Tuesday, 21 December 2010

All of a Piece

There is a striking similarity between the failures in the current cold conditions, the banking crisis and politics generally. That failure is a lack of accountability, which leads to a lack of care. Let's go back a bit to when this culture crystallised. Tony Blair knew that he had to lie to the electorate in order for Labour to become electable. People were aware that whilst some of the Tories were bent (Archer, Aitken) some were deeply unpleasant (Clarke, Heseltine), but that under them the country had prospered and had a strong sense of national identity. It is why Thatcher is so hated by the chattering classes, why comedians make half-jokes about her with a knowing nod that well, she was awful wasn't she, without any attempt to substantiate why. So Blair had to lie about the Tories and their intentions. He was very good at it, it came naturally to him. And then when in power he realised that even when a government was caught lying through its teeth, no one could do anything about it and he just said 'move on'.

So a lackadaisical attitude at the very highest levels became the order of the day. Banks hired people who seemed to know where the end of the rainbow was (by which I mean that was the level of planning that went into hiring them) and these Chief Executives then demanded, and got, pay packages that included massive bonuses whether they succeeded or failed. When such a moronic situation can arise, you know trouble must be ahead.

Politicians also came to live in a fantasy land, seeing themselves as very special people, who didn't have to actually work for a living and that the taxpayer should fund their every whim. The shock at the reaction of the public to their pilfering was real. The politicians had no concept of any wrongdoing on their part. It was their entitlement, how dare anyone object. And while politics slept the iceberg approached. All kinds of senior people, in government funded Quango's and big corporates up and down the country adopted this new laissez faire attitude to the responsibilities of their positions.

And then they get tested and naturally are found wanting. The banks run out of money; how did that happen the CEO's ask, surely banks have loads of money? And then it snowed. Not horrendous amounts you understand, just quite a bit. So, not only has no real planning and preparation been done by the work averse senior management, but when confronted with the disaster that was wholly predictable they just rely on their inbred character and shrug their shoulders. The people are left stranded and freezing, the airport closed and the trains not running because they don't actually care.

And it is everywhere. My postman pushed a card through my door today, for the collection of a parcel. I went after him, 'hello, I'm here, you have a parcel for me?' 'er no', was the response. 'due to the conditions and the backlog we are not delivering parcels, you have to go and collect them.' You see the attitude at work here again? They have charged me for a service and yet, once conditions get a little difficult they feel entirely free to sit back and tell me to put myself out and struggle through the snow, because they don't want to. Despite being paid to deliver parcels.

My other favourite comment so far, was from some gimp at BAA who, trying to explain why, even without it snowing for 3 days, the airport was still closed. He sounded quite reasonable, until you actually listened to what he said. He seemed to have been taken aback that the snow had covered the whole airport, he said that the 'problem' was that they have 200 gates and each has an aircraft at it. Was he not aware of that previously? Well no, since when did someone in a senior position at an airport have to know anything about what goes on at his airport? He was very concerned (and I believe this was genuine) that the TV crew filmed him saying how distressed he was at the suffering of their customers. The words of course, he didn't actually care which is why the airport was not functioning.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Armed Police

It is a special fascination of mine I know, but armed police in Britain seem to be a bunch of specially selected bumbling fools. And their ability to do harm, indeed kill is the reason we need to pay particular attention to their deployment, training and operations. So it is distressing although not surprising to hear that an armed officer left a taser on the roof of his car and drove off. I wonder if he has ever done that with his doughnuts? You have to keep your mind on the important stuff.

I appreciate that all of modern British bureaucracy is incompetent to a level rarely seen before, and across the board but the police of course occupy a unique position of trust and reliance. They have already solidly lost the support of the general public through their own stupid policies Now they are on the verge of being out of control to a dangerous degree, where the fabric of society itself will start to tear. An early example of this is the immediate resort to violence by youngsters supposedly protesting about university fees. These immature work-dodgers aren't concerned about the police or breaking the law. They want their way and are prepared to be violent to get it. It is a lack of personal and societal discipline. Tony Blair and New Labour promoted this personal attitude and lived by the same code themselves and its vacuity as an ideology is undermining the whole of society. No one has a sense of shared responsibility, no sense of national belonging and no feeling that anyone in authority is on their side. Indeed, the ordinary law abiding citizen is correct in the observation that they are the target of the authorities rather than its bedrock.

Marxism in the form of environmentalism and its brethren are able, in such an empty, pointless and worthless society to steal a march, as is the dangerous political religion being corrupted in the East.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

On no! It's Snowed!!

so, once again a bit of snow and the country can't cope. Well, actually that is wrong. In a Big Society kind of way, people cope it is Government and companies with monopolies (like railways) who can't. The Police, the Highways Agency, councils and train operating companies and Railtrack) feel that all their responsibility is, is to say 'well surely you can't expect us to cope with this'. The RAC Foundation have bleated on about other countries where the weather is worse, that they know with precision when their bad weather will arrive. I don't know if that is true, but we did get days of warning that severe weather was on the way. Now, it would be fair to not trust anything the Met Office says, but the evidence was always plain with our own senses, as it got very cold.

We can't spend millions more on infrastructure the politicians moan. Then don't; spend the right amount on doing the right things at the right time. For days we had icy roads here without any gritting and I mean on the key roads. Why was that? Then when it snows and we need ploughs, it seems they go missing. Big Society, Public Sector cutbacks? It seems this current little national difficulty proves that the people are stoical and that massive cutbacks in the Public Sector can only save money and do good. It would mean a rump that is keenly focused and not comfortable in its own righteousness and with the sense of entitlement mentioned at the start of the post.

We should look at the countries that do cope and see what we can learn from them, not the navel gazing 'reports' we currently get that clearly (try getting a train today) don't achieve anything.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Come Together

Where to start? So many things are happening at once. Let's start with the weather. Cold again with snow falling further North and predicted here soon. Then the EU and its self inflicted wounds. Here we have the crisis that they were waiting for and it isn't going according to plan as you see the EU has always used beneficial crises to grab more power. And this one is out of control. Instead of it making people beg the Eurocrats to unite Europe to save it (that is how their little fetishistic dreams go) the people are clamouring for less. Indeed the Daily Express is campaigning for us to leave. What a simply wonderful idea and so surprising that it needs a time of extreme events to make the most appropriate and apparent of decisions come to mind. Good. To quote the old fire safety slogan in another context, get out, stay out and get the Brigade out. Only in this case it means the Brigade of Guards not the fire brigade.

In another sphere the pathetic, Britain hating socialists seem on the wane with their useful idiots rioting on the streets and the politicians at each others throats because their cosy nest has been tipped up. They have undermined and ruined our education system, our healthcare, our police and Armed Services, with mindless rubbish that leaves them incapable and talking bollards.

Then of course the Climate lobby is falling apart as more and more people start to think about the subject, research it and realise, 'what a crock'. As the warmists have always said, it is just about money but despite their protests it is the lying climate change mob, led by the likes of the WWF and Al Gore who have seen financial gain in spinning this scam.

Also, there is a growing groundswell against the continued application of political correctness in our bureaucracies. There are more interventions in everyday life than ever before, more forms to fill in, more tax and tax investigation (well, of the little people. HMRC employ a boss specifically to ensure big boys don't have to pay. Except for little 'holidays' and such). The police can't deal with crime so enforce ridiculous petty defaults like speeding. That is not actually speeding and causing a danger, but speeding as in exceeding some arbitrary limit set for no particular reason. People are fed up with being let down by our 'services' and being patronised with self-serving, self-congratulatory letters, not answering our complaints but excusing their own behaviour. In short people have become fed up with the 'Me' generation of Tony Blair. This culture is the one where people don't help each other, where getting 'trashed' on a night out and assaulting others is 'acceptable', where we come to the point where everyone owes us respect but we don't have to give it to others. Clearly such an empty culture (as was all of New Labour) could never work and would inevitably self destruct.

As would, obviously, that lazy, corrupt and inept construct, the EU.

All we need now is some decent leadership and the other inevitability can be avoided. That is the one where, if the politicians carry on regardless, believing it to be their right, the decent people will rise up and remove their power.

Friday, 19 November 2010

'tis the season of Official Stupidity

For me Christmas doesn't start until the first of December, so all the decorations in shops and Christmas tunes annoy me and I try to ignore them, until then. However, here I am responding to this year's first signs of Official Stupidity. Naturally it is the usual inability of the people who foist the ridiculous idea of multiculturalism on us, to understand it. Yes our British councils here in officially Christian Britain can't seem to get a grip on Christmas.

Good grief, how easy does it have to be. I know that for some time now it has been the vogue to have not just Left leaning people, but idiots of any and every political persuasion in government local and national. So I suppose we really shouldn't be surprised that the simplest of things pass them by. So, for all those in authority making decisions with too much thinking and too little comprehension here is a simple way to understand Christmas; the UK is a Christian country and Christmas is an important and traditional festival for us. It is entirely acceptable for our nation to hold its Christian celebrations openly and with good heart. I would happily send Seasons Greetings to a Muslim or a Jew and expect them to realise a) that it reflects the beliefs and traditions of a Christian in a Christian country and b) that the message is one of joy and happiness. It is not a death threat. Our Christmas card lists are not for people we hate. So, NO ONE WILL TAKE OFFENCE!! In fact this thinking about something and coming to a conclusion without actually knowing the subject in any depth, doing no real research is almost de rigueur these days. From oil slicks to Global Warming people take a view and are immovable from that view, even though they have taken no time to understand what they have heard from an expert (often actually an activist). So councillors up and down the land line up to say that Muslims (etc) will be offended by our displays at Christmas, without actually asking them.

