.

This Might Explain A Lot…

Too many teachers have no respect for authority and are hampering schools’ attempts to improve standards, chief schools inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw said on Thursday.
Yes, those permissive society chickens are coming home to roost!
He warned of headteachers being “undermined by a pervasive resentment of all things managerial” by some of their teaching staff.
Do they transmit this to the kids, or do they pick it up from the kids? It’s an interesting question to ponder…
Speaking at a conference organised by the Westminster Education Forum in London, he added: “Some teachers simply will not accept that a school isn’t a collective but an organisation with clear hierarchies and separate duties.”
Very reminiscent of the attitudes of so many of their charges when they join the world of work!

It isn't, of course, just a problem of subordinates not being subordinate:
Sir Michael also warned heads not to try and “curry favour” with their staff, adding: “What’s worse (is) far too many school leaders seem to believe that they don’t have a right to manage, either.
“They worry constantly about staff reaction. ... They seem to think they cannot act without their employees’ approval.
“Yes, you should consult with staff, Yes, you should explain. But never confuse consultation. We must take the staff with us at all costs, the misguided head would say. “No, you mustn’t. Not if it means leaving the children behind.”
Heads must come up with a vision for their school which is more than “a natty slogan” which is put on its stationary (Ed: sic. But come on, this is the Grauniad, after all…) and parroted by all the staff. “It’s pointless concocting grand plans if the school playground is in a mess, uniforms are slovenly, staff are too casual, children pay more attention to their mobile phones than to the teachers and the school reception has all the charm of the check-in desk at Ryanair.”
Teachers, he argued, should also be bold enough to exert their authority and remind pupils who is in charge.
“There is absolutely nothing wrong in my view in saying to youngsters ‘do as I ask, because I am the adult - I am older than you - I know more than you and, by the way, I am in authority over you,” he said.
I can imagine that this, however we may cheer it on, will go down like a cold cup of sick in staffrooms all over the country...

Community Leaders - Is There Anything They Can't Do..?

Forget the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy shooting, yesterday's media were all over one story, and one story only:

And as the story unfolded (carefully, piece by piece, no doubt watched over by many communications people), it got weirder and weirder.

As Tim Worstall mused, why were the supposed slave-masters granted bail for such a high profile case? Why the delay between discovery and arrest (a very well-publicised arrest)? What of this previously-little known charity that's at the heart of it all?

And why the secrecy? Why no names of the accused? And why the hell are community leaders being briefed?
Local politicians and community leaders briefed on the case compared their ordeal to people trapped in a religious cult.
What community? The victims are said to be British, Irish & Malaysian. The nationality of the captors has not been disclosed (unless to those 'community leaders').

Naturally, scapegoats are to be found wherever possible:
The revelations will lead to questions as to why they were in the country in the first place – and whether police missed opportunities to rescue the women, who were frequently beaten.
Women who they presumably knew nothing about?
Scotland Yard Commander Steve Rodhouse ...insisted that the case ‘was not as brutally obvious as women being physically restrained inside an address and not being allowed to lead’ (sic).
Instead it was a ‘complicated and disturbing picture of emotional control’, with the couple using cult-like techniques to apply huge psychological pressure on the women, leaving them terrified to try to escape.
Odd. If you think it sounds like a religious cult, well, you wouldn't be the only one:
They are checking whether the pair have ever been members of any well-known religious cults.
Sources suggested that a more likely scenario is that they ran their own mini-cult.
Maybe the speculation needs to consider other options.

One thing, however, is clear, and is no doubt expressed with a keen eye to ongoing current events:
Asked about those who might doubt the women’s allegations, he said: ‘I think people have no right to be sceptical. It is clearly different, and unique, and hugely troubling.’
Got that? NO RIGHT!

Remind me again. Just who are the slaves here?

Friday 22 November 2013

I Guess It’s Not ‘Morally Wrong And Distressing’ To Cause An Accident, Though?

Pauline Squire said it was “morally wrong and distressing” for Robert Beagle to put images and video online following a collision on the B6279 crossroads at Kinninvie, near Barnard Castle, County Durham, on Thursday, October 31.
However, Mr Beagle said he was simply trying to highlight safety issues at the junction, which, he added, had been the scene of several accidents and near misses in recent years.
But that can’t be Ms Squires fault, oh, dear me, no…
“I had dropped my daughter off at a Halloween event,” said Ms Squire.
“We were coming from Barnard Castle heading to Wheatley Hill and it was a road I had never been on before. I did not realise the junction was there.“
You know what I do when I’m on an unfamiliar road, love? I drive carefully and read the road signs!

