Posts Tagged ‘crime’

Jack Straw versus the paedo gangs and lots of other people

January 9, 2011

Jack Straw sparks controversy again for ‘telling it like it is’.

Case against Straw:

  • Any decent politician should avoid  inflaming racial tensions through stereotyping and other simplistic analyses
  • I slightly suspect Straw’s motives when this seems to have been a longstanding problem he didn’t focus on whilst a senior figure in government

However, case against his critics:

  • Is there any way of identifying a phenomenon being prevalent amongst a certain demographic group without being labeled a racist by self-righteous morons who would apparently prefer these instances of criminal activity to be ignored rather than addressed?
  • The sensitivities of vaguely defined ‘communities’ should not trump the needs of the very real victims of the sexual grooming being organised by gangs.




‘Nazi Boy’ Mark Collett now trying to emulate von Stauffenberg?

April 4, 2010

A wonderfully wacky news story is breaking. Mark Collett, Nick Griffin’s BNP protegé and the party’s publicity director, has been arrested! For issuing death threats! To NICK GRIFFIN!!

Mark Collett of course famously told a documentary crew making a programme about the BNP yoof contingent (‘Young, Nazi and Proud’) that “Hitler will live forever and maybe I will too”.

It’s now emerging that Collett has got himself involved in a bid to oust Griffin as BNP Führer. In fact, to oust him to such an extent that he would be ‘an ex-BNP leader, this BNP leader has ceased to be!’

Perhaps Collett – convinced that getting rid of the dictator and bringing in fresh leadership was the only hope of victory – wanted to organise a BNP version of the 20 July plot.

Fascinating stuff. Hopefully it can only undermine the BNP’s election campaign.

Easter Message

April 4, 2010

On this, the day when we celebrate magic baby Jesus miraculously sharing a handful of chocolate eggs amongst 5000 people before getting crucified and then coming back from the dead for a brief comeback tour, it seems appropriate to reflect upon matters of spirituality.

Pope Celestine V (c.1209 – 1296) retired because he couldn’t handle the papal pressure. Having lived for decades as a hermit, he had originally tried to run away when the bishops decided to make him pope (presumably there was a lack of decent alternative candidates back in 1294). After just five months in the job he quit as he wanted to return to his hermit cave.

But although he abdicated his position Celestine wasn’t allowed to enjoy his retirement. His papal successor had him put in prison and was probably responsible for bumping him off in 1296. Poor old Celestine.

The point of this story is that there is a precedent for retiring popes. Ergo, if Benedict XVI feels very bad for allowing as Archbishop of Munich a known paedophile priest to be assigned to pastoral duties where he continued to abuse children, he could always consider calling it a day.

“The buck has to start somewhere”, the Pope could declare, “and to demonstrate that we are serious about making amends for the many years of covering-up these criminal activities it is obvious that all those tainted by the scandals need to go and new leadership brought in”.

However, having the preacher to the papal household compare the current criticism of the Catholic Church to the “most shameful aspects of anti-Semitism” (a bit of an odd thing to say considering the controversy around Pope Pius’s conduct during WW2) suggests that the Pope and his team won’t contemplate the Celestine strategy.

Tory inconsistency.

January 29, 2010

Yesterday a topical debate took place in the House of Commons to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

MPs from all parties were – quite rightly – speaking of the importance of remembering the Holocaust and other acts of genocide and of never being complacent about the possibility of such events taking place again.

Tory MP Bob Neill, a Shadow Minister, talked about his visit to Auschwitz. He said that he returned from the visit (organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust) on the same day that Nick Griffin, the filthy fash leader of the BNP, was appearing on the ‘Question Time’ panel.

Neill thought this “particularly obscene juxtaposition” demonstrated how vital it was to be vigilant against Nazi-like extremists who want to spread racial hatred and undermine our democratic, tolerant society.

Labour MP David Winnick then asked:

Does the hon. Gentleman accept that although immigration is a perfectly legitimate subject for debate-no one is suggesting otherwise, certainly not myself-there should be particular care in the coming general election about how the debate is conducted? It must be very far from the BNP. If we are talking about discrimination and the persecution of Jews, we must bear in mind that as we saw in Stoke last Saturday, there are also other groups in this country who are subject to racist thugs who will use any sort of lie against the Muslim community.

