Monday, 30 November 2020
DumbJon tears BBC's favourite historian a new one:
But you read on and find out that she has Captain Hook's grasp of history:
Worsley said that Wellington's first cable back to London all but whitewashed their involvement
Did he follow it up with a Livechat on Youtube?
And it gets better:
She said: 'The European allies referred to the battle as the Belle Alliance and saw it as a European collaboration, but from the earliest dispatch sent back to Britain after the battle, Wellington was calling it the Battle of Waterloo after the place it was fought, playing down the collaborative nature of the victory.'
Yes, he called the battle after the place it was fought, the fiend!
Wait until someone tells her the Battle of Jutland didn't actually take place on the Jutland peninsula.
StokeonTrentLive reports Joshua Bagshaw, aged 24, had called paramedics to say the infant had a twitch on one side of its body. He is said to have told medics: "It's like it has a spasm and I don't know what it is".
When the baby was transferred to Alder Hey Children's Hospital, doctors detected "extensive bleeding".
Prosecutor Andrew Smith QC told Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court that "a doctor concluded the likely cause was from suffering a recent head injury or by forcible shaking".
Someone's going to the Big House, and rightly so. Unless his brief has a cracking excuse?
Barry White, mitigating, said: "He is genuinely remorseful. He is quite affected by everything that happened."
Ah. Guess not. Oh, well, th...
The suspended sentence...
...includes a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement and 180 hours unpaid work.
*bangs head on desk* And why no mention of the mother?
Sunday, 29 November 2020
Saturday, 28 November 2020
This is the moment a man brandishing a golf club allegedly chased schoolchildren along a London street in a frenzied attack that left a 13-year-old boy with a fractured skull.
Gosh! Why would someone do this? Are there any lurking clues?
A resident who lives close to Dunraven School described seeing blood on the ground and a schoolboy lying unconscious following the assault. They said: ‘There’s always a bit of commotion when the kids come out so when I heard shouting and screaming I didn’t pay any attention.’
Today, the schoolboy victim was described as popular and ‘cheeky’ by parents with children in the same year as him. One said: ‘He’s a well-known kid who has a lot of friends.
‘Like any 13-year-old he can be a bit mouthy but he’s not a troublemaker and is very likeable.’
Another added: ‘It’s very shocking because he’s a lovely boy. He’s a character, bit of a cheekie chappie who’s always smiling and joking around.’
The mother claimed that the attacker was well known in the area.
She said: ‘The man is known to the school children.
‘He lives two doors away from the school. Some of the children make fun of him and call him names. It’s not right what he did but he is not all there.’
We've already got one trial ongoing of a 'care in the community' case that resulted in disaster, but at least there, the injured party was totally innocent and did nothing to bring about the attack. I'm not getting the same vibe here, are you, Reader?
Research by Rape Crisis and Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions, finds that jurors often accept rape myths and thus acquit rapists who are in fact guilty. 66% of jurors do not understand judges’ legal directions which attempt to dispel rape myths, but fail. Jurors need proper rape myth training prior to and throughout trials.
Thomas is scathing about these claims in a paper published this month in Criminal Law Review:
At the time of the petition there had been no research in England and Wales with real jurors on the issue of whether they accepted commonly held rape myths or understood judges’ directions on such myths. This meant that the petition’s claim that research showed jurors accepted commonly held rape myths and did not understood judges’ directions on these myths could not have been correct.
Couldn't be clearer, could it?
So...how did the State's well-paid servants get it so wrong? Well, the usual way. By stacking the deck to give the answer they wanted.
The answer, she explains, is that public opinion polls and mock jury research rely on people who have volunteered to take part.
The single-issue loons and nutter who take an interest in these things. In other words.
By contrast, 87% of those who served on juries had told Thomas, in earlier research, that they would never have volunteered to do so.
There are lies, damn lies, and statistics, it's said. We can add to that 'and then there's government research'.
H/T: BarristerBlog via Twitter
Friday, 27 November 2020
“Some groups protested, refusing to keep their distance, marching against travel restrictions – as if measures that governments must impose for the good of their people constitute some kind of political assault on autonomy or personal freedom,” he said in a new book.
He railed against those who claim “that being forced to wear a mask is an unwarranted imposition by the state”.
“You’ll never find such people protesting the death of George Floyd, or joining a demonstration because there are shantytowns where children lack water or education, or because there are whole families who have lost their income,” he said. “On such matters they would never protest; they are incapable of moving outside of their own little world of interests.”
Yeah, I know, the Pope, virtue signalling! It's not like it doesn't come with the job, right? But it's a strange choice of people to dub sinners, isn't it?
...when it's all over, this guy deserves a medal:
Mr Brady said a passer-by, Tony Canty, who been out for a walk with his wife and daughter witnessed Skana 'manhandling' and 'screaming' at Emily and pushing her to the ground.
Skana screamed: 'She tried to kill me.' She then repeated it as she ran past Mr Canty. At that stage, Mr Canty 'had no idea how serous the situation was, he hadn't seen a knife and didn't realise that Emily had been fatally wounded,' Mr Brady said.
But he was 'sufficiently' concerned to run after Skana, with his wife shouting after him that she had a knife. He briefly lost sight of Skana but soon caught up with her and either 'barged or pushed' her to the ground. Skana fell on to her back and Mr Canty was able to detain her until the police arrived.
Thursday, 26 November 2020
Parents at a Black Country school "can't be bothered" to collect their children's free meals, a councillor has claimed.
Yes, really. The school staff have been contacting them, apparently, to be told "no, leave it, we are alright"...
Dudley councillor Anne Millward said the unidentified school, which she says is over the Sandwell border, is "virtually the most deprived one in western Europe".
But she claims not one parent of the Year 6 group, which had been sent home due to coronavirus, came to collect meals on their child's behalf.
She made the revelation during a debate on free school meals at a Dudley Council health meeting.
That must have been a welcome addition to the expected wringing of hands and virtue signalling and lambasting of the cruel heartless Tory monsters, eh, Reader?
"It makes me wonder who is complaining about free school means. Is it the parents themselves? I am not being political here."