Which, the 'Northern Echo' not being concerned to spare Ms Squire's blushes, they've helpfully reproduced in the article:

“None of my family have been able to get up, but they have seen the video and it is distressing.”
Yes, I’d be distressed too, if people thought I was related to such an idiot...
Mr Beagle has removed some footage from You Tube, but a 13-second CCTV clip of the accident remains online.
He said: “I am trying to raise awareness. There should not be a problem at the junction – there are five signs before you get to it, but every week someone crosses that road without stopping.
“We do not want to go out there to find dead bodies in the road.
“There must have been at least 10 accidents in the years we have been here.”
So there's nine other people who can't read the road signs and think it's everyone else's fault when they come to grief...

It’s About Time Someone Rubbed Your Nose In It…

A former policeman from Newquay is refusing to pay a £754 fine for dog-fouling, saying: "They can send me to prison if they want."
Oh, dear! Is this a case of too-zealous council officials getting the wrong man?

Well, no.
The pensioner has been fined four times since 2010, costing him £1,656, including a £100 penalty and £654 in legal costs imposed by magistrates on Friday.
He knows he’s bang to rights, too.
He told the Cornish Guardian he always picked up after Henry when he saw him do his business, but eagle-eyed wardens often spotted doggy toilet trips when his back was turned.
Sounds familiar. The ‘I didn’t see that, so I don’t have to pick it up’ attitude is fairly typical for a certain type of dog owner. That type being one that Mr Hobkinson fits neatly, no matter how much he might protest:
"How can I watch him every second? It's ridiculous," he said.
"I've had enough of them now. It's an absolute disgrace the way I'm being victimised here.
"I'm a responsible dog-walker – I used to be a copper and I volunteer with the National Trust as a litter-picker, for heaven's sake."
And none of those things means you are exempt from cleaning up after your beast. Yes, you DO have to ‘watch it every second’. No, you’re NOT being ‘victimised’. And no you’re NOT a responsible dog walker.
Mr Hobkinson argued it was impossible to pick up dog mess on areas of the Saltings as it was so overgrown and boggy, and the tide would always come in to wash it away in any case.
Yeah, yeah, yeah… Didn't you hear all those excuses when you were a cop? Did they work then?

So…No New Legislation Is Needed..?

A judge has banned a man from keeping dogs and ordered that his bull mastiff be put down after it brought fear to a city neighbourhood.
Sarwan Gill, 52, appeared in front of Nottingham magistrates last week, accused of failing to keep the dog under control.
The surprising aspect of this case is that the authorities took action not under the 1991 DDA, but under an 1871 Act:
The authorities were unable to bring action against the owner under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act but discovered they could prosecute Gill using Section 2 of the Dogs Act 1871.
Nottingham City Council, which took the action, said it believed this was the first time this legislation had been used.
Good for Nottingham, and shame on all those other local authorities for not doing so! Let's hope they are all looking at this case now.

Thursday 21 November 2013

You Couldn’t Make It Up Part 258963

Mr Scollan went to the police station in Worcester to report the Facebook comments and he was advised to block Mr James.
He is also considering meeting MP Robin Walker about the matter and says he is seeking legal advice.
He said: “I want compensation out of him [Mr James]. He should not be putting things like that on Facebook. I wish he had spoken to me face-to-face.”
I think, if you should look up the phrase 'lazy benefit scrounging chav scumbag' in the dictionary, you'll find a picture of Mr Scollan...
He said: “There was no point turning up. What’s the point in wasting my time? Financially I’m not going to be better off. I would also have to make my own way there.”
Well….yes. What did you expect, a company-provided chauffeur?

Road Closures Are For Other People…

Members of the congregation at the Colne cenotaph service reported that the X43 Witch Way service forced its way past the closure in Albert Road at 10.50am, while the service was ongoing.
Eye-witness Patricia May said: “It was a double decker and it was within six or seven feet of the end of the congregation stood in the road. The driver then beeped the horn at people while the service was going on. We were all flabbergasted. The bus then went to the side to get past us and carried on with its journey. It was ridiculous.”
But also fairly typical of the modern bus driver, I fear…
Transdev yesterday confirmed that they had received a complaint and launched an investigation. Nigel Eggleton, Transdev’s director of sales and marketing, said: “We have had a complaint to our Burnley team who have started their investigation, including downloading the CCTV footage from the vehicle to see what happened. If we find that we are at fault then we will take appropriate action to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”
‘If’..? Well, who else could be at fault?