To which Bob Neill sensibly replied:

The hon. Gentleman is right. That is why it is important first that the mainstream democratic parties are not afraid to address these issues, but also that we set a lead in the tone and responsibility with which we do so. That is hugely important.

So that’s all well and good. Mainstream politicians recognise the dangers of irresponsible, rabble-rousing politicking and therefore promise to avoid doing anything that could encourage things like racism and persecution of minority groups. We’re all agreed on that then.

Except that only a few hours later Tory MP David Davies was getting pretty high scores on the irresponsibility-metre.

Davies speculated as to whether one individual rapist could have acted in the appalling way that he did because of his immigrant culture and the backward views towards women held amongst his community.

Idiot. Whilst it would be nice to see David Davies devote more time to improving women’s rights, there could hardly be a more perfect example of a mainstream democratic politician setting a low tone and using irresponsible arguments. BNPers would have surely nodded their heads enthusiastically upon hearing Davies’ thoughts on the matter.

Next time a white taxi driver gets banged up for similarly horrible crimes will Davies go on radio and start discussing the problem with the white taxi driver culture that leads them to commit rape?

Somehow I can’t imagine that happening. All this Tory inconsistency is truly nauseating.

Daily Mail celebrates the execution of Akmal Shaikh.

December 29, 2009

Remember how the Daily Mail provoked a storm of fury when they published an article by weirdo bigot Jan Moir speculating about Stephen Gately’s death only a few days after the singer kicked the bucket?

Well, they’ve stooped to a similar level, if not even lower. Akmal Shaikh was executed less than 12 hours ago but today’s Daily Mail contains an article by Leo McKinstry entitled ‘Sorry not to join the liberal wailing: heroin traffickers deserve to die’.

It is full of the usual Daily Mail gibberish about “the human rights brigade” being responsible for crime and describes Akmal Shaikh as “amoral, selfish, and irresponsible”. Because laying the boot into someone killed earlier today is the moral, selfless, and responsible thing to do, eh Leo?

This being the Daily Mail, it’s impossible for the article to gain the editor’s approval without any references to celebrities. It is therefore accompanied by a big picture of Kate Moss and McKinstry predictably rants about drug-abusing celebs not being given meaningful punishments. Will McKinstry next be calling for Moss, Doherty, Winehouse and Michael to face a firing squad as punishment for their indiscretions? Surely that would act as a deterrent, following his logic!

On a more serious note: McKinstry’s argument (if it can be called that) would work better if there was evidence that China’s killing of drug traffickers was actually helping to stop people using heroin there. He can’t provide any – I certainly can’t find any. Even if I could, I don’t think we should trust any data coming out of a country run by a single party dictatorship. It is bizzare that McKinstry pours so much bile on our liberal, human rights-respecting legal system and is instead so enthusiastic about an authoritarian Communist state’s approach to dispensing justice. 

As for McKinstry’s boring claim that the death penalty lowers crime rates, well, zzzzz. Correlation does not equal causation. McKinstry writes that there were fewer murders and crimes in the 1950s when Britain still had the death penalty. Aside from improvements over time in police data-keeping and recording crime (which means of course the numbers will go up), McKinstry can’t back-up his argument that abolishing the death penalty led to more crimes being committed. You could just as well posit that mass ownership of televisions in the 1960s messed with people’s minds and increased criminality.

It would also help McKinstry’s rant if countries with the death penalty (such as China and the USA) had lower crime rates than Britain and if the safest, most crime-free countries weren’t ones where the death penalty has been abolished (places like New Zealand, Finland, Denmark).

McKinstry’s article is so outrageous and stupid I find it hard to believe he genuinely believes in what he’s writing. Perhaps he instead felt he needed to raise his profile a bit. I hadn’t heard of him previously. Similarly, I wasn’t aware of Jan Moir existence before her controversial piece – maybe McKinstry’s trying to repeat the trick? Daily Mail columnists often like to lecture everyone about morality but their primary motive is almost certainly a greedy craving for attention and the extra cash that can bring their way.

