Friday, July 23, 2010
British taxpayer must fund balls and comedy workshops for criminals??
The Tory Left is really squishy. Margaret Thatcher called them "wets"
A Tory minister has provoked fury with an astonishing declaration that taxpayers should fund comedy workshops and party nights for prisoners. Crispin Blunt also set out how he planned to scrap harsh indefinite sentences for the country's most depraved criminals.
The prisons minister was immediately accused of damaging the Conservatives' reputation as the party of law and order.
Mr Blunt revealed he had overturned a ban on publicly funded jollies for prisoners - brought in following condemnation of a horror-themed fancy dress party for women inmates, including seven convicted killers.
The restriction, which explicitly ruled out events likely to outrage the public, had also been a response to revelations that an Al Qaeda terrorist was given lessons on how to be a stand-up comic while at a high-security prison. But Mr Blunt branded the guidance, introduced in 2008, 'damaging and daft' and revoked it.
He also indicated an end to sentences which allow judges to lock up indefinitely thousands of the country's worst offenders - including rapists, paedophiles and murderers. Known as Indeterminate Sentences for Public Protection - or IPPs - they ensure the worst criminals are kept behind bars for life unless they prove that they are no longer a threat to the public.
However, Mr Blunt said too many IPP sentences, brought in under Labour, were handed out, adding that locking people up and throwing away the key was 'not the answer'.
The disturbing moves follow the announcement by Justice Secretary Ken Clarke that thousands of offenders will be given community sentences instead of short jail terms.
Former Justice Secretary Jack Straw, who introduced the ban on unacceptable events, condemned the impact on victims and said the law-abiding public would be 'incredulous'.
In a speech to prison reform groups, Mr Blunt, 50, also claimed - astonishingly - that in overturning the ban he was acting in the spirit of Winston Churchill. He even quoted a speech the famous war leader gave 100 years ago, in which he advocated cultural events for inmates.
But Churchill, a noted prison reformer, was arguing simply that inmates should be able to hear performances from military bands or lectures from prominent public speakers.
Mr Blunt said: 'We recognise that arts activities can play a valuable role in helping offenders to address issues such as communication problems and low self-esteem and enabling them to engage in programmes that address their offending behaviour.
Mr Blunt's proposed abolition of IPP sentences - which could come into effect in a matter of months - will be welcomed by Left-wing prison reform groups who have described them as 'ferocious and unjust'.
But it will raise concerns that killers and child abusers could be given softer punishments and be released earlier. Those currently serving IPP sentences include Tracey Connelly, the mother of Baby P.
Backbench Tory MP Douglas Carswell said: 'I think Tory ministers have to decide pretty quickly, are they there to run the Criminal Justice System in the interests of those who work for it or are they there to run it in the interests of the law abiding of the country?
'If they carry on running the Criminal Justice System in the interests of those who work in it and their leftist agenda then I do not think they can survive as the party of law and order for very much longer.' ...
By dropping a ban on prisoner parties and abolishing IPP sentences, he appears intent on antagonising both the public and members of his own party.
Is he polluted by the presence of so many Liberal Democrats in the Coalition? Or is he just following the controversial lead set by his boss Justice Secretary Ken Clarke, who has set his face against the old Tory mantra that 'prison works'.
Mr Clarke has already enraged many on the Right with his stated desire to reduce the prison population, review the need for short sentences and his recent claim that locking up criminals has no link to the falling crime rate.
Perhaps Mr Blunt is again simply playing the obedient soldier, following his reckless commanding officer through a political minefield.
Spineless Australian justice system encourages further crime
The thug himself says so. Previous experience with the courts left him with no fear of the justice system
A YOUNG armed robber who slit a teenager's throat on a tram later said he'd wanted to eat his victim's heart, police say.
The 18-year-old also bragged on Facebook that he had been on bail at the time of the attack.
This week the teen, who cannot be identified because of his age, pleaded guilty to charges over his random attack on a 15-year-old boy. According to a police summary tendered before Melbourne Magistrates' Court, the boy told his victim he was the "king of Melbourne", saying: "I'm with (street gangs) MTS and LBK. "Don't start crying or I'll slit your throat." He then rummaged through the victim's school bag and his pockets, stealing items including a mobile phone and iPod nano.
