Stuart Hall arrested on MORE sex crime charges; some other defendants acquitted

October 24, 2013

Stuart Hall is having a tough time at the moment – Aww, poor little nonce, should we let him out of prison in the Christian spirit of forgiveness?

NO! say the police. They went and fetched him from his current address (prison, where he’s doing 2 and a half years for 14 counts of indecent assault against girls aged between nine and 17 over a period of almost 20 years). Then, they gave Hall the good news: he has been charged with 15 rapes of two young girls. They were aged between 11 and 16 when the alleged attacks took place.
Disgraced Hall is further charged with one count of indecently assaulting one of the youngsters. If he is found guilty, it seems almost certain that the 83-year-old will die behind bars. Oh, and he’s been stripped of his OBE, which he got in 2012 for services to broadcasting and charity. What a shame.

BUT: While it’s always good to know that bad things happen to bad people, we must remember those who aren’t the nonces we may have believed them to be. So I am going to report the fact that Michael Le Velle and Andrew Lancel, both ex-Coronation Street stars, have been cleared of the crimes they’d been accused of. Please take note: Michael Le Velle and Andrew Lancel are NOT GUILTY of their charges.

Michael Le Vell has received death threats, and someone vandalised his car. Leave him alone, you dicks, LE VELL WAS FOUND NOT GUILTY!!

Oops, out of time. I’ll write another update soon.

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The Sun apologise for “mental patient” slur! Hell must have frozen over!

October 24, 2013

In Britain we have a daily newspaper called The Sun.  It’s a tabloid, and what we in Britain call a “red top”.  Red tops tend to appeal to the lowest common denominator.  Every day, page 3 is dominated by a photo of a “page 3 girl”, who will be wearing hardly anything at all and will be exposing her (usually large) boobs.  Bare boobs in a familynewspaper?  Yes, I know, but don’t blame me – I didn’t invent the rules.

On 7 October, the Sun printed a sensationalised story “1,200 killed by mental patients”.   This greatly offended people with mental illnesses, their families, and just about everyone else.  The paper was bombarded with complaints and an online petition on Change.org.

Well, lots of people signed the petition (82,000 according to Rhiannon, a psychology teacher with a family that has a history of mental health illness and who started the petition at Change.org.

She wrote:

Brilliant news! Following public outcry and concern from mental health organisations, today The Sun newspaper printed a correction to their offensive front page headline which read “1,200 killed by mental patients”.

As a psychology teacher with a family that has a history of mental health illness, I was shocked and appalled at The Sun’s coverage of such a sensitive issue.

To my amazement, so were over 82,000 of you! The petition grew stronger and stronger, calling for a correction and donation to a mental health charity.

Last week mental health charities Rethink and Mind met with The Sun to discuss their coverage of mental health issues and responsible journalism. And today they have printed this correction

It’s important that this correction doesn’t go unnoticed. Time and again people with mental health issues are stigmatised in the media. It’s vital that when corrections are made, they are made publicly to end the stigma. 

The Sun’s correction reads as follows:

Clarifications and Corrections.

Further to our article “1,200 killed by mental patients” (Oct 7), we would like to make clear that the 1,200 figure related broadly to victims of homicide by people with mental illness.  This encompassed both those who were being actively treated at the time of the offence and those who were subsequently judged to have symptons of mental illness.

The Sun realises that the vast majority of people with mental health problems pose no threat to anybody and are much more likely to take their own life or self-harm  than be a risk to others.  Since our article we have been in communication with charities such as Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, and support their Time to Change initiative.  We will continue campaigning to improve treatment of mental health in the UK.

Not exactly the apology that Change.org have hyped it up to be;  but, as Rhiannon wrote in her recent email, “It’s important that this correction doesn’t go unnoticed. Time and again people with mental health issues are stigmatised in the media. It’s vital that when corrections are made, they are made publicly to end the stigma.”

