Thursday 29 February 2024

Tweet Of The Month

A real bumper crop this month!


Post Title Of The Month

The inimitable David Thompson on 'woke kindergarten':

Quote Of The Month

LegIron on a salutary lesson for politicians everywhere: 

"Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ tells of a man who created a monster, was unable to control it, and eventually it turned on him. It should have been among the required reading for anyone wanting to pursue a career in politics, and this should have been the case several decades ago."

Post Of The Month

Natalie Solent at Samizdata, on Google's Gemini AI issues

Or, You Could Actually Do Some Parenting?

Many parents of digitally obsessed teens must have wished they could bin their smartphones. As evidence mounts about the risks of social media, there is a growing public clamour to protect children better – with some now even calling for a ban.

How many of these parents demanding someone else parent their child have actually bought the things for them, and are paying the airtime?  

The debate in the UK took on a fresh resonance in recent days after Esther Ghey, the mother of the murdered teenager Brianna Ghey, added her voice to those highlighting the dangers of smartphones.
“We’d like a law introduced, so that there are mobile phones that are suitable for under-16s,” she told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg last Sunday. “So if you’re over 16, you can have an adult phone, but then under the age of 16 you can have a children’s phone, which will not have all of the social media apps that are out there now.”

You can already do that now, if you want. Don't allow them to download anything you don't approve. It's just that you have to make the effort.  

In demanding tougher curbs on big tech, she echoed other bereaved parents who believe social media played some role in the loss of their children – including Ian Russell, whose daughter Molly took her own life after viewing harmful content online.

As Longrider points out, the very people who we shouldn't be listening to on the subject. Their personal tragedy gives them no special insight. The experts don't agree with their plans, but who is listening to them? 

Despite the acknowledged dangers, few experts and campaigners the Guardian spoke to believed an outright ban on social media use by under-16s was workable, or even desirable – though all are united in believing tech firms must do more.

Why don't they demand parents do more? They are, after all, the ones with most to lose... 

Lady Beeban Kidron, who campaigns for children’s rights online, said there was understandable focus on removing harmful content from apps – but policymakers should also be focusing on their underlying design.
“What we have to concentrate on is: why are we allowing companies to give addictive products to children? There is no reason on God’s earth that they have to be designed to be addictive. That is a business choice,” she said. “You’ve basically got a faulty product here: they need to fix it.”
That would mean looking under the bonnet of popular apps and rewiring the algorithms blamed for hooking teens – and in some cases, for radicalising them.

Good grief!  

Wednesday 28 February 2024

Why Do We Still Have A Problem With Dangerous Dogs?

Same reason we still have a problem with knife crime. Soft judges:
A carer whose XL bully puppy mauled a neighbour so badly her flesh was shredded down to the bone put a photo of the dog on her Facebook account two days later with the comment: 'Silly boy.'
Kimberly Wood, 23, posted the 'flippant' caption despite the victim, Kinga Gawron, needing hospital treatment for her 'horrendous' injuries. Eight months later she still doesn't have full use of her arm.

They say a picture tells a story and...dyed hair, nose ring. Living with her parents (is she a carer for them, or members of the public?). Hugely powerful but chav-fashionable dog she can't control. 

Days after the attack, the pet clamped its jaws on the arm of a police officer sent round to assess it, leaving her with minor injuries. It was destroyed the same day.

Strange how the police are able to act quickly when it's them on the recieving end. 

The officer, who was wearing protective leg gear, used a defensive position to protect herself and suffered minor injuries to her arm. After escaping from the dog, she arranged for it to be destroyed immediately. Armed colleagues arrived at the house shortly afterwards and took it to a vet where it was put down.

Why send armed cops and not just have them shoot the thing? 

Wood was yesterday given a four-month jail term, suspended for 18 months after admitting two counts of being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control in Ipswich, Suffolk.

Two counts. TWO! And she's only banned from owning a dog for a measly five years! 

Other Countries Can Act...

...why not ours?

Tuesday 27 February 2024

"That's bait..."

You're not wrong, Max...
The 'Attitude to Learning' scheme, at Dorothy Stringer School in Brighton, awards pupils scores based on criteria including respect, creativity and resilience. Those given the best scores are promoted to the front of the queue at breaktime, while those with the worst scores must wait until others have finished.
Parents have said the system 'unfairly discriminates' against children and uses access to food as a punishment to 'shame' less able pupils.
A father said: 'Restricting access to food or using it as a reward is totally wrong. This is 2024, not the Victorian era.'

Oh noes! The poor starving kiddiewinks! How awful! 

One girl attending the East Sussex school – deemed a 'good' pupil but with poor scores – said there is often little food left by the time she gets into the canteen. The year 11 pupil claimed she ate just a small fruit jelly one day this week.

When will this insanity st...

Oh, wait. 

The policy at Dorothy Stringer was piloted in year 11 last year by headmaster Matt Hillier, it was then rolled out across the school. Mr Hillier said: 'The new system was introduced to improve queuing and ensure that students can access the canteen safely. It only applies at breaktimes, when approximately 1,600 children go through the canteen in 25 minutes, and not at lunchtimes.
Lunchtime and free school meal provision is unchanged.

Well, well, well...that's not the impression one gets from the headline and the quotes from the outraged parents, is it? 

'Students are not separated from their friends – they can choose to wait and go in together. This system does not prevent anyone from accessing food and food does not run out. It rewards students who demonstrate a positive ATL.
'It is not linked to attainment and lots of students with SEN [special educational needs] have excellent scores. A small number of students with a specific need linked to canteen entry already have passes that allow them to bypass the queue.'

Storm in a teacup again? 

Is This The Straw That Breaks The Camel's Back At Last?

Other mentally ill killers have done so because they claimed they were the son of god, or other delusions. We don't humour them

So why are we all humouring this man's delusion that he's female? When will a true journalist start addressing him as 'he'? When will everyone else involved in this insane process?

Her defence barrister Richard Sutton KC offered no mitigation on behalf of his client, admitting she would probably never be freed from prison. He said: 'One has to look at Ms Blake's background and decide that she is in one sense a dangerous person. It is clear that no parole board will feel she is safe to go back into society.'
Blake sat impassively in the dock as Mr Martin Carreno's brother Geraldo read out a victim impact statement ahead of the sentencing. The grieving brother told the court: [There is no remorse for her actions and makes even more difficult to process the barbarity. We miss him every day and thinking about his life if he had not met Blake that night.'