It strikes me that it is entirely possible to believe (unless you are a racist, as most Left-liberals are, otherwise why keep highlighting 'difference'?) that Muslims (etc) are perfectly able to understand that by living in a country with an established, enshrined national faith, they might see displays of that faith. They might you see, understand and not take offence. It has long been common for British people to delight, on going abroad, in the faiths and customs they find in other countries, without demanding, on arrival that all such things are covered up, least we be offended. It is true however, that when vegetarianism became a fashion, a clamour went up to ban meat eating. The old, what I do is right and anyone different is wrong and what I disagree with should be banned. The position of the Left in a nutshell. The problem is though, that nowadays it doesn't seem to be seen in this context. Now you see people who would otherwise understand the real world and not dream of desiring the destruction of their own culture by supporting the Left, spouting such nonsense.

I wonder that these incapable people who seek office have not yet alighted on the fact that it is cold in winter here. Surely Muslims (etc) from possibly much warmer climes should receive some apology, maybe we should be warming the climate for them. Also, it must be unfair that whilst people who already live in the UK can visit their families at little cost, should we not be paying air fares to Pakistan for people who have voluntarily sought to better their lives by coming here? We should remember that this desire to cause division and highlight difference is a creed of the Left and it is the most base racism in this country. Sure some white people do not like 'people of colour' until they 'get to know them', and then discover 'they are alright really', but that is mainly a fear of the unknown and a different skin colour easily marks someone out. The racism of the Left is ideological and very much more dangerous.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Institutionalised Stupidity

The BBC News is reporting that a group of vigilantes are being encouraged in Wiltshire. These people have been assisted by the local authorities in spreading oppression by enlisting people to do the persecuting for them. Given speed guns the vigilantes note the numbers of 'speeders' and a letter is sent to them, warning them of their behaviour. The morons in the scheme haven't any idea why they are doing what they are doing, as they just chant the 'speeding' mantra that has been drummed into our heads, a mantra gleefully picked up by that organisation not known for its ability to analyse events, the BBC. Wiltshire of course knows that already there are less actual problems since speed cameras were deleted but strangely introduce idiotic replacements. The biggest irony though is that, whilst the law is owned by the people in England (well, in theory) the areas where we need to seize control and return our country's pride we are endlessly denied and ignored. Yet we are allowed to join in when we unthinkingly support the oppressive demands of the authorities.

Police Bonuses

I see some £2.2 million has been handed to Senior Police Officers in bonuses, though quite what for I suppose no-one could guess. Maybe it was for turning up. As if to highlight how ludicrous this 'system' is, the top recipient was the bumbling Acting Chief Constable Sim of Northumbria. Perhaps it was for appearing in the media and blogs most often. It certainly cannot be related to crime prevention, surely. I suspect she had the tidiest paperwork. I see the other notorious bumbler, Richard Brunstrom (I know what my job is, it's to tell you what to do) got a bonus that perhaps should be his salary. Maybe he will be able to put his cap on straight one day (or even realise it is important). Why do we have useless police? Because they are led by these self aggrandising, political puppets.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Another shooting, Another story

Fresh from an Independent Police Complaints Commission report, the tale of the shooting of Bartholomew Buckley by West Yorkshire Police. This time the police have been wound up by the hysterics of the woman calling them fearing for her life and the assailant having a record of threatening police with bladed weapons, apparently. Naturally and quite correctly an Armed Response is decided on and three ARV's and a dog van are sent.

On arrival the woman is seen screaming for help and banging on an upstairs window, so still seems to be serious an a forced entry is made. Now for me, the officers would and should be careful, assertive and high on adrenaline but here, once again the added ingredient is some strange firearms attitude of expecting and meeting aggression with force. When Buckley appears at the top of the stairs he removes his T shirt and shouts at the police to kill him (both civilians in this had been drinking, in fact a bottle of vodka between them). He was unarmed. A taser was fired at him to calm him down but it missed. Buckley then disappeared into a bedroom and three officers mounted the stairs. On reaching the top Buckley threw a drinks bottle at the first officer and another, trying to avoid the missile fell down the stairs. The first officer fired his Taser and again missed and at this point Buckley charged at the officer. The third policeman there apparently feared he was attempting to get the officers pistol (which was holstered and not easy to withdraw if you don't know how) and fired a round from his H&K G36 a rifle (technically a sub-carbine) with a muzzle velocity of 3018ft per sec. He then fired four more rounds. He hit Buckley once, in the arm.

At the gunshot the officer being charged threw himself down the stairs and Buckley fell after him. As they clattered to the bottom and Buckley stood up a further officer, fearing a colleague had been shot (?) fired a baton round hitting Buckley and knocking him down. The report says at this point that the officers 'realised Buckley had a serious gunshot wound and First Aid was immediately administered.' What strikes me is that they then realised a bunch of police officers can actually overpower one man.

I'm sorry if I am banging on about this, but I think that when police officers take high velocity weapons inside houses there is something going on between their ears that is way too martial and self-impressed. Clearly a Taser would have dealt with the man even if he had the samurai sword they thought they may be facing. If in grave danger a drawn Glock pistol would have been more easily brought to bear and plenty lethal enough. Luckily they were not in a modern house, else the rounds loosed off with what appears a little abandon from the G36, may have been killing the neighbours too.

To be fair, the IPCC report does point this out and says that there was a lack of planing and also that the use of the Taser may have inflamed the situation. Certainly does when you repeatedly miss. But it doesn't seem strong enough in questioning the attitudes that lead to these decisions, comforting itself that the officers were correct in most of their actions. Though interestingly, they do go into detail about how difficult it is to remove a Glock pistol from its holster if you haven't been trained to do it.Apparently, an unknowing firearms officer took six minutes. Yet the IPCC think that a policeman opening fire because he fears his colleagues' pistol may be seized, is appropriate. Reading their report it seems plain that this isn't acceptable. It is dangerous and moronic to believe otherwise.

With policeman falling down stairs and trained firearms officers firing 8 times at close quarters, managing to hit the target twice, it would seem comedic but for the fact that these people are loosing off lethal lumps of lead.

Stay safe. Evening all.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Misunderstanding politics

When I was growing up, the general understanding appeared to be (certainly as I picked it up) that politicians ran the country. It was their job. They had to organise the big stuff and handle relations with other countries. I don't doubt that games were played, but not really out in the open. Today of course, politics is about politicians and running the country takes such a poor second place that (as we saw spectacularly under Blair) they make an absolute hash of it and not least that they are delighted to have someone else do it for them (the EU).

Even journals that believe themselves serious talk about politics solely in relation to personalities, personal point scoring and 'how things look'. It is all so much gloss that it seems they have all taken their lead from Hello!. Of course the popular opinion is that people are disengaged from politics because the politicians don't make it 'relevant'. Well, Labour increased taxes massively to pay for their bloated bureaucratic state, which I think is relevant to most people. No, the bit people don't care for is how politicians go about their business, which naturally is all politicians can think about. Also, whilst the last Conservative administration got us back to prosperity (and Brown kept the dream alive by incessant borrowing) people, as is the tradition, ignored politics as everything seemed to be working OK.

Now, once a lack of care from government has resulted in banks stuffing up and needing giant dollops of cash from their friends in Westminster, the attention of the people has refocused. But on what? Blair only ever wanted power and money, he didn't give a stuff for the business of government and nor did any of his cronies. They all lived in a bubble in which real jobs and real people didn't figure. The Conservatives, accepting Blair's view of them as nasty, decided they needed to change in order to be 'electable', by which they mean, be able to kid the people to vote for them. It is amazing that, after the most disastrous government in living memory, the new Conservatives couldn't even gain a majority of the vote (accepting the numerous corruptions introduced by Labour creating a client class etc). And why not? Because Cameron looked and sounded like Blair, and Clegg looked and sounded like both of them. What choice did we have, but to try to pick the least stupid.

Why, if there is a groundswell against this cosy Westminster bubble politics, didn't some other party come to prominence? For the simple reason that politics is now pretty well stitched up by the gang we have and that is also why they are melding into a single ideology. If I decide I want to be an MP and stand as a Conservative, basically the Party has to approve of me. And generally that means I support what they support and will do what I am told. Clearly this undermines democracy, but it is great for Party machines and that is the point. Your MP doesn't trot off to Parliament to represent you. He/she is a number, an element of a voting bloc. It has led to the near impossibility of a debate in that great debating house at Westminster, as all MP's must support their Party and the Opposition must disagree with the ruling Party as a matter of principle (and the good of the country can go hang).

