Friday 31 May 2024

Tweet Of The Month

Two things characterised May - Eurovision and the solar flare that brought us the aurora!


But the absolute piece de resistance was this:

Post Title Of The Month

 Natalie Solent at Samizdata on Scottish histrionics: 

Quote Of The Month

Longrider on the news we all expected, hoped for, dreaded...

"So we will now be inundated with weeks of campaigning and impossible promises as these shitbags try to bribe us with our own money. At the end of which we will troop into the polling booths as if it makes a damned bit of difference, because on July the 5th, things will carry on exactly as they are right now – we will still be royally shafted by these bastards – plus ca change…"

Post Of The Month

Fahrenheit211Fahrenheit211 on the scandals on the century...

So, Just Stop Trying....

Comedian Stephen Merchant has said he feels 'the Left' is 'policing' comedy with 'sensitivities that seem out of proportion to the joke'. Merchant, 49, who co-wrote The Office, said comedians had become more cautious because they didn't want to spend weeks on social media trying to justify a gag.
...since you never can justify it to these fanatics, and why would you even try?
In an interview, he said: 'There's always been policing of comedy, of there being... guardrails.The difference is that it used to feel like it was the Right that was policing it. 'It feels like it's the Left that's doing it now, and it's allowed the Right to become the arbiters of free speech. Which does feel like quite a significant shift.'

If so, you really haven't understood those two political terms at all.... 

Thursday 30 May 2024

"Can't Attend Your Burglary Madam, Little Johnnie's Not Turned Up For Maths Again..."

Some schools in England are sending police to the homes of children who are persistently absent, or warning them their parents may go to prison if their attendance doesn’t improve, the Observer has learned.

Like the police have time for this.... 

But child psychologists and parent groups are warning that the push for full attendance is driving “heavy-handed” crackdowns at some schools, and ignores the issues that often lie behind school refusal, including mental health problems, unmet special educational needs, bereavement or the child being a carer.

Some might say it's not heavy-handed enough

Ellie Costello, co-founder of Square Peg, a lobbying and support group for children who don’t fit into the conventional schools model, said: “Parents have told us about very strict schools actually forcing entry to their homes. Schools are turning up with community police. They are shouting up the stairs to highly anxious children, demanding they come into school now.”

And the youth are likely to treat 'community police' with the same disdain they treat real actual police on the street. he same disdain they treat real actual police on the street.  

Oliver Conway, a child protection solicitor at London law firm Oliver Fisher, which is co-hosting a conference with Square Peg this week on the impact of prosecuting parents on attendance, said many poorer parents were unable to pay fines. He asked: “Why aren’t they giving these families proper mental health support and support from social services instead of trying to punish them?”

Shouldn't criticise, if they did that, how would people like you earn a living? 

One “deeply vulnerable” woman came to him in great distress because the local authority was taking her to court for not sending her 14-year-old daughter into school. “Her daughter wasn’t going in because she was pregnant. She was involved in county lines [drug trafficking] and she was being sexually abused by a drug dealer,” he said.

This isn't an issue for a school to solve, it's an issue for the police!  

Rishi May Be Wet, But Kier's Fired Up And Wants To Win

Diane Abbott said she wants to remain as an MP for as long as possible, as she accused Labour of wanting to "exclude" her from Parliament. She told supporters at a rally on Wednesday she had been "banned from running" for Labour. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said no decision had been taken to bar her.

Clearly, no decision has been taken to support her, either! Kier is not falling into that trap!  

Writing on X earlier, Ms Abbott suggested there was a wider "cull of left wingers" happening within Labour, referring to the case of another prospective candidate, Faiza Shaheen.
On Wednesday, it was confirmed that Ms Shaheen had not been endorsed by Labour to be their for Chingford and Woodford Green in north east London, after she allegedly liked a post on X that downplayed antisemitism accusations. Ms Shaheen told BBC Newsnight she had received an email that claimed she would "frustrate Labour's purpose".
"I'm just in a state of shock to be honest," she said.
Kier's cleaning house, love. But don't worry, I'm sure you'll crawl back to a post with them after he's safe in No 10 and no longer has to try to convince everyone his party isn't full of antisemites and race-baiters.

Wednesday 29 May 2024

And With One Bound, She Was Free!

Police dropped an investigation to Angela Rayner's living arrangements yesterday – but her former neighbours were left furious.
The deputy Labour leader will face no further action by officers over questions about where she was living when she sold her Right-to-Buy home.
Announcing their decision, Greater Manchester Police said it had also passed information on to Stockport Council and HMRC, but they too will be taking no further action against the Ashton-under-Lyne MP.

We've imported the equivalent population of a dodgy Third World corrupt kleptocracy, so why not go the whole hog and adopt their methods too? 

Sylvia Hampson, 83, had claimed that Ms Rayner was living next door to her in a terraced home – owned by her then husband, Mark Rayner – in Lowndes Lane in Stockport for a good 'six or seven years', rather than in the ex-council house she later sold.
The mother-of-two, who gave evidence to the police investigation, said: 'It's bloody ridiculous. 'I know the truth and so does my son. She was definitely living next door to me and she knows she was.'
I guess you won't be voting Labour then?
Chris Hinett, 64, who lives a few doors down from the house where Ms Rayner claimed she lived in Vicarage Road, Stockport, also reacted with anger.The car salesman said of her being cleared: 'It's disgusting. I co-operated with the police but when they knock on my door next time, I won't bother.
'It's the police's job to investigate election law. She is potentially going to the next deputy prime minister – it's not right.'

They've declined to do their job. Which shouldn't really come as a surprise to anyone.  

Maybe Dr Richie Howard Hasn't Seen The Movie Or Read The Book?

According to Dr Richie Howard, curator of fossil arthropods at the Natural History Museum, Radnorscolex is reminiscent of giant worms in the Hollywood blockbuster Dune.

Apart, that is, from being only 8cm long. And living in the sea.  

Tuesday 28 May 2024

Fatal Attraction...

Marie Stevens had been attempting to stroke Rachel and Brian Walshe's Rottweilers when she was mauled in the street, with the latter allegedly telling her: "Get up will you? There's nothing wrong with you."
The victim was an animal lover who had recently lost her own dog. Sje had the misfortune to cross the path of utter monsters. And I'm not simply talking about the dogs here... 
Ms Stevens, who had been walking to have her tea at her sister's house at the time, was rushed to Aintree Hospital by ambulance after suffering "extensive injuries to her limbs", including a "degloving" to her lower left leg and lacerations to her right ankle, both arms and lower right abdomen. She later told Merseyside Police that she had "asked if she could stroke the dogs" and that Rachel Walshe had "indicated that was ok".

Which, as soon as the victim died, they realised had been a mistake, and sought to deny responsibility despite witnesses and CCTV. 