It's difficult to say who is more in the grip of delusion, the mentally ill killer or the rest of society that appears unable to tell the bald truth about him. 

Monday 26 February 2024

When You're Getting Flak, It's Because You're Over The Target...

Shami Chakrabarti, the human rights lawyer and peer, said: “Should rape victims or refugees peacefully protesting really be punished for covering their faces to protect their identities? This is more culture war nonsense from the government while children go hungry and the planet burns.”
Akiko Hart, director of the rights advocacy group Liberty, said: “Bringing in these powers put people at greater risk of being criminalised for exercising their right to protest – including disabled people who in some situations have only felt comfortable protesting in public when wearing face coverings.
“It is extremely concerning that the government is trying to impose even more conditions on not only when people can protest, but how they protest too.”
What are they whining about? A new law proposal that:
  • Demonstrators are liable to arrest if they are wearing face coverings at specific demonstrations,
  • Demonstrators will no longer be able to use the right to protest as a reasonable excuse if they commit public order offences such as serious disruption, and
  • The possession of flares, fireworks and any other pyrotechnics at public processions and assemblies for protest to be illegal.
Even the opposition can't complain about that last one!
Labour welcomed the clampdown on fireworks and flares but remained cautious about the measures due to be introduced. A spokesperson for the party said: “We welcome a ban on flares and fireworks, which have been used to create disorder and intimidate police officers in recent months. We will scrutinise the details of these proposals to ensure that new measures are applied appropriately and proportionately.”

Of course, these new laws wouldn't be needed if the useless Met Police used the ones they already have properly, but it will at least give them no hiding room in future. 

🎵I've just come down, from the Isle of Skye... 🎵

🎵...I'm not very big and I'm awful shy.🎵

Oh, wait!

Word spread quickly through the business community in Spring after the heavily-built man was first spotted at The Antique Gallery of Houston on February 8.
'I had to watch it a couple of times to be sure I knew what I was looking at,' Gallery manager Susan Golden told Fox 26
'I've seen quite a few things here, but not that.'
Whew! It's probably just Florida Man on vacation.

Saturday 24 February 2024

Disingenuous Statement Of The Month

And it comes from a normally fair police Tweeter, too:


I wasn't about to let this one pass me by....

I can't help but feel like some people are so used to being unquestioned in their role that when they are, the excuses are even lamer than 'But miss, the dog ate my homework..'.

'How It Started, How It's Going' Of The Decade...

Earlier, Blake had explained to the jury she was born in China and came to live in the UK aged nine. Age 12 she told her parents she was transgender and since 17 has been on medication to block testosterone, and also takes oestrogen supplements.
Jurors heard that Blake had been diagnosed with depression when she was younger and had a fragmented personality, including being a cat for which she would meow at friends.

But, wait...

Scarlet Blake, 26, who is on trial accused of murdering a man, used food and a crate to capture the family pet and take it to her home where she killed it. Oxford Crown Court heard details of how Blake dissected the animal after killing it, removed the fur and skin and placing it in a blender.
Prosecutors allege the killing is relevant to the murder trial as it shows she has a “disturbing interest in what it would be like to harm a living creature”.


Friday 23 February 2024

Manifestly Not Keeping Death Off The Roads...

A teaching assistant crashed her car into a family home and caused £200,000 worth of damage after she passed out while fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, a court has heard. Maryam Abbasi, 37, was speeding on the wrong side of the road when she careered into a garden wall and embedded the front of her car in the house in Edinburgh in April 2021.

Whoops! Lucky no-one was killed.  

She was subsequently arrested and charged with dangerous driving but pleaded guilty to an amended charge of driving without due care and attention when she appeared in court on Monday.

 *sighs* The Scottish CPS are just as lazy as the ones down here.

Solicitor Richard Freeman, defending, said his client had qualified as a criminal lawyer in Pakistan and was studying for an HND in teaching in this country when the accident took place.


He said her children attended separate schools in Edinburgh and her driving licence was essential to the family as she is the only member who can take them to and from their schools.

Daddy doesn't drive? Or Daddy is still in Pakistan? 

Sheriff Gordon Liddle said: 'Looking at this in the round I am satisfied, as far as I can be, that there is no instant and obvious danger presented by your driving today and that is an important thing for the purpose of public safety is concerned.
'But I have to deal with this as it stands, so I am not going to disqualify you which is probably of great relief to you and instead I am going to impose penalty points.'

What do you have to do? Oh, wait. It appears it's 'forget to indicate' in the UK.

Doing A Better Job At Cutting Crime…

...than our police farces?
Almost none of the long-term changes people said the pandemic would bring have turned out to be true. The gratitude and respect for carers and lower earners didn’t last long once we were allowed to do something more exciting than clapping on our doorsteps. Even online shopping has fallen back to roughly where the pre-pandemic rise would have put it.

No, well, the demented-seal clapping was never going to outstrip the NHS's propensity for stepping on its own dick. And I wouldn't write off online shopping too quickly, it's demise might have been greatly exaggerated.

But one change has stuck: working from home (with the important caveat that it’s rocketed among the top half of earners in particular; those working in a shop or restaurant, not so much). What affect will this have?

Don't know, but I can tell you what effect it might have... 

It clearly boosts wellbeing, and is helping more mothers work full time. The research on its productivity impact is far more mixed, and I’d say comes down to a score draw. The big clear win is less time spent commuting, the benefits of which are shared between employees and employers. The losses? Missing out on the less tangible benefits of interacting with colleagues, and humans more generally.

I like both - going into the office and WFH. Luckily, my workplace allows that choice. But these's an added advantage for us all: 

But new research brings a different angle to the debate, suggesting that home working doesn’t just cut commuting, it cuts crime. Specifically, burglaries, where the shift to working from home is given the credit for half of the 30% drop since 2019.

Now, I wouldn't discount the rise of affordable security systems - you can't go 10 minutes without seeing one for Verisure or Sky (with the giant) on TV lately - but it's something to think about. 

