Saturday, November 12, 2011
Nearly 200 suspected English Defence League supporters arrested near the Cenotaph AFTER Remembrance service
So why were they rounded up? -- Just for being there? There is no claim that they disrupted anything. Being arrested for what they MIGHT do is a very slippery slope
More than 170 far-right protesters were arrested near the Cenotaph yesterday in further evidence of a tough line on disruptive demonstrations.
Police surrounded a pub packed with English Defence League supporters two hours after wreaths were laid at the nearby Whitehall monument. Scores of young men were arrested on suspicion of breaching the peace.
Senior officers were determined to ‘preserve the dignity’ of memorial events and had warned trouble would be ‘dealt with robustly’. They said anyone seen insulting the memory of the war dead would be seen as a threat to public order and detained.
Ministers have already signalled their desire to protect the dignity of memorial events by outlawing Muslims Against Crusades. The Islamic fundamentalist group disrupted the two-minute silence last year by burning poppies, chanting inflammatory slogans and clashing with the EDL.
But there was no sign of its leader Anjem Choudary after counter-terrorism police raided his home and an Islamic centre overnight. The Armistice Day police operation came just two days after the Met refused to allow a camp get a foothold in Trafalgar Square during a student march. No-nonsense Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe is keen to avoid being caught out by street protests or bogged down in stand-offs such as the St Paul’s camp.
Hundreds of officers surrounded the Red Lion pub, which is opposite Downing Street, as tensions rose yesterday afternoon. Police had corralled EDL supporters into the pub at around 11am after fears they would target the camp outside St Paul’s.
But trouble soon flared inside as foreign staff were abused. Police forced the EDL supporters outside where they were ‘kettled’ against the building and many arrested.
One EDL supporter claimed on an internet message board that the group was armed with guns and threatened to take Britain ‘back into our own hands’. The official EDL website had ordered members to conduct themselves ‘respectfully and responsibly’.
The Met made its position clear with a series of messages on Twitter. One said: ‘Individuals seeking to disrupt the two-minute silence will be dealt with robustly. If the memory of dead soldiers is insulted where people have gathered to honour those soldiers there is clearly a threat to public order.'
Confusing: Now it's racist not to be racist!
London Mayor Boris Johnson has been accused of 'cultural cleansing' and 'hijacking' a conference for black schoolchildren.
Protesters will gather outside the event in London which has in the past been called the London Schools and the Black Child conference. It has previously been organised by shadow Health Minister Diane Abbott. But this year it is claimed the Mayoral office has dropped the word “black” out of the title to the fury of protesters.
It will now be called the ‘London Schools and our Children Conference.
It is also understood that Diane Abott pulled out of the event but Boris Johnson’s office last night claimed she had left the project unexpectedly and before it was renamed.
But furious campaigners also accused Boris Johnson of inviting only Right Wing speakers to air their views at the conference which is being held at London’s Institute of Education.
Campaigner Lee Jasper said: 'This is part of the mayor’s plan to culturally-cleanse London of all race-specific initiatives.
'The entire platform of speakers is of the view that institutional racism does not exist. 'This is the typical response of those on the Right who seek to dismiss the reality of racism and place the blame on the victims.'
Fellow campaigner Lester Holloway added: 'LSBC has always given a platform to a range of views about how to raise achievement of black children and tackle the barriers that hold them back.
'This year’s panel has been picked to echo the mayor’s own opinions, which has no credibility in the community.”
But last night Boris Johnson’s office hit back said that Diane Abbott had pulled out of the event at the “last minute” and organisers wanted to keep the conference going. A spokeswoman said: 'We had to rename the conference because Diane of her own accord pulled out and that name was associated with her. 'We wanted to carry on this important event despite the timing of her pulling out and so we have gone ahead under a slightly different name.'
Big Brother alert over surge in 'citizen spies' as thousands more volunteer to snoop on neighbours
This is all very regrettable but with the collapse of behaviour standards in Britain it may be necessary
Councils across the country have recruited thousands of ‘citizen snoopers’ to report ‘environmental crime’. They target dog foulers, litter louts and neighbours who fail to sort their rubbish properly.
The volunteers act as the ‘eyes and ears’ of their neighbourhoods and are encouraged to take photos of ‘environmental crime’ and send them in with location details for a rapid response. They are given hand-held GPS computers for the task or phone cards to cover the cost of using their own devices. Evidence gathered this way is sometimes used in criminal prosecutions.
