August 2011

Shit month, mostly. Let’s hope September is a bit better with a great facebook ads company.


Oh dear God!

Via Ambush Predator:

Children will be banned from watching shooting events under Boris Johnson’s Olympic ticket giveaway.

London schoolchildren are eligible for 125,000 Olympic tickets but these will not include any featuring guns, as Games organisers and City Hall fear a backlash from the anti-gun lobby.

Giving children tickets to the events, at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich, could have appeared at odds with Mayor Boris Johnson’s bid to quell teenage gun and knife crime.

This is pure gesture politics based on a weird presumption that children seeing guns being used live will automatically turn them into cold-blooded killers. So presumably the shooting events will not be shown on television until after the watershed, to spare those same children watching the same guns at home? If the authorities really thought that the mere act of showing a gun was half a step away from inciting a gun spree then they would ban most films and many television programmes. This is a cynical appeal to the bleeding-heart hand-wringers.

[BE's policy to turn people away from finding guns sexy would be to force every school-child to go on a school trip to a shooting range. Nothing is more off-putting than actually holding a gun in your hand and firing it at a poor, innocent sheet of paper. In my humble opinion.]

A popular Bangladeshi television channel that broadcast an election speech by Ken Livingstone was today censured by Ofcom over its lack of impartiality.

Channel S, which is watched by tens of thousands of Londoners, was found to have breached the regulator’s code over its coverage of the Baishakhi Mela in May.

Mr Livingstone was accused of “poor judgment” after appearing at the east London festival in front of about 110,000 people at the same time as Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman.

Mr Rahman was elected mayor a month after Labour sacked him as its candidate over alleged links to the Islamic Forum of Europe and alleged vote-rigging. Mr Livingstone, who campaigned alongside him, was introduced on stage by Mr Rahman’s financial backer Shiraj Haque, who allegedly told the audience that Mr Livingstone was “wonderful” and “should be Mayor of London next year”.

He then made a speech during which he criticised Boris Johnson. He said: “Tower Hamlets and the East End of London will always be at the centre of my heart, my attention. And I have to tell you if I’m elected Mayor next year, we’re going to build a lot more in terms of better transport, better housing, and jobs for the communities that Boris Johnson has neglected.”

Ofcom said that Channel S had not shown any alternative viewpoints. The Ofcom ruling said: “Within the coverage viewed by Ofcom, we could not identify any alternative views which could be reasonably and adequately classed as supportive of, or which sought to explain the policies of, for example, the Conservative party or Liberal Democrat party, in relation to the forthcoming 2012 London mayoral election.

Is there anything more cynical than making specific promises to particular communities? Where is South London’s better transport, better housing and better jobs?

Do we really have to choose between Boris and Ken? It’s like choosing between a shit sandwich and a bout of E. Coli for lunch. Sack them all.


You should definitely watch this

BBC Four’s The Secret Life of Chaos.



A theme revisited again.

I was round at a friend’s for supper tonight and Twitter was mentioned in relation to the riots and the clean-up operation. Then I mentioned Richard’s blog. And I should have kept quiet because of course I was interrogated as to whether my nebulous blog which nobody knows about is still running. I am fairly certain that my host and the other guest are not readers here. But on the way home I was wondering whether I am that comfortable sending them the link. It’s weird. They are two of my closest friends. It’s not like I am nervous of what they think of me, they have known me for years. It’s just. Oh I don’t know. Not exactly dinner-table conversation is it?

Oh the other hand, another much newer friend and I were discussing things which have happened to us to shape who we are. I was quite tempted to explain some of my past history with a couple of well-chosen links from here. I have so far resisted, but on one level what better way to explain than an already-written blog post? On another all the other shit is there to be read.

Why am I so happy to spout this crap into the ether and then worry that people I know might actually read it? It Makes No Sense.


Theresa May *is* an expert

But not in running the Home Department. Instead of pretending to be in control by issuing ridiculous statements, she should stick to what she knows: eye-catching shoe initiatives.

Theresa May, you are a twit. Good bye.


Curve evades Cameron, again

I had such high hopes for Mr Cameron. When he pitted his wits against David Davis to win the party leadership I am ashamed to admit I sent my ballot paper off, strongly believing that it was best to choose the leader who stood the best chance of winning the general election. As much as I try to find things to like about David Cameron, he seems to be doing his best to prove the people who refer to him as CallMeDave, iDave, etc. correct. When the bombs went off in London in July 2005 I found myself eagerly awaiting the statement from the Prime Minister: not because I was a fan of Blair, not at all, but because I knew that he could do the whole statesmanlike reassurance thing. He came up on the radio, said some nice things and I felt a lot happier and I’m sure I am not alone in that. When Cameron started talking about the fires and looting in London this week I just felt my skin crawl.

Cameron seems to be permanently behind the curve. On the Monday night people were asking, with some justification: how did this happen? I may or may not have posted several times airing my views. Today, as things look a lot more settled, Cam is touting his way around the studios criticising the Met. While most people say a big thank you to the police officers up and down the country who came out and rapidly restored calm to our neighbourhoods and as people stand up in their millions against a criminal minority, in comes the PM to say that he has spoken to the elite leaders and now knows what went wrong. Could he not work it out for himself? He has an entire squad of advisers, polling experts and hangers-on. He has hundreds of MPs to call upon. He can phone up anyone he likes in the country to seek advice. And yet he seems totally and utterly out of sync with the mood of the nation.