There is a chance that this system would fall apart under its own inertia, except for the fact that most of the governing of Britain falls to the EU, an institution most of our politicians don't even pretend to understand. It has become vogue to talk of an 'heir to Blair' as if this terrible human being had started something. In fact Blair, as a corrupting influence, as a liar was preceded by Heath, who can really be seen as his mentor. This egotistical and useless Prime Minister signed away the sovereignty of this nation, an act of immense hubris bearing in mind he did not have the power to do this. Parliament runs the country for and at the express behest of the people. This temporary power is one way; we control them. But in modern times it has come to seem to politicians that they own the country and the people are there merely to support it. This of course is the Continental pattern, the Code Napoleon where everything is illegal unless the State deems it legal. Here of course, we used to have the very free system, one that works for the people, where everything is legal unless, by general consent it is made illegal.

So it is clear, not only must the power of the Party system in the UK be broken up but that we need to get away from the dangerous and enslaving regime of the EU. The structures, both, are not undemocratic they are anti-democratic. They cannot survive where the people have a say, evidenced by the need to keep repeating referendums until the people get the answer 'right'. The time for navel gazing is over.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Traffic Cops

Now, despite disliking the use of the word cops in a supposedly serious context and at the risk of a terrible pun, this programme is turning into Triffic Cops. Really, it is compulsive viewing (having said that I missed the first half and will iPlayer later) though not perhaps for reasons the police or BBC intended.

Last night we had the story of a biker killed waving to other bikers standing on an over-bridge, because thus distracted the biker ran into the back of stationary traffic. To stop a repeat the police this year (it was an annual biker meet that spawned the unfortunate incident) tried to dissuade people from standing there waving. To achieve this they sent two traffic bikes and a BBC film crew. Now I'm not saying that this additional and unusual activity made any difference, but they were able to film a smash on the road below, caused as voiceover man said, 'by a moment's inattention.' Caused by what, I wonder.

The bit that really struck me though was the cyclist. He was spotted by the Traffic Cops cycling without lights and just before they got to him, he went straight through a red light. Initially, as they came alongside, he went up on the pavement and wouldn't stop, despite blue lights and a shout from an officer. Eventually he did, and cue a very dim wattage conversation from both sides. To be fair the police were intending on just warning him about the lack of lights and tell him to walk, but he decided to argue. The officer however seemed equally unable to make his argument cogent. At one point he accused him of being drunk, then said 'forget about that, you haven't got any lights.' Personally, I would think being drunk might have led to most of his wrong thinking and that was what was putting him in danger in the first place, but as we know, the police know best.

So for arguing, they decided to charge him with no lights, running a red light, riding on the pavement and failing to stop for police. He wanted to go to court. Bad idea. Not sure if he thought the arrogant attitude with which the police are imbued hasn't reached elsewhere (he obviously doesn't talk to his local authority either) but he was in for a shock. The court decided to 'make an example' of him and fined him £700 with over £200 costs. I'm not sure who else s was going to know and thus benefit from this 'example' but I'm not sure that is how justice works. Unless the BBC had promised to make the decision public via their film, which again adds just a little more corruption to the administration of justice. The man was clearly a pillock and the safety (his safety) was the main issue, but all this 'example' stuff just shows an arrogant but ultimately weak minded system. Almost as if inserted by God to emphasise the point, as the police were berating (rather than dealing) with the miscreant a dopey woman in a car drove towards them with no lights on. She was stopped and informed of her error, put her lights on and was allowed to then go on her way as, we were informed by the ever knowledgeable voiceover man, 'being in a car with no lights on you are much safer than on a bike'. Not brilliant for pedestrians crossing a road I would guess, or other traffic at junctions and it is an offence, but hey, it's all about proportionality and fairness.

The cyclist thing chimed with me because, in my days as a Special there was an incident where a magistrate had nearly killed someone riding without lights so wanted something done about it. That meant a town with usually about four policemen on duty at any one time, being treated to a flood of uniforms as 8 Specials and some extra regulars were ordered to disperse around town and deal (usually just warn) cyclists about the need for lights. It rankled me then too, because much as I agreed with the safety angle, the fact that it was on the personal whim (and anger) of a magistrate struck me as being wrong. However it did throw up one amusing moment. A foot patrol stopped a bloke and warned him to walk with the bike as he had no lights. So he stomped off and got back on just around the corner. He was then seen and stopped by a traffic car that decided to warn him that there was a drive on to deal with that and a magistrate on the warpath, but chummy decided to go nuts and said that he had already been stopped once! Oops. Out came the fixed penalty ticket.....

Monday, 4 October 2010

Blowing People Up Isn't Funny

The hysterical levels that AGW Believers will go to, in support of their religion are amazing. They want to stop debate, fix the 'knowledge' and kill non-believers. There have been several references to killing people who will not convert but the Richard Curtis film tops the lot. Anyone against the theory that the planet is warming and that it is due solely to the output of carbon dioxide by Man should be blown up, he feels. And a very graphic little film by him shows how it should be done and very modern it is too. It should be done by remote control by true believers. Now, where have I seen that before?

If only there were some camps, with gas chambers. There certainly seem to be plenty of people with innately good hearts who would be prepared to run them.

This has to stop. The idiots that started all this and then couldn't get themselves off the teat of research funding when they found they were wrong, were bad enough. But now, in the inevitable way of these things businessmen and corrupt politicians who facilitate them have got in on the act and invented 'carbon trading', a giant financial scam that requires the lies to go on.

When Galileo made a discovery by understanding his observations, he was held as a heretic by the Church, all powerful as it was and responsible then as 'scientists' are now, for explaining the world to common people. But the Church knew what he was saying was true; they just needed a way to introduce it without upsetting Papal Infallibility. There are many crimes in this world, but undermining a ruling elite is one that cannot be countenanced. As it was then, so it is today. Being right and being able to prove it doesn't sway the Believers and only what the elites permit will become 'mainstream'.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Oh No! Terrorism

And here again are the dramatic headlines -Mumbai style terrorist attacks foiled. Now when I first heard this I assumed that they had been foiled in the same way Brown was lauded for foiling two attacks previously i.e. the plots didn't work. But no, these planned attacks on the UK, France and Germany were thwarted because a big cheese was taken out by an unmanned drone in Waziristan. I fear even now, with this piece of information that I am still cynical. So, all the other people who would clearly be involved in a fairly detailed and large scale operation, to simultaneously attack three countries, couldn't carry on without him?

We have to be watchful certainly but I get fed up and weary of repeatedly hearing of plots foiled with no evidence whatsoever. No arrests, no news stories about armed police swooping on an address etc etc. Let's be clear on this; there is a real fear of terrorism in this country and it has largely been placed in people's minds by government. Horrible though the murders of 7/7 were we should keep a sense of proportion. It is the only credible attack there has been and the deaths from terrorism in Northern Ireland between 1969 and today amount to 3568. Over 20 people a year, on average, die in police chases. 2008/9 was a year of reduced murders in England and Wales, but there were still 648.

Against this you have government stories of ricin plots that turn out to have been entirely untrue and unfounded. Or high profile raids with multiple arrests in a blaze of publicity, followed a little later by a much quieter release of all 'suspects' with payment of compensation. Most of what we are told is untrue and the police are wrapped up with imminent threats and a paramilitary culture that is unhelpful and contributes to their well-earned reputation as bumbling Keystone Cops.

Police Shooting -Terry Nicholas

Reading yet another report by the IPCC gives the impression that the IPCC are not trying to get to the truth, nor looking for recommendations for improvements.

Terry Nicholas was obviously not a straightforward fellow, having been shot at on at least a couple of occasions. He was offered police protection but refused it, saying he would sort it out himself. The police became aware that he was going to acquire a firearm and followed him to Paolo's restaurant in West London. The police had an armed surveillance team and CO19 firearms officers present. Nicholas parked his moped at the rear of the restaurant and was later seen to receive something from another man outside the front. It was decided to arrest him, now presumably with a weapon when he came out. And so as Nicholas went to his moped two police cars drove towards him. He opened fire and the police officers stopped their cars, got out and opened fire. No officers were hit but Nicholas was killed. The IPCC were happy that the officers were wearing their 'police' caps and that they didn't shout 'armed police' was understandable (as indeed it was) and therefore there was nothing else that they could do. It was sad and unfortunate that Terry Nicholas was dead, but it was his fault for opening fire.

The planing again is clearly to blame and the police seem to care nought for their repeated failures. Surely even a person of limited imagination would think twice about driving unmarked cars towards a man with a gun, who had been shot at before, particularly when that man is in a confined space. What exactly did they expect to happen? They could have contained the area with marked cars and called out to him by name, saying they knew he had a weapon and to put it down. But no, they decide to rush towards a man with a gun, who is cornered and fearing for his life.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Mark Saunders -Gunman

The news is full of stories of the police shooting of barrister Mark Saunders. Mark had, under the influence of drink and drugs apparently, fired a shotgun out of the window of his Chelsea house. This is much less than we would expect of any citizen and quite correctly armed police were sent to the scene, to offer adequate protection should he start to target people. Is that what they did? Clearly not. The area had been evacuated so there was no one to shoot. The armed police then took up forward positions, basically in harms way. That is not a containment or a defensive tactic. The police do not have to seek to engage with firearms; as long as everyone is safe they can sit back and wait. It seems likely now that Mark was not intending to hurt anyone, but he did still have a weapon and did seem to be behaving erratically. Still not a problem though.