Maybe not, but I predict you're in for a bumpy few weeks. Because the ones complaining most definitely are being political...H/T: Ted Treen via email
Lennon said: “This will make a massive difference to the lives of women and girls and everyone who menstruates.”Because you were covered by the first two, as outside of them, no-one else menstruates.
The scheme, which is estimated to cost about £8.7m a year, will not be means-tested.
Nail technicians and hairdressers will be rejoicing, while the Scottish taxpayer looks sadly at his or her pay packet...
Lennon said that campaigners across the world had been watching progress in Scotland very closely. “It’s an important message in the middle of a global pandemic that we can still put the rights of women and girls high up the political agenda.”
Just 'women and girls'..? Make up your mind!
Wednesday, 25 November 2020
A West Midlands Police spokesman said: "These are challenging times and our officers are adapting to the new legislation and guidance which has changed many times during the pandemic.
"Government law says that no person may, without reasonable excuse, enter or remain within a relevant place without wearing a face covering.
"We understand that these restrictions are difficult for everyone, but we must all follow the rules to overcome this pandemic."
It helps if you teach your officers what those rules actually are, rather than allowing them to make it up as they go along:
The 28-year-old said he told officers he had asthma and he was medically exempt but claimed one of them demanded his details and threatened to arrest him in a branch of Lidl in Birmingham.
Mr O'Hagan said he insisted he did not "need to disclose his medical history" but claimed he was eventually handcuffed in front of other shoppers and taken outside. "I'd forgotten my phone, my wallet, my inhaler and they kept going: 'You need to prove it, you need to prove it'."
He went on: "I explained - as per the Government website - you don't have to have a card on you and it was just a verbal thing you needed to say."
Mr O'Hagan said his partner returned home to collect his exemption cards and inhaler, but this was not enough to satisfy the police.
He added: "They took me out of handcuffs, de-arrested me and had a look at my records but said that, because my inhaler didn't have my name on it, they would still have to fine me."
We shouldn't be surprised, for one thing, WMP are the most dysfunctional farce in the country, and for another, the real reason for this dogged determination to pin something on the poor sod is because he had the temerity to argue.
Mr O'Hagan appealed the fine and the fixed penalty notice was quashed. He has now complained to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), the force watchdog.
Will they take appropriate action? Probably not.
H/T: Suzanne Evans via Twitter
Police are investigating I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!...
Well, it's about time! For crimes against entertainment?
...over concerns non-native wildlife could have escaped into the Welsh countryside during bushtucker trials, the Guardian can reveal.
Authorities are investigating ITV after complaints by the TV presenter and naturalist Iolo Williams, who was appalled after watching the show last week and seeing thousands of cockroaches being poured over contestants.
Williams said: “Cockroaches are the ultimate survivors, and if they survive in north Wales and escape into the wild there, what effect are they going to have? I don’t know, nobody knows … I just find it incredible that they’re allowed to do this, and I’m not being a killjoy here. Why not use fish guts, or offal?”
I have to say, if the Welsh countryside can be 'threatened by cockroaches', it's doomed...
Natural Resources Wales, which gives out licences for the release of species, did not receive an application from ITV to release non-native species. If these species have been released without a licence it would be a breach of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
A spokesperson for north Wales police said: “The matter is being investigated by officers from our rural crime team.”
I would love to see this in one of those fly-on-the-wall police documentaries in the future...
Tuesday, 24 November 2020
The abandoned dog, called Crackers, had been brutally attacked by a previous owner who had beaten him about the head with a metal pole.
The dog carried out the attacks in Malvern just 12 hours after being adopted by the couple where it was hoped he would go on to live out a better, happier life. Although the dog will not be destroyed, he will now have to spend the rest of his life in a rescue centre to protect the public and must be muzzled and kept on a lead at all times if he goes outdoors.Wait, what..? Why on earth wouldn't this thing be disposed of immediately?
The rescue dog, previously known as Kaiser (but renamed by the couple), had been in their possession just 12 hours when he bit Geraldine Price on the hand in Duke of Edinburgh Way in Malvern on March 15 this year.
The dog, which the couple adopted from Birch Hill kennels in Worcester, bit John Southall later the same day at Malvern Retail Park, the couple claiming they had been at the shops to buy a muzzle after the first attack.
By chance the two victims met in A&E at Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester where they were both receiving treatment. When they began a conversation they 'both realised they had both been bitten by the same dog'.
You couldn't make it up, could you?
The dog, which had been described as ‘nervous’ by the kennels which rehomed him, had given instructions that the animal was to be properly managed and should have a harness and sign to say he was a nervous dog.
“It seems that had not been done” said the prosecutor.
In interview Prangley claimed the victim of the first attack had been ‘flicking keys which had scared the dog’. She said she had not been fully informed about the dog’s temperament.
Well, of course she did...
Mark Sheward, defending, said the couple had never been told the dog should be kept on a muzzle. He said of the kennels: “It would seem they are seeking to minimise their responsibility in allowing their dog out when they had concerns about it themselves.”
Wouldn't the sensible thing to do be put down any large, powerful dog who shows signs of a poor temperament?
Magistrates ordered Prangley to pay £150 in compensation to Miss Price. Hiles was ordered to pay £150 to Mr Southall. The pair were disqualified from keeping dogs for two years.
And presumably the kennels get off scot free?
Insp Paul Shortt, from Nottinghamshire Police, said: "This was a horrible incident and has sadly resulted in one dog's death.
"Force dog handlers joined officers swiftly on scene. Despite their best efforts and a number of different tactics to stop the attacks, they couldn't save the dog's life.
"Officers did successfully control and contain the animals with no further injury."
This wasn't a job for dog handlers in the first place. It was a job for armed officers.
The two dogs have been seized and their owners have been interviewed by police.
And now an expensive trial and a long wait in kennels when two bullets would have resolved things then and there.
Monday, 23 November 2020
A surge in online extremism, at a time of COVID-related isolation, has created a "perfect storm" for radicalisation, according to the UK's top counter terrorism police officer.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu has said growing numbers of young people in particular have been sucked in by the increase in hateful ideology online and set on a path towards violent extremism.
