Wednesday 31 August 2016

Post Title Of The Month

Single Acts of Tyranny, at the 'Counting Cats..' blog, takes the honours this month, with this post on France's burkini ban:

Quote Of The Month

DumbJon back on top form, with this salient advice for the next time Hollywood gets it into its head that feminist vehicles are the way to go:
"And it gets even better:
Despite allegations of sexism, the film performed exceptionally well amongst women. As The Hollywood Reporter reveals: “The biggest surprise in terms of audience makeup was the strong turnout among females, who made up 46 percent of Friday’s audience, according to exit poling service CinemaScore. That’s unusual for a superhero film.”
Who knew? Young girls would rather identify with sexy and funny characters doing cool stuff, than with a herd of Bitchapotamus with permanent PMT."

Post Of The Month

Tim Newman and 'Chesterton's Fence', which you'll all think about next time you are at the supermarket check out, and realise you left your 'Bag for Life' in the car....

Words Fail Me...

Mr Saththiyanathan, 51, told a national newspaper: "It’s the council’s fault that they died there should have been lifeguards.”
“They could not swim and they were playing football on the beach."
I mean, where do you even start...?

Tuesday 30 August 2016

Equality Under The Law...

....wouldn't it be nice?

If Only....

Members of the local disabled community gathered outside the restaurant this weekend to demand an apology for the alleged incident.
Some have called for a boycott of the restaurant.
The Guide Dogs For The Blind Association has issued a statement of support to the two women and pledged to give “emotional and legal support” to them.
No, sorry, not the latest incident of disability discrimination. It's just Muslims whinging again.

But wouldn't it be nice to see groups discriminated against by Muslims decide to use the same tactics, instead of whinging to the newspapers?

Monday 29 August 2016

Sounds Familiar....

There is also a feeling among some members that the merger reflects a more centralised and corporate approach to the running of the London-based charity that has left it out of touch with the wishes of many of its ordinary members.
Hmmm, where have we seen that before? Let's see, RSPCA, NSPCC, etc.

But they reckoned without the sort of people who usually volunteer for this.
Hazel Kingswood, chair of the Aylsham, Norfolk women’s section branch, who has been a legion volunteer for 34 years, said the charity had alienated thousands of women though its mishandling of the proposed merger.
“We are all volunteers,” she said. “When [the charity] starts telling us what we have got to do, we will not stand for that kind of dictatorship.
“If I wasn’t so angry I would sit down and weep. I have got women in their 80s and 90s who feel completely demoralised by what has happened.”
She said the Aylsham branch would now set up as a separate group and fundraise for other local armed forces charities: “It is not looking good for the Royal British Legion: they have shot themselves in the foot.
Bravo, Mrs Kingswood!
The charity says the merger is essential if it is to comply with regulation and governance requirements, cut costs, and focus resources on beneficiaries.
Its proposals were strongly opposed by the legion’s women’s section annual conference in April, while a subsequent members’ conference ordered the legion’s board of trustees to review its plans.
But a legion spokesman said it would be pressing ahead with the plan to close down the women’s section despite all the protests.
I bet they haven't heard the last of this, somehow.

And now I've got yet another charity to add to the list of those not getting my money...

Low-Hanging Fruit...

A mum has pledged to take police to court after officers took away her seven-year-old autistic daughter's dog believing it be a banned breed.
Jenny Armer claims Lancashire Police have mistakenly taken little Maddison Armer's pet Darla because she measures up to a pitbull-type dog
The 29-year-old mum, from Lancaster, maintains Darla is a docile cross between a Shar-Pei and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
How did this come to their attention?
Local dog wardens reported the three-year-old family pet and police arrived at Maddison's mum Jenny Armer's home with a warrant to take her away.
Ah. This was really the only pitbull-alike in Leicestershire? You're sure?
Jenny, 29, is adamant Darla is not a banned breed and that she plays a vital role in looking after Maddison, who suffers from autism and ADHD.
...on Thursday, Maddison Armer was finally reunited with her best friend. And a family was made whole again.
Well, all's well that ends well.

And any comment from the 'authorities' on why they are targeting a single mother with an obvious non-pitbull rather than any of the hundreds of urban yoof with 'Staffies' slavering at the ends of chain leashes?
...the Lancashire Constabulary did not return requests for comment...
Didn't think so. But then, they have form for coming down like a ton of bricks on soft targets while ignoring politically-sensitive issues, don't they?

Saturday 27 August 2016

Turnips! Turnips For All!

That it's revolting, greasy and tasteless?

Well, no. Hipsters seem to like that, after all...
But what seemed a crisis in the long term now presents as a clean-eating emergency here and now with urgent warnings that in Mexico, the unprecedented international appetite for this unique fruit is indirectly fuelling illegal deforestation and environmental degradation. Those oblivious to such things in far-flung places will no doubt carry on regardless. But what are those who view the avocado as a basic food group supposed to do?
Beats me...
It’s a moot point whether the Mexicans who actually grow these on-trend fruits eventually harvest their fair share of the economic benefits. This lucrative trade is increasingly controlled by a drug cartel known as the Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar). So when you buy a Mexican avocado, a greedy share of revenue may well accrue to criminals.
Wow! I thought the Knights Templar had bigger ambitions than that..!
You might think, OK, I’ll buy avocados from some other less problematic source then. But would an avocado from Chile, Peru or the Dominican Republic automatically be more sustainable or equitably produced? The fact of the matter is that we know pitifully little about the environmental and working conditions of faceless people in faraway places who grow fruit for our tables, but I have seen enough of foreign fruit “farms” to suspect the worst.
Oh, dear. What to do?
The fact of the matter is that the further away from home our food comes, the less chance we have of interrogating its origins and its impact on its native environment and workforce.
There's nothing for it. Hipsters will have to start eating turnips.

