Saturday 30 September 2017

Post Title Of The Month

The irrepressible David Thompson on people who go a bit further than your average tree-hugger:

Quote Of The Month

Tim Newman on modern parenting:
"I don’t know what came first, the availability of nice clothes or the vanity of the parents, but nowadays many mothers (and occasionally fathers) see their children as fashion accessories, objects which makes a statement about them in terms of wealth and taste (ha!). I’ve seen 5 or 6 year old kids walking around in Canada Goose jackets. For whose benefit are they being worn, do you think? It’s a subsection of the molly-coddling that I mentioned in my earlier post. If a mother thinks her boy needs to look super-cool in the latest designer clothes, you can be sure she’s pandering to him in other ways and her priority is not raising him to be a functional adult."

Post Of The Month

Newgate News ponders the murky world of 'corporate development'.

“My dear boy, why don't you just try acting?”

An actor who appeared in acclaimed prison film Starred Up crashed his Mercedes into a wall while chasing two men who had stabbed him, a court heard.
Former inmate Basil Abdul-Latif, 31, pursued the men after being slashed across the arm during a confrontation with them in Tooting. He was flouting a driving ban, Kingston crown court heard, following a 2010 conviction for aggravated vehicle taking.
So, not really an 'actor', then?
Abdul-Latif met the screenwriter, Jonathan Asser, as a prisoner at HMP Wandsworth. He has said that being cast in the film helped to turn his life around.
Clearly, that went well!
The court heard Abdul-Latif was first banned from driving in 2010 and ordered to take an extended test when he flouted the ban 18 months later.
He passed an ordinary test in 2015 and even landed a job with the Highways Agency.
He said he did not realise he was still banned from driving.
And nor, it seems, did the Highways Agency. You'd think they'd check, wouldn't you?

Friday 29 September 2017

The Fragrant Flower Of Modern Femininity...

Chairman of the magistrates Gary Gates gave her a community order for 12 months and ordered her to attend 20 sessions to address alcohol and drug misuse and emotionally aggressive behaviour.
She was also made to pay £50 compensation to each officer. Skinner will also be tagged for eight weeks and must adhere to a strict 8pm to 8am curfew.
Mr Gates said to a smiling Skinner in the dock: “We have gone a long way to help you, grasp the nettle and get on with it.”
Maybe you shouldn't have gone too far, given her crime?
Laura Devitt, prosecuting, told the court: “Skinner shouted at her mum ‘Why did you call the feds you c***?’ and threw a mobile phone at her.
“She then punched PC Haffenden in the face.
“The defendant then headbutted PC Whiteman. Throughout this time she was continuously shouting and being abusive to her mother.
How lovely! Surely, a finishing school candidate?
Skinner, of Forward Close, South Heighton, pleaded guilty to two counts of assaulting a constable in the execution of his duty, possession of cannabis and using threatening behaviour to cause alarm.
The Plumpton College student, who attended court in jeans and wearing hooped earrings, also pleaded guilty to theft of a £14.99 bottle of vodka from SS Food and Wine in South Road, Newhaven, on August 9.
So far, so depressingly ordinary.

Oh. Wait!
She also admitted causing £1,400 criminal damage to a fishing vessel in West Quay, Newhaven, on August 9.
How? Did she get caught in their nets?

Why Didn't You Arrest Them When You Turned Up?

Police are probing claims that the wife of a football fan left seriously brain damaged by hooligans was subjected to vile abuse by their friends and family outside court.
What took them so long?
Several organisations filmed the unsavoury encounter and it is understood that police may base their investigation on the footage.
Ah. I see. Took them that long to find someone who knew how to Google 'YouTube'....
An Essex Police spokesman said: “We have launched an investigation into comments made outside the court after further discussion with Mrs Dobbin following the conclusion of the trial.”
You turned up mob-handed to disperse them. Wouldn't that have been a good time to start investigations?

Thursday 28 September 2017

Did You Really Think You'd Heard The Most Ridiculous Whinge About Grenfell Tower?

Reader, you have now:
A man who lost six family members in the Grenfell Tower disaster has made a formal complaint about the use of a police helicopter during the fire.
In a witness statement, seen by Channel 4 News, he claimed the helicopter offered a "'cruel and tortuous" hope to his family trapped on the 22nd floor that they would be rescued.
*blinks* Really? Really?!? 
He wants to know why the helicopter was deployed and whether the police considered what impact its presence could have on those trapped, Channel 4 News reported.
Hell, I can answer that:

a) to survey the scene & relay vital information to the fire service and police, and

b) no, because their role is to deal with a life-threatening incident, not pander to the wild imaginings of Third Worlders who've never watched 'The Towering Inferno'...
Mr Choucair told the programme: "It made a big impact because they were living in hope that the helicopter was a rescue helicopter going to rescue them. So on the day, on the night, people were going up and down.
"And simply the reason they were going up was when they heard the helicopter and when they saw it - they thought, great, it's a rescue helicopter and they're coming to rescue us, rather than going down when they should have been."
How many people in Grenfell Tower? How big is the police helicopter? How many trips (assuming it could land amid the smoke, which it self-evidently couldn't) would it take?

These people think like children. You might as well wish for Superman to rescue you.
Channel 4 News said the IPCC has referred the complaint to the Metropolitan Police.
They should have had the courage to reject it there and then, and impart to Mr Coucair some hard-nosed reality.

Another 'Guardian' Headline That's Not Quite Accurate...

Hmmm, did they?

There's clearly two bullet holes in the driver's rear wing. What, someone couldn't hit the window from that distance?
One witness claimed to have heard five shots, another said there were 10.
Let's hope the first isn't correct. That's a lot of missed shots, otherwise!

The 'Guardian' homes in on the real issue with marksmanlike precision:
It is believed the man who was shot dead is white.
Awww, no riots for you, 'Guardian'....

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Potential For More Blood On Their Hands....

Cheshire Police have confirmed that a decision was made in August to take no further action against the owner as the dog is not a banned breed and there was insufficient evidence.
The case will be reopened if more evidence comes to light or if there are reports of any further attacks.
Let's hope that next attack isn't fatal, eh? But I'm sure the police are right, and it's just a case of 'he said, she said' with no witne....

“The only reason my dog and I were not more seriously injured was due to a lovely lady stopping in her car and offering to pick us up and drive us away from a very dangerous scenario,” said Kevin, who spoke of his disappointed that the police have not filed charges against the owner of the Rottweiler.
That rather changes things, doesn't it?

High Fences Make Good Neighbours...

