Friday, December 09, 2005

Caring For The Vulnerable

It was only the other day I noted how "a serial rapist from Cornwall has been awarded £5,000 in legal aid to find out what made him commit his crimes."

Whereas the Pullar family, whose mother was accidentally given a fatal overdose of insulin last year, didn't qualify.

"The court heard that Mrs Pullar's prescription chart had been deliberately altered after the overdose was given, but that it was impossible to tell who had altered it. "

Don'tcha just love those dedicated staff, who can't write a prescription but can alter one ?

I imagine the £2.8 million is in the post.

Mrs Pullar's bereaved husband was kicked to death by three teenagers a year later, and once again the State was there to help. Exemplary sentences of three years each - and one detention in a mental health institution, doubtless to be released quietly later.

Oh, and the local CID failed to secure the crime scene. The report paints a rosy picture of the close-knit, caring community of Cumbernauld, as exemplified by the McAllister brothers.

Earlier Joseph McAllister, 29, who lived across the road from the Swan Inn, said he saw a set of legs lying in the car park late on the evening of 23 March. He did not go to investigate.
His brother Kevin, 18, said he heard someone shouting at about 2300 BST.
He told the court: "I saw two boys standing at the planter. One of them was in the planter stamping his foot up and down."
He said he saw legs hanging out of the planter as he walked his girlfriend to her car, but did not go over or phone for an ambulance.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

"Has there ever been a white victim of a racist murder in this country?”

I rarely link to a story on the BNP website. And Allen and Garvey are my two favourite Radio five presenters - a great double act.

I'll make an exception for this.

Jane Garvey : “Has there ever been a white victim of a racist murder in this country?”

This is the Drive show's email address.

Tin Foil Hat Alert

This arived a month or so ago - after I'd signed an online anti-war petition as 'Anne T. C. Myte' a few years back, she finally got a reply.

It's difficult to know where to begin with people who can put out such stuff. It's like a teenager calling Dad a Nazi for insisting that he tidy his room - while outside in the streets real Nazis are marching. These people have lived in safety and security for so long that they can't imagine anything outside their own country could possibly be a danger to them.

There are many Brits like that too - who have less reason. Twice America crossed the Atlantic to dig Europe out of the pooey stuff last century. But in those days, while we couldn't (as it transpired) win in Europe without help, we were capable of defending our own Island.

We could do other things too. I'm surprised at Harold Pinter getting so het up about Iraq. When he was a schoolboy we took the country over with a couple of spare divisions in 1943 - then took over Iran (Persia as was) in a highly illegal fashion a few months later. Never seemed to bother him.

If America vanished off the map tomorrow we'd be a lonely little island. Yet the Indie and Guardian are objectively on the side of the head-choppers in Iraq - and so are the BBC and half the 'human rights' lawyers in the UK.

They'll live to regret it. Meanwhile here's the 'Dad's a fascist' email. Read and wonder.

The World Can't Wait! Drive Out the Bush Regime!
Mobilize for November 2, 2005
Your government, on the basis of outrageous lies, is waging a murderous and utterly illegitimate war in Iraq, with other countries in their sights.

Your government is openly torturing people, and justifying it.

Your government puts people in jail on the merest suspicion, refusing them lawyers, and either holding them indefinitely or deporting them in the dead of night.

Your government is moving each day closer to a theocracy, where a narrow and hateful brand of Christian fundamentalism will rule.

Your government suppresses the science that doesn't fit its religious, political and economic agenda, forcing present and future generations to pay a terrible price.

Your government is moving to deny women here, and all over the world, the right to birth control and abortion.

Your government enforces a culture of greed, bigotry, intolerance and ignorance.

People look at all this and think of Hitler --and they are right to do so. The Bush regime is setting out to radically remake society very quickly, in a fascist way, and for generations to come. We must act now; the future is in the balance.

Millions and millions are deeply disturbed and outraged by this. They recognize the need for a vehicle to express this outrage, yet they cannot find it; politics as usual cannot meet the enormity of the challenge, and people sense this.
There is not going to be some magical "pendulum swing." People who steal elections and believe they're on a "mission from God" will not go without a fight.

There is not going to be some savior from the Democratic Party. This whole idea of putting our hopes and energies into "leaders" who tell us to seek common ground with fascists and religious fanatics is proving every day to be a disaster, and actually serves to demobilize people.