Thursday 22 February 2024

When Your Day At Work Doesn't Go As Planned...

Great Yarmouth's brand new Herring Bridge became the Swearing Bridge after a control room blunder saw a volley of expletives played out to waiting motorists on loud speaker.
The structure, which was officially opened on Thursday, was closed to traffic on Saturday afternoon, due to an apparent mishap. To compound the problems for staff in the control room trying to fix it, their foul-mouthed converations were inadvertently played out on the public address system to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians waiting to be able to cross.
A recording reveals one worker saying: "I've been dealing with this ***** issue for four hours" before exclaiming "Oh for ****'s sake".

Heh! We've all been there! 

Its construction was delayed first by the discovery of a Second World War German bomb in the river below and then by the possibility that endangered voles might be living nearby.

Lucky there was no microphone in the council office at the time! 

H/T: Dave Ward via email

Now Even The Food Section Of The 'Guardian' Is Lost...

...because that surely is bread and butter pudding in the image. Not bread pudding!

Wednesday 21 February 2024

The Trouble Is, He Does Know 'How It's Going To Play Out'...

...that's why he keeps doing it.
A drunk mechanic who used a baby as a human shield in a stand-off with police and bragged that it would take 16 officers to overpower him has escaped jail.

I'd say 'What?! How!?' if I didn't already know... 

The court heard how the accused had been involved in an incident the day prior where he threatened to give two parking wardens in South Street, Perth, 'a kicking' after they asked him to move his Audi.
The 40-year-old also admitted to acting in a threatening and abusive manner to wards the two parking attendants and ordered to carry out 255 hours unpaid work and placed on a 12-week curfew by Sheriff William Wood.

An Audi driver, eh? 🙄

Sheriff Wood told him: 'You have got a bit of a record. Your difficulty with the services of law and order are well documented.
'The alcohol thing is going to plague you if you don't get that under control. When you have had a drink, things seem to run away from you.
'When you see the black uniform that is when your anti-authoritarian feelings come out and you should know by now how that is going to play out.'

He does, judge. It's why he's not going to stop. 

Oh Sure, That's Errr Thingummy, You Know, Him...!


H/T: Ian J via email

Tuesday 20 February 2024

Is The Real Objective The Benefit Of The Toads...

...or the inconvenience of motorists?

A road will be closed for the next six weeks to allow toads, frogs and newts to cross to their breeding grounds.
Charlcombe Lane in Bath will be shut until 25 March. The Charlcombe Toad Rescue Group is hoping to help an estimated 2,500 amphibians reach their ancestral breeding lake in the valley below.
Toad helper Helen Hobbs said volunteers would be patrolling the road to keep the crossing creatures safe. She explained amphibians "typically migrate after dusk during February and March".

So...why not just close the road then, and keep it open during daylisght? 

"In Charlcombe they often become trapped by high stone walls, so volunteers patrol each evening to move the amphibians to a safe release site to allow them to continue their journey.
"It's estimated that 20 tonnes of toads are killed on roads each year so our group is dedicated to doing everything we can to ensure the toad, frog and newt populations at Charlcombe survive."

Or they could just collect them and move them without closing the road at all! 

H/T: Ian J via email

I Bet Their DEI Training Was Up To Date Though...

A driving instructor was rescued from 4ft of floodwater by a couple, as firefighters stood-by, because they weren't trained to go into water at such depths.
Filmmaker Jamie Price and his partner Danielle waded into the thigh-high water to help the motorist in Ingatestone, Essex, on Sunday morning. Crews from Essex Fire and Rescue, as well as an ambulance and police were at the scene, but Mr Price told The Telegraph he was shocked to see the emergency services were not doing more to help.
I don't know why that would shock anyone, frankly. We have police who can't bring themselves to deal properly with dangerous animals, NHS staff who neglect basic biology and retail shops who care more for woke claptrap than for making a profit.

This latest nonsense is par for the course...
When he asked them why they were not going in the water, they told him they were 'waiting for some specialist crews' because the water level was over 4ft and 'they were only allowed to go in waist-high.'
The sci-fi authour Robert Heinlein had something to say about that:
"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."

Monday 19 February 2024

It's 'Make Up Your Minds Time' x 10000000

Drug-induced milk from transgender women who were born male is as good for babies as a mother's breast milk, an NHS Trust has said.

This, from the same people who for years have trumpted dire warnings about the 'dangers' of formula milk

The letter was sent on behalf of the Trust's Chief Executive in response to a campaign group's complaint about the Trust's gender policies. It defends the controversial practice of 'induced lactation' by means of powerful medication to enable trans women to simulate breastfeeding. It also claims that the term 'human milk' is 'meant to be neutral and is not gender-biased'.

Yes, Reader, opening up a sachet of Aptamil is like pouring hemlock down your newborn's throat, but a mentally ill person taking huge quantities of drugs like prolactin and oxytocin to produce a thin watery facsimile is A-OK! 

But responding to the letter, Labour MP Rosie Duffield said: 'Babies can't be used as guinea pigs for someone else's lifestyle choice.

Nice try, Rosie, but that ship done sailed long ago, to the tune of 'In The Navy' by the Village People... 

Should Have Read Some Robert Ruark, Scots ARV Cops...

A "dangerously out of control" bully-type dog was shot SIX times by cops after it attacked another dog and injured three people.
Gun cops were deployed to the Calderwood area of East Kilbride after reports of the large dog attacking a Collie at around 10.25am this morning.
Local officers attempted to restrain the 'Xl-Bully' type dog at an address on Mannering but were forced to call in specialists after they failed to contain the crazed animal.
In the shocking footage, officers are heard counting to ten before four loud shots are fired. The dog is heard yelping, barking and squealing before two more bullets are deployed which eventually kill it.
...may I recommend this one?

After all, with the influx of these things north of The Wall, you're going to need it...

Sunday 18 February 2024

Reported In The EDP...

...not that they can really afford to throw stones at this particular glasshouse:

But of all the professions you'd expect to have multiple levels of proofreading...!

H/T: Dave Ward via email

So, Where Else Would They Go?

A set of traffic lights on a busy city road are set to be replaced in February.

Oh? Thanks for the information, EDP. Any more?

 Ummm, thanks?