"The accused then stood up, grabbed the left side of the victim's head with one hand and tilted his head exposing his neck," the summary says. "With his right hand, the accused ran the knife over the victim's neck cutting him from the left side of his neck to his chin, causing the victim to bleed.
The attacker later boasted on Facebook that he "had a stabbing and a robbery and assault pending. And I still got bailed. The dumb slut of a judge ha ha ha".
The victim's mother, who didn't want to be identified, told the Herald Sun yesterday she was "outraged" the attacker had been freed on bail. "This didn't have to happen to my son. What happened to my son is tragic - he is still suffering psychologically," she said, saying he was too traumatised to speak.
She said the attacker should serve the maximum penalty for his crime, and in an adult jail, not youth detention....
Later he told police: "My lawyer is gonna get me off all this s--- anyway, so I'm gonna laugh at youse when youse are at my court case." The boy pleaded guilty to armed robbery, intentionally causing injury, making a threat to kill, and threatening to inflict serious injury.
The teen attacker will appear in the County Court for a pre-sentence plea hearing in November.
NYC mosque: Anywhere But Here
Plans to build a mosque and Islamic center just 200 meters from the former site of the World Trade Center where 3,000 people died in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks are not merely inappropriate, they are an outrage.
This isn’t about some sort of reconciliation between Muslims and their New York neighbors, it’s the equivalent of plunging a dagger into the very heart of America. If the Muslim community had any sense of compassion for the feelings of their fellow Americans, they’d find someplace else to build their mosque. Instead, they choose a site that forever serves as a reminder of that fatal blow against the American people.
Incredibly, the proposed $100 million development is located at the site of the former Burlington Coat Factory in Lower Manhattan, which closed after the landing gear from one of the 9/11 planes hit the building. It is about 200 meters from World Trade Center, where 3,000 people died in the terrorist attack.
Do the members of the Muslim community have any idea of how the American people feel about the site of that cowardly attack on the World Trade Center buildings? Do they not understand that the site itself stands as an indictment of the perfidy of the 9/11 sneak attack and is the least appropriate site for a Muslim religious complex that will stand as a stark reminder of that attack and the people behind it?
The proposed mosque will be part of what is known as the Cordoba House project, a 13-story Muslim community center planned to include a theater and sports facilities, including a swimming pool.
I agree with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin who asked “peace-seeking Muslims, to try to understand that a Ground Zero mosque is unnecessary provocation; it stabs hearts."
That fact failed to impress Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), who is reported to have said “there is controversy and there are parties that have a political agenda and want to intimidate the American people against the mosque project which has not yet begun.” He singled out Republican Congressman Peter King, whose opinion, he said, “should not be considered because his ideas are extreme.
Rep. King, the ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, said he favors an investigation into the funding of a proposed mosque near ground zero and has demanded an investigation into the financing of the center. He wants to know who is really footing the bill for the 100 million dollar project.
"It's a house of worship, but we are at war with al-Qaida," King told the AP. "I think the 9/11 families have a right to know where the funding comes from; I think there are significant questions.
"Right at this moment in history, it's bad form to put it there," he said. "There are things you are allowed to do, but that aren't appropriate to do."
According to Imam Abdul Rauf, the Islamic center would be financed through contributions from Muslims here in the United States, and by donations from various Arab and Islamic countries. He admits that building a Mosque, due to accommodate some 2,000 worshippers, has stirred heated controversy and criticism from families of 9/11 victims.
That’s putting it mildly. Many of the 9/11 victims’ families have voiced strong objections to the proposed mosque. Evelyn Pettigano, whose sister died on 9/11, told the Associated Press: “I'm not prejudiced…it's too close to the area where our family members were murdered."
And said the mother of a New York City firefighter who died as well: "I think it's despicable, and I think it's atrocious that anyone would even consider allowing them to build a mosque near the World Trade Center." If this project is allowed to continue, Mohamed Atta WINS!!! That pretty much says it all.