Immovable Object Meets Irresistible Force

A wheelchair-bound woman said she was “disgusted” by the way disabled people were treated during the Alexandra Palace fireworks display.
When she reads this, she’ll probably be equally ‘disgusted’ by the use of non-PC language such as ‘wheelchair-bound’ (rather than the preferred ‘wheelchair user’) in the newspaper…
Ayla Halil, of Enfield, accused organisers of not taking the needs of people with disabilities into account when they planned Saturday's event. She claims she was forced to watch the event from the sidelines because she couldn't get to the top of the Ally Pally hill in her wheelchair and was not allowed to drive there.
And this is an outrage, an OUTRAGE, I tell you!
“I paid for a ticket and have the right to have just as good a time as an able-bodied person.
“It made me feel worse about my situation and when I came home I was just sad and depressed about the whole thing.”
"I don't think the organisers were very considerate to people in my position and it just made me feel sick."
However, the organisers clearly have two masters to serve – the disability lobby, and the ‘elf ‘n safety lobby. And it seems, reading between the lines, they’ve chosen to serve the latter.
Duncan Wilson, the chief executive of Alexandra Palace, said this case would be investigated. She said: “It would not have been safe to have allowed vehicles close enough to the Palace to park near the Terrace. “
So there!
“We therefore provided priority parking for those with mobility issues and a special viewing area at the bottom of the hill.
“We are not sure of the circumstances surrounding this case and we encourage this person to contact us directly so that we can investigate this matter further.”
You mean….rather than complain to the venue through the correct process for such complaints, Ms Halil has gone straight to the local press?

Well, I never…

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Art For Art's Sake: DALeast

A rather strange choice, this one, especially for anyone who has heard me rant about graffiti 'artists' on this blog.

Because this month's choice is just that - the secretive 'DALeast', whose work can be seen in various locations around the world, including this astonishing work in London:

It might be that his works are apolitical, as so many lesser talents are not, or it might be that I'm a sucker for any sort of wildlife art, but his work is breathtaking in scale and accomplishment, the subject seeming to burst out of the wall...

You can keep your politically-correct Banksy, my contempt for which is nicely expressed by this dog.

And yet, as David Thompson points out, it's still up to the building owner to consider as 'art'. In just this one case, I hope they do.

No, I Don’t Think Facebook’s On The Hook For This One…

The daughter of a woman murdered by her jealous ex-boyfriend after he stalked her on Facebook has warned of the dangers of
Oh boy…
social networks.
Hmmm. Really? Did she meet a complete stranger, then? A digital upgrade of Mr Goodbar, a man with no known history?
Speaking about Mills who was best man at her parents' wedding, the 24-year-old said: "He was always around, he was my dad's best friend. "
Miss Smith got back in touch with Mills after splitting from her husband. The pair grew closer and were in a relationship for four years before splitting in 2006. But after the split, despite remaining on friendly terms with Miss Smith, Mills set up a bogus Facebook account in the name of Charlie Manning and started a new online relationship with his ex.
How, ummm, cozy.
Miss Smith had cut ties with Manning and had planned to stop contact with Mills after beginning a new relationship, when he lured her to his flat and killed her.
Yes, once more, I'm not seeing the problem with Facebook here.
Speaking about the dangers of Facebook, Miss Harvey, a mum-of-four said: "It is so important to raise awareness of the dangers of Facebook and remind people when someone is nice to you on there they aren't always going to be real.
But...he was real. She knew him in real-life!
"I think if she was a stronger woman in herself and had said no and ended it properly at the beginning rather than at the end, things may have been different.
"Mum just went to help and she kept helping him right to the end, that sadly was the downfall."
Now, I loathe Facebook, never used it, it just me, or is it not an issue here at all?

Did You Just Cut & Paste, PC Gent?