H/T: Dave Ward via email

Sunday Funnies...

Sleep, sweet gift of Morpheus...oh, wait!

Saturday 17 February 2024

Another Unfortunate Juxtaposition..?

Are they all on African Time, then?

No, Jonathan, It's Not The 'Slippery Slope' You Think It Is...

Jonathan Liew is upset at 'right wingers':
And so once you erase trans women from physical sport, you move to sports such as chess and darts. From there it’s a short leap to scoffing at people’s pronouns, talking about “men in dresses”, perhaps even a cheap gag during prime minister’s questions while the parents of a murdered trans teenager are watching from the public gallery.

Newsflash, pal, we've already done all that long before this latest row.  

Next you start denying the concept of gender fluidity entirely.

*gasp* Can you believe the insolence of us heretics? 

You demonise the trans woman as a potential abuser or rapist.

Because they often prove themselves to be exactly that

You describe transition surgery as “mutilation” or “child abuse”.

Because it is? 

Friday 16 February 2024

Why No Deportation?

A driver who deliberately rammed a cyclist into a parked truck has avoided jail.

It's hard to see how, when the act was deliberate and calculated. 

Polish plumber Adam Ruszkowski pursued Thomas Purchase, who had overtaken the motorist on his bike, along Lambeth Walk Road in south London. The 37-year-old then drove into the software engineer, pushing the cyclist into an HGV, causing spinal fractures and PTSD following the incident.

How on earth does this man not see the inside of  jail cell, and on release, the departure lounge of Heathrow accompanied by Home Office officials? 

But Ruszkowski, who was in tears throughout the sentencing hearing at Inner London Crown Court, has been spared jail time, instead receiving a sentence of two years suspended for two years.

Are we that short of Polish plumbers? 

The motorist, who was wearing a light blue shirt in court, was helped by an interpreter as Judge Darren Reed summarised the case.

Clearly no loss to the workforce if he departs for Warsaw post haste... 

Oh Dear How Sad Never Mind...

The head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees has said he followed “reverse due process” in sacking nine staff members accused by Israel of being involved in Hamas’s 7 October attacks.
Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA’s commissioner general, said he did not probe Israel’s claims against the employees before dismissing them and launching an investigation. At a press conference in Jerusalem, Lazzarini was asked if he had looked into whether there was any evidence against the employees and he replied: “No, the investigation is going on now.” He described the decision as “reverse due process”, adding: “I could have suspended them, but I have fired them. And now I have an investigation, and if the investigation tells us that this was wrong, in that case at the UN we will take a decision on how to properly compensate [them].

But we should totally trust the UN on everything else, right? 

“Indeed, I have terminated without due process because I felt at the time that not only the reputation but the ability of the entire agency to continue to operate and deliver critical humanitarian assistance was at stake if I did not take such a decision,” he said.

How's that reputation looking now? 

Thursday 15 February 2024

"You In A Gang, Fam?"

"Nah, mate, I's a slave, innit?"

Almost half of the victims of criminal exploitation in the UK are British boys aged under 18, according to a report calling for new laws to acknowledge them as ­victims of modern slavery.

What sort of woolly thinking w... 

The analysis, by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) thinktank and the charity Justice and Care...

Ah. Of course. 

...found that criminal exploitation is the most common type of modern slavery occurring in the UK in the past four years.The analysis found that about two-thirds were British and mostly teenagers and vulnerable adults who are “forced, coerced or groomed into committing crime for someone else’s benefit”.

Well, it couldn't possibly be for their own benefit? What's up, the old excuses stopped working so you're looking for new ones? 

“Professionals, families and victims themselves frequently do not apply the label of ‘modern slavery’ (nor even exploitation in some cases) to what is happening,” the analysis concludes.

They will now. Or their brief will. 

This Is Why Little Ever Changes...

A police operation has been launched as officers change the way they respond to ‘dangerously out of control’ dogs in Dorset. Operation Indie is to become Dorset Police’s standard response when a dog has bitten a human or killed another animal.

 Good, good, at last they learn, so...what's the change here?

Operation Indie will mean that when a dog is involved in an incident, a dog handler will be deployed to the offending dog’s home address.


The handler will then carry out a risk assessment and give advice that has been written up by a top dog behaviourist in the UK. The aim is to keep the dog from being seized, while putting the onus on the owner to prove responsible dog ownership.

How does that help the victim, or the wider public? Because, astonishingly, that's not what's uppermost in the minds of the morons who have come up with this approach: 

A spokesperson for Dorset Police said: “Seizing a dog is the last resort and so if people can show that they are doing everything to ensure that the dog cannot bite again, then we prefer the dog stay at home for its own welfare.
“However, if a bite is so bad then it would leave us with no option but to seize.

Good grief! Just ask Police Scotland for advice, they know exactly how to deal with these situations

The spokesperson added: “We are lucky enough that unlike some other forces, our handlers on the dog section will all be dart delivery trained by April 2024 and so instead of seeing a dog out of control in public being shot dead, officers can attend and sedate the dog and then transport it to a vet.
“The vet can administer whatever care the dog may need as sometimes a dog’s actions can be because they are suffering an injury that we cannot see.“

Welcome to your 2024 police force. You thought they couldn't get woker. But Reader, you were wrong. 

Wednesday 14 February 2024

Nature Is Healing

Britain’s tallest bird, the spectacular, wetland-loving crane bred in higher numbers last summer than at any point since they disappeared from the UK in the 16th century. At least 80 pairs of cranes were recorded in 2023, up from the previous high of 72 two years earlier.

It's great to see it's not all doom and gloom... 

More recently it has been boosted by a reintroduction project where hand-reared cranes were released on expanded wetlands in the Somerset Levels. Britain has drained, developed and destroyed more than 75% of its marshland but the recent restoration of some wetlands has helped the species recolonise Wales, Scotland and nature reserves across England, including in Lincolnshire.

For once, government spending on something worthwhile! Such a rare occurrence these days. 

Andrew Stanbury, an RSPB conservation scientist, welcomed recent government announcements to spend £16m on rewetting peatlands and its Landscape Recovery Fund second round, which supports net zero goals such as restoring marshland. Wetlands are effective carbon stores, as well as reservoirs of disappearing biodiversity.

