Monday 29 February 2016

Post Title Of The Month

Longrider reacts to the news that there's sugar in fancy coffee from Starbuck's...

Quote Of The Month

David Thompson notes another thing that we never knew oppressed women (according to feminist theory):
"The mechanism here is, unsurprisingly, somewhat unclear. Possibly because enthusiasts of truck stop bacon butties rarely give much weight to the ponderings of “feminist theorists.” Even theorists who imagine that a liking for bacon or steak, or even the humble cheese sandwich, reinforces “the same system… which positions women as lesser than men.” However, Ms Edell is more temperate in her views, because,
'Animals and women are exploited quite differently in the patriarchy.'
At which point, readers may wish to imagine a world in which feminist theorists are ascendant, patriarchy has been smashed and rendered unto dust, and womenfolk, being wise and inherently benign, shun the exploitation of animals altogether, living instead on a diet of compassion and self-righteousness."

Post Of The Month

Mark Wadsworth greets the news of the Cameron Declaration in inimitable style...

Put The Owners Down Too…

When explaining to Jackson that she will be disqualified from keeping dogs, Luc Diorio, chair of the bench, said: “We do not think you are a fit person to have a dog at this point in time.”
Or ever will be:
Magistrates also heard that Jackson relied on her pets to help with her mental health as she suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Meanwhile, Mr Glazebrook said that Keepe, of no fixed abode, suffers from anxiety and depression. Both appeared in court yesterday charged with being the owner or in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury.
Jackson was ordered to pay £200 and Keepe £100 in compensation to Mrs Tuck. Keepe was also fined an additional £200.
£300 (should she ever see the money, which is doubtful) won’t even buy one pedigree Chihuahua puppy for the old lady, let alone two.

The law is an ass, and once again, two wastes of skin are pictured laughing outside court because they know that, no matter what, it’s the taxpayer that foots the bill.

Saturday 27 February 2016

If Government Has Time To Be ‘Concerned’ About This, It’s Too Big…

More than one in nine children in England have not set foot in a park, forest, beach or any other natural environment for at least 12 months, according to a two-year study funded by the government.
Children from low-income families and black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) households are markedly less likely than white children and those from higher income households to frequently visit urban or rural wild places, according to the survey conducted by Natural England.
Oh. I guess I know where this is going.
“There’s a lack of role models,” said broadcaster and ‘urban birder’ David Lindo. “In the last 10 years I’ve seen a slight increase in black birdwatchers but still nowhere near as much as there should be. “
I didn’t even realise there was an optimum number, much less that society should be striving for it. Is there one for every other hobby and pastime..?

I mean, can I expect to see demands for more ethnic minority trainspotters and windsurfers soon?
Natalie Johnson of the Wild Network, a non-for-profit organisation, said: “The problems are fear, space, tech and time, and they vary massively across the country. In the countryside, the biggest barrier is busy country roads. Inner city kids have genuine gang problems. “In middle class suburbia, it’s the parents – how do you tell parents that the time children play freely outside is as important as their French lesson, their ballet lesson and their Mandarin lesson?”
Well, maybe it is, and maybe it isn’t. Maybe those other things are actually important to their future life in a way that’s not true of walking around a country park.

I’m sure if there was a government-sponsored not-for-profit organisation promoting Camembert appreciation, tutu-wearing or noodles, they’d be demanding that these classes were a lot more important…
Findlay Wilde, a 13-year-old wildlife blogger, said too many parents stopped taking children into the natural world when they entered secondary school, which also failed to make the environment a core subject. “Once children hit high school they become more independent and might think being interested in the natural world is uncool,” he said. “If they can, parents need to keep their connection with their children and continue to take them outdoors.” Wilde also called for conservation groups to combine with secondary schools and send thousands of volunteers into the schools to help support teachers and pupils in exploring and enjoying natural environments.
He’s 13 years old, and we should listen to him because..?
A US study last year revealed that environmental groups do a worse job than business and sports in promoting minorities and women. British conservationists said they were acutely aware of the lack of non-white people among their organisations and members. “It’s recognised, it’s not hidden under the carpet anymore,” said Welch. Lindo said he did not blame conservation charities for the lack of black and ethnic minority visits to natural environments but said there was a need for more minority role models on wildlife TV. When he led school trips, Lindo said he saw black and ethnic minority children suddenly respond to wildlife: “Once they see someone else of their ethnicity they think, ‘oh, it’s okay now’” .
I would venture to suggest that if you have a ‘community’ that won’t attempt something until they’ve seen others like them doing it, you have a much, much bigger problem than whether they occasionally tiptoe through the tulips or gambol in the meadows….

Funny How No-One Approves

The ‘Guardian’ bangs on about gentrification yet again:
Although gentrification only became a mainstream topic of discussion relatively recently, the process of places changing due to an influx of wealthier residents has of course been happening for a very long time. We wanted to hear from people in cities around the world who have watched gentrification change their local area over the long term.
Do they find anyone at all who says how marvellous it is that crime is low and the area looks nicer and you can walk around after dark now?

Reader, they do not…
Ouseburn will be just another soulless riverside development of boxy apartments for semi-professional people; and the overlapping Byker district will inevitably suffer a serious knock-on effect. Byker was a showcase for affordable, well-designed social housing. It will become another casualty in the shameless rush for profits. This resembles a bad sci-fi movie … local people invaded by aliens. (Anonymous)
Gosh, if a working class white chap said this about an influx of immigrants, the ‘Guardian’ would pitch a shitfit.

But it’s clearly OK to push out local people if you have certain attributes…
Infrastructure has not been improved on much and public transport has always been abysmal so the tech companies send fleets of buses to the public bus stops to fill in for the dearth of options. Worse, the companies give their employees free meals, and the local governments get no sales tax money for any free services Google, Facebook and many other companies provide. As the corporations continue to ‘improve’ their holdings, the rest of the non tech workers must make do with eroding public services. (Anonymous, Silicon Valleyresident for 31 years)
Up the workers! Unless they are tech workers, in which case, boooooo! Never mind the use that Guardian readers and writers alike make of that tech, of course…
My parents are Nigerian immigrants that moved to London in the late 1970s. As our family grew (they had five children), we moved around south eastLondon quite a bit: Deptford, Catford, Sydenham. We eventually settled in Brockley, buying a very cheap but large council owned town house. At the time, Brockley was very run down, and regularly featured on Crimewatch. In the mid-late noughties things started to change; the Afro-Caribbean shops started to disappear and were replaced by fancy delis and Gastro pubs. My parents still live in Brockley but they downsized in 2007, selling our family home for more than four times the price that they bought it for in 1992. That is negative gentrification. I guess people feel the area is safer than it was when we first moved there. But it does come at a price to people like me who currently cannot afford to buy property there. (Anonymous, Brockley resident for 15 years)
The chutzpah is so strong with this one, I don’t think I can do it justice!
. Dalston was a no-go area when I was young as it was pretty dangerous, as was Stratford but now it’s a place you want to avoid because it is so gentrified and so full of wealthy kids from elsewhere thinking they are in an authentic East London scene, when really it’s a sad place where many locals get turfed out as they can’t afford £500,000 flats and don’t understand what these new hipsters or yuppies are …. from what I’ve seen, the gentrification of Newham has meant the loss of a wonderful, funny and vivacious working class community. (George, Newham resident since 1971)
But it’s safer. I’d happily forgo the ‘vivaciousness’ if it meant I wasn’t mugged! Wouldn’t anyone?
Just fifteen years ago, the nearby NDG park was so full of drug dealers that children would never dare to venture in to play on the rusty old swing set. Then the residents organised, demanded more police presence, and lobbied the municipal government to renovate the playground. They succeeded and now the park is teeming with families while the drug dealers stay on the far south corner, and only after dark. The park did much to make the neighbourhood more attractive to the up and coming professionals who couldn’t afford the high house prices in Westmount, but nevertheless wanted to be near their private schools. So young people moved in, renovated, had children, and created the demand for the fancy shops and cafés. (Barbara Bedont, Monkland Village resident for 15 years)
And this is a good thing!