So yes, it’s an apology, especially when you take into account the fact that it came from the Sun.  Let’s see if their general practices change too.

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What’s the EDL gonna do now?

October 23, 2013

Last week, co-founders of the English Defence League Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll quit the organisation, claiming they no longer wanted to be associated by the Nazi thugs who have joined the EDL. While I find their stated reason to quit being the top boys of the League as disingenuous/an obvious pack of lies, the resignations are interesting in themselves. They are indicative of the signs that the EDL are splintering and losing support. If we ignore the fluke upsurge of interest caused by the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, killed by “Islamist extremists”,  interest in the EDL is waning, with too many mainstream members unhappy with the violence that seems to come with their demos.

Unite Against Fascism is confident that its actions are putting the EDL on the back foot. “The EDL were growing exponentially until they were met by a greater force,” said Weyman Bennett, joint secretary of UAF. “They would come with a few hundred and we would have a few thousand who didn’t want them in their town, and they didn’t know what to do.”

Eric Randolph, writing in the Independent, writes the opinion of a recently retired officer with the National Domestic Extremism Unit, that the English Defence League is likely to splinter into smaller regional units with some supporters shifting to more extreme movements. A terrorist-styled cell structure that will keep most members safe even if other cells are compromised. It’s a tried and tested approach that has helped extremists distance themselves from other cells that might have done something bad.

The same former cop says:

“The EDL may survive as separate regional organisations. Most of its activity was at a local level anyway. But prior to the murder of Lee Rigby, it was already seeing a marked decline. One of the reasons was the personal antipathy of regional leaders towards Tommy Robinson – he was not terribly well liked but was accepted as the best leader because he had a certain amount of charisma and cunning.”

The Domestic Extremism Unit is by no means suggesting that a power struggle within the EDL might lead to terrorist or other attacks on the public. They do admit there’s a slight risk of terrorism by right-wing extremists but add: there is a “risk of terrorism” but that’s  limited to individuals or very small groups that are not terribly sophisticated”.

“There have been about 15-18 arrests of people with terrorist paraphernalia and the wherewithal to put them together. Often they have bought the components, but haven’t actually put them together. They see the race war as a matter of time, and want to be prepared.”

Big brave EDL supporters pick on a young Muslim woman.

Big brave EDL supporters pick on a young Muslim woman.

As for Tommy Robinson, he plans to continue talking about the dangers he thinks go hand in hand with Islamism. “I have a passion to combat Islamist ideology and I want to lead a revolution against that ideology, but I don’t want to lead a revolution against Muslims.”

Of course, some wonder what has brought this change in Robinson.  The EDL have always had a problem with Muslims. I reckon we should keep an eye on Robinson.  Leopards’ spots don’t change overnight.  And of course it will be interesting to see what the EDL do now.

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US drone attacks are war crimes claims Amnesty International

October 22, 2013

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have released a report claiming that US drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen are war crimes.  The report is issued in conjunction with an investigation by Human Rights Watch detailing missile attacks in Yemen which the group believes could contravene the laws of armed conflict, international human rights law and Barack Obama’s own guidelines on dronesAmnesty International has highlighted the case of a grandmother who was killed while she was picking vegetables and other incidents which could have broken international laws designed to protect civilians.

The reports are being published while  Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif,, is in Washington. Sharif has promised to tell Obama that the drone strikes – which have caused outrage in Pakistan – must end.

Drone strikes are being launched by the CIA into the contentious Pakistani border tribal areas, where it is very difficult to get info.  There are numerous militants in these areas. (How  secret now eh!) People are often terrified of speaking out, fearing retribution from both militants and the state, which is widely suspected of colluding with the CIA-led campaign.  But, from the Guardian:

Amnesty mounted a major effort to investigate nine of the many attacks to have struck the region over the last 18 months, including one that killed 18 labourers in North Waziristan as they waited to eat dinner in an area of heavy Taliban influence in July 2012. All those interviewed by Amnesty strongly denied any of the men had been involved in militancy. Even if they were members of a banned group, that would not be enough to justify killing them, the report said.