Generation Snowflake Faces Adversity

Rather than spending the afternoon studying, students at University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS) enjoyed a break from their exams as they got close with guide dogs from the town’s Mobility Team and help raise money for the charity.
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association brought the puppies and adult dogs to Guildhall, UCS’s learning and research base.
The visit also helped raise funds for the charity and was part of the Stress Less campaign for students which has been running during the exam period.
Jeez. It's not like they are being asked to go over the top at the Somme, is it?
“Sitting exams can be a tough time so we’ve organised a series of activities to help to reduce stress levels including yoga sessions and things like having fresh fruit in the common room to keep healthy.
“The cuddle a puppy activity has proved extremely popular – there are lots of dog lovers here. It’s also given us a chance to raise some money for Guide Dogs and learn more about the charity.
“We’d like to say a big thank you to the Shrewsbury Mobility Team from the Association for bringing Farley, Leyland, Quilla and Krista to meet us today.”
They have a big wake-up call awaiting them when they start work. Their first induction day promises to be something to behold:

"So, here's the tea point, the stationery cupboard and..." 

"Wait, where the cuddle room?" 

"The...the what?!" 

"You know, with the puppies. For when we start feeling stressed?" 

"Yeeees. Right. OK, let me have a word with the HR Department..."

Friday 26 August 2016

This Could Prove Interesting....

A Northampton taxi company is now offering a service in which it can pick up customers and their four-legged friends - despite most of its drivers voting against the idea.
It will, of course, cost. But not much.
Bounds Taxis, which is based next to North Gate bus station, says it canvassed all of its 350 drivers over the idea of allowing dogs in their cars, and that 15 per cent (52) agreed.
As a result, the firm says it will now be carrying out the 'dog friendly service' at a charge of £3 per fare, although only the drivers which agreed will be offering to do so.
Now, if everyone in Northampton asks for this service - whether they have a dog or not - I think the other 85% of the staff might just get the message...

And Yet Somehow, You Managed To Afford Cigarettes...

Nick Woodhouse, defending said Khan “was hoping he would get his benefits soon” so he could get Tyson treated by vets.
Khan himself told the court: “I was really good to the dog, I looked after that dog. I had no benefits, how could I feed that dog?”
Maybe a question you should have asked yourself before obtaining one?
Chair of the magistrates Frances Linsley said it was “one of the more serious cases of neglect” she had seen. She jailed Khan for 18 weeks, ordered him to pay £500 costs and an £80 victim surcharge and disqualified him from keeping an animal for five years.
Myeah was jailed for 12 weeks and also ordered to pay £500 costs and a £80 victim surcharge. She was also disqualified from keeping an animal for five years.
Both shouted abuse at the court as they were taken away.
I hope they get one tin of dog food per day while they're inside...

Thursday 25 August 2016

I Think Kidderminster Can Do Without This Sort Of Public Service...

Mr Western said Robinson had pleaded guilty immediately the case came to trial. He appreciated the loss to the Westcott family but had been trying to build up his business in providing a public service for Kidderminster.
Customers spoke of his kindness to them.
Should they ever fall into the path of his taxi, they might not find him so public spirited.
Robinson, who was driving at a legal 40mph, stopped momentarily but then drove on. He went to a garage to see if his vehicle was damaged and had it washed.
"He could well have stopped to have seen what had happened," said Miss Rai.
His excuse for not seeing anything on the road was that he could have been turning off his meter.
Six seconds is a long time to be distracted enough to not see a body in the road..!
Simon Robinson, aged 43, of Steatite Way, Stourport, was also disqualified for 12 months, ordered to do 250 unpaid hours work and pay £530 costs.
After reading a sheaf of references, Judge Robert Juckes QC imposed eight months jail but suspended it for 12 months.

He Can't Be That Hard To Find...

A pet has been mauled to death and a pensioner left with a broken leg after a savage dog attack in a Derbyshire field.
Another of those 'very rare cases'...
Mr Reedman didn't realise his leg was broken at first. He said: "It was painful to walk on, but I managed to carry Millie to the car, and drive her to the vets, but when I got there it was so swollen that I had to be helped out of the car and into the vets.
"My daughter had to pick us up and take us to A&E. I don't know how I managed to walk on it like that - it must have been the adrenaline. I had to help, Anne was a state - she was traumatised and absolutely distraught - her little dog that she loved had been destroyed. She was very distressed."
Didn't the other owner assist? Well, of course not. They never do, do they?
"It happened so quickly - it was all over in less than a minute. The owner never said a word to us, he dragged his dog off Millie and walked off. A moment later, a fisherman came along the footpath saying he'd heard the noise, and decided to go after the owner for us. He was so friendly and helpful, but by the time he caught up with the owner he was getting into his car and rushing off."
I hope at least he got the registration number.
A Derbyshire Police spokesman said that no arrests had been made as yet. He said that officers had some possible leads but were still investigating. A number of people had come forward with information but witnesses were still being sought.
One to watch.

Wednesday 24 August 2016

Do They Really..?

...because me, I'd prefer to blame the idiots that drive them. But it seems I'm fighting a losing battle:


I Think You've Misunderstood Your Own Title...

The council's regeneration boss Cllr Phil Riley said: "The housing market is a commercial market and developers pick the sites that they want. It would be completely invalid for us to turn this application down because there are a number of brownfield sites in the area."
'Regeneration' is meant to be just that. Regenerating previously-disused areas, not parts of the green belt!
Cllr Slater said: "There are plenty of brownfield sites in Darwen that need filling. "There is no need to build here in this environment. There is deer there. I know that because I grew up there.
"The idea that the roundabout at the bottom will be able to take the increased amount of traffic is ludicrous.
"People will never get out of that junction. There are also other environmental concerns about flooding and the pits.
"It would cause all sorts of problems. We want to attract business people to this borough and attract executive housing but we are damaging the area as we do it."
Precisely. It makes no sense to have to put all the infrastructure in place, when you already have underlying infrastructure in those brownfield site.

Anyone who has ever played a city-building sim will tell you that.

Tuesday 23 August 2016

Why, Yes, Of Course The Internet Will Stop...