There are no ‘bad buildings’, or 'bad areas', just bad people. Remove the latter, and everything’s rosy.

Friday 26 February 2016

Ah, That New Definition Of ‘Vulnerable’ Again…

Brighton and Hove City Council has launched a consultation to introduce public space protection orders for 12 parks, cemeteries and areas of Brighton and Hove.
The new powers will allow council and police officers to order the removal of vans and tents from public spaces within 12 hours on threat of fixed penalty notices or court summons.
Excellent news! Who could disagree? Ah. Of course.
Traveller groups have described the new powers as “inhumane” while human rights campaigners Liberty warned the orders have been used to criminalise the most vulnerable.
No, I think ‘the most vulnerable’ are the people who have to put up with the illegal encroachment of those determined to cause everyone’s life a misery.

I’ll Take The Non-Diverse Night-Time Economy, Thanks…

…you can keep the ‘risk’:
Nightlife in Croydon is suffering from a lack of variety caused by heavy-handed policing, according to frustrated venue owners and residents.
You mean it’s impossible to find a venue where the floor isn’t a little bit sticky with blood?
About thirty people attended a public meeting in the town centre last night to discuss the dire state of Croydon’s night-time economy, a debate prompted by the recent closure of the long-standing Tiger Tiger nightclub.
On the surface it might have appeared an unlikely forum to find solutions to the issue; more people were sipping lattes than beer or wine, and a reporter covering the meeting was one of the few present aged under 25.
The lack of ethnic diversity of those gathered was also acknowledged by some participants.
Oh noes! Hipsters!
But the ideas and frustrations that emerged from discussions suggested an acute awareness of the problems that face the after-hours landscape of Croydon.
The major theme to emerge was a dissatisfaction with policing; specifically, a perceived bias against venues putting on events playing certain types of music, including hip-hop, grime, and reggae.
The requirement for 'risk assessment' 696 forms made it harder to stage such events, venue owners claimed, and a heavy police presence when they did go ahead unsettled customers and dissuaded them from coming back.
Ah, I see. We’re back to that old chestnut, are we?

Look, of course the police are going to turn up mob handed when these sorts of events are staged. They don’t need to form a cordon outside productions of ‘Der Fliedermaus’, or the local choral recital’s free Christmas Carol concert in the church hall, because trouble rarely breaks out there. But outside these sort of events, it often does.

You can call it ‘racial profiling’ if you want to, but I prefer the term ‘risk assessment’.
Labour councillor Mark Watson, while defending the work of police in the borough, recognised that there might a need for change.
He said: “There might be a risk, but you might need that to create a diverse night-time economy.
"We're concerned that a line of police officers can be off-putting to people, but their view is they want to be on-hand."
Thanks awfully, Mark, but I’ll take a bland homogenised safe event over a diverse and vibrant one any time.

Thursday 25 February 2016

No Sympathy!

Rhys suffered an adjustment disorder, anxiety and depressed mood swings which lasted for more than a year and was bullied at school about the incident.
Aww, dry your eyes, princess! You tried a foot race with a quadruped and lost. Happens a lot, if you’re an idiot.
His lawyer Dianne Collins, of Nelsons Solicitors, said: "No admission of liability was received nor was an apology - which was all that Mrs Bennett really wanted at the beginning of the claim."
Yeah, sure. She’ll be sending that £10,000 to a charity, then, will she?
Superintendent Martyn Ball of Leicestershire Police's professional standards department, said: "A dog handler will always instruct a suspect to stand still and not run away. In some cases this instruction is ignored, and as the dogs are trained to pursue and restrain individuals, they will be detained by the dog, and this may result in a dog bite."
He didn’t add ‘…and serves you right for trying to have it away on your toes with your little gang of fellow vandals when the police finally turn up.’.

But I would have done!

Well, He’s Just An Animal, Then….

A boy with ADHD broke into a school and caused £1,815 of damage because…
*fetches popcorn*
he felt “compelled” to do so, a court has heard.
Really? Does he have no self-control?
For the defence in Wednesday case, Mr Stuart-Mills said the boy’s ADHD restricted his ability to act freely.
Ah. Like an animal, who will obey it’s instinct and defecate where it likes, eat what it can get to and attack if it feels threatened.

So, why is he left to roam the streets, when an animal must be tethered or secured or under someone’s control?
Chief magistrate David Hartshorn extended the boy’s referral order from six to nine months and waived the victim surcharge. “You have got to help yourself,” he said.
Fat chance of that! The use of the word ‘extended’ is significant. It seems he was already subject to a referral order.

Much good it did.

Tuesday 23 February 2016

Yet Another One Of Those Isolated Incidents That We Shouldn’t Worry About…

Det Ch Insp Howard Millington of the Greater Manchester Police Major Incident Team said: “First and foremost I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of the victim for their tragic loss.
“We have launched a full investigation to find those responsible for this poor man’s death and I would like to appeal for anyone who may have information to please come forward.
“I know an incident like this on a residential street can cause a lot of concern however I would like to stress that we believe this to be an isolated incident with no wider threat to the public.”
Unless you’re a member of the public who accidentally bumps into the sort of people who slaughter a man in the street in broad daylight with machetes.

Just Consider It A Blessing For Our Gene Pool..

Pedestrians will only stop attempting to cross the A127 if a bridge or underpass is built, a councillor believes.
A boy, 13, died on Monday night after he was struck by a car on the Southend-bound carriageway near the Mayflower retail park.
Barriers and signs urging people not to cross the dual carriageway near the retail park, which has been labelled a fatal accident site, were installed on the central reservation following a double death in 2003.
However, the signs have failed to deter pedestrians from risking their lives by dashing across the road to access the shops and restaurants.
I’m guessing they are people we can do without, frankly.
Nigel Le Gresley, Ukip county councillor for Wickford Crouch, will ask the authority if any further steps can be taken in light of Monday’s death.
He has also urged the public to understand the dangers of crossing the stretch of road, which has a 70mph speed limit.
Mr Le Gresley said: “There are signs all other the place, so what more can be realistically done?
“The only answer is to put high barriers the whole way along, so your only option is either to get a taxi or go around the long way.”
But the sort of people who think nothing of crossing a busy A road because they can’t be arsed to go the long way round think they have another answer:
The A127 is closed in both directions due to a protest relating to a death on the road on Monday night. The road has been blocked near the Nevendon junction, leaving traffic in both directions at a standstill.
One witness to the incident suggested on social media the incident was due to a protest by people calling for a footbridge to be built over the road.
A car which formed part of the blockade has been emblazoned with the words: "We want a footbridge how many more".
Frankly, as many as you’ve got! It can only increase the average IQ in the Basildon area.

Essex Police think their role in any such event is to pander to an identity group, or course:
Essex Police says it is "continuing to engage with the community" after a protest involving up to 30 people and six vehicles brought the A127 to a standstill for more than five hours.
"This was a very highly emotive and sensitive situation and public safety – for those involved in the protest and road users - must always remain our priority in such incidents, especially on such a busy road.
"We would like to thank drivers for their patience while we worked hard to resolve this incident and apologise for the delays caused to them.
"This was a very difficult situation and we are continuing to engage with the community today and work with our partners to address the issues concerned.”
Did the poor drivers have any real option, Essex Police?

Monday 22 February 2016

“Don’t Look Over There, Just Look Here!”

Joanna Bourke (author of Rape: A History from the 1860s to the Present) on how bringing back some common sense into rape complaints would be a disaster of Biblical proportions:
On 2 February, the CPS published a review of the Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit (Rasso). It is damning. They found that the Rasso is not even following its own victim guidelines in a third of cases. Young witnesses are being let down: they are even being interviewed without intermediaries. Of course, Rasso professionals are doing their best, but caseloads have grown dramatically in the past few years and, despite the distressful nature of the job, there are inadequate support mechanisms in place to help them cope with the pressure. The report concluded that the “level of care for victims and witnesses fell well short of what is expected”. Such public admissions of the failure to deal with sexual violence against children as well as adults comes at a time when Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe announced that detectives might no longer be required to automatically believe people who claim to have been sexually assaulted or raped.
Hmmm, so the adoption of the bonkers feminist viewpoint that ‘women and children don’t lie about rape’ has dramatically increased the number of cases referred to the police and CPS, and (despite them all being sainted public sector workers struggling to cope with the dreaded Toree Cutz) they are cutting corners to cope.