There is uproar in East Budleigh after permission to build a fence round a football pitch was granted by the Parish Council.
I get the feeling East Budleigh isn't a place that seems much uproar...
East Budleigh FC, who play in Division Two of the Devon & Exeter League - the 12th level of English football - have endured years of having games halted in order to clear up dog's mess from their pitch, which is on a section of public green space. The club have continually requested a barrier to be put up round the pitch in order to combat the issue, and the Parish Council have now agreed to it - much to the relief of groundsman Richard Slade.
Doesn't seem like the sort of issue that would be controversial, does it?
But the Friends of East Budleigh Recreation Ground have claimed the decision has divided the community and say they have been left outraged and bewildered by the decision.
'Divided the community'..? You mean, there are people who want footballers to be sliding around in dog poo?
They claim that hundreds of letters to the parish council have been sent by members of the group but they have been met with a wall of silence.
Welcome to councils everywhere.
But the Parish Council have decided as a collective group that they will not engage with the group as they consider them a hate group.
Some of the councillors have been targeted with such abuse about the decision that they are no longer able to step foot in the local village pub.
Ah, bucolic village life!
Ray Marrs, from the Friends of East Budleigh Recreation Ground, said: “On behalf of residents of East Budleigh, we have become disillusioned by The Parish Council's actions that have directly resulted in setting one part of the community against the other.
“Frustrated by the Council's unwillingness to provide answers or even in some cases acknowledge numerous questions, letters, emails, phone calls an unprecedented number of residents, estimated at over 80 in total, gathered to seek clarification at the recent Parish Council meeting.
“We wanted to know how was it possible for councillors to have reached a decision to fence off our recreation ground based upon somebody's notion of dog fouling without any consultation or knowledge of the village?
'Somebody's notion'..? Are these loons claiming that there's not a problem? Reader, it appears the answer is 'Yes':
“The sensible and democratic approach, used by most other Councils, would have been to post a simple Notice of consultation. Views would have been expressed and a decision based upon consensus taken.
“The results may not have pleased everyone, but that's how democracy is supposed to work and I guarantee that the community would have readily accepted this.
“But the way it has been conducted has left the villagers outraged and totally bewildered about what is going on
“Lots of people use the field to walk their dogs on and none of us have ever noticed a problem with dog poo on the pitch at all.”

It would appear the dogs of East Budleigh don't excrete. Or the footballers of East Budleigh mistake mud for dog poo.

Any other possible explanations?

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Question Answered, Bucko!

When George Chappin was told he was no longer welcome at his scouts group, he was devastated.
Awww, his little face!
The seven-year-old suffers from complex focal epilepsy, which among other things, means he will often require one-on-one attention.
Booo! How could anyone be mean to a disabled kiddie! For shame. SHAME!
A letter sent to Mr Chappin on September 12 by the scout group's district commissioner Matthew Hewitt said it was in George's own interests not to return to the group.
"At the beginning of the summer holidays, the group scout leader and the cub scout leader met and concluded that they could not offer George a place in Cubs with their group,"
Mr Hewitt said. "This was not due to an unwillingness to have him in the group, but due to concerns over his own safety and ability to cope with what is a large colony of 28 cubs.
"The group does not have sufficient leaders to be able to provide one-on-one support for George, which is what they feel he needs to be safe."
Hiding behind H&S, eh?
Mr Hewitt cited numerous incidents where George's behaviour raised concerns with the group's leaders
"The most serious of these took place on visits to Tesco and Pets at Home, when on both visits George ran away from the rest of the group"
Oh. Ummmm.
It is disputed by the parents that he ran away in Pets at Home, who said he simply went behind the next shelf as George is scared of dogs.
 What was he scared of in Tesco, then? Cornflakes? Pints of milk?
"No other clubs will take him because we’ve been told there’s a six month waiting period," Mr Chappin said.
"I was in scouts my whole childhood and this goes against everything the scouts organisation stands for.
"I’m disgusted by this and they should have told us sooner."
Wah! Wah! Wah! Easy to see where little George learned it from...
Then just a day later Mr Chappin said he received a phone call informing him that George could come back to the group.
When the Croydon Guardian asked the scouting group to why its stance had changed in 24 hour span, a spokesman said: "The Scout Association is committed to providing opportunities for all young people and adults the opportunity to taste adventure and learn skills for life.
"We are clear that no young person should receive less favourable treatment on the basis disability (including mental or physical ability).
"We are currently supporting the local volunteer team to work with the family to find a positive way forward so that the young person involved to continue to enjoy scouting.”
See, this is why they keep giving these people column inches. Because it works, and they can feel good about themselves.
The spokesman confirmed George now has a place in the group, although they did not address specifically how the group would address George's needs, such as the group not having sufficient leaders to be able to provide one-on-one support for George.
Maybe George's father volunteered some of his time, eh?

Maybe Spend Some Of That Donation Money On Retraining?

Headteacher, Darren Mann - who only took over the role at the Quinton school on Monday - said he contacted the RSPCA, local vets and wildlife experts after the shock find.
He told the Coventry Telegraph that even the RSPCA team were in disbelief, repeatedly saying 'raccoons don't live in England' and reassuring him that it was probably a 'mangy' cat or badger.
 But wait! Didn't they recently get into a public strop about people keeping these things as pets?
Nicola White, an RSPCA officer specialising in exotic animals said: “The RSPCA is very concerned about the trend of keeping raccoon dogs as pets as we have in recent years dealt with a number of call-outs to stray pet raccoon dogs that have escaped, or been deliberately released to the wild. "
So there's no excuse for your idiot call centre handlers pooh-poohing this man's call, is there?

Monday 25 September 2017

Handling Complaints...

The wrong way:
When blind IT supervisor Gareth Holdcroft, 32, tried to book a room at the Number One South Beach, a mix-up meant he was told in an email that the hotel would not accept his guide dog, Ross.
Claire Smith, owner of the hotel, on Harrowside West, said: “We apologise profusely for any upset caused – we certainly wouldn’t want to upset anyone for the world. “The problem is that our member of staff has sent an email saying that we do not take dogs because of allergies and she had no idea of the implications of this with it being a guide dog.”
Then you didn't train her very well, did you?
Mrs Smith said: “We can take dogs in the restaurant and in the public areas and have done many, many times. We are legally bound to do so, and quite rightly too.
See? You know the law. There are no excus...

Oh. Hang on.
“The last thing we want to do is discriminate.
“But we were in the awful situation where we had a guide dog stay with us. The dog left and we cleaned the room as we normally do and went to extra lengths so we thought we had removed all traces of the dog.” But she said their efforts were not enough to prevent another guest having an allergic reaction.
“He went up to his room and later came down with his eyes popping out,” she said. “It was terrifying. It frightened us to death because we thought we had killed this man. Had we not had this awful experience we would never have batted an eyelid.”
Riiiiiight. There's no provision for this in legislation & you know it. Enough with the excuses.

The right way:
Maggi Burgess was asked to leave the Seaward Hotel in Weston-super-Mare by a member of staff after she stopped off with guide dog Annie for a coffee during a charity walk.
What is it with hotels?
‘We went in and were greeted by a person who just said ‘no, no, no, you can’t come in here’.
‘I explained that I could and that Annie was a guide dog and she was allowed to go inside.
‘He said she couldn’t and ushered us out. He then told us to have a nice day, something which then became impossible.’
The response here couldn't have been more different, however:
A spokesperson for the hotel told ‘We unreservedly apologise to the guide dog owner for this incident.
‘The person who turned the owner away is no longer with us and does not share our values.
‘We welcome all guide dogs and other assistance dogs to our hotel have done so for the last 50 years.’
That's the way to do it!

"Oh, dogs. Sure, I like dags. I like caravans more."

Widely-circulated mobile phone footage appears to show Andy Cash, a traveller, on the floor with a police dog clamped to his leg.
Police had been called to an alleged theft in Birmingham on Monday when the incident happened.
A theft? Get out!
There has been no complaint but the matter has been referred to the police watchdog, West Midlands Police said.
*quiet chuckle*
He said he may need to undergo more surgery after sustaining about six wounds in total after the dog "mutilated" his leg.
His wife added: "They let that dog eat my husband like a bone. It was a treat for the dog."
I hope the poor thing is up to date on its shots.