A post-mortem investigation subsequently found that a blood clot had formed in her left calf as a result of the dog bite then broken off and travelled to her lungs, blocking her blood supply. A pathologist concluded that there was "direct causation of the death of Marie Stevens and the dog attack which occurred approximately two weeks prior to her death".
Brian Walshe was first interviewed by detectives the day after the incident. He claimed that he had "told Mrs Stevens to stay away", although CCTV footage was said to have shown him "motioning her to approach".

Whoops! A liar. In Liverpool! Who'dathunkit?   

During a second interview following her death, the 42-year-old said that he and his mother had bought Frankie and Rocky two years previously from a breeder in Blackpool and that he "never had any reason to be concerned about the temperament of either dog". Walshe again maintained that he had told Ms Stevens not to stroke the dogs and stated that she had approached them in an "animated way", although this was not captured on the video. Rachel Walshe said in her initial interview on August 19 that Frankie "often barked at other dogs but was not aggressive towards them", although he "did not like to be stroked for too long and could be temperamental at times".

So the male in the case had 'no concerns' about the dogs, but the female wasn't so blase? 

Both defendants, who have no previous convictions, admitted owning a dangerously out of control dog causing death. They were handed 10-month imprisonments suspended for 18 months with rehabilitation activity requirements of up to 20 days.Rachel Walshe was seen to reach out for her son's hands as he stood in the dock with his head bowed. One member of Ms Stevens' family said "taking the p***" before he stormed out of the courtroom as they were spared prison, while a woman left in tears once the hearing had ended. Sentencing, the Honorary Recorder of Liverpool Judge Andrew Menary KC said: "There is no sentence that I can pass that will begin to equate in any real sense with the loss that has been suffered. The reality is that there is nothing that this court can do or say that will alleviate or reduce the immeasurable suffering.
"Some will think any sentence is inadequate. But my task is to ensure that the sentence I pass is just and proportionate, consistent with the sentencing guidelines and reflecting all of the relevant circumstances of this very sad and tragic case."

Which I suspect, loosely translated, amounts to 'the jails are fullthe jails are full'. And so justice is once again withheld from the victim's relatives. But not from the State. 

Both defendants were also told to pay £3,500 each towards the costs of keeping the dogs in police kennels to this date.

Does anyone think they'll see a penny of this?  

Brian Walshe was ordered to give £500 towards prosecution costs, with Rachel Walshe made to contribute £150. She was banned from keeping dogs for life, while he was disqualified for five years. Judge Menary ordered that both Frankie and Rocky be destroyed.

A pity the same couldn't be imposed on the owners.  

And If You're An Innocent Bystander With A Pacemaker?

British police could soon be equipped with a ground-breaking device to disable e-bikes being used by criminals to speed away from crimes. The ‘Ghostbusters-style’ weapon would fire electro-magnetic rays to stop the engines of e-scooters and e-bikes being used in crimes.

...or just someone with a moblibe phone when they (inevitably) miss? 

Gavin Stephens, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), said the device was in development and could be used within months, reported The Guardian newspaper. They would be housed inside a backpack, reminiscent of the Ghostbuster devices used in the popular sci-fi films. Mr Stephens told a media briefing: “Basically, it interferes with the electric motor, to trick the electric motor into thinking it is overheating.
“It sends a signal to confuse the electric motor. All these electric motors apparently have an inbuilt safety system that if it thinks it’s overheating, it shuts down.
“At the minute, it’s like a ginormous backpack.”

Just wait for the compensation claims to roll in... 

Monday 27 May 2024

As Inevitable As Summer Itself...

The instant the temperature spikes up, the drownings start....
The father of a boy who drowned in the River Tyne has told of his anguish after another teen died on the same stretch of water. Carl Hattersley says yesterday's tragedy has brought back memories of his ordeal in July 2022 when his son, Robert, 13, died. Robert, from Crawcrook, was swept under by the current when he got into difficulty while swimming with his pals in the river in Ovingham, Northumberland. Yesterday, a 14-year-old boy died and a 13-year-old boy is in a critical condition after getting into difficulty in the same waters. The teen who passed away had jumped in to save his friend who began to struggle while playing on a rope swing, locals revealed.
Mr Hattersley, who has set up a foundation in his son's name to raise awareness of the dangers of open water swimming, said he wanted to send his condolences to the boy's family.

Just how much 'awareness' can you raise, if the constant stream of deaths isn't doing the trick?  

He said he was 'quite disappointed' with Northumberland Council, which he says has not been in touch with him since his son's death. 'We thought something would have been done by the Northumberland Council by now,' he said.

Ah, yes, the 'someone should do something!' attitude that's so often prevalent in these cases.  Quite what they should do, heaven only knows - fence off every stretch of open water in the area? At a cost to the local taxpayer? 

Mr Hattersley said he wanted to raise awareness of the dangers of open water swimming in schools. 'Let's get people aware, of all ages, like these young teenagers,' he said.
'If they're not from around here they might not know the dangers of Northumberland's rivers because it's quite dangerous and strong because of the current.''Kids are kids. They go down to the river and they don't see the dangers, they think it's fine. As the summer gets closer there's going to be more going down there.'

And there will be more drownings. In fact, here they are alreadyhere they are already.  

We The Voters Will Decide Who Is A Fit Person To Be A Councillor...

...the MoS can now reveal that days before Mr Stevens was arrested, a Northamptonshire Police detective phoned Jonathan Ekins, a former local Tory mayor for Wellingborough, and allegedly told him Mr Stevens should be 'removed' as a councillor because of his views. In a statement to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, Mr Ekins said Detective Constable Amelia Thompson told him Mr Stevens was about to be arrested 'for a serious offence'. 'She said in their opinion the police felt that he was not a fit person to be a councillor,' he said. 'DC Thompson said Anthony Stevens should be removed from being a councillor.'

It's the sort of massive overreach that you'd expect from the police force of some benighted Third World basket case of a country.  Which I suppose we now are...

It is claimed that in a later call, DC Thompson told him police had learnt Mr Stevens had attended a meeting at the same time as a Labour councillor thought to have complained about his tweets. This, she said, was a breach of his bail conditions and she warned him officers would arrest Mr Stevens 'on the spot' if he turned up at another meeting attended by the Labour councillor.

And Elkins - surprisingly, for a modern Tory - decided he wasn't going to take this lying down: 

Mr Ekins said: 'My response was, rightly, to remind DC Thompson that she would be welcome to try but that, as chair of the committee, I have the right to … instruct security officials to remove the police for public disruption of a democratically constituted meeting.'

I expect the useless Home Sec is letting the IOPC run with this one, but he should be worried that anyone would think that this was within the police's purview. 

Andrea Williams, of the Christian Legal Centre, who is representing Mr Stevens, said: 'What happened undermined and trampled on our law, democracy and freedoms on every level.'

Indeed it did. This DC should be directing traffic on Gruinard for the rest of her career.  

Sunday 26 May 2024

Running Out Of Ideas...

