Useless British police again
Bullied to his grave by gang of feral yobs: Coroner's verdict on heart victim tormented for decades
A vulnerable man of 64 who collapsed and died after three decades of harassment by yobs was unlawfully killed, a coroner ruled yesterday. David Askew, who had learning difficulties, had a fatal heart attack after confronting some of the local youths who had subjected him to years of mockery and vandalism.
No one has ever been prosecuted over his death, but yesterday coroner John Pollard said he had no doubt Mr Askew had been unlawfully killed. He said the case showed how 'feral youths can bring misery to a decent and vulnerable family'.
Mr Pollard also criticised 'staggering inertia and complacency' at the local council.
Mr Askew had been bullied by three generations of youths on an estate in the Hattersley area of Greater Manchester. He was pestered for money and cigarettes and on one occasion the yobs kicked in the family's front door. Mocked as Dopey Dave, he had eggs and stones thrown at him when he went out. Windows of the family home were smashed.
During one two-month period he went to the offices of Tameside Council every day to complain while his mother called police 88 times. The inquest heard the council's neighbourhood manager Mark Tunstall, who was in charge of community safety, was 'out of his depth' and never visited the family, even though his office was just 400 yards away.
Neighbourhood police visited regularly, the inquest heard, but senior officers felt Mr Askew was 'part of the problem' for giving the youths cigarettes in the hope they would leave.
Mr Askew died in March last year after confronting youths outside the house over an overturned wheelie bin and over tampering with his mother Rose's mobility scooter
In September last year Kial Cottingham, 19, who lived just doors away, pleaded guilty to harassing Mr Askew and was locked up for 16 months. Prosecutors said there was no evidence to charge him with manslaughter. He apologised to the family when he gave evidence to the inquest.
At Trafford Coroners Court yesterday Mr Pollard recorded a verdict of unlawful killing. He cited the evidence of a pathologist who told the inquest that while it could not be scientifically proven that the stress of harassment on the night Mr Askew died led directly to his death, the circumstances of the case 'strongly suggest' it had.
After the hearing David's mother Rose, now 90, said: 'I am still angry about what happened but there is no use hating people.'
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan of Greater Manchester Police said: 'We have learned our lessons and made significant improvements to the way we deal with these crimes.'
David's mother, now aged 90, said that she is still angry about the attack, but added that the family have now been made to feel very welcome in the community
David's mother, now aged 90, said that she is still angry about the attack, but added that the family have now been made to feel very welcome in the community
Earlier this year an Independent Police Complaints Commission report highlighted 'systemic failures' by the force to link the calls made by the family and treat the abuse as a hate crime.
It also found CCTV cameras installed to catch the culprits were next-to-useless because the picture quality was too poor to recognise their faces.
Tameside Council admitted that 'all agencies' needed to work more closely to ensure that the vulnerable were better protected.
But arresting the innocent is fun
Mother arrested trying to throw gatecrashers out of her own HOME endures 20-month court battle to clear her name
A woman who was arrested when she tried to get rid of gatecrashers from her daughter's birthday party has finally been cleared of wrongdoing after nearly two years.
Mother-of-two Penny Heffernan was charged with obstructing an officer and using threatening and abusive words or behaviour after neighbours called the police during the party.
But she claimed that police were 'using a sledgehammer to crack a nut', and said that she was wrongfully arrested at a time when no one was being 'unruly'.
The 56-year-old company boss was initially found guilty by magistrates, but has now had the verdict overturned after appealing to the Crown Court.
She has accused police of a ‘complete overreaction’ and is now pursuing a complaint against two officers after the 20-month fight to clear her name.
Her daughter, Sarah, had invited between 30 and 40 teenage guests to her 16th birthday party at the five-bedroom house in Norden, Greater Mancester, with her parents’ permission in March 2009. But she rang her mother, who owns a property management company in Manchester, for help after men walked in from the street.
Mrs Heffernan arrived home with her husband Brian after a meal with friends and was outside her house looking for the gatecrashers when police arrived.
She said she remonstrated with an officer who she claimed was being heavy-handed with one of the children.
Mrs Heffernan said: 'I arrived at home to see quite a lot of people, but it wasn’t horrendous. My daughter and her friends had already got rid of all the gatecrashers. Then this police officer arrived - it was like he was using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. 'He was acting in a very aggressive way. The children were not being unruly and parents were arriving to collect their children.
'I said to the officer that I was going to walk back to the house and asked if he wanted to join me to clean up. I was then arrested and frog-marched to a van.'
Mrs Heffernan, who owns Penny Ashton Sales, Lettings and Property Management, denied police claims that she was drunk, and said she had two small glasses of wine.
She spent a night in the cells at Chadderton Police Station and refused to accept a police caution the following morning, so was bailed then charged and appeared before Rochdale magistrates court in July last year.