Sunday 24 September 2017

Design Failure...

Freudian slip on the part of the sculptor..?

Well, It's Definitely A Tank, At Least...

Wrong animal, and a spot of appalling grammar! 'Mail', you're really spoiling me....

H/T: Stephen Brown via email

Update: according to comments, it isn't a tank. We have a trifecta!!

Sunday Funnies...

Rappers, pay attention to No 3...

Saturday 23 September 2017

"But Dahlinks, I'm An Actor!!"

The Star Trek and X-man actor has condemned dangerous dog legislation from preventing him from giving a home to the pet that has become a regular feature on his social media pages.
Ginger cannot be brought into the country from the United States because she is a pit bull – one of a handful of breeds prohibited under legislation dating back 25 years.
 No excuses! The legislation applies to you too.
“I understand why it was put in place, but it doesn't address what the real issues are about the possibility of dangerous dogs.
"In most cases, and certainly in the case of pit bulls, it is not the dog that is the problem, it is always the owner.”
Well, true, but you're English, so we can't ban you....
Sir Patrick believes it is “high time the legislation was re-examined”, and pledges that he will be be taking Ginger's case further.
Well, good luck with that.

Well, That 'Increase The Number Of Female MPs' Thing Is Going Well, Eh?'d be nice if they weren't proving to be as thick as a whale sandwich & driven by emotion, though, wouldn't it?
Residents are up in arms after video emerged showing Poundland in Thornton Heath promoting "big knives" in its shopfront window, right next to the entrance.
Lorraine King posted the video on twitter on behalf of her friend Nicola Peters (who took the footage) and has sparked debate among residents and politicians alike, who are furious with Poundland's decision to display the knives in light of recent attacks in the borough.
Oh, good grief! *yawns* Another manufactured 'outrage'. Surely no-one's dumb enough to be bothered by this?

Oh. Hang on.
Even Croydon Central MP Sarah Jones was appalled by the decision.
"Shocking," she said. "I will write to @poundland about this. And looks like it goes against gov guidelines that @poundland have signed up to."
Really, love? Government has really written guidelines that say 'Look, retailers, if the yoof have been a bit too stabby in the local area, just hide the knives on sale for a while, will you?'...?
The guidelines Ms Jones referred to is the 'Sale of knives: voluntary agreement by retailers' which Poundland have signed up for.
Part of the agreement states that: "Retailers will ensure knives are displayed and packaged securely as appropriate to minimise risk.
"This will include retailers taking practical and proportionate action to restrict accessibility and avoid immediate use, reduce the possibility of injury, and prevent theft."
Ah. Didn't think so.

Friday 22 September 2017

Virtue Signalling Olympics: Essex Contender

A former mayor has caused controversy by saying travellers should go “back to Ireland” with “their thieving and filthy ways” in a heated email row.
*settles in with big bag of popcorn*
Chris Walker, an Eastwood Park councillor, made the remarks to Labour councillor Julian Ware-Lane when referring to travellers in the borough.
In the exchange, seen by the Echo, the councillors debated the growing number of travellers camping in the borough. Milton ward councillor Mr Ware-Lane urged the council to find a space where travellers could set up camp temporarily and felt the council was “neglecting their responsibilities in this regard.”
He then wrote: “I am seriously concerned the traveller community gets treated like pariahs and are shifted from pillar to post. Whilst, of course, there are elements in the traveller community that do bad things, to the best of my knowledge none of the crime committed in Milton is committed by anyone from the traveller community.”
If they get treated 'like pariahs', maybe there's a reason?
Mr Walker responded: “They are treated like pariahs because they are pariahs. They have been driven from Ireland whence they emanate because of their thieving and filthy ways.
They contribute nothing to society in the way of taxes etc and create filth wherever they go. Why should we make allowance for them? It would be better for all if they were to learn the foolishness of their ways and go back to Ireland. They are their own worst enemies.
How come we know the contents of private emails between two people, anyway?
Mr Ware-Lane published the comments on his blog,
Stephen Aylen, Independent councillor for Belfair Ward, was also involved in the email exchange. He said to Mr Ware-Lane: “Next time we have these so called travellers arrive in Belfairs or Oakwood park (remember a large majority of the residents in the area around these parks are proper gypsies) could you please provide me with flyer maps of locations in Milton (such as the cliffs ) that these travellers may use.
Mr Ware-Lane told our reporter the comments were “shameful” and shamed every councillor. He added: “His (Mr Walker’s) ideas belong in the 19th century, we are in the 21st century.”
When asked why he publicised those comments, he responded: “I want them to realise what they’ve done and apologise, and not to repeat it again.”
And if they don't, will you thcweath and thcweam until you're thick?
The Echo called Mr Walker five times for comment, but we received no response before the paper went to print.
Awful when people won't comment on...


*rolls eyes*

Amazon's Wealth Does Not Excuse Your Carelessness...

A delivery driver was forced to pay compensation to one of the richest men in the world when thieves stole his van and the Amazon parcels inside.
Why does it matter that the owner of the company incurring the loss is rich?
Vladimir Staev had to reimburse the online giant by more than £2,300 to cover the cost of cameras he was delivering in Brighton when William Westein and Jamie Beaver took his white Renault and 72 packages last month.
The 37-year-old first time father Mr Staev lost his job and even had to pay to pay police £100 to get his stolen van back.
This is perfectly normal when the police seize a stolen vehicle. It's not the fault of Amazon!
Amazon - owned by one of the richest men in the world Jeff Bezos - tried to recover the cost of the stolen cameras from courier firm Fast UK Parcel.
But they passed the cost of the stolen goods on to their former driver Mr Staev and made him pay for a replacement van.
Why did the company do this? Well....
Fast UK Parcel said it had a policy of not leaving keys in the ignition.
Mr Staev claimed the thieves watched him and took a chance when he dropped the keys.
Right. Yes. Thieves often follow around delivery van drivers for that sort of opportunity.

Thursday 21 September 2017

Taking Non-Speculation To Incredulous Lengths…

Reece Harnetty, 19, died when his Mini Clubman burst into flames after crashing into the rear of a parked lorry in a layby in Suffolk.
An inquest at Suffolk Coroners’ Court in Ipswich was told Reece, of Ilmington Drive, Basildon had turned sharply from the outside lane into the layby at Creeting St Mary, near Needham Market on January 20.
The Toxicology tests ruled out the presence of alcohol or drugs and forensic accident investigator PC Jeff Cribb said there were no defects identified with the car, although a full examination wasn’t possible because of the fire damage. No faults were found with the road surface either.
Witness Dan Braun was travelling past just feet away when the crash occurred. He described how the Mini hadn’t slowed or changed course as it turned sharply towards the lorry.
Hmmm, seems deliberate. Or that other modern day scourge...?
There was no evidence that Mr Harnetty was using his phone at the time of the accident although checks had shown he had used it shortly before the crash.
Nope. Who was he calling?
It is believed he was upset following relationship problems with a girl he had met online.
The inquest heard that in phone calls prior to the accident, Reece refused to say where he was but was heard sobbing as he said: “didn’t want to be here anymore” and ending his last call without saying goodbye to the female, Alicia Watts.
Case closed!
His mother Wendy Harnetty suggested her son, who had only passed his test last May, could have mistaken the layby for the inside lane on the road as he wasn’t a regular on that route.
I can see why she'd like to think so.
Suffolk Area Coroner Nigel Parsley said: “We won’t ever fully know, regrettably, what made Reece turn into that layby. There are some unanswered questions here, however, there is insufficient evidence to suggest that Reece intended to take his life.”
At the inquest on Wednesday, Mr Parsley recorded a conclusion that teenager died as a result of a road traffic collision.