During the siege, Mark had negotiators trying to call to him, armed officers shouting for him to put down the weapon and a helicopter making its noise overhead. At no point does this chaotic police activity appear to have worried them. With his last words apparently being 'I can't hear you' and hanging out a window, still holding the shotgun seven police officers opened fire. 5 of them managed to hit their target. It is difficult to understand how this could be anything other than manslaughter. Rather than calm the situation the police kept themselves in a state of high anxiety and had placed themselves in positions, not to dominate the area and keep it secure, but to confront Mark. Why, for instance were there at least seven officers in positions where they could fire on the 'gunman'? Mark for his part, seemed almost detached from the scene, uncomprehending. He was not providing tension, the police were keeping themselves wound up. It would seem the armed units are trained to be aggressive, to confront and challenge and to shoot first and ask questions later. This last is not a glib suggestion, but a reflection of the events. They wouldn't let Mark's wife speak to him and the assumption was, from the outset that he was a danger. A man discharging a gun openly and randomly is not something to be taken lightly, but we either decide that we take things slowly and ask questions to establish what we are faced with, or we accept that our police are in perpetual danger and must shoot first.

As I have said before, it is the faulty briefings and the mindset of the officers on arrival that is leading to so many police killings. In the Falklands war, the British Sea Harriers were shooting down Argentine aircraft attacking our forces and so fighters were sent in to deal with them. These aircraft, optimised and armed for air to air combat did their best work at high altitude, the Sea Harrier performed best at medium level. So, the Argentines 'trailed their coats' and waited for the Sea Harriers to come up and get them, where they would be attacked on the Argentines terms. But they represented no threat to the British forces, so the Harriers watched them, but left them alone. The Argentine fighters went home, having achieved nothing. Aggression would have sent the Harrier pilots racing after the enemy regardless; a cool head and rational thinking suggested otherwise. Again, the shooting of a man with a chair leg in a bag (which was thought to be a gun) was an example of the faulty thinking of firearms officers. Calling out 'armed police' in the street would probably cause any number of passers by to turn to see what was going on. Yet this simple, predictable and understandable action cost a man his life, because the police 'knew' he was a gunman.

In waters near Iran, on a high state of alert the US warship USS Vincennes detected an aircraft heading towards it and decided its action in so doing was aggressive. The Vincennes broadcast a message identifying itself and warning the aircraft on a particular bearing that if it did not turn away it would be fired upon (the bearing being that from the warship). To know who this unknown ship was talking to, the pilot of the Iranian airliner they were targeting would have to know the bearing, from that warship. An impossibility. So it carried on and was shot down. Exactly the same, faulty mindset. A lack of proper planning that made a fatal shooting almost inevitable. The problem with the British police is though, that this has never been recognised and as can be seen from their protestations, the police are not looking to learn anything.

We await the next one, as surely as night follows day.

Monday, 27 September 2010


These are the times we are living in. Despite the fact that Labour were obviously ruinously useless the electorate still voted for them in larger numbers than their direct families. This is bizarre, as it suggests that people are either monumentally stupid or pay no attention at all before putting an X in the box they always have. (Accepting of course a large section is a bought vote by Labour).

Now, perhaps because the sense of the people is so stunted, Labour feel safe in continuing with corruption as their core ideology. Blair introduced this stunning concept when he realised there is no effective control over politicians and that the electorate were vulnerable to being lied to. By allowing a system to exist whereby a candidate of the Unions choosing can be elected leader of the Labour Party, Labour accept something that would seem outrageous to anyone else. Ed Miliband perhaps proves he is in the Unions pocket by declaring, immediately that he isn't. He believes that power is vital and politics an important and difficult job. Experience in anything other than in-fighting and lying (naturally) is unnecessary. These venal and easily corrupted half-wits are being manipulated by very sinister people, who want a Marxist government, that they run. A Socialist Utopia that redistributes some of the workers wealth whilst maintaining themselves as a rich elite, far removed from the laws they enforce on others. Hence we have 'journalists' like Polly Toynbee, rich, multi-housed and working for a Socialist paper that pays no tax in the UK, insisting that we should have more state control and higher taxes. Though, ha, it mustn't impinge on her lifestyle! As I always say, she is rich enough to be a Socialist. (The other committed Socialist of course, is the person who has no intention of contributing, but quite likes the idea of free money from someone else's efforts). In fact, you can view Socialism as Capitalism without the sharing, without the option to better yourself.

In Ed Miliband the Unions have found their dolt. Blair of course was so self-centred and focused on personal wealth and power that the Unions would never get a look in. Ed however is a pushover. Tell him it is for a better, Socialist society and he will do what he is told. When your ideology is based on corruption, in whatever form that takes, Blair's or the Unions it means suffering for their dupes. And that means us.

Monday, 20 September 2010

We're doomed

I went today to hand in a envelope containing a document at the County Court building. Well, what an eye opener on the world we live in. Morons everywhere. Firstly I had to empty all my pockets of metal items and step through a metal detector frame. Then a 'guard' used a hand held device to do another sweep and then I could go through to a small room with four counters. Naturally only one was open. People queuing had to explain their personal reasons for being there, court case etc in front of everyone else. I handed over my envelope and was told 'hold on', while she opened it. I was then given the 'OK' and I left. How on earth does the postman get on? As someone who has attended, as a Special, more than one 'firearms incident' with no armed officers present nor called for, I find the totally idiotic assumption that a County Court building will be subject to armed assault and the patronising nonsense that the two Reliance guards would make any difference, insulting.

Think it through (something the authorities obviously never have). The assumption is that people coming to County Court may decide to take a weapon with them, maybe to strengthen his argument. So the guards are placed on the main door to stop this happening. Well, why not treat people with respect and have the guards in the courtroom? They will be just as effective there as on the main door to the building and we would continue to see that almost no-one causes any problem. But I suppose the public wouldn't feel intimidated and inconvenienced (an important adjunct to showing who is in charge), so the stupid door procedures will stay.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Police on TV

I have watched a couple of programmes following police, on BBC1 recently. Fantastic! I got bored of the genre a while back and the old repeats only make it worse, but these rekindled my interest. The first one I saw was instructive and the second was hilarious, what more can you ask for in television entertainment?

So, a couple of weeks ago I came across the first of these two whilst channel hopping. I wasn't really paying attention but was then drawn into focusing on it more. A black officer was on foot (with others) walking amongst people filling the streets outside pubs and clubs. It seemed fairly quiet. Someone it seems made an ill-considered comment, as I believe the inebriated are prone to do. The black officer leaped into action pinning a man to the wall. He had heard a racist comment and as the voiceover helpfully said 'if there is one thing the police won't tolerate it is racist comments'. The man's girlfriend, a few feet away noticed what was going on on and started questioning the officers in a fairly direct and robust manner. I got the impression she had been drinking. The black officer confronted her to 'explain' about her boyfriend's actions and 'advise' her on hers. He did this by standing very close to her, leaning into her and pointing his finger at her. Strangely, she objected to this invasion of her personal space and put her hand onto the officers chest to keep his distance. Naturally, this led him to grab her and inform her she was under arrest, 'section 5 public order' or it may even have been assault on police. Either way, a situation he created had led to her arrest.

Later, in the same programme, another officer, white, saw a man arguing with a girl as they drove past. They stopped to check she was OK. The girl confirmed it was just a stupid argument. She seemed fine, the lad, sitting on an anti-crash barrier around a supermarket, was obviously fairly pissed. As the officers turned to go, the lad said something. The officer thought he had told him to go away, but using more colourful language. The girl immediately said he had been talking to her but the officer wasn't having it. The lad then objected to being filmed, 'you haven't obtained my permission' he said. Interestingly, the officer said that as the man was in a public place, they didn't have to. Now why do the police keep taking cameras off photographers in the street? Anyway, the lad is now acting up and swearing and (Mr voiceover again) 'if there is one thing the police won't tolerate, it is bad language'. At one point in this episode, the other officer had tried to get his colleague to walk away, but was unsuccessful. The man was arrested. Cue smug grin from the arresting officer. By the time the lad gets to the nick, he is passive and acting confused, which brings a patronising comment from the narration. Once in a cell awaiting processing the lad is in tears saying he will lose his job, as he is a doctor. The voiceover jumps in here to say, 'it is extremely unlikely that the man will lose his job'. Perhaps this was said with a hint of embarrassment as well it might, as again the situation had been inflamed by the actions of the officer. It was played as important to get him off the streets and yet now it has to be played down as not a serious crime.

These two incidents are representative of the arrogant and authoritarian nature of British police today. Police officers who appear to be completely ignorant of what their role in society actually is. And remember, the police were happy to have these incidents shown!

Last night we were in Wales, on board with a traffic officer of many years experience and a genial fellow he was too. Firstly we were treated to a car theft. A fellow officer had seen a stolen car and requested our man's help. Only a qualified officer can give pursuit you see and Control checked that the traffic officer was so certified. 'Yes, yes' he said, as they do and he took over the pursuit. It would at this juncture be pertinent to point out that the offender was being 'followed' not 'pursued' by the original police vehicle at 20mph. Lucky a traffic officer was available is all I can say. The stolen car then bizarrely mounted the pavement and crashed into a lamppost. What the hell, was all you could think. The dozy pillock who had stolen the car could barely form words, but he wasn't drunk. And the reason for his speed and the strange crash, was that the steering lock was still on!