It's been a bad week for some iconic firms who have shown they have finally run out of ideas - much like a certain political party

First up, it's the poular crystal-ornament firm Swarovski (and full disclosure here, Ive been known to buy their animal sulptures, particularly the big cats). they've gone from simple clear crystal to colour versions in the last few years, and now appear to gave run out of road with this latest offering:

And then, my favourite supermarket has a rather odd movie tie-in for all pet owners:

Finger On The Pulse As Ever!

Matt truly is the master! 

Sunday Funnies...

And even American cops didn't believe these

Saturday 25 May 2024

Will We See The Return Of The Vesta Meal?

Or will modern ramen noodles take over? 

Families will today be urged to stockpile three days' worth of food and water to help build national 'resilience'.
Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden will advise people to make contingency plans for dealing with potential emergencies such as prolonged power cuts, cyber attacks and floods.

Blimey, that's a bit of a mixed bag! Luckily, I don't live in a flood area... 

Last year, Mr Dowden said people should stock up on 'analogue capabilities', such as candles, torches and wind-up radios, to boost their 'personal resilience'.

Thanks, 'Green' energy!  

Today he will go further by encouraging people to stock up with enough food and water to survive for three days without leaving their homes.

The next pandemic panic is going to be pretty short, then?  

Whitehall sources insisted that the plan was not designed to create a nation of US-style survivalists. One said Mr Dowden's intervention was not meant to be 'alarmist' and was simply 'common sense' advice.

Common really ain't so common anymore.  

There Was Once A Time...

...when hearing a man with a double-narrelled name had been shot, one would assume a tragic safari accident, or perhaps storming an enemy encampment at the head of an army brigade.

No longer:

Detectives have arrested a man on suspicion of murder after Jazmel Patterson-Low was gunned down in Lambeth. A 25-year-old man has been detained in south London after Jazmel Patterson-Low, 26, was shot on the Westbury Estate around 2am on Saturday and died in hospital. The suspect has been remanded in custody, Metropolitan Police said on Tuesday. Mr Patterson-Low suffered a single gunshot wound in Rule Street and was dropped at Thomas’s Hospital in a private car, but later died.

By fellow thugs, no doubt. Nice of them to spare the paramedics a trip. 

Detective Inspector Martin Thorpe, Specialist Crime, leads the investigation and said:“We know there was a group of around 40 people gathered in and around St Rule Street on Friday evening and the early hours of Saturday morning.

A group of people with no discernable appearance?  

Several people have come forward to provide information and I am extremely grateful to them. “However, I am certain there are other people who will know what happened in St Rule Street and who was responsible for the shooting.

 Well, undoubtedly! 

I urge them to come forward and share that information.

Dream on, Marty old boy.  

Friday 24 May 2024

Impose All The 'Special Conduct Requirements' You Want... won't stop its behaviour:
A transgender sex offender was caught with three vulnerable children locked in a house, a court heard yesterday. Police had to break down Ryan Scott's door after neighbours reported seeing three youngsters enter his home. By the time they got in, he had engaged in sexual activity with a girl aged 14.

Reader, that should perhaps read 'another girl', for it could be that she is a girl, though it's always hard to know with these stories... 

Scott, 21, was convicted of a similar offence as a female called Coral Scott last year. At those proceedings, the accused was understood to be identifying as female in prison.

Ah. Clarification. Identifying as one since that's exactly what she was born as, and always will be.  

Yesterday, at Dundee Sheriff Court, Scott admitted engaging in sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl on April 9 last year. Sheriff Paul Brown imposed two special 'conduct requirements' prohibiting contact with under-16s without permission and 'reporting any intimate relationship to the supervising officer'.

An exercise in total futility since it's already shown no intention to co-operate. 

One month before the latest offence took place, Coral Scott was banned at the same court from starting any new relationship without special permission.She was banned from having unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 16, but was allowed to walk free from court after a sheriff said the time spent on remand would count as the punishment.

The authorities cannot deal with 'ordinary' male peadophiles, so why they think they can ever handle this bag of crazy, god only knows.  

Scott, who was most recently being held in Polmont, was placed on the sex offenders' register and under social work supervision for three years.During that case, the court heard Scott lured a schoolgirl to a flat to engage in sexual activity on Valentine's Day, despite knowing she was 14. Scott, who was born female, then tried to pervert the course of justice by issuing death threats to the schoolgirl.

Of course, why not? Break one law and get away with it, and you might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. But because of the trans cult aspects of this, even the victims can't avoid playing into the warped fantasy of the perpetrator:

The victim's mother, 33, said: 'It broke our hearts to see what this monster had done to our little girl. It destroyed our beautiful daughter. She was a child and whether he was a man or a woman, this was an adult preying on a child.'

She was a woman. That's clear.  

The Jesuits Were Right...

A nursery in Petts Wood has received its second 'Outstanding' rating from Ofsted, with the watchdog praising it as a place where children can "celebrate their uniqueness".
Inspectors found that the Petts Wood nursery staff teach children about diversity in "inspirational ways", with cultural, physical, and social differences being a daily part of learning.

How else to ensure your ideology flourishes, but to target the kiddies?  And when you've got them, make sure you keep them: 

Varndean College in Surrenden Road, Brighton, was praised by inspectors for its "vibrant and highly inclusive culture" which helps "students flourish".Inspectors also found that the students are respectful towards each other and "embrace diversity".

Until real life intervenes to teach them otherwise.  

Thursday 23 May 2024

I'm Moving To Nottinghamshire When I Retire!

Because the place must be a crime-free paradise!
A retired teacher was threatened with criminal action after fallen leaves were allegedly blown onto her neighbour's drive. Lorraine Perro, 66, was visited by officers from Nottinghamshire Police who said her garden waste constituted antisocial behaviour and handed her a Community Protection Warning. Ms Perro was left so intimidated by the warning she erected netting on her property to catch any fallen leaves and bark.

Well, it seems harsh, but if her trees are causing a nuis...


She claimed the source of the waste is fallen leaves from trees on nearby parkland that she doesn't own.

And so she's rightly annoyed.  

Ms Perro accused Nottinghamshire Police of overstepping their powers, adding it had infringed on her liberties.
She said: 'I have no convictions and this has caused me major distress.
'We have a park area where the trees blow on to my drive and my neighbours' drives. But I'm told by the police that I am responsible.
'I asked why the police didn't give warnings to the squirrels and birds as well – the wind blows the leaves around.
'I have had to put a net up to prevent leaves being blown about. I feel terribly intimidated by this.
'My rights and freedoms are affected, as it ignores my right to have my garden the way that I want it.
'You are treated as a culprit, as if you have done something wrong and not given a chance to respond or defend yourself.
'I am sure the public would like to see a better use of police time and resources in preventing serious crime.'

Yes indeed, particularly fare dodging. But stroppy urban chip-on-shoulder customers on buses put up more of a fight than retired old ladies.  

Nottinghamshire Police have denied fallen leaves could be covered by the warning.