Pity You Can't Make One For The Owner Too...

The court heard on Tuesday (August 29) how Ribbons was asked to put his dog on a lead several times, but failed to do so.
It was also said that Mr Ribbons admitted drinking two cans of cider outside Sevenoaks Magistrates Court, before it was taken off him.
Such a lovely addition to the local court steps....
Defending, Richard Lamb said: "He stated that he let the dog off the lead as the security brought her some water out and that she was off the lead until the in incident.
"He stated that the dog was provoked by the male as he went up to the dog and raised his hands to her making a noise, and that this made the dog jump up and she just nicked him."
PC Hill, a police dog handler, also attended the scene and assisted in seizing the German Shepard. Ribbons also told PC Hill not to come near him otherwise he would get bitten. The 36-year-old was then arrested and the dog was seized and taken to the kennels.
Should have simply shot it there and then.
Chairman of the bench, Celia Clarkson said: "We are going to sentence you for having an unruly dog for a period of 12 months, with 100 hours of unpaid work.
"It would have been longer, but you pleaded guilty.
"We are making a destruction order for the dog."
Couldn't make it two, could you?

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Clearly, Judge Baxter, She's Right To Think They Are Daft...

A thieving mother-of-three has walked free from court despite being one of the most heavily convicted women in Britain.
Which is a difficult thing to rack up in modern Britain!
Police believe she has plundered tens of thousands of pounds worth of items during raids on ladies lockers at gyms, health centres and spas across the North of England. One victim lost her engagement and wedding ring and on other occasions Fidler broke into five different lockers in one swoop.
Despite being repeatedly arrested and jailed, Fidler would come out of jail and do the same thing again.
But I thought jail was a terrible, awful place? At least, that's what the bleeding hearts all tell us...
In a bid to stop her thieving spree, Fidler was banned from all leisure centres, gyms or hotels in the UK under the terms of an ASBO-style Criminal Behaviour Order.
But she was arrested again in July after various lockers were broken into after staff let her use the ladies toilet at Salford Community Leisure centre in Greater Manchester. At Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester, Fidler admitted breaching her Criminal Behaviour Order but escaped with a 12-month community order.
The single mother - who has three-year-old son (Ed: Why isn't the child removed from her 'care'?) - claimed she was only at the leisure centre because she was desperate for the toilet whilst visiting an art and craft fayre.
But Judge Bernadette Baxter said: 'I don't believe a word of it. The reality is she is a woman who is a heroin addict.
'She knew what this place was, she knew there was a pool there, with lockers and a gym.
'She could have gone to the local shops, pubs, cafes, anywhere that has a toilet. Why did she go out of her way to go to the leisure centre? How daft does she think people are?'
As daft as a mad old bat of a judge who lets her off a prison sentence because she has a child?
The judge added: 'You have umpteen previous convictions but I'm not going to send you to prison as I think this will encourage your little boy to get involved with the kind of life you have lived.
'We need to prevent you from going to leisure centre, breaking into the lockers and stealing other people's stuff, causing them distress and upset so you must get involved in a drug rehabilitation programme.
'You need to get in control and keep control and you need to start putting your child first instead of yourself.'
She's a junkie. She'll never put anyone ahead of that. You should be asking why she's allowed to keep a child. You've failed in your duty as a judge.

FGM: There Are Indeed Some Fannies That Bear Closer Inspection....

...and they are the ones pushing the 'FGM is an epidemic!' line:
The way FGM statistics are recorded by NHS Digital do not help to clarify the situation.
Or, to translate: "The NHS is so utterly shit at recording stuff, no-one has any chance of finding out the real truth without a lot of work'."

Still, the 'Guardian' has fearlessly put in the work to .... wait, no, it's the 'Daily Mail':
The figures are divided into four types, with further divisions, ranging from the removal of the clitoris to the narrowing of the vaginal opening. They also include women who have had genital piercings rather than any cutting.
Well, most cases of FGM will be cropping up in Essex then! Nor is this a surprise, because wasn't it foretold in The Great Book..?
The term ‘newly recorded’ is used, suggesting these are recent procedures, but the figures include historic cases of women from overseas who have had their details noted for the first time and may have had FGM years earlier.
A likelihood I've pointed out time and again in blogs and on Twitter, to the 'Won't someone think of the chiiiildreeeen!' crackpots.
Indeed, of the 5,391 ‘newly recorded’ cases last year, only 112 involved women and girls born in the UK. Only 57 cases involved FGM undertaken in the UK and around 50 of those were genital piercings.
Which leaves seven cases. Seven!
The remaining seven cases did not involve cutting and there is no indication that they refer to children.
Which leaves a number closer to zero. So why in heaven's name, at a time when we've just had a bomb on the London transport system, are we sending coppers to St Pancras to quiz visitors about it?

Because of the 'Something must be done!' crowd, of course.

Tuesday 19 September 2017

What Happened To The Blitz Spirit?

“I arrived at Clacton at about 11.10am. I thought I just can’t take this anymore so I headed back home, my whole day was ruined.
“I don’t go out of my home very often because of these sorts of obstacles.”
So, tell us the sorry tale...
As the man is permanently in an electric wheelchair he called Greater Anglia to book ramp assistance from his home to Clacton, via Colchester.
He said: “At my station the man was very helpful. He called Colchester and said there’s a disabled man in carriage three.
“I thought this is going to be a lovely day but no. On arriving at Colchester North Station the doors opened and everyone got off, leaving me sitting there.”
He was on the 9.25am train for about four minutes, waiting for someone to assist him off and transfer him.
He said: “I was shouting out the doors but no-one came and then to my horror the doors closed with me still on the train.
“I didn’t know where I was heading or how long I would be on there, then over the loudspeaker I heard a voice say Colchester Town was the last stop.”
Another passenger asked the man if he needed help. He said: “The platform was packed with people waiting to go to Clacton, I was in a panic and I was scared.” He was told to stay on the train so he could get back to the right station.
He said: “I lost about an hour when I got back to Colchester.”
That's it? An hour? I've lost that pretty frequently on what passes for our rail 'service'. Man up, FFS!
A Greater Anglia spokesman said staff did not realise there was more than one disabled passenger on the train.
He added: “We apologise to the gentleman for the incident at Colchester station. A member of staff assisted one passenger in a wheelchair, but was unaware that there were two passengers requiring assistance.
“A local manager spoke with, and apologised to, the gentleman at Colchester Town station and helped him complete his journey.”
A mistake. It happens quite frequently. There, you're being treated equally.

Gosh, Another Rock The Essex Coroner Declines To Lift...

