Monday, January 31, 2011
Cowardly British cops
"Elf 'n safety" trumps law enforcement
In the line of duty, police officers routinely risk life and limb in all sorts of dangerous situations to protect and serve. So patrolling an area plagued by teenage yobs should be child’s play by comparison. But constables and PCSOs have been banned from keeping the peace at an adventure playground at night because it is considered dark and dangerous.
A senior officer told stunned councillors there would be no patrols after 8pm at newly-built Waterlees Park in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, for health and safety reasons. Inspector Sullivan said: 'If kids play in the park at night we will not go in. It is not our job to get kids out of the park.'
‘The place has no lighting and it is still, in effect, a building site,’ Inspector Andy Sullivan told a meeting of Wisbech Town Council. ‘I am not going to put my staff - police officers or PCSOs - into an area where they can’t see what is going on.’
Speaking after the full council meeting on Monday, he added: ‘If kids play in the park at night we will not go in. It is not our job to get kids out of the park. ‘If it was any other building site, would people be happy if police tried to get people out?’
Critics of the policy pointed out the £1million park, which opened last year, was not a ‘building site’ as children were already allowed to play there during the day. Only minor work remains to be done.
And they complained the inspector’s announcement that the park was too dangerous for officers would mean a free-for-all for the dozens of children that sometimes converge there, causing noise and thousands of pounds worth of damage on a regular basis.
Town councillor Richard Fulcher said: ‘I and many other councillors were disgusted with his comments. ‘What on earth sort of society have we got where police officers refuse to go anywhere after 8pm? ‘What Inspector Sullivan has done is to declare this part of Wisbech a no-go area because of poor lighting.’
Another councillor, David Patrick, said: ‘I had to ask for confirmation from the inspector to ensure I had heard it right the first time. ‘He said police officers wouldn’t go into the park because it was dark. Don’t they carry torches?’
The park has traditional play equipment such as swings and climbing frames, as well as a 35ft tower with a slide and two 65ft barges that were hauled in and converted into a classroom and toilets.
But homeowners in the area - many of whom are old or disabled - complain it has become a magnet for young thugs and have reported dozens of incidents of anti-social behaviour. They have also found evidence of alcohol and drug use.
Residents say their homes and cars have been vandalised, leaving them scared to go out at night. Retired businessman Malcolm Moss, 58, said: ‘Sometimes there are three or four of them, on occasions it ends up being 20 or 30. ‘The barges were practically wrecked from the outset as all the windows were smashed in and fire extinguishers were set off. The fire brigade have been involved quite a few times. ‘Stones have been thrown and on top of all that, there has been an increase in noise, with people shouting and screaming. ‘There is quite an aged population around this field and people are fearful of going out at night.
‘The police are meant to keep the peace but in their opinion if kids are creating havoc in this area it’s not happening somewhere else, so they just let them get on with it.’
A Cambridgeshire Police spokesman insisted the play park was ‘effectively a building site’ and said it currently has a council-appointed security guard. He added: ‘During the evenings there is no lighting so it is effectively pitch black.
‘It is not a police officer’s job to ensure the area is kept clear. However, if a crime is committed or there is a risk to life, officers would take appropriate action.’
Great idea! British victims get power to sue police if they fail to tackle yobs
Police forces which fail to protect victims of anti-social behaviour could face being sued for compensation. Government proposals will give members of the public the power to launch legal action if it can be proved that officers or other public bodies have let them down.
The move, to be unveiled next month by Home Secretary Theresa May, was drawn up following the shocking case of Fiona Pilkington, the mother who killed herself and her disabled daughter Francecca in 2007 after being hounded by yobs outside their home in Leicestershire.
Under the plans, people who claim that they have not been given adequate protection from gangs or nuisance neighbours will be able to complain to newly-elected police crime commissioners.
The Government last year introduced plans for the US-style directly-elected officials, who will have the power to appoint and dismiss Chief Constables. The commissioners will answer to a new Police and Crime Panel comprising council chiefs and members of the public.
If a complaint is upheld, victims will be entitled to a pay-out. Under the reforms police will have a ‘duty’ to investigate any report of anti-social behaviour, however seemingly petty, as long as at least five separate households have complained about the same issue.
They could also face action if they fail to investigate any anti-social behaviour that has been reported a minimum of three times.