But silence and paralysis are NOT acceptable. That which you will not resist and mobilize to stop, you will learn -- or be forced -- to accept. There is no escaping it: the whole disastrous course of this Bush regime must be STOPPED. And we must take the responsibility to do it.

And there is a way. We are talking about something on a scale that can really make a huge change in this country and in the world. We need more than fighting Bush's outrages one at a time, constantly losing ground to the whole onslaught. We must, and can, aim to create a political situation where the Bush regime's program is repudiated, where Bush himself is driven from office, and where the whole direction he has been taking society is reversed. We, in our millions, must and can take responsibility to change the course of history.

To that end, on November 2, the first anniversary of Bush's "re-election", we will take the first major step in this by organizing a truly massive day of resistance all over this country. People everywhere will walk out of school, they will take off work, they will come to the downtowns and town squares and set out from there, going through the streets and calling on many more to JOIN US. They will repudiate this criminal regime, making a powerful statement: "NO! THIS REGIME DOES NOT REPRESENT US! AND WE WILL DRIVE IT OUT!"

November 2 must be a massive and public proclamation that WE REFUSE TO BE RULED IN THIS WAY. November 2 must call out to the tens of millions more who are now agonizing and disgusted. November 2 will be the beginning -- a giant first step in forcing Bush to step down, and a powerful announcement that we will not stop until he does so -- and it will join with and give support and heart to people all over the globe who so urgently need and want this regime to be stopped.

This will not be easy. If we speak the truth, they will try to silence us. If we act, they will try to stop us. But we speak for the majority, here and around the world, and as we get this going we are going to reach out to the people who have been so badly fooled by Bush and we are NOT going to stop.

The point is this: history is full of examples where people who had right on their side fought against tremendous odds and were victorious. And it is also full of examples of people passively hoping to wait it out, only to get swallowed up by a horror beyond what they ever imagined. The future is unwritten. WHICH ONE WE GET IS UP TO US.

A Few Muntjac On The Curate's Lawn

I'm surprised Reynolds hasn't blogged about this. In my limited experience ambulance men are notoriously unsympathetic to overdosers.

"A mother who took an overdose while suffering from post-natal depression has won £2.8 million from the ambulance service which, she claims, arrived too late to save her from permanent brain damage."

The BBC remembers the martyrdom of St John of Imagine, patron saint of Guardianistas everywhere.

"Imagine there's no country ..." - that's an easy one.

"Imagine no religion ..." - well, no Christian religion, anyway. But nature abhors a vacuum ...

"Imagine no possessions ..." - sung at the window of his stately home.

Alhough the 'militants' holding the 'peace activists' in Iraq don't seem to realise that those guys are on their side, plenty of others do. Everyone from Hamas to Abu Qatada is saying so.

The trial of the Scally voyeurs opens.

And "A serial rapist from Cornwall has been awarded £5,000 in legal aid to find out what made him commit his crimes."

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The County Nets

My son, just turned sixteen, improved his batting sufficiently this summer to be invited to the county youth trials, held over several weeks at a local sports centre. Proud Papa took him down on Saturday morning.

We get in the car, heavy bag of kit in the back, batting gloves borrowed from a neighbour’s son, battered but expensive running shoes borrowed from his father (too lazy to swap the metal spikes on his boots) and drive a few miles towards town.

"(Sniff) - are those your socks ? Something smells in this car."

"No - they're clean"

"There's something mouldy"

"(Sniff) - it's these trousers ! I got them out of the cupboard - they've been there since last season"

"Were they clean ?"

"Yes. They must have still been a bit damp when mum put them away"

"Got any others ?"


Oh Lordy. At close quarters they're dodgy enough to necessitate opening the car windows. It's too late to go back for some trackie bottoms.

We arrive. The car park is filling up with Beemers and Mercs. I have a neighbour half a mile away, a club player for nearly thirty years, who has a son in the under fourteens (with a pair of batting gloves). His words come back to me.

"All the public school and fee-paying lot - they play twice a week and train twice a week. You watch their mums and dads at the trials, sucking up to the coaches to get their kids in. Some of what goes on you wouldn't believe. It's not as bad as it was though - at one stage you couldn't get in at all from a state school. The kids know the county coaches because half of them are employed by the schools - and they all know each other because they play each other so much."