Earlier this year, the Echo told how issues with DNA samples and the character of prosecution witnesses had led to the acquittals in December.
We also told how friends remained concerned about why Mr Williams, a former gardener, had been released from hospital still suffering from injuries received during the first burglary.
Following our report, we wrote to Caroline Beasley-Murray, senior coroner for Essex, asking her to consider the issues raised.
Well, she does like a good pontificate from the bench. So surely a case where some druggie scumbags have eluded justice is just her cup of Earl Grey?
She replied: “After the crown court proceedings were concluded there was no reason for the inquest to be reopened.
“The criminal proceedings had already gone thoroughly into the facts surrounding the death. Moreover, any resumed inquest after criminal proceedings have concluded must not reach a determination inconsistent with the outcome of the criminal proceedings. The situation has not changed and there is still no reason for the inquest to be reopened.
“It is my understanding that Mr Williams’ brother was consulted at the time, fully understood the situation and was not asking for the inquest, exceptionally, to be reopened.”
Oh. Well, clearly not. Maybe because it'd shine a light on the local NHS, and we already know how reluctant she is to do that....
During the trial, jurors heard Mr Williams’ chest had been “flattened” as a result of 50 rib fractures, probably caused by repeated stamping.
Drug addicts Simon Smith, 40, of no fixed address, and Anthony Smith, 44, of Ceylon Road, Westcliff, were cleared of murder after a trial at the Inner London Crown Court in December.
The men, who are not related, were found guilty and jailed for eight-and-a-half years each for the first burglary.
And the justice system threw in the murder for free...

Monday 18 September 2017

Surely A Better Question Would Be 'How The Hell Did She Know?'...

Gina Martin, 25, spotted a man’s phone screen at BST Festival in Hyde Park last month, saw a woman’s thighs and underwear, and was "shocked" to realise the crotch in the image was her own.
Does she sew a little nametag into her knickers, or something?
The copywriter said the Met Police told her they could not punish the man because he had "done nothing illegal", so she launched a petition – which has now amassed more than 55,000 signatures - calling for "upskirting" to be added to the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
Oh, for pity's sake...
“More than 55,000 people have signed my Care2 petition now, but it may not reach 100,000 and get a definite hearing in parliament. But I think if we can get enough women to write to their MPs demanding action, it can get discussed and the law may be changed.
“Section 67 of the Sexual Offences act needs to be amended to label ‘up-skirt photos’ or ‘creepshots’ as a sexual offence. Period.”
You don't think we maybe have bigger Tube-travel related problems to deal with right now..?
Simon Myerson QC told the Standard: “Making upskirting a specific offence would be helpful.
“I would try to work it around a definition of voyeurism. At the moment it involves watching other people engaging in sexual activity and I would try and get a definition that says taking photos of someone’s underwear or private parts – making sure to be careful to exclude swimwear and tight leggings etc or you get into a murky situation – is an offence, unless the person gave their express consent.
“The ‘upskirter’ could then potentially have their card marked as a sexual offender and go on the Sexual Offenders Register.”
Or, to translate: "Fantastic! More work for me & my colleagues arguing over how many angels can dance on the edge of a pin what constitutes a 'upskirt' shot and what's just an unfortunate angle to take a selfie from! And who cares if some bloke has his life ruined for a victimless crime? Not us! Trebles all round..."

Heed Thy Mother And Thy Father....

On Tuesday Bristow was handed a two year community order and ordered to pay £1,000 in compensation by Judge Clement Goldstone QC after admitting being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control, causing injury.
She was also told to complete a 20 day rehabilitation course with the Probation Service.
The 49-year-old was told that, if necessary, she must sell her other dog - a 12-year-old Teacup Chihuahua - to pay the compensation after Judge Goldstone said: “It’s the least you can do to repay the wrong that is incalculable to the boy and his mother.”
I doubt it'll fetch a lot!
Describing the dog as “unmanageable”, Judge Goldstone said pictures of the boy’s injuries would “haunt you for the rest of your life.”
He added: “Staffies are high maintenance dogs. It’s amazing the amount of times these courts hear that the way the dog behaved was totally out of character. Well nobody could say, sadly, that it was the first time that a dog of this kind had behaved in that way.”
Quite so.

But I can't help but feel that maybe there's someone else who should have been sharing the dock with her...
The court heard the incident occurred at Bristow’s home in Citron Close, Walton, in summer last year as she chatted with the victim’s mum.
Chris Hopkins, prosecuting, told the court the pair intended to continue their conversation inside the house and aimed to go in through the back garden.
He said: “The defendant told the boy’s mother the dog would be OK but would jump up because it was excited.
“The boy told his mother he didn’t want to go in but she held his hand and told him it would be ok, as she didn’t want him to be scared of dogs.”
Gosh, nice one, mum! That worked out pretty well, didn't it?

Saturday 16 September 2017

Ah, Australia.....

....where the spiders are a bit more incy-wincy than the UK. Or at least just more wincy:
An episode of popular children’s cartoon Peppa Pig has been pulled in Australia for a second time after parents complained it encouraged youngsters to play with dangerous spiders.
 Wait, what?!
The 2004 episode Mister Skinny Legs was removed from online viewing by ABC in 2012 after regulators found it sent the “inappropriate” message that spiders were harmless.
In the episode, a terrified Peppa Pig is told by her father that spiders are very small and “can’t hurt you” before the cartoon pig picks the spider up and tucks it into bed.

"Any chance of a mug of cocoa too...?"
Nick Jr originally defended the decision to air the episode after a mother complained to the channel, saying the episode is “light-hearted, friendly and very mild in impact”.
After contact from Australian media, Nick Jr agreed to remove the programme.
Thus proving the most deadly creature in Oz is a member of the MSM...

Before The Smoke Had Even Cleared...

...and before the last terrified commuter had evacuated the station. The inevitable 'Muslims are the real victims!' from the usual craven apologists.

Friday 15 September 2017

Well, This Is Certainly Interesting!

Via the Torcs and Timegates blog, news that one of my favourite book series may finally be in production.

And yes, I know that it's a long development process these days despite CGI advances, and god knows, the possibility of it all being warped beyond imagination is high, and, you are right, we still haven't had a decent version of Anne McCafferey's books, but.....

....well, if they could do as good a job as HBO did with 'Game of Thrones', it could be awesome. It has all the potential, after all.

Casting suggestions in the comments, please!

Rejoice! There's No Burglary Or Assault In Brighton!

The police and crime commissioner has vowed to tackle gangs behind....
Ooh! Knife crime? Drugs? Acid attack?
....“heinous” acts of modern slavery a priority.
Katy Bourne made the pledge as the National Crime Agency (NCA) said slavery and human trafficking was affecting every town and ‘in every town and city’ in the country and “far more prevalent than previously thought.
Really? Every town & city? No hyperbole there, Katy?
She met with her counterparts in Hampshire, Surrey and Thames Valley in June to see what work could be done.
I bet the buffet was nice...

But maybe I shouldn't scoff. Maybe it's a genuine issue?
Limited information is available on how bodies recorded these referrals over the last six years but Sussex Police made 11 in the last year, although no-one was arrested.
Hmm.... Clearly, not that serious.
The Argus also asked councils for their records using freedom of information laws. Brighton and Hove City Council’s children’s services team made “at least” five referrals between 2013 and 2017 but did not provide any more information.
Arun, Chichester, Mid Sussex and Horsham district councils, as well as Crawley, Eastbourne, and Hastings borough councils said no referrals had been made in the last six years.
Although Horsham officers said some referrals had been made to West Sussex County Council.
But when asked county council officers said its system was not set up to record such information.
East Sussex County Council said it would cost too much to respond to the request.
Worthing Borough Council did not respond when asked.
If it is a problem, no-one can tell. So let's just spend the scarce police resources on genuine crimes we have evidence for, like burglary and anti-social behaviour, eh?

Thursday 14 September 2017

Put The Bitch Down Too....

