Two mothers and their toddler children banned from council-funded playgroup - for being BRITISH
Two British mothers have been banned from a publicly funded women's group and creche because it was set up exclusively for foreigners.
Emma Knightley and Kimberley Wildman thought the group would be the ideal way for them and their children to make friends. They were encouraged to come by a mixed-race friend who attends meetings despite being born and raised in Britain. But when they arrived for their first session, a female volunteer told them they weren't welcome because they were British-born.
The Making Links group in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, was set up to help integrate foreigners and their children aged under five into the community. It receives money from the town council and the Department for Communities and Local Government.
But yesterday legal experts warned the group could be in breach of the Race Relations Act, and faces action in a civil court which could order it to pay compensation.
Nationality and race are protected under last year's Equality Act. This states that people have a right not to be discriminated against, harassed or victimised because of these factors.
But the Race Relations Act 1976 gives permission for a form of positive discrimination, for example in providing funding for gay or lesbian groups, or advertising for a female social worker to help women who have been victims of domestic violence.
Caroline Herbert, an expert in discrimation law, said the two women could claim discrimination. She added: `A case could be brought in a civil court, which could award compensation.'
Shop worker Miss Knightley, 25, who lives in the town with her 21-month-old daughter Imogen, said: `The first thing I was asked about was my nationality and when I said I was British I was told we had to leave.
`She said "Are you not aware this is for foreign people only?" I said I knew it was trying to integrate people into the community but didn't realise that meant British people and their children were banned. `I felt humiliated. You wouldn't get away with a British-only mum and children's group.'
Trainee midwife Miss Wildman, 27, who has two daughters, Georgia, five, and 18-month-old Olivia, added: `It's a real shame. `I want my children to play with children from other races and integrate in the community because that stops discrimination.'
When the pair were challenged last week, Miss Knightley pointed out that their friend, who is of Indian and Malaysian descent, was born and bred in Britain too. The volunteer replied: `But her parents aren't.'
Ministers said the group was `divisive' and `racist'. Last night the Department of Communities and Local Government announced it would effectively abolish it by cutting its public funding.
Communities and local government minister Bob Neill said: `It is a real cause for concern that monies allocated for community development are being spent in such a divisive manner. `Rather than building good community relations, such an insensitive approach that seemingly discriminates against British people threatens to undermine community cohesion.'
Justice minister Jonathan Djanogly, whose Huntingdon constituency includes St Neots, added: `I'm upset to hear that constituents have had a racist experience. There is a question here of legality and also of sensitivity. Teaching people how to integrate involves allowing people to integrate.'
The Slow-Motion Exodus of European Jews
Do Jews have a future in an increasingly Muslim Europe? Often explored by Daniel Pipes, this question recently drew a disconcerting answer from prominent Dutch politician Frits Bolkestein, who opined on the grim choices facing visible (e.g., Orthodox) Jews in his nation:
The former EU commissioner says there is no future for this group in the Netherlands because of "the anti-Semitism among Dutchmen of Moroccan descent, whose numbers keep growing."
He feels that this group of Jews should encourage their children to emigrate to either the United States or Israel, because he has little confidence in the effectiveness of the government's proposals for fighting anti-Semitism.
Bolkestein's remarks echo those of Benjamin Jacobs, the country's chief rabbi, who told Arutz Sheva in 2010 that "the future for Dutch Jewry is moving to Israel." Indeed, some Jews are acting. The same news service reported in December that the son of Raphael Evers, another leading Dutch rabbi, "has announced plans to move to Israel due to anti-Semitism":
"It's not that you can't leave the house, but you need to constantly hide, to be careful," he explained. He related his own cautionary measures, which include avoiding certain neighborhoods, and hiding his kippah (yalmulke) when walking through areas with a high number of Muslim immigrants.
Next consider Sweden. Last month, the Simon Wiesenthal Center urged traveling Jews to exercise "extreme caution" due to "harassment of Jewish citizens in the southern city of Malm”." An estimated 60,000 Muslims comprise a fifth of Malm”'s population and hate crimes regularly impact the lives of its 700 remaining Jews. "The city's synagogue has guards and rocket-proof glass in the windows," the Telegraph notes, "while the Jewish kindergarten can only be reached through thick steel security doors." With the government's response a mix of denial and blaming the victim, many Jews are leaving Malm” - and even Sweden altogether.
Recent years also have seen increasing numbers of Jews moving to Israel from France and the UK. Will this soon be the case for Jews of other European countries as well? Given the raft of worrying tales from 2010 alone - Muslims assaulting Jews in Norway and Denmark, stone-tossing Arabs driving Jewish dancers from a stage in Germany, and a poll finding that 38% of Muslim youth in Austria agree that "Hitler had done a lot of good for the people" - the future does not look happy.
It has become fashionable to equate the plight of today's Muslim population in Europe with that of the continent's oppressed Jews during the 1930s. However, one can tell which group faces the real threat in modern Europe by watching migratory trends. While European governments are planning fences to keep Muslims from entering illegally, Jews are exiting in droves. People vote with their feet. The results - Muslims in, Jews out - offer critical lessons and warnings.