And now the neighbours who complained to bring about this have waded in to say this isn't about leaves at all

The squabbling neighbours live in near identical red brick detached homes in the leafy Nottinghamshire suburb of Eastwood. Neither the lone householder nor the couple are allowed to talk to one another or communicate in any way after signing police 'keep the peace' orders.But matters have escalated in recent weeks after the Amos's accused their neighbour - through their local community officer - of keeping an untidy front and garden with leaves and bark chippings blowing onto their drive and over their rear lawn. They also claimed her 'inconsiderate parking' meant their own car was blocked in their small drive.

Another case of people who don't get on escalating things, then? But is this really a job for police action? 

Mr Amos, 74, a retired classic car sales manager, said: 'She deserves that warning. She is the neighbour from hell.
'We've lived here for 47 years and she has made our lives hell for the past 23 years.
'She's crazy and she continues to invade our privacy and doing annoying things which are driving us mad.'
His wife, a retired customer services advisor for an insurance company, fumed: 'She's a nasty, horrible woman and we just want her to leave us alone.
'We want a quiet life, and we don't need the hassle, but we can't with her next door. She's a total nutter and I just ignore her.
'I'm glad police have given her that a warning, they had every right and it's about time, but I doubt it will stop her carryings on.'

This isn't a job for the police, this is something only an estate agent can solve. If these people can't live together one of them should move. But it's yet another indication of how the police are happy to wade in on things like this, but run a mile when confronted with organised pushback that could be considered 'racially charged'. 

Yesterday's Unexpected But Very Welcome News...

So there I was yesterday afternoon, having caught up with work as court wasn't sitting, relaxing and browsing Twitter, when some monumental news, long awaited but never sure if it would ever happen, suddenly dropped to gladden the heart of your host...

What? No! Not that news!

This news! 

Finally, an Indian map, and the chance to hunt the biggest of big game. 

I know how Kier Starmer must feel this morning...

Wednesday 22 May 2024

"And When 'Just Stop Oil' Nutters Target It..."

 "'s red paint proof!" 

I think it's hideous. You, Reader? 

"A reasonable teenager would know this behavior is unacceptable..."

 "...but this is Florida!"

A Florida man who was attempting to become a cop wound up in jail himself due to his admission during the hiring process - where he revealed he had committed sexual assaults against a nine-year-old girl.

Not for nothing is the term 'Florida man' a byword for idiocy on the grandest scale possible... 

Stephen Roland Bodley, 26, seriously incriminated himself during a 2021 interview with the Apopka Police Department, in which he admitted to behavior that led to a felony conviction at trial in Orange County, Florida last week.
Bodley was convicted of committing sexual battery of a child under the age of 12 when the defendant was not yet 18.

I alway say 'the police only catch the dumb ones' but even I never envisaged this scenario!  

Tuesday 21 May 2024

I Knew I'd Be Wrong...

As someone who has been hard of hearing since I was a teenager, I read with great interest about the case of Opal Sandy – the 18-month-old British toddler who has recently had her hearing “restored” in a pioneering medical trial.
I tweeted about this story when the news first broke.

Of course, I was proved wrong
It’s fantastic news that this little girl can now hear. She will no longer have to go through the negative situations that people with hearing loss often face. She won’t experience being self-conscious about her hearing, as I did as an adolescent, nor the difficulties of meeting new people, such as having to ask them to repeat themselves again and again. She won’t miss out on job progression because of her hearing loss. What is often required to get on in a company – overt participation in meetings, receiving verbal instructions and engaging with clients – are all affected by hearing loss. The impact that this will have on her life is tremendous.

So, it is an unalloyed good thing?  

Opal’s case is something to be celebrated. But it doesn’t have the profound ramifications for all deaf people that some hearing people might assume. It’s important to note that every case is different, and hers is very specific. This treatment is only applicable to a particular and rare type of deafness, meaning that its implications are not as widespread as some headlines might suggest.

So your objection is because this won't help enough deaf people? Oh no, Reader, we've come up against this phenomenon before, haven't we? It's the 'deaf culture' nonsense again...

But what might worry deaf people more is the discussion around Opal’s treatment. Prof Manohar Bance, the chief investigator for the trial, has used words such as “normal” and “cure”. There has been talk of deaf people being “given hope”. For some in the deaf community, words like these can be insulting. They suggest that people with hearing loss are hopelessly and aimlessly wandering through life, waiting for a magic wand that will cure them. Word choices like this make deaf people feel endangered.

Imagine feeling 'endangered' by a medical procedure that no-one will force you to take. That you can opt to 'spare' your disabled child from and no-one will find that surprising or demand that you rethink. 

Because make no mistake, being deaf IS a disability. Humans are meant to have five working senses, just as they are meant to have four working limbs.  

They don’t acknowledge that deafness is not a disease or that deaf people are not abnormal – we are most often happy, successful and thriving individuals, and make up a community with a language and culture we’re proud of. None of that needs to be “cured”.

Isn't it strange that there doesn't appear to exist a similar 'blind culture'? I wonder why. 

And I Predict It Won't Be The Last...

The incident is thought to be the first fatal attack involving registered XL Bully dogs since fresh restrictions on the breed came into force on February 1.
Waking up to this news this morning, that was my first thought. 

My second being 'Hornchurch!' because I know the area well, and though like any East London area, there are nicer roads and what can be described as less-nice roads, most areas there are definitely in the former camp. And this area was close to Emerson Park, where houses over £1m are often on the market. 

It's not the sort of place where you'd expect to find the sort of people who normally own these breeds living...
One person told The Mirror that police had not killed the dogs involved, and had instead 'taken them away'.

That's utterly mindboggling. Why? 

Speaking about today's incident, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: 'A woman in her 50s has died after an incident inside a house in Hornchurch. 'Police were called to Cornwall Close around 1.12pm on Monday, May 20, to reports of a woman attacked by a dog.
'The woman was treated by medics from London Ambulance Service, but sadly she was pronounced dead at the scene.
'Due to the threat posed, armed officers attended. After assessing the situation, officers were able to safely seize two dogs.
'These were registered XL Bully dogs and prior to officers' arrival had been contained inside a room in the house. They did not leave the house at any time during the incident.
'The family of the woman, who was the owner of the dogs, are being supported by officers.'

What evidential value do live dogs have to the investigation? When set against the threat they pose to the vet techs, kennel workers and police that will have to handle them until a judge hands down a destruction order?  

Monday 20 May 2024

I Agree With Insp Gadget At Last...

...we really do get the policing we deserve (not that we all deserve it):

This was the craven response from the Met Police to one of their officers getting a criminal record for coming up against one of the urban chip-on-shoulder, rules don't apply to ME creatures that roam our streets and ride our public transport system. These are, it seems, everywhere these days.