...if you just explain to them how the mockery is hurting your feelings:
"We are not amused by the memes, petitions and signs about Harambe," Thane Maynard, Cincinnati Zoo director, told the Associated Press.
"Our zoo family is still healing, and the constant mention of Harambe makes moving forward more difficult for us. We are honoring Harambe by redoubling our gorilla conservation efforts and encouraging others to join us."
Yeah, they definitely have a course where they practice this passive aggressive whining, and they clearly send their zoo staff on it.
Other voices on the internet have said that the jokes have now gone too far and should be brought to an end. WCPO-TV web editor James Leggate recently started his own petition, for instance, which asks that petitions about Harambe are stopped.
"At first, the petitioners had good intentions," he wrote. "But then the goofuses of the Internet hopped on the Harambe train for their jollies, and it has gotten out of control."
Hey, I'm sure they'll listen to you, James...

Perfectly Understandable...

A 49-year-old man has been spared jail after carrying two cut-throat razors, a knuckle duster and a metal-headed walking stick in public.
Good grief! Where?
Dagenham resident Leonard Lowe...
Ah. Well, it is the 'nam....

Monday 22 August 2016

'Mother Of The Year' Title Is A Shoo-in....

A distraught mother has spoken of her horror after her five-year-old son managed to escape and was found at the side of a busy Bolton road.
Every parent's nightmare!
The mother-of-three explained that her son, who was dressed in his pyjamas when she last saw him had said that he was going to bed around 4pm.
She said: "I was trying to settle my baby who is three months old and he said he was tired and so wanted to go to bed.
"He had put his television on in his room and put his teddies in his bed to make it look like he was in there so I had absolutely no idea that he wasn't there when I walked past."
Eh..? That sounds more like the sort of routine you'd expect in a prison wing, doesn't it?
As officers searched the Hall i' th’ Wood estate to try to reunite the pair, the mother was unaware of what was unfolding outside.
She explained: "I noticed that I had about 30 missed calls on my phone and it was my friend checking that my son was in the house because there were a lot of police on the estate and he has tried to escape before."
The story was reported by The Bolton News on Sunday and the mother was left distraught by comments from other readers.
Hmmm, I'll just bet! The truth hurts.
She said: "It's really hard bringing up three children on your own and I know that's not an excuse."
Correct. It isn't. So why bring it up?
"Bad things do happen but you never think that they will happen to you. I have been so upset reading what people have been saying about me being a bad mother. I was up all night crying."
The mother said that she will be changing the hiding place for her keys to make it harder for the little boy to escape in future.
I suppose keeping more of an eye on him in the future isn't going to be an option?
She added: "He might be five but he's got developmental and behavioural problems and he needs help.
"I'm hoping now that he can gets the help that he needs."
Has he got these? Or has he just got a useless, incompetent parent?
A spokesman for the police said that their family and social services department were looking in to the circumstances as to how the incident happened.
I think we all know how, don't we?

I Pretty Much Guarantee It...

Seth Collins, mitigating, told the same court on Friday: “He is ashamed and remorseful for stooping so low.”
He said Chambers failed to attend court once because his mother had died.
*rolls eyes*

An excuse so daft only a magistrate could believe it. And so they did!
Alwyn Hollins, chairman of the bench, spared Chambers jail but told him he was in the “last chance saloon”.
Not, I suspect, for the first time!
For all the offences, he ordered Chambers to complete five months of community service, in which he was required to abide by an electronically-monitored curfew. He must also pay £85 court costs, a £85 victim surcharge and £15 to each of the charities.
Tearful Chambers replied: “Thank you so much. You will never see me again.
Oh yes we will....

Saturday 20 August 2016

" just don't expect it to happen in your town."

I can't think why. All the hallmarks are pretty familiar.

For instance, type of 'pet':
American bulldogs are strong, stocky dogs, which have been kept as pets in the UK and around the world for centuries.
A male dog weighs about 45 kilograms when fully grown, and lives for between 10 and 15 years if healthy.
American bulldogs are not on the government's banned dogs list, which is made up of four breeds of dog which it is illegal to own or sell. They are often confused with pit bull terriers, which are on the banned list.
Conditions in which it was kept:
The dog is believed to have been kept in a wooden outhouse at the side of the property, which was yesterday being examined by forensic officers.
Neighbour Scott Nowell, 19, who called the police after realising what had happened, said: ‘They have only had the dog about a week because we heard it barking.’
And type of owner:
Jade Dunne, 29, who lives in the house is understood to have been arrested for allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control and remains in police custody.
She is believed to have four children, including one young son around the same age as Dexter, who was heard screaming by neighbours during the horrific attack.
The demand for collective punishment, because a chihuahua owned by a 70 year old lady or a collie owned by a working farmer is exactly the same as a four-legged status dog/weapon kept by a chav:
The Labour MP Barry Sheerman, who represents Huddersfield, called for a new system of dog licensing...
He said: “These two deaths in four days mean we have got to seriously look at the evidence of a proper licensing system for dogs. Other parts of the world do it so much better than us.”
“My son recently homed two kittens from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. There was a rigorous interview, a rigorous check on background and a home visit. Why can’t we have a dog licence system of that quality up and down the country?”
It could have been any one of the 356 posts I've written on this subject (minus - so far! - the police or local council indifference), couldn't it?

Why Do Newspapers Ask Questions They Can Already Answer?

The reason the borough is so deprived of plaques is because so much of it was destroyed by the twin traumas of the Industrial Revolution and the Blitz.
To qualify for a plaque, English Heritage requires that buildings associated with the great figure “survive in a form that the commemorated person would have recognised” – impossible in a place like Newham.
Well, that's that, then....
...if the scheme is still going nearer the end of this century, we can expect a trip to Newham to include a feast of blue plaques – Jermain Defoe, Lennox Lewis, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone and, of course, Danny Dyer.
You're 'aving a laugh, ain'tcha?
In the meantime, perhaps England’s first non-white under-18 footballer – West Ham’s John Charles, who was born in Canning Town’s Ordnance Road – could be the next figure given a plaque.
Of course! Can't keep identity politics out of anything, can we?