A 55-year-old woman has pleaded guilty to wasting police time after making false claims that she had cut off her hand.
Presumably, Leicestershire Police weren’t too busy to turn up in order to ascertain that her hand was still attached?
Stork appeared at Loughborough Magistrates' Court on Monday, charged with six counts of wasting police time and one count of obstructing a highway.
She pleaded guilty to all seven offences and received a 36-month conditional discharge. Police said it was estimated that she had wasted at least 177 hours of officers' time with false reports, with a cost to the force of at least £4000.
That sounds rather familiar. As does this:
PC Miranda Gent of Charnwood Police said: “We are very pleased with this result as it goes to show that wasting police time is a serious matter and that it will be dealt with accordingly.”
“There have been a number of occasions where the Police have been called to the address unnecessarily which could have resulted in other people in need being put at risk. Hopefully this will make people think twice before calling the police unnecessarily in the future.”
All you forgot to include was the line about how this makes things much more difficult for people who've really cut their hands off to be believed...

Suzanne Moore: “Shut Up, Lily Allen, I’ll Tell You What Your Song’s About…”

While it is obvious that not every feminist statement can or has to represent all women, I naively thought we had reached the point where we did think we had to represent someone more than just privileged white women.
Well, not if the pages of the 'Guardian' are anything to go by...

But this is, it seems, 'Pile in on Lily Allen' time:
In the video she walks away from her twerking dancers. She remains in charge. They don't. Maybe I have read it wrong. But what I see is the black female body, anonymous and sexualised, grinding away to make the rent.
I just see a dancer in paid employment. Must be my glasses.
Allen herself says the whole thing is meant to be lighthearted, dealing "with objectification of women … It has nothing to do with race at all."
Well, she should know, it's her so...

Whether the project is feminism or a way of selling a song. Our sketches matter. Who gets to be in charge of our bodies matters. So I am sorry but Allen cannot be the one to say this is nothing to do with race.
She's only singing it, you see. It can't be left up to her to decide what it's about, and to tell those listening what it's about.

Where would that lead..?

Tuesday 19 November 2013

A 'Black Station'? Isn't That Rayciss...?

Neil Kenlock whinges:
If you took a walk down any south London street in the early 1990s, the slogan "London's soul power" could be heard booming with pride from passing car stereos, at local youth centres and in businesses too.
This sense of community empowerment and embracing our black British identity was the vision we had as the founders of Choice FM, Britain's first successful radio station granted a licence to cater for the black community.
Which you then sold off for £14m…
Now this dream lies in tatters after the station's current owners, Global Radio, effectively killed it off by turning it into Capital Xtra – leaving Britain with no black station with a commercial licence.
Maybe if you wanted no changes, you shouldn’t have sold it off? Just a thought…
To me, it seems that Capital Xtra risks breaking the terms of its contract. Ofcom's decision to assess the new format, following complaints, is not enough. It is clear that action should have been taken immediately to restore the original promise for both the north and south London stations, instead of standing by while the black community loses an important, cohesive, radio station.
You mean, Ofcom should act without knowing any of the facts, just on the say-so of a former founder of a station now sold to another?
Although the way audiences consume and share music is evolving, having an FM radio station that serves the black community is paramount, as it produces positive role models in a landscape where our people are under-represented. It's why we needed a choice in the first place.
I’m not entirely sure that making a killing and then demanding that Ofcom hands you that cake to eat too is being ‘a positive role model’, is it?
The black community, with a population of 1.2 million in the UK, were expecting Global Radio to honour its licence conditions and play the range of music they enjoyed. For the station to turn its back on them is taking us back to the 1980s.
Well, goodness me! For a moment there, I thought you were going to say ‘back to the plantation’!

It’ll Do You Good, Love…

A disabled woman says she has had to struggle up two flights of stairs for nearly two weeks because the lift at her council block of flats has not been fixed.
Two flights of stairs! Two?!? Oh, wait. She is ‘disabled’. How, though?
She suffers from fibromyalgia, a long-term muscle condition which causes pain all over her body, including chronic back pain.
Hmmm… Well, I suppose at least it isn’t Morgellons.

But really, having to walk down two flights of stairs isn't exactly hardship (and exercise is recommended for her condition). Especially when, as it turns out, she only has to walk down one:
The breakdown of the lift, which serves the even numbers in the block

But the best is yet to come!
… has led to more people using the rubbish chutes, which became blocked for four days. Then the stairwell became a dumping ground for fly-tippers discarding rotting food.
Yup! Because this is social housing, the thing to do when you meet the slightest little inconvenience is clearly to behave like complete pigs and blame 'the cahncel, innit?' for the resulting mess.