Two bullmastiff puppies which were part of a pack of five dogs who mauled and bit a man during a vicious attack in his Kent flat are to die.
Their owner had launched a last-ditch appeal to save the lives of her beloved pets after magistrates ordered their destruction in January.
It's now August. Why does this all take so damn long?
Armed police had to storm the flat in Vicarage Hill and all five dogs - a bitch and four males then aged 14 months - were seized by the RSPCA.
14 months is some odd kind on 'puppy'...
Ordering that the bullmastiffs be destroyed, Judge David Griffith-Jones QC, sitting with two magistrates, said there were no realistic controls that could be put in place to protect the public.
Quite rightly.
Mrs Mongan, a carer, told Kent Live earlier this week the two-year-old dogs are like her "babies" and had been spooked by a fire which destroyed her own home days before.
"I love those dogs. Even Steve doesn't want them destroyed and he is coming to court with me on that day to say it was an accident," she said.
Hmmm, really? Seems Steve sang a rather different tune in court!
In a statement read out at the appeal, Mr Morris said the dogs became boisterous when they tried to mount the female. They attacked him as he tried to break them up. He also claimed one had bitten him previously.
"Sharpei and Boxer were the instigators. They were the ones that did the most damage. They kept coming back for more. They were both dragging me," said Mr Morris.
"I can remember screaming. I have never screamed so loud. I was on the floor. I was trying to protect my face with my arms. All of them were trying to attack me. They are dangerous dogs and Sharpei has bitten me before. They were all together acting as a pack."
Yup, seems Steve does indeed want his pound of flesh, and who could blame him?
Ms Mongan, of St Saviour's Road, Croydon, had suggested keeping the dogs separate and muzzled. She had been staying at Mr Morris's flat after a fire destroyed her then home in Catford, south east London.
I can't help but think this might be an even more intriguing story if we only delved a bit...
The court heard it was not possible to say which dogs inflicted the injuries or whether any behaviour by Mr Morris had triggered the attack. Ms Mongan has been told the three dogs that can be returned to her must, however, be housed separately.
Who'd want to live next door to that particular ticking timebomb?

Why Are Some People Untouchable?

Police have been investigating the incident, which happened on August 7, to establish what happened and have since decided to put the animal down.
The investigation into the attack was undertaken in relation to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and whether the dog was dangerously out of control.
The decision was then taken to not seek a more severe punishment for the dog owner.
Really? And why not?
A spokesman for Humberside Police said: “After seeking guidance from the CPS and after consultation with the victim’s parents the dog, an Akita/American bulldog cross, is to be destroyed after it was surrendered by the dog’s owner.
“The owner will also be cautioned for being the owner of a dog that was dangerously out of control and went on to injure a person.”
Why is he protected from the very law written to allow the police to act? Nor is it confined to dogs:
Nottingham Police confirmed that the incident had been reported to them.
A Nottingham Police spokesman said: 'We were called at about 1.50pm on August 16 to a report of a collision between a car and a horse.
'It happened on Bank Hill, Woodborough, no-one suffered any injuries but the horse required a vet. No arrests have been made.'
You'd think someone driving dangerously would attract police attention. But no.

Wednesday 13 September 2017

They've Surrendered...

A Met spokesman said: “A tweet posted by @MPSLewisham at 23.56pm on August 30 was erroneous and did not reflect the values and work ethic of Lewisham borough or indeed the MPS.
“This is why it was removed.
A new message has since been tweeted by @MPSLewisham. “Every call matters to us. Dealing with vulnerable missing people and attending calls related to mental health issues is a vital part of everyday policing.”
Admittedly, that'll be no surprise to anyone who has paid attention, will it?

The Death Penalty For Accomplices Now...?

A dog facing destruction by police after allegedly biting four people during Storm Doris "does not continue to present a danger to public safety", the force's own expert has said.
Northamptonshire Police has applied for a Civil Destruction Order for Muppet after the attacks involving two dogs.
But his owner said none of the victims could state Muppet had bitten them. In a document seen by the BBC, the police's expert witness described Muppet as "insecure and subdued".
If that's the opinion of their own expert, why proceed?
Although no criminal charges have been brought, Mr Penfold was twice asked to sign a voluntary destruction order, but refused.
Quite rightly. But I wonder if this prompted the police action? They hate being reminded that 'voluntary' means just that....

What were the circumstances?
Staffie-cross Muppet and a friend's dog Phoebe were in owner Jeff Penfold's garden in Duston near Northampton when the storm blew down a gate on 23 February.
The dogs escaped and four people were bitten, police said. However, Mr Penfold said three people stated they had not been bitten by Muppet, and the fourth victim was not sure if it was him. Phoebe was destroyed and 15-month-old Muppet was seized and placed in kennels.
Now, much as I'm happy to see all dangerous dogs given the needle (If I had my way, their owners would get a lethal dose too), it seems that the police haven't proven that this is the case. It was in the company of one, yes. But that's not good enough.
Police applied for the destruction order saying it was "proportionate... to avoid a criminal case for the owners".
You mean, a criminal case that the CPS would laugh at before throwing in the bin? Pull the other one!
Northamptonshire Police has declined to make any further comment ahead of a hearing at Wellingborough Magistrates' Court on 10 October.
One to watch. And you can bet I will.

Tuesday 12 September 2017

I Bet None Of Them Live Near This Venue....

Police officers told members of Redbridge Council’s licensing sub-committee today that they had “totally lost trust” in the premises managers to effectively run Praba Banqueting Suite in High Road.
The police’s request to revoke the licence would have forced the venue to close, and was supported by the council’s own licensing team.
Hardly surprising!
But instead of revoking the licence, councillors instead added further conditions to the venue’s current requirements, meaning that promoter-led parties stretching on into the early hours of the morning may now be a thing of the past.
LOL! I wonder how long that will last?
Anthony Edwards, representing Praba, said the suite had “a huge security presence” on the night in question – well above the usual level – with wristbands a requirement for guests. Full searches were also carried out at the entrance, he claimed, and any drugs that were found had been seized.
He said: “We had 29 security staff operating both inside and outside the venue and everyone that entered was made to go through a metal detector.
Wow, sounds like a classy joint indeed! Normal people, seeing more security and countermeasures on a venue than John Hammond's little safari park in South America might well decide to stay in & play 'Scrabble' instead...
“There is also comprehensive CCTV at the site that is being constantly monitored – having inspected the site myself it appears as though the people who got in managed to break through a fence into the smoking area in order to gain access to the premises.”
Without being picked up by any of the 29 security guards or the 'comprehensive' CCTV?
And in response to the stabbing in February, Mr Edwards maintained that the police had found no evidence to suggest the attack had taken place at Praba as no blood was ever found at the venue and the victim was found outside.
Absence of evidence isn't...? Fill in the blank!
Although Praba’s management were at the June event, a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) had been filed by a promoter named Carlos Costa, meaning that all responsibilities for the venue that night rested with him. He had not attempted to run events at Praba before that night, and has not attempted to organise any since.
The fact that a TEN was in place that night, Mr Edwards said, meant any attempt to revoke Praba’s actual licence was “misconceived” by both the police and the council, as that licence had never been in effect that night.
'It wasn't me, guv! Big boys did it and ran away!'

Still, I doubt Mr Edwards lives anywhere near the place, either, somehow...

H/T: CJNerd via email

The Two Faces Of Hurricane Irma


Offered without comment.