The fuss seems to have stemmed from the fact that, in doing his job, he 'overstepped his authority', according to a judge that anyone with common sense can see has clearly overstepped his

And instead of backing their officer to the hilt and pointing out that of course he was entitled to do what he did, the Met reflexively cringe in the face of opposition from a certain sector. And so TfL will continue to hemorrhage money and people who think they shouldn't have to do as everyone else does in a functioning society will be further emboldened, and life in the capital - and particularly commuting - gets just that little bit harder for everyone. Even the judge has to admit this: 

Throughout his verdict, Judge Ikram referred to the complainant as JA and to the defendant as D.
He said: 'Whether an arrest was necessary and proportionate is an objective test, I make the following findings to the criminal standard.
'I readily find that JA was difficult throughout, she knew the inspectors were checking tickets but didn't stop as she could have, but wanted them to follow her.
'I find that she did say she'd paid and was difficult perhaps because she knew she had paid, as was later established.
'I've examined the video carefully - on examination of the video footage, she clearly has the Oyster card in her hand outreached towards the inspectors' machine.
'In having it out it appears she may well have touched the machine given the opportunity to do so.This would have been visible to D.'

Look, we've all been there. Us commuters, I mean. Is it annoying to be ticket checked twice on the same journey? Yes, undoubtedly. But are you going to solve anything by getting into a strop? No. So just tap the bloody thing again, rather than act like a giant toddler denied an ice cream!  

It's always a certain demographic, too. As regular readers will know, I'm currently on jury service and have to go through a bag & body search every day. No argument, it's expected, was notified in advance, and is there for a very good reason. Last week, I witnessed a new prospective juror kick off because he’d brought in a bag of tools (hammers, chisels, etc!) so he could go to work after and didn’t want to let them take them off him and give him a receipt to claim them back after court, so simply stormed out of court. Want to guess his race?

But They Leave Out The Most Interesting Thing...

...what was the brand?
Staff at a Royal Mail delivery office tucked into chocolate bars believed to have fallen out of a package but then realised they were laced with drugs.

Who on earth eats stuff that's fallen out of a packet?  

Three members of staff at the Royal Mail’s delivery office in Brighton’s North Road reportedly shared the sweet treats. But minutes later they began to feel the effects of the edibles and experienced panic attacks. Colleagues said they discovered the chocolate was laced with drugs when they saw it written on the packaging.


Ambulances attended the delivery offices and the trio were taken to hospital for treatment.

And psychiatric evaluation?  

Royal Mail said they investigated the incident but that no disciplinary action was taken.


Sunday 19 May 2024

At Least They've Learned Not To Carve Them In Stone Anymore...

The irrepressible Matt, folks! 

Excuse Me Sir, But That's Not A Bug...

A young autistic man has been given a golden opportunity to share his passion for bugs and reptiles at the 2024 Devon County Show.
Ned’s mother, Jane Riley, explained that her son is finding it tough transitioning from education to a career: “He would love to work in an environment where he can use his passion to earn a living, but, as with many other neuro-divergent young adults, he simply doesn’t have the confidence to go to interviews, nor does he have a CV to back up his skills.”

Has he considered journalism? It seems to be a career that requires absolutely no skills or knowledge  whatsoever. 

H/T: IanJ via email

Sunday Funnies...

If you're going to commit crime (and get caught), best do it in Norway.

Saturday 18 May 2024

It's Not The Children They Are Worrying About...

The petition goes on to allege that Prevent is racist and Islamophobic, stating: ‘Muslim parents are worried that a child’s innocent comment [on Gaza] could lead to them being hauled before Prevent.
‘Many have demonstrated their support and sympathy for the Palestinian people, but are fearful of the consequences.’'s what will happen when it's realised that the children are merely parroting what they are hearing at home. Or in the mosque. 

Why they should worry about any consequences is the big mystery because sadly, there never are any for this wretched backward cult.
Security was tightened around the Tower Hamlets civic centre in preparation for the hearing last night. Entitled ‘Defend Free Speech and Democracy’, it was handed to the borough’s mayor Lutfur Rahman and the council’s cabinet.
And there's a clear example of the lack of consequences - this man's history should have ensured he was never re-elected.
One local councillor expressed fears about the petition and its timing. They warned it might inflame an already tense situation in the borough over the Gaza-Israeli conflict and anti-Semitic feeling.

I'm not sure, at this stage, that that's even possible... 

The Movies Are Lying Again...

A swan on a dual carriageway caused a crash, leaving a car fully engulfed in flames and bringing Poole to a standstill.
Emergency services were called to Dorset Way past Tower Park in Poole during rush hour at 7.50am on Tuesday, May 7. According to the fire brigade, two vehicles had crashed because there was a swan on the road.
However, the police were called to a swan on the road at 6.23am the same morning and officers had put it on the pavement.
A spokeswoman for Dorset Police said she would not go into the cause of the crash and could not confirm if a swan was the cause. She confirmed a swan had been reported on the road earlier that morning.
She said: "Officers attended and the swan was off the road and on the pavement. Partner agencies were notified."

Oh, I thought they were trained for this stuff?  

*crosses out another on the list of 'things cops no longer excel at'*

H/T: IanJ via email

Friday 17 May 2024

Sensing Weakness...

,,,it's something dangerous predators are good at, because no matter how powerful, an easy kill is always less risky:
Sir Keir Starmer has been urged not to give in to a 'dangerous' set of demands from a Muslim pressure group. The Labour leader was hit with the extraordinary list of 18 orders by The Muslim Vote after he promised to win back the trust of voters alienated by his stance on the Middle East conflict. He was told he must apologise for his failure to back a ceasefire last autumn and for 'greenlighting a genocide' when he appeared to say Israel had the right to cut off water and power in Gaza.On foreign policy, he was told he must recognise the state of Palestine, impose sanctions on Israeli politicians and cut military ties with the country.Domestically, the group said he must ensure Muslim pupils can pray at school, ditch a new Government definition of extremism and guarantee 'Sharia-compliant' pensions are available in every workplace.

Longrider gives the perfect response to demands of this sort... 

Labour has not yet responded to the group publicly and last night declined to say if it would do so.

Cowards to a man. 

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said: 'This is shaping up to become a very big issue. 'It is a threat to our democracy and this amounts to nothing more or less than political blackmail.
'The threat is that they won't vote for Labour.
'If you give in to blackmail it never stops and others will see you are weak.'

Like the leader of your own party, Iain? 

The Lost Generation....

From the entrance, it looks almost like a normal cave, with a rocky overhang and leaves scattered around the entrance. The only giveaway is a warning sign adorned with deathly skulls and crossbones saying: 'Danger! No trespassing beyond this point.'
This is Costa Rica's Cave of Death – or 'Cueva de la Muerte' in the local Spanish – located at the Recreo Verde tourist complex in the district of Venecia. Measuring 6.5 feet deep and nearly 10 feet long (2 meters by 3 meters), it instantly kills any creature that enters it.

It's full of CO2. Who'd want to go in? Step forward the TikTok Generation:

However, this isn't deterring brave explorers from making the visit to the site in the hunt for social media videos.


