Friday, July 02, 2010
Who are the real animals?
The British animal rights fanatics who waged a hate campaign against the fox attack family stand revealed today (and, oh yes, they're almost all supported by welfare payments). Nick and Pauline Koupparis with twins Isabella and Lola have received police protection because of the threats
The slur is particularly loathsome in the circumstances. For it is aimed at Pauline Koupparis, the mother of the twin girls mauled by a fox in their cots. 'What an attention-seeking wh**e this stupid woman is,' declares the poison pen author, an animal rights activist. 'If she is getting threats GOOD! I have no sympathy for her. I still think she is lying.'
'Stupid'... 'wh**e' ... 'liar' - this brutal vocabulary is part of a hate campaign being waged against Mrs Koupparis and is there, in black and white, for anyone to read on the internet.
Nick and Pauline Koupparis and twins attacked by fox
What could Mrs Koupparis possibly have done to deserve such a backlash? Nothing, apart from being confronted with a 'scene from a horror film' when she entered her daughters' bedroom at the family's £800,000 home in Hackney, East London, one Saturday night a few weeks ago - a nightmare Mr and Mrs Koupparis relived in their first full interview on BBC's Panorama last night.
'I put on the light,' recalled Mrs Koupparis, 40. 'I saw a fox - and it wasn't even scared of me. It just looked me straight in the eye. I started screaming after I saw blood on the girls.'
Most ludicrously of all, one contributor suggests 'Mrs Koupparis dressed up as a fox' to injure her daughters
In the immediate aftermath, one had only to see the anxiety etched on her face as she visited the youngsters in hospital to be convinced of the trauma she had endured.
Everyone, including detectives and the doctors who treated nine-month-olds Isabella and Lola, accepted Mrs Koupparis's account - because it was the truth, plain and simple.
Everyone, that is, except animal rights militants who began their campaign of hate as the story unfolded. Behind their wicked smears, which have left Pauline and Nick Koupparis feeling 'harangued and besieged', is the mentality of the lynch mob. And their wild theories are as bizarre as they are offensive.
Some have said the family dog attacked the children and that Mr and Mrs Koupparis covered it up so the animal would not have to be put down. The couple do not have a dog.
Others claimed the family used the case as propaganda to bring back fox hunting. The couple have no links to hunting.
Most offensively of all, some claimed on internet chat forums that the children were the victims of abuse, not an urban fox.
Then there were those who objected to the backlash against urban foxes which the story generated. One veiled threat reads: 'Save a fox, kill a baby.' Apparently, it was a sick joke, alluding to the fact a number of foxes in the neighbourhood were trapped and put down in the wake of the attack on the Koupparis girls. The implication being that the life of a fox is worth as much or more than that of a child to these fanatics.
The venomous posting resulted in the family being given police protection.
So what sick individuals could be behind such a campaign - and why would they target innocent victims such as the Koupparis family?
Once upon a time, the tactics employed against Pauline and Nick were reserved for those who worked - or were associated with - animal testing laboratories or who bred monkeys, guinea pigs or rabbits for medical research; not that this provides any justification. Today, however, it seems that anyone is fair game for the animal rights movement.
Only last month, panellists on Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time were subjected to threats simply for dispensing advice, in response to listeners, on how to kill garden pests such as moles and rats.
Then there is the head teacher from Kent who received death threats and excrement in the post over the slaughter of a sheep on the school farm. Never mind that the farm was established to educate pupils about food and where it came from and that the decision to kill the animal was taken following a vote by the children's school council.
Or how about Ian Watson, who set up a business in Hampshire to dispose humanely of squirrels, foxes and wasps - using methods approved by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. He runs a gauntlet of death threats and 'silent phone calls' on an almost daily basis. One recent anonymous email warned him: 'If I COULD [only] SNARE YOU AND SHOOT YOU IN THE HEAD!!!'
But it is the treatment of Mr and Mrs Koupparis that is perhaps the most shocking illustration of the chasm that separates normal animal-lovers and the zealots from the animal rights movement.
The individuals who 'targeted' the parents of baby Isabella and Lola - the twins have now returned home and are making a good recovery - may not be terrorists in the conventional sense of the term, but their warped mindset is very similar to religious fanatics....
Last year, seven animal rights extremists were jailed for a ruthless campaign of intimidation to force firms into ending their dealings with Cambridgeshire-based Huntingdon Life Science, which carries out animal testing for medical research.
Targeted workers discovered their neighbours had been sent letters claiming they were paedophiles.
Is what Pauline and Nick Koupparis have had to go through these past few harrowing weeks any less wicked, any less distressing?
This story is not about the plight of urban foxes. It never was. It's about two baby girls, who were left badly hurt and who may yet be left with life-changing facial injuries.
But to the likes of the malicious Maria Bartlett, a fox is worth more than a child. As she told us: 'I'm an animal lover. To me, an animal life is more important than a human one.'
