Thursday 31 December 2015

Happy New Year All!

And here's to 2015! May it be all we wish it to be...

Normal service will resume on Saturday.

Absent Friends....

As we begin the countdown to slip out of 2015 and into a new year, raise a glass with me to those we lost in this year:

Captain Ranty

Unenlightened Commentary

Anna Raccoon (though she ain'nt dead, thank heaven, just resting...)

Gone, but not forgotten.

Post Title Of The Month

With 'Anna Raccoon' and 'Newgate News' on hiatus, the feild is clear, so the final award for 2016 goes to David Thompson:

Quote Of The Month

Bill Sticker takes the broadband censorship bill to task, in this final award for 2016:
"Regarding bans, it’s worth noting that such blanket prohibitions always make any given problem far worse than it was in the first place. See effects of Prohibition and the ‘War on Drugs‘ to name but two.
But no, you can’t get that through Cameron’s (Or many other modern politicians) thick head because ‘morality’ is such an easy soundbite. He’s saying “Hah! Look at me, I’m fixing something which isn’t that big a problem…” when there are so many more pressing issues. Heavy sigh…."

Post Of The Month

Al Jahom is not impressed by police demands for immunity from prosecution, in this final award of 2015 - and for a very good reason.

And I Hope He Tells You To Take The Sex And Travel Option…

A market trader will be asked to stop selling ‘Golly doll’ merchandise after a complaint was made to Epping Town Council.
At a meeting last night (December 8), councillors voted to take the move after considering how offensive the design is to many people.
‘Asked to’..?
The council stopped short of banning the items outright, after councillors including Tony Church and Alan Smith described it as “an extremely dangerous precedent to set” .
But it was decided to ask the trader to stop selling the items, with councillor Dawn Baird saying: “It has been brought to our attention and it does have racist connotations… whether there was one or 100 complaints we know what the connotations are.”
I suspect the ‘dangerous precedent’ referred to is the chance the council will be sued.

Dear god, do these people have nothing better to do..?

Wednesday 30 December 2015

More Responses Like This, Please!

Seaford Town Clerk James Corrigan said: “Seaford Town Council has fully investigated the matter.
“The sheep are present on site for a few months, their grazing there is a vital to the restoration of this area of precious chalk grassland habitat. The locations we have the sheep in are rotated to ensure the whole site is restored eventually. This is a long-term project in partnership with Sussex Wildlife Trust.
“There are, however, signs warning of the fence and advising dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead. This is also important for other wildlife chased by dogs, ensuring owners clean up after their dogs and avoiding other potential hazards to dogs on the site such as snakes, foxes and badgers.
“While we are very sorry to hear about this incident, it was entirely avoidable by the dogs owner.”

Shock! Horror!

Mr Akinyemi from Nigeria said: “Last year there were 195 students from Nigeria and this year it is down to 96. People will be going to universities in other countries instead of coming here.
“If we don’t speak out against it it’s going to affect universities all over the country.”
Oh noes! Disaster!
University of Essex vice chancellor Professor Anthony Forster said: “The University of Essex is one of the most international universities in the UK and is ranked in the top 10 per cent of universities in the world for our international outlook.
“We have 140 nations represented within our student and staff community and this internationalisation enriches our community and provides an invaluable contribution to the university’s success, both in terms of our research and in terms of the education and student experience that we pride ourselves on providing.
“It is therefore right that we at Essex advocate and champion internationalisation, and that we should speak out in support of internationalisation.”
I feel so enriched when I walk past Southend's halls of learning...

Tuesday 29 December 2015

2016 - The Year Of No Personal Responsibility?

Homeowners should replan their homes – including putting electrical sockets half way up the walls – to protect against future flooding, according to an Environment Agency boss.
Sensible advice, especially if your home has been built on an ancient flood plain.

Has it gone down well?

Reader, it has not...
David Rooke, deputy chief executive of the organisation in charge of keeping flood waters at bay, came in for heavy criticism for suggesting families should take responsibility for safeguarding their properties.
Flood victims last night questioned how they would pay for improvements – and suggested Mr Rooke should focus on preventing their homes being inundated in the first place.
 Or, more accurately, 'Hey, let someone else's house get flooded, not mine!'...
Some residents in York are furious at a decision to open the flood barrier protecting the city from the River Foss.
And in the village of Billington in Lancashire, the Agency told some residents they couldn't supply them with sandbags.
FFS, people, these are the folks that don't bother to grit roads when snowfall is predicted (which can at least be shovelled away), why on earth do you expect them to be able to cope with excess water?

Well, They Must Be Being Asked By Idiots..

Questions were raised over how Mr King, who has been arrested on suspicion of murder, was able to smuggle a firearm and live ammunition into the secure care home inside De La Mer House in the tranquil seaside town of Walton-on-the-Naze, in Essex.
Because it's a care home.

Not a court, prison, airport, government building or any other sort of place where you might reasonably expect to be searched for weapons on entrance.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Werrett, who is leading the investigation, said: 'At this stage we are not looking for anyone else in connection with the investigation and our inquiries are ongoing.'
A sad case, and one even Essex Police couldn't conceivably screw up...
Douglas Carswell, the Ukip MP for the area, said he was 'very shocked' by the news, adding that Walton-on-the-Naze was usually a peaceful place.
He said: 'It's very shocking. If you have got a loved one in a care home, you expect them to be safe.
'People need to know the exact circumstances of what happened, it is extremely disturbing.
Do they? I think anyone with the slightest amount of common sense can figure this one out for themselves...
'Walton-on-the-Naze is supposed to be one of the most peaceful and tranquil places there is - elderly people want to be in a peaceful and tranquil environment.
Do they? What, all of them?
'Of all the places you expect this to happen, this is the last.'
He added: 'Something has clearly gone wrong that someone has been able to bring a gun capable of doing some damage into a care home. It really beggars belief.'

Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a pontificating fool, Dougie, than open it and remove all doubt...

Monday 28 December 2015

It’s Not Your Actions, But Your Demeanour, That Count Against You…

Magistrate Gillian Allison said: "Having taken into account the previous good character of the defendant and that he acted proportionately at the beginning of the incident, I find that a conditional discharge is an appropriate punishment.
"I don't believe he has ever shown anything other than being a caring owner of an animal but the aggravating circumstances are that Dougal is dead and the mitigating circumstances are that Mr Jones-Reid acted impulsively to defend his own dog in a fast-moving highly-charged incident.
"Witnesses gave credible and consistent testimonies which confirm that Mr Jones-Reid was out of control during the incident.
"Dougal bit Monty and the first kick was justified. After a second kick Dougal released his hold.
"But a third kick ruptured Dougal's spleen and because of that we find that Dougal suffered unnecessarily.
"Monty was not shaken and we understand recovered fully four days later.
"Mr Jones-Reid was heard saying 'that dog bit mine so I kicked the f*** out of it'.
"Jones-Reid left the scene quickly without concern and not acting like a reasonable humane person under the circumstances.
"This evidence was a clear factor leading to our verdict."
I've been waiting for the conclusion to this tale for a while...
The group walked a mile to their car and took Monty to a free veterinary clinic in Gillingham, where he was treated.
I wonder why a company director would need to avail himself of free services, meant for those without means..?
RSPCA prosecutor Mrs Lewington called for Jones-Reid to be banned from keeping animals and pay £20,416.81 in costs.
But his solicitor, Nigel Weller, successfully argued: "I don't think it's appropriate that any disqualification order be made.
"There's no suggestion in this case that Mr Jones-Reid is incapable of looking after his own dog.
"In that split second he made a third kick unnecessarily and I think a conditional discharge and penalty costs are a more appropriate punishment."
I wonder if he'll pay them, or plead poverty and demand leniency? It's what bullying cowardly thugs usually do, when up against someone bigger than themselves.