As FCO Minister Ivan Lewis said today: “Anybody with a modicum of compassion will be horrified” by Akmal Shaikh’s execution.

Clearly that does not apply to Leo McKinistry and the rest of the scum at the Daily Mail.

Tory concern for Attlee’s memory.

November 12, 2009

Tory blogmeister Iain Dale has a post about the Clement Attlee statue outside Limehouse Library. He is complaining that Labour have failed to treat Attlee’s statue with the respect it deserves.

There have been problems with hoodlums vandalising the statue and so it has spent many years boarded up for its own protection.

Despite the local authority – Tower Hamlets – being a Labour-controlled borough and despite Clement Attlee frequently winning the accolade of ‘top Labour leader of all time’, it has seemingly fallen to a Tower Hamlets Tory councillor to lead a campaign for the statue’s repair.

I’d be interested in hearing the local comrades’ point-of-view before joining in the Conservative condemnation of the Labour Party for neglecting to properly honour the memory of this socialist politician.

It has to be said: good on Dale and the Tory councillor for drawing attention to the statue.

However, reading some of the comments left on Dale’s post it is clear that not all Tories agree with the idea of respecting Attlee:

Rush-is-Right said…

Iain, are you really saying that Atlee was a great man who should be honoured?

The man who oversaw the pissing away of the Marshall Plan aid money, the creation of the monstrosity that is the NHS, and nationalised the railways, the mines and goodness knows whatever else?

Are you mad?

Pete Moore said…

Crush the statue, melt it down, do anything but unveil again an image of the disastrous Attlee, leader of (still) the greatest bunch of collectivist thieves in our history.

For thirty five years our people suffered under his socialist legacy. May God damn him.

Whilst some Tories do the decent thing and recognise Attlee’s positive contribution to Britain, other Nasty Party elements should perhaps be considered the prime suspects for the acts of vandalism on the statue?

Mayor of Balitmore responds to Grayling’s silliness with a reference to Midsomer Murders

August 27, 2009

Mayoral statement on crime

This week I was alerted to a speech made by a Member of the British Parliament, a Mr Chris Grayling, who suggested his country should fear becoming like our city of Baltimore as portrayed in the HBO series, The Wire. We all watched The Wire and while it was sometimes a heart-breaking reflection of reality, it was in the main, merely entertaining fiction.

The television show failed to reflect the best we have in this city, our sense of community, our hospitality and our proud history and culture. To present a television show as the real Baltimore is to perpetuate a fiction that dishonours our city. It is as pointless as boasting that Baltimore has a per capita homicide rate a fraction of that in the popular UK television show Midsomer Murders.

The Baltimore Police Department is working hard to protect the people of this city and it should be remembered that The Wire was just a television show. As this video shows, there is so much more to Baltimore than The Wire.
Mayor Sheila Dixon
City of Baltimore


Sir Charles James Napier and negotiating the dilemmas of multiculturalism

July 25, 2009

An eight-year-old girl of Liberian origin in the States has suffered the horrific ordeals of being raped and then consequently of being abandoned by her family.

They are apparently claiming that according to their cultural traditions she has brought shame upon them and so must be shunned. The girl is now in the care of social services.

Here in London a man has been hospitalised after a gang attacked him with acid and stabbed him. He was seemingly targeted because he was having an affair with a married Muslim woman who was not his wife. The woman also needs police protection.

A spokesman from the Active Change Foundation has said: “Honour crime happens a lot in our community, especially the Pakistani community, but we try to educate the people. It’s a cultural thing that comes from back home”.

Of course such extreme and dramatic stories are thankfully fairly rare, but the prevelance of forced marriages, for example, indicates that these culture-clash issues cannot be ignored.

Now on one level such depressing reports highlight the difficulties that a multicultural society faces and lead to all kinds of headache-inducing questions.

At what point do we stop tolerating cultural diversity and instead start insisting on imposing core collective values on everybody, even if these contradict the sincere traditions of minority groups? How can we improve the integration of immigrant communities into the cultural mainstream without becoming overly assimiliationist and risk alienating them further?