Could there be a more damning or disturbing insight into the people who have caused so much unnecessary anguish for the Koupparis family?
Blizzard of new instructions that mean British police help drunks home safely as officers are buried in red tape
Police officers are being buried under a 'snowstorm' of official diktats spelling out how to perform the simplest tasks, it was claimed yesterday. Manuals have been drawn up to explain how to use handcuffs and CS spray, and how to police 'high risk' cricket matches. Officers are even told to take drunks home in case they fall and hurt themselves.
Last year Government, police quangos and forces produced more than 2,615 extra pages of guidance on top of more than 6,000 pages of existing rules. One force issued a 93-page guide to riding a bike, but withdrew it after a public outcry.
Inspector of Constabulary Sir Denis O'Connor said that if all the pages were laid out end to end they would be three times the height of the Eiffel Tower. He warned that the array of rules and regulations designed to avoid every kind of risk was preventing officers from using their common sense and discretion. He added that the scale of the bureaucracy was responsible for taking officers away from the front line.
New regulations in every possible area of policing are forcing more officers to become specialists, and pushing them away from beat duties, he said.
A survey of 40 forces in England and Wales found the number of beat bobbies fell by 1,429 over three years from 2006, despite more officers being hired. Meanwhile 1,587 went into more specialist roles.
Sir Denis called for a cull of much of the guidance and a return to 'common-sense policing' with officers encouraged to make decisions for themselves. He said: 'The truth is they are not going to do much of all of this because it's impossible to absorb it. You'd need a Lancaster bomber to deliver it all. 'Instead you need to get back to a common-sense basis. People do want to see the lesser spotted constable, they really do. Quite a few forces have been taking constables away.
'The more of this stuff there is the fewer of them there are going to be. We need ministers to think if they want more legislation or to set up another public inquiry.'
His criticisms drew support from senior police officers, who backed the call for greater discretion....
Sir Denis was backed by Crime and Policing Minister Nick Herbert, who pledged 'fundamental reform' of the system. Mr Herbert said: 'The police have been tied up in a deluge of target-related guidance and doctrine. 'We can't just tinker with the system - we need fundamental reform, where we restore professional discretion and trust the police to do their job, while ensuring that the public can hold them to account.
'That's why we've announced that we'll scrap central targets and look again at the inspectorate performance regime. ‘And it's why we're determined to replace topdown, bureaucratic central direction of policing with stronger, direct local accountability.
'For too long, central government has sought to interfere in how policing is delivered when it is outcomes that should matter - safer streets with less crime.'
Inspectors found that of the 52 new documents produced last year, only two contained executive summaries. Another 60 manuals are 'on hold' awaiting approval.
The titles are mind-boggling. The contents are - more often than not - as politically-correct as they are pointless. Yet the upper echelons of the police service just cannot stop inflicting new ' guidance' documents on rank-and-file officers already drowning in needless red tape.
Killers and sex attackers 'could be spared jail in proposed British reforms'
And this insanity is coming from an allegedly conservative government. They want to make a system that is already pissweak into a total joke with no deterrent effect at all
Killers, sex attackers and serial burglars are being let off with prison sentences of less than a year, according to official figures that undermine plans to let loose more criminals. Some 70,000 offences from manslaughter and kidnapping to sexual offences against children attract sentences of less than 12 months every year.
Tory MPs seized on the evidence, warning that the coalition could leave people less safe.
Ken Clarke used his first major speech as Justice Secretary to question the value of ‘banging up more and more people’. He said that sending offenders to jail often proved to be a ‘costly and ineffectual approach that fails to turn criminals into law-abiding citizens’ and called for ‘intelligent sentencing’ with a greater focus on rehabilitation.
But analysis of the short sentences he wants to replace with community sentences reveals it will lead to thousands of serious criminals escaping a spell behind bars.
In 2008, the last year for which there are figures, nearly 20,000 cases of theft, more than 7,000 of violence against the person and more than 4,000 burglary convictions attracted lenient sentences of less than a year. More seriously, 80 people were convicted of conspiracy to commit murder but also escaped with such prison terms. Eleven of those were jailed for less than three months.
Six people convicted of manslaughter, three rapists and 74 guilty of wounding to endanger life also got off with less than a year behind bars.
Tory MPs opposed to the Government’s plans leapt on evidence that child sex attackers might also benefit from Mr Clarke’s proposals.
In total, 622 sex offenders got off with sentences of less than 12 months, including 315 guilty of sexual assault. Five people guilty of trafficking for sexual exploitation, nine convicted of incest, eight guilty of gross indecency with children and 103 of sexual activity with an under 16 got off with less than a year in prison.
The figures were obtained by Tory MP Philip Davies, who fuelled a growing rebellion last night by admitting that he would defy a three-line whip to vote against the measures. ‘The idea that people who are sent to prison for short periods of time do not commit serious offences is blown apart by these figures,’ he said.