Monday 11 September 2017

Oh, I Think We 'Understand Them', All Right...

A Whitstable couple who abandoned their pet dog for so long that she was unable move from her own faeces have escaped jail.
Grandparents David Lee, 51, and Lydia Lee, 54, of Radfall Ride, left their starving white terrier chained in a filthy kennel covered in mud, excrement, and a sodden carpet for bedding in sub-zero conditions.
What sort of subhuman filth are we talking about here?
Illiterate Mr Lee and grandmother-of-17 Mrs Lee were both disqualified for keeping animals for life at Folkestone Magistrates' Court today (August 30).
Wait, what?!?
RSPCA officers also found Mr Lee to have caged 13 wild birds with rings attached to their leg.
A probation officer announced that Mr Lee "blames the court, and thinks that people do not understand the travelling community".
David Lee was sentenced to 18 weeks in custody, suspended for two years and an 18 week curfew. He was ordered to pay £750 costs and a £115 victim surcharge. Lydia Lee was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment, suspended for two years. She was also ordered to pay £300 in costs and a £115 victim surcharge, as well as a 12 week curfew.
It's nowhere near long enough.

That Feeling Of Daja Vu Again...

A depressingly familiar tale:
“The Staffie bit my right hand down to the tendon. I had to go to Torbay Hospital and stay overnight. It’s my writing hand and I still can’t use it. I’m bruised all over.
“The person with the Staffie was a young girl who looked about 15 and didn’t have a clue what to do. She stood there and watched. Eventually she did her best to open its jaws and between us we got the dog off. She got the lead on it and dragged it away.
She said her Mum was coming in a minute but then just disappeared.”
That's what they always say. When they say anything at all.
“That dog was vicious and I’m sure it would do the same thing again. I have reported it to the police but they have not contacted me yet.”
Who is surprised? Not me.

Sunday 10 September 2017

Yes, And The Eggs Are Much More Palatable....

Oh, 'Guardian', your march towards utter irrelevance continues apace...

Errr, I'm Pretty Sure It Didn't...

....a crossbow bolt might have, though. Or Croydon people are even dimmer than I'd previously imagined.

Sunday Funnies...

Wait, all those pulp fiction books were wrong about snakebite?

Saturday 9 September 2017

Why Is A Local Rag Giving This Man Free Publicity?

An online petition has been started in order to get Southend-raised BBC Radio 2 DJ, Steve Wright kicked off the air.
Eh...? By whom?
The petition, started by Andrew Warner, has already accumulated more than 250 signatures since it was started in July.
Ahahahaha! 250 signatures? That's nothing!
He recently had his salary revealed by the BBC, which stated that he earns between £500,000 and £549,999 per annum for his shows, making him the seventh highest earner at the BBC.
He was educated at Eastwood School, in Southend, and also delivered the Echo newspaper when he was younger.
Nice way to repay him, giving this crackpot some free publicity, then!
Writing on the website, Mr Warner says: “Steve Wright’s Radio 2 afternoon show is a daily round of endless sickening self-congratulation, toadying and God-awful attempts at humour by a DJ who should have been retired years ago.”
As well as its 250 plus signatures, a number of people made some scathing comments about the 62-year-old, criticising his work and urging him step down.
Oh noes! Scathing comments on the Internet! It's End Times, folks!
Andrew Beadle said: “I don’t know how long this man-child has been polluting my afternoons with his radio show. Until recently I assumed he was working for the BBC ‘gratis’ and that they felt too guilty to get rid of him.”
You are aware, are you not, that there's an 'off' button? Or indeed, other radio stations?
Jon Chilton added: “I’m forced to listen to Radio 2 at work and this show is the worst! Every aspect is annoying, particularly when he sings over the song. And what is Serious Jockin’ all about? His crew are absolutely rubbish too!”
Then have a word with your boss, or the colleagues that put Radio Two on. Because I don't this this loon is going to get anywhere with his petition:
...a BBC spokesman said: “Steve Wright remains hugely popular on Radio 2, with a weekly audience of 7.7 million listeners.”
So 250 Internet nobodies isn't going to have much impact.

So Much For 'Tough, Uncompromising Crusader For Disability Rights'....

Ryan, an academic researcher of autism and learning difficulties, said she felt offended by the tribunal’s finding of fact which said “her memory may have been affected by the major trauma she experienced in the loss of her son”.
She said: “I found that so offensive given they sat through me being retraumatised for two hours. They don’t seem to see people as human beings at all.”
What, because you had to state your case in front of a panel?
Ryan, an Oxford University academic, said she was left distressed and unwell for days after being questioned by Murphy’s defence barrister, Richard Partridge. She was visibly upset when taking the oath and was reduced to tears under questioning by Partridge, forcing a break in proceedings.
Good lord, it was hardly the Nuremberg Trials!
Ryan was repeatedly pressed on what she had told nurses about Connor when he was admitted to Slade House – with the implication, she said, that she should have told nurses her son needed to be supervised in the bath.
Well, should she? It's a valid question...
Partridge questioned Ryan about her description of Murphy in a witness statement as being “dismissive, arrogant and distant” and asked how she thought that would make his client feel.
Welcome to the World of Feelings that the likes of Ryan hath wrought. Now the boot's on the other foot, I can't help but notice they don't seem to like the fit...
He also raised an anonymous blog written by Ryan about Connor and his journey through the care system, which was seen to be critical of some nurses. He asked Ryan whether this blog “might have made people wary of you”.”
Again, perfectly valid. I can see why she might not think so, but them's the breaks.
A spokeswoman for the MPTS said: “We are sorry to hear how upsetting Dr Ryan found the process of giving evidence to the tribunal. The role of a witness is crucial in giving a tribunal a first-hand account of what has happened in a case, so they can establish whether a doctor is safe to practise. It’s important that account is thoroughly explored and tested.
“However, we do understand that giving evidence can sometimes be distressing which is why we and the GMC offer a support service to all witnesses before they attend a tribunal.”
I wonder if she took up their offer?

Friday 8 September 2017

"No one ever forgets a toy that made him or her supremely happy as a child, even if that toy is replaced by one like it that is much nicer."

As a child of both the UK and the 1970s, I was heavily exposed during my younger years to the toys made by an English company called Britains, and in particular to the zoo and farm animals made by this company. We’ll call them Britains toys.
Oh, nostalgia! I used to have a lot of these. The wild animals & the farm sets. My favourite was always the crocodile, with the opening jaw mechanism.

The local toyshop sold them, and when we went on holiday to Yorkshire, or Wales, or up to London Christmas shopping, it was always a good chance to maybe find one you didn't have. Pre-eBay days, of course!
Britains toys have some significant personal meaning to me: various of them (namely the 1965 African elephant and 1972 giraffe) are among the first toys I ever owned, I have fond memories of my dad bringing Britains toys home to me after his day at work, and I have tremendous nostalgia attached to the shops and – more specifically – the now long-gone glass-fronted display cabinets associated with the sale of these toys.
I still see them occasionally at boot sales. And mine are upstairs in the loft, somewhere. Or in the garage, somewhere.