Her solicitors wrote letters to the Crown Prosecution Service before the case to ask police not to destroy CCTV footage recorded from the police custody suite, which would act as evidence for the defence. But when the case was heard, the footage had already been destroyed. Mrs Heffernan was found guilty and conditionally discharged for 12 months.
She appealed and the case was thrown out at Bolton Crown Court. Mrs Heffernan said: 'I should never had been charged, but accepting a caution is accepting guilt. It has been 20 months of hell.'
Police confirmed that the force’s professional standards branch has received a complaint against both the arresting officer and a custody sergeant, which is currently under investigation. A CPS spokesman said: 'Our handling of the correspondence from the defence in this case fell below the standards we expect and action has been taken to ensure this does not happen again.' [Ho, ho!]
Thoughts on Emma West
How to Argue with the Ruling Class
by Sean Gabb
One of the ways in which a ruling class keeps control is its insistence on rules of debate that place opposition at a regular disadvantage. I cannot think of any time or place where opposition voices have been listened to on fully equal terms. In modern England, however, the ruling class and its various clients and useful idiots are particularly rigid in their shepherding of debate. This is so not only because England is an increasingly totalitarian place, but also because the main legitimation ideologies are all obviously false and cannot be exposed to open criticism. Therefore, while speech mostly remains free in the legal sense, it will only be listened to when expressed in terms that privilege the ruling class.
And this brings me to what I really want to discuss – which is the demand for argument by supplication. Last week, Emma West was filmed swearing at a tram filled with black people. She was immediately punished by having her life destroyed. For those who, for whatever reason, have not heard about her, this brief statement of mine gives the main story:
Emma West is a white working class woman who got into an argument with some black people in a South London Tram. You can see the video here:
Miss West has now been arrested for her opinions and locked away, and her children have been taken away by the social services.
Of course, if she had been wearing a headscarf and screeching about the "kuffar" who were killing her brothers and sisters in Iraq/Afghanistan, the authorities would have looked the other way.
For a woman to have her children taken away because she expressed opinions disliked by the ruling class means we have come as close as doesn't matter to a totalitarian police state. I note that this has happened under a "Conservative" Government. Where are all those "Tory" MPs who like to preen themselves on how libertarian they are? Don't ask.
My view is that every single politician and official involved in this arrest of a dissident and legalised kidnapping of her children should be punished after the collapse of the present regime – not only sacked and deprived of pension rights (because they all will be in the disestablishment of the ruling class), but also made jointly and severally liable for compensating Miss West and her children for whatever they may have suffered.
I have quoted this in full not only because it gives the main facts of the case, but also because it brought a response that I was hoping to provoke someone into making. It came last Friday:
While the punishment meted out to this racist idiot is indeed unacceptable what is remarkable is that you should spring to her defence without disassociating yourself clearly from the contemptible views she espouses. More remarkable still is that you propose that every politician and official involved should be punished, deprived of their pension rights and held liable for compensating Miss West
Scratch a "free market anti-statist" and you will invariably find a statist lurking within
For non-market anti-statist socialism
Now, the writer of this is not a member of the ruling class. He may or may not be one of its clients. But he certainly comes into the category of useful idiot. Leave aside his assumption that a society can hold together by any other means than voluntary association or compulsion by the State – what interests me is his outrage that I did not join to my defence of Miss West’s rights a denunciation of what she said. Increasingly, you are only allowed to defend those persecuted by the ruling class by abasing yourself before the ruling class. Somewhere in what I said, I should have added a variant on the following:
I bow to no one in my utter revulsion of what this evil young guttersnipe said. Being myself a transgendered black lesbian, I have had more than my share of hate-filled bigotry. And I celebrate the immense patience shown by those poor abused people. That no one was driven to violence against West is proof of how strong our diverse and multicultural society has become. All this being said, it is only out of an old-fashioned, and therefore possibly misguided, liberalism that I beg for her not to suffer the full consequences of her totally abhorrent crime against humanity.
Well, I knew that I was expected to come out with this kind of dirt-kissing exercise, and I refused to comply. I refused, because it is inhuman to spit on someone who has already been brought down. I refused because a defence of someone’s rights is often compromised by adverse comment on what he has done. The paraphrase on Voltaire – “I disagree with what you say, but would defend to the death your right to say it” – is all very well when arguing with someone on the other side of a dinner table. My own view, when someone is lying on the ground, is to skip the disagreement.
This has always been my practice. In 1991, I wrote the first and one of the best defences of the “Spanner 15”– that is, of the homosexual men who were tried and punished for consensual acts in private: one of them was convicted of “aiding and abetting an assault on himself!” Not once in any of the essays I wrote or the speeches I made did I insist that I was not myself a leather-worshipping sado-masochistic homosexual, or that I would not like someone to drive a four inch nail through my penis. I got some very funny looks for this omission. But I refused then to distance myself from powerless and ruined victims of injustice – and I refuse now.