Friday 19 August 2016

That'll Probably Be 'Former Inspector'...

Suffolk police said the sentence was "disappointing".
Inspector David Giles, from the roads policing unit, said: "I don't think it is enough at all. I'm really disappointed frankly.
"It's not a real incentive to stick within the speed limit, in my opinion."
...he'll be busted down to PC for daring to criticise our glorious justice system!

H/T: CJ Nerd via email

I'm Shocked, Shocked..!

Opening the facts of the case against Lampe, RSPCA prosecutor Roger Price told the court she committed the offence at her sister's house in Church Stretton, Shropshire, after drinking seven cans of lager and shots of amaretto and whisky. hear that alcohol played a part in this!
Lampe was granted unconditional bail to return for sentence on August 18.
She'll get off with little or no punishment. Sadly, reptiles aren't seen as worthy of sympathy or protection from fat chavs the way puppies or kittens are....

Update: I penned this post a while ago, but I'm not astonished to find I pegged it correctly.

Thursday 18 August 2016

God Help The Three Children....

The attack started after Mr Fearne walked past the Baker home "tipsy", the judge was told.
He and Baker started shouting and swearing at each other with several members of the Baker family joining against Mr Fearne’s "returning fire".
Baker then went into his house and returned armed with scissors.
Believing it was a knife, Mr Fearne fled, only for Baker and his 19-year-old brother, Connor, to give chase into Lawrance Square...
Bet you're glad these wastes of oxygen aren't your neighbours..!
Baker claimed he grabbed the scissors after Mr Fearne threatened him with a broken bottle.
"He reacted while trying to protect his family while being threatened with a broken bottle," said Adrian Rohard, defending.
"Where he went wrong was he continued to chase Mr Fearne.
“If he hadn't chased after him he wouldn't be here today."
Well, ummm, yes, that's very true!
Baker was expelled from school at 14 and has previous convictions for assault, battery and possession of an offensive weapon.
And it has sired three children. God help us all.

Then Why Do The Police Even Bother To Turn Up?

A north London court was locked down by police this afternoon after two gangs of youths started brawling at the entrance.
One witness said dozens of officers were called in to deal with the chaos at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court at around 1.20pm when the youths started punching one another and hurling items of furniture.
Wow! The authorities won't stand for such obvious disrespect for the majesty of the law, will they? You're in trouble now, lads!
A spokesman for the Met Police described the incident as a “minor disturbance” and said no one was injured or arrested.

Wednesday 17 August 2016

Maybe We Need Those Zombie Killer Knives After All..?

Neighbour John Day said Alex had only just returned home.
She had been behaving herself,” he said. “She was a bit barky but what dogs aren’t?
“She was fine until she did this.”
Neighbour Kathryn Cuniffe, 29, said the owner wasn’t to blame and added: “The police had the dog for two months. He has just got it back. It wasn’t a vicious dog but what’s happened to it while it’s been away?”
Neighbours reported seeing a marksman with a rifle when Alex was seized. She was driven off in an unmarked van.
Pity he didn't use it.
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: “Police seized this animal on June 22 on suspicion it was a banned pit bull terrier breed.
“Following a screening it was determined the animal while a type of bull terrier, did not have enough pit bull characteristics to be held by authorities as a banned breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
“It was subsequently returned to its owner on August 10.”
Well, I think we can safely say it's proved its credentials now....
It is not known what will happen to the dog now.
Really? The poor bugger died. I think it's for the Big Sleep now, don't you?

Unless of course some idiot charity decides to spend donated money keeping it alive...

"But He Loves His Mum..."

Warren Fenty lost his cool after cross words with the other customer, who was later sectioned under the Mental Health Act, at lunchtime.
As the 19-year-old's mum was ushering him out of the Trowbridge HSBC he slipped past her and ran at the other man. During the shocking scuffle, caught on the branch's CCTV, he picked up an elderly man's walking stick and wielded it at the other man.
After leaving the Fore Street bank he was arrested coming back while armed with a lock knife, assaulting a policeman in the struggle.
What a lovely example of modern youth...
Cathy Thornton, defending, said he had gone to the bank with his mum to get a new debit card when an issue developed between him and the other man.
She said he was annoyed at the way the other man had spoken to his mum and wanted to let him know.
He got the knife and returned as he wanted to ensure his mum was safe, she said, and never got it out.
Hey, we've all been there, right?
Passing sentence Recorder Malcolm Gibney said: "Miss Thornton urges upon me that you are polite, respectful and remorseful.
"You were everything but on March 29 this year when in the Trowbridge branch of HSBC attacking another man: a man who it turns out has mental health problems, in circumstances where you may have been verbally provoked.
"It is clear from the CCTV footage you were the aggressor. Despite the best efforts of your mother to leave the bank you forced your way past her, went back, and challenged the other gentleman."
18 months! He won't serve it all, of course...

H/T: @MavisStott via Twitter

Tuesday 16 August 2016

I'm Sanguine About This, Actually..

...because so could the next Abdi Waise, the next Elias Hussain Mahmud, the next Muhiddin Mire, the next Abdalla Ali Hemed, the next Muhyadeen Osman, Bilal Ahmed and Mowled Yussuf too.

And I'm happy with the 'sacrifice' of a tawdry bauble in some sport. I think we gain more than we might potentially lose.

And If You Believe That...

“Thankfully incidents of this nature are rare, and the vast majority of dog owners are responsible.
“Where this is not the case, the police can – and will – take appropriate action, which may include a criminal prosecution of the owner and or the person in control of the dog at the time.”
....I've got a bridge to sell you!

Monday 15 August 2016

"Denn die Todten reiten Schnell*..."

A man who lives as a vampire has said he ‘just wants to be treated like everyone else’.
Really? Shit! *quickly hides stake*
Darkness said until recently he had very few problems from other people.
However this changed when he went for a drink with friends at a pub in Oswaldtwistle where he said he was openly abused because of the way he dressed.
They didn't fetch pitchforks and flaming torches, did they? I'm pretty sure H&S wouldn't like it.