Next our intrepid officer was shown pursuing a disqualified driver who had run off when seen driving. He was thought to be in his partners house, so with one kick of substantial plod's boot the door went flying. It really was impressive. Coming back to update the viewers the officer explained that the offender wasn't in there, but the back door was 'insecure'. He had probably dashed out that way. So, being round the back may a) have caught him and/or b) saved the front door. Obvious embarrassment was saved when a passing carpenter offered to put the door back up, what a piece of luck! Doors seem to feature large in the programme when 5 officers attend a house with a burglar believed inside. Three of them try kicking down the front door, having no effect. Out comes the official battering ram and that only leaves dents. So the police climb up to the upstairs window that the burglar probably used and get him that way. But then they can't open any doors and have to lower him out the window. Are they sure they were protecting the Health and Safety of a man in their custody, properly?!

Another house another door. A collection of officers in plain clothes spend ten minutes kicking a door before it gives way and then can't find their man. He must be in the loft. One officer bends over whilst a large colleague stands on his back to get up to the roof, through the loft hatch on the landing. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to realise you have to stay on the beams and puts a foot through the ceiling of a bedroom. Voiceover man then tells us that the other officers have now found 'the ladder the offender obviously used to get into the loft.' What and then somehow put it in a bedroom, afterwards? The ineptitude of the criminals seemed to be closely matched by that of the police, with the TV people joining in.

Joking aside though, these officers at least seemed to know and be known in the communities they policed and that was good to see. People were happy to give them information and it almost appeared we were in another era. The TV people were amused at the strange relationship and method of policing they saw. They seemed to think this was because it was a backward, rural Welsh police force.

Monday, 13 September 2010


Is it just that I am paying more attention now than in earlier decades, or are the Unions talking even more palpable nonsense? The public sector has been bloated for no reason, but at enormous cost by a Labour government desperate to build a client class and to increase central, state control. Now all the money (and a lot more besides) has gone, we have to cut back. This is simple economics, but most of the public sector are make-work's anyway and should have been cut even if the finances were sound. I am sorry that this threatens the livelihood of these public sector workers, some of whom will have no culpability (as opposed to those who have chosen to occupy positions they know are just detrimental), but Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have let down and robbed more people than just them.

The Union bosses however are foaming at the mouth, salivating that this Labour created crisis being cleaned up by a Conservative coalition allows them, in their warped world, to launch nationally damaging strikes. Mind you, if they only get those at risk to strike, we will probably get absolute proof that these people not being at work makes absolutely no difference to the functioning of the country. All the Tories have to do, is make sure that front line staff are basically protected for the services we need, but also that not only the people but the stupid bureaucracy they support is removed. I say only, but obvious though these things are, we are seeing a distinct lack of leadership and of Conservative values. All we get is something that smells way too much like Labour-lite.

If the Unions paid a bit more attention to the needs of their members and less to communist influenced politics we could live with them. But their only interest in their members is the wealth it creates for Union bosses and the power it gives them to disrupt the proper functioning of a civilised, democratic state. Not a state they want.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Only A Moron

We find ourselves in the year 2010. Now, there is enough argument about whether it is Twenty Ten or Two Thousand and Ten, without considering why it's 2010. But it is 2010 of course because that is how many years have passed since the supposed date of Christ's birth (anno domini, rather than After Death as is sometimes believed -that would leave the whole of Christ's life as a gap!). Hence when referring to ancient matters the books of my childhood spoke of BC and AD for before and after Christ. It doesn't matter hugely, but that is the system that has been in use, well, for over two thousand years. It is what you could call established, common currency, familiar if somewhat arbitrary, but so would be any other date we chose as day 1.

Now however the Idiots (I think I might use this term 'Idiots' as an official description. The communists rely on 'useful idiots' who help them achieve their objectives, but those I speak of don't even have that utility), by which I mean liberal elitists, have decided to expunge Christianity. I'm sure it is because someone might be offended (though offending Christians it would seem, doesn't matter). We are now living in the year 2010 CE. Not a huge difference. The year is the same but it refers to the Current Era. Obviously this infers the other era is Before the Current Era and both naturally refer to the the birth of Christ as the start point, but without actually drawing attention to that fact. It does allow of course, another era to be proclaimed at some point in the future. Maybe Tony Blair would have liked 1997 to be the new year 1, in a humble if you must force it upon me, how can I refuse, kind of way.

But how witless, how simply, mortifying moronic. The date is based on Christianity but we mustn't say so, we may keep the dating system but deny how it came about. I suppose the full explanation goes something like this. 'we now live in the year 2010, based on a system using the birth of the Christian religion's icon, Jesus Christ. This is because the dominant civilisation at the time was mainly Christian.' Instead of the explanation I understood as a child; 'the date is based on the birth of Christ'. Oh, OK.

And that really is it. It doesn't need explanation, which is necessary when using the Idiots version, although it sounds more like an apology in their context. What is it with these Liberal Elitists who seek to undermine our society? What are they ashamed of? They seem completely unable to understand that that was then and today is today. You cannot judge a bygone era by the standards of today and certainly not by a standard set by some psychologically flawed, whining Idiot.

Only a moron would come up with the thoroughly divisive BCE/CE label and only a moron would give it any currency. The fact that it most commonly crops up in academically minded publications (popular or not) only makes it worse and shows how this perversion is pushed through academia itself and uses Political Correctness to bully everyone else. I loathe its use and shiver every time I see it in a book.

Thursday, 2 September 2010


Now, I should start this off by saying that my whole problem here might be that I am too thick. I fully accept that possibility. Today, I am struggling with Gravity. A lot of people do I think. The standard simple explanation, as I understand it, is to show a body (such as the Earth) represented by a big ball, sitting on a rubber sheet. The sheet naturally deforms and the ball sits in a dip. If you then roll a marble around it, it makes a circle, due to the shape created by the big ball on the sheet. The idea being, I gather, that a mass distorts the space around it. It works on a membrane, with gravity pulling the weight down but not I think if the bodies were suspended and forces were acting equally all around them. In what way then would each object be aware of the other? If the force is directional such as the distortion to the rubber sheet there is some understanding, but that requires something pulling in an arbitrary direction, such as, in our model, gravity! It doesn't work, there has to be some 'connection' between the two, whether it is a rubber sheet or 'the fabric of space and time'. They are aware of each other. It doesn't make sense and yet, here again we find that without it some pretty wonderful things couldn't happen. Like me being able to sit on this chair, or in all probability there 'being' anything at all.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010


It may be time to revisit 1689. For a while it has seemed too much trouble to bother with the schemes and plans of politicians, particularly ones far away. But inattention is never a good idea and rats will breed and do their thing if left alone. Socialism, the great failed experiment of social engineering has infected this country and brought it to its knees. It is why children don't learn in school, people die by the attentions of the NHS, the police are ludicrous and useless, the Army belittled. A massive bureaucracy looms over us all, consuming wealth and shutting out the light. There is no debate any more (particularly in parliament) and no ideas, in large part outlawed by PC. Criminals flourish as never before in a land where punishment only exists where either you offend the sensibilities of the liberal elite (i.e. if you are middle class, or aspiring) or if you offend against them directly. Then the punishment is harsh.

It has been a very long time since Englishmen have been so oppressed and so unprotected by their elected representatives. This morality-free country cannot continue down this path of separation, the elite from the masses. It has a distinct whiff of absolutism about it and that will not do. The European Union always seemed daft, distant and someone else's problem. Except to people who early fell foul of its clutches, such as our fishermen. But it isn't. It is the engine of our enslavement and the elite have laboured long and hard on it, disguising its purpose and enlarging its reach. This completely alien construct will one day slam the lid shut on England and end a freedom and level of true liberty that most countries have never known.

What I mean by this is the difference between us and them, our system having evolved over centuries to serve the people and jealously guarded whilst apathy was at bay. This led to Common Law, where householders had a right to defend their property because they owned the law (it was common) and required of them to join 'hue and cry'. There was a state but it lived in fear of the people and raised its head only on matters of national importance. An Englishman was entitled to do anything that had not been specifically made illegal and passing laws was a careful and considered matter. Contrast this with the system of the EU; that the state owns the law and everything is illegal unless the state, now in the shape of a liberal elite, allows it. That is not liberty and such a system allows this elite to do everything it wished. a small example of this was the unchecked abuses of Tony Blair's administration. Absolutism.

And so this brings us back to 1689. Great changes took place at that time and a little before; James II resented any check being placed on him and so waved away parliament and converted to Catholicism (a big deal then). This disregard for the people was not something that met with apathy in those days and pretty soon he was out. You hear about the Derry Apprentice Boys and wonder what it was about? It was the Battle of the Boyne, when James II attempted to regain power (via Ireland) it having passed to William and Mary (amusingly, James's daughter) by the popular will. This battle, in 1690 sealed his fate. And to stop an over mighty executive a Bill of Rights was enacted (1689) as a principled check on absolute power and by confirming the dispersion of power among the people. That this still exists is ignored and denied by the liberal elite, for whom such legislation bodes ill. Did you know that the 1689 Bill of Rights makes all those on-the-spot fines beloved of 'modern' government illegal? No? Need I say more?

