Thursday, September 06, 2012
Vindictive British police imprison home defender
It is very unlikely that he will be convicted of anything so why was he arrested, let alone held in police cells? Like a Los Angeles street gang, the police were just protecting their "turf". They don't want anyone else doing the job that they have failed to do
A businessman arrested for allegedly shooting two burglars was "living in fear" after police failed to catch thieves who had broken into his secluded cottage three times previously, according to his family.
Andy Ferrie and his wife Tracey were released last night after being held for almost three days on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm but remained on police bail.
It came as two men from Leicester, aged 27 and 33, were charged with burglary. They are due to appear before magistrates in Loughborough today.
Gill Walker, Mr Ferrie's aunt, said he would have been "suffering immensely" after being held in custody.
She said the 35–year–old, who runs a caravan and motorhome repair service in rural Leicestershire, was constantly worried that his home would be targeted after