But we mustn’t stop and take a look and say ‘Wait, this isn’t working’ at any stage..?
It is worth reminding ourselves that, contrary to the notion that men are at risk of being falsely accused, it is significantly more common for actual rapists to get away with their actions.
Is it? How’s that measured, then? How are you accounting for numbers of guilty men ‘getting away with it’ to balance against cases like these?

Or are you doing the usual lazy feminist trick of assuming that acquittals and discontinued cases are all actually guilty?

It’s A Tough Game Of Victimhood Poker When All Players Have A Winning Hand…

Mary Nunn, 49, of Broomfield Avenue, Leigh, has a 23-year-old son, James Ireland, who suffers from spina bifida and finally had a disabled parking bay painted outside her home last Friday, after a year of going back and forth with Southend Council.
However, before the paint was even dry, a neighbour, who also has a blue badge parking permit, had parked in the spot and has yet to move his vehicle in five days.
Hmmmm. The problem being, of course, that he’s perfectly entitled to do so:
The bay is not specifically reserved for use by Mrs Nunn and her family but in retaliation she has parked her disabled access van across the end of her neighbour’s drive.
Oh. Retaliation. That’ll help.
She then told how she saw her neighbour attach two ropes to it and try to move the van, prompting her to go out and confront him.
She said: “He said if I parked across his drive again then he would knife me. My 13-year-old daughter was in the house, heard this and called the police and they arrested him.”
“The police said they’d seen lots of parking disputes but this was the worst. “When they asked him why he parked in the disabled bay they said he just responded ‘because I can’.
“The bay is not just for us, nurses need to park there when they come to see James, as well as spina bifida he has diabetes and epilepsy as well and needs lots of medication.
“I just don’t know why someone would park there, he’s got plenty of space on his own drive and it’s further away from his house. “
Then it sounds like he’s doing it deliberately to wind you up. And succeeding.

But surely the police can sort this out, even though both are from identity groups and so both ‘entitled’ to special treatment?
Police confirmed they were called to an incident outside Mrs Nunn’s home on Monday and that a man was arrested.
A spokeswoman for Essex Police said: “Police were contacted at 1.10pm on Monday, January 18 with reports of a disturbance outside an address in Broomfield Avenue, Leigh.
“Officers attended and arrested a 60-year-old man from Leigh on suspicion of making threats to kill. He was released from police custody and no further action will be taken in relation to the matter.”
Ah. It seems not.

The wisdom of Solomon would be required, and Essex Police usually lack the wisdom of Mr Bean.

Saturday 20 February 2016

It’s No Wonder The Kids Can’t Take Criticism Well…

…the teachers are lousy at it too:
Vermes (whose previous school was rated outstanding) wrote a furious letter to Ofsted’s chief inspector of schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw, telling him she and her team felt like “victims of a mugging” .
There was much she accepted in the report, but she said the “swingeing criticism” and “uninhibited negativity” were simply destructive.
Despite their best efforts her staff, many young and inexperienced, are feeling “almost criminalised”.
“Our terrible outcome has been broadcast all over Oxford – how has that helped our children?” Vermes says. “No wonder heads are hard to recruit or feel suicidal after inspections.”
Oh, boo hoo hoo! Dry those tears, love! I’m sure there must be all sorts of excuses you can proffer?

If not, I’m sure the ‘Guardian’ will help out:
Rose Hill’s “terrible outcome” is a tragedy for Vermes, her colleagues, their pupils and the wider school community. But the school’s plight tells a bigger story than individual failure, for its recent troubled history reflects the growing national crisis in teacher recruitment.
Rose Hill finds itself in a particularly tricky situation: it’s a challenging school with a intake of deprived children who have emotional needs that not all teachers are able or willing to work with, and it is situated in one of the most unaffordable cities in the country.
Are they deprived, or depraved? It’s the old ‘West Side Story’ question, isn’t it?
The school is less than five miles from the dreaming spires that characterise Oxford in the global imagination, but it might as well be on the other side of the planet. It is a run-down 50s building in desperate need of refurbishment – but the rebuilding programme was halted in 2010 by the coalition government. Now the fabric of the school is visibly crumbling: roofs leak and skylights are broken; the estimated cost of repairs is £1m.
I’m pretty sure any bush school in Africa or the Far East would give its eye teeth to have roofs that just leak and working lights, and yet they seem to instill discipline and learning.

Why can’t we do the same?

And why have we got an estate full of such hopeless cases so close to Oxford?
The community the school serves live on a low-rise estate that would once have housed workers at the Cowley car plant. Those jobs have gone and it is now the poorest catchment area in Oxfordshire, and one of the 10% most deprived areas in England according to the 2015 index of multiple deprivation. Almost half the pupils receive pupil premium – an indicator of disadvantage.
Thirty different languages are spoken, with families from Latvia, Ghana, Croatia, Somalia and Nigeria, among many others.
Ah. Now I think I can see why this school is failing.
Some teachers struggle when they have children who are not easy to engage, who are rude or hurt others because of the stresses in their home lives. They might go to teach somewhere that’s a bit less of an emotional challenge.”
Yes, excusing them from having to abide by the social mores of the UK ‘because deprivation, innit?’, is a recipe for success in later life, I’m sure.
“We’re having to use recruitment agencies to find staff,” says Vermes. One recent appointment cost £5,000 in agency fees.
“We interviewed an Irish teacher on Skype. She was great, she accepted the post – her husband had got a job at the university – and she came over.
But when she got to Oxford and looked at rents she couldn’t afford to live here. It’s such a huge percentage of people’s income. If you move out of Oxford it becomes a little less expensive, but the city is gridlocked in rush hour, so travelling in takes longer and then you have the cost of commuting.”
If the best you can recruit are people who can’t weigh up the cost of living before they take up a post, then the school is doomed to fail. The teachers aren’t going to be much brighter than their charges. Raze it to the ground and start again.

Or perhaps stop excusing failure, stop fretting about ‘feelings’ when your charges are inflicting real suffering on each other, start demanding improvement from both pupils and staff on pain of expulsion/firing, and you just might be able to turn the tide.

Wallowing in ‘life’s unfair, boo hoo!’ in the MSM ain’t gonna help…

”To be young, gifted and black, is where it’s at…”

Or maybe not. Now, it seems, the thing to be is young, neurotic and black:
Andrea, 25, had turned up at a police station confused and disoriented. She had one question, and kept repeating it: “Please can you help me look for a job?”
I was the “responsible adult” when she was sectioned later that day.
Well, I guess it made the desk sergeant’s day. Must be better to have them arrive at your station rather than have to go out looking for ‘em!
Having grown up with Andrea, I offered to go to the station. “I’m really tired,” she told me, when I saw her. “You’re not the only one,” I thought. I am on Prozac and antipsychotics; one of my closest friends takes a high dose of Venlafaxine. Two girls I grew up with have been sectioned, one on multiple occasions. A further five are on antidepressants and my sister regularly has panic attacks. Another old friend, I’ve heard, has schizophrenia. Aside from mental health problems, we all have one thing in common: we are all black women in our 20s and 30s, and we can all testify to being “tired”.
Good grief! Though how much of this is the change in expectations of there being ‘a pill to cure all ills’ available on demand is left unsaid, at least until the end of the article.