Hasn't York Suffered Enough..?

Renowned broadcaster and writer Trevor Phillips OBE, a one time head of Britain's Equality and Human Rights Commission and outspoken critic of multiculturalism, will be at a York Union event in February, for a debate organised by the student-run society.
The public event will see him go head to head with commentator David Goodhart, director of the think tank Demos; Bristol-based academic Prof Tariq Modood and Guardian columnist Zoe Williams; on whether multiculturalism has "failed" Britain.
Blimey, the locals must be hoping the floodwater never recedes...
York Union's spring term programme in now "shaping up nicely", organisers added, with the multiculturalism event on Thursday, February 11 and Oxford University social geographer Danny Dorling due to speak on 1 percent" on Monday, January 11.
The group is also working on a debate on campus free speech - which they say promises to be a controversial topic in the light of strong No Platform policies at many student unions.
Worth getting your canoe out for...

Saturday 26 December 2015

“Ugh! Commercial Aspects? How Dreadful!”

Vested interests are perturbed….
The higher education green paper is a radical document, explicitly designed to change universities. But beyond the debates about metrics, funding structures and social mobility is a far more fundamental reframing – of the very concept of higher education.
Oh oh! Someone’s sensing there may be trouble ahead, methinks…
The authors of the green paper do not view students as citizens in an educational relationship but as customers taking part in a market transaction.
*gasps* Oh noes! Filthy lucre! Tainting our purity!
In his classic tome In Defence of Politics, first published in 1962, Bernard Crick argues that some sectors of public life are simply too important to be handed over to the vagaries and vulgarities of the market.
Yes, god forbid that vulgar monetary concerns be allowed to penetrate the hallowed halls of academe…
The role of the state, he says, is to counterbalance the market and protect certain sectors because of their social importance and benefit to the public.
Universities did indeed once have social importance. But now? I’m not entirely sure…
We are moving from a public to a private notion of universities, in which higher education is just another market. This, above all else, should be of primary concern to the generations of yesterday, today and tomorrow, because it threatens the integrity of British cultural and civilisational development.
Really? How?
In downplaying the public benefits of higher education, we run the risk of disregarding values such as dialogue, creativity and democracy
I didn’t think today’s students, being such special snowflakes, valued those things, when it comes to opinions they don’t share…
To truly fulfil our potential we need to grasp the broader social value of universities and instil in our students the desire to acquire what US author David Brooks calls “eulogy virtues” not merely “resume virtues”, that is to say: “resume virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace […] eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral – whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. Were you capable of deep love?”
‘Deep love’..? And that’s on which curriculum..?!?

Yet Another Front In The Endless Class War…

Before I became a student there, I never quite appreciated how the tyranny of tradition at institutions like Oxford and Cambridge were being used to prop up the class system in this country.
Oh, really? Do tell…
… after about a year, something strange happened. Wearing a suit no longer held the same resonance it had back in fresher's week. Being served food by people the same age as me was no longer embarrassing.
Ummm, what? Does that mean you don’t frequent McDonalds or Burger King or Subway, out of a sense of embarrassment? Or numerous coffee shops, or other restaurants?

Because if you insist on eating where those serving the food are older, you’ll go pretty hungry.
The troubling part is what it does to the rest of us, those who came from a background where that level of decadence and debauchery isn't normal, even on very, very, very special occasions. Those of us for whom throwing rubbish on the floor and expecting someone to pick it up is reserved for toddlers
Goodness me! I thought the deplorable state of our streets & public transport system was down to the habits of the chavs who were never taught self-respect or respect for their surroundings, and so discard KFC wrappers, McDonalds bags and free newspapers wherever they happen to be.

And yet, in reality, all this was done by Oxbridge students!

They must come out at night and do it, as I never see them around…
Access schemes are all well and good but what are we actually giving these students access to: a culture that values excess over compassion? Detachment from normality? A lifelong sense of entitlement? From the position of the left, surely that's the exact opposite of what we should be doing with our brightest young people…
I think you’ll find Oxbridge is far from the only establishment inculcating a sense of entitlement in its students, if the frequent posts on David Thompson's blog are anything to go by!.

Thursday 24 December 2015

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

Here's hoping everyone is having a great Christmas!

Normal service will resume on Boxing Day!

That Appointment In Samarra Won't Be Avoided...

A 15-year-old boy who was stabbed to death had fled London in search of a safer home.
Sensible decision. Where'd he go?

The Orkneys? Pembrokeshire coast? Goathland?
Murder detectives launched an investigation after Jamar Walker died in hospital after being attacked in Birmingham.
Oh. OK.
Detective Inspector Hines added: "We are continuing to investigate what happened during the early hours of Sunday morning in Raglan Road.
"It is believed there was some sort of fracas in the street which led to one teenager tragically losing his life and another being injured."
It ain't where you go, it's who you are...

It’s A Puzzle, And A Mystery, And An Enigma…

Mr Alexander attended Bedford High School in Leigh where he was a promising athlete.
A post on the school's Twitter page said: "Our condolences to the family of former Bedford High School student, Carlton Alexander, who has passed away."
Yes. Passed away. From stab wounds
Dannie Lowe posted: "Yesterday my best friend's world was turned upside down by the loss of her boyfriend.
"I still cannot believe this is happening.
"Not only will I look after her for you.
"I will make sure the kids never forget you, you did so much for them and was the best father figure.
"You were a good man Carlton and you had your whole life ahead of you.
"You did not deserve this. May you rest with all the other angels and be at peace
"I'll see you again sometime but until then look down on us all and pray that justice will be done and everyone stays safe."
Mr Alexander was discovered at 4.15am on Sunday by police officers who had been called to a "disturbance".
Exactly what happened in the early hours of Sunday morning to cause Mr Alexander to lose his life is still unclear.
Four men — two aged 29, one aged 30 and one aged 31 — were arrested and questioned on Sunday on suspicion of murder and violent disorder.
A fifth suspect, a 21-year-old man, was arrested on Monday morning on suspicion of violent disorder.
Well, I don’t know what could have occurred here…
Using the stage name Kilo Carlton, Mr Alexander rapped on a record, What's Crackin Then, which was created by Bolton producer Trouble and released in April.
Ah. OK. I get it now.

Wednesday 23 December 2015

An Identity Group Police Are Happy To Demonise…

A police commander has issued a stern warning to petrol heads ahead of a car cruise meet in Worcester city centre.
Supt Kevin Purcell, police commander for South Worcestershire, said there would be a beefed up police presence in the city centre to address any potential anti-social behaviour.
Sounds a lot like the overreaction of Southend’s finest, doesn’t it?

Still, if it means they nab lots of miscreants, I suppose we…

Oh. Hang on.
The majority of speeders stopped during last night’s police operation were not from the car cruise but were local people, a police commander has revealed.
He said: "Interestingly of the over 20 people spoken to about their speed on the London Road, one was from Tamworth attending the car cruise and the rest were local residents."
I bet no grovelling apology was forthcoming, eh?

Wait, Using Children As Human Shields Is OK Now..?