It is not clear at this stage how the cases would be funded and from what budgets any compensation would be paid. The Government believes that the moves will end the uncertainty about who is responsible for dealing with the blight of nuisance gangs.
An inquest into the death of Mrs Pilkington and her daughter heard that her local council and Leicestershire Police had failed to save vital information about the family, including their disabilities and the abuse they were receiving.
Last year a report by police watchdog HM Inspectorate of Constabulary found that police officers did not turn up to 23 per cent of anti-social behaviour complaints.
The new Police and Social Responsibility Bill will include measures that will allow neighbourhoods to act collectively to deal with anti-social behaviour, with the safeguard of ‘redress’ through the civil courts if their pleas are not acted upon.
As part of the new proposals, there will be a more detailed Government and police website that will show where crimes have been reported and committed in each neighbourhood so that members of the public can see the movement of crime in their area.
This would involve having access to up-to-date incidents that have been reported by the neighbourhood.
A source said last night: ‘The idea of these reforms is to be seen to give the power back to the victims of crime, especially anti-social behaviour. The public have lost faith in the authorities in the way they have dealt with anti-social behaviour. It has spiralled out of control.’
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘The current tools and powers for dealing with anti-social behaviour are too bureaucratic and don’t work effectively. We will soon be consulting on new proposals to tackle it.’
Think it was right to sack a "sexist" commentator? See how you feel when the Thought Police come for you
By Peter Hitchens
I hate professional football and everything about it. I would leave a railway carriage if Andy Gray or Richard Keys got into it, rather than listen to their crude, uninteresting conversation about this extraordinarily dull game, with its bad acting, pointless spite, tribal rage, drunken violence, sticky sentimentality and incessant unapologetic cheating. What’s more I don’t understand the offside rule and I don’t care.
No doubt Mr Gray would regard me as little better than a girl. I have changed nappies and been present at the births of my children. I have even endured the breathing exercises beforehand. I have (sometimes) even laughed at Miranda Hart.
But Mr Gray and Mr Keys should not have been sacked, or disciplined in any way. And those who joined in the stampede of rage against them are dangerous, intolerant totalitarians, helping the growth of the Thought Police in our midst.
Many of those who sang in this sanctimonious chorus are the sort who often complain in pubs about ‘political correctness gone mad’. But when it comes to it, they cravenly take part in the madness.
Remember this. The things they said were not intended for broadcast and they were not transmitted. They were private conversations. I don’t care that those conversations were leaked. Any remotely public figure has to assume this will happen nowadays. But if Mr Gray and Mr Keys didn’t intend their remarks to be broadcast, they shouldn’t be judged professionally as if they had intended it.
It is quite simply unjust to condemn a man for having his private conversation transmitted to the world by someone else.
But that’s not all. Had these remarks been intentionally broadcast, would it really have been so bad? Are these opinions and attitudes so wicked that people should be deprived of their jobs for holding them? Are female football officials such feeble things that they have never heard men claim they can’t understand the game, and need smelling salts when it is said?
Surely, if the sexes are equal, this sort of blushing, swooning, maiden-aunt stuff is as obsolete as denying votes to women. If we are so set against coarseness, then most fashionable comedians should be sacked too. They rely almost entirely on the f-word, on shocking the gentle and on sexual grossness. But they all carry on unsacked, presumably because they mix their crudity with a dollop of political correctness and anti-Thatcherism. So that’s not good enough as an argument.
Women are allowed to be crudely dismissive of men, so explicit banter of this kind isn’t the problem either.
As for Charlotte Jackson and the microphone ‘joke’, are we really expected to believe that a physically tough, professional modern woman who used to pose for ‘Lads’ Magazines’ will be seriously upset by this pathetic, dirty-old-man humour?
Subject the episode to any sort of cool analysis, and it’s just part of our national comedy, an entertaining but unimportant moment. Or it would have been, except that two men lost their jobs over it. And if they can lose their jobs because of private remarks, then so can anyone else. Did you want that? Is any society free where such things happen?
Where Calvin meets Mao
In this interview with Craig Bodeker, AltRight contributing editor Derek Turner provides what may be the most concise yet penetrating explanation of the origins and nature of political correctness I have yet to encounter. The full video is available on the website of the National Policy Institute.