Or perhaps such liberal agonising is unnecessary, for the words of Sir Charles James Napier (1782-1853) provide some straightforward advice on negotiating such cultural contentions.

As can be seen from his wiki entry, a story for which Napier is famous involves a delegation of Hindu locals approaching him and complaining about prohibition of Sati, often referred to at the time as suttee, by British authorities. This was the custom of burning widows alive on the funeral pyres of their husbands. The exact wording of his response varies somewhat in different reports, but the following version captures its essence:

“You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.”

A place for paedophiles?

April 20, 2009

Last night, the BBC’s excellent Louis Theroux tackled a topic generally avoided by analytical journalism. Louis’ film crew spent a considerable time in Coalinga Mental Hospital in California, documenting the programme the hospital has in place for the most serious sex offenders in California. There was a caution at the start that viewers may find aspects upsetting. This was an understatement of epic proportions. The programme throughout was disturbing but what it filmed shows how important it is consider these issues thoroughly. Our instinctive squeamishness gives the tabloid press space to disseminate misinformation.

Louis Theroux - San Quentin

Following the programme, I believe there are at least 5 major problems with the Coalinga scheme.

1. Double punishment – A noticeable feature of all the patients/inmates was their age. It was apparent that all had served long jail terms and their stay in Coalinga was being used as an alternative to release. I do not believe such a scheme would be possible in an ECHR jurisdiction. It seems the men were only told at the end of their jail term that instead of release they were obliged to stay at Coalinga.

2. Confusion of purpose – The California system works on 2 incompatible principles. When the offenders are sentenced to prison they are deemed to be personally culpable for their actions. Yet when it comes to their release they are being diagnosed with a mental condition which makes it unacceptably likely that will reoffend. If the second finding is correct, it presupposes that the offender was not sufficiently capable of resisting the urge to commit the initial offence(s). This is a perfect example of the system having a bob each way to ensure the greatest possible punishment.

3. Preoffenders – If, as the scheme suggests there are identifiable sexual disorders of the mind, why are they not seeking to discover members of the general population with these disorders? It seems the scheme has already determined that people with these disorders are unsafe to live at large. Why is the system restricted to those who have already committed an offence.

4. Effectiveness –  the findings of the scheme suggested that very few people are ever ‘cured’ of these sexual disorders. I am extremely sceptical that this offending pattern is caused by any clinical disorder. The failure of the scheme to ‘cure’ any but a handful of offenders seems to support this view.

5. Why sex offences? – The perhaps suprising aspect of criminal justice figures is that rates of recidivism for sexual offences is lower than almost any other category of offence. Surely these ‘rehabilitation’ schemes are targetting the wrong offences?

Tragically, despite the many obvious flaws, the Coalinga scheme has an undoubted appeal to it. The programme was shocking and the offences ‘treated’ at Coalinga destroy our most basic sense of justice. Many who watched the programme will clamour for Coalinga-style institutions to be rolled out across the UK. For my part I am confident this would never happen but it may raise awareness of how we monitor our most serious offenders on their release from custody.

Ian Tomlinson: Fresh Evidence

April 17, 2009

I have never been one to retreat from my views without good reason, however, it is clear that my previous post on the death of Ian Tomlinson requires updating. I had previously stated that I did not believe a shove and/or a baton strike were likely to have caused a heart attack. In the light of this I stated that I did not believe it right to prosecute the individual officer. Following the news today that Mr Tomlinson did not die of a heart attack but from abdominal bleeding my positon has changed.

There will now, rightly, be an investigation into whether the officer is guilty of manslaughter. The fresh evidence considerably increases the likelihood that the police assault was responsible for Mr Tomlinson’s tragic death. The investigation will be complex and determining causation will be tough. It is a matter for the experts who need to consider the facts dispassionately. I do not feel it is appropriate to pass further comment on the matter whilst the police investigation is ongoing. My previous views were based on clearly mistaken evidence and I hope they do not now seem disrespectful to the family of Mr Tomlinson. This news must add to the unimaginable grief and anger his family must be feeling at this time. If the officer is prosecuted, the G20 protests will represent a very dark day indeed in the history of the police.