Gulp. My son's (state) school team was disbanded last season after the games teacher announced an after-school match at two hours notice. When my son (the captain) said he already had a club game that afternoon, the teacher cancelled the fixture - and all the rest of the season's fixtures - in a fit of pique. My son was playing club cricket three times a week - but what of the other kids ? The neighbour's son thought it a blessing in disguise, as the school pitch was so bad you ended up not knowing how to bat on a good pitch.

He gets the bag out. The zip on the bat compartment is broken, so he has to carry the bat and the heavy bag. He looks nervous.

"Do you want me to come down with you ?"

"I'll be alright"

He's tall, but thin, still coltish as I watch him disappear through the hall doors.

A couple of strapping, self-assured young men come by, laughing and chatting as they haul their large 'wheelie' bags, like the ones the professionals use.

Another one with a wheelie bag. Daddy has blazer and tie on, Mummy is still yummy.

"Shall we come down with you, Benedict ?"

"I'll be alright, mater"

I'm starting to get worried as I think of my son, standing around in his stinky flannels and not knowing anyone.

"I say ! Jasper ! This chav's bags are rank!"

"I expect you'll find his batting's the same !"

"Where are you from ? ASBO Comprehensive ?"

The next arrival has a motorised wheelie bag which he controls with a button on the handle.

The one after that also has a motorised bag, which precedes him. He controls it from a small handset. His friends find this highly entertaining.

At least they're not all wealthy. A shabbily dressed man in his late fifties is lugging a huge holdall down towards the hall, accompanied by a tall, muscular, Head-of-the-School-and-Captain-of-Everything type. Amazing how a father like that has a son like that.

"Just put it inside in a corner, would you, Perkins ? Careful, man, that bat cost £500 ! I'm going to have a chat with old Fubsy"

Now three Asian guys arrive - for some reason carrying the cricket bags on their backs and walking one behind the other. Then another - and another. And another. Two more self-confident chaps in cricket whites are walking with them, chatting to the sirdar. I've never seen Hunza porters this far north of the Karakoram.

I get into the 1984 Toyota and drive away.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Monbiot -"It's better to shoplift than to run a supermarket"

George Monbiot's father is a successful businessman and Deputy Chairman of the Conservative party. His mother is a Conservative County councillor. Mater and pater have a large house in the country. I presume they didn't send George to the local comprehensive.

Their son presumably thinks that the person who robs them is better than they are.

"Author and campaigner George Monbiot said: “When you step into a superstore, you are faced with a choice of two crimes: joining the poor in stealing from the rich, or helping the rich to steal from the poor.

“Both are wrong, but one crime is surely more heinous than the other.” "

Of course, George has a point. Before supermarkets came along, food was much cheaper. They raised prices to rob the poor - and somehow took all the customers away from the traditional, cheaper shops, where food was presented in recyclable brown paper bags. The more the supermarkets stole from the poor, the more people used the supermarkets.

Tam o'shanter tip - David Farrer, in whose comments I also found The G-Gnome Rides Out. To the blogroll with it. Sample :

"Galloway is a member of that section of the British public born between 1945 and 1955. Some call them 'the luckiest generation'; I would call them the greediest. There are, of course, many exceptions to this observation - but as time passes the more easily my conclusion comes to mind.
They were mostly born in clean, brand-new NHS hospitals. Their parents never had to pay for healthcare. Mostly, they received excellent educations in selective grammar schools for no charge. They either went to university to gain a meaningful degree or learned a trade and could go straight into stable long-term employment. The state made no demands upon them to perform National Service. They rebelled against their parents, avidly embracing drug culture, sexual licence and the permissive society, sowing the seeds of the present pensions crisis by campaigning for the legalisation of abortion in 1967."

I do love a good we're-all-going-tothe-dogsblog ...

Lightish Blogging

And, as the UK Government allows couples in a loving relationship to register for 'civil partnerships' (as long as they have sex of couse - wouldn't want an elderly brother and sister, or a caring relative, to take advantage), in Iran ...

The day grows closer when it'll be legal for sixteen-year old boys to be given one of these (link deleted), but not one of these. Smoking, you see, is much more dangerous than uphill gardening.