The Fairer Sex, Pt 579925

A Southend taxi driver was viciously assaulted and suffered cardiac arrest after a row over just two pounds during his shift.
The man, in his 50s, is believed to have been dropping female teenage passengers off in Ness Road, Shoebury, at about 10.15pm on Wednesday.
Witnesses told The Echo the incident was over a £2 shortage for a fare.
The driver works for Southend-based AC Radio Cabs. It is understood that he suffered a head injury and cardiac arrest after being allegedly shoved to the ground.
I know what you're thinking, their equally scummy teenage boyfriends stepped in to defend their fair maidens. But oh, no.
A witness, Ross Henery, 34, from Campfield Road, was in another taxi near the incident when he heard the girls and the taxi driver arguing over a fare. He said: “The girls kept saying they only had £10 and I think the disagreement was over a £12 charge, so literally over £2. The driver was holding one of the girls with reasonable force trying to wait for the police to arrive.”
A witness, who asked not to be named, said he was woken up by the sound of a girl screaming. He saw a girl pushed the driver. (sic) During the scuffle the man was alleged to have fallen to the floor.
He said: “The noise of him hitting the pavement was so loud.”
Three teenage girls have been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm.

Thursday 7 September 2017

It's A Day With A 'Y' In It.... it must be time for yet more 'poverty' bollocks from the dear old 'Grauniad':
Paula Snowdon, who runs the Hub House, a converted end-of-terrace community centre on Seventh Street, describes malnourished families begging for food.
“Most had received benefit sanctions and were basically starving when they came to us,” she said. Others turned up wanting little more than a chat.
“We had individuals who hadn’t spoken to another person for days, sometimes weeks. Solitude is a major issue.”
'People are starving!' is a great hook, 'people need a chat!' not so much...
Some asked only to sit on the Hub’s sofa; private landlords lease homes without furniture in the numbered streets, forcing many tenants to live without the luxury of settees. Some arrived seeking refuge from the network of drug dealers that has infested the village: one resident on Eleventh Street counts six dealers among its 54 red-bricked properties.
Wait, people can't afford furniture, but can afford drugs? So much so, there's an increase in supply to mean the demand?

Yet what astonished Snowdon most was the prevalence of mental illness. “The actual way of life around here causes problems. I would say that 85% have a mental health illness such as anxiety and depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Children are born into deprivation and high unemployment: people feel forgotten about.”
So they can also afford children? And the luxury of 'mental illness', most of which falls into the 'excess of self-indulgence' category?
Next month, a delegation from the trust will meet the minister responsible for the “northern powerhouse”, Jake Berry, to discuss a proposition to build industrial and commercial space that will allow small businesses to flourish. Officials believe that £30m of state funding over four years will bring in three times that amount in direct investment, along with a sustainable income of £2m each year that will be invested to deliver bespoke projects like the Hub House.
And this can all be cured by throwing yet more taxpayer cash at them?

Errrr.....Yes. Yes, I Do.

Eric Baptista talks a good deal of sense. ‘I’ve run my own restaurant, so held a bar licence. If you’re too drunk, I can’t serve you any more. I must ask you to leave. Why shouldn’t this apply to bookies?’ he asks.
‘If I’ve spent so much money I’m crying and shouting at the machine — acting irrationally — why shouldn’t someone lean over their counter and say, “I’m sorry sir, but I can’t really keep serving you in your state of mind”?
Because that would be ridiculous?
Eric, who trained as a chef but has also worked as an aircraft fitter and a taxi driver to fund his addiction, is not a stupid man.
Well, maybe not.
‘This machine had the ability to take everything in my pocket and everything in my account.’
Ah. OK. Clearly, he IS a stupid man!
‘You might go into a shop with £100 in £20 notes with the intention of spending just £20. But once that’s gone your money just starts slipping into the machine.
‘You don’t want to spend the £80 that’s left but you’ve got no choice. You put it in in the belief that this is an FOBT so if you lose once, the chances must be better for you the second time and even greater the third time. You think, “next time I’ll double it” then the next time you think, “I’ll triple it because eventually my numbers have to come in”’.
Yup! Thick as a whale sandwich. we leave the hotel in which we meet, a waitress takes me to one side. ‘I couldn’t help overhearing some of that,’ she says.
‘Please try to get the government to do something. My brother’s addicted to those machines and it’s wrecking our family.’
Well, I'm sure the government's track record of 'fixing problems' has persuaded you that's a good idea, but it seems you're as dim as he is.

It's called 'personal responsibility' and 'self-control'. That's what you need. Not more government interference.

Wednesday 6 September 2017

"Force and mind are opposites; morality ends where a gun begins." games are not like real-life. From Final Fantasy to Grand Theft Auto, the central idea behind our favourite blockbusters is escapism.
You come to these amazing, spectacular places to do crazy stuff – to battle monsters, steal treasure, crash fast cars and blow up planes – stuff you can’t get away with in reality.
Plenty of people seem to get away with stealing, crashing cars and blowing up planes in real life!
But weirdly, as game visuals have become more realistic and more detailed, a lot of players have found themselves replicating real-life habits and routines in the virtual world, even when it serves no mechanical function.
From careful parking to routine politeness, it seems we can’t completely abandon ourselves to pixellated anarchy – there are standards we mustn’t let go.
Good to hear. Now, excuse me while I rob this couple I've just contracted to help with a monster problem...

Modern 'Parenting' Again...

Mrs Green, of Berkeley, Gloucestershire, who lives with partner Josh Smith, 29, and daughter Halle, seven, said she wants to use the letter to raise awareness of autism.
Instead, she's raised awareness of just how utterly selfish and unconcerned she is about the effects of her son's behaviour on everyone else...

And no, the fact the child is disabled and 'can't help it' isn't some magic bullet, either. A dog 'can't help' barking, but that doesn't mean that your neighbours have to put up with noise nuisance.

Modern approaches to child-rearing have been discussed quite a bit over on Tim Newman's blog. It doesn't bode well for the future.

Tuesday 5 September 2017

Another Curious Case From The Essex Coroner...

Taylor Search, 10, was found in the toilet of a bungalow in Beambridge, Basildon, on May 1, but died four days later at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Chelmsford Coroner’s Court heard the blaze probably started on his bunk bed just after 3pm as a result of “careless disposal of a smoking material or accidental misuse of a naked flame”.
Senior Essex coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray (Ed: Oh, hai!) said Taylor had a medical condition that left him unable to walk, but that he would get around the house on crutches or by crawling.
Taylor’s family did not attend the hearing but Mrs Beasley-Murray told police and fire officers: “What a tragic accident. Please would you express sympathy to the family on their tragic loss?
Why didn't they attend the hearing?
Assistant divisional fire officer Matthew Hare told the court a neighbour and Taylor’s mother, Helen, had attempted to rescue the youngster but were held back by the smoke.
Mr Hare said the initial 999 call was confusing and as a result it was not clear how many people were in the house.
He said during the call, Taylor’s mother told operators another youth had recently been at the house and said: “I don’t know what my son’s been doing in his bedroom.”
Ah. Maybe that's why. So a fire starts at 3pm, with several adults present, and a 13 year old, and yet still a young boy loses his life?
Mr Hare said Mrs Search was a smoker but kept her cigarettes and lighter in a small portable safe.
As you do...
Mr Hare said there were “still gaps in the circumstances” because fire officers had been unable to speak to Mrs Searcher.
Det Insp Anna Grainger, of Basildon CID, said an investigation found there were no suspicious circumstances.

Ouch! Oh, Twitter...

The series was dreadful. I didn't bother to watch the second episode. If you really must watch a gritty, Lahndahn private eye show, try a bit of nostalgia instead.

H/T@jon_abbott via Twitter