And the brewery probably bans such capers too...
Darkness said he first became attracted to the vampire lifestyle as a teenager.
Well, I know I'm shocked..
Garlic doesn’t affect me...
Good. Glad we cleared that up.
...and I can quite happily walk around in the sunlight.”
In Oswaldtwistle? How often does the sun come out up there?
Sylvia Lancaster, Sophie’s mother, said: “The sad part is we hear these kind of stories all the time.
“It is far more common than people realise, and it is completely out of order.”
No, no, I really don't think that's the sad part, love...

*unless the B6234 is dug up again by British Gas, then traffic's monstrous...

H/T:Mrs Erdleigh via comments

Well, NPR, It Seems The Reason Is Obvious...'s because fouling their own nest is a hobby and a pastime.

Saturday 13 August 2016

Kill It With Fire!

The go-to choice for lazy, SJW-pandering film-making, it seems....

Imagine A High Heeled Stiletto Stamping On A Man's Face - Forever...

New Zealand could be the first country to rid sex crime cases of jurors if one key recommendation from a recently published report by its Law Commission is implemented. The commissioners have suggested that there is a case for having sexual violence trials decided by a judge, either alone or with two expert “lay assessors”.
That's it, Julie Bindel's finally lost it...
Why do away with one of the fundamentals of a decent justice system? Is the jury system not set up in order to better ensure fairness and justice, rather than relying on a crusty old Etonian in a wig?
Not in rape cases.
Julie, you see, thinks that while you, the great British public, are perfectly capable of deciding whether someone's guilty of murder or shoplifting, you're hopelessly incompetent when it comes to deciding whether a man is guilty of rape (hint: he always is, no matter what)...
If jurors were to receive the level of training and awareness-raising necessary to challenge the deep-rooted and highly persuasive myths about rape, the jury system would be more effective in dealing with sex crimes – but this would take more than a few words from the judge at the beginning of a trial, which is how it works at the moment.
Yes, highly trained and educated professionals will obviously do a better job protecting women than mere members of the public, won't they, Julie?
My only misgiving in wholly supporting doing away with jurors in rape cases is that it might give leverage to those who wish to abolish the jury system altogether as a way to save money.
But you're prepared to take that risk, Julie. After all, what's the worst that could happen?

Friday 12 August 2016

Something It Shares With Every Modern Invention, Surely?

In the past several years, as the nascent medium of virtual reality has come into its own, scientists and creators have begun to explore its potential effects on the human mind. Some are undoubtedly positive—as, for instance, when the technology is used to help war veterans overcome P.T.S.D., or as a means to expand a person’s capacity for compassion.
You just know there's a 'but' coming, don't you?
But the immediacy of V.R. has a dark side, too.
Every modern invention has. Even in the world of gaming. For every new way for the police to round up miscreants, there's someone wasting the time of a vital service.
Several months ago, Michael Madary and Thomas K. Metzinger, researchers from the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, in Germany, published a series of recommendations on the ethical design and implementation of virtual reality. Their appraisal of the medium’s psychological force is both studious and foreboding. “The power of V.R. to induce particular kinds of emotions could be used deliberately to cause suffering,” they write. “Conceivably, the suffering could be so extreme as to be considered torture.”
The world's intelligence community just perked up their ears and reached for the expense account codes!
They recommend “careful screening of subjects to minimize the risks of aggravating an existing psychological disorder or an undetected psychiatric vulnerability.” It’s as if moviegoers were asked to receive a clean bill of mental health before being allowed to watch “A Clockwork Orange.”
Hey, don't go giving the Nanny State ideas, please!

"The revelations will add to the already serious questions about South Yorkshire Police’s handling of the investigation..."

You're not kidding!
Amongst the documents to vanish from the police evidence room at Rotherham police station are a teenager’s diary which chronicled her years of sex abuse at the hands of grooming gangs, a victim’s original interview notes with officers and a 14-year-old’s DNA evidence.
 Jesus wept!
Lizzie, who was groomed by a gang of Asian men from the age of 15, also raised fears that a corrupt officer told her abuser she had contacted the police.
She said: "I can remember ringing the police when I got attacked by one of them and somehow he found out and then he was messaging me, threatening messages. Now how did he find out, because nobody knew I'd been to do the interview and the statement?”
You won't be too surprised to find this story isn't in this morning's 'Guardian', will you? They are still busy taking out an onion for Kadiza Sultana or fretting about minor contract disputes.

Bet your life they'd be all over South Yorkshire Police statements with a fine tooth comb if this was a complaint from Black Lives Matter, though... wrote to South Yorkshire Police presenting the allegations to them and setting out a series of questions for them to answer.
We asked the force whether it has launched an internal investigation into the disappearance of material from Rotherham police station, and whether it is considering bolstering security around the secure evidence room.
We also requested details of how many reports of evidence relating to child sexual exploitation going missing the force has received in the last six years.
The force declined to comment on the issue.
Did they lose their boilerplate 'nuffin' to do wiv us, guv' prepared statement too?

H/T: Battsby via Twitter

Thursday 11 August 2016

Let's Try This Another Way, Shall We?

The 'Guardian' interviews some good Europeans afraid they may slip:
“I will certainly be wary of people with rucksacks for some time to come,” Hanno said. “And I’m a bit scared, I’m ashamed to say, as to what my reaction might be if someone approaches me who does not look obviously German.
Kindergarten teacher Annette Meister, 47, from Berlin, said: “I’m scared for the kids in my kindergarten – as we’ve seen, these terrorists stop at nothing – and I’m scared for my 17-year-old daughter. When she went off to the Christopher Street Day gay pride festival in Berlin last weekend, I thought should I be letting her go I know it’s irrational but I can’t help myself.”
“Everyone knows that this is what the terrorists want; everyone knows life should go on as normal as possible, but when a priest is assassinated in his own church in a place nobody has heard of, it seems anything can happen,” a French mother-of-two who was at Paris Plage, the annual city beach event, said this week. Like others, she did not want to be named: “Silly, but scary times,” she added.
Would anyone castigate the victim of a pitbull attack for being wary of dogs? Would anyone sneer at a burn victim and insist that fire was nothing to fear?