FFS! This is the sort of behaviour that gives social housing its (mostly deserved) poor reputation,
Kelly said: “I have a dog and must make this journey down the stairs four or five times a day.
“Climbing the stairs is not good. I have muscle problems and chronic back pain.
They shouldn’t let us live in a place with all this rubbish and where you can’t even get to your home.“
‘They shouldn’t let…’ Who shouldn’t? The council? The poor bloody taxpayer?


Bet You Wish You’d Let Him Jump, Now…

Jilted boyfriend Michael Towse drove straight into the path of drivers crossing the Humber Bridge after his girlfriend Claire Hawley dumped him, Hull Crown Court heard.
Towse, 25, went on a 90-minute rampage, leading police on a high-speed chase through East Yorkshire before driving into the path of oncoming traffic across the Humber Bridge.
He screeched his car to a halt and climbed over the barriers to hang from the railings, threatening to jump. However, he was finally talked down by officers and arrested.
Wish they'd spared us all and let him jump*...
The couple have since rekindled their relationship and his girlfriend Claire Hawley was in court as Towse was spared jail for dangerous driving.
*sigh* There;s no helping some women...

*Oh, and Assistant Chief Constable Gary Morgan? Bite me.

Monday 18 November 2013

Ordinary Heroes…

Martin Griffiths, a consultant vascular and trauma surgeon at the Royal London hospital, has spent the past decade visiting schools to lecture on the dangers of carrying a weapon.
Mr Griffiths works with young Londoners in Enfield under the council’s “call-in” scheme to give a second chance to attackers facing court. He hopes to expand his work, drafting in medical students from the Royal London, to Newham and Tower Hamlets.
He has some very unwelcome messages for the progressives:
“Most of our victims are young, ” Mr Griffiths said.
“There wouldn’t be many over 25. Most of them are male. Most of them are from ethnic groups, either Asian lads, Afro-Caribbeans or Africans, Eastern Europeans from Newham. ”
It won't come as a surprise, will it? But his other conclusions just might:
He terms gang violence a “disease” , and says it should to be treated as a public health priority.
“I think it’s tragic that we see so many people who have been stabbed for so little reason,” he said.
“It’s very rarely something significant. If it’s a large amount of money you are more likely to be shot.”
It is, indeed, a hallmark of most underclass stabbings that they are stereotypically over utter trivialities and never over anything significant. Which makes the high-profile celeb-lead campaigns as baffling to me as they are to Mr Griffiths.
He wants “ordinary heroes” to take responsibility for their communities.
“What I’m very keen to do is generate a cohort of people who are just regular people, who are not footballers or pop stars. I’m always a little bit troubled by having your beacon as an ex-gang member or ex-criminal. I don’t think they are the role models we should be looking towards. We should be looking towards ordinary heroes. If you live your life and stay in your community and support your community, that is my idea of a hero.
Well said!
“I hope I’m an inspiration to my nephews. They see their Uncle Martin and I’m not a gang member and I’m not a criminal. I'm just a regular Joe. I didn't go to a fancy school. I didn’t come from money. I had a good mother and a good network at home. I’m very happy in what I do. I want to give that back. ”
Gosh, what a refreshing lack of blame for society and emphasis on personal responsibility there! His words will not be welcomed by the progressives...

Well, I Suggest We Sack Sgt McQuade & Use His Salary To Pay Part Of The Cost…

…since he clearly doesn’t want to do his job:
Sgt Mark McQuade, of Castle Point neighbourhood policing team, says sending officers to the Roscommon Way area is only a short-term solution and changes are needed to make it less attractive to what he terms “racing enthusiasts” .
And what the rest of us would term ‘lawbreakers’ and wonder just why the police suddenly feel that’s none of their concern…
He wants Essex County Council to put up CCTV cameras, and better lighting so the offenders and be caught on camera.
He would also like to see a special road surface laid to make it harder for racers to skid noisily around the road’s twin roundabouts.
He also thinks putting up gates to close part of the road overnight might be worth considering.
Oh, is that all? Anything else he’d like?
Sgt McQuade said: “This is a local highways problem, not a police problem.”
Umm, no. People speeding and driving dangerously are a police problem, no matter how you try to swerve it. You don’t get to ignore shoplifters on the grounds that the supermarkets have open shelves, or battered wives of the grounds that , well, ‘she married him!’, do you?