For MI5 and Counter Terror Command at Scotland Yard, the vast majority of their work is still centred on the threat from Islamist extremism.
But Mr Basu has warned the threat from far right extremism is growing rapidly, adding that 10 out of the 12 under 18s who were arrested for terrorism last year were linked to extreme right wing ideology.
Remind me, someone, how many deadly 'far right' terror attacks have been launched on British soil?
What is 'far right' ideology, anyway?
He said: "There has definitely been a growth in nationalistic material online, white supremacist literature, things that are extremely disturbing."
Well, good lord, we can't have nationalism, can we?
Certainly not if the perpetrator is the local nut. This appeal popped up on my Facebook feed:
It appears that after initially 'investigating' (i.e. sending a PCSO, of which they seem to have a fair few), and actually registering an official crime number (CR/095369/20), the police and press hastily reversed course and immediately deleted all references and appeals they'd made for information. Press reports were hastily deleted. They have refused to consider assisting the distraught cat's owners. Despite the claims that this man has done the same before.
And why? Because the magic words 'mental health issues' were apparently uttered. Whereupon the state's agents and fearless local press crusaders immediately decided he was the real victim here.
How, one might ask, does this keep Paignton a safer place?
Sunday, 22 November 2020
Saturday, 21 November 2020
Perceptions of racism in fantasy go back to the origins of the genre. Is it a coincidence that D&D’s dishonourable, dark-skinned elves come from a matriarchal society, or that its savage orcs bear uncanny resemblance to a traditionally white, western conceptualisation of barbaric peoples from the “uncivilised” world?
*sighs* More race-obsessives. They're everywhere now, in every type of hobby or pastime...
Take JRR Tolkien. On the one hand, he spoke out against Nazi race doctrine and has been heralded for “multiculturalism” in his work. Nevertheless, his stories are steeped in Eurocentric bias.
See? It's not enough for fanatics that you denounce things. They can always find something that makes you guilty.
And if they can't they'll just invent it!
One of the best – or worst – examples of a flawed understanding of history leading to perceptions of a racist representation is George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, seen on TV as Game of Thrones. Martin has said: “I wanted my books to be strongly grounded in history and to show what medieval society was like.” But the sexualising of young women, exoticising of non-white characters and white saviour storylines in the series are typical of the prevalent white-washing of medieval history.
And the 'pushback' against it leads to absurdities like a black Anne Boleyn. They might as well put a dragon in there too!
The pushback to structural racism in fantasy, be it fiction, television or gaming, comes in many forms. Starting conversations about diversity and inclusion in publishing is a start.
Aren't we all bored to tears with 'conversations about diversity' by now? The race-obsessives are the only ones who really care.
“Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is strength, for only a diverse group of adventurers can overcome the many challenges a D&D story presents,” begins Wizards of the Coast’s diversity statement. But in an unequal world, words such as “diversity” are loaded. Pushing past the legacy of colonialism is the only way to create a more level playing field; fantasy should not be an excuse for stories to perpetuate the prejudice that resulted from imperialism.
“Part of our work will never end,” continues the statement. In that, at least, it is right.
Well, there can be no more implacable and relentless foe in fantasy than the one in real life, that's for sure...
His trial at Winchester crown court heard that Lucy’s school had raised concerns that she was spending time unsupervised with an older man. The trial judge, Mrs Justice May, questioned why social services had not intervened.
The review found that agencies including children’s social care were aware of Nicholson’s criminal history. A “learning report” (Ed:**hollow laugh) produced by the reviewers said the concerns correctly raised by her school did not progress further than the “front door” to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub. The report said this “resulted in no multi-agency sharing of information held by police, the school and children’s social care.”
The very thing we are always told they need legions of staff for, they don't do. Again.
The report said a lack of “professional curiosity” was a frequent theme emerging in such cases. It said in this instance there was “a lack of further investigation by police” when Nicholson came to their attention before Lucy’s death, “not least when it became known he was tattooing underage young people”.
Supt Kelly Whiting, Hampshire police’s district commander for Southampton, said the force was “‘identifying improvements”, adding: “We are already developing a trauma informed approach to dealing with all incidents involving children.”
Rob Henderson, Southampton city council’s executive director for wellbeing (children and learning), said: “On behalf of the council I would like to apologise to the victim’s family, friends, and all who knew her, for the council’s shortcomings identified in the report. We have already made changes in a number of the areas highlighted.”
Will the changes you claim to have made make the slightest difference?
Nobody at the city council has been disciplined over the case. Hampshire police said no disciplinary action had been taken.
That old familiar refrain. So that's a resounding 'no' then...
Friday, 20 November 2020
Croydon is bankrupt. The south London council last week issued a section 114 notice – a formal declaration that it cannot meet the legal requirement to balance its books and will halt all but essential spending.
Couldn't happen to a more worthy place. Nor is it destined to be the last...
Councils across the country are having to introduce severe cuts and a number are on the brink of declaring bankruptcy.
Looks like the council taxpayer funded gravy train has hit the buffers, at last!
A decade’s worth of austerity for councils has left the country stripped of youth services, community centres, libraries, arts venues, sports facilities – the things that make up the social fabric of our nation.
Cuts have forced the rationing of social care in a way that would have been a national scandal had it happened to the healthcare provided by the NHS.
Where have you been, hiding in a cave? It has happened in the NHS, as it closed down all other services to fight a bad dose of flu!
H/T: Fahrenheit211 via Parler
The matter has now been reported to Police Scotland.
A spokesman said: “Police were made aware of a dog attacking another dog on Portobello beach around 12pm on Friday, 16 October, 2020. The dog suffered serious injuries and died at the scene. Enquiries are currently ongoing to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident.”Well, at least the police are on the case. Unlike Police Scotland to get something rig....
“I tried to walk away,” said Helen, who was now holding the ailing Fudge. “He couldn’t control his dogs – they were just going mad now. He was kicking them and shouting at them.
“I could feel Fudge fading, so I had to race to the vets.”
Sadly Fudge died before Helen got him to the veterinary for treatment.