…because I thought we all got really upset when Saddam Hussein did it?
Education experts are calling on the government to review its bedroom tax after early research indicated it was having an adverse impact on learning because affected children were stressed and hungry at school.
Which is unfortunate, but 100% the responsibility of their parents.
Researchers from Manchester University found that children were showing signs of emotional distress because they were seeing their parents under pressure and were experiencing material hardship as a result of the benefit cut. Parents were having to cut back on food, shopping for fewer and cheaper provisions, and hungry children were finding it harder to concentrate in lessons, sometimes leading to classroom unrest and aggressive behaviour, the report said.
Aha! Yet another excuse to be trotted out when ‘It ain’t ‘is fault, ‘e ‘as that ADHD!’ stops working…
The study, by researchers at Manchester Institute of Education, found that forcing children to share bedrooms – under the policy, two children of the same sex under 16 are expected to share, as are two children under 10 regardless of sex – was also having a negative impact on learning, with no quiet place for homework and teenagers’ sleep disturbed by younger siblings.
So a hard-working parent struggling to afford rent must see a benefit monkey get a larger house so their kids can have separate bedrooms? I should cocoa!
Erica Burman, also professor of education at Manchester, added: “The government should review its policy. Doing so would show a greater commitment to supporting children, helping parents to maintain their responsibilities, reinforcing communities, tackling educational inequalities and ensuring that the effects of austerity do not fall disproportionately on poor families.”
Everything will fall ‘disproportionately’ on poor families – it’s an incentive not to be poor in the first place!
In addition, the Manchester research claimed that the policy was not persuading families to downsize. As well as a lack of suitable smaller properties in the social housing sector, parents said they were prepared to lose money and suffer the hardship in order to stay in their home and keep local family ties and friendships.
So, it’s their choice. They are the ones condemning their offspring to these disadvantages. Not my problem. Certainly not worth a single penny more of my taxes.
Schools and community groups have responded to increased need by reallocating resources to ensure that children are fed and clothed. Schools have used pupil premium funding, available to children from deprived backgrounds who are on free school meals, to extend breakfast clubs.
Clearly the schools have too much fat in the budget. Time to cut it again, Education Secretary!

Tuesday 22 December 2015

Or Dying Women On Display In Their Crashed Car, Eh, Police Scotland..?

You'd have thought their PR department would be more on the ball, wouldn't you?

But maybe they are just too busy with real crime...

Keep Crying ‘Wolf’, Ladies…

A student who caused a furore when he spoke out against sexual consent workshops fears for his academic future after a fierce campus backlash.
George Lawlor, 19, claims he has been driven out of lectures and bars at Warwick University by feminist campaigners who shout "rapist" wherever he goes.
They shout it because they know full well you aren’t. They wouldn’t be so free with their accusations if they ever had to face the consequences of them.
Mr Lawlor added: "When you search my name all you find is my name next to the word 'rapist'.
"If you want to be a doctor or a lawyer you don't want to risk having this sort of reputation... so there's a fear that stops people talking freely."
So…you want to be a doctor or a lawyer?
Mr Lawlor, who studies politics and sociology, said he feared the furore would affect his academic work and his future career.
Oh. I don’t think we need to concern ourselves much with your future career, then.

Monday 21 December 2015

Ban Everything!

Helen Lewis negotiates the tangled undergrowth of identity politics:
How can I put this? Wee Jimmy Krankie in yellowface is not the hill I want to die on.
Well, err...
Cho’s comments were particularly interesting because she has been accused of “yellowface” herself.
She's a hypocrite? Well! You could knock me down with a feather! How unexpected...
Cho’s defence was simple: “I am from this tribe. And so I’m able to comment on it.”
Ah, That old chestnut.
This argument – about who gets to impersonate whom – keeps coming up, and rightly so. Power in Hollywood largely rests with white men, and their dominant gaze is reflected in the films we consume and the lessons we take from them. … But sometimes I feel as though everyone except me has access to a rule book on this stuff.
No, love, there's no book, they are just making up the rules as they go along…
For example, I’m prepared to concede that Janette Tough playing a Japanese man might well be crude, unfunny and reliant on stereotypes, treating racial difference as a punchline (although I’d prefer to see the film before making that claim). OK, then. But isn’t her portrayal of Wee Jimmy Krankie similarly offensive?
Well, I bloody loathed them!
… at this time of year the country’s hippodromes are full of middle-aged men parodying the stereotypical failings of women – silly, bawdy nags – by playing pantomime dames. … As someone who considers drag to be ultimately playful and liberating, I do believe that there is a meaningful difference between it and yellowface. But it’s a difference that needs unpicking, and at the moment I feel like a year seven maths teacher: it would be really helpful if people showed their workings.
They can’t show you how they were reasoned into a position if it wasn’t reason that got them there at all, can they?

The Wrong Trousers Kerbstones!

A pedestrian crossing has been ripped up and replaced after the wrong type of kerbs were put in.
Workmen moved in on the crossing Queens Road and at Upper Gloucester Road to dig up the stonework earlier this week. This was just months after the crossing was redone as part of the £1.5 million Brighton Station Gateway scheme.
They have top men on it.


Saturday 19 December 2015

Now Feminists Are Just Taking The Piss…

Brigid Delaney shouts and stamps her little feet:
During the last couple of weeks in Australia the debate around reporting men who harass high profile feminists on social media has been full blown, vivid and – that rare thing in the time of Twitter spats – game-changing.
I felt distressed when I read the blog detailing the gratuitous, grotesque abuse Ford received – and initially applauded her and other feminists fighting back by naming and shaming abusers.
Ford reported one of her harassers to his employer and he lost his job as a result. There must be consequences for that level of abuse.
But why should women have to take on these measures themselves – measures that can bring further risk to their personal safety?
Yes, why can’t a strong man the State come and save you? You poor little delicate flower…
Women who are harassed on the internet could seek to rely on section 474.17 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) which makes it an offence to use “a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence” along with ‘using a carriage service to make a threat”. Punishment is a maximum penalty of three years’ imprisonment and a fine of $19,800. But there is the hurdle of “threat” .
One-off posts by strangers on Facebook calling you a slut or hoping you die might not be enough to pass all the necessary legal requirements for feeling “threatened” – which traditionally has meant a certain level of fear that occurs when the harassment occurs repeatedly and at close range.
So you want to regard as a ‘threat’ something no reasonable person would ever regard as a threat? Well, it’s easy to see why you might have problems doing so!

It’s a lot harder to see why you might think anyone should consider that we lower the threshold just for you, though.
The law needs to be expanded to encompass penalties for trolling. How about amending criminal codes to make posting offensive, vile and threatening messages on people’s social media pages come not only under stalking provisions, but become a public decency offence?
Calling someone a slut on their Facebook page should be akin to urinating in public. Common standards of decency are offended, and there should be a penalty for that, with the penalties becoming more severe depending on the nature of the threats.
There’s a good reason urinating in public is an offence. It’s dirty, it’s dangerous (for transmission of diseases) and it’s unpleasant for other members of the public.

None of that applies to words on a screen that you can turn off or delete, love. So wind your neck in.

You Might Not Think It’s A Social Problem….

…but people hassled for change or trying to avoid vomiting, fighting drunks might disagree:
It is cold, it is wet, it is nearly Christmas and in Bournemouth the local council has come up with a new wheeze to torture the homeless.
Yes, that’s mature. Of course, they are just doing it because they are big meanie poopyheads, aren’t they?
Apparently responding to complaints from commuters who felt “intimidated” by homeless people congregating outside the railway station, the council hit upon all-night bagpipes as a solution.
Nice use of scare quotes. I’m guessing the sight of aggressive beggars doesn’t intimidate you. You must be soooooo brave.
When 4,000 – presumably less easily intimidated – people signed a petition branding the measure inhumane, the authority listened.
And it responded, by changing the record to Alvin and the Chipmunks’ uniquely eardrum-needling take on “All I Want For Christmas Is You”.
Hahahahahahaha! Top trolling, Bournemouth Council!
This is not some sub-Orwellian joke. It happened. Just like those anti-homeless spikes that appeared outside a new block of flats in London and Selfridges in Manchester, and many other places besides. It takes a special kind of bureaucratic mind to see a social problem, such as growing numbers of people with nowhere to go but the streets, and then find a way to make matters worse for them.
Because being aggressively panhandled for change by a drunk or druggie (or even someone who isn’t actually homeless at all) isn’t a social problem, I suppose?