Even the ridiculous Net Zero scam can occasionally prove useful. 

"... I thought it might be just a normal altercation - it is east London."

It is understood some involved in the attack were in school uniform - with the teacher reportedly just two weeks into his new job.
Gulzarin Iqbal, a physician associate at the nearby Lord Lister Health Centre, said there was 'a lot of blood' when he went to the aid of the stricken man who had been stabbed with a 'long knife' outside the east London school.
Sadly, Gulzarin, these days, an adult getting stabbed in the back by schoolchildren is 'a normal altercation' for east London.
He described the victim as an 'African male, in his 40s, of average build.'

What was all that guff about how schoolchildren need role model teachers who look like them in the classroom? 

Tuesday 13 February 2024

He's Laughing At You, You Idiots!

Dr Psaroudakis told the tribunal he used the term 'Yew' or 'Yewish' in the messages replacing the 'J' of Jewish with a 'Y', because of his accent.
No, of course not, it was to stop his foul messages being searchable by MS Teams software!
The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service concluded: 'The evidence suggested that it was Dr Psaroudakis' common practice to pick out and use what could be considered offensive or derogatory characteristics about people whom he did not like or get along with, and liberally use those terms to describe them.
'Rather than use someone's name or work title, Dr Psaroudakis preferred to make unpleasant and unacceptable references to protected characteristics of colleagues.
'The Tribunal makes no finding that Dr Psaroudakis is a racist but is satisfied that he is someone who is quite comfortable with using discriminatory language.'
Utter clowns, the whole lot of them!

Even The Passengers Know The Truth

The 7A bus runs four times a day, six days a week. Its 12.5 mile (20 km) route connects four settlements in South Cambridgeshire. But it only runs thanks to a tax payer subsidy of £124 per passenger.

Wouldn't it be cheaper to give them all accounts with Uber? 

Jean Wakefield is three months shy of her 80th birthday. She is also - probably - the 7A's most regular passenger. Most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays she catches it to shuttle between her home near the Imperial War Museum at Duxford airfield and a friend's house in the village of Sawston. She is one of three passengers we meet on the 7A, as it completes two loops through countryside that straddles the M11. "There were more people who used to use it, but several of them have died," Mrs Wakefield, who trained as a nurse, says.

Yes. Yes, it would appear that it would be! 

She agrees it gives her some independence and says without it she would have to walk, take a taxi or ask a friend for a lift.

Which might be the only options available in future: 

Brian Clifford, A2B's owner and managing director, says he expects passenger numbers to be lower this year. Mr Clifford says "as much as you try and alter it and play with it" the 7A "just never seems to work". He adds: "It doesn't run from a high population area to a high population area. It doesn't run particularly where shoppers or commuters want to go." But it provides "links to villages and settlements that have nothing else".

Given them all Uber accounts and be done with it! 

Monday 12 February 2024

Every Cloud...

The Met said yesterday its main working hypothesis was the attacker had 'gone into' the River Thames after being seen leaning over the railings of Chelsea Bridge on the night of the incident before disappearing from view.

And as a result, several families might now have closure: 

Marine Policing Unit boats have been pictured on the Thames as officers search for a body. On Saturday, police found one man's body near HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge, at 10.13am, and another man's body near Limehouse, east London at 10.39am, less than half an hour later.
Both men's deaths are being treated as unexpected and the police are working to identify them so they can inform their relatives.

Will they ever find Ezedi? Who knows. But hopefully they do. The poor Thames doesn't need more human filth in it. 

I Hope That Officer Is On Traffic Duties...

...maybe as an emergency bollard:

London's Metropolitan Police ordered thousands of trousers with plus size waistlines last year, with one officer requiring a pair with an XXXXXXL waist.

I...I mean, how big is that even? 

The figures showed one male officer had a pair of trousers ordered with a whopping 62 inches waist while the largest trousers ordered for a female officer were a size 44.


While the most common size for plus size male officers was a 40 inches waist and a size 20 for their female counterparts, according to figures reported by The Sun.
Prospective Met officers are required to take a Job Related Fitness Test before being admitted to training.

Sounds like they may as well make it a 'Job Related Fitting Through The Station Main Door Test'. 

Sunday 11 February 2024

It's Like 'Spot The Ball' But...Not!

A "large flume of smoke" has been reported in Paignton. Motorists are being urged to approach the A380 Kings Ash Road with care. According to traffic monitoring site Inrix, the road is blocked in both directions. There is slow traffic near the A385 Totnes Road.

 What did they do before 'grabbing a screenshot from Googlemaps' became an option?

H/T: IanJ via email

EDP Editor: "Are We Sorted For E's..?"

EDP photo monkey: "No, boss..."

H/T: Dave Ward via email

Sunday Funnies...

Nice to see the UK figures prominently, even if we are pipped to first place by Serbia...

Saturday 10 February 2024

A Fascinating Story...

Archaeologists have made hundreds of new finds on the wreck of HMS Erebus, the ship commanded by Sir John Franklin on his doomed Arctic trip 180 years ago. The team’s discoveries include pistols, sealed bottles of ­medicines, seamen’s chests and navigation equipment. These are now being studied for clues to explain the loss of the Erebus and its sister ship Terror, and the deaths of the 129 men who sailed on them.

I've read a lot about this expedition (both non-fiction and Dan Simmons' amazing horror novel based on the facts), and visited the Naval College at Greenwich to see the memorial to the lost men. It's a truly fascinating story.

The work is considered to be particularly urgent because the wreck of the Erebus – discovered 10 years ago in shallow water in Wilmot and Crampton Bay in Arctic Canada – is now being battered by increasingly severe storms as climate change takes its grip on the region.

Does climate change have to be shoehorned into everything in the 'Guardian'? Well, at least it's not covi... 

Investigators’ efforts were made even more pressing by Covid-19, which halted all exploration in 2020 and 2021...


Virtually all this work has focused on the threatened Erebus. By contrast, Terror – which sank in deeper water about 45 miles away from the wreck of Erebus – is less at the mercy of the elements and was only visited briefly last year.

Time to explore that one too, then. 

Even Fox Mulder Wouldn't Touch This One...