“He didn’t have a mark on him so he wasn’t mauled. The vet said he had died of a heart attack from the fright of the attack.”
Thursday, 19 November 2020
A teenage tearaway who caused havoc with burglaries and car thefts was...
In the justice system? Not so much.
...spared a prison sentence.
Well, of course he was.
Schofield, who has been in and out of foster care and children’s home since the age of seven was spared a jail term because he has now started to turn his life around.
Yes, of course he has.
Judge Christine Henson QC imposed a two-year suspended prison sentence.
Those female judges, eh..?
Schofield’s girlfriend Danielle Cutler, 20, told the court she will give him the boot if he returns to a life of crime.
Her comments were echoed by Adam Tucknott from the West Sussex County Council Leaving Care Service.
Mr Tucknott said Schofield has “proved himself” by not committing any offences since April.
She's 20 and in love with him. What's everyone else's excuse?
Supermarket giant Sainsbury's is axing 3,500 jobs as it shuts all its deli, fish and meat counters and closes swathes of standalone Argos stores.
Well, those lucky enough to still have a good local butcher (mine recently closed and the new one is now halal...) will be OK.
But what about the rest of us? I suppose we'll have to go to Tesco or Morrison's.
Sainsbury's said its decision to close its fresh food counters and shut 420 standalone Argos shops by March 2024 would save the group £60million and enable it to 'better reflect customer demand.'
If you really cared about customer demand you wouldn't be telling all your customers 'From now on, you eat only plastic-wrapped identikit steak, or shop with our competitors, ok?'...
Wednesday, 18 November 2020
...when readers, publishers and independent bookshops shared their delight about the new books retail platform, Bookshop.org, launched on Monday, it was the result of some of the most exciting news we’ve had in publishing for aeons.
Wow! Things must be really boring in retail, is all I can say! What's new about this platform, then?
Following its success in the US, Bookshop.org has arrived in the UK and promises something we have all been asking for – an ethical and transparent platform for buying books that amplifies the uniqueness of independent bookshops, with reading lists curated by humans rather than algorithms.
Who's been asking for that? Have you, Reader? If I want 'reading lists curated by humans', there's Goodreads.
Bookshop.org allows any independent shop to customise its own online store front, select books to recommend and, any time a bookshop directs a customer to the site through one of its links, it gets 30% of the sale.
Well, we'll see. But don't write off Amazon just yet.
A talented art gallery owner fell to her death from a rooftop garden...
Oh no! How terrible! Is this a H&S issue?
...after taking ketamine, an inquest has been told.
Ah. Maybe not.
The possibility of suicide was investigated but this was also ruled out as there was no evidence to suggest Ms Vanzetta intended to take her own life.
Being merely careless with it clearly doesn't count...
Her sister, Maxine Vanzetta, described her as her “friend and confidante” in an email sent to the coroner. “Lana was a force to be reckoned with, highly respected by the community,” she said.
Strange 'community' you have there, then.
Tuesday, 17 November 2020
More vegan meals look likely become available in Brighton and Hove school canteens.
The news emerged after Brighton mother Jill Pearson-Klein urged councillors to stop sidelining veganism and labelling it as a “special diet”.
But it is...
“Today’s children need to move towards a more plant-based diet to have a future on this planet and we need to be encouraging them to do so.” She spoke out at a “virtual” meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Children, Young People and Skills Committee on Monday.
First, it's 'encouragement'. Later, it's Hobson's Choice...
She said: “I am asking the committee to ensure veganism is no longer sidelined as a ‘special diet’ in schools and that a vegan choice is available every lunchtime to all children in all schools to enable them to make more responsible food choices.”
And if they don't want to eat it, what then?
Haven't you ever browsed the 'remainder' aisle in a supermarket, Jill? Two things are always on it: beef mince and vegan food!
Councillor Clare, who chairs the committee, said that vegan children were registered as receiving a “special diet” to ensure they were not given meat, eggs or dairy food. She said: “This is not to sideline this choice or treat the child as different but to ensure they receive appropriate foods.
“We will look at reviewing our use of language around this with our catering contractor.”
Why? Why appease people like this? Don't you know you're just emboldening them?
And...is there a dearth of vegetarian and vegan food on the menu then?
Eight of the 15 vegetarian dishes on offer in schools across Brighton and Hove were suitable for vegan children, the committee was told.
Fifteen!?! There must be a lot of demand...
The Greens were keen to promote “meat-free Mondays” when they first took office nine years ago, trying it out at the Cityclean depot in Holligdean. The move was not universally popular with the binmen and street cleaners based at Cityclean and the idea was dropped shortly afterwards.
Monday, 16 November 2020
Employees who continue working from home after the pandemic should be taxed for the privilege, with the proceeds used to help lower-paid workers, according to a new report.
Economists at Deutsche Bank have proposed making staff pay a 5% tax for each day they choose to work remotely.
They argue it would leave the average employee no worse off because of savings made by not commuting and not buying lunch on-the-go and fewer purchases of work clothing.
God forbid anyone saves any money when they could be forking it over to people who - unlike them - know just how to best use it. eh?
Alternatively, the report suggests the tax could be paid by employers who do not provide their workforce with a permanent desk.
Cue all sorts of shenanigans to try to prove that this desk is really Karen's even when she's not sitting in it...
Coronavirus has “turbocharged” the popularity of remote working, which was growing rapidly before the pandemic, according to Deutsche Bank strategist Luke Templeman. “For years we have needed a tax on remote workers – Covid has just made it obvious,” Templeman said.
I looked up the definition of 'need' and I agree with Colossus...
“A big chunk of people have disconnected themselves from the face-to-face world yet are still leading a full economic life. That means remote workers are contributing less to the infrastructure of the economy whilst still receiving its benefits. That is a big problem for the economy.”
I don't know about you, Luke, but I work to live. I don't live to work.
...and it's not infighting:
...friends of Allegra Stratton, the new press secretary to the prime minister, said she had been “in tears all morning” as a result of what she believed were critical briefings by Johnson’s former director of communications, Lee Cain.You hire someone to deal with press, often hostile press, and before she's even found out where the toilets are or who she needs to call to order more printer paper she's running to the ladies for a tissue because the big boys are being mean to her?