Thursday 16 May 2024

I Don't Go To The Toilet To Feel 'Respected And Affirmed'.

New restaurants, offices, schools and hospitals in England will be required to have separate male and female toilets, in a move ministers say will combat growing concerns about “privacy and dignity” in gender-neutral facilities. The law will mean newly built non-residential buildings require separate facilities, and cannot solely have “universal” lavatories.
According to ministers, 81% agreed with the intention for separate single-sex toilet facilities in a consultation on the proposals, while 82% also agreed with the intention to provide “universal” toilets – a self-contained, and a fully enclosed toilet room with a wash hand basin for individual use – where space allows.

My (very newly built) works office has both, on alternate floors. Imagine the extra cost!  

However, the policy has been criticised as being transphobic since it was first proposed in 2021 because it offered no alternative plan for transgender and non-binary people.

*rolls eyes* 

Badenoch said the move shows the government’s commitment to “ensuring single-sex spaces are protected for all” after plans to overhaul the NHS constitution by limiting the use of gender-neutral wards. These changes will mean patients in England will have the right to be treated on single-sex wards and transgender people will be treated in single rooms.

Pity the Tories have been so lax in standing up for common sense in the past, they might not be so behind in the polls...  

Mermaids, an LGBTQ+ charity (Ed: missing the word 'notorious' there...), has responded to government proposals about gender-specific toilets. A statement on its website said: “We hear that trans, non-binary and gender-diverse people are too often not made to feel welcome, or even safe when using toilet facilities. It is unacceptable that any child should be made to feel this way.
“All children, including those who are trans, non-binary and gender-diverse, should be able to access the toilet that makes them feel respected and affirmed.”
We want a future whereby every young person can choose a toilet with freedom and autonomy; for some this would be a gender-neutral toilet and for others it would be a gender-specific toilet.”

Might as well ask for a (non-binary) pony as well. 

Getting The Excuses In Early...

The boy – who the court heard has autism - was brought into court from police custody and spoke only to confirm he was not going to enter a plea at this time. When asked by District Judge James Gould what his plea would be, he simply said: 'No indication'. Judge Gould remanded the teen into custody until his next hearing at Sheffield Crown Court on May 31.
One mother, Ashlea Wolff, said: 'We have been sent a letter by the school but it has given no indication as to how the child got into the school or what will be done to prevent this from happening again.
'As a parent, I want to know what they will be doing to keep my child safe.'

The letter does actually say that, it can be summed up as 'This time we'll be locking that stable door!' since it's full of things that should already have been in place. 


Wednesday 15 May 2024

Racism In Football - Is This An Own Goal?

Sentencing Quadri, from Dartford, District Judge Louisa Cieciora said: ‘You demonstrated hostility based on the victim's race and of course it was in a public forum.
‘I have to take into account the wider context - particularly that footballers have been taking the knee in all games to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to fight racism and all forms of discrimination, and the fact that the comment is likely to be seen by a wider audience, and the harm caused by racism is of course pervasive and should never be underestimated.'

He was upset a black footballer passed the ball to a white teammate, and clearly felt not a twinge of shame about stating it so clearly no-one could deny he was racist.  

Prosecutor Frances McCormack told Westminster Magistrates' Court Quadri used the the name @quadz19 on X when he made the post. This was reported to the football association and the police began investigating it.
Mr McCormack said: 'He stated in an interview that he didn’t think the comments were offensive because he was a black male himself, so he did make partial admissions but not full admissions.
'He made the comment because in that particular match at that particular time the previous four people who had scored a goal for England had been black, and he said that if Mr Wilson had scored a goal there would have been an all black scoring sheet.'

 His brief could only fall back on his age as a possible excuse. 

James Powell, defending Quadri, said: 'This is an indication more of immaturity rather than wickedness.
'There’s been no offending before or since this one act of immaturity which may be the only act of immaturity he’s ever committed in his life.'

Should have ended that with 'so far'.  

What About The Welfare Of The Public?

'Sadly, six dogs had to be put to sleep. The remaining 16 dogs remain in police kennels while our investigation continues.

They are now illegal animals, so all 22 should have had a one-way trip to the vet.  

Chief Inspector Emma Cheney said 'We are stronger working with our communities and urge anyone who witnesses suspicious behaviour or illegal breeding or housing of banned breeds to get in touch, online, via live chat or by calling 101.
'If you suspect someone of animal neglect or cruelty, please report to the RSPCA.'

Who won't do anything because they don't support the ban. 

Tuesday 14 May 2024

At Last, A Judge No Longer Prepared To Waste Public Money!

Although an exact figure has not been calculated, Hussain has cost the police, criminal justice system, and essentially the public, thousands upon thousands of pounds, by dragging her case through the courts for more than two years, hauling her dog’s victim through relentless hearings, appealing her conviction, withdrawing the appeal, then appealing the order to destroy her dangerous dog.
This is this case, which would have been avoided, as would the mauling of this victim, if police had acted the first time this dangerous dog caused trouble.
During a hearing at Preston Crown Court last week, Judge Guy Mathieson refused to accept an application to adjourn the appeal hearing. He then refused to uphold the appeal against the destruction of Ashiya Hussain’s dog Bruno, saying the time spent on the case was “not a proper use of public funds”.

Thank god for a judge with sense!  

Evidence was presented to the court by dog handling and behaviour expert Craig Richardson who said that while he believed Bruno was a danger to other dogs, and not directly to humans (unless they got between Bruno and another dog), he could be trained to lower this aggression. He suggested that the dog’s life be spared, and he be given to a new owner, with conditions for that new owner to keep the dog muzzled at all times while out in public; to be on a harness while in public; to be controlled by two points of contact at all times such as a lead attached to a collar and also a harness; and to only be allowed off a lead when in a private field.

What new owner would want to take this thing on?  

A proposed new owner, Ansar Ali, also gave evidence during the hearing, telling the court that he would take care of Bruno at his terraced home in Great Harwood, which only has a small back yard, and would take him to work with him at a car garage every day and keep him locked in that garage should he need to nip out.When asked by Judge Mathieson when Bruno would ever get chance to exercise or be allowed more space to roam around in, Mr Ali could not provide a satisfactory answer.

Come to think of it, why did the owner need such a beast? There may be a clue in the comments: 

 Very interesting...

When an adjournment for the hearing was requested, so a second dog expert report could be compiled, Judge Mathieson said: “We are not going to use any more money on this case, for a dog. I know it’s a family pet but it’s a dog.
“How many thousands of pounds is to be spent? If this was a privately paid for case would this still be going on?
“How much is it costing on a daily basis, how much to keep Bruno in kennels? No-one has the answer, so shall we just adjourn for another three months for more public money to be spent?

Bye bye Bruno. You've lived two years longer than you should have, in any sane country. 

Do Computers Not Work For Us?

And not the other way around?
A council has provoked the wrath of residents and linguists alike after announcing it would ban apostrophes on street signs...