Critics of PC have advanced several theses regarding its origins. Paul Gottfried has suggested that it is largely an outgrowth of left-wing American Christianity. Bill Lind considers it be a form of “cultural Marxism” derived from an inversion of orthodox Marxism advanced by the Frankfurt School. David Heleniak has an interesting thesis suggesting that PC is largely a derivative of the Christian doctrine of original sin that subsequently took on a secular form through the influence of the philosophy of Jean Jacques Rousseau. Still others regard PC as good old fashioned Communism wearing a different set of clothes. My own efforts to investigate the historical development of PC (which I prefer to call “totalitarian humanism”) have led me to a position that is something of a synthesis of these narratives.
Derek points out that political correctness has become the most deeply entrenched in historically Protestant countries, primarily the nations of Scandinavia and the Anglosphere. Presumably, this can be explained as a manifestation of the sense of Calvinist guilt that has been woven into the cultural fabric and historical memories of Protestant societies. That colonial American Puritanism was a rather extreme manifestation of the Calvinist ethos, and that American left-wing Christianity came about largely as an eclipsing successor of orthodox Calvinism in the American northeast, may help to explain why PC first took root in America and exported itself throughout the Western world the way that it did.
If indeed Rousseau’s philosophy provided a secular transformation of the notion of original sin, then it is not improbable that such thinking would take root in a cultural milieu where orthodox Calvinism had once been virulent, but was in the process of shedding that history while retaining some of its residual influences, which would have been the case with northeastern American Protestantism during the developmental periods of this country.
It should not be surprising then that the Frankfurt School found a home for itself in northeastern American universities following its exile from Nazi Germany (and after an ironic stay in Geneva, the city most closely associated with the legacy of Calvin!). Some of the iconic figures of the New Left, such as Angela Davis and Abbie Hoffman, were personally students of the Frankfurt School’s most extreme left-wing advocate, Herbert Marcuse, and it is another irony that just as Marcuse eventually settled in California, it was at West Coast universities such as Berkeley that the leftist student rebellions of the 1960s began to emerge before spreading throughout the West and even elsewhere.
As for the relationship between orthodox Communism and PC, in my efforts to trace the origins of the term, I have encountered phrases such as “correct politics” or “correct political line,” and references to persons being shunned or dismissed from organizations for “incorrect politics” in old radical literature from the late 1960s and early 1970s, particularly among Weather Underground-influenced groups or the most extreme offshoots of the “black power” movement. The Maoist influence on these groups is well-known, as is the fascination of some of the more extreme New Left radicals of the era with the Chinese Cultural Revolution. PC in many ways resembles a Maoist self-criticism session, so there is likely a connection there.
I actually grew up in part as a Calvinist fundamentalist myself during the 1970s. My family were adherents of old-style orthodox Calvinism of the kind represented by theologians like J. Gresham Machen and Cornelius Van Til, and for a time we were involved with a church associated with the theocratic “Christian reconstructionist” movement of R.J. Rushdoony and Gary North. All of my education up through and including my sophomore year of high school was done at a fundamentalist academy that adhered to dispensational Christian Zionism (think of Bob Jones University and you will get an idea what the atmosphere there was like).
During the late 1980s and early 1990s I was a left-wing Chomskyite and it was during this time that I first began to personally encounter PC. Observing the psychology of PC and its behavioral manifestations up close and in an unadulterated form gave me a sense of déjà vu: “Where I have seen this kind of thing before?” Having long since abandoned my previous Christianity by that time, I came to realize that PC essentially amounts to Christian fundamentalism without a Christ (perhaps this explains the Left’s habit of elevating perceived progressive saints such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to the status of Christ-like semi-divine figures).
Whatever the true historical trajectory of PC may be, its obscurantist and totalitarian nature is obvious enough. It is ironic that eccentric religious subcultures such as the ones I came from are demonized by the anointed as dangerous theocratic fascists about to carry out an Taliban-like coup any minute now (a view that wildly exaggerates the influence and degree of extremism of such subcultures), while a form of obscurantist totalitarianism that has actually has the support of elites, intellectuals, academics, journalists, and others of genuine influence continues to entrench itself in Western cultural and political institutions.
SOURCE. (See the original for links)
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.