Stratton, who will be the public face of the government, believes Cain told numerous journalists over the previous 24 hours that she was not the first choice for the job and had not been top of the list of a panel chosen to make the high-profile appointment.
I guess we can see why! But Boris is no stranger to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, now is he?
Stratton later told the Observer: “Yes, I am upset because I was only ever trying to do the right thing by the country. And the country does not want to be run by people in No 10 who treat people discourteously and unpleasantly.”
Does it want to be run by people who hire a blubbering ninny to speak for them then? I think you'll find the answer's 'No', sweetie.
Sunday, 15 November 2020
Saturday, 14 November 2020
Penguin Random House has partnered with think tank The Runnymede Trust to promote diverse reading lists in schools.
The Lit in Colour campaign follows a recent report by Teach First, which claimed that many students will leave school having never studied a book by an author of colour or ethnic minority background.
But...maybe there's a good reason that they should study these books?
Penguin CEO Tom Weldon outlined the need to make reading lists more inclusive and representative of the students who study the subject.
"At its best, English Literature offers young people a passport to see and understand the world through others' eyes, inspire a lifelong love of reading and a fundamental sense of belonging. Access to a diverse and representative range of books, authors and characters is key — in classrooms, school libraries and at home.”
But if a kid from the mean streets of Bethnal Green reads about Victorian England or the time of Shakespeare, they are 'reading and seeing the world through others' eyes', aren't they?
What sort of books are you recommending they read instead?
We can think of many wonderful writers of colour who could be studied, but ultimately we’re not educational experts, and so don’t think it’s our place to suggest them. Moreover, it’s really important to us that at this stage of the initiative that we’re not trying to identify solutions or make recommendations before the findings of the research are published.
So...you don't know, because you're not 'educational experts'. But you are experts on books.
Aren't you? Surely you could suggest something..?
"But the reality is that our young people are still studying a mostly white, mostly male English Literature curriculum: one which neither reflects contemporary society nor inspires a generation to read outside of their classes. We are joining forces with The Runnymede Trust to support the many schools and teachers working hard to make change on the ground, and to better understand the depth and breadth of this issue.”
Ah. Say no more. You've no idea what you like, just what you don't. We see you. We see you very well.
Letters to victims of rape and other crimes sent by the Crown Prosecution Service explaining legal decisions are of poor quality, lack human empathy and are frequently late, according to an official watchdog.
In a highly critical follow-up report, Her Majesty’s Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) concludes that two years after making similar findings there has been no improvement.
In fact, it's worse than that. There's actually been a decline...
Inspectors also discovered delays had grown since 2018. Only 65.1% of letters were deemed to be timely, compared with 72% in the inspection two years ago.
Probably because, being a public sector organisation, they threw more 'managers' at it, delaying the whole process.
Often letters did not apologise when decisions were delivered late.
That's inexcusable. And easily overcome with the introduction of standard templates, as with this horror:
The number of spelling mistakes has declined, but the opening line of one letter read: “I am the prosecutor in the case of XXXX and am writing to tell u the decision I have taken in this case.”
If they do use some kind of template, then someone's altered it. What were they thinking?
A CPS spokesperson said: “Communicating clearly and with empathy with victims of crime is vital to ensuring they have confidence in the justice system. We are therefore disappointed that changes we put in place since the last inspection have not delivered the improvements we wanted.”
They don't tell you what the changes were. That, in itself, is telling, isn't it?
And would any private sector organisation be so blase about failings?
Friday, 13 November 2020
I think 'burning to death' comes first...
Rob Carter, headteacher of the school in Jane Murray Way, said the alarm was not a drill but did not disclose whether there was a fire. He said the first priority is to evacuate the building in the emergency situation, but infection control procedures were in place.
However one student, who asked not to be named, said there was "no provisions for social distancing".
Stay and burn, or risk catching a dose of flu. One so deadly it has a death rate of 0.66%. Hmmm. It's a puzzle.
...which is odd, because the useless, lazy. incompetent police were certain the culprits were really foxes.
“The footage found at Wallace’s address was disturbing in the extreme”, said PC Tony Kiddle, from the East Area Command Wildlife Unit.
“Given the vast number of ways that domestic pets, roaming freely, can come to harm, it would be difficult to put a number on the level of his offending.
“But, given the content of his home footage, I believe that it is likely that he has played a sinister part in the deaths of a number of animals as in recent years.
“Wallace has exhibited horrifyingly cruel behaviour and it is reassuring to know that he has been removed to a place where he can cause no further harm to beloved pets.”Well, for (probably less than) six months anyway. Unless his fellow prisoners would like to hand out some proper justice?
Thursday, 12 November 2020
A video has been circulated online which appears to show a military piper being shoved to the ground by a Metropolitan police officer.
The piper, identified by the cameraman as a veteran, appears to march at the police barricade being guarded by masked Met police officers.
In the video, an officer then appears to shove the piper away from the line and the man stumbles backwards before falling to the ground.
Widower Donald Bell, 64, and mother-of-two Anne White, 53, were blasted by furious veterans, MPs and the families of fallen soldiers for the climate change stunt that went unchallenged by police.
The demonstrators, who were joined by two others, trampled over wreaths and unveiled a banner reading 'Honour Their Sacrifice, Climate Change Means War' on the 100th anniversary of the memorial in central London.
...it took the Metropolitan Police at least half an hour to take this down, despite one of their cars being parked within sight of the monument.
The police often liken themselves to sheepdogs, guarding the flock of society against wolves and rustlers.
Well, if I owned a sheepdog that savaged the odd sheep whenever it felt like it, and rolled over to show its belly whenever a rustler showed up with a van, it'd be taking a one way trip to the vet...
Wednesday, 11 November 2020
...when it's the nutter left free to roam with weapons who's just cut our throat:
The investigating officer, PC Bowman, from the Met’s Roads and Transport Command (RTPC), said: “The evidence against Thomas was overwhelmingly strong, leaving him with no option but to plead guilty and sparing the distress of having to go through a drawn out trial and relive a truly awful situation.