There are already 9,831 snoopers signed up – a 17 per cent increase on the number two years ago – and a further 1,310 are set to be recruited and trained as part of schemes run by 18 councils.
Volunteers often apply to become ‘street champions’ through council websites, but many have also been lured by recruitment drives in local newspapers.
Critics said yesterday the trend to create an army of neighbourhood detectives was leading to a Big Brother society and a culture where prying on neighbours was considered the norm.
Nick Pickles, director of the civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: ‘It should be deeply troubling for us all that councils seem not content with their own snooping and are now recruiting members of the public to assist them. ‘If a crime is committed, it is the police who should be involved, not local residents given hi-tech gadgets by councils, many of whom rarely pass up an opportunity to invade our privacy or hand out spurious fines.
‘These individuals operate with little or no training, and there is no evidence to suggest it helps combat environmental crime. ‘Councils seem to be unable to tell the difference between asking the public for help and getting the public to do their snooping for them.’
But David Parsons, chairman of the Local Government Association’s environment board, said: ‘Environmental crimes like dog fouling, fly-tipping and littering blight local areas and are a source of huge frustration.
‘People hate seeing this sort of vandalism on their doorsteps. Schemes like street champions put people in charge of their own areas and help residents take a stand against the inconsiderate few who spoil them.’
Hillingdon Council in London boasts the biggest street champions scheme with 4,850 volunteers, who record an average of 1,000 incidents a month.
By contrast Charnwood Borough Council, in the East Midlands, has 15 ‘community champions’ using handheld computers supplied by waste contractor Serco.
Emma Boon of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: ‘Councils shouldn’t be asking people to spy on their neighbours…it could breed resentment within communities.’
Insane murderer free to drive a Melbourne taxi
All on the basis of a prophecy. It is a disgrace to Victoria's legal system that a man who spent six years in the nuthouse for murder is considered safe to drive a taxi. They say his insanity is unlikely to recur. How do they know? Do they have the gift of prophecy? I am a qualified psychologist and I am sure that I could not give such an assurance. I would in fact say that the past is the best guide to the future.
It's that insane VCAT again. It was VCAT who penalized two Christian pastors for laughing at the Koran. They should be disbanded. The murderous taxi-driver is an African. That alone would explain the VCAT decision. They are enforcers of political correctness, not any sort of an impartial tribunal. And, sadly, the Court of Appeal has backed them up.
Hopefully no taxi company will hire the murderer. But in the meanwhile, would you take a cab in Melbourne? I wouldn't -- unless I had a long sharp knife on me for self-defence. Or maybe VCAT wants us to avoid getting into cabs driven by Africans. That would be the sort of "unintended" consequence of this biased and irresponsible decision
THE Transport Department has abandoned its long-running legal battle to prevent a killer taxi driver from getting back behind the wheel. The deadline for a last-ditch appeal to the High Court to stop the man, known only as XFJ, from regaining his taxi licence expired this week.
The decision clears the way for the former refugee, who butchered his wife in a fit of insanity 21 years ago, to hit the road.
Last month the Court of Appeal rejected a bid by the Director of Public Transport to overturn an earlier VCAT decision granting the man the right to drive taxis. The department said it would consider an appeal to the High Court.
After already spending more than $500,000 on the four-year legal fight, a department spokesman confirmed authorities would not pursue the matter. "Having examined the Court of Appeal decision carefully, it was apparent there were no grounds on which to seek special leave to appeal to the High Court and, accordingly, the Department of Transport did not seek special leave," spokesman David Stockman said.
Victoria's taxi industry watchdog has refused to confirm if the cabbie has already applied to regain his licence or embarked on a training course. Victorian Taxi Directorate spokesman Bob Nielson said: "We suggest you contact XFJ's legal representative, as disclosure of whether or not he is accredited is a matter for XFJ." The cabbie's lawyer, Barbara Shalit, of the Victorian Mental Health Legal Centre, declined to comment.
XFJ repeatedly stabbed his wife in 1990. A jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity.
Crime Victims Support Association chief Noel McNamara said the public had a right to know if a violent killer was driving them home. The public should not only be told when XFJ hit the streets as a cabbie, but also know what he looked like. "It was a horrendous crime," Mr McNamara said.
Taxi Association spokesman David Samuel indicated Melbourne's cabbies might not welcome XFJ back. "The safety of drivers and passengers is important," he said.
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.