'Training' Won't Fix This...

Abigail Holt, for Kioko, said her client had undergone training during 2015 and could offer several positive references and testimonials regarding her work.
So, did she misunderstand a procedure? Fail to follow a set of instructions?
Hearing chairman Robin Somerville said: “The panel has seen evidence that, over a number of shifts on separate days, you demonstrated a lack of concern, empathy and compassion towards Resident A.”
That's not something that you can train into people. They either have it, or they don't.

And do we really want nurses that don't have it?

Wednesday 10 August 2016

The Acceptable Face Of Racism...

The backlash has been brutal, unforgiving and, in common with the left’s reactions to so many things, almost hysterical in its hot-blooded fury. My crime? Starbucks shares? Casual racism? Advocating military action in North Korea? No, I have just bought a puppy, a pedigree puppy — and not just any pedigree, but an aristocratic-looking Cavalier King Charles spaniel — the apotheosis of canine privilege.
‘That dog looks very posh… what’s wrong with a mongrel?’ ‘I’m shocked and disgusted…’ ‘Why didn’t you get a rescue dog… disgraceful… you are encouraging selective breeding…’.
Dear god. These people are insane.
Colleagues and friends have accused me of abandoning my longstanding centre-left principles in favour of eugenics, arrivisme and trying to suck up to the ruling classes. In the fetid atmosphere of dog-whistle Pavlovian politics, I am now an Uncle Tom, a sell-out, a class traitor and a bourgeois apologist — simply not worthy of Commissar Corbyn and the modern, progressive Labour party.
Might I suggest you find new colleagues and friends? It should be quite easy, now you have a puppy!
Why else might the otherwise charming Melvyn Bragg, a Labour peer, completely ignore her on Hampstead Heath when we paused for a chat? And why, when sitting at an adjacent table to us in a local café, did my local Labour MP, former DPP Sir Keir Starmer, seem so snooty and sniffy? He, too, ignored her.
Wow! If Starmer & Bragg ignore you when you have a dog, everyone should get one!

Stand On This Cliff, Chum, I'll Give You The Push You Need..!

Bob Collins, 62, from Southend, decided to get fit after discovering his body mass index was “through the roof”.
Good man!
He started a fitness programme with Southend Council’s Get Healthy Hub. He was offered 12 weeks of subsidised sessions at Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre and 12 weeks of public health-funded weight management sessions.
Wait, hang on. I'm paying for this?
The retired builder said: “It was fantastic to be given this opportunity.
“Overeating is a vicious circle and I needed a push to change my lifestyle.
“I found the discussion groups at the weight-management sessions very useful and I have also benefited from the advice of a personal trainer.”
I'm paying for you to chat to people..? FFS!

Tuesday 9 August 2016

You Can't Buy Advertising This Good!

Pip’s Original Doughnuts & Chai claimed to be offering the “best job in Portland” when it published an advert looking for up to two “part time folks”.
But the Oregon outlet warned interested people they would not be suitable if they had any “non-medical, non-religious dietary restrictions”.
Seems reasonable. Who could possibly obj...

...some customers in Orgeon, recently voted America’s most vegan-friendly city by animal rights group PETA, slammed the advert and accused the shop of discrimination.
*baffled face*
Iva Helzer wrote on the store’s Facebook page: “Won't return now that I know you discriminate against vegetarians in your hiring practices!
“We are good enough to buy your products, in my case near daily, but not okay to work there.
I suggest a new slogan: 'Come to Pip's - Guaranteed Irritating Vegan-Free!'
He wrote on Facebook: “After receiving as much hate email as we have in the last two days I'm more steadfast and sure of our position than ever.
I'd rather have the freedom to run my business in a way that is both lawful and representative of my own hard-earned right of choice than capitulate to bullying, fear tactics and intimidation.
I wish I was in Oregon. I'd buy your stuff, and I don't even like ghastly American doughnuts (sugar-dusted ring doughnut only, no jam, never sprinkles).

I Guess Yesterday's Praise Went To Their Head...

...because Essex Police are back to 'normal':
Just a week later Ms Fisher claims she saw her attacker while shopping in Sainsbury’s, in London Road, Southend. She said: “When I saw him again, I couldn’t believe it. I was so scared. I kept my distance but called the police straight away.
“They didn’t come for an hour, which really made me angry, so of course they didn’t catch him.”
Ms Fisher added: “He is a dangerous man and still walking the streets.
“I am telling everyone about what happened to me so that they are aware of the dangers.
“I have lived in Southend my whole life but the level of crime is disgusting now.
“Elderly people are scared and frightened because they don’t feel safe. You never see police on the High Street or the seafront anymore.
“I am scared to get on buses now, in case something like this happens again and that’s not right.
Well, never mind, what's a random nut whacking old ladies over the head when you've got serious crime to pursue?
The thief then fled with a haul of clothing, cleaning products, electrical items and DVDs, before police arrived.
When officers searched the area, they found a 32-year-old man from Basildon in nearby Broadmayne.
No, no! Not the burglar, silly! The poor bastard who woke up to find the burglar in his house!
A 40-year-old man from Basildon, understood to be the homeowner who confronted and injured the burglar, was arrested shortly before 9am on Saturday on suspicion of assault.
He has been bailed pending further inquiries until Tuesday, October 18.

Monday 8 August 2016

A Post In Praise Of Essex Police!

The road connecting Junction 30 with the A13 in Thurrock, Essex, was closed for a number of hours while two horses were herded off the motorway.
One of the animals became loose again while police tried to find its owners and was then shot by firearms officers.
Excellent work! And hopefully, performed a lot more competently than your northern colleagues managed.

If the SOP was to turn up and shoot them every time, their owners might soon get the message. And it'd save you having to boast about the powers you've got, only to be outwitted and embarrassed when political correctness stops you from using them...