“While this was a totally unprovoked attack, I would like to remind members of the public that the London Bus Network remains a safe transportation system and that attacks such as this are a rare occurrence.”
No, they aren't. They might be statistically insignificant, given the numbers of commuters daily, but they aren't anything like rare. Too many unmedicated people are left free to roam untroubled, because it's their 'human right'.
DCI Dave Hindmarsh, from the Met’s Roads and Transport Command, added: “This was a horrific and unprovoked attack on a bus.
"The victim sustained serious injuries although is now recovering. I would like to thank him for his bravery. Thomas was quickly identified and arrested by officers from the RTPC Task Team.
“Detectives from RTPC CID conducted a diligent investigation securing conviction. We are determined to work in partnership with TFL to make London’s transport network the safest in the world.
“The excellent CCTV footage from the bus should serve as a reminder to anyone thinking of committing any crime on the bus network; we will identify you, and you will be caught.”
After the fact. Which is meant to be a comfort to the victims. Or their bereaved relatives. It shouldn't really be a comfort to anyone expecting it to deter nutters.
Siwan Hayward, Director of Compliance, Policing Operations and Security at TfL, said: “We welcome Thomas’ conviction for this truly heinous crime. All our customers have the right to travel in safety on our network and we have worked with the police to bring the perpetrator to justice. Violent incidents on our bus network are thankfully extremely rare, and we always support the strongest possible action against anyone who endangers our customers or staff.”
If only it were true. Do Bowman, Hindmarsh and Hayward regret joining organisations which repeatedly lie to the public that pay their wages, I wonder?
Can they 'scale it back' more than they already have?
And given they are currently not providing the service they are paid for, why are they taking on this tas...
GPs will open at least 1,260 mass vaccination centres across England, 12 hours a day, seven days a week. They will be paid £12.58 each time they or a practice nurse administers one of the two doses every recipient will be expected to have, several weeks apart...
Say no more.
Tuesday, 10 November 2020
The founder of Kids Company said she could not have been a director of the failed charity because she 'does not know what month or day it is', the High Court heard yesterday.
I can well believe it, except she clearly knows when it's dinnertime...
Camila Batmanghelidjh is fighting against being banned from holding a company directorship for six years.
Wait, why? Why fight something you're claiming you're incapable of doing?
The Official Receiver, which is bringing the case, says she was a 'de facto director' of the charity who told employees it would be run 'in accordance with her vision above all else' and 'people who did not agree should leave'.
Plenty of interviews in the media to show just that. I doubt the CPS barristers are breaking a sweat over this.
Kids Company was backed by politicians including David Cameron, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
None of whom noticed anything amiss. Says a lot, eh?
Northamptonshire Police's Chief Constable Nick Adderley said: 'This was an appalling attack on two officers who had been called to deal with an extremely vulnerable young person.'
Yes, he's describing the assailant here. Not his officer who has been gravely injured by her...
In a statement on Twitter, the Conservative minister said: 'I struggle to comprehend how anyone could commit such an act.
'My thoughts are with these brave officers during this difficult time.'
Why do you 'struggle to comprehend' how a person with mental health issues can do things like this?
The 15-year-old girl, who has not been named, appeared before Northampton Magistrates' Court on Monday.
She was released on conditional bail to next appear at Wellingborough Youth Court on November 17, police said.
The public can't know the names and details of what is evidently someone who is floridly mentally ill and dangerous. And she's not been confined safely while she awaits trial.
THAT'S how such things happen. And they'll go on and on happening.
Monday, 9 November 2020
...well, someone did. The lead supermarket, no less.
I went to Tesco on Saturday morning, and saw barriers across the travelator leading to the upper mezzanine, where the cafe and clothes are. Didn't think much about it, assumed it was broken (it often breaks down), and did my shop and left.
Only found out later that day that they are doing this in ALL stores that have a seperate section for clothes that they can shut off. They claimed it was due to 'government advice' but didn't go as far as putting barriers and plastic sheeting over 'non-essential goods' on ground floors. Yet.
I suppose we should be grateful they didn't just do what Sainsbury's did, and invite the police in to (incorrectly) lay down the law!
Lidl and Aldi for me for a daily shop in future!
...is that they see fit to boast about it:
In a Facebook post, officers from GMP's Golborne and Lowton team said: 'As a follow on from yesterdays post reminding you we are currently in Lockdown 2.0 as they say and under Government restrictions, a fixed penalty was issued to a male last night who decided he was going to see his mate and have a brew with him and to make matters worse he tried to lie about why he was there.
'You cannot go to another persons address unless for certain exemptions i.e. child care, support bubble etc. full details are available on line.'
Imagine wanting to join the police to protect society from criminality, finding out instead that you were expected to fine people for socialising against current government regulations, and then shrugging and obeying orders, rather than leaving and finding a proper job.
One you could do with your head held high and your integrity and self-respect intact.
Sunday, 8 November 2020
Saturday, 7 November 2020
...not when there's Common Purpose virtuesignalling to be done!
Is ignorance of the law a prerequisite for a police officer these days? It must be. There can't be any other explanation, can there?
Ah, yes, that mythical beast, the progressives getting something spot on, according to their deepest desires...
In the aftermath of the 2016 election in the US, there was a hope among Democrats that rose to the level of conviction: the results were devastating, yes, but they were also surely anomalous. Donald Trump had won, it would be a lousy four years, then his celebrity would wear off, he would do a terrible job, and the argument of his awfulness would make itself. For the first time in history, people would soberly examine the evidence, come to their senses and, without need of a crushing military defeat, admit they’d been horribly wrong.
Emma isn't the only dreamer, of course:
When you're wrong, you're wrong.
Not only have the Democrats failed to secure a resounding win, but in plenty of constituencies, support for Trump has actually increased. Early electoral data showed that in parts of Texas, for instance, while record numbers in the state voted – 6.6% more than in 2016 – in some rural communities, turnout for Trump more than doubled, and Biden lost counties won four years ago by Hillary Clinton.
So...what do you do? Well if you're a progressive, you rail against the people who looked at what you were offering and said 'No, thanks!'.