Secretive web-snooping plan by Australia's Leftist Federal government
The federal government has censored approximately 90 per cent of a secret document outlining its controversial plans to snoop on Australians' web surfing, obtained under freedom of information (FoI) laws, out of fear it could cause "premature unnecessary debate".
The government has been consulting with the internet industry over the proposal, which would require ISPs to store certain internet activities of all Australians - regardless of whether they have been suspected of wrongdoing - for law enforcement agencies to access. All parties to the consultations have been sworn to secrecy.
Industry sources have claimed that the controversial regime could go as far as collecting the individual web browsing history of every Australian internet user, a claim denied by the Attorney-General Robert McClelland's spokesman.
The exact details of the web browsing data the government wants ISPs to collect are contained in the document released to this website under FoI, which was handed out to industry during a secret briefing it held with them in March.
But from the censored document released, it is impossible to know how far the government is planning to take the policy.
The government is hiding the plans from the public and it appears to want to move quickly on industry consultation, asking for participants to respond within only one month after it had held the briefings.
The Attorney-General's Department legal officer, FoI and Privacy Section, Claudia Hernandez, wrote in her decision in releasing the highly-censored document that the release of some sections of it “... may lead to premature unnecessary debate and could potentially prejudice and impede government decision making”.
Hernandez said that the material in question related to information the department was "currently weighing up and evaluating in relation to competing considerations that may have a bearing on a particular course of action or decision".
"More specifically, it is information concerning the development of government policy which has not been finalised, and there is a strong possibility that the policy will be amended prior to public consultation," she wrote.
Further, she said that although she had acknowledged the public's right to "participate in and influence the processes of government decision making and policy formulation ... the premature release of the proposal could, more than likely, create a confusing and misleading impression".
"In addition, as the matters are not settled and proposed recommendations may not necessarily be adopted, release of such documents would not make a valuable contribution to public debate.”
Hernandez went further to say that she considered disclosure of the document uncensored "could be misleading to the public and cause confusion and premature and unnecessary debate”.
“In my opinion, the public interest factors in favour of release are outweighed by those against," Hernandez said.
The "data retention regime" the government is proposing to implement is similar to that adopted by the European Union after terrorist attacks several years ago.
Greens Communications spokesman Scott Ludlam said the excuse not to release the proposal in full was “extraordinary”. Since finding out about the scheme, he has launched a senate inquiry into it and other issues.
“The idea that its release could cause 'premature' or 'unnecessary' debate is not going to go down well with the thousands of people who have been alarmed by the direction that government is taking,” he said in a telephone interview.
“I would really like to know what the government is hiding in this proposal,” he said, adding that he hoped that the Attorney-General's Department would be “more forthcoming” about the proposal in the senate inquiry into privacy he pushed for in June.
Online users' lobby group Electronic Frontiers Australia spokesman Colin Jacobs said what was released was "a joke". "We have to assume the worse," he said. "And that is that the government has been badgering the telcos with very aggressive demands that should worry everybody.”
Jacobs said that the onus was now on government to “explain what data they need, what problem it solves, and just as importantly, why it can’t be done in an open process”.
“The more sensitive the process and the data they want, the more transparent the government needs to be about why it wants that data,” he said. “Nobody could argue that public consultation ... would somehow help criminals,” he added.
“We have to turn the age old question back on the government: if you don’t have anything to hide, then you shouldn’t be worried about people having insight into the consultation.
“This is a very sensitive and important issue. It raises huge questions about privacy, data security, and the burden of increased costs to smaller internet service providers. What really needs to be debated is what particular information they want, because that’s where the privacy issue rears its ugly head,” he said.
According to one internet industry source, the release of the highly-censored document was “illustrative of government's approach to things where they don’t want people to know what they’re thinking in advance of them getting it ready to package for public consumption,” the source said. “And that’s worrying.”
The Attorney General Robert McClelland's spokesman declined to comment, referring comment to the department. The department said it had "nothing to add" to the FOI letter it provided.
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.