Why? Because illiterate council officials are confused by them? Good guess, but no... avoid problems with computer systems.

Then write better programs! Who are they written for, the machines, or us? 

North Yorkshire council is ditching the punctuation point after careful consideration, saying it can affect geographical databases. The council said all new street signs would be produced without one, regardless of whether they were used in the past.

And it's not gone down well, I'm happy to say: 

Sam, a postal worker in Harrogate, a spa town in North Yorkshire, told the BBC that signs missing an apostrophe – such as the nearby St Mary’s Walk sign that had been erected in the town without it – infuriated her.

I'm with you, Sam! Lucky they didn't ask a grocer, though... 

Though the updated St Mary’s sign had no apostrophe, someone had graffitied an apostrophe back on to the sign with a marker pen, which the former teacher said was “brilliant”.

There's a business opportunity for someone!  

North Yorkshire council said it was not the first to opt to “eliminate” the apostrophe from street signs. Cambridge city council had done the same, before it bowed to pressure and reinstated the apostrophe after complaints from campaigners.

So you didn't learn from their experience?  What happened to Yorkshire's traditional hard-headed common sense? 

A spokesperson from North Yorkshire council added: “All punctuation will be considered but avoided where possible because street names and addresses, when stored in databases, must meet the standards set out in BS7666.
“This restricts the use of punctuation marks and special characters (eg apostrophes, hyphens and ampersands) to avoid potential problems when searching the databases as these characters have specific meanings in computer systems.

Are people in Cambridgeshire wandering around lost as a result of putting them back in? No? There's no issue then!  

Monday 13 May 2024

Let's Have More Female Judges!

To bring their 'unique perspective' to the justice system!
A drunk businesswoman who glassed a pub drinker after he wrongly guessed her age has been spared jail after a female judge said 'one person's banter may be insulting to others'.
So assault with a potentially deadly weapon can be excused? Really?
Mother-of-one Joanne Dodd, 39, flew into a rage and attacked Carl Cooper after he suggested she was 43 in the beer garden of the Unicorn pub in Manchester city centre on September 9 last year. Mr Cooper fled to the toilet in a bid to get away from the heated situation, but when he came out Dodd ran towards him and twice shoved her wine glass in his face.

Not even in the heat of the moment, then? 

At Manchester Crown Court, Dodd, who is from Swinton in Salford, faced up to three years in jail under sentencing guidelines after she admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm. However, she was spared jail and handed a suspended sentence after Judge Elizabeth Nicholls said she was a 'dedicated, hardworking woman' who posed no risk to the public.

Contrast this with her words to a male offender:  

“You are not a teenager, you are 35 and mature enough to understand that you should stop and face the consequences.”

No such consequences for the 'fairer sex', eh, Lizzie? You were pretty lenient with a schoolboy who stabbed his teacher in the face with sissors too, though. And came down pretty harshly on pedophile hunters rather than pedophile victims, it has to be said.

The judge told Dodd: 'It is obvious that you had been drinking heavily and there was undoubtedly some verbal exchange between you and the other group.
'You did not appreciate the comments made by Mr Cooper and one person's banter may be insulting to other people but that did not justify what you then went on to do.'

Why are you trying so hard to justify it for her, then? 

'Your conduct was incomprehensible.
'The only explanation that can really be put forward is that you were under the influence of drink, which does you no credit.

I though judges had to know Latin? Like, in vino veritas?  

'It was no doubt traumatic for Mr Cooper and it would have had an impact on him. Fortunately he seems to have made a good recovery. 'I have seen the photo where the scar is barely noticeable but to him it will be a constant reminder of your conduct on that night. There was a very unpleasant injury, it is a grave injury, but fortunately there is no permanent disfigurement.'

If he has a visible scar, that's permanent disfigurement, no matter the size or hidability.  

'There is no doubt that this offence is so serious that it crosses the custody threshold. The issue is whether the sentence is immediate or can be suspended.'
'Perhaps more importantly you are a mother of a young child. Although, no doubt, the child would be taken care of, an immediate term of imprisonment would have a devastating effect on your child. It would be disproportionate to the sentence that needs to be imposed.'

Ah. So women can be spared the consequences of their actions (by another woman, no less!) provided they've reproduced. That's not even a unique perspective, it seems to be shared by far too many of her male colleagues. 

If This Is A 'Difficult Decision' For The Court...

...they should be ashamed of themselves. It's cut and dried.
Massey was due to be sentenced at the Old Bailey last month but the hearing was adjourned for technical reasons. The prosecution is trying to decide whether he should be charged with three counts of owning a dangerous dog or just one.

He had three banned pitbulls! All three joined in the attack. If he'd killed three people would he only face one murder charge? 

It is unclear which dogs actually caused injury to Ms Reynolds but one of them has been put down.

The other two can't be returned to him - they are banned dogs and he's an unfit owner (like so many). 

That's as clear as the video:
'I was screaming, asking for help, asking him for help. 'It was just me against these three dogs. The owner himself actually started asking for help, which made me even more scared.
'I thought, if he can't control his dogs, then who can?'

No-one, so do away with them and put him behind bars where he deserves to be.  

Sunday 12 May 2024

Do The 'Mail' Headline Writers Keep A Dog And Bark Themselves?

It would appear so, if they think you hire a chauffeur and then park yourself! 

Has The Zombie Crisis Begun Down Under?

Or are Aussie cops armed with knives as well as guns, that can be fired like guns? Well. You learn something new every day.

H/T: Dave Sparrow via email

Sunday Funnies...

 And of course, cats are number 1!

Saturday 11 May 2024

Is This Why The Civil Service Has Become The Enemy Within?

Ahmar, who is of Egyptian and French dual heritage, said she raised concerns about racism and was increasingly blocked from meetings before being told that her secondment from the Treasury was ending abruptly for “poor behaviour”.

Because this is the sort of recruitment 'success' that's made them what they are today?  

An employment tribunal hearing against the Cabinet Office and senior civil servants began on Monday alleging a “hostile racist working environment” but the case was withdrawn on Wednesday. Ahmar had lodged two claims arguing she was subject to “direct discrimination and harassment on the grounds of her sex and race” as well as “victimisation”. The Cabinet Office said her claims were “completely unfounded” and noted that Ahmar had withdrawn the case with no payment made. She said she walked away because she was starting a new job on Friday and did not want to spend a month in court.

I wonder if it's a real job this time or just another civil service department appointment?  

In the interview, Ahmar said that “the whole illegal migration taskforce was really clumsy, made of people who don’t know anything about migration or really understand why people would want to come to this country”.

They understand that 'people who want to come to this country' for legitimate reasons don't do it by smuggling themselves in lorries or small boats. Why don't you?   

Ahmar said the taskforce was “looking into migration from a very narrow point of view” and that they “didn’t want to look into safe and legal routes” to bring asylum seekers to Britain. Ultimately, Ahar said, she “didn’t really feel comfortable being head of policy in a taskforce where they talk about things like [using] turnaround tactics, so they can just die, basically.” She said: “The civil servants are all white. They don’t understand how hard it is for migrants to be here.