...and come to think of it, didn't Dana Scully have something rather pithy to say about the ability of government to maintain a coverup?
MPs are calling for a Hillbsorough-style independent panel inquiry into claims...

Wait for it... 

...of an alleged Government cover-up over the toxic death of a seven-year-old schoolboy during floods ten years ago.
Yes, it's this case. Again.
The Mail on Sunday has highlighted the decade-long crusade by Zane's parents, Kye Gbangbola, 57, and Nicole Lawler, 46, to uncover the truth about the tragedy.

Well, no, actually, what they want to uncover is someone other than themselves to be to blame. 

Gas detection kit worn by firefighters at the scene sounded the alarm for hydrogen cyanide at the property and neighbours were evacuated.
Zane's death was discussed at an urgently-convened Cobra meeting in Whitehall later the same day.
But a coroner's inquest later concluded that Zane's death was due to carbon monoxide poisoning. The coroner Richard Travers said fumes from a petrol pump hired by Zane's parents to clear water from their home was to blame.

But that would mean shadowy forces weren't to blame, and the parents can't have that, as it points the finger back at them. 

The family's home in Chertsey, Surrey - where Mr Gbangbola and Ms Lawler still reside - flooded again last month during Storm Henk.

I wonder how they cleared that floodwater?  

Friday 9 February 2024

He Was Rumbled Because Of His Bedside Manner... was so much better than the real staff. So he stood out!

The flagship £575million complex he is accused of accessing includes the Royal Hospital for Children, the Queen Elizabeth Maternity Unit and two Accident and Emergency units.
Woods, of Greenock, is said to have claimed he was a charge nurse, repeatedly gaining access to the resuscitation and children's areas of the hospital...

If he really wanted access to children, he should have put on a wig and lipstick, of course. That way, the State would fully support his right to claim to be something he's not. 

Who Cares, It's Just Taxpayer Money Pt 4783248

The director of public prosecutions is appealing to the supreme court in an ongoing and expensive battle to overturn the acquittal of two protesters found to have acted reasonably in calling Iain Duncan Smith “Tory scum”.
The unusual move will add to the cost to the public purse of a case that Lord Justice Popplewell, who heard the case at the high court, has said has already taken up “significant and substantial legal resources”.

Tim Worstall thinks this is the system working as it should to establish legal precedent. I think it's a shocking waste of our money, and a poll of people in the street would be quicker and cheaper. What say you, Reader? 

Thursday 8 February 2024

A Revolving Door Spinning So Fast, It Could Generate Electricity For The National Grid...

A paranoid schizophrenic who kicked a female custody officer to death has been freed just two years after he was given an indefinite psychiatric hospital order.
If that sounds familiar, then you're probably a long-time Reader of this blog.
Burke admitted manslaughter by diminished responsibility and was handed an indefinite hospital order at the Old Bailey in January last year - the same sentence given to Nottingham stabbing killer Valdo Calocane.
In shocking new pictures the killer, 30, can be seen working out unsupervised in a packed boxing gym and casually strolling to the shops to pick up his groceries. Just like the families of Calocane's Nottingham rampage Ms Barwell's relatives say they believed he would never be released.
A relative quoted said that 'the killer is 'making a mockery of the system'...' but it's not him doing so, it's the justice system itself. It should call itself something else.
An MoJ spokesman told The Sun the matter was for the mental health trust treating Burke to comment.

Passing the buck as always. 

A spokesman for Oxford Health mental care trust said: 'Due to patient confidentiality, we do not comment on, or confirm the identities of those in our care.
'However, we can say that if a person is being cared for by us as a result of a placement into mental health services rather than a prison sentence, part of their therapeutic time may well be spent in the community as opposed to being on a ward all the time.'

Perhaps if a patient's 'time in the community' had to be served with the psychiatrists' own family, instead of the general public, it might change things? 

In Which I Defend Rishi Sunak...

...though it's difficult, I admit.
“For the prime minister of our country to come out with degrading comments like he did, regardless of them being in relation to discussions in parliament, they are absolutely dehumanising,” he told Sky News.
What did he say?
Listing what he called broken Labour promises, the prime minister said: “I think I counted almost 30 in the last year: pensions, planning, peerages, public sector pay, tuition fees, childcare, second referendums, defining a woman – although in fairness that was only 99% of a U-turn.
Clearly a reference to the nonsense spouted by Starmer that '99.9%” of women do not have penises'. It's 100% obviously. 

And the person who objected and claimed to have found it personally 'shocking'? The father of a murdered transgender child.
Asked repeatedly why Sunak had made a joke at the expense of trans people, the chancellor told the BBC this was “taking these comments out of context”, before eventually refusing to engage with questions about whether the prime minister should apologise.

Why should a British Prime Minister ever apologise for stating a biological fact? 

Wednesday 7 February 2024

Sounds Like A Place Where Hope’s Been Abandoned…

A primary school has promised improvement after its kitchen received one of the worst food hygiene ratings in Bexley.
Hope Community School in Sidcup has vowed to "urgently" address the rating, after the Food Standards Agency (FSA) discovered a catalogue of failings during their visit in December. It was found that staff were not wearing protective clothing and could not tell the inspector what allergens were in the food they were serving to pupils. The grim discoveries led to an overall "one" hygiene rating, the second lowest possible – placing it in the bottom 1.1 per cent of establishments in the borough.

So, Greasy Ali's Kebab House provides a better - and safer! - meal for your kiddiewinks than their school! 

Good grief! Maybe they should get their education there as well? 

A spokesperson for the school said: "We take food hygiene very seriously.

OK, really? So, what's your explanation for this, then? 

"The lower than expected rating was predominantly due to improvements needing to be made in the paperwork and procedures element of the inspection.

Errr, yes.  

"The school very recently took the catering inhouse, and was therefore in a transitional stage during the inspection, which meant the catering team were still in the process of establishing the appropriate paperwork and procedures required."

That's your explanation? Jeez. 'The dog ate our homework' would have been more plausible...

Thankfully, You Won’t Be In The Job By Then…

The UK could officially recognise a Palestinian state after a ceasefire in Gaza without waiting for the outcome of what could be years of talks between Israel and the Palestinians on a two-state solution, David Cameron has said.
Although I suppose Labour could keep you on, you really aren't a Conservative, after all...
“What we need to do is give the Palestinian people a horizon towards a better future, the future of having a state of their own.”