He seems to have missed the irony of criticising Met officers for taking so long to put themselves on duty on Monday in a speech written on a BA flight from Tuscany. Does he think that bobbies still live in dingy single rooms above police stations, ready to pounce into action at the first sign of difficulty? Does he think that the Met keeps ten thousand riot officers on duty, out of sight, ready to squash totally unexpected, coordinated acts of vandalism and looting? Get real.

In all likelihood the senior officers he has spoken to are as detached from reality as the Prime Minister himself. A PC buddy of mine tells me that as he was just about to leave the nick on Monday he was pulled up by a Superintendent and asked where his tie was. You cannot be serious! Why doesn’t the Prime Minister go outside and take a look around himself? He could walk around Croydon or Elephant and Castle and not a soul would know who he is. In doing so he might smell the mood. He might see people from all walks of life approaching yellow jackets to say thank you. Christ, he might even get a chance to meet some of the other people he thinks he represents: you know, the ones who don’t have gates at the end of their street?

Sorry Dave, but if you think the solution to youth crime is to switch off Twitter and Blackberry Messenger, if you think the way to motivate the very people who go out and solve these problems is to criticise them in public, if you think it’s OK to go on holiday while expecting everyone else to stay at home, then you are even more ridiculous than your critics have so far suggested.

Mr Cameron, you are out of touch and rapidly running out of time. This country needs a leader who is a bit more aware of how it works.


Mark Duggan: what the law says

Via the news media we are beginning to learn some of the facts surrounding the death of Mark Duggan in Tottenham. We cannot draw any conclusions until we know all the facts and we should certainly not react until the investigation is complete and fully analysed.

However, there is one thing which has been concentrated on by the media as if it has a huge bearing on the case: whether or not Duggan’s gun was fired at police before he was shot. The initial reports that Duggan’s gun was fired at police appear to be flawed. The IPCC has stated its belief that the gun was not fired. However, if my understanding is correct, this is not the only relevant factor in any prosecution of the officer who pulled the trigger.

Interestingly, these “powers” are available to anyone and are not broader or narrower for ordinary citizens or officers of the Crown.

Common law: A person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances for the purposes of: self-defence; defence of another; defence of property; prevention of crime; or lawful arrest.

In assessing the reasonableness of the force used, prosecutors should ask two questions: was the use of force necessary in the circumstances, i.e. was there a need for any force at all? And; was the force used reasonable in the circumstances?

The courts have indicated that both questions are to answered on the basis of the facts as the accused honestly believed them to be. There is no rule in law to say that a person must wait to be struck first before they may defend themselves.

Criminal Law Act 1967, Section 3(1): A person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in the prevention of crime, or in effecting or assisting in the lawful arrest of offenders or suspected offenders or of persons unlawfully at large.

It is rather more subjective than we might imagine given the weight placed on the small number of facts presented so far to the public via the media.

Of course, public perception is incredibly important. That is why a thorough investigation, which is both fair and seen to be fair, is vital. The other side of the coin is, though, that it is important that people understand what the law is before deciding whether the final decision is a stitch-up or not.


“No excuses”

This from the government-in-waiting (also known as the Green Party):

There are no excuses for the violence and the looting.

Apart from:

I believe a commitment to reduce the rising inequality in our society is essential to find a positive way forward from this point. Young people see their prospects hit by the abolition of the Education Maintenance Allowance for 16 and 17-year-olds and the massive tution fee hikes, and they see their parents suffering in low-wage, casualised jobs, or without jobs at all, and they understandably hold little hope for the future.

The answer, obviously [why did nobody think of this before? - Ed] is:

We can only hope to prevent recurrence of such events by rapidly changing direction – delivering a living wage for all workers, providing a massive increase in employment, and re-investing in public services

Ah yes, the solution to people’s envy of richer people is to buy them off with things that they wouldn’t normally be able to afford. I.e. by buying them the things that they would otherwise have to steal. Jesus, quite literally, wept.


#londonriots – a quick message from the front line

Just got home. Injured again. Some scrotes threw breeze blocks at us, managed to shatter my shield and take out my leg. Shit scary last night. We thought we were actually going to die there. Multiple buildings burned down, tens if not a hundred businesses looted, people evacuated from their homes. Police cars attacked and burned, officers hospitalised – just in ****…

No back-up across the whole of London as every single officer in the Met was deployed. We eventually had to withdraw and let them take the town – couldn’t even get the fire brigade in to help until the early hours. I’ve never seen anything remotely like it…

I am totally freaked out. And I’m knackered. It was terrifying.

The hatred was real. They wanted to get us, plain and simple. Throwing concrete slabs through the windscreen of moving police cars is nothing else than pure hatred…

Gutted I’m going to be invalided so won’t be there to help out my colleagues this evening.

I take back what I said about comparisons with other professions. And apologise. In full. This man and his team deserve a medal.


Feral youth

Of course, this has absolutely nothing to do with the welfare system, the failure of the education system in the inner city and a youth culture which glorifies ignorance and aggression. These are absolutely not Brown’s children. Anyone who says anything to suggest that the culture of entitlement has anything to do with the looting and burning is quite obviously barking mad. Now please excuse me while I go back to my nice little comfortable fantasy.



mail @ behindblueeyes . co . uk


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