Saturday, November 07, 2009

Murder in the Community

Bodmin - skip the torture of those with 'learning difficulties' and go straight from bullying to murder :

Kerry Ollerenshaw, a care worker and a friend of the family said Raum Fox has learning difficulties and had been "harassed". She added: "I can't believe someone would be callous enough to put a firework through a letter box." Classmate Brett Millington, 17, said Raum had been moved from Bodmin College to St Austell College to escape the bullies, who made fun of his acne. "Raum was a social outcast and always kept himself to himself. He never socialised with anyone in or out of school," he said. "He was badly bullied. It wasn't all physical but a lot of psychological abuse he suffered. Kids would make fun of his bad acne and call him 'spotty' and made fun of his greasy hair. When he was at Bodmin his mum Mary Fox would walk him to school every day because the bullying was so bad. But if anything that just made it worse."

A police spokesman said reports a firework was pushed through their letterbox was "speculation" and the cause was not yet known.


Roy Hattersley, Labour MP for Sparkbrook 1964-1997, on representing his voters.

For most of my 33 years in Westminster, I was able to resist Sparkbrook's demands about the great issues of national policy – otherwise, my first decade would have been spent opposing all Commonwealth immigration and my last calling for withdrawal from the European Union.

Of course the voters of his last decade weren't the voters of his first decade.

UPDATE - and then he writes this. I hate to sound like Sgt Troy, but is hanging too good for him ?

Friday, November 06, 2009

Reality 1, Satire 0 (again)

From Liberal Conspiracy :

A rally is being held for Professor David Nutt tomorrow. Called by the group Students for Sensible Drugs Policy UK, they say it is being held in support of evidence based drugs policy.

Students for Sensible Drugs Policy ? Isn't that an oxymoron ?

"the moral equivalent of climate change"

As so often, it takes a minority spokesman (or woman) to say the unsayable in this country :

Europe is "dying" because its citizens are too selfish to have children, the chief rabbi has said, blaming a dwindling birthrate on a culture of "consumerism and instant gratification". Sir Jonathan Sacks accused people of caring more about shopping than spirituality and tied the secularisation of Europe to population decline.

"Europe today is the most secular region in the world. Europe is the only region in the world experiencing population decline. Wherever you turn today the more religious the community, the larger on average are their families. Parenthood involves massive sacrifice: money, attention, time and emotional energy. Where today, in European culture with its consumerism and its instant gratification because you're worth it."

There was no room for sacrifice for "the sake of generations not yet born" in such a culture.
In Lionel Shriver's words : "We shun values such as self-sacrifice and duty as the pitfalls of suckers. We give little thought to the perpetuation of lineage, culture or nation; we take our heritage for granted. We are ahistorical. We measure the value of our lives within the brackets of our own births and deaths, and don't especially care what happens once we're dead."

"Europe is dying," he concluded and compared the situation in the continent today to ancient Greece with its "sceptics, epicureans and cynics". He said: "That is one of the unsayable truths of our time. We are undergoing the moral equivalent of climate change and no one is talking about it." Religion was the safeguard of morality and the decline of religion would lead to fragile families and communities in atrophy.
Not much to argue with there, I'd say. My secular Jewish friends are just as poor at sprogging as any post-Christian. Not so for the faithful :

The UK's Jewish population is growing for the first time since World War II, research suggests. The rise appears to be due to a growth in the size of ultra-orthodox Jewish families, according to researchers at the University of Manchester. The population fell to a historic low of 275,000 in 2005, but that figure has since increased to 280,000 in 2008... Dr Wise calculates the proportion of Jews in the UK now is only about a quarter of its peak. Dr Wise - who says his research is based on regular monitoring of Jewish births - attributes the decline in the Jewish population to the fact that about half of more secular Jews marry outside the community, and many of them do not bring their children up as Jewish.

He says secular Jewish women - coming from a relatively well-educated and prosperous section of society - have had on average only 1.65 children. The UK average is 1.8. However, the very high birth-rate of the minority of strictly orthodox - also referred to as ultra-orthodox - Jewish families is having an increasing impact on the population as a whole. They marry young - often in their early twenties or even late teens - and have an average of almost seven children.

It means that elderly people in the community can have hundreds of descendents. Although other researchers have made more conservative estimates of growth among strictly orthodox Jews, Dr Wise says almost three of every four Jewish babies are now being born to them. He calculates that at current trends strictly orthodox Jews will outnumber their more secular counterparts by the middle of the century.