I bet you’d like to, but still…
“We understand it is difficult to come up with the money for this work, but we can only provide assistance in the short term.”
No, since it’s your actual job, you’ll provide assistance any time there’s an incident. It’s what you are paid to do.
Sgt McQuade added: “These are not yobs, or the typical boy racers. They are racing enthusiasts and they come from all over to go to the town, knowing half a mile away there is a lovely circuit for them to race round. ”
Except…it isn’t. It’s a road. Built at great expense for people to drive on.

Don't Bother To Ask Me, Demon Internet...

...the answer's 'Yes':
All 20million families with internet connections are to be forced within months to say whether they want access to online pornography.
No, not because I'm addicted to pornography (though I confess, I'm currently reading the last couple of John Norman 'Gor' books, published under my radar last year!), not even because there are no children in the house, but simply because I know only too well that this kind of blanket ban will sweep up many perfectly legitimate sites in its wake.

After all, when O2 implemented these controls a few years ago, my phone stopped accessing many local newspaper sites and is still unable to access some blogs until I got round it by installing Onavo, which functions as a VPN.  
Adult content filters are also expected to be fitted to all new mobile phones automatically.
Only an adult will be able to change the filter settings and the account holder will receive a confirmation email. Some providers are also offering text alerts, in case children hack into the account.
Mr Cameron has argued that web firms have a ‘moral duty’ to act but have not been ‘doing enough to take responsibility’.
He said: ‘I made a promise in July that I would take action to help parents protect their children when online at home and we are now delivering on that promise.’
What a pity you didn't decide on a far more important promise to honour, then...
As a dad, it is very simple: I want to know my children are protected when they go onto the internet. A family-friendly filter gives me the tool to do that and so this is a really important step forward by the internet service providers.
‘We all need to work together, both to prevent children from accessing pornography and educate them about keeping safe online, and I will continue to ensure this happens.’
I don't need to 'work to keep children away from pornography', you massively-foreheaded cretin - that's their parent's job.

Sunday 17 November 2013


The 41-year-old said: "I think it’s disgusting.
"I was shocked when I discovered it said Camel Balls – I thought it said Caramel Balls in the shop.
"I only went in to buy some chewing gum and noticed some kids’ 10p sweets so I thought I’d buy 10 for my two children.
"If I’d given it to them they could have taken them into school and then I am the mum who gave kids a sweet with a pair of balls on it."
Oh, make it stop, make it stop…! *gasps for breath*
The mum-of-two does not understand why they seem to be targeted at youngsters. She said: "They are children, why do they need to look at a camel with a big pair of balls?
"It says on the packet they are liquid-filled. I don’t want that kind of conversation with my kids.
"I can’t believe they were designed to be sold to children. I would not want that kind of conversation at school. I just can’t understand how they got to where they are. Don’t they have to be vetted?
"My husband thought it was hilarious and there is a funny side but I still think it’s wrong."
*turns blue*
Mrs Phillips thinks the confectionery should be pulled out of shops. She said: "I think they should be taken away from shops.
"I told Bexley Council and they said they don’t have the resources to cover it any longer."
"People might just say it’s a bit of fun but I just don’t get it."
Pity poor Mr Phillips, then…
The UK managing director of Fini Sweets U.K. Ltd, Paul Southam, said: "I am sorry your reader has failed to see the somewhat humorous side of this product, however I do fully understand the need for freedom of speech when a parents feels protective against her young ones.
"Pre-launch I was somewhat hesitant whether or not to launch into the UK, however, I was assured that the product is exported to over 80 countries without any problem." He added:
"We had three letters of complaint, which are all fully understandable, however, the parents of these children did see the funny side to a degree.
"Novelty products such as these have a very short ‘life date’, in so much as they disappear as fast as they come, however, Camels Balls keeps going from strength to strength for some untold reason."
Three..!? There’s three more like Mrs Phillips?!?

”I hear the drums, echoing tonight…”

A mother complained to the Advertising Standards Authority about the Zufari ride advert saying her eight-year-old daughter thought she was going to Africa.
There are no words…
The commercial showed two children walking in the middle of an African plain with the sun rising over distant mountains with a voiceover saying ‘expect the unexpected’.
Chessington World of Adventures said the advert used creative licence to create a ‘heightened sense of reality’ but that white rhinos, giraffes, zebra, ostriches, several species of antelope and flamingos did actually feature in the ride.
Thankfully, the ASA agreed:
The ASA said: “Overall, we concluded that the portrayal of the ride in the ad was unlikely to lead to children having unrealistic expectations of the experience of the ride.”
Unless those children are raised by morons.

