Saturday, June 21, 2008

Evil British police again

A one-legged Royal Navy veteran was arrested after he rescued his neighbour from being harassed by two men. Stephen Beerling, 52, dialled 999 and raced to help the women and her baby after hearing screams during the night. But he was arrested when officers spotted a retractable truncheon he had picked up in case he had to protect himself.

Mr Beerling, a Liberal Democrat councillor, was arrested, locked up for 12 hours and charged with possessing an offensive weapon. He told of his ordeal yesterday after learning the Crown Prosecution Service had decided to drop the charge against him. Mr Beerling, of Maidstone, Kent, said: ' I am relieved, but very disappointed it even came to this. I don't blame the police but maybe they should have used their noggin. Perhaps they were a little inexperienced. The blame lies with the CPS - I just cannot understand why they wanted to press charges.'

Mr Beerling said the drama began at 2.30am on March 19 when he was woken by screams from his next door neighbour and her baby, and the sound of men shouting. He called police and strapped on the false leg he has worn since his leg was amputated in March 2004 while he was still serving with the Royal Navy. Aware he was probably outnumbered, he picked up the telescopic truncheon and put it in his back pocket. Mr Beerling then hurried downstairs and went outside where he said his neighbour was being harassed by two men.

He tried to calm the men down while he waited for police. Officers later arrested both suspects and charged them with affray. But then they also arrested him when they saw the truncheon. Mr Beerling was taken to Maidstone police station, kept in a cell overnight and charged. His case was due at crown court this week but on Wednesday the CPS decided to drop the charge.

The former sailor said: 'When they tried to open the truncheon, it was all rusted up. I've had it for years and it's just been in a drawer. 'It could be classed as an offensive weapon if it was taken out in public and used with intent. I hadn't even taken it out of my pocket. 'But I wouldn't think twice about stepping in to help people again. I could not have stood by and let it go. 'The most important thing for right-thinking people is to stand up to criminals who blight our society.'

Kent Police and Senior Crown Prosecutor Janet Garnon-Williams said in a statement: 'A decision has been taken jointly to discontinue the case as there is not a realistic prospect of conviction.' A police spokesman said the two men arrested with Mr Beerling were charged with affray, but the cases were later dropped. One was charged with possession of cannabis and fined 100 pounds by Maidstone magistrates.


More British "safety" idiocy

Sports day cancelled because uneven playing field is a health and safety risk. But it's much better for kids to learn not to trip over things when they are young. It's part of growing up

A school sports day has been cancelled over health and safety fears, because teaching staff are worried that the children could trip up on the uneven playing field. The head teacher of Holmbush First School in Shoreham, West Sussex, has written to parents to tell them that the annual event has been called off to avoid accidents. Rebecca Jackson told them that the surface of the school's playing field could be "too dangerous" for the traditional sack, egg-and-spoon, wheelbarrow and three-legged races. She said there were concerns that cracks and holes in the surface could cause the young pupils to "trip or fall".

But parents have said the decision to ban sports day, which was scheduled for July 14, is "ludicrous". Louise Powell, 32, a physiotherapist, was unimpressed when her daughter Maisie, five, came home from school with the letter. She said: "The school produces a newsletter every month. The latest issue said they've cancelled sports day for health and safety issues because the ground is uneven. "I'm absolutely furious because we were so looking forward to it. We were excited because it would have been Maisie's first sports day, it's really upset me. It's ludicrous. "I did sports day on ground that was uneven. Our playing field was on a slope and I know my husband did his on ground that was probably uneven. "When we were kids, you just got on with it." She added other parents and children were equally disappointed.

Another mum, who didn't want to be named, said: "Part of the fun of school sports days is running about and falling over all over the place - especially the three-legged race. "You are expected to fall over when you take part in a three-legged race, that's almost the point of it."

However, Mrs Jackson has defended the decision. She said the field, which has recently been acquired by the school, was used as farmland and is not yet ready for use by the 267 pupils. She said: "The school has not had a sports day before and we were hoping to organise one this year because we have had some playing field access. "But we have inspected the field and it's not yet ready to be used for sports day because of cracks and holes in the surface, which could be dangerous and cause children to trip or fall."