Friday 18 December 2015

In Other News, Southend’s Obesity Rates Set To Rise…

National bakery Muffin Break will be opening in the former Early Learning Centre unit in the town’s main shopping strip later this month, creating 13 jobs.
Seating 75 people, the new outlet will serve coffee, handmade cakes, pies, and sandwiches, as well as freshly baked muffins.
The national chain, which has 60 units nationwide, is opening its first south Essex branch of Muffin Break.
And the new unit fits in with Southend Council’s desire to see more eateries on the High Street, in a bid to ward off a decline in traditional shopping.
Their desire to see more eateries? Are they kidding?

Some of you may be wondering if Southend is a food desert. Well, start at the top end of the High St, and to your right, you have Salsa, Pizza Express, East Coast Social, Ask, Bella Italia, Creams, a grilled chicken place, a buffet Indian and Nandos. To your left, you have Greggs, Subway and the Slug and Lettuce.

Now move off down the High St itself, and you have Starbucks, McDonalds, Burger King, another Greggs, Thornton’s Ice Cream, The Pipe of Port, Costa Coffee, KFC, the Pasty shop, another McDonalds, yet another Greggs, Valerie Patisserie, another tea shop, another Subway, another Costa Coffee, a fish & chip shop, Tomassi’s and then you’re at the end.

The seafront is groaning with places, and this little trek leaves out the little side roads where you can get gourmet burgers, fish & chips, Italian meals, hot dogs, noodles and buffet Chinese, not to mention the shopping malls – Victoria and Royals.

You ain’t gonna starve here...

It’s Official! The Cat’s Out Of The Bag!

Joseph Stiglitz reaches the racist conclusion that black people aren’t agents of their own destiny at all:
Some white Americans, however, have attempted to shift the blame for dying younger to African Americans themselves, citing their “lifestyles”. It is perhaps true that unhealthy habits are more concentrated among poor Americans, a disproportionate number of whom are black. But these habits themselves are a consequence of economic conditions, not to mention the stresses of racism.
See..? It’s all the white man’s fault!

Thursday 17 December 2015

Southend Becoming Gloriously Vibrant And Diverse…

Tahmid Alam celebrated his 19th birthday in court as the jury found him guilty of the attack in Westcliff this year.
The jury unanimously found Alam guilty of wouding Glen Lashley with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and possession of an offensive weapon, before judge Samantha Leigh sent him down for 14 years at Basildon Crown Court on Friday.
It’s – of course! – gang related:
Former Futures College pupil Alam was the passenger in a car that deliberately rammed Mr Lashley’s vehicle at the junction of Hamlet Court Road and West Road at around 5pm on Tuesday, June 16.
He and the driver then got out of the car, raced towards the victim and, leaning through his open window, stabbed Mr Lashley in the chest.
I fail to see how that’s not attempted murder, frankly.

And Futures College is quickly becoming notorious for its problems.

Still, the Alams are quite the little crime family, it transpires.
Just weeks before the attack Alam had been on trial for the murder of Hassan Mohammed Ibrahim in York Road last July.
He, along with four others, were acquitted but his brother, Tajwar, also 19, was found guilty and sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in jail.
Judge Leigh added: “This was a revenge attack and a clear message to anyone giving evidence against you or your family that it was unacceptable.”
Nor is this Junior’s first time round the block:
Alam of Roseville Road, Hayes, has previously served a custodial sentence and has convictions for robbery with a knife, another robbery, two assaults with attempt to rob, possession of a knife, possession of drugs, possession with intent to supply class B drugs and modifying an imitation firearm.
He will serve ten years of his sentence in custody before a further four out on licence, although he can be considered for release after two thirds of his ten years.
So he’ll probably be out before his 25th birthday. Ain’t justice grand?

When They Catch Him, Can They Add On Another Five Years…

…for calling the poor little sod ‘Tequiila’..?
Paul Nicholson, convicted over the death of baby Tequiilah Burke, has been on the run since last Tuesday, when he skipped bail during his trial
Police have appealed for help in tracking down baby death fugitive Paul Nicholson.
He’s a scrawny rat-faced little benefit-sponge, so good luck picking him out amongst all the others…
Northumbria Police have been looking for Nicholson since last week but have so far drawn a blank.
Today they said they are concerned for the welfare of the 20-year-old, who during the case had been bailed to stay St Cuthbert’s Bail Hostel in Gateshead.
Yes. It’ll be terrible if anything’s happened to him, won’t it?

Wednesday 16 December 2015

So Unlike The Home Life Of Our Own Dear Queen…

A mum-of-three bit chunks out of the ears of another woman during a fight which they had arranged via Facebook.
Julie-Ann Doherty was jailed for two years after a court heard Shona Knight needed extensive surgery as a result of the injuries she suffered.
Leeds Crown Court heard Doherty, 33, and Miss Knight, 28, agreed to meet each other to settle a six-month feud. The pair had seen their relationship become increasingly bitter and they had exchanged insults by text and on social media.
Lovely! But surely pretty unusual to come to (prearranged) blows?
The court was told both women are members of the travelling community and prearranged fights to settle disputes was “part of their culture.”
I’d heard this, but had fondly assumed it meant just the menfolk

You Say 'Failure'....

...but, I'm not so sure it's not a success!
The Somalian national, who slit his wheelchair-bound neighbour's throat in his Abotts Road flat, had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act less than a month before his death.
Mohamed, who had Type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease, died in the early hours of the morning on February 24 last year.
He was costing us a fortune...

Tuesday 15 December 2015

Mourn All You Like, On Your Own Property!

Friends of Lukey Maxwell, who would have turned 23 on Saturday, left flowers outside Kenneth Robbins House in Northumberland Park, Tottenham, where he was stabbed to death in June.
But his mother Lynn Jones received a letter from Homes for Haringey asking her to take them down because “they do not give a good general impression of the area” .
Well, no. Let’s face it, the streets of Tottenham must be pretty thick with wilted flower ‘tributes’ to dead yoof…
The white flowers, which spell out the words Lukey World, cost £300 – but if it they are not removed by Friday the housing association will destroy it.
Causing outrage, OUTRAGE! I tells you!
Mrs Jones, 48, said: “There are no words to describe the pain and shock I felt when I read that letter - it is so heartless. I am deeply offended.
“He told me he was ‘sorry to hear’ about Lukey’s death but he doesn’t sound like he is. My son was murdered.
“If anything, this tribute is a loving thing – it shows unity and it shows that people care. Murderers, drug dealers and graffiti paint a bad picture of the area, not this.
“Inside, I am a broken person and things like this do not help me heal. I didn’t even have anything to do with this tribute – it was done by people who love Lukey.”
They’ve got to write to someone. Might as well be you.
The community stand by Mrs Jones’s decision not to remove the tribute.
Family friend Nicola Dady said: “It is astonishing, the community should have the right to be able to mourn openly the loss of a loved one.
“If and when the tribute comes down that really should be when people are ready and not before.”
You do have the right to openly mourn a loved one. It’s what gravestones are for. Or sponsor a tree or a bench in his name.

But your tacky chavshrine in a public area will have to go.

Yes. Yes, They Would....