Really, 'Daily Star'..?

H/T: Dave Ward via email

Sunday Funnies...

Because making that politically correct omelette means breaking a few eggs...

Saturday 16 November 2013

Dirty Protest…

Retired civil servant dog owner vs Cambridge University lecturer on a cycle. Who is best?

There’s only one way to find out!
Monica Lentin, mitigating, said Currall, often "felt anxious" while walking her dog along the path twice a day because of cyclists speeding past. She claimed that she was "provoked" by Mr Ramage, who also lives in Trumpington, because he got too close to her.
Mrs Lentin said: "I think many people who are pedestrians in Cambridge would agree that having cyclists and pedestrians together doesn't work.
"The pedestrians do feel extremely harassed and I feel the same way myself.
"What makes it worse is you get lots of young men with powerful bikes riding at speed without any conscience that older people can't get out of the way easily."
Cyclists with consciences are, clearly, few and far between!
She added: "These young people come hurtling towards her [Currall] and they do not give way to her.
"She did not see him [Ramage] coming in the opposite direction and he was not stopping for her which certainly in the olden days, a man on a bike would have got off and let her through."
When we had chivalry and concern for others, rather than the overweening sense of eco-righteous self-importance two wheels seems to give some cyclists…

And rather than be discommoded by her arrest and trial, Ms Currall saw an opportunity. You may want to get some popcorn for this:
Mrs Lentin used the hearing to question what she saw as favourable treatment to cyclists over pedestrians by Cambridge City Council. She said: "The council seems to be pursuing a policy that bicycles are king here in Cambridge and have rights over everyone else." Currall said after the hearing:
"It is ridiculous that this case ended up in court. A lot of people will be applauding me for what I did because cyclists can be such a pain in the neck.
"The path used to be just for pedestrians, but the council has now changed the rules to allow cyclists. They tear down that path at high speed and it is your problem if you are in the way.
"I have had problems with this chap before. He came towards me and was saying, 'Get out of my way'. "
"He was about 6ft 2ins tall and was wearing a helmet and all the protective gear. I was not wearing any kind of protection.
"He told me he was going to call the police, so I was sarcastic and said, 'Are you going to call your Mummy as well?'
"I am not scared of speaking out about cyclists. A while ago, I bought half a dozen cycle bells and handed them out to cyclists in the hope that they would use them."
Ms Currall is clearly a lady of what might be termed ‘old school’, while Mr Ramage is very much a ‘new man’:
Mr Ramage said: "I would not change my route, but I do go down there with a lot of trepidation.
"I'm not physically intimidated, I know I won't suffer any serious injury, but the mental anguish with having to deal with an encounter, that's what it's really all about. I have encountered her with my kids and it's upsetting for them."
Oh, man up! Did the little old lady make you feel emasculated? There, there, dry those eyes!

Will some music help?

You Long Ago Swallowed The Camel, Jacqui, Love….

…why should we then listen to you claim that you are straining at the gnat?
Jacqui Cheer, the chief constable of Cleveland, and the Association of Chief Police Officers' lead on children and youth, said society was becoming "quite intolerant" of young people in public spaces, and the public and police were too ready to label "what looks like growing up to me as antisocial behaviour".
Oh, but society seems to be rather too tolerant of other things, especially in the area of identity politics
She said police and public had to understand that antisocial behaviour "is not just being annoying or being in the wrong place at the wrong time or there's more than three of you".
And yet…haven’t we constantly been told that certain other behaviours are in the eye of the beholder? And the police have enthusiastically gone along with that.

So it’s odd that you would think that that process should somehow halt there, and not be extended to other areas..
And she said she feared that new legislation would mean treating more childhood behaviour as antisocial. "It's a personal view that behaviour that at the moment is not included will be included into the future," she said.
Yes. It’s called ‘mission creep’, it happens all the time. You ought to know, it happens often enough in the police farce, doesn’t it?
Cheer told the all-party parliamentary group on children that it was not surprising that children gathered in the streets when a lot of the places they could go had been closed down or fenced off.
Yes, indeed, some have been, mostly because they broke them!
She said frontline police officers were receiving calls from the members of the public about the presence of young people and were being faced with a decision about whether to speak to them, perhaps antagonising them by asking them what they are up to or to be quiet or even to move on.
Funny, you never seem to worry about ‘antagonising’ the law abiding public, only certain special interest groups.
Her intervention was welcomed by the chief executive of the National Children's Bureau, Hilary Emery, who predicted that the antisocial behaviour bill would have perverse and harmful consequences.
"We are concerned that children and teenagers will get into trouble with the law just for being annoying, and that it will penalise them from doing things that all children do as part of growing up – playing in the street, kicking a ball around in a public space or hanging around with their friends," Emery said.
"It threatens to further increase the divide between generations, alienate children and divert the police from fighting genuine crimes."
Oh, I wouldn’t worry. The police are perfectly capable of finding their own ways to divert themselves from that…