The author is – of course!- convinced that this is all down to disadvantage and racism.
Do black women face an increased risk in terms of their mental health? “The simple answer is “yes’”, says Marcel Vige, head of equality improvement at Mind. “The figures around black men are high, but they are also very high for black women too.”
I started a WhatsApp group called “HELP!” and added all the black women I know. I wanted to find out what was driving us insane. Situational circumstances can often trigger depression in people of any background, but are there cultural and social issues that can induce poor mental health in black women in particular? I wanted the group to help me understand what was going on.
And of course, her expectations were immediately reinforced. Clearly, no-one ever said ‘Don’t be ridiculous!’, or she’d have mentioned it.

Wouldn’t she?
I was immediately inundated with messages: “Why do I have to change who I am so that people don’t find me intimidating or aggressive?” wrote Michelle, a 27-year-old teacher.
“It’s tiring to have to always conform to get ahead.” “I can’t embrace who I am, fully,” typed Grace, a 24-year-old PA. “I need to make sure people are always comfortable with me.”
“I have to prove that I can do the same thing as a white person,” messaged Naomi, who is 31 and works as a marketing executive in the city. “Often what I say will be ignored, then someone who is not black will say it and all of a sudden it makes sense!”
Provide a forum for people to whinge and moan and complain that something is everyone else’s fault, and you get whingers and moaners. Fancy!
Each of these women are educated to degree level or more. Each have confessed to “playing a part” in order to get a job and be accepted while there. As a result, they feel they deliberately diminish what they perceive to be their “black self” in order to progress.
Hmmm, are they really ‘educated to degree level’, as we historically understand the term? Or are they simply the recipients of worthless degrees, like this other shining example?

And isn’t it surprising that none have thought to take a job in Ghana or Zimbabwe, where they will presumably find no barriers whatsoever to being ‘their black self’..?
One of the girls in the “HELP!” group told a story of how she’d had a heated argument with a colleague; both of them had raised their voices but because she was gesticulating, her colleague told her to “stop being aggressive.” She explains how, “I had forgotten who and where I was. I was deeply disappointed that I got tagged with one of the most popular terms associated with black women and I have not argued a point since.”
In this culture, gesticulating is indeed considered aggressive. Why, then, are these women – who have presumably all grown up in England, in a culture saturated by the norms of the mainstream – seemingly unable to refrain from it? Why is it even an issue? Should it not, by now, have been ‘bred out’?

It seems, however, that these women are out of step with their own families, too:
I asked my mum what she thought when I first told her I had been diagnosed with depression. She said the family were all united in their sympathy for me, but wondered what I had to complain about. “I didn’t understand,” she said. “To us, you were brought up with more than your parents and other children left in Ghana. To us you have everything – what do you have to be sad about?
Heh! Good for mum, there.
From the messages I received on WhatsApp, guilt was a common theme. “There is a consciousness that follows you around,” said Grace. “If you feel blue or sad, you have to remind yourself that a family member somewhere else might be going hungry.” From experience, if you don’t remember, your family will be sure to remind you.
If these neurotic women listened to their families more, and to their equally neurotic friends less, I think we’d find this so-called ‘epidemic’ of so-called mental illness would reduce considerably… 

H/T: @MentalHealthCop via Twitter

Friday 19 February 2016

So Is This Just About Ensuring A Non-Level Playing Field?

What more to say about this new policy that Longrider hasn’t already covered, and so eloquently, too?

Well, there’s just this one little squawk that caught my eye:
Amnesty International’s UK economic relations programme director Peter Frankental condemned the move, warning it could encourage human rights violations. The Conservatives have been accused of turning a blind eye to Israeli human rights abuses in the past.
“All public bodies should assess the social and environment impacts of any company with whom they choose to enter into business relationships,” he said. “Where’s the incentive for companies to ensure there are no human rights violations such as slavery in their supply chains, when public bodies cannot hold them to account by refusing to award them contracts?
“Not only would it be a bad reflection on public bodies to contract with rogue companies, but it would also be bad for responsible businesses that are at risk of being undercut by those that have poor practices.”
You mean, those companies that have embraced the SJW outlook then find that they aren’t competitive as a result? Well, tough luck!

Thank God We’re Concentrating On The Important Issues…

…and not wasting time trying to cure cancer, or something:
Women are being marginalised by news websites which prefer to use pictures of them while quoting men as sources or experts, a study of more than two million online articles has found Men’s views and voices tend to dominate the text of most news articles published online, while women appear proportionally more in images, according to the research conducted by the Universities of Bristol and Cardiff.
The researchers said their findings confirmed the results of smaller-scale studies which had come to similar conclusions. One previous analysis of hundreds of televised news stories found that female reporters were more likely to present human interest and health related stories, while males were more often used as experts.
*yawns again*
Dr Cynthia Carter, a social scientist and senior lecturer at the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, is one of the authors of the new study. She said: “Our large-scale, data-driven analysis offers important empirical evidence of macroscopic patterns in news content, supporting feminist researchers’ longstanding claim that the marginalisation of women’s voices in the news media undervalues their potential contributions to society, and in the processes, diminishes democracy.”
Haven’t you got some dishes to wash, or something, love?

Thursday 18 February 2016

When ‘Reasonable Adjustment’ Isn’t…

A woman with dyslexia who worked at Starbucks says she nearly tried to kill herself (Ed: meaning what, she thought about getting the top off the aspirin bottle, but didn’t?) because the coffee giant treated her so badly because it did not understand her condition.
Her difficulty with reading, writing and telling the time- which she says she had always made clear to her employer - led to her supervisor duties being reduced, leaving her with suicidal feelings.
There are some jobs where this wouldn’t be an issue, but clearly, her’s isn’t one of those:
Ms Kumulchew worked at a branch in Clapham, south-west London, where her job involved recording temperatures of water and fridges at certain times of the day and writing them on a duty roster.
She said she needed to be shown how to do tasks visually, as she was a visual learner and stressed the most important thing that could be done was to “apply what Starbucks say - ‘do show and tell’ - which works brilliantly for me as I can do it physically”.
She added that the company should have “brought in the Dyslexia Association” and that having someone check what she had done would have helped her.
Yes, that makes sense. What company wouldn’t want to have two people employed doing the same job? *rolls eyes*
The tribunal found Starbucks did not make any reasonable adjustments to help her do her job and instead discriminated against her and victimised her.
Starbucks said: “We are in on-going discussions with this employee… and we are not able to comment on a case that has not yet been completed", reported the BBC.
In other words, her lawyer’s trying to screw them for the maximum compo…
The CEO of the British Dyslexia Association, Dr Kate Saunders, said: “Many dyslexics are struggling in the work place with very high levels of anxiety, because employers do not have the training or the awareness to make adjustments for them.”
All things being equal, why on earth would you hire someone who can’t perform the duties they are paid to perform without handholding?

I Love It When A Plan Doesn't Come Together...

Defence lawyer Henna Baig said it was possible her client was “not himself” during the November 20 attack last year.
“He states he can’t remember what happened on the day and he wasn’t feeling himself,” she said.
“He says it wasn’t his knife and he was holding it for a friend.”
The court also heard that the boy’s remorse for what he’d done had led him to self-harm and that he had considered suicide.
The boy appeared in court with his mother, who said he was struggling with the ill health of his father when he carried out the assault.
She said she partly blamed herself for the attack as her son wiped tears from his face.
“He’s always been a thoughtful child,” she said. “I took my eye off the ball and didn’t realise his state of mind – this is a different child completely.”
Bravo! Amazing performance! *throws bouquets onto stage floor*
Police were called by a witness who said he heard the victim screaming “leave me alone, you’re hurting me” and “stop stabbing me”.
The boy carried on the assault in front of police as the other attackers ran away.
Ah. Reality intrudes. Even the usually complacent magistrates might struggle here...
Magistrate Myrna Gilbert said she had no choice but to detain the youth.
“This was a heinous attack, it was a sustained attack,” she said.
“It was unprovoked and on an unknown young 14-year-old victim.
“It was a group assault and it involved humiliation.”
The boy was given a six-month detention and training order for the assault and a four-month detention and training order for possessing a knife to run concurrently. A £20 surcharge was imposed and the boy is seeing a psychiatrist.
I hope the chap has body armour.