...the only possible response to all this is to scream: “My God, what is wrong with these people?” What can be said to be wrong with the people of Florida... What’s in the water in rural Pennsylvania?
It must be their fault, of course. It couldn't possibly be what you were selling, could it?
After the election in 2016, there was a rush to understand and empathise with Trump’s supporters with a view to understanding exactly how this had happened. This time, there is only disgust.
Well, that's a winning strategy.
There may be small increases in the numbers of black and Hispanic voters for Trump, but those numbers are still dwarfed by support in what nobody calls the “white community”.
The increases aren't small. And if you want that crushing blow, that 'blue wave', you need those white people. And this shows you've no more idea of how to get them onside than before the 2016 election...
Friday, 6 November 2020
Quick! Get the popcorn!
Workers at a vegan restaurant have quit en masse after its owner claimed trans people were being influenced by spirits.
Happy Maki owner Anna MacDonald made the claim after she was asked to provide financial help with a surgery for a trans person, who worked nearby.
Is that normal? Not the transgenderism, but the begging?
In the email to the trans person, Ms MacDonald said: “I have a lot of compassion for anyone who finds themselves feeling not right in their own skin/bodies.
“From the research I have done, I believe that gender dysphoria is due to spirits and spirit over-cloaking.
“I didn’t believe in spirits until recently so I get that it’s probably a bit out there, but I have been shocked and a bit scared about what I have read and how easy it is for them to control and manipulate people’s thoughts and feelings.”
A statement said to have been written collectively by “ex-Happy Maki staff and the trans individual involved” has been released.
Referencing Ms MacDonald’s email, it reads: “It wouldn’t feel effective to have Happy Maki or the owner be ‘cancelled’.
“It would be for the best if she can learn and understand why it was a transphobic, damaging thing to say.
“We ask Anna MacDonald to take accountability and responsibility for her transphobic actions.”
A woman who crashed her car on a notorious stretch of road gave a roadside breathalyser reading more than three times the legal limit.
Blackburn magistrates heard Inese Glinska rolled her car several times after crashing into a field at the section of Clitheroe Road in Nelson known as the S Bends. She was taken to hospital where she assaulted two police officers despite being handcuffed behind her back.
Glinska, 52, of Cross Street, Brierfield, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol and two charges of assaulting an emergency worker.
Reader, you know what's coming, don't you?
She was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months, fined £150 and ordered to pay £120 compensation to each of the police officers. She was banned from driving for 16 months.
Sardar Asghar, defending, said his client had been in the UK for nine years, had never been in trouble and had always worked.
He doesn't say what her job is, I note. Surely it's one we can do without?
Thursday, 5 November 2020
Hackney was one of a number of local authorities identified by the Centre for Social Justice working as part of the IntegratED partnership to reduce preventable exclusions, which had a disproportionality in fixed-term exclusions for the 2018/19 school year.
Good grief, what a collection of fakecharities and lobby groups, all we need is a 'youth justice wor...'
Oh. Right on cue.
Local youth worker and campaigner Luke Billingham said it is a “disgrace and an injustice”.
“Youth workers and other youth professionals across the borough have been raising concerns about these issues for many years.
“We’ve all sat in too many school meetings in which parents and students have been stereotyped, belittled or patronised. We’ve all known students with immense academic potential get treated punitively and unfairly, in discriminatory ways.
“These statistics reflect deep-seated problems in Hackney education.”
Yes, I'm sure all the excluded little cherubs are future geniuses, if only the schools would overlook their habits, Luke...
He described it as a “complex issue”, pointing to wider national issues, such as austerity, Department for Education policies and incredibly difficult working conditions for teachers affecting local educational problems.
So these kids are playing up because their teacher has a lot of extra work? Hmmm. Seems legit.
The study also found the borough’s 137 pupils of Irish traveller heritage were just over twice as likely to be excluded, with six incidences found in 2018/19, a rate of just over four per 100 pupils.
Well, well, well. It's not just black kids? It's also other kids from cultures which don't prize learning or obediance to the social mores of the country they are living in? Fancy that!
Luke said senior leadership teams need to be “brave”.
“Hackney is one of the most multicultural places in the country, and should excel at providing an equitable education for people from all cultural backgrounds, if it is to be ‘a place for everyone’.
“Instead, it remains a place which privileges white, middle class people, in all sorts of ways, but particularly in our education system.”
Are there even any white, middle class people in Hackney? Apart, that is, for self-loathing social justice warriors like Luke?H/T: wiggia via email
“Would-be cyclists” are being urged to use new pop-up bike lanes if they do not want to see them removed.
Well, why put them up in the first place?
In recent months government-funded cycleways have been setup in Chichester, Crawley, East Grinstead, Horsham, Shoreham and Worthing. The lanes, intended to encourage people to opt for more active modes of transport, have delighted cyclists.
But motorists have argued that they are the cause of congestion in some areas, taking a lane of the road which was originally allocated to traffic.
Good old government, spending taxpayer money on things they believe the taxpayer should want again...
West Sussex County Council says there are to be no more pop-up cycle lanes, and encouraged “would-be cyclists” to try them out for themselves.
A spokesman for the authority said: “An important part of assessing the cycleways will be to monitor usage: these are trial schemes, so if people want them to stay, please use them.”
People, you know what to do! And demand a refund.
Wednesday, 4 November 2020
...that 'police intelligence' is an oxymoron:
The notebook contained part of the force’s ‘Gang Matrix’, a controversial list of suspected gang members and associates used by police forces.
It was stolen on May 29 after officers from the gangs unit left the car unattended when they went on a footchase in the Ladywood area of Birmingham.
It doesn't say that the car was stolen. Surely they didn't just take the book?
Nah. That would be suspicious, wouldn't it?
The force believes that the blunder did not ‘directly’ put anyone in risk but is ‘continuing to monitor potential risks’ and has written to all whose details were involved.
It said the officer responsible for the notebook had been given ‘management advice’.
Is that all?
Danny Long, the assistant chief constable, said the professional standards department has investigated and the force had referred itself to the Information Commissioner’s Office [ICO] and the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
He admitted the force had no idea where the notebook was.