So What’s The Use Of This New Rating, Then?

Will it make the movies more popular? No:
"The entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, all Star Wars movies, The Social Network, Pulp Fiction and all but one of the Harry Potter movies fail this test," said Ellen Tejle, the director of Bio Rio, an art-house cinema in Stockholm's trendy Södermalm district.
Will it make filmgoers want to see unpopular films that have the rating? No:
In Bio Rio's wood-panelled lobby, students Nikolaj Gula and Vincent Fremont acknowledged that most of their favourite films probably would not get an A rating.
"I guess it does make sense, but to me it would not influence the way I watch films because I'm not so aware about these questions," said Fremont, 29.
Will it mean these films with the rating are more worthy than those without? No:
"There are far too many films that pass the Bechdel test that don't help at all in making society more equal or better, and lots of films that don't pass the test but are fantastic at those things," said Swedish film critic Hynek Pallas.
So, with all that in mind, just what’s the point..?
Pallas also criticised the state-funded Swedish Film Institute – the biggest financier of Swedish film – for vocally supporting the project, saying a state institution should not "send out signals about what one should or shouldn't include in a movie".
Oh, you’ve lost that argument already. You allow them to run a rating system for everything else, you’ve opened the door, haven’t you?

Friday 15 November 2013

You Know My Solution To This By Now, Don’t You?

Mrs Caffrey, who is 4ft 10ins, suffered cuts to her nose and was left fearing for her life as she held Missy above her head from harm’s away whilst the snarling Bull Mastiff jumped up at her.
Three year old Missy also suffered serious injuries when she was bitten six times on the stomach during the attack in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester.
And I assume that’s now an ex-mastiff?
But magistrates spared the Mastiff's life after being told it had been placed in a new home with a family of six children, including a child with autism.
Its former owner Helen Sayle, 47, was ordered to pay Mrs Caffrey £150 compensation at the rate of £5 a week.
Because a mother of four can afford to buy - and keep - a dog that eats as much as some zoo animals, but clearly can’t afford to pay for the results of its depredations, I suppose? 

After all, it’s not like she has a well-paid job. The people that own these things – at least, the ones that make it into the papers in stories like these – never do, do they?
The mother of four, an office cleaner who admitted having a dangerous dog, was also ordered to pay the £500 vets fees plus costs of £100 pounds and was given a 12 month conditional discharge.
So…why did the magistrates act so leniently?
During the hearing an animal behavioural expert said the Bull Mastiff was a 'lovely animal' which posed no threat to humans.
So long as they aren't holding small dogs, I presume he meant?
In court Prof Barry Peachey, an animal behaviour expert who examined the Mastiff, said that the animal only injured Mrs Caffrey because it was attacking a smaller dog.
Just as well, in our society, women don’t routinely carry around small do…

What? Oh.


'I have done hundreds of these cases and I would hardly ever be able to say I would rehome the dog myself but in this case I would. It is a lovely dog.'
Well, yes, Barry, but it’s easy to say that when no-one’s forcing you to do so, isn’t it?
In mitigation defence lawyer Gemma McGungle said: 'This is a series of events that have occurred not through any fault of the owner. The defendant immediately took steps to ensure the area from which the dog escaped is now secure.
'More importantly than that she used her contacts within the community to rehome the dog. The evidence is that Holly is not a dangerous, nasty or vicious dog, she is a playful dog.'
'This dog does not like small dogs. '
'Rather than that being a characteristic that makes her dangerous she just requires a lead.'
And someone with the strength to restrain her on that lead. I guess as the new owner's fathered six kids, we'll have to hope he still has...
After the hearing its new owner Barry Taylor-Lewis, 31, refused to comment.
I wonder what sort of well-paying job he has..?