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Well, Frances, It Says We’re Living In A Society Where People Demand ‘Free’ Stuff…

Frances Ryan has a new hobby horse. It seems remarkably like every other one in the stable to me:
Louise Cooke, a 46-year-old ex-teacher and community worker in Nottingham, has never been elected nor is her work funded by the taxpayer – but she is filling in the gaps left by the government.
For the past two years, volunteering out the back of her local church, Cooke has been running Sharewear – what, in austerity’s language, we could dub a “clothes bank” . This isn’t packets of pasta or boxes of veg but winter coats and children’s shoes. Cooke describes the people who come through the doors as in “crisis” : anyone from job seekers to Syrian refugees, from low-paid workers to people on benefits (“We have people coming in on disabled people’s behalf because they’re housebound,” she adds). Five years ago it would have been inconceivable to think food banks – and the poverty that leads families to them – would be a normalised part of towns and cities up and down this country.
Five years from now, will we say the same about clothes banks? “It’s like we’re living in the developing world – but it’s the UK,” Cooke says. “What sort of society are we living in?”
Easy answer, Louise. It’s the sort of society that has allowed, nay, even encouraged, a section of that society to believe that it’s someone else’s job to provide them with free stuff.
It says something about how entrenched deprivation now is in this country that a key reason Cooke started the scheme in March 2014 was that her son – then volunteering at one of the city’s latest food banks – told her, among the queues for food parcels, people were coming in and asking about packs of baby clothes.
It doesn’t say anything about ‘entrenched deprivation’, but it speaks volumes about the fecklessness of the benefits culture, and the fad for baby-farming to get yet more benefits.
When Sharewear started it was three rails of clothes run by four volunteers. Now, there’s a team of 20 overseeing a main room for clothes, a separate one for bedding and another for children’s clothes – crammed with shoes, and grey, black, white bits for school uniforms. New things are always needed. “We didn’t do towels but people kept coming in asking for them,” Cooke explains. “It enables them to wash. You can’t get much more intimate than that.”
Gosh, how surprising! Who could have predicted that if you start offering free stuff, the demand will go through the roof? And that demand will begin to expand for type, as well as quantity?

Apart from everyone, that is..
Everyone coming in is referred by an agency: local children’s centres, housing associations, women’s refuges (the number of referral agencies started at a dozen and is now about 70). Someone will talk to a family about truancy and realise the reason a child hasn’t gone to school is because they haven’t got a uniform – and then send them to Cooke.
Of course they do! It gets them off their books, it means they get to tick a box – what’s not to like?
Vouchers have needs scribbled on them in pen: “Smart clothes for a job interview” or “Warm coats for kids”.
Those aren’t needs. Those are wants
In the early days the vast majority of people who came to her for help had been sanctioned by the jobcentre (“People who’d missed a bus and had their benefits taken”). Increasingly now it’s working families struggling on low pay – often on zero-hour contracts. “Both parents are working and still they can’t afford shoes and coats for their children,” Cooke says. “We get people calling saying, ‘I can’t come on Friday because I’m at work. They need the clothes but haven’t got a chance to come for them because they’re working all the time. It’s unbelievable.”
If you can’t afford children despite both of you working, why have them? So that others can pay the cost of raising them?

Enough! No more. The bottomless well of taxpayer largesse is finally exhausted. As is my patience.

Strange Definition Of ‘Darned Good Dad’…

After the hearing, his mother Beverley Romain said: “He gives me so many hugs [in my mind] you can’t believe it."
Stepmother Alison Moore said: “He was an awesome son and a darned good dad. He is still here in all our hearts.”
Doesn’t seem the best way to describe someone whose corpse, when dragged from the seat of the Audi A4 he crashed “head on” into a bus at nearly double the speed limit, is found to contain both alcohol and cannabis.

We can only thank our lucky stars he’s now ‘there in their hearts’, and not on the roads…

Tuesday 16 February 2016

“Something Must Be Done! I Have No Idea What, But Something..!”

Darren Pidgeon, now 29, needed multiple skin grafts after he was the victim of an unprovoked attack in Kingsmere, Thundersley, two years ago.
New figures from Essex Police show a rise in the number of acid attacks in Southend since 2012.
In 2014 and 2015 there were in total seven incidents in the borough involving acid, ammonia, bleach or a chemical. This compares to zero incidents in 2012 and 2013.
Lovely! The effects of ‘enrichment’, or the increase in publicity about this method, or both?
The father-of two said: “It’s not good. They need to make it so there’s less access to acid.“
‘They’ do, do they? How?
“They need to clamp down on it. It is important to stop access to it and somehow stop selling it, but I don’t know how they can do that.“
Well, me neither, since anyone who has a car has access to some, as does any proud housewife with a spotless loo. It’s impossible.
“I’m shocked by it. I hear all the time now about it happening, it’s a common thing and seems to happen quite a lot.
“I never knew a lot about these attacks before it happened to me. I never knew about acid before or had heard of Katie Piper or met anyone else who had been attacked.”
Well, clearly, your attackers had!

Gosh, Really?

When passing the verdict, magistrates described his testimony as "not credible".
Yes, it's the conclusion to this incident.
He initially stated he was taking the dog outside to do its business, and dragged it through a crowd of people, inadvertently strangling it.
But while giving evidence he claimed it was actually a tug of war between him and Mr Horsford which accidentally killed the dog.
James, who admitted he had been drinking that day, said: “He grabbed the lead, I said let go of my dog. He said he wanted the dog.
“I just kept pulling my dog not looking back. When I turned back around I saw the dog on the floor.
“I could never harm my dog, it's what keeps me alive.
“I've got a 15-year-old daughter I can't see, I bought the dog to keep me company.”
I think your legal adviser must have been drinking - and heavily! - to let you advance this as your excuse...
Giving evidence, neighbour Harlon Horsford said he heard shouting, and told the court: “When I opened the front door I saw Everald.
“He had the dog with a rope wrapped round its throat, repeatedly hitting the dog in the face and throat with his left hand.”
He stated the rope was wrapped around a metal railing, one end strangling the dog and the other end being pulled by James' right hand, as he hit him with his left.
Mr Horsford continued: “The dog was secured to the railings.
“I confronted him, I said let go and he wouldn't.
He said he doesn't care about the police or RSPCA, he's named Shadow and no one can tell him nothing, it's his dog.
So I punched him in the face, he fell back on the floor and Boyzee dropped to the floor.”
Three cheers for Mr Horsford!

Monday 15 February 2016

Remember When University Degrees Weren’t Worthless?

Tobi Akingbade, 24, said she burst into tears at her desk when she saw the image, which mocked a photo she had tweeted after graduating from the University of Hertfordshire at the third attempt in September.
What highly specialised, technical subject was she attempting to get a degree in, then?
Miss Akingbade, who studied mass communication and lives in east London…
Well, it’s hard to see how one could fail that, isn’t?

And even harder to see how anyone could regard this as worth studying for in the first place.
In an open letter on, she wrote: “I sat behind my screen at work and burst into tears... For a few seconds I felt worthless, meaningless and not very human… “Using a photo of someone else in blackface doesn’t eradicate the fact that you used a photo with blackface to mimic me, a black woman. “Blackface is not cool during Halloween and it’s not cool in February. Did you not know that you veered into racism when you turned me into an object of ridicule using blackface?”
The writer, who works for a social enterprise called Dream Nation, said she had endured “five difficult years” at university before completing her degree due to problems in her personal life.
She works for a company that has this as its mission statement: ”We believe that every individual has unlimited potential, and when people reach, or even come close to achieving what they are capable of, they are able to change their families, communities and eventually the world. Our mission is to empower a generation to become Practical Dreamers; women and men who take steps to turn their dreams into their reality. We created Dream Nation as a social enterprise to give structure to the movement.”