Smartphone searches, encryption, and the Constitution
Privacy severely threatened
The smartphone is arguably one of the most empowering and revolutionary technologies of the modern era. By putting the processing power of a personal computer and the speed of a broadband connection into a device that fits in a pocket, smartphones have revolutionized how we communicate, travel, learn, game, shop, and more.
Yet smartphones have an oft-overlooked downside: when they end up in the wrong hands, they offer overreaching agents of the state, thieves, hackers, and other wrongdoers an unparalleled avenue for uncovering and abusing the volumes of sensitive personal information we increasingly store on our mobile phones.
Over on Ars Technica, I have a long feature story that examines the constitutional and technical issues surrounding police searches of mobile phones:
Last week, California’s Supreme Court reached a controversial 5-2 decision in People v. Diaz (PDF), holding that police officers may lawfully search mobile phones found on arrested individuals’ persons without first obtaining a search warrant. The court reasoned that mobile phones, like cigarette packs and wallets, fall under the search incident to arrest exception to the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.
California’s opinion in Diaz is the latest of several recent court rulings upholding warrantless searches of mobile phones incident to arrest. While this precedent is troubling for civil liberties, it’s not a death knell for mobile phone privacy. If you follow a few basic guidelines, you can protect your mobile device from unreasonable search and seizure, even in the event of arrest. In this article, we will discuss the rationale for allowing police to conduct warrantless searches of arrestees, your right to remain silent during police interrogation, and the state of mobile phone security.
You can read the full essay on Ars Technica here. And while you’re at it, I highly recommend watching this informative YouTube video that explains why it’s not a good idea to talk to police:
SOURCE. (See the original for links)
Anti-male bigotry in Britain
Crazed phone calls, sinister threats, vile sex slurs - so why did the police treat a female stalker as a joke?
My experience is not at all as bad as that described below but I was once chased around London by a female stalker and I was the one who ended up in a police cell as a result. Fortunately, my pursuer gave up at that point and I was soon released. So I can vouch for such things happening in Britain -- JR
One summer evening in 2009 I was cycling home when I heard a voice shout out my name. Even before I looked, I knew who it was. A quick glance confirmed it, so I pedalled faster, past Somerfield, towards the street in which I live. To my horror, the person started sprinting after me.
As I reached the steps up to my front door, I could only stare in bewilderment as she came haring around the corner. Panic rushed over me as my key would not go in the lock and the distance between us began to shrink to a few yards. Thankfully, I got in just in time and slammed the door as she bounded up the steps.
It might sound melodramatic but I bent down and shouted through the letterbox, not for the first - or the last - time, that I was going to call the police.
You see, the woman in question was my stalker. Yes, that's right, me - a strapping 6ft 3in, 37-year-old man. I have a female stalker called Karen, who also happens to be not altogether unattractive and in her early 40s.
If you find this notion rather risible - aren't stalkers supposed to be pathetic lonely single men, forlornly loitering outside TV studios to catch a glimpse of their favourite female newsreader? - then you're not alone.
Everybody seems to find it funny that I have been stalked for the best part of two years - my friends; casual acquaintances, who hear the S-word and chuckle without considering the stress that real stalking causes; and even the police.
Not all the police, but a significant few. When you have had a uniformed officer, to whom you are giving your first statement, suddenly crack up laughing at your plight (`I'm really sorry, mate, but she sounds -mental'), you start to wonder if that's going to be a standard reaction.
I first met Karen at my local pub in summer 2008, when she recognised me as being a member of the same dating website as her. The second time I met her was the weekend after I had just split up with my then girlfriend, and I'd gone to the same pub to drown my sorrows. We got talking in more depth, she was down-to-earth, quirky and flirty, and in the time-honoured tradition of the Great British Rebound, we ended up in bed.
In the wee small hours of the next morning, I woke up and, through bleary eyes, saw a beatifically-grinning Karen tell me that she loved me. There and then, I had a tiny -premonition of how bad things would get.
Frankly, I had no desire to see Karen again, certainly not after her declarations, but I did the classic man thing of ignoring her emails and texts rather than nipping it in the bud - a big mistake.
Over the course of the next 16 months, Karen's actions provided me with a constant series of `firsts' to tick off. A week after our initial -meeting, she turned up drunk at my home for the first time, at pub chucking-out time, -slurring and begging entry.
In April, she made her first twin-pronged attempt to rouse me from my slumbers, -showing up to ring me on my mobile and hammer on my front door between calls, and then left her first abusive voicemail.
'When I gave my statement, a uniformed officer cracked up laughing, "I'm really sorry, mate, but she sounds -mental"'
May saw the arrival of the first handwritten, hand-delivered letter begging forgiveness, two pages long, not a lick of sense on either page. And July brought that unnerving pursuit, the first time anyone had ever chased me in the street.