....and it's 'affect'. Not 'effect', FFS!
That’s the call from the PDSA, who found that around one in five London pet owners are buying animals impulsively, without carrying out any prior research.
I'm astounded it's only one in five...

Monday 14 December 2015

Maybe If He’d Done Something Worthy Of Respect..?

In tearful evidence to the court, Donna Daniel, who became Mr Best's foster mother when he was 15, said she had taken the case to court because both trusts had refused to apologise.
She said: "We thought James deserved respect and dignity.
"For a decade of my life I worked as am NHS complaints manager. A lot of my work was with bereaved families and we always treated them better than we have been treated."
Owen Daniel, Mr Best's foster brother, added: "We are really looking for an apology for the shocking shortcomings that were highlighted at the inquest.
"We are not looking to change the world or make loads of money. We are just looking for a bit of respect for James."
Oh, dear! Seems the NHS has let down yet another blameless person relying on…

Oh. Wait.
Two NHS trusts breached the human rights of a Croydon man who died in prison weeks after being arrested for stealing gingerbread from a looted bakery during the 2011 riots, the High Court heard.
Ah, if only there was some way he could have stayed out of jail

Oh Dear, How Sad, What A Shame, Never Mind…

A man has suffered serious injuries after being hit by a double-decker bus in London Road. Police were called today at 9.25am to reports of the crash near the junction with Greenside Road, near Croydon University Hospital.
Witnesses reported that the man, who is in his mid-40s, ran out of a Tesco in London Road into the path of the bus. Tesco staff and other witnesses claimed the man had been a shoplifter at the store.
*muffled giggle*
Police have confirmed they were called twice this morning, once at 8.16am and again at 9.20am, to reports of a man shoplifting at the Tesco store on London Road.
I’ll be astonished if some ambulance-chasing shyster doesn’t offer to take his case for suing the police for not turning up to arrest him and so avoid the accident…
Mr Fernandez said the man had taken a bottle of wine from near the entrance of the shop, before dropping the alcohol and running out into the path of the oncoming bus.
The owner of nearby Caribbean Food Stores, Gee, said the supermarket had experienced similar problems in the past.
He said: "Tesco doesn't have a security man until 10am - what people tend to do is come first thing in the morning and take whatever they can."
This one, at least, will not be back for a while.

There was good news from up north, too:
A shoplifter who stole a tub of sweets from a shop was hit and knocked down after doing a runner. He stole the Quality Street variety chocolates from The Co-op convenience store in Brownlow Way, Halliwell, before fleeing.
However, he ran directly into traffic and was struck by a passing car, causing him to drop the confectionary and roll up the bonnet and smash the windscreen.
Vanilla Fudges, Toffee Pennies and a Coconut Eclair were left along with other wrapped chocolates scattered along the windscreen wipers and in a big mess on the floor.
The shoplifter broke his leg in the collision.
Oh noes! Not the Toffee Pennies! My favourite!
A worker at the store, who did not wish to give their name, said: "It was a prolific shoplifter.
"He comes in regularly, stealing meat all the time. He's an opportunist.
"I know he had just been told to leave the store and the female assistant had walked away.
"He looked through the window and he came straight back in, grabs some plastic boxes of Quality Street and has run straight out of the shop, across Brownlow Way, but this time he wasn't so fortunate.
"He missed one car and was hit by the second."
*more muffled giggles*
GMP's Road Policing Unit, which was called to the scene of the accident, tweeted about the episode the next day using the hashtag #VigilanteChocolate.
I’m surprised some SJW didn’t start up a campaign to get them sacked for irreverent Tweeting…

Saturday 12 December 2015

Stand Aside, Citizen! This Is A Job For Beta Man Male!

Jonathan McIntosh opines:
A staple of the superhero genre is the tendency to concoct these elaborate scenarios where "good guys" end up having to fight each other for some reason. This is often framed as a way to resolve their interpersonal issues before they can go beat up the “bad guys” and save the world. The ultimate macho pissing contest. Who’s the toughest tough guy of them all? How do superheroes make friends? By punching each other. How do you resolve conflicts, big and small? By punching each other. Whose plan will be followed? How is trust built among teammates? Face-punching can accomplish all this and more. We need to raise questions at the model of male bonding and friendship-building by way of violence.
Do we? OK. If you say so.
Back before The Avengers were household names, superheroes were the domain of geekdom, and particularly “geek guys” who, to some degree, felt personally ostracised and disillusioned by the ideals of stereotypical tough-guy manhood in mainstream culture. Despite being made to feel subordinate to concepts of hypermasculinity, many geek guys have nonetheless embraced superheroes that embody hypermasculine traits and values. They tend to idolise those ideals despite being alienated from them as individuals. This self-identification with hypermasculinity is no doubt one of the factors in the rampant misogyny that plagues the comic book industry and community. The particular brand of superhero masculinity represents a popular conception of what it means to be a “real man,” a conception that is not relegated solely to the realms of fantasy. Hypermasculinity manifests everywhere in our culture and can be seen reflected in politics….

Eh? What? Sorry, I must have drifted off there for a bit.

I’m awake now! Pray carry on, Jonathan!
One common reaction I encounter whenever I bring up these questions is….
A solid punch on the nose? No?

… the concern that there's no way to create exciting dramatic tension or conflict in movies, other than resorting to violence as the ultimate resolution. Of course, that’s not true, as evidenced by one of the most exciting and intense pictures of the year, The Martian. A remarkable thing about that film is that it contains absolutely no violence or killing. All problems are solved through science, cooperation and human creativity. And yet the filmmakers behind The Martian managed to create a widely successful, thrilling, edge-of-your-seat blockbuster. Given the current state of the world, we could certainly do with a hell of a lot more heroes who solve complex problems with innovation and ingenuity rather than by punching each other in the face. Perhaps it's time to move on from these tired masculinised concepts.
*sighs* ‘The Martian’ is as much a fantasy as superheroes dukin’ it out. They are all fantasy. They are entertainment. Nothing more.

If you can’t handle that much excitement, there’s always a ‘My Little Pony’ rerun on the Cartoon Channel, or something.

They Should Rename The ‘Guardian’ The ‘Daily Virtue Signaller’….

I would not have been the only headteacher on Sunday night wondering how best to talk to our children about the Paris terrorist attacks. We are quite a closed community, bound by our geography. The vast majority of our students are white. We do our very best to provide children with the opportunities to learn about cultures, religions and races they would not otherwise be familiar with.
Any guesses? I’m going with Wales or Cornwall.
One thing most headteachers can take for granted is that their staff are united by a moral purpose. We work in schools because we want to invest in children’s futures, educating them to become global citizens.
Educating them to be whiny little SJWs, mostly!
So although I knew full well that when I arrived at school last Monday I would come across children whose opinions about the events in Paris would be at best closeted and misguided, I did not expect it from my staff.
Oh, woe is you!
During morning briefing some shifted uncomfortably when I explained the clear and consistent message we needed to reinforce: that the refugees from Syria were fleeing from the same people killing Parisians; that to blame all Muslims for the attacks was exactly what the terrorists wanted; that we are a school where hate is not allowed.
So you told them what they ought to say? Even about things that have no bearing on the situation?