It may well be that, just as in the time of James II, those seeking the 'absolute' prize and unwilling to be deterred from their course require an armed insurrection to put power back where it belongs in England. (Oh, yes. They seem to have taken our guns away from us too. For our own protection of course!)

Do You Think

Well, actually that could be the whole post; do you think. What I was proposing though was that you consider this thought. We live in times when the childish social experiments of the 1960's, that we should not accept responsibility for ourselves and our actions, that we as individuals are hugely important and what we want should be satisfied. Hence free love, abortion as of right, drug taking and a careless attitude. The left, in acceding to these wants used them as cover to introduce things like Political Correctness which is really just a way of stifling debate -itself essential for people doing things which even they know don't stand up to rational scrutiny.

Bit by bit we have evolved into a society of morons. A country where people feel that they can call 999 as the buses aren't running in their area and ask for an ambulance. This happens because of a deep rooted, unconscious belief that the state should cure this small problem in this persons life. A notion put there by the left liberal state itself. We are nannied to obey the state and to expect the state to do all things. This lack of responsibility means we can go out and get drunk and fight in the streets, that we can attack and rob whoever we please. Whilst the state is indifferent to your safety it has to ensure this activity doesn't affect the elite and so a paramilitary police is evolved, that uses excessive force routinely, specifically to show where the behaviour becomes unacceptable. And that point is just short of anarchy, just short of threatening discomfort to the elite. To me that is what is happening in Britain, a country that once contained a gentle, intelligent, rational and reasonable people. (Naturally, by welcoming the poorest people from other countries, with an especial delight in people from countries with no or backward cultures, the Britain mentioned previously is further undermined).

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Egg Throwing

I have just seen on the news that a man who threw an egg an Baroness Warsi has been sentenced to 6 weeks in prison. What!!? It's OK though, he wont go to prison, because he has already served time on remand. On remand!! For throwing an egg??

You know why I'm lost on this and where it is ultimately going obviously. The offence is completely stupid and I guess I don't really have any sympathy with the idiot who threw the egg. Warsi dealt with the event in a dignified way at the time. But where on earth do we get a custodial sentence out of this? And it is clear it didn't require him being remanded, but he was and so many actually dangerous people seem not to be.

Then of course we have to remember John Prescott. If you are an idiot for throwing an egg and it warrants 6 weeks in prison, what does punching someone in the face deserve? Two Jags did prove, if any proof was necessary that he is nothing more than a thug. But, after spending a month 'investigating' if a crime had been committed (it was filmed of course and repeatedly shown on television) the police in Wales then decided that no, nothing much had happened. Please tell me what the difference is? Am I at risk of being assaulted by a politician, at no risk to themselves from the law, every time I walk the streets, or just New Labour politicians? Or is it just John Prescott who is above the law?

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Speed Cameras

Yes, speed cameras (or safety cameras if dishonesty is your remit) are back in the news. Having ditched them, Swindon now reports that there has been no difference. The BBC spoke to the Taxpayers Alliance who point out that the steady decline in road deaths slowed, or stopped when speed cameras were introduced and they make, nationally about £100 million pounds. Cynical? You may thinks so, but the real cynicism lies elsewhere, we'll come back to that.

A police officer from another force was interviewed and declared that speed cameras do save lives and he can cite places where they have saved lives, definitely. Naturally, the BBC wouldn't be so crass as to ask him to carry on and do so, not least because even if he did name a location you would know that he couldn't prove the cameras involvement. You see, they deploy a bit of a stunt to make their claims. If, over a couple of decades a stretch of road, on average, sees one death per year and then one day a 'big one' occurs, up goes a camera. This accident of course may not have had speed as a causative factor, but means that deaths for that year leaped to 4. This accident everyone will recognise, is rare and unusual and so no-one is surprised that next year there is just one death (regression to the mean as it is known). However, as a camera was put up at the site of the accident (here's the cynicism) the authorities claim they have reduced accidents at that location. Yep, they are as low as that.

Drivers tend to have an artificially heightened awareness of their speed on seeing a camera and may brake or constantly watch their speedometer, rather than the natural practice of watching the road, looking for hazards and driving to the conditions. Due to this tendency, cameras are more likely to cause accidents and there is some evidence that this is actually the case. Government investigation has also turned up 'unhelpful' evidence but the report, when published suffered a useful accident itself. The identity of the report (TRL327 or whatever) was 'mistyped' when it was put on the website and so very difficult to find. Average speed cameras are even greater proof that the intention is to find a way to 'catch' you as opposed to anything else. No clearer evidence exists than where these are used for roadworks 'to protect the workforce' and are left running when no work is taking place. The other tactic is the one where speed limits are deliberately altered so that the chance of you 'speeding' is greatly increased. In this situation the essence of safe driving is interfered with quite significantly. We used to have simple rules, 30 in a built up area, 60 on main routes and 70 on motorways. It meant that you intuitively knew what the limit was, even though it had been somewhat arbitrarily arrived at. Now you don't. It is like the current vogue for assigning some roundabouts a priority turning left lane. Here you can make a left turn at the roundabout without stopping and straight over is no longer permitted from the left hand lane. Drivers coming round, but exiting there need to keep to the right. If you don't know the locale you may be a bit taken aback by the sudden changed from established 'rules of the road' which we should now perhaps refer to as 'rules of the road that may not always apply'.

Motorways always have their own driving quirks and we all know that a small braking action becomes exaggerated down the line and eventually the traffic comes to a halt. This is artificially created with variable limits in places like the M25 near Heathrow and causes exactly that problem, not least due to the pressure of traffic, the exact problem they claim to be addressing.

The police are fond of putting up facetious 'it's 30 for a reason' signs. Next time to see a policeman by one, or have this gobby remark thrown at you by some pleased as punch twit who 'caught' you doing 52 in a 50 ask him what the reason is. He wont know. The nearest he can get is that it is necessary to have some kind of limit and 30, 60 and 70 were chosen. It was a blanket decision. In many situations 30 may not be particularly safe, but because you have this 'we know best' rammed down your throat, people who now believe that you don't have to think for yourself any more (or perhaps that you are not allowed to) will be doing 30. And above reproach they will be too, because the authorities approved it. If Mr. Plod accepts this point though, he creates a problem for his authoritarian approach. If he says, yes it was an overall approach, he then has to agree that individual circumstances and individual situations must be taken into consideration. and so maybe doing 86mph on an empty motorway in the middle of a clear fine night just isn't likely to be a problem. But the limit is 70, so out comes the book and the fines jar gets a little fuller. No good to society has been evoked but at least you have been reminded who is in charge and that is what sped cameras are all about. Happy motoring.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Another IPCC

I have just been reading reports on the website of the Independent Police Complaints Commission of shootings. Firstly the accidental shooting of a civilian worker by a Thames Valley Police Firearms Instructor and then the shooting by the Met of a man carrying a chair leg in a bag. The reports are, in general, self-serving claptrap and quite obviously so.

Firearms Instructor PC Micklethwaite was to take a firearms awareness course and for this he needed weapons and inert ammunition. He was told that the 'demonstration ammunition' was in a clearly marked box in the armoury at Milton Keynes. When he went there he couldn't find it, but he did see a Quality Street tin that contained a mix of ammunition, which he assumed to be inert, because of the lackadaisical method of storage and that mixing live with inert was a 'sin, a no-no'. So he took the tin home and left it in his porch overnight, as you do. Next day, he loaded a weapon during a classroom session and eventually discharged the gun, hitting a member of the class. It becomes beyond satire when you find out that PC Micklethwaite attended a Firearms Instructors course as is required and failed it. And what pray tell did he fail on? Safety and weapons handling. The course Instructor recommended that TVP conduct a documented review of these aspects. Naturally, this never happened.

The IPCC felt that there was a case to answer and passed a file to the Crown Prosecution Service who decided not to proceed. The IPCC also passed a file to the Health and Safety Executive who did prosecute and extracted a fine for both the PC and Thames Valley Police. Much to their credit the IPCC carried on and now recommended a disciplinary hearing for misconduct, at which point PC Micklethwaite announced his intention to retire. Because they have to give notice of proceedings against an officer, TVP said that they wouldn't be able to proceed until after his retirement, so abandoned it. This decision was accepted by the IPCC, case closed.

Whilst scathing about PC Micklethwaite's assumptions, they were perfectly happy that ammunition was kept in a Quality Street tin as training requirements were not the same as operational. That Micklethwaite was an accident waiting to happen seems clear, but the IPCC doesn't exactly come across as balanced and fair.

The IPCC report into the shooting of Mr Stanley was a little less, um, searching. Admittedly it is subsequent to the old PCC investigation, the organisation that preceded the IPCC. This report agrees that the death of Mr Stanley was due to the use of force by police officers, which wasn't really an issue in so much that he was shot in the head by them. The document is defensive in tone and outcomes relevant to the police officers involved.

The background. Harry Stanley was drinking in a pub, whilst having with him a chair leg wrapped in a plastic bag. A member of the public (for whom no claims of firearms experience has been made) reported a suspicion that it may be a sawn-off shotgun. Firearms officers were despatched and Harry Stanley was challenged in the street, from behind with shouts from the armed officers. Not unnaturally Harry would not have known they were shouting at him and turned to see what was going on. This aggressive movement by an armed man caused the officers to open fire, hitting him in the hand and head.