Didn't really need those last four words in that sentence, did you?
Well, remember this moment 4 years ago? I predicted it'd be a fun four years, and I wasn't wrong, was I?
As time of writing, it's far too close to call. By the time this posts to the blog, who knows? Will the US be lead by a drooling idiot unable to remember the names of his relatives? Or will Trump be re-elected?
One thing is sure. The next four years are going to be even more fun, no matter who wins...
Tuesday, 3 November 2020
Technical director of the zoo, Mads Frost Bertelsen, said: 'We are constantly checking our facilities, both out of consideration for the animals and with a view to the guest experience.
'The wolf enclosure was 40 years old and long ago no longer met the requirements that are made today in animal welfare.
'Therefore the facility had to be closed so that we can create a new and more modern area. Since we couldn't put the zoo's three male wolfs (sic) anywhere else, we had to kill them. 'Of course, it's Copenhagen Zoo again.
The zoo has said brown bears will also disappear in order to create more space for the more popular polar bears.
That sounds unnecessarily sinister...
Sharni Stephens was walking the large dogs, which were an American XL bully breed, without leads or muzzles at around 5am on Cotswold Drive in Redcar.
The animals had been made subject to a Teesside Magistrates' Court order which meant they could not be taken out of the house without a leash or a muzzle.
And of course, the inevitable happened.
He said: "(The victim) was shouting at the defendant to get the dogs off.
"She told her she was sorry, it was not hers. The defendant didn't have any leashes on her.
"They killed both of (the victim's) dogs.
"(The victim) attempted to call the police but was in so much pain she couldn't hold her mobile phone properly."
The victim was a nurse.
The court in Middlesbrough heard how the three pitbull dogs were destroyed on May 5.
Mr Rooney said the victim was unable to work due to the injuries which she had suffered to her arms and hands.
At least the police decided to do their job and the CPS were nudged into acting for once:
The court heard how Stephens accepted that she was aware of the court order and had taken the risk to walk the dogs without leads or muzzles in a public place.
Bet it wasn't the first time. These court orders are useless because no-one does any spot checks.
Stephens, of Micklow Close, Redcar, pleaded guilty to being in charge of a dog which was dangerously out of control causing injury in the town.
She didn't really have much choice, did she?
Stephen Littlewood, defending, told the court that Stephens had been going through a difficult breakup at the time and the dogs belonged to her ex-boyfriend. He said that he had left the dogs at her property and she wanted to cut all ties with him. He said that she was there throughout the 10 minute attack trying to intervene and stop the dogs.
"She is incredibly remorseful for what has happened.
"She expresses that to the police, to the author of the pre sentence report, in her letter and she expresses that to the court now.
"If there's a case when somebody demonstrates true remorse and empathy this is this case."
Not really, chum, I note she doesn't express any of that to the victim who lost her pets and was severely injured.
The judge told Stephens that is was a "wholly avoidable situation".
He said: "You created a truly horrifying sequence of events by your decision to let them dogs out of the property.
"It was a risk you were prepared on that day to run, although you very much regret that decision now."
Judge Ashurst told her that the victim suffered physical and psychological consequences.
He said: "She had to put her nursing career on hold for a number of months at a time when she was very much needed by the health service."
Stephens sobbed in the dock as Judge Ashurst sentenced her to 12 months in prison.
It's nowhere near long enough. But it'll do, if it encourages other judges.
Monday, 2 November 2020
...the bureaucratic madness unleashed by the Drakeford 'reset' is fully on display.
'So I run this shop with my husband and Duncan [the shop assistant],' Jennifer explains. 'When I'm serving with my husband, it's fine, because we're in a bubble. But Duncan isn't. So when he's on, I have to stay here in the kitchen. And we've put a till at the end of the counter so he can stay down that end and I can stand up here.'
Presumably they think all this is insane? 'Oh no,' Duncan tells me. 'I back the First Minister.'
What can we do, when faced with this?
Wales is literally the land of my father. He was born and brought up in Bridgend – in a proud and brave and passionate nation. A nation that is slowly being suffocated. Partly by a virus. But also by the ego and narrow- mindedness of one man. People here may not be directly embracing Drakeford's vigilantism, or encouragement to inform on outsiders. But they are following his edict to be afraid.
'Welshmen will not yield', the song tells us. Reality tells us something rather different.
And we are the same in England, passively accepting the nonsense spewing from No 10.
...despite the Prime Minister's Churchillian words about 'defeating Covid', we're still no closer to beating the virus than we were at the start of the year. Doctors, scientists, politicians – none of them really has a clue how to balance saving life with living life. But as I drive back across Mark Drakeford's border into Free Shropshire, there's one thing I'm certain of. We will not turn the tide of coronavirus by turning upon ourselves.But we might, if we turn on the politicians that are driving it. Do we have any volcanoes in the UK?
"But there's no turkeys in the UK, Sarge?"
"There's peacocks, lad. And what are they but turkeys in drag?"
Residents in Henfield were stunned to receive a letter from Sussex Police asking for help in finding the birds, which stated they might be killed if located.
Officers say the fowl have been causing distress and inconvenience to some residents, damaging gardens and making excessive noise at all hours of the day.
Well, you could say the same of local youths with their antisocial behaviour, but all they get from Sussex Police is a chance to join the army...
Furious animal-lover and resident Tracey Collins said the peacocks have brought "so much happiness to our villagers" during lockdown.
"This has really upset most of the village, most of the villagers love to get visits from them and feed them when they come into the garden.
"We feel we have to save them and would love for them to stay local and wander freely. Pheasants are allowed to do this so why can’t our peacocks?"
That's a damn good point, isn't it?
And someone in Sussex Police farce has clearly realised that the looming PR disaster caused by this letter needs to be reversed.
Sergeant Tom Carter, wildlife crime lead, said: "These particular birds have been causing damage to the native environment and nature for some time now.
"We are in touch with someone who is happy to assist with this and offer the birds a safe home in the future and we are looking to achieve this as soon as possible."
Now you've been shamed into it, you mean?