More on differing male/female brains

Women and men may genuinely think in different ways, according to research that has found subtle genetic variations between their brains. Hundreds of genes that are switched on and off differently in the male and female brain have been identified, suggesting that many patterns of behaviour regarded widely as typical of each sex could be founded on nature as well as nurture.

Dozens of mental traits and skills are said to differ between men and women. They include empathy, aggression, risk-taking, navigation and the qualities that are valued most in a sexual partner.

The existence of such differences is now widely accepted, but natural and social scientists have long disagreed about the extent to which they are rooted in our underlying biology, or are learnt through male and female social roles. Women are generally more accomplished than men at empathising with other people, and usually score as more compassionate on standard personality tests. Men are more prone to aggression and risk-taking behaviour, and tend to be proficient at understanding and devising systems, from car engines to the offside law.

While there are no sex differences in general intelligence, women tend to have stronger visual memories, while men are more proficient at visualising objects when rotated in space. It has been suggested that this may reflect the way most men like to navigate by reading maps, while many women prefer to remember landmarks.

Such observations have led Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, of the University of Cambridge, to suggest the existence of "empathising-type" and "systemising-type" brains, the first of which is more common among men and the second among women. Professor Baron-Cohen said: "This is a very original study, testing which genes are expressed differently in males and females across different primate species. It confirms the supposition that genetic sex differences are expressed not just in the secondary sexual characteristics in the body, but in the brain. "Finding genes that are conserved across species points to the evolution of these genetic sex differences, and finding them in the brain suggests that they may in part influence the way the mind works, and in part influence our behaviour."

Men and women also differ in their approach to finding sexual partners. Men generally place a higher value on youth and good looks, while women are often more attracted by status.

The new study, led by Elena Jazin, of the University of Uppsala in Sweden, does not directly prove that any of these traits is related to differences in gene activity, but it shows a contrasting genetic architecture of male and female brains that could plausibly contribute. While the two sexes have the same basic genes, many of these are more active in the brains of only one sex. These gender-specific patterns of gene expression could affect many aspects of behaviour, the researchers said.

"The obvious question to follow is whether or not these signatures of sex in the brain have physiological significance for brain physiology and/or behaviour," they wrote in the journal Public Library of Science Genetics. "Our results suggest that variation in expression of genes in the brain may be an important component of behavioural variation within as well as between species." The differences could also explain sex variations in mental health and neurological diseases: women, for instance, are more at risk of depression and Alzheimer's.

"Knowledge about gender differences is important for many reasons," Dr Jazin said. "For example, this information may be used in the future to calculate medical dosages, as well as for other treatments of diseases or damage to the brain."The scientists said that their work needed to be followed up to examine whether any human behavioural or health differences were related to the sex-specific gene expression profiles.


A separate orthodox branch is justified by homosexual bishops, say Conservative Anglicans

A new "orthodox" movement must be created within the Anglican Communion because of the divisive issue of homosexual clergy, claims a leading traditionalist. Dr Peter Jensen, the Archbishop of Sydney, said Anglican leaders in America had driven the worldwide church to the brink of schism by ordaining the first openly gay bishop, the Rt Rev Gene Robinson, in 2003.

He insisted he and other conservatives were trying to preserve the Communion and remain faithful to scripture by proposing new structures. Dr Jensen said, at the start of a breakaway summit in Jerusalem: "If there is a schism we believe it is the North American churches that have rent the Communion and it is us who are trying to renew the Communion."

As The Daily Telegraph reported yesterday, a document produced by the leaders of the Gafcon conference states that "there is no longer any hope for a unified Communion" because of divisions over homosexual clergy and same-sex unions. Some hardliners say the only way they can remain faithful to scripture is through "amputation" from the Archbishop of Canterbury and the establishment of a new wing outside the existing church.

However Dr Jensen said the crisis over sexuality would just lead to a "realignment" in the balance of power to Africa and South America and a new movement within the Communion. He said issues such as homosexual clergy are of "such monumental significance'' that the creation of a new orthodox branch was justified.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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