‘Most people would consider most of these offences, like conspiracy to commit murder and gross indecency with children, extremely serious offences. ‘The idea that these people would be better not sent to prison and in community sentences to me is completely ridiculous and will horrify most decent people.’
The Justice Secretary is in danger of committing political suicide, Mr Davies insisted before urging a rethink. ‘Not only is Ken Clarke in danger of upsetting an awful lot of Conservative voters but he could also put at risk a great number of people by having these serious offenders roaming the streets,’ he added.
Yesterday there were signs of a growing rebellion on the Tory benches as former leader Michael Howard – who declared that ‘prison works’ when he was home secretary in 1993 – condemned the plans.
David Nuttall, MP for Bury North, demanded a Commons debate on the issue and called for longer, not shorter, sentences.
A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: ‘There are some nasty people who commit nasty offences. ‘They must be punished, and our communities protected. ‘That is why this Government has committed to a full review of sentencing policy, to ensure that it is effective in deterring crime, protecting the public, punishing offenders and cutting re-offending.’
The UN is sick beyond remedy. Its Human Rights Council last week concluded its most recent session, and as Anne Bayefsky of Eye on the UN aptly summarized it, the council “abandon[ed] human rights victims the world over and contribut[ed] to the spread of anti-Semitism.”
This, you may say, is nothing new, and you would be right. But the story of how we got here and where we are headed next helps to bring into focus the full vileness of this institution.
The council was created in 2006 as one cornerstone of an overhaul of the United Nations in the wake of the oil-for-food scandal, which had spread a dark stain on it like the one the BP gusher has unleashed in the Gulf of Mexico. The council was designed to supplant the Commission on Human Rights, which had been created sixty years earlier at the instigation of the United States. That body was formed under the leadership of Eleanor Roosevelt and a panel of distinguished international scholars and jurists who also composed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Over the decades, the vaunting idealism with which the commission was conceived had given way to the tawdry politics that came to characterize the UN. It all came to be symbolized by the 2003 elevation of Libya to chair the commission, notwithstanding that Libya had been ruled as a personal fiefdom by Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi since 1969 and had made the Freedom House list of the “worst of the worst” of the world’s repressive countries every year since this category was conceived.
If Libya’s election was outrageous, that still does not fully explain why it received special attention. Previously elected chairs of this august body had included the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, as well as Poland and Bulgaria when they were Communist colonies of the former USSR. Whatever the reason, Qaddafi’s triumph seemed to have brought matters to a head, and when the oil-for-food program opened the trickle-gates of UN reform, the commission became a ready target. Secretary General Kofi Annan said its performance “casts a shadow on the reputation of the United Nations system as a whole.”
Thus, throughout 2005, Annan worked hand in glove with the Bush administration to design a reform plan that would abolish the commission and replaceit with a Human Rights Council. The manner of its composition, the shape of its agenda, the frequency of its meetings were to be different from those of the old commission, and were designed to prevent the hypocrisies for which that body had become infamous. The question this raised was whether the abominable record of the commission had been due to structural defects or to a deeper flaw, namely the political atmosphere of the UN itself.
Now we know the answer. After four years, the record of the council is, if anything, worse than that of its predecessor. Kofi Annan’s perception that the old commission had “cast a shadow” on the UN was an optical illusion: he was seeing the UN’s own darkness.
The essence of the problem was illustrated by last month’s election of new members. (Members serve a three-year term, with one-third elected each year.) As usual, the “election” was like those of authoritarian regimes: the number of nominees exactly equaled the number of seats to be filled, so that members were left only to vote aye or nay. And as usual, dictatorial states had little difficulty cutting deals to get themselves nominated, notwithstanding the mandate instructing the members to “take into account the candidates’ contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights.”
Only Iran was kept off the list, and this had nothing to do with its practice of torturing and murdering citizens who ask for honest elections, but rather was due to the fact that Tehran has alienated not only the Western states but also the Arabs. Just to make clear that Iran’s exclusion should not be interpreted as a sign of disapproval of its treatment of its own citizens, the mullahs’ regime was put in charge of a separate UN body on women’s rights. Who better?
Freedom House teamed up with UN Watch to pressure the UN member states to keep in mind human rights when choosing council members. Of the 14 nominees, they judged only five “qualified” for seats, four others as “questionable,” and five as “not qualified.” Needless to say, all of the latter five were elected nonetheless. They were Angola, Mauritania, Malaysia, Qatar, and — you guessed it — Libya. The opposition scored its best showing against Qaddafi’s regime, rallying a grand total of 37 nay votes to 155 ayes.
In other words, only one-fifth of the member states cared a whit about the UN’s human rights efforts. There you have the whole story. The illness cannot be cured. It is terminal.
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.