Why would we want to do that? If ever a populace has squandered every chance they've ever been given to prove they deserve one... 

The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has repeatedly rejected the creation of an independent Palestinian state after the war, and has even boasted in recent weeks that he was instrumental in preventing Palestinian statehood.

Well, Ben, I think they've had a hand in that too... 

Tuesday 6 February 2024

Streaming TV: The Mandalorian (Disney+)

When I first saw a new Star Wars show announced on Disney+, and then saw what the title was, I was a little perplexed. 

Sure, we all knew Boba Fett (who later got his own show, though it didn't have the impact of this one!) but a show about a character whose defining feature is that he never takes off his helmet to show his face? And you cast Pedro Pascal? How will that work?

And it did! Thanks to a certain marketing goldmine in the form of 'Baby Yoda'. The second season couldn't quite match the first, but it was still far more watchable than anything on terrestrial TV. 

And the theme tune was pretty good too!

Curtains Might Have Been A Cheaper Course Of Action…

Pensioners who spent £100,000 in a failed legal battle to force their neighbours to remove a large lantern have blasted the High Court after losing their appeal. Roger and Margaret Hunt, both 80, launched a private prosecution against their neighbours over a Victorian-style lantern, which Mr and Mrs Hunt insist shone into the bedroom window of their home in Deal, Kent.

And, typically for these cases, it's all someone else's fault that they are now out of pocket. 

Mrs Hunt, a retired school teacher, said today: 'This is just us being picked on – we are lucky we have the means to stick up for ourselves in this case.'
Retired accountant Mr Hunt added: 'We were made to pay £6,000 pounds of costs to them after we lost the initial findings. That is very unusual in a statutory nuisance case, you're normally immune.
'But then when we tried to dispute the magistrates' findings – the costs racked up to over £100,000 including our solicitors. 'The stupid thing is we aren't that worried about losing £75,000 - because we're more worried about what they may do next.'

Truly, a fool and their money are soon parted, and hiring solicitors and going to war with neighbours is one of the surest ways to accomplish that! 

Their son Jonathan Hunt, who is in his 40s, was forced to retire from teaching classics at Winchester College private school due to chronic health issues and moved in with his parents in 2012.
Jonathan added: 'We clearly don't have infinite supplies of money to bring or defend legal actions. We have not been able to stop harassing acts like their spotlights being flashed at us and wind chimes being wrung out.
'Only our solicitors have been able to get them to stop doing things they've been doing. But we don't have endless money and we don't know what to expect next. We just don't understand them.' Jonathan also slammed the advice his family were given. Mr and Mrs Hunt did not initially get legal representation after reading that their statutory nuisance claim could be resolved in court without a barrister.


This Happens Every Year…

Retailers in Great Britain suffered a dire Christmas as cash-strapped consumers cut back on shopping in December, fuelling the biggest fall in monthly sales since shops were forced to close during the coronavirus pandemic in 2021.
Sales plummeted 3.2% month on month as retailers across the board suffered as the cost of living crisis resulted in consumers making tough decisions, including choosing between buying food or presents. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that the sales slump, which followed a 1.4% rise in November fuelled by Black Friday promotions, hit all retail sectors.

It's as inevitable as Christmas itself.  

Food stores performed very poorly, with their steepest fall since May 2021 as early Christmas shopping led to slow December sales. “Department stores, clothing shops and household goods retailers reported sluggish sales too as consumers spent less on Christmas gifts, but had also purchased earlier during Black Friday promotions, to help spread the cost.”

I remember when after-Christmas sales were things to look forward to, but - possibly as a result of the creeping Americanisms - now it's the pre-Christmas sales that everyone looks forward to. 

Monday 5 February 2024

Why Is It The Government's Job?

Sir Keir Starmer said tackling knife crime requires a 'laser focus' as he described the double stabbing as 'devastating'.
Speaking during a visit to Warrington, the Labour leader told broadcasters: 'My reaction to what happened in Bristol starts with the human reaction. This is devastating for the family and friends of these two youngsters. I have teenage children myself. I cannot even imagine what it's like for the family and friends.
'But broader than that, I think across the country, there is this general concern now that knife crime is getting out of control. We've seen a 77 per cent increase since 2015. We've got to take it more seriously. 'We need real ambition by the Government. Make sure these knives are not available online - that can be done very quickly.

We don't even know yet where these particular murderers got their knives. Despite arrests, police weren't even naming the suspects at the time I drafted this. So why does he think making knives unavailable online is going to help?

'Where we think that youngsters are getting into trouble, put the support and get them out of that situation in the first place. And then finally, make it absolutely clear that if you carry a knife you carry the consequences.
'So I would bring a laser focus to this now. We can't carry on with these awful stories of knife crime. We have to roll up our sleeves and do something about it.'
Well, you were DPP in 2008 and held that position until 2013. If anyone laid the foundations for this rise, it was you.

The Owners Are Worse Than Their Feral 'Pets'...

A grandmother who was mauled to death by two 'unregistered XL Bullys' in front of her screaming grandson was trying to break up fighting puppies with a broom when she was attacked, it has been claimed.

Even as young animals, this breed loves to do what it was bred for, it seem... 

Esther Martin was visiting her 11-year-old grandson when she was attacked yesterday by the massive animals, reportedly named Beauty and Bear. It is understood the terrified 68-year-old had issued a warning to her tattooed 'son-in-law' Ashley Warren, 39, about the dogs, but the East London wannabe rapper fired back with a foul-mouthed rant: 'No one tells me what to do with my f*****g dogs.'

They certainly don't need to now: 

Six Essex Police officers arrived 'within minutes' and shot dead both dogs inside the home.

Good riddance. The puppies should have been shot as well. Never mind what the neighbours think.

Julie Coleman, 62, and Mike Coleman, 74, said: 'It's horrible. I heard them shoot the dogs. It's so upsetting. I was in tears.'
Mrs Coleman said: “I’m an animal lover and it’s just so upsetting, even with what they have done.

Living next to these things? I'd have been opening some champagne for the cops.  

Saturday 3 February 2024

The Madness Is Spreading...