I also refuse because what is demanded of me is an endorsement of a legitimising ideology. Here – and for the sake of clarity alone – I will explain what I think of Miss West’s actions. She was vulgar in her speech and uncharitable in her sentiments. But I do not for a moment think that, except for her and people like her, what has been made of my country would be a vibrant love feast without end. While modern commerce and modern technology almost cry out for some mixing of peoples, state-sponsored mass-immigration has been made an excuse to destroy the internal cohesion of my people and to free my rulers from practical accountability. That a quarter of this country’s population may now be strangers, who have been encouraged neither to adopt nor even to respect our ways, is a problem to which I can think of no satisfactory answer. But I refuse, when speaking out against their growing intolerance of disagreement, to bow my head to the people who rule this country. They are not good people led astray by bad ideas. They do not occupy any moral high ground. Until such time as they grow more tyrannical than they have yet become, I will avoid arguing with them on their terms. What they have done to us is evil in itself, and, because it is highly unstable, it will almost certainly lead to greater evils. The least bad outcome will be a swift collapse of the regime they have created, and their punishment with some regard given to due process. And they deserve no less. They are in a position to know exactly what they are doing. If they have chosen not to make the obvious connections of cause and effect, their ignorance is culpable.
Because, more than is usually the case, it is founded on lies and violence, the present regime must eventually collapse. I have no inclination to join some future equivalent of storming the Bastille. Something I can do, though, is to look these people in the face, and refuse to observe their rules of debate. The purpose of these rules is to restrain a debate that would otherwise turn dangerous. No revolution has ever succeeded except after there had been a withdrawal of consent. Let this be withdrawn, and the secret of all power is laid bare – that we are many and they are few. There is little else I will do. But, however small it may be in the overall scheme of things, this much I have done already.
Destroying Childhood to Save Children
Society is deeply schizophrenic about children. On the one hand, there is the Sandusky response. Jerry Sandusky is the former Penn State football coach accused of serial child molestation. Even before a trial, states are scrambling to pass new laws to require universities and athletic associations to report any suspicion of child abuse. In this response, children are defenseless and desperately need their innocence protected by diligent adults.
On the other hand, there is the public-school response. A mere sampling of news stories from last week:
A 9-year-old is suspended for sexual harassment because he told another student that a teacher is “cute.”
A high school student is handcuffed for wearing a hoodie that did not match school colors.
a 13-year-old student is arrested for allegedly burping during class.
a 7-year-old is investigated for sexual harassment for hitting a boy in the groin who was allegedly choking him.
In this response, children are dangerous brutes and adults should treat them as emerging criminals.
Both approaches harm children.
Children as Emerging Criminals
Childhood is a disorderly period, rife with energy and curiosity. Teenagers correctly question the rules of their lives and stretch themselves in a stumble toward adulthood.
These are periods of natural human evolution, but they are cast as criminal or pathologized as “unhealthy.” When viewed as criminal, harmless behavior such as developing a crush on a “cute” teacher is punished as harassment. Public schools confront healthy children and teenagers with “zero tolerance” policies that were designed to rein in drug dealers but are now being applied to dress codes and burping. And so a dress-code violation that used to merit detention now results instead in handcuffs.
Those who criminalize children offer a tremendously negative view of what it is to be young. They depict children as savages and their interrelationships as so hazardous as to need adult correction at every turn; this only encourages children to view each other with suspicion. But children are not savages; they are human beings with rights. How they mature is intimately connected to the inspiration and compassion received from the adults on whom they depend.
No one wants violent bullying to be ignored, but the solution should not be more extreme than the problem. And in the absence of violence, there are far worse things than allowing children to work matters out without applying a guidebook of regulations that rival the military.
Children as Vulnerable Victims
Protecting children by criminalizing adults is no less harmful. Anyone who truly abuses a child deserves contempt and criminal charges. But the fact that child abuse exists must not be used as an a prior indictment of adults, especially of men, as potential child molestors. And yet this indictment has been embedded into society by practices such as airlines’ refusal to seat a child by a nonrelative male or by laws that can be interpreted to require a show of affection to be reported as suspected abuse.
This approach damages children who are taught to view any and all strangers with fear; in turn, adults are taught to avoid contact with children, even if they seem to be in distress. This endangers children. For every predator on the street, there are thousands of decent people who would normally come to the aid of a child in danger or distress. Laws that punish “unsolicited or casual contact” are unlikely to deter child rapists, but they will dissuade good samaritans.