How very Stalinist of you…
It was not all plain sailing. There were comments directed towards a Hindu boy.
We aren’t told what they were. Of course!
A small group of children spread a rumour that our town would be bombed next. It all became too much for a couple of vulnerable youngsters and they simply needed to hide in an office and cry.
Well, I think that’s standard government advice for anyone in a terrorist attack!
I did not expect anything untoward from staff. Naivety? A young teacher asked to speak with me, and told me of concerns that an older member of his team had been sharing Britain First posts on Facebook; he found the sentiments racist and offensive.
What a charming chap! A future Stasi in training.
One of the receptionists spoke to her line manager about colleagues saying: “They should let them all sink and die, even the kids”; “Send them back to their own country”; “Shoot to kill” and more.
Great! Even the receptionists are getting in on the act!
And by the end of the day there had been a bust-up in the staffroom about whether Islam was fundamentally a violent religion.
Carefully, I spoke to the offended, and to those who had offended – and tackled them without pointing the figure and shouting “Nasty, racist, xenophobic Islamophobe!” – though at least once I wanted to.
But you manfully (womanfully?) resisted. Truly, you are a being of great nobility!
As a headteacher, I expect disagreements over lesson observations and accountability. I never thought I would have to remind staff not to be racist.
Remind me again, what ‘race’ is Islam?
I will be doing my best to counter this by talking to staff, debating with them fiercely when I need to. But this feeling in my school concerns me deeply. If you can’t count on teachers to offer a thoughtful and informed reaction in the face of these atrocities, I worry about my country.
I worry, too. I worry that we are building a country where odious, smug little Gauleiters like you are checking for wrongthink in your staff.

Friday 11 December 2015

Official Reassurance Not So Reassuring…

Concerned Allington residents took to the internet to warn neighbours about a man who had reportedly attempted to steal a dog, before trying to get into a woman’s car.
The incident yesterday evening followed separate reports of a man of the same description knocking on doors and trying to enter another person’s car in the area.
One woman said her dog was at a mobile groomers in The Weavers when the man tried to climb into the van and take her pet. He then panicked and tried to get into the back of a woman’s car as she reversed around a corner in the same road.
She screamed and got out of the car while it was still moving and he ran off.
A man matching the description was also found hiding in the boot of a car in nearby Birchwood Road at 6.20pm.
Scary! Luckily the miscreant was quickly apprehended by our brave boys in blue.

Whew! What a relief!
Police were called and later found the suspect, described as tall, slim and eastern European, who turned out to be a confused migrant.
A spokesman said: “The man was a legal migrant who could not speak English and officers used a translator and directed him to a homeless shelter.
No offences had been committed and it is believed he was trying to get to London.”
In a dog van, and the boot of a car?

Oh, Wow! This'll Help Immensely!

Teenage girls, who were friends of a 17-year-old boy stabbed to death in Brockley, are taking a stand against knife crime on the streets of London.
Excellent news! How are you going to achieve this lofty ambition?

Are you going to inform on those members of your 'community' who prey on others?

Are you perhaps going to reject the 'bad boys' and start having more self-respect?
Two hundred candles were lit - to represent each child or teenager killed as a result of knife crime or gang-related violence during the last 15 years in London - at a vigil outside City Hall on Friday night (November 27) organised by three Lewisham teenage girls.
Hmmm, I wonder if they know where to point the finger?
Zara Hakala, 30, of Ringstead Road, Catford, has been supporting and mentoring the girls with friend 26-year-old Kads Nedham.
Ms Hakala has an eight-year-old son, whose father Nathan Williams died in a shooting in Ludwick Mews, New Cross in July 2009.
She said: “It’s about status. They [the young people] want to protect their egos so much that it isn’t a fist fight anymore. They think, ‘I have got to make sure I have a knife to protect me.’”
The mum-of-one believes youths need more support, opportunities and things to keep them occupied within their communities.
She added: “They need something to do with themselves instead of sitting around on the streets or in fast food restaurants.
“These young men and women are smart. They have potential but community centres are cut and anything that they do have is being taken away.
“The more you show love and kindness, the stronger the community is.”
Yes. It's all society's fault. We won't ask why other 'communities' don't have anything like the same problem.

Thursday 10 December 2015

I Know ‘Every Dog Must Have His Day’, But…

…this is bloody ridiculous!
Six American bulldogs who were placed on "death row" after savaging a pensioner and his dog are a step closer to being destroyed after their breeder failed in a legal bid to save them.
Yes, it’s the ongoing saga of the Potts’ and their pack of hellhounds.
He was jailed for three months and banned for life from keeping dogs at Durham Crown Court in August.
Judge Christopher Prince also ordered that the six dogs be put down. Potts, previously of Coronation Crescent, Low Pittington, County Durham, subsequently appealed against his lifetime ban and the dogs’ destruction.
However the Court of Appeal has now rejected his case – leaving the bulldogs facing death.
And this time, the taxpayer is not going to be picking up the tab for the appeal:
Potts, who turned to keeping dogs for comfort after his son killed himself some years ago, now has 14 days to decide whether to further challenge the decision.
He would have to do so at his own cost, and the court was previously told he was of "limited means".
Which is just as well, really, given the eye-watering sums these brutes have already soaked up:
The cost to the taxpayer of keeping all 14 of Potts’ bulldogs in kennels, after they were impounded by the police, had reached £38,000 by August, the court heard.
Where’d they put them up, a Hilton suite?!?

Oh, Those Wacky Lib Dems…

Every hospital accident and emergency department in London should have a
Tip-top up to the minute medical scanner on 24 hour availability?

Super-efficient surgical teams on 24 hour rotation?

Nurses that don’t sigh & reluctantly put down their copy of ‘Heat’ magazine when you ask if your elderly mother could have her bedsheets changed?

No. Of course not:
dedicated youth worker to help break the cycle of teenage knife crime, the Liberal Democrats said today.
Just what hospitals need, another non-medical person getting underfoot…

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Gaming 2014: "World Of Warcraft;WoD expansion" (ASUS Gaming PC)

And so to the last choice, and the only game that I keep coming back to, because it's constantly changing and evolving and improving - Blizzard's 'World Of Warcraft'

And - having taken a break at 'Cataclysm' (the third expansion) because I got into other games, and because my PC was creaking a bit by then - I was tempted to resume and see how my just-purchased new gaming PC would handle it, so jumped back in in Nov 2014.

And boy oh boy, whoever tells you you can't go back is wrong, so wrong!

I'd missed an entire expansion - the gorgeously-designed Chinese themed 'Mists of Pandaria' - and played through that on my two lvl 80s before biting the bullet and upgrading to the latest expansion, taking advantage of the level boost option to jump my 72 ShadowPriest straight to 90 to see what all this peculiar 'garrison' stuff was about.

Well, it gives you staff. NPCs who play WoW for you while you're away. How cool is that? And you don't have to write their annual review! :)

And now I'm hooked again!

Warcraft doesn't just have a few videos on YouTube, it has its own channel. It's spawned an entire subculture, it has more options for gamers than any other game. Tired of levelling and fighting and raiding? Try professions - Harrison Jones will take some time out from flirting with students in the Stormwind Keep library to teach you archaeology!

Or set out to conquer achievements - there are millions!

Or just explore, or help newbies. The World of Warcraft is your oyster.

Sometimes it's a greedy master. Blizzard clearly don't want you logging off to go play Farmville, or Pokemon, or SimCity...

It's a game that rewards and enthralls and occupies in equal measures. What will 2016 hold for it? Who knows. But it'll be a wild ride, and I'll be there!