Virtual police stations should be opened in the metaverse to tackle online crimes, Interpol suggests.

I suppose this was inevitable... British police farces are probably congratulating themselves on leading the way! 

The international police body has called for forces to consider opening online units offering services like 'reporting crimes, filing complaints or hosting virtual community meetings'. In a White Paper warning of an explosion of crimes in virtual reality games, Interpol suggests officers should maintain a 'virtual presence in the metaverse' to prevent sex offences, child abuse and even terrorism.

If it's as effective as the real-world presence, better open up a virtual Police Complaints Authority alongside it. 

Another Diversity Hire Shot Down In Flames..?

Mr Brown, who was hired as chief of West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority last year, was accused of lying about his qualifications and playing for Charlton Athletic when applying for the £180,000-a-year job.

Astonishingly, they actually checked this time. 

The firefighter, who was part of the London Fire Brigade for 27 years until switching to the West Midlands service in 2019, had impressed superiors with his Master of Business Administration degree from London South Bank University.

Is that really what impressed them so much? 

But an investigation was launched after his alleged alma mater said it had no record of his degree, with the fire chief removing them from his LinkedIn account shortly afterwards.

Why would you even lie about this sort of thing? Because you'd got away with it up to now, I suppose? 

London Fire Brigade posted a tribute to Mr Brown from Fire Commissioner Andy Roe, saying: 'I am deeply sorry to hear of the passing of Wayne Brown.
'Wayne was a valued and respected colleague in the brigade for over 20 years before joining West Midlands FRS. Our thoughts go out to Wayne's family and friends at this difficult time.'

Did you ever check his claims when he worked for you, though? 

Friday 2 February 2024

I Suspect The Answer Is ‘Very Little’…

A growing number of organisations have been found to have discriminated against women because of their views. What are employers learning from such cases?

It won't be 'that they were wrong to fall under the spell of Stonewall' will it, Reader? 

Gender-critical feminists believe sex is biological and cannot be changed, and disagree with trans rights activists who say gender identity should be given priority in terms of law-making and policy.

Decribing it as a 'belief' rather than a recognition of reality shows the absurdity up for what it is. It's as daft as saying "Geographers believe the earth is round, and disagree with Flat Earthers who say transport policy should be decided on the basis that it's flat." 

After the Meade case last week, which like several others involved disciplinary action being initiated against an employee as a result of social media postings, Westminster council said it would “consider what changes we need to make”. For the local authority it comes too late to prevent a payout, but other employers may need to learn from it.

No, they do need to learn from it. But I suspect they won't.  

Georgina Calvert-Lee, an employment and equality barrister at Bellevue Law, agreed that the wider debate – in which gender-critical feminists and advocates of transgender rights have been at loggerheads – may have influenced employers, but said they must adjust their behaviour in light of the case law.
“What Forstater and Bailey have done is they’ve set this very strong precedent of tolerance,” Calvert-Lee said. “Above all, in a pluralistic society, which is what we want, you have to accept that people are going to have different views and some people are going to find their colleagues’ views completely obnoxious – but nevertheless protected because freedom of speech is something that … has been really promoted and underlined.
“It’s always been there but it’s been sort of forgotten in some of these culture wars.”

Not by everyone, just by those organisations in thrall to the likes of Stonewall.  

And He's Probably Not The Only One...

Fury is growing over how the chemical attacker who maimed a mother and her two daughters was allowed to stay in the UK despite being convicted of a sex crime after arriving here illegally in a lorry.

Yes, you read that right. AFTER being convicted of a sex crime. 

This isn't a case of 'We don't know who we are letting into the country' (although we don't), this is a case of 'They showed us who they were WHEN we let them into the country'... 

The man hunt for Abdul Shokoor Ezedi, 35, continued last night as Tory MPs called for all asylum seekers who commit crimes in Great Britain to be deported.

Gosh, haven't they had 13 years to call for this? 

It was emerged last night that Ezedi is a former asylum seeker from Afghanistan who was allowed to stay in the UK despite being convicted of a sexual offence, following two failed applications
Find the two civil servants who turned down his applications, and promote them. Find the one who granted asylum and fire them.

And kick out anyone who is sheltering him.

Thursday 1 February 2024

Well Played, Well Played Indeed...

Blade runner ULEZ vandals have used a sticker of London Mayor Sadiq Khan's face to block the hated cameras.

Heh! The police are not amused. And are so desperate to stop support for this, they have resorted to lying. Badly. 

Which, let's face it, is how they do everything these days.  

Chief Inspector Priya Shome, based in Bromley, said: "We are investigating the criminal damage to five sets of traffic lights in the Orpington area overnight which has caused major traffic management issues.

Boo hoo! So do Palestinian terrorism support protests, but I bet you never complain about those, eh? 

"Two police units, who should have been available to answer 999 calls, were instead required to spend the morning managing traffic.

Sure, of course they'd be answering 999 calls instead of monitoring Facebook for hurty words, Priya... 

Can you work in a 'For the cheeeeldreen!' angle? You can? Good girl!

"The people who are carrying out this criminal damage are putting the public at risk.
"There has been a collision between two cars on Court Road, at the location of one of the damaged traffic lights, in which a child was injured.
"I would urge the people carrying out these crimes to stop immediately and think about the danger they are causing to road users."

But in a rare case of a British journalist not simply repeating the police boilerplate and calling it 'job done', it seems the anti-ULEZ group aren't the culprits Priya would have us believe.

The junction seems to have been a big problem area over the years, and one man who lives directly opposite the crash noted he has seen multiple accidents in the area.
He said: “I have lived here for three years, and this is the seventh serious crash I have seen happen.
“It is because of the traffic lights people get so confused on this road about who has the right of way.”

If traffic lights 'confuse people about who has the right of way', maybe Priya's officers should be there every day checking driving licenses...  

If Only I Ran 'The Guardian'...

...then the text when you clicked on this thumbnail would read 'Well, go back where you came from, then!'.

The government plans to exclude accommodation used to house asylum seekers from a crackdown on landlords managing social housing, the Guardian revealed this week.

So we are supposed to believe these are genuine refugees scared for their lives, but they demand pristine living conditions? If I was in genuine fear for my life I wouldn't think of questioning the shelter given me. Would anyone else?