My epiphany came several years ago with one news story. In 2002 a toddler wandered from her nursery school in the early morning and later turned up dead. A bricklayer named Clive Peachey drove past her on the street in his truck. At the inquest he stated, “I kept thinking I should go back. The reason I didn’t was because I thought people might think I was trying to abduct her.” Instead, he assured himself that the parents must be “driving around” and would find her. A few minutes later the little girl fell into an algae-covered pond and died. The man was devastated by the consequences of his inaction but had he stopped, his actions might well have been misinterpreted and resulted in an ordeal that could wreck his livelihood and the welfare of his own children.
Laws that mandate the reporting of any suspicious contact with children will result in a dramatic increase in false or malicious accounts that harm innocent people. They will also make adults withdraw from all contact with children.
Overwhelmingly, the retreating adults will be good human beings who would otherwise enrich children’s lives.
Ironically, the decency of ordinary people is what child-abuse legislators rely on. They depend on the outrage average people feel toward the willful harming of a child. And yet the laws passed in the wake of this outrage will serve to isolate children from decent people.
Aboriginal beliefs threaten $30 billion gas bonanza in Australia
It's the business of the State to empower and reinforce a particular set of religious beliefs? This would violate the separation of church and State in America
A PROPOSED $30 billion gas hub at James Price Point on Western Australia's Kimberley coast would disturb sites used for secret Aboriginal "men's business", lawyers say.
Documents seen by the Herald show a song cycle, a path sacred to the Goolarabooloo and other people of the Dampier Peninsula, which runs through the James Price Point site, 60 kilometres north of Broome. Woodside plans to build a liquefied natural gas terminal there to process gas from its Browse field. Late last month Chalk and Fitzgerald, lawyers for a traditional custodian, Joseph Roe, wrote to Woodside and its joint venture partners in the Browse development - Chevron, Shell, BHP and BP - requesting that site clearing works be suspended as they may be in breach of the WA Aboriginal Heritage Act.
Andrew Chalk of Chalk and Fitzgerald expects shortly to commence legal proceedings to require the WA Registrar of Aboriginal Sites to include the song cycle on the sites register, as was determined in 1991.
Mr Chalk said the registrar had "not explained why the song cycle was not listed in accordance with the standard procedures nor why the office has not taken the usual approach to protecting the site that was notified in July this year, which is to treat it as a site until investigations are carried out to determine otherwise".
The Premier, Colin Barnett, has described James Price Point as an "unremarkable beach" but in 1989 a report by the WA Department of Aboriginal Sites identified James Price Point, also known as Walmadany, as an area of "major" heritage significance, the highest category, with archaeological integrity and dense material over extensive areas including hearths and bone remains.
In 1991 the WA Mining Warden rejected an application for a mining exploration licence by Terrex Resources, based on objections from the Goolarabooloo Aboriginal Corporation and recommendations of an all-male subgroup of the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee, established under the Aboriginal Heritage Act.
Warden John Howard then heard evidence from official anthropologist Nicholas Green, who had been commissioned to document the song cycle, that the song cycle was of "critical" significance to the Aboriginal people of the West Kimberley because it was part of the initiation of young men into Aboriginal law.
"The essence of that law has been placed in the ground," said Mr Green. "Not only at the name places but at all points between those name places."
Mr Green said he had personal knowledge of the song cycle having "attended a ceremony a number of years ago and witnessed for myself the actual songs". He had recorded a lot of information on audio tapes, which had been transcribed, but the evidence was not provided to the court because of its "extreme, sacred nature".
Woodside said yesterday it had obtained all necessary regulatory approvals and consents required to conduct land clearing and geotechnical studies at James Price Point.
"Woodside engaged senior traditional owners to complete detailed anthropological and archaeological surveys and received the appropriate cultural directions in order to conduct our work within this area," the company said. "We have taken this approach to ensure that our work program does not interfere with any potential heritage sites. Traditional owners are providing ongoing assistance to our contractors by monitoring our approved site activities."
But Mr Chalk said Woodside's "approach to the song cycle was one of recklessness, given its significance and of which they have been on notice for many years. It is arguably also illegal."
Mr Roe's challenge recalls the Hindmarsh Island controversy in South Australia in the mid-1990s, which led to a royal commission into allegations that Aboriginal opponents of a proposed bridge to the island had fabricated claims that the project would interfere with "secret women's business".
On Tuesday Chief Justice Wayne Martin in the WA Supreme Court will hand down judgment on a separate challenge by Mr Roe's brother Phillip, and Jabbir Jabbir man Neil McKenzie, to the validity of the WA government's notice of compulsory acquisition of the site at James Price Point.
The threat of compulsory acquisition was used by Mr Barnett, who supports the gas hub, to pressure traditional owners to surrender their native title rights over the James Price Point site and accept a $1.5 billion deal, championed by the Kimberley Land Council, allowing the Woodside project to go ahead.
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 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.