So Why Is c2c Rail Ltd Not In The Dock With Him..?

The panicking friends pleaded for station staff to let them in to pour water on their burns but workers turned them away.
Mr Dick said: 'They sought help from a gentleman from the staff of the station but he would not let them in to wash their faces.
'It was only later when the ambulance and police arrived were they able to get treatment.'
Those first few minutes were vital. What were the staff thinking? Why are they not being prosecuted for this?

The c2c Rail's webpage 'Vision and Values':

I think that's a 'Fail!', don't you, c2c Rail..?

Saturday 6 August 2016

Except No-One's 'Demonising' Buddhists, Or Mormons....

I wrote last week about the initial reporting of an attack on French tourists in the Alps. The alleged perpetrator was said to be Moroccan-born and to have acted because his alleged victims – a woman and her daughter – were wearing skimpy clothes. Those details alone were enough to lead some to conclude an Islamist motive, though the claim about offence having been caused by the women’s attire was quickly dismissed.
After I wrote about the case, further information emerged that suggested the man might have taken offence at a gesture made by the victim’s husband. And it was said that when questioned by police, the suspect shouted “Allahu Akbar” – though his defence lawyer told local media that his client had used the words simply because he felt oppressed during his interrogation.
Is there anything that Muslims don't feel 'oppressed' by..?
So will religion prove to be the underlying motivation in this case? Maybe. Maybe not.
That's why they pay you the big bucks at the 'Indy', is it, Will?
Over the weekend, one Twitter user took me task, however, for being on the side of “Islamopsychotics”, and for defending them “to the end with the mantra of whoever complains is Islamophobic”. Putting to one side the modest overreaction, I was struck by the use of the term “Islamopsychotics”, which seemed to combine several stereotypes in one.
Seems like pretty accurate shorthand to me...
This is dangerous because we run the risk of conflating religious devotion with mental illness (atheist jokes aside) and of simplifying and demonising both.
I'm not too bothered by 'religious devotion' when it manifests itself in arranging flowers for church or providing food for the community.

But when it manifests as blowing up children, well, 'demonising' seems a damned good place to start.

The Wrong Animals Were In Cages..

A senior staff member from the Regent's Park zoo sent a strongly worded email to head teacher Kerry Targett, listing four incidents involving pupils from the school and demanding that she speak to staff to get their "perspective" on the visit.
Unsupervised students were seen by staff spitting on birds within the Snowdon Aviary during their educational visit on July 13, with the zoo slamming their "completely unacceptable behaviour".
One pupil had to be treated in hospital for a spinal injury after he was pushed into a glass panel in a door by a schoolmate. Having struck his head, he was knocked unconscious for several minutes.
In two other incidents, at least two students were asked to leave educational classes and one session was cut short because of "behavioural issues".
Ahhhh, Croydon. What a place!
This is not the first time that concerns have been raised about the behaviour of pupils at the school.
In May, Mrs Targett, who is in her first full year at the Church of England school in Warrington Road, confirmed she had called the police on her pupils during their last day of school in order to force them to "go home and study".
It's really no surprise, is it?

Friday 5 August 2016

Here's Hoping It Pours With Rain Tomorrow...

A bit of a strange wish for a weekend, I know. But there's a reason:
Scotland Yard officers are on alert over possible gang clashes at public events in London next month.
Officers have reportedly been told that gangs plan to hijack a march on August 6 to commemorate the death of Mark Duggan, whose shooting by police five years ago sparked widespread civil unrest.
No, 'civil unrest' isn't the terminology I'd use, frankly!

What's In A Name? Part 45287

Controversial plans were announced last month to change the name of Guns Village School following an increase in gun crime in Birmingham and the Black Country.
Councillor Jackie Taylor, of Greets Green and Lyng ward, said she did not understand the ‘ludicrous’ proposal.
Oh, c'mon love! You're a councillor, after all. I'm sure it's not the first you've ever seen....

Thursday 4 August 2016

I Wish I Hadn't Experienced Anything Like It, Love....

Yasmeen Sabri, 24, was putting the finishing touches to her £6,000 work when Mikaela Haze, 70, walked into the Royal College of Art in South Kensington and ripped the veil from its metal frame. Haze also screamed: “Saudi Arabia go home,” before knocking the sculpture to the ground on June 29.
Masters student Miss Sabri had spent six months creating the work, called Walk A Mile In Her Veil, for an exhibition to “promote tolerance and understanding”.
Today she said: “I’ve never experienced anything like it.”
Oh, c'mon! You must be familiar with the Turner Prize, where idiots are conned into declaring some load of old pony as 'art', surely?
Miss Sabri, originally from Jordan, has lived in London for six years. She said she had witnessed an increase in racially motivated crime since the referendum vote: “It’s obviously connected to Brexit. People are taking it as an excuse to be rude to others.
“It’s crazy. It’s not right. It’s a way to divide people. We are all human and it doesn’t matter if we were born under a different nationality or religion.
“It suddenly really feels like I’m not from this country. Obviously I’m not from this country, but I felt like I belonged in London and now it feels like I should go home.”
Don't let the door hit you on the way out...

How About They Earn Them Instead?

Mr Elwin’s older brother Byron Douglas-Letts said: "Lewis was loved by so many people.
"This is what needs to happen as a community. 
"Youths need to be given something to do, give them something to be passionate about and a job they can be passionate about."
No-one gives you 'something to do', you go out and find it. Likewise, a job.

Think like this, and it's no wonder your 'community' is reverting to savagery.

Wednesday 3 August 2016

And Law-Abiding Taxpayers Are Disappointed With Your Performance...

Essex Police have said they are "disappointed" with criticism after they allowed an illegal horse trotting event to take place at the weekend.
...though let's face it, none of us are remotely surprised.
The force had initially planned to use powers granted under a dispersal order to prevent the event taking place at The Manorway, in Corringham.
But, due to the large amount of people who attended, police decided it would be a risk to public safety to enforce the order.
 Pathetic. And sending a damned dangerous message.
"An enforced banning of the event would have resulted in its being held elsewhere which would have increased the risk to public safety."
Doesn't seem that that's much of a concern when you happily apply bans to other events though....