It’s Actually Unseasonably Mild For This Time Of Year…

…as is evident by the shoestring-strap vest you’ve put on for your photo, which rather gives the lie to the coat you’ve swaddled your poor kid in:
Linda-Marie Irvine, 22, lives in a council home in Lincoln Road, Basildon, with her asthmatic daughter Megan-Louise, three.
She claims four electricians have visited her home in recent months (Ed: Is this the start of a mucky film..?), leaving exposed wiring and fittings still hanging from the walls.
Miss Irvine said: “They keep fobbing me off, but it’s unsafe for a three-year-old with asthma to live here.
“One of the electricians actually said he wasn’t willing to work in the house because it was unsafe, yet the council is willing to let me keep living here. My daughter has a weak immune system and asthma, but it’s freezing in here. She has to sleep with about four duvets in her bed every night.”
Really? I mean, come on! Even the ‘think of the chiiiiillllldreeeeen!’ mob aren’t going to fall for that one.
A council spokesman said work to repair the heating problems was due to be carried out next week. He added: “Miss Irvine contacted the council in November to report there were no storage heaters in the property.
“An appointment was booked for an electrician to attend and survey the property for installation of heaters.
“They identified the work required but also found additional wiring work was required.
“This is due to be carried out next week and the contractor has provided temporary heaters to use in the meantime.”
Nice try, love, but your bid for compo and/or a house move didn’t make the grade. Better luck next time.

Maybe It’s Time The Police Charged You With Wasting Their Time?

A growing number of racist and sexist social media posts by pupils are being reported to police by East Lancashire schools, it has been revealed.
Who’s stupid enough to be wasting police time in this fash… Oh. Of course.
It comes as Norden High School in Rishton said it had called the police four times over separate incidents in recent weeks.
Stand well back! Virtue Signaller coming through!
Norden headteacher Tim Mitchell has branded the behaviour by his students as ‘naïve’ in a letter to parents.
He said: “Clearly within school we block social media sites on school computers as a matter of course, however, current technology dictates that most students have a mobile phone that provides internet access.
“I would like to make it clear that any student found to be responsible for sending or forwarding any inappropriate messages or images will be sanctioned in line with the school’s behaviour policy.
“Similarly mobile phones will be confiscated, material erased and phones will only be released to a parent or carer.
“Where a criminal offence may have occurred details will be passed directly to the police.”
OK, several things spring to mind here.

Firstly, what if they post things at break time? Or on the way to school?

Secondly, what the hell gives you or your staff the right to erase data on a pupil’s property?

And last, so you’ve discovered four criminal offences in the last few weeks? Really?
Police said they had investigated the posts reported to them by Norden High School and that they did not ‘warrant any formal action’.
Ah. Like I figured.

Nor do these odious type believe that they should be given godlike powers over mere children:
Parents of children at a Pendle primary school were also warned this month not to use social media to criticise the school.
In a newsletter to parents Barnoldswick CE Primary School said that legal options will be considered in some cases if comments against the school, headteacher or teaching staff are posted online.
A spokesman said: “Social media websites are being used increasingly to fuel campaigns and complaints against schools, headteachers, school staff and in some cases other parents/pupils.
“Barnoldswick CE Primary School considers the use of social media websites being used in this way as unacceptable.
“In the event that any pupil or parent/carer of the children being educated in Barnoldswick CE Primary School is found to be posting libellous or defamatory comments about school on Facebook or other social network sites, they will be reported to the appropriate ‘report abuse’ section of the network site.”
Want to bet these reports will similarly go nowhere, as they will be judged as not breaching those standards?

What this boils down to is that – despite whinges to the contrary – teachers have far too much time on their hands, and they don’t like criticism that they can’t control.

Well, suck it up! The future’s here. And it’s staying.

Tuesday 8 December 2015

"Gosh, What A Surprise!", Said No One, Ever...

The number of children who disappear soon after arriving in the UK as asylum seekers has doubled over the past year...
I know, I know. Who could have anticipated this, eh?

Still, fear not, citizen! Your elected representative is on the case!
The Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron will present a bill in the Commons this week calling for...
An immediate ban on accepting child 'refugees'?

More detention centres to hold the ones we already have?
...better support for such children.
*sighs* shows that Vietnamese, Albanian and Afghan children are disappearing in high numbers – a worry for charities that believe these are the nationalities particularly at risk from criminal gangs.
'They' are at risk from criminal gangs?

Funny. I thought we, the taxpayers, were the ones at risk.

The Mean Streets Of Sydenham….

Mr Holland refuted the idea that Mr Murray's killing was a planned attack. He said: "If there's any sort of plan why is this at noon in one of the busiest places in south east London?
"Because we suggest to you that the key to this series of events may be for you decide that nobody was planning anything that day and this is an event that blew up on the streets as it happened between young men who survive, until this event, on the streets of Sydenham. "
You’d think Sydenham was a favela in Brazil, or something…

Monday 7 December 2015

Because We've Realised It Won't Fit Into The Old One...

Islamaphobia was described as “the new racism” at a packed conference designed to combat the issue in Bradford last night.
Apart from the tricky little problem of it being a religion, not a race, I suppose?

 Strangely enough, it's not our old pals 'Tell MAMA' driving this:
More than 100 people gathered at the Karmand Community Centre, in Barkerend, to hear a range of speakers at the Islamophobia Causes and Cures event, organised by Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND).
It’s CEO, Sufyan Ismail, said the rise in Islamophobia could be attributed to three factors – biased representation in the media, a lack of legislation for crimes based on religious as opposed to racial hatred, and a lack of participation by Muslims themselves.
 He sounds like just the same sort of wretched taqiyya merchant, mind you:
Mr Ismail said that nationally, there had been a 300 per cent increase in Islamophobic attacks since the Paris terrorist attacks earlier this month.
Yes, yes. Clearly, you're the real victims, eh?
Dale Barton, priest-in-charge at two churches in the Barkerend area – St Clement’s and St Augustine’s – contacted the Telegraph & Argus last night to say that while representatives from the churches were invited to the event, they were not invited to speak, and so declined the offer so as not to be a “silent witness to a monologue.”
Wise choice.

It Ain’t Over Till The Fat Council-Appointed Lawyer Sings!

A decision on renaming the roads on the Five Links estate in Laindon will be referred back to a district judge after the High Court upheld a council legal challenge.
Residents, who fiercely oppose the plans, were dealt a further blow when the judge ruled they must pick up the entire cost of the legal process so far.
Yes, it’s this case again.

The council, after all, have a limitless pool of taxpayer cash, so of course they aren’t going to give up…
Basildon Council, which hired a £7,800 per day lawyer for the High Court hearing, has successfully argued the legal basis for the original April ruling, in favour of the residents, was incorrect.
The case will now be referred back to the same district judge at Basildon Magistrates’ Court, who will reconsider.
The same judge! Will he take this lying down?

Watch this space…

Saturday 5 December 2015

Grow Up, People! They Are Police Officers, Not Hurt Feelings Co-Ordinators!

Asked if she had a message for the ranting man, Ms Brookman said: “His views are unbelievably outdated and offensive in 2015.
“While people like him still exist and think women should not be commuting and working like men there’s still a long way to go.”
Woman has encounter with male chauvinist pig on Tube platform, gives as good as she gets, Tweets about it, the end.

But wait! Her feels! SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!
TfL’s director of enforcement Steve Burton called the man’s outburst “unacceptable”.
“All our customers have the right to travel without abuse from other passengers,” he said.
“This unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated.
“If you experience anything that makes you feel uncomfortable please report it to the police or a member of staff.”
Oh, good god! Finding out that there’s some unreconstructed dinosaur on the same platform as you, who thinks you should be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, is not a police matter!

I can’t say it’s even a matter for the underground staff – what are they going to do, revoke the guy’s Oyster card?

Meanwhile, in Southend:
In the last month, his team have dealt with harassment texts relating to the unhappy sale of a car, children shouting abuse at each other outside of school and numerous road rage incidents.
All of these incidents, which police are obliged to log in their system and carry out initial investigations, have resulted in no further action due to uncooperative victims.
He has urged people to think before phoning police.
Waste of time. No-one’s listening.

Perennial ‘Guardian’ Subtext: “It’s Teh Wimminz Are Hardest Hit, Innit?”