When Obama was running for the office of president, he wooed voters with promises that military action in the Afghan/Pakistan area would be wound down. But the attacks go on. He promised to close the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay. But it’s still up and running, regularly subjecting inmates to “rigorous interrogation” (torture to you and me); and of course there are the secret CIA prisons worldwide, where we don’t know the inmates, the charges, the evidence, nothing. And the secret courts, where suspects are convicted on the basis of secret evidence that the defence can’t even look at.

barack_obama_frown

I know I’ve said I’m tired of all the drone shit in the news nowadays, and that I would try to avoid going on about them. But I saw this story and knew I had to share it. This demonstrates that Obama’s “anti-war” sentiments when he ran for presidential office were a bunch of bullshit. He loves fighting wars (not in person, of course, the cowardly custard tart), and semi-autonomous, remote controlled drones are perfect for him: they can carry out airstrikes and assassinations without running the risk of more soldiers come home in body bags. FFS America, why do you want this moron “ruling the free world”? Every drone strike causes anti-American sentiment to grow more and more. Get rid of your president – I don’t really care how, buy you have to do something!

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Don’t give unwanted food to the hungry – just throw it away!

October 21, 2013
Tesco - Every little helps... but won't help anyone who needs it

Tesco – Every little helps… but won’t help anyone who needs it

Tesco are throwing away huge amounts of unwanted food.  They have revealed their food waste figures, revealing that 68% of salad to be sold in bags is thrown out.  They also confessed that 40% of apples were wasted, and just under half of bakery items.  A quarter of grapes are wasted between the vine and the fruit bowl and a fifth of all bananas are unused – with customers throwing one in 10 in the bin.

So, what does Tesco plan to do about this appalling waste?  Are they going to give food to homeless people, day centres, or night shelters, people who could really use the produce?  No:  they’re going to change their packaging, remove “display until” dates from fresh fruit and vegetables, and tell their in-store bakeries to “aim for better stock control and less waste.”

This is nothing new.  Years ago I lived in a series of squats, and it was standard practice to go to supermarkets and rifle through the skips round the back.  We usually found loads of produce that had been thrown away because it had reached its “best before” dates.  Obviously, some “out of date” food can’t be used: dairy products, for instance, go off quickly, and it doesn’t take long for fresh vegetables to stop being “fresh”.  But there were usually lots of stuff that was still okay.  Pies and pasties, pizzas, oven meals, some of the fruit, yogurts, mousses, dented cans – one time I found 20 cans of beer in a Leo’s (now Cooperative) skip.  A couple of mates were arrested on their way back home from the skip with loads of defrosting frozen chickens, and Leo’s actually wanted them to be prosecuted.  Claiming that the chickens should be considered to be worth the amount they would have sold for if they hadn’t been chucked!  So my mates were charged; but they pleaded not guilty and elected for trial by jury – ie at Crown Court.  A cunning strategy: when their case came up the judge dismissed all charges, furious that the court’s time (and his golf-playing time) was being wasted to prosecute people for stealing garbage!

This made Leo’s very unhappy.  They were determined to stop us from stealing their unwanted produce, and actually had a big cage erected to secure their skips.  But the cage had a big gap, to allow the skips’ lids to be raised, and it didn’t take us long to figure out how to get in and out of the cages, still taking bagfuls of perfectly good food.  Finally, Leo’s staff cut open all packaging going into the skip then pouring bleach over everything.  A local day centre for the homeless and vulnerable heard about it all, and they asked Leo’s if they could have the food rather than it being taken away to use as land-fill.  The supermarket management replied that they wouldn’t give away any of it but that the day centre could buy it!