We aren't talking about 'migrants', we are talking about illegal immigrants.  

Ahmar first took a secondment from the Treasury to become a chief of staff before Cop26 in 2021, before being ordered to leave the climate summit early after complaining of bullying and harassment.

A serial complainer, then. Is this why nothing ever gets done?   

For Once, Rishi's Right - This Situation Isn't Fair On The Taxpayer

The country has a “sicknote culture” that needs to be tackled, the prime minister said. Britain “can’t afford” its record levels of welfare spending and it’s “not fair” on the taxpayer.
Who could argue with this? Frances Ryan, of course!
Attacking sick and disabled people is a method that has been deployed time and time again over the past 14 years of Conservative rule. It is the equivalent of the party’s in-case-of-emergency button: if in trouble, ministers can sound the alarm and the rightwing press will churn out headlines about getting the “jobless” off the “dole”.

The notion that we have a 'rightwing press' is laughable. If we did have one, would we see males being treated as females in the pages and broadcasts?  

The plan to shift responsibility for issuing fit notes away from GPs to other “work and health professionals” in order to encourage more people to get back into work is a classic piece of Conservative welfare thinking. If there are too many sick people in the country, don’t bother dealing with the causes – just get someone who is not a doctor to declare they’re not actually sick after all.
What has largely slipped under the radar, though, is a major reform: a review of personal independence payments (Pip), the flagship non-means-tested benefit designed to help cover the extra costs that come with disability. Proposals include asking for more medical evidence before awarding the benefit, looking at whether some payments should be one-off rather than ongoing, and withdrawing money from some people living with mental-health problems and replacing it with treatment.

How terrible, trying to treat someone's illness so they can live a normal, working life! Oh, the humanity! 

And asking for actual medical evidence! OK, I'll give you that one, since we didn't seem to need it for the pandemic, did we?  

The bleakest part of Sunak’s plan is that there is a genuine crisis obscured by his misleading rhetoric. Britain is a significantly sicker and poorer country than it used to be. In the coming years, addressing the growing number of long-term sick people will have to be the priority of any government. To do that though, ministers will need to forgo the fiction that hordes of workers are faking illnesses and admit the facts.

But it's a fact that some of them do. Even people who don't need to for monetary reasons. The question is, surely, how many.  

The true sickness in this country cannot be found in a benefits office or a GP surgery but in Downing Street. It is a political culture whose default setting is demonising and impoverishing people who are already suffering, and a rightwing media that for decades has parroted the lies and bigotry it is fed.

And those who live alongside the sicknote brigade and wonder why they work when others don't, Frances? They can't all be 'hoodwinked' by our so-called right wing media. 

Friday 10 May 2024

Protecting People From Themselves...

Tech that comes with weak passwords such as “admin” or “12345” will be banned in the UK under new laws dictating that all smart devices must meet minimum security standards. Measures to protect consumers from hacking and cyber-attacks come into effect on Monday, the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology said.

Who doesn't change the default password? I mean...

It means manufacturers of phones, TVs and smart doorbells, among others, are now legally required to protect internet-connected devices against access by cybercriminals, with users prompted to change any common passwords. Brands have to publish contact details so that bugs and issues can be reported, and must be transparent about timings of security updates.

If this seems a strange thing for a failing government to concern itself with, well here's the culprit:  

The consumer champion Which? said it had been instrumental in pushing for the new measures and it welcomed the changes.

Couldn't you have pushed for people to use their devices smarter instead? 

Rocio Concha, a director of policy and advocacy at Which?, said: “The OPSS [Office for Product Safety and Standards] must provide industry with clear guidance and be prepared to take strong enforcement action against manufacturers if they flout the law, but we also expect smart device brands to do right by their customers from day one and ensure shoppers can easily find information on how long their devices will be supported and make informed purchases.”

I've never had any issues with finding information and making informed choices. 

"But I am undoubtedly overthinking this."

The selection process for these punters is still a mystery, but they are clearly a far cry from a random assortment. Everyone has a good story to tell or a revelatory taste in music. The Instagram-ready young blonde Brooke turns out to be a law student who loves classical music and plays Poulenc’s Novelette in E Minor, though narratively speaking she is beaten by Ellis, a boxer from a rough council estate (“high crime rate but we’ve got a Costa, so it’s all good,” he says, deadpan) whose mother saved up to buy him a keyboard from Argos when he was four. There was no money for lessons so he learned through council-funded schemes and his own hard work. He plays Chopin’s lyrical, lovely Ballade No 4 and takes everyone’s breath away. “Do you think he’s aware of how difficult this piece really is?” says Mika. Is that an odd thing to say? I feel it’s an odd thing to say – as if anyone from a council estate who can play such a piece must be a kind of idiot savant rather than a true musician.

It's a nice feelgood show about music talent so yes, you are overthinking this. But you wouldn't be a 'Guardian' columnist if you couldn't somehow manage to shoehorn your political viewpoint into absolutely anything you're given, would you?  

Look, an old man can still play! Look, a nine-year-old who seems to be on the autistic spectrum can play with emotion! There is an unspoken agreement that it is as amazing Amy has pink hair and still likes Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata as that she is self-taught, via tutorials on the internet.


Thursday 9 May 2024

And It's A Pretty Good Indicator, At That...

Rap is not normally used by prosecutors as direct evidence of intention or confession, such as a lyric that suggests personal involvement in the specific facts of the crime, but rather used as indirect or “bad character” evidence to suggest violent mindset, intention to commit serious harm or gang membership, the report said.

Whew! This means if I'm ever stopped by police and they discover Will Smith's 'Summertime' on my Spotify, I'm safe (from all but embarrassment)? 

The researchers, Eithne Quinn, Erica Kane and Will Pritchard, said their research had uncovered very concerning processes which risked innocent people being convicted of the most serious crimes. “Our findings are deeply troubling, and support the view that the marshalling of rap evidence in criminal cases encourages police and prosecutors to further increase the number of people charged as secondaries under already-egregious secondary liability laws,” they said.

It's the 'Joint Enterprise' issue again, which is claimed by progressives and race hustlers to be somehow 'racist' because it results in more gang members being charged. 

Tyrone Steele, deputy legal director at Justice, the law reform and human rights charity, said: “Every child and young person deserves to have their voice heard and their creativity nourished.
“Yet the criminal justice system routinely disregards this basic standard for Black children, regarding their musical expression as criminal and suspicious. The consequences are clear, with families broken by prosecutions based on dubious evidence that is treated distinctly differently to other forms of art.

Well, Tyrone, 'other forms of art' don't cause murderous postcode rampages and murder. Not since the 1700's, anyway.  

“Rap music is one of the most popular genres of music in the UK – it’s time to end the marginalisation and punishment of its creators through its use as prosecution evidence.”

If that statement is true, then Britain really is lost.