The Guardian's report is not quite kosher, in that Dr Sacks didn't exactly say 'Europe is dying'. His words were (a/c/t the Telegraph) :

“Europe, at least the indigenous population of Europe, is dying. That is one of the unsayable truths of our time"

Which raises the ire of the Daily Telegraph's resident mass immigration enthusiast, George Pitcher :

Lord Sacks was ostensibly attacking our secular, consumerist culture. But a regular canard of European racists is that the Muslim immigrant population is “out-breeding” other ethnicities. They usually add that the name Mohammed is now the most popular boy’s name in some cities. The truth is that immigrant birth-rates settle down to mirror local trends. And the much greater pluralism of non-Muslim names is bound to make the Mohammeds stand out statistically.

But I worry about the Chief Rabbi’s remark that “the indigenous population of Europe is dying”. That “indigenous” is a dangerous word, as Lord Sacks must know. Clarification please.

I haven't a clue what if anything Dr Sacks was implying, nor will I until the Theos thinktank post a full transcript of his speech (update - it's here). But the indigenous population IS dying out - or emigrating - and you wouldn't necessarily blame him for saying so. It's not English neo-Nazis who carry out anti-semitic attacks every time something happens in Judea and Samaria. Mind you, if Dr Wise is right about the Orthodox birth-rate, maybe it's those carrying out the attacks who should be nervous !

(comments off for alas the usual reasons)

Mad Muslim Major Massacres Military

A Muslim army psychiatrist opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan opened fire on fellow soldiers at the world's largest military base yesterday killing 12 people dead and wounding at least 31.

To be fair, it could be that the word 'psychiatrist' is also pretty key here, but it would ruin the alliteration. Trick-cyclists, like mental nurses, seem to have an affinity for their speciality.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

"Orpington College Is A Well-Known Scum-Magnet"

...according to a commenter on this story :

Dozens of college pupils were involved in violent clashes with police yesterday afternoon (November 3), forcing the closure of Orpington High Street. The trouble flared at around 5.25pm when more than 40 Orpington College students waited for a bus outside Boots in the high street. Around 15 of them boarded a route 51 before the driver shut his doors and a patrolling PCSO told the remaining teenagers they would have to wait for the next bus. But instead the youths on the pavement tried to force their way onto the bus, kicking the front and back doors. The violence quickly escalated and a 25-year-old PCSO sustained a cut above his left eye. He was taken to a south London hospital by ambulance. Two other police officers were also struck during the incident. The high street was shut for around an hour while police fought running battles with the teenagers.

Seven teenagers, all Orpington College pupils, were arrested including three 18-year-old women from Lewisham, Greenwich and Belvedere. Two boys from Lewisham and Greenwich, aged 16 and 17, were also arrested, along with a 19-year-old man from Erith. A 17-year-old girl from Dartford was also arrested during the disturbance.
Comments :

Please, Bromley Council, take a close look at this establishment and if the current ineffective leadership at the college needs replacing then please do it before someone ends up being killed. It nearly happened last year with the stabbing outside the college and things are getting worse.

We were there yesterday and saw some of what went on - these reports are not sensationalised! Orpington college is an utter disgrace to the local community and it's about time action was taken against that proportion of it's students who routinely behave like animals on their way to/from it.

Yes it is the college students,but not the local ones,always the students who travel into orpington to go to the college.

Are these students paid £30 to attend, I wonder? When this country was still sane, only the clever kids stayed on at school and went to college. Now, because the government wants to fiddle the unemployment figures, all the riff-raff are staying on and spoiling it for the students who actually want to learn.

As a paper informing the public, you need to get your facts straight!! I was on that bus! there wernt 40 pupils at the bus stop, more like 100 (and about 60 police officers) behaving like animals because they have to wait to get on. The police officer didnt get a slash to the face, he got stabbed. Every monday and tuesday this stupid behaviour happens usually resulting in the bus driver turning off the engine. the school kids in the morning have their own bus, 1 needs to be provided at 5PM for the college lot then they can do what they want to each other( which is usually fighting upstairs!) instead of making the public who actually want to get home from work wait 2 hours!!!!!! When the kids who were upstairs causing trouble had to wait to be searched as they got off the bus, the police officers were saying sorry for the inconvinience to THEM!! what about the passengers that had to wait????? Passengers who used their last money on their oyster cards had no other way of getting home, and the police wernt bothered!

Levi Strauss Dies at 101

That's according to Norm, anyway. I'd not realised he was still alive. I could have sworn he was selling hard-wearing jeans, sewn in his patent triple-seam 'structuralist' stitching, to Californian miners in the 1850s.