And if you can figure out what any of that means, or what this company actually does, congratulations!
The man who shared the tweet has since taken it down and apologised, after facing a barrage of criticism from supporters of Miss Akingbade. She said she accepted his apology, writing: "As weak as your apology was, I accept it. "Why? Because I have a life to live and harbouring unforgivness does nothing for my own sanity. "There is no way I’m letting the actions of an ignorant Twitter warrior stay rent free in my head."
Except of course by plastering it all over social media. Which makes me wonder, now, if the whole thing wasn’t a publicity stunt for Dream Nation…

‘Art’ Is In The Eye Of The Beholder, Isn’t It?

Bike racks outside a tube station are now “public art” according to the council. People have claimed it was difficult to lock more than one of two bikes securely to the metal objects, which were constructed outside Turnpike Lane station.
Now, Haringey Council have said that they were always intended as an artwork, rather than being badly installed – but that people are welcome to lock their bicycles to them.
You really couldn’t make it up, could you?
In response to a constituent’s question, the council said: “The recycled bike racks have now been installed not to be used as cycle stands. The works have been implemented to the agreed design as a piece of public art.
“If cyclists wish to lock their cycles to them it is at their discretion.” The response was posted on twitter and has been derided by some members of the public.
Only some..?

Saturday 13 February 2016

Yeah, Yeah. Get Back To Me When They Pass A Law That Forces People To Eat It…

Michelle Madsen on the Meatball Culture War:
The meatballs in question are frikadeller - moreish slightly burned miniature patties made out of pork, a Danish staple. You’ll find them on your open sandwiches, served up with potatoes and red cabbage or heated up, incongruously, on any traditional cold table. You’ll be seeing a lot more of them if you live in the central Danish town of Randers where the local council has just voted to make it compulsory for public institutions to have pork on the menu.
That's all. Just have it there.

And while you might think this is control freakery to the nth degree (and I'd agree with you), you'd think they'd passed a law that made consuming it compulsory, from the angst pouring out of this idiot...
This is the latest chapter in a debate over cultural mores, identity and pigs, which kicked off over two years ago after a number of day care centres in the country stopped offering pork at lunchtimes so people wouldn’t have to queue in different lines at lunchtime. The ‘meatball war’ (frikadellekrigen) super-sized in the summer of 2013, when front pages across Denmark were dominated by arguments about whether public institutions should take pork off their menus to cater for Muslim children. The Danish anti-immigration party even agreed to abandon a mayoral campaign in the town of Hvidovre near Copenhagen in 2013, on the agreement that the current mayor promised to put more traditional food, including frikadeller, on public menus.
How does removing something from a menu 'cater to' people who weren't going to eat it anyway?
The Danish pork debate has become an emotive symbol of the Islamophobia and fear of a cultural invasion which is gripping Europe.
*rolls eyes*
In Denmark, it’s not just pork that’s being used in this cultural battle against what the country’s anti-immigrant politicians deem ‘invasive food and customs’. A new Danish bill will see asylum seekers who arrive with more than 10,000 kroner in cash (just over £1000) forced to to use the surplus to pay for their stay.
And what's wrong with that?

If these are genuine asylum seekers, fleeing for their lives, they'll be happy to contribute to a country that gives them safe haven. Won't they?
Though Denmark only accepted 20,000 asylum seekers in 2015, its government is working hard to deter more people coming in by scaring people away and making life as hard as possible for those already in the country, including alienating Muslims with this public pork drive.
How is offering a food source that the country is known for alienating people who don't eat it? I don't eat jellied eels or doner kebabs, but having shops selling them doesn't 'alienate me'. I just walk past!
My Danish grandmother used to smugly comment in the 1970’s that Denmark didn’t have any ‘race problems’. This is because pretty much everyone in Denmark was Danish then. The great challenge for Denmark, the UK and countries across Europe where cultures will continue to collide will be to look past the fear-mongering and find a common humanity with those people that are in need on their doorsteps. Invite them in, break bread with them, and eat.
Just...don't do it on New Year's Eve, OK?

Justice At Last!

It took a while, but finally they faced – and received – justice for their criminal incompetence:
A police constable and a community support officer who failed in their duty to protect a disabled refugee before he was murdered by a misguided vigilante have been sent to prison.
PC Kevin Duffy was sentenced to 10 months at Bristol crown court on Tuesday, while PCSO Andrew Passmore was jailed for four months.
The pair were convicted of misconduct in a public office after a jury decided they had made criminally serious errors over the case of Bijan Ebrahimi.
The police Twitter accounts that I follow were curiously silent on this case. You’d think the removal of ‘a few bad apples’ would be met with rejoicing from those accounts that constantly bemoan the state of modern policing, wouldn’t you?

The judge was rather too sympathetic to the guilty parties for my liking:
The judge said: “I cannot go behind the jury’s verdicts and it is with a heavy heart that in each of your cases I take the view that only a custodial sentence is appropriate.
“It doesn’t seem to me a proper consequence of your wrongdoing that the sentences need be long. You have already suffered greatly. You have already lost your careers and in each of your cases there is genuine justification for mercy.
“You must not bear the responsibilities for the wider failings in the police which were beyond your control.”
The loss of their careers are inevitable, so why this ‘more in sorrow than in anger’ attitude? And, nice as it would be to see Gargan in the dock for the force failings, it’s unlikely to happen.

So they are, quite rightly, only being asked to face the consequences of their own actions or in one case, lack of action (followed by lying about said actions).
Members of Duffy’s and Passmore’s families gasped and exclaimed “Jesus Christ” as the sentences were passed.
Yes, I thought they were quite lenient too…

It’s with a certain amount of glee that I read the excuses proffered by the defence:
Ian Stern QC, representing Duffy, told the court his client’s action had “no consequences” in Ebrahimi’s death.
He said: “You are dealing with someone who has given dedicated public service over many years. He has lost his good character, his employment and a significant financial sum for him and his family.
“He is a broken man and he will not work obviously in the areas in which he has hitherto worked and the public will be all the more poorer for that.”
No, I think the public will actually be much better served by a police force without him in it.
Michael Borrelli QC, for Passmore, said his client was the carer for his elderly mother and stepfather and suffered from low IQ and memory recall.
I… what? How on earth did he ever become a PCSO, then?
He said: “Whatever he has done by writing that statement that he signed he didn’t act either in a deliberate or reckless disregard to a vulnerable member of the community that he served.
“He is someone who has demonstrated that at his core he is a good man who has spent time serving others.”
Has he really just spent a few minutes, though, and he’s claiming a whole career …?

Friday 12 February 2016

To Paraphrase, It Seems You Can’t Handle The Truth…

The family of a father-of-two found dead in a river months after he disappeared vowed “not to stop until we have the truth” after his seven-day inquest concluded with an open verdict today.
Yeah, you and OJ...
At North London Coroners Court today Mr Walker concluded: “I will record an open conclusion in this inquest, I do not know the sequence of events that led to and caused Mr Ball’s death.”
Mr Ball’s mother, Ruth Lovell, shouted to the court that her son had been killed in The Fox.
On hearing Mr Walker’s conclusion, she said: “I’m not going to stop until I get the truth. I’m not going to end it there.”
She claimed people had lied and their lies had been believed.
Well, I suppose a vast conspiracy is slightly more comforting than the thought your loved one got high on booze & coke (and probably weed), crashed his car and then fell in a canal and drowned...
Mr Walker said CCTV evidence and witness testimony had shown Mr Ball was drunk and high on cocaine, but not at the levels required to kill him.
It could have been possible that Mr Ball had left the wrecked car, stumbled towards the river and fallen in.
More than possible. I'd put it at probable!
Mr Walker extended his sympathies to the family and praised their efforts to find out what really happened to Mr Ball.
He said: “I’m not immune to how difficult this process has been for you. You have come here each and every day and listened to evidence about someone obviously so dear to all members of the family.
“And I would like to offer my profound thanks. We are here in this position because of all the hard work members of the family have put in.
“Your relentless determination to get to the truth and to not allow yourselves to be diverted in anyway or by any person is a courageous position to adopt and one I admire.”
You get praised now for shouting in a coroner's court an d calling it a farce? Good grief!