In their investigation they claim to be impressed that the officers gave almost identical accounts of events despite also noting that the officers wrote up their notes together at 1:30am. I would have been amazed if they differed! This strange self-satisfaction continued into the reason the officers fired. Although the report warns against using hindsight let us allow ourselves to use that facility, to remind ourselves of the real situation as opposed to the reality invoked by the police and backed up by the IPCC. Harry Stanley was a painter and decorator by trade, I guess the officers confronting him didn't know that, rather than someone experienced in the use of guns and in a tactical manner or combat situation. He wasn't carrying a gun, but a chair leg and the officers certainty that he was carrying a firearm comes solely from a report by a member of the public. This certainty still doesn't explain why the officers said of Mr Stanley turning to them that he did so with a “fluid deliberate movement”, adopting a “classic firing position, boxer
stance”. I think, with hindsight, the police would have been more aware of that than he was. However, puffing themselves up, the IPCC in their report say that they asked several firearms experts and they agreed that the officers actions were reasonable, in the circumstances. It might, you would have thought, have been 'reasonable' to ask people who were specifically not firearms officers. The problem here is one of reinforcing. Having been told the man has a gun, police officers able to use lethal force and trained in weapons handling will read way more into innocent situations than anyone else. It is almost a guaranteed way of making a mistake. If I had a gun and an armed policeman came up behind me and shouted 'stop! Armed police' I would stop, stand still and do whatever else they wanted, because I know, pretty well that it is me they are after. However, if I didn't have a gun, I'm sure I would turn around, with a fluid movement or not, to see what was going on. In the situation in which Harry Stanley found himself, this thought never occurred to the police officers. If you ask why, there is no satisfactory answer, so the IPCC don't ask that question.

Too many incidents involving armed police prove that they are deployed in a very controlled manner and I don't mean in a good way. Senior officers are always quick to let you know that no-one can tell an armed officer to pull the trigger, it is their decision alone. That is not a comforting comment and it is not intended to be supportive or reassuring. The statement is designed to remove blame from the operational commanders. Yet these all too often hopeless 'leaders' send armed police to incidents wound up, with their finger on the trigger ready to pull it.

I remember a bomb threat to a disco, which was in a room on stilts. On checking the area we saw a car parked under the building stuffed with all sorts of paraphernalia, so we called for the owner to come forward. When no-one did, this 'likely hoax' suddenly started to look a little scary. Then someone sidled up and asked why we wanted the owner, was he in trouble. Panic over. When the idea of a problem is planted, your thinking can become conditioned. I cannot believe the police still do not seem to have addressed this with common sense approaches to even deadly situations, rather than their preferred certainty and paramilitary stance. They would say they cannot put police officers lives in danger. We have no evidence of that, but rather too much evidence of the current thinking putting the public in danger. The IPCC don't seem to have spotted that.

Monday, 12 July 2010

The Drama in Northumbria

I can only comment on what I have seen from afar, so this is a piece including questions, based on images that were projected. Northumbria Police, in the form of Temporary Chief Constable (didn't it used to be 'acting'?) Sue Sim, her of the strange hair and chummy demeanour, seemed positively delighted to be in the limelight recently. Ms Sim was keen to appear before the media and did so in shirt order, making herself seem a more casual police officer, though it was very hot weather. Most of the time a senior officer alongside did the talking, but when she felt like it, she would butt in. If you listened carefully to their answers, but particularly hers, you came to realise she was mainly waffling. The words sounded reassuring, but were mainly meaningless. At one point she excused not answering a question for operational reasons, adding 'I wouldn't want to disclose that and you wouldn't want me to'. What? Why this need to assume what the reporters were thinking. She didn't come across as terribly on-the-ball. She walked the streets, still in shirt order, to reassure the public and to praise 'my officers' (did you get that? She is in charge). Unfortunately it seems, Raoul Moat was also walking the same streets without notice. Someone somewhere it seems was fixated with a preconceived notion that he was living rough in the woods. Then of course, after a long stand-off and with some confusion (because the police won't be clear) over how he died, Sim appeared at another news conference and now was wearing a jacket (though it was still hot) and much more clipped and to the point. She walked out when her bit was done and ignored the continuing questions, adopting a stony face and seeming just rude. Her ability to conduct herself correctly and deal with people is zero.

In this latter press briefing her language was mealy-mouthed; she mentioned that 'Taser had been deployed'. This was quite a stretch, as she deliberately mentioned the product, Taser, instead of accurately saying that two were fired. She instead claimed they were 'deployed', an action that had occurred when the first officer so equipped began the search for Moat.

I don't know if anything untoward will emerge from this police action, but the poor quality of control from senior officers appears, once again to be a prime factor. Often it is said, and was during the seven day manhunt that firearms officers cannot be ordered to shoot. Well, I bet that was not the case with the Taser incident; I bet they were ordered as part of a plan and that, for once puts a senior officer at risk of being held accountable. Normally of course, they blame those below them and seek promotion as justification.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Established Views and Science

Every so often something bugs me and the latest one is Man. Or rather what we claim to know of the history of Mankind. Basically, it goes like this; our oldest ancestors were in Africa (which is considered sound as Africa would have been a benign environment), who then trekked Eastward through Southern Arabia and towards Asia, looping back and ending up in Europe. Inconveniently there are people on every continent, so elaborate theories are constructed for the journeys these people took. I like it, this story. It sounds highly plausible, fits with what we know (but then it would, I'll come back to that) and is romantic. A heroic struggle of people, barely above animals themselves, solving problems and overcoming hardships as they went. It is some story and it seems to meet a human need, not to explain and understand, but to be important. This is where I start to have a problem. Why for instance East? It is speculated that this was just the successful branch, which is what we do with history, we examine the answer and suppose the question. Now, we don't have too many options it is true, but we seem too cavalier with accepting a popular theory. Science is not supposed to be prone to fashion, but it most certainly is, as are far too many global ideas these days.

To go back to the question why East? Did they sit down and ask those who had travelled furthest what the going was like? It is not necessarily the easiest route. We also seem to rather fix the Earth as it is today. Were they driven by environment, a desire to travel, curiosity or war? Why do we have a need for trekking humans anyway? If humans just bred and spread, that would be a lot more likely but very slightly boring. This is why I struggle with the romantic, brave humans narrative, it just seems too grasping, too self-important and if you look at the way nature treats us, how it swots us aside when it feels like it, you realise that in the grand scheme of things, we really aren't that important.

Then there are the dinosaurs. Successful on a pretty heroic scale for millions of years, they seem to have, relatively quickly, died out. As most people now know I think, it was a meteorite what done it. Massive explosion, loads of dust blanking out the sun, cold, lack of plant food etc etc. But how did some survive, like mammals and some fish and some dinosaur like creatures like crocodiles. We don't know, it must have been something special. So, to me the theory isn't proven, but there it is. It's the best we have they say. Well, if it doesn't answer the questions, its probably not right, don't ya think? Why do we have this arrogant need to impose partial ideas as fact?

England Dumped

Well that is England dumped on its arse. Seems you can't go to the World Cup and play indifferently. Or, to quote Fabio, they played well, so the stupendous loss at 4-1 to Germany must be a complete mystery. I guess that alone, that comment by the England Manager is enough reason to let him go. To my mind, there has been no discernible difference between Fabio and Sven, so the fact that the outcomes have been the same doesn't strike me as being unforeseeable. I used to be completely confused by the constant references to Rio Ferdinand as 'world class', when clearly he is inept. Now however I think I understand. Rio is not world class in the context of world players, just the small pool acceptable as English internationals. And that points clearly to the problem.

If there is one overriding aspect of the players in an England squad it is complacency (something that becomes painfully clear by watching other teams). That complacency comes from knowing they are there, wearing the England shirt, before the team is 'picked'. Take Rooney. His last contribution in a major tournament was in June 2004. How long exactly do we leave a drought like that before we stop claiming him as our star striker? Fabio was forming his team around him for goodness sake, and Rooney proved that lack of input was no mere six year blip. Hullooo? I wrote to a live Telegraph blog before the 'crucial' Germany game and raised this point. The typical, glib answer was that Rooney is a talisman and that he is the key man in the team. Anyway, the twerp went on, who would you play instead? Yes indeed. Having not taken any on form, goal scoring strikers there was a problem at that point, but perhaps a little more critical thought beforehand? And that is the point; the papers, who are always accused of building players up and knocking them down actually do something much worse. They get caught up in a hysteria about certain players and objectivity goes out the window. Rooney was beyond criticism, despite playing like your granny. He is easily dispossessed, often off-side and petulant which makes him a one trick pony; he can run at defences and blast a shot in. (I'm not contradicting myself, when he has a head of steam up he can clear a defence, but if he is static, just received a ball he has no guile to rely on).

Mexico may have lost to Argentina but they were very good nonetheless and clearly had England been up against the likes of Messi they would have treated us like cones on a training pitch. Mexico had the likes of Dos Santos, who played out of his skin with not a little skill, but he could never get into an England side, because he plays in the 'wrong' league. This fixation with playing Premiership players fuels the complacency (but still doesn't mean the best players get picked, but mainly those in a special clique) and limits England's options, literally. Going back to Rio Ferdinand again, here was a player who is massively overrated and even accepting the blindness in this respect had only played 8 games for his club due to fitness issues (which I don't believe), yet was still picked to play in the World Cup! And then he broke before the games started, which kind of proves for me the level of stupidity involved in player selection.