This Tiny Violin Never Has Time To Get Dusty...

His family told the inquest how Tommy was not one to take risks and that deciding to go through the barrier was completely out of character.
Speaking after the hearing, his sister, Jade, 22, called for Network Rail to improve the barriers at the crossing.
She said: "We found it very surprising that they managed to just pull them apart and get through.
"We would like to see better barriers put in place to make sure this doesn't happen again."
So, it was the barriers that were at fault, then, and not Tommy?
Doctor David Wright told how toxicology tests showed 275ml of alcohol in his blood per 100ml which he said would have been consistent with "extreme drunkenness".
He also had traces of cannabis in line with recreational use of the drug.
*rummages in image library*

Tuesday 2 August 2016

When I See A Headline 'As A Muslim...'

...I have to admit, my heart sinks, and I immediately think 'What are they upset about now..?'
I personally wasn’t offended because I can believe it was a genuine mistake – perhaps a piece of stock imagery that got sent off in a rush. I believe in the benefit of the doubt and do genuinely wonder why, if someone was intending to cause offence, they would go to such lengths to keep it buried and then present it in such an obscure way.
Wondering if I was alone in my thoughts, I spoke to journalist Hussein Kesvani earlier about whether he was offended himself. “I don’t know if it’s intentionally Islamophobic or just some weird accident,” he told me.
“What I think is more interesting is that the Muslim individuals on social media talking about it are being attacked. Rather than people understanding why they’d be angry, they’re just being dismissed and demeaned and even accused of supporting Isis.”
Of course they are being 'dismissed and demeaned'. Remember 'Life Of Brian'? Remember 'Piss Christ'?

That's what we do in this country when idiots start squawking about their beliefs being ridiculed. Or at least, it's what we used to do. Comparatively recently, we stopped. A certain religion - only one, mind you! - was never to be mocked.

It's nice to see a return.

Why Is This Case Even Being Heard By Magistrates?

The guilty man, Mahmood Keshavarzi, is aged 37 and a former security guard. He was convicted of the offences for which he is to be sentenced last Monday and was warned that he could be jailed.
Keshavarzi claimed he had not been the thief and did not know how Zeus had ended up below his kitchen window.
The dog suffered severe trauma and was pronounced dead after being taken to a PDSA branch in Oldbury.
I've been waiting to see the conclusion to this strange story.

Like the dog's owner, I'm astounded that it hasn't been charged as a much more serious offence, and the lack of any stated motive (plus the killer's job as a security guard) made me wonder if there was history between the two men.

Well....I'm left wondering:
Kamar Uddin, who speaks for Keshavarzi, is now on his feet, He tells the court was dependent on drugs and had never done anything like it before.
Mr Uddin says Keshavarzi acted on “emotion” but the offences were “not premeditated” and he took the dog on impulse.
So, is that somehow more comforting? That there's no link, and this is a random attack by a junkie?

That it could have been anyone's dog, or worse?
Mr Uddin tells the court that no purpose would be served by sending his client to prison and he needed help to address his “emotional and mental issues.”
He urges the bench to impose an alternative punishment and asks them to look at giving Keshavarzi a community order rather than imprisonment.
I know he's just doing his job, spouting the usual boilerplate crap they have to spout, but does anyone get the impression that Mr Uddin lives nowhere near Mr Keshavarzi, and never will?
The chairman of the magistrates says the bench no alternative but to send him to prison for 26 weeks. He must also pay compensation of £800.
I predict the dog's owner will never see a penny. But maybe justice will be served in other ways.
A 13-year-old boy saw Keshavarzi take 15-month-old Zeus from a garden and drag the dog by its collar towards the rear entrance of Drews House in Druids Heath.
The teenager called the police who were unable to locate the dog, Simon Brownsey, prosecuting, said.
Let's hope that if Mr Keshavarski survives prison and takes it into his head to throw a child off the top of a block of flats, West Midlands Police apply themselves a little more diligently.

Monday 1 August 2016

The Evidence Is Clear!

Ms Tao, originally from China but living with her husband in Clerkenwell, had been unable to get in front of the lorry while they waited for the lights to change because the cycle box was full of other cyclists and two motorcyclists.
We obviously have too many cyclists on the road! Ban 'em! If it saves one life, etc...

After all, isn't that the prevailing opinion in every tragedy now? So isn't it about time their tactics were used against them?
Another witness, David-Alexandre Dahan whose eye had been drawn to Ms Tao because she was wearing a face mask, white helmet and bandana, said she "struggled to get momentum" when trying to move off.
Solicitor Karen Florencio said: "I noticed that the cyclist was wobbling quite dramatically, though I hadn't seen what had caused that.
"Shortly after that, I thought immediately if that carries on, she is going to come off or go under.
"Then it just appeared she almost seemed to get sucked under the middle set of wheels of the lorry. Within seconds she just seemed to disappear underneath."
Mandatory training for cyclists! Physical fitness standard or no license! If it saves one life, etc....

I could get used to this!

Is It Me, Or...?

An assessment of the dog after the attack, carried out by the police, revealed that the dog became agitated and aggressive when put on a lead and became easily stressed, without inhibition to bite.
 So put the thing down!
Appearing at Dudley Magistrates Court on Monday, Hutchinson was charged with being the owner of a dog which was dangerously out of control.
He was issued with a curfew, meaning he must be at his home address from 10pm to 6am every day for three months. He was also ordered to pay a total of £395 to the court, comprising of costs of £85, compensation to the victim of £250 and a victim surcharge of £60.
Magistrate Teresa Popplewell also made the dog subject to a contingent destruction order – meaning that it must be muzzled, and on a lead whenever he is outside Mr Hutchinson’s home, should only be walked by someone aged 18 and above and must be neutered and insured.