It’s Their Culture, Part 587924

Three teenage yobs, two of them just 13 years old, caused mayhem on a commuter train on the East Lancashire Line. Blackburn magistrates heard the youths were aggressive and threatening to other passengers and refused to pay their fare. The train was eventually stopped at Rishton until British Transport Police arrived.
But because of the delay, the train,which should have travelled to Blackpool South, had to terminate at Preston causing difficulties for many passengers.
Bah, they are only fare-paying passengers. Who cares about them?
Scott Ainge, prosecuting, said the boys had been harassing other passengers and had approached two girls and asked them if they were lesbians. Other passengers were annoyed and the conductor was asked to intervene. He asked for their tickets and they said they didn’t have any.
“He asked them for the fare and they made it clear they weren’t going to pay,” said Mr Ainge.
“One of them called the conductor names and when they were asked to leave the train at Rishton they refused.”
Mr Ainge said another passenger became involved and there was a scuffle. The guard called the police and while the train was waiting at Rishton there was further trouble between the boys and male passengers who wanted them to get off. When police arrived they removed the boys from the train but they all gave false details.
*rolls eyes*
The teenagers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to unacceptable behaviour on the railway, travelling without paying the fare and obstructing a police officer acting in the execution of his duty. They were made subject to six-month referral orders and their parents ordered to pay £85 costs, £50 compensation to the train guard, £15 victim surcharge and £1.65 compensation to cover the fare.
Well, that was pretty lenient. Who were these yobs anyway?
Gareth Price, defending, said his clients, who were from the travelling community, all accepted there had been some misbehaviour on the train. He said none of them had been in any kind of trouble before.
Oh, stop! My sides! I just can't take any more!

Thursday 11 February 2016

There Must Be Some Sort Of Social Worker Kryptonite…

…that causes them to suddenly lose the draconian powers they are happy to wield against others:
Eight-year-old Dylan Seabridge, who was home-educated, was rushed to hospital after collapsing at his home in Eglwyswrw, Pembrokeshire, in December 2011. His parents, Julie Seabridge, 47, and her husband Glynn, 48, were charged with child neglect but the Crown Prosecution Service later dropped proceedings against them. Now it has emerged that concerns about his welfare had been raised more than a year before his death, and while education officials visited the Seabridges, they had no power to see Dylan.
And of course, they are now demanding 'something must be done!'. Not about abusive parents, or hopelessly incompetent officials, but about homeschooling.

I'm sure it's just a coincidence that this is a target the State has had in its sights for some time...
A draft serious case review report leaked to BBC Wales said Dylan was effectively “invisible” to the authorities and concluded that rules on home education needed to be strengthened as a matter of urgency.
Yes, of course they do. Did they perhaps have this draft waiting for just the right case to come along?
District crown prosecutor Iwan Jenkins said: “It is our view that Julie Seabridge is unfit to face criminal charges on health grounds.
“In relation to Glynn Seabridge, our conclusion is that it is not in the public interest to pursue a prosecution against him … these are related to concerns about his health and the likely effect of a prosecution on him, as well as the nature of the case and the likely penalty that a court would impose in the event of a conviction.”
So the real criminals go unpunished, while thousands of parents who homeschool their children find the State turning its beady eye on them.

You Have Got To Be Kidding Me..?!

The council believes taking control of the site will help secure Barking’s reputation as a cultural hub.
Barking's what?!?
A council spokesman said: “We are also developing our cultural offering and Barking is being increasingly recognised as the new hub for the creative arts in east London.”
*stunned disbelief*

Wednesday 10 February 2016

England Are Never Going To Win The World Cup…

…not at the rate all our ‘talented young footballers’ are being relegated by the Grim Reaper!
Talented young footballer Lewis Johnson, 18, hit a van at a busy junction near Clapton Common shortly before noon yesterday.
Scotland Yard said they launched a pursuit after the teenager failed to stop for officers investigating reports of a theft in Dalston 30 minutes earlier.
At least no innocent bystanders were mown down. My sympathies are with the van driver and the police, who’ll now face a grilling from the IPCC.

For those who regard this as heartless, because ‘he couldn’t be expected to know the dangers of police evasion on a moped, well…
His death sparked an outpouring of grief among friends and family, many of whom last night gathered at an event to mark what would have been the 20th birthday of Henry Hicks, 18.
Henry, from Islington, died when he crashed his moped into a parked car while being pursued by two unmarked police cars in December 2014.
I guess some people are just incapable of learning…
Other friends flooded social media with tributes the popular teenager, one wrote: “Feels weird to know I’ll never bump into him again on the late-night shop runs or catch him riding through the end on pedals.”
Two wheels weren’t his forte, obviously!
Another said: “So many people from my area dying from either stabbings or moped crashes, RIP Lighty.”
They seem to regard these hazards as unavoidable acts of nature, like lightning strikes or meteorites. In fact, they are simple consequences of their lifestyle.

Being A Bit Economical With The Actualité Here, Aren’t We?

A "devastated" relative has paid tribute to Tom Rossiter, after the man accused of deliberately running him over and dragging him 100 metres up the road in Swanley was cleared of both murder and manslaughter.
Following the verdict, Mr Rossiter's sister-in-law Gemma Lee paid tribute to a "loving father, husband, grandad and brother".
She said: "We as a family are devestated at the verdict.
"Tom was one of a kind - a friendly, loving father, husband, grandad and brother. "His death has left a massive hole in our lives.
"We can only be comforted by the thought of his honour Judge Carey handing him a high double figured sentence, if he does so.
"Thank you to all the witnesses, police and everyone who has supported us through this horrific time."
Oh, poor man! How did he meet this demise, again?
During a trial, Maidstone Crown Court heard that Mr Rossiter died from multiple, severe injuries after being hit by Erasmus Ahwoi's Kia Venga during a failed drug deal in Lynden Way in July last year.
Ah. Ok. Never mind. Nothing to see. File this one under ‘NHI’...

Tuesday 9 February 2016

The Conclusions Are Obvious…

…but then this is Polly Toynbee, so to her, they are anything but:
. This is possession and eviction day at Clerkenwell and Shoreditch county court. Everyone here is in danger of losing their home.
No, in danger of losing their rented or social housing. It’s not the same. But what is the same is the selection of sad cases Polly champions here, which pose more questions than they do answers…
Next comes a grandmother, who cares full time for her 10-year-old grandson and has fallen £3,948 into arrears. She works in Tower Hamlets council’s kitchen – but it’s zero hours with unpredictable income, so sometimes she hasn’t paid the rent.
Why isn’t the child’s mother caring for it (I won’t bother asking about the father)? Isn’t Tower Hamlets a Labour council? Why aren’t you complaining to them, Polly?
A mother has debts after her daughter moved out and she has to pay the bedroom tax: rent takes up 60% of her income.
Why doesn’t she move? Then she won’t be affected by the bedroom tax removal of the subsidy.
Last, a woman comes in walking crookedly and sits rocking violently, trying to explain her mental problems: she has a small son and has only just applied for housing benefit, but if it’s not backdated she’ll lose their home. Looking at her obvious illness, how could a jobcentre have refused her disability pay?
Why does no-one care that an ‘obviously’ mentally-ill woman has charge of a child? Why does Polly assume the jobcentre are all medically qualified to make that judgement?
Universal credit, slowly rolling out now, was supposed to make benefits rise and fall automatically with fluctuating incomes, but it has made tenants less secure: so far 89% of those on universal credit have fallen into arrears, their rent no longer paid direct to landlords.
Now why would the removal of the direct payment cause hardship, if these people were sensible and ensured that their rent was paid on time?
This assault on those too poor to buy simply defies belief. How are they supposed to live?
The answer’s simple; by taking responsibility for their own lives and choices, and not relying on the poor bloody taxpayer to subsidise them.

“No Stunt Work Please, We’re Snowflakes!”