England undoubtedly has world class players and some of them were in South Africa, but they don't play well in the national side. It strikes me that the most important job an England Coach has is melding a team, quickly out of a disparate group of players, who don't know each other, but do know how good they are (and without exaggeration sometimes). Part of that has to the selection of skills combined with a team ethic and always with a critical eye. The Coach has to live in the real world and see how these 'stars' play for him, how they play in their own teams and where the faults lie. Pundits have to tell the truth and stop saying people played well when they didn't, but rather criticise mistakes. The provision of £100,000 a week should be enough of a cushion for the poor loves (or maybe a more resolute partner, not one whose contribution is looks). A Coach needs to be sympathetic to the needs of a skillful player, but balanced against the ability of the team to provide that. Defoe is an expensive player, because until he receives spot-on delivery he cannot perform, so he needs two good players behind him. If we have those in place, Defoe is an option, without them he is not. By concerning yourself with who delivers to Gerrard as well as who Gerrard then serves you not only make a better, more cohesive team, but Gerrard feels looked after and plays better (not least, in all probability because he respects the Coach more too). These things seem self evident and not that difficult, but a million miles from the thinking of those 'in charge' of our national side. I think the pundits in the papers and on television have a lot to answer for in this respect too. Let's play to win in future.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Slovenia 0, England 1

Obviously the last two games were a disgrace, but we really couldn't afford a repeat today. Amazingly, the pampered twerps actually seemed to get that too and started the game in lively fashion. Interest, passion, a will to keep moving forward, chasing free balls and tackles and passing well. They worked for each other and it showed. The after game punditry did its usual and lauded Rooney for being an icon for England and a pivotal player, which is odd really considering what actually went on, on the pitch. Initially Rooney couldn't get into the game, then he got close, but still is far too easily dispossessed (and by any level of player apparently) and only once got into a dangerous position. Then, one on one with the keeper, he scuffed it. It was even a bad choice of kick, but thinking about it, he probably only has one way of shooting. Guile and thoughtful football is beyond him. He did seem to come alive and do some useful stuff, but was soon injured and subbed. We clearly don't need him, he is more mascot than icon.
Gerrard was busy, busy, busy. Constantly scurrying about and crossing good balls, tackling and generally causing mayhem for the Slovenes. Upson did some useful work but generally was a bit poor. Glenn Johnson clearly has some skill and was trying hard, but he seems out of his depth at this level. John Terry, whom I think is past it and a liability more likely to foul than tackle, was his old solid, dependable self. So well done him, too.

Overall, a good performance that did the job, but the question remains, why can't we score? At times we made the Slovenes look as stupid as England have to date, but we only managed to score once. The spirit may be back, but perhaps an edge is still needed. Maybe this result will bring it and from here the team will settle into playing the games the individuals it is composed of, are capable of.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

A Revolution In My Head

What we believe and what we think is coloured by our perspective, the point from which we view. I remember reading of a philosopher in conversation with a student agreeing that the ancients must have been stupid to believe the Sun went around the Earth. He then added, 'but I wonder what it would look like if it did'. Politicians and particularly those of the Left have long understood the power of influencing children's as yet unformed views, but today it has been refined for adults. A twin approach of firstly creating a 'nanny state' where everything is done for you so people stop actively thinking for themselves and the creation of the 'narrative'. This of course is the 'logical' result of the belief that there is no absolute truth; your truth is different from my truth. Whilst sounding plausible this is, of course, a lie. Kick a rock, see if it hurts. So we had New Labour telling us what to do at every turn and interpreting things for us with a narrative; crime is going down, educational standards are sky-rocketing etc.

In fact the phrase 'political science' makes me laugh and can be summed up nicely in a snippet a colleague, years ago once said, 'do you want the truth or can I lie'. But it is interesting what our viewpoint does to our reason. Anthropogenic Global Warming sounds entirely plausible if you don't have too much information (which is why the original data is held by a small group of true believers), but as soon as you see the full picture you begin to wonder how we ever believed otherwise. I have this with Evolution too. Notwithstanding figures like Dawkins, who seem keen on replacing not deleting God, I do not think that when we have a theory we like, science stands still. In fact this is a very modern concept ('modern' in the same context that Blair used to use it, meaning backward, without utility). In a nutshell, Darwin's Theory of Evolution says that offspring are not identical copies of their parents and by mixing two sets of genes and with the odd mutation, every so often a beneficial change occurs in a species and that more successful trait survives. Tigers have stripes to enable them to hide in undergrowth, which enables them to get close to their prey, all the better for their chances of catching and killing them. The same applies, naturally to the spots on leopards and the absence of both on lions. Presumably earlier tigers existed, fully equipped with teeth and claws but missing the vital ingredient of stripes. It is all accidental you see, happenchance. Happy happenchance even. It seems plausible and obviously did so to Charles Darwin, who in less certain, less arrogant times perhaps, recorded his ideas as his opinion and every child knows it as the Theory of Evolution, because it is just that, a theory. Today and particularly in certain hands it cannot be opposed, not just so its supporters are right, but because they feel the only other option is to believe in God and they fervently oppose that. So in their opinion it is Evolution or Intelligent Design, nothing else. But what about science? There might be no God (or Dawkins favoured option, life created here by aliens) but the Theory of Evolution could still be wrong.

I mean, think about it (and be in danger of adopting a different viewpoint from the one pushed on you). How many rubbish mutations must there have been, that added nothing useful before we got the killing machine that is the cheetah, including its stretchy spine that enables it to run faster. all provided just by chance. As different creatures eat the lower vegetation, taller creatures with longer necks eat the higher vegetation; it becomes their niche. And so little by little the neck gets longer until we have the giraffe (accidentally don't forget, this is not planned). How fantastically unlikely is that? What are the odds? And if eating vegetation at higher levels was an imperative forced on them by competition lower down, how come they could survive long enough for all the lucky mutations to come along? Or did some unlucky mother of a more mundane creature one day give birth to a baby with 9 foot legs and a 20 foot neck? The mutations thing isn't impossible, but it is just so staggeringly unlikely that I can't believe we not only have never come up with anything better, but supposedly clever people are now saying we shouldn't try.

Darwin referred to some finches that he saw that were similar but had different beaks and ate different food. He speculated that perhaps those with the more robust beak, that ate nuts did so because the competition for fruit or berries (I'm paraphrasing, but the essence is there!) meant there was not enough to support an ever larger population. At some point a bird was born with a slightly stronger beak that tried and succeeded in eating nuts. The offspring carried this on until, hey presto finches with bigger beaks eating nuts, larger population able to be sustained, nature will find a way, survival of the fittest and no God anywhere. Perfect. But I don't understand why it couldn't just be simpler. When I pick up weights to exercise and build up my muscles (if you know me, you know I'm paraphrasing again!) I actually damage those muscles. My body then goes into repair mode, but usefully and without conscious thought, rebuilds them stronger. I am facing challenges to my body, so I need to be stronger, fitter to meet those challenges. Would it also affect my DNA? If I spent my time body building, would my progeny have a genetic disposition to greater body bulk, or to acquire it more quickly? Why not? Why can my muscles respond in this way, without a plan, but nothing else?

We accept that DNA can contain a schematic to make a whole human being, using the same cells at the outset to become completely different things later. We accept this, not least I would guess because it is a physical thing. So what on earth is instinct? A baby kangaroo is not born in the pouch, but that is where the teats and safety are. On being born (enough of a trauma you would have thought) the Joey has to cling on and then move up to where the pouch is and climb inside. Whilst its eyes are still closed. So, it not only has to be born with sufficiently strong muscles to hold on and move, it also has 'know' that it has to move and exactly where it needs to go. That is some dataset to transfer, or do they just make it through luck, happenchance?

All of the above suggests to me that there has to be some kind of feedback loop. Consider the finches. Life is getting tough for the little fellahs because there isn't enough fruit to go around. So, some of them try the nuts, but they struggle because of the shape of their beak. This 'information' feeds back into their genetic make up, because it is really important to these birds only just getting by, scraping the edges of nuts. Their offspring are subsequently born with slightly stronger beaks and do that bit better. It isn't 'intelligent design' (otherwise they might have opted for nutcrackers) but it isn't random chance either. It has been said that evolution seems to experience sudden rushes when things change rapidly and no-one knows why. Well have a think then. I really do despair of junk science. The AGW promoters are actually dangerous rather than deluded (that honour falls to their congregation) but it probably started that way, as a delusion. Like the recent space news. Having estimated the gravitational force of the universe and the mass it contains a whopping great discrepancy was found. Now, unlike schoolkids who are struggling to divide their sweets up correctly because their maths is crap, they didn't decide they must have got something wrong, no they invented 'dark matter'. It had to exist, otherwise they would be wrong about something, which doesn't seem to be a comfortable idea for scientists these days. It was dark, because you couldn't see it. But, like an invisible friend, now the thinking is that it doesn't exist. Yes, because science doesn't revolve around inventing answers. Theories are fine and await final proof, but when the theory itself, relies on 'well it has to exist' we are back to God again. What would Dawkins say to that!