Afghanistan - Two Churchill Quotes

From his History of the Second World War (I paraphrase) :

"When two armies approach each other it makes all the difference in the world which one owns only the ground it stands on and which owns all the rest. We saw this in the South African conflict, where we owned nothing beyond the light of our campfires, whereas the Boers rode where they pleased all over the country".

And from this post :

"And the young men hearing these things will grip their Martinis, and pray to Allah, that one day He will bring some Sahib - best prize of all - across their line of sight at seven hundred yards so that, at least, they may strike a blow for insulted and threatened Islam."

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Almost Lost - Detroit ...

Hard times in the former Motor City. As City Journal reports :

Today, officials estimate, the city contains an astonishing 70,000 abandoned structures—many of them houses, but also some commercial properties. In downtown Detroit alone, a local newspaper identified 48 office buildings with “no outward sign of life.”

That’s not surprising, considering how many people have fled Detroit over the decades. Over the last half-century, the city’s population has shrunk by 50 percent, from about 1.8 million people to fewer than 900,000. Since 2000, the city has lost 35,000 residents. Detroit officials acknowledge that they see little prospect for a population turnaround soon.

The Sweet Juniper blog pictures some of the empty homes :

Can't see that happening in the former Motor City of Brum, no matter how far down the tubes it goes - this country's just too crowded. When we were over the water a couple of years back we saw abandoned houses outside Bakersfield (CA) and in Arizona - not to mention in Death Valley Junction, a place which has seen better days.

Also in CJ - The Mexicanization of American Law Enforcement as drug cartels extend their corrupting influence northward.

Evidently Savile Town - more unpleasantness in Dewsbury :

Insp Jenny Thompson, of Dewsbury police, described the attack on Mr Dyson as “nasty” and appealed for witnesses. She said she did not believe Savile Town was a ‘no-go’ area at night despite a number of unrelated incidents recently.

Sad in every sense - a young man killing himself on a bike he shouldn't have been riding, and the ensuing txtspk tributes/debate.

Monday, November 02, 2009


While I do have some sympathy with MPs over the idiocy that's now taking over the expenses saga (what's wrong with employing your wife ? Do you have to sack your secretary if you marry her?) , I'm not quite sure that we're late-30s Germany yet, with MPs as Jews.

Ross has the perfect line for the MP who drew this infelicitous parallel.

More Nutt ...

Blimey. The Tories are right about something. As Conservative Home puts it :

The Conservatives - who also disagree with the ACMD position on cannabis - backed the decision to sack Professor Nutt. Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling issued this statement:

“This was an inevitable decision after his latest ill-judged contribution to the debate but it is a sign of lack of focus at the Home Office that it didn’t act sooner given that he has done this before.”

As I understand it (correct me if I'm wrong) Nutt offered advice, HMG didn't take it, Nutt threw toys out of pram. Not by publishing figures which showed (I leave methodology etc out of it*) that cannabis was less dangerous than alcohol/fags, something which is quite possible, but by explicitly saying the decision was wrong. At which point you can see why Alan Johnson lost patience with him. How can you ask someone for advice if the deal is that you HAVE to accept it or the adviser will go public on his disgreements ? At that point you may as well hand over policy to the adviser and democracy goes out of the window.

(* As for his brilliant insight that ecstasy is less dangerous than horse-riding, shooting up smack is a lot safer than climbing in the Himalayas - something which the government has no intention of outlawing. Therefore why on earth is heroin illegal ?

And anyone who thinks scientists are a bunch of disinterested, non-political types doesn't know anything about the history of science. Scientific disputes can be some of the nastiest around and can make politics look almost clean.

And on skunk, see the comments to my earlier post. That weed is a lot more powerful than the stuff Jacqui Smith used to smoke and Bill Clinton failed to inhale.)

UPDATE - Professor Bruce Charlton (of whom more in a day or two) on foolish people of high intelligence. Love the ending :

I should in all honesty point-out that I recognize this phenomenon from the inside. In other words, I myself am a prime example of a ‘clever silly’; having spent much of adolescence and early adult life passively absorbing high-IQ-elite-approved, ingenious-but-daft ideas that later needed, painfully, to be dismantled. I have eventually been forced to acknowledge that when it comes to the psycho-social domain, the commonsense verdict of the majority of ordinary people throughout history is much more likely to be accurate than the latest fashionably-brilliant insight of the ruling elite. So, this article has been written on the assumption, eminently-challengeable, that although I have nearly-always been wrong in the past – I now am right….