Midland 7/7 hero Paul Dadge has condemned producers of a Hollywood blockbuster for blowing up a bus in London.
He said Sunday’s explosion – for a film starring Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan – was “very insensitive” .
Mr Dadge was famously pictured as he helped masked victim Davinia Turrell to safety during the atrocity which left 52 people dead.
Oh. Him. Got a taste for publicity now, have we? Nor are you the only one, as we’ll see…
Writing on Twitter, Mr Dadge said: “Would have been VERY easy to inform those involved in 7/7 this was going to happen.
“Other films have been made that have comparisons (that) could be drawn to 7/7, survivors have ALWAYS been informed ahead.
“Very insensitive.
“Also hope London Fire Brigade were being paid to provide fire cover for the film.
Well, yes. That’s usually what happens. Why would this be any different?

There are, of course, plenty of other sensitive souls eager for their 15 minutes:
The father of 7/7 victim Carrie Taylor also hit out over the decision to blow up a bus on Lambeth Bridge for the film The Foreigner, The Mirror reported .
John Taylor said: “You can totally understand why some people would be alarmed seeing this.
“Filming goes on in the city but this seems particularly insensitive. “Obviously the London attacks were ten years ago but if people didn’t know about it then of course they would be concerned.
“When planning this kind of event in the centre of London, with MI5 and MI6 are close by, you can understand that if people didn’t know about it, it certainly would give great concern to some.
“I know a lot of the families, of other victims and survivors, would be upset by this.
“Perhaps it wasn’t thought through as much as it should have been.”
And perhaps it was. So…were all the relevant authorities advised? Yes, it would seem they were:
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the force was made aware of the incident but refused to comment on whether members of the public were notified.
A spokesman for the Port of London Authority confirmed it was a stunt for a film but again could not confirm what safety processes had been put in place.
Transport for London tweeted a single message on Sunday morning confirming the bridge was closed for filming but again failed to inform Londoners and tourists there would be a huge explosion taking place.
No-one from the London Mayor’s office was available for comment.
Just what were the company supposed to do, take out full pages adverts?

If a film company can’t film a stunt in London, after following all the necessary procedures, then terrorists will have won, won’t they?

Monday 8 February 2016

This Is Why We Have A Problem With Illegal Immigration…

A footnote to the story of the Mozambique illegal immigrant who fell out of the wheel well of a jet:
A companion who stowed away with Mr Vale managed to survive the journey after being found in a “critical condition” in the plane’s undercarriage.
He is being “cared for in the community” , according the Metropolitan Police, who say they are still trying to establish his identity.
Why is he not held securely at Yarl’s Wood, awaiting deportation?

Curiouser And Curiouser...

Remember that South Park Gardens incident a few days ago?
Two 16 year-old boys charged with multiple counts of rape, sexual assault and carrying a knife in a park have had the cases against them dropped.
A single charge, maybe. Multiple?
One boy faced seven charges, including four counts of rape against 15-year-old girls, carrying a knife, sexual assault and causing actual bodily harm.
At the time he was kept in a youth detention centre.
The other teenager was charged with two counts of rape against a 14-year-old girl and a 15-year-old girl.
But a Crown Prosecution Service spokeswoman said after new evidence came to light, it decided there was not a realistic prospect of conviction on any of the charges.
The spokesperson said: “This case was charged under the Threshold Test of the Code for Crown Prosecutors.
"Following receipt of further evidence we reviewed the case under the Full Code Test and concluded that there was insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction on any of the charges.
"We have therefore discontinued the case against both defendants."
Is this also 'an isolated incident'? Should we be 'alarmed' now, Chief Inspector Mark Lawrence?

Saturday 6 February 2016

Generation ‘Waaaaaaahhhhhh!’

The ‘Guardian’ mounts its High Horse of Dudgeon on behalf of ‘generation rent’:
… tenants are hit with increasingly ridiculous demands for cash to secure properties in a highly competitive housing market. Now, in a development that not even the most imaginative scriptwriter could have foreseen, tenants in parts of London are being asked to pay £10 to have a friend to stay over, while others claim they are being charged to cook or to wash clothes in their own home. Even before they get to the point of moving in, the same tenants are being charged more than £100 just to see a list of properties.
If that sounds bizarre and disturbing, don’t worry! It is.

But it can easily be avoided by not being a lazy, ignorant modern student with an entitlement chip on their shoulder the size of a plank:
Traditional letting agents are not allowed to charge tenants for registering or seeing a list of properties if they charge the landlord too, but companies such as EasyLets UK, Spacelet and Flatland are “relocation” or “appointment-making agents”. Instead of receiving payment from the landlords whose homes they market, they charge would-be tenants upfront fees.
And why would anyone even half-way sensible use one of these companies?

Well, let’s ask one of those migrants we are deemed to need so much over here, them being so smart, and all:
University graduate Gloria Orphanidou, from Cyprus, has been trying to find a cheap room to rent in the capital since December. She paid West End “relocation agent” EasyLets £110 to find accommodation within her £500-a-month budget after seeing properties listed by the agents on Rightmove. She was told bills were included in the advertised rents but, when she approached the landlords on the list, one told her she would be charged a fee every time she cooked a meal or did her laundry.
“The other two were properties living with landlords, where I was not allowed to have any visitors unless I paid them £10 every time someone came to see me,” she said.
If at this point you’re crying with laughter, well, reader, you are not alone!

Anyone with an ounce of self-respect would have knuckled down and done the hard work of searching themselves, not paid a company to do it for them, and then complained when they were ripped off!
Orphanidou returned to EasyLets to complain that all the rooms she had been shown were unsuitable, but she was refused a refund of the £110 fee.
“I felt so stupid and angry at myself. I am broke enough as it is, with just enough money to pay rent for a cheap room, and I had wasted £110 on an agent who clearly doesn’t care and won’t help me find a house,” she said.
Feeling stupid and angry at yourself is the correct emotion to have. You are, after all, entirely to blame. I’m not sure why you think wailing to the ‘Guardian’ is going to help either your flat search or your future job prospects, though.

“No! Not Us! We’re Special!”

Sir Stephen Bubb (CEO of Acevo, the charity leaders’ network) is not happy:
Just as the Government faces criticism for proposing to limit Freedom of Information (FoI) requests to Whitehall departments and other state agencies, it now wants to extend the Act to charities – all 165,290 of them.
Most of these organisations are led by volunteers. They range from household names such as the British Legion and Barnado’s to the local bowls club. The justification for this move is that charities receive taxpayers’ money in some shape or form, either to provide services or to fix the church roof.
Then if they receive it, they should be accountable for it.

The answer, of course, would be to not receive it. You know, be a real charity.
Charity leaders welcome transparency and support the public’s right to know how their money is spent; and on the face of it, this proposal would appear to strengthen that right.
But I bet there’s a ‘Oh, but you’d be wrong!’ looming…
Yet dig a little deeper and it is evident that this measure would actually undermine FoI. It is, in truth, a rather crude tactic to divert attention from the central issue.
Oh, really?
The concern is that the review is in reality an attempt to dilute FoI and so spare the Government from scrutiny. And one is compelled to view the proposal to extend FoI to voluntary organisations in this context – as a strong-arming measure to defuse the criticism of the real dilution of openness that is threatened by this review.
Hmmm, seems like a less-than-cunning plan to me.
Only 6 per cent of all government expenditure with independent organisations makes its way to the charitable sector. Most of the rest goes to large companies and higher education institutions. Not only would this extension of FoI to the charity sector be minuscule, therefore, it would also be capricious. Charities are already regulated by the Charity Commission. Do they need more rules?
Well, given the huge increase in complaints about charities over the last few years, then yes.
Do we really want our charity leaders and our volunteers spending their time fielding all manner of FoI requests, let alone having to appoint the staff to do it?
Well, I suppose it beats having them spending their time in John Lewis
The Government needs to work with charities and commercial organisations to get this right.
Really? With you as their appointed spokesman, I suppose?
As charities we could discuss with the Charity Commission how best to make data available on the use of public funds. This would recognise the importance of the principles behind FoI while at the same time being sensitive to the extent to which the burden of red tape weighs heavily on voluntary bodies.
Yes, I can’t see anything wrong with consulting the fox on the eventual design of the future henhouse…