To my friends, to my work colleagues, this was all still a source of hilarity - after all, she seemed to be on some kind of two-to-three-month cycle, her drunken visits a sporadic inconvenience rather than anything about which I needed to feel threatened. 'How's the stalker?' they would josh, and I would tell them the latest. All good fun.
It stopped being all good fun in November. I was out on the step one evening chatting to neighbours when Karen came -stumbling down the street. She was substantially more drunk than I had ever seen her before, screaming abuse, bizarrely, about my failed -aspirations as a novelist.
The next day I left my flat to find her again loitering outside. When I told her that I'd had enough and that I'd be calling the police imminently, she delivered her killer blow. `If you do,' she said calmly, `I'll tell them you drugged me and sexually assaulted me.'
Two things happened in that instant: I stopped feeling any -lingering sympathy I may have had for Karen, and I stopped finding -anything funny about the situation.
It took one more `first' before I went to the police, however: after six more months of worrying, insomnia and creeping paranoia, I finally knew what had to be done when, in May last year, Karen forced her way into my home, bounding up the steps to burst through the front door before I could react - her first use of physical force.
She began to shout abuse very directly at my face, so that when I went outside to get away from her and call the police, luckily she -followed. I was then able to slip back inside, slam the door, and, as she -continued to hammer on the door and roar insults, make the call.
To their credit, the police arrived in time to intercept her as she stumbled off, but not before some other firsts: explicit physical threats, and explicit use of the word `rape'.
The next day, I went to my local police station to give a full statement (and have it laughed at by the PC on duty) and play them tapes of three abusive voicemails that Karen had obligingly left after being interviewed by police at the scene.
Within a few days, I had been assigned a case officer, and Karen had been arrested, whereupon she made good her threat and counter-alleged sexual assault. And that's when the legal system kicked in.
As a man alleging harassment against a woman, I just had my case officer. Karen, meanwhile, was able, as a victim of an alleged sexual assault, to turn to Victim Support and the free legal aid that it provided, legal aid that tried to make her nonsensical claims stand up.
My case officer, it turned out, wasn't great. Awkward on the phone, cagey and slapdash, he never got round to interviewing any of my suggested witnesses. And when I emailed him fresh evidence of harassment at the end of last year, I never heard back.
When you have an allegation of sexual assault against you - however ridiculous - a constant feeling of nausea settles in your gut and does not leave. My fear was now that I would end up in court, and lose my job. As for any official support channels for me? Either there weren't any - or the police had neglected to tell me about them.
One thing it did achieve, though, was finally uniting my friends in non-mirthful solidarity behind me - female friends were outraged that a woman would falsely allege something so serious, an issue that I'd guess affects them all deeply. My male friends, I think, were secretly relieved it was not happening to them.
But I did have the evidence - -those voicemails. A few weeks later, in late August, Karen was issued with a -harassment warning prohibiting her from contacting me. It wasn't the same as a restraining order that would have prevented her from coming within a certain distance of me but it provided a firm assurance that if the harassment continued, she would be prosecuted.
Meanwhile her case against me dragged on for months. The -common-or-garden insomnia I'd been experiencing for six months became fevered nightmares of -violence, and at work as a journalist, my temper was constantly on edge.
A potential relationship foundered - night terrors made it impossible for me to share a bed with anyone, and besides, it's not like I was thinking about sex anyway. My anger that I was left in this horrific limbo ate away at me; I drank alone at weekends, just so that I would fall asleep before I started hearing noises in the dark outside.
If all this sounds melodramatic, then I guess the unique combination of being stalked and having a serious sexual allegation against you makes one prone to melodrama. I've visited war zones for work in the past, but believe me, I felt more fear in those awful few months.
They eventually called me in to the station in October. I arrived 20 minutes early for the appointment, and spent it vomiting into a bin out of sheer terror. Karen had a three-strong case team working on her allegations against me, who were everything my own case officer had not been.
They calmly, reassuringly explained to me that my presence there was a mere formality to -complete the process that had been set in motion by Karen's initial addled allegations (for which she was still receiving Victim Support). I was in and out in 30 minutes.
The next time I heard from the police six or seven weeks later, it was to tell me that no more action was being taken on Karen's case against me. The reason? Apparently her statement had made absolutely no sense whatsoever.
And no, she wasn't prosecuted for -wasting police time. But to be -honest, at the time all I cared was that her ridiculous claims weren't going any further.
So, end of story. Except it isn't. Indeed, I'm not even sure where the end is. For one thing, Karen has already started to bend the rules of her warning, starting online Scrabble games on Facebook with me, using a false profile. The games enabled her to leave further rambling messages for me to read, blaming the whole sorry affair on me.
But that's not my prime concern right now - I am. The nightmares are now a nightly fixture, so too the sudden flashes of impotent rage about what she got away with, about all the legal help she got, about the help I needed and didn't get.
It bothers me that every day is tinged with fear that she'll come back, maybe with a knife in her hand. I know I have to move away from the area, but at the moment, I'd just take a decent, uninterrupted night's sleep. And I can't even get that.
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.