It seems no supermarket wants to give away their waste, not where I lived anyway.  I think Marks & Spencer gave some stuff to the day centre;  but their skips always contained a bonanza of “rubbish”, and if staff saw anyone in the bins they would send out uniformed goons to chase us off.

So, why are the supermarkets so mean about this?  I know some skip-raiders leave a mess, but my mates and I never did.  And there were occasions when I’d find someone else had left a mess and I’d tidy up before I left.  But supermarkets put up high fences and lock the gates to keep out the skip-raiders, and of course nowadays in our surveillance state they have CCTV cameras covering the skip areas.  I’m glad I don’t have to rely on skips any more, but there are more needy people nowadays and with benefit cuts and the recession and all they rely on salvage and scavenging more than I ever did.

I understand that some people hate the poor and think it’s an affront if a beggar asks them for “spare change”.  But I find it hard to get my head round the fact that people don’t want anyone to take their unwanted garbage.  If you don’t want something and have thrown it in the bin so it will be taken away for land-fill, why would you go out of your way to keep it safe from the hungry poor?  Seriously, if you are one of the selfish brigade, please explain your rationale in Comments.  I’d really like to see what people have to say on this matter.

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Taking donations now

October 19, 2013

I’ve been maintaining this blog since 2007, and of course it’s completely free to use.  But of course I have an offline life too, and a couple of quid here and there can make a lot of difference to me and my dog Deedee.

My dog Deedee.  Ain't she cute?

My dog Deedee. Ain’t she cute?

So anyway, if you’re feeling kind-hearted, all warm and fuzzy,  click on the “Make A Donation” button and donate £2.  It’s not much, but it’ll make Deedee happier.  I’ll actually have some cash to buy food for her, after I’ve blown all of my own cash on booze and women!  😉  Kidding of course, but what else would you expect from me?  :p

Anyway, if you fancy making me richer, click on the button.  And if you don’t… well, that’s okay too.  Well, it’s okay as far as I’m concerned, but I can’t guarantee that the dog won’t track you down and bite lumps off you!!

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Plebgate: ‘lying is good’, say the police.

October 15, 2013

Remember when Andrew Michell, the then-Government Chief Whip in the House of Commons, was forced to resign in the aftermath of the “Plebgate” row, where police officers claimed he had called them “fucking plebs”. The insinuation was that Mitchell was a liar: after a meeting a year after the Plebgate affair with Police Federation representives from the West Mercia, West Midlands and Warwickshire forces, Ken Mackaill, chairman of the West Mercia federation, said Mitchell’s position was untenable. He resigned a week later.

But it was later alleged that they lied about what went on in the meeting – which had been taped – in order to support their colleagues in London. They were accused of deliberately misrepresenting the meeting and calling Mitchell’s integrity into question. There are even murmurings about a conspiracy to get rid of Mitchell.

IPCC deputy chair Deborah Glass said on Tuesday (15 October) the officers should face disciplinary panels to decide whether they lied. She said:

“In my view the evidence is such that a panel should determine whether the three officers gave a false account of the meeting in a deliberate attempt to support their MPS (Metropolitan police service) colleague and discredit Mr Mitchell, in pursuit of a wider agenda.

“In my opinion the evidence indicates an issue of honesty and integrity, not merely naive or poor professional judgment.”

If the IPCC has elected to investigate the case themselves, they would have the power to direct the forces to convene misconduct proceedings but have chosen not to exercise these powers. The Crown Prosecution Service is to review the relevant proof; but no officers are going to be prosecuted, are they? If the police can get away with murdering innocent bystanders (think Jean Charles de Menezes or Ian Tomlinson, or any victim of police brutality) what chance does Mitchell have? Very little. Keir Starmer, the director of public prosecutions, said at the weekend prosecutors would come to a decision on whether any officers or members of the public should be charged “as soon as we can”. I think we can all assume what that means.

Please comment on this story, it would be good to know what public opinion is about police dishonesty. There’s a Comment button below. 😉

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