Lola Okolosie on the dilemma facing school teachers:
Sexting, or what teenagers apparently call “dodgy pix”, “nudes” or “nude selfies” – not that I’ve ever heard them do that – is becoming standard practice among this age group.
This announcement comes from the government’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) which is worried that most who do so are unaware that their actions could result in a criminal conviction.
A bit late for them to worry about this, since they are instrumental in lobbying for the sort of approach that leads to kids being banged up for playing vittual ‘doctor’…
The training given to teachers on sex and relationship education is either nonexistent or inadequate and we are left to muddle our own way through, should the topic present itself.
Aren’t you paid enough to think on your feet, then? Are you only capable of doing what you’re told, and not on building on – and thereby enhancing – your basic training?
How, for example, is the reality of sexting affecting young people’s emotional wellbeing and their educational attainment? And before the rolled eyes or exasperated sighs of “we can’t be surprised young people are obsessed with sex”, let us pause to consider how it might feel to know that five of your colleagues in the office have circulated a picture of your breasts or a dick pic.
That wouldn’t happen. Because there are no such pictures. Maybe that should be the first lesson you impart to your cherubs?
In the vacuum created by not providing personal social and health education (PSHE), this is increasingly the experience of our young people. And, as with most things in society, there is a heavy gender imbalance. According to the NSPCC, where sexting is concerned girls are “the most adversely affected” .
*sighs* Of course they are…
What the NSPCC finds is that, yes, sexting is an expression of burgeoning tween/teenage sexuality. But it is also, all too often, linked to harassment, bullying, control and violence. It objectifies and is largely coercive.
*sighs* Of course it is…
Teachers, parents and, crucially, young people themselves, need sex and relationship education to be made compulsory. This is the only way to ensure that schools give it proper curriculum time.
“We only do what we’re told…when we are employed to teach others to think for themselves.”
We know young people are interested in sex, so educating them on these issues shouldn’t be about finger-wagging moralising.
So telling kids ‘Look, take a snapshot of your private parts & send them to your babyfather/current shag and you can’t be surprised if they suddenly aren’t so private’ is ‘finger wagging moralising’ in the ‘Guardian’s playbook, is it?

Friday 4 December 2015

If I’m Footing The Bill, You’ll Live Where I Can Afford…

…not where you think you ought to live:
Residents on benefits are “shocked and appalled” by suggestions they could be advised to leave Brighton and Hove because it is no longer affordable for them.
Claimants said they would have to be dragged “kicking and screaming” from their city to make a new home in towns and cities with cheaper housing markets.
Fair enough. If that is what it takes.
Community campaigners warned that driving the city’s poorest families out of the city would radically alter and harm the city’s distinctive charm.
Giuseppina Salamone, from CASE Central which advises low-income residents and welfare claimants, said increasing numbers of private landlords were not even accepting benefit-claiming residents.
She said: “The problem is Brighton and Hove is a wonderful city because of its diversity.
“You have people living on nothing but who are very creative or who do things politically. “
Yes. There’s a word for these people. Spongers.
“But it will all be different if this continues. “
I hope so! I might take a day trip, if all the druggie scum and benefit monkeys move out!
Steve Parry, community campaigner and advocacy worker on welfare issues, said the advice for council officers to recommend the poorest families to leave the city should be “resisted as strongly as possible” .
He said: “It would destroy the distinctive cultural diversity, the metropolitan nature, the unique nature of the place.
“It would totally destroy the communities of working people who were born and bred here.
“I think it is driven ideologically, there’s no shortage of research that indicates the impact these cuts are having.”
Not taking the news that you might have to find a real job pretty soon very well, are you, Steve?

Pitiful Excuses Are Tendered Because They Work

Prosecuting, Dempster said Starmer told officers her motive in making up the story was financial.
She said: “A friend of hers asked her to concoct the story to see how much money they could make.
“She had not been threatened by this person, but she wanted this person to be her friend.
She did not realise it was a criminal offence to sign a false witness statement.”
Dempster added that the money from selling the story would have gone to the friend and Starmer felt “ashamed and embarrassed” of her actions.
Those specific actions being ‘getting caught’…?
Mitigating, Justine Robinson said: “She had no option but to take the action she did for money that was never going to go to her.”
Nope. She had every option not to. She could have cost someone their job.
The judge said: “She had several opportunities to bail out and abandon the enterprise, she had no need to put a false story on Facebook or ... to sell her false story or to make a false statement to police.
“If she was put under pressure, she could have abandoned the scheme several times, but she did not do so and only admitted her wrongdoing when confronted with the CCTV evidence.”
So she’s (rightly) hearing a cell door clang shut behind her now?
Sentencing her to eight months in prison, suspended for two years, the judge Simon Hammond told Leicester crown court she had avoided jail “by a whisker” .

Thursday 3 December 2015

We Better Burn All Copies Of ‘Old Yeller’ Too…

The death of a brown-and-white, mixed breed named Bruno on the northern fringe of New Hampshire’s White Mountains has sparked an angry response from animal rights activists
Oh..? Why? A cruelty case?
…. who want to ban owners from using a gun to “put down” old, sick or dangerous dogs.
“It was done in such a cruel manner. The dog was shot multiple times and left to die,” said Katie Treamer, one of the founders of Justice For Bruno, a group lobbying to make it a felony to shoot a pet to death in New Hampshire.
“In this day and age, it’s just not a responsible way to euthanize a pet.”
OK, so, this guy’s a bad shot or didn’t use a sufficiently powerful weapon. Why should that mean that no-one else is capable of doing it correctly?

Why on earth should that mean that a farmer out in the sticks should have to pick up his suffering animal and lug it all the way into the vet office in town when it’s mauled by a bear, or bitten by a snake, or run over by a car, rather than put it out of its misery there and then?
A humanely placed bullet is a generations-old method of dispatching pets in rural parts of the country where a veterinarian’s syringe can be expensive and hours away.
And even those angry at how Bruno died say outlawing the practice isn’t likely because it is so deeply ingrained in the nation’s agrarian traditions, where farmers and ranchers have long put down domestic animals with a gunshot.
Precisely! They are likely to take a dim view of some airhead bleeding heart trying to impose onerous cost and complication on them.
Growing up on a western Massachusetts farm, John Gralenski, now 80, sometimes had to put down sick or injured pets. He never liked it but he adamantly opposes outlawing the practice.
“I think they should have that right,” said Gralenski, who lives in rural Shelburne, on the New Hampshire-Maine line.
“When I was a kid, we always had dogs and if it was my dog and the dog got sick, there wasn’t any money for a vet.”
Once he had to put a dog out of its misery after it got hit by a car and broke its hip.
“I was just a kid and it was my responsibility,” he said.
Sorry, gramps, but you clearly haven’t moved with the times! No-one takes responsibility any more.

That’s so old hat. Why, the very idea…!
Joanne Bourbeau, the Vermont-based northeastern regional director for the Humane Society of the United States, acknowledged that enforcement might be difficult but just having a law on the books could serve as a deterrent.
“We would have a way to follow up,” she said. “With the veterinary forensics we have now, it’s very easy to prove that a crime was committed.”
So it’s about what’s easy to do, not what’s right to do?

Always, always, it’s the low-hanging fruit, isn’t it?

And always, always, collective punishment for one person’s transgression.

And always, always the desire to force everyone else to stop doing something they wouldn’t personally do. Even if that ‘something’ doesn’t affect them in the slightest.

It’s ego run mad, and it’s why I’m very reluctant to describe myself as an ‘animal lover’ these days, in case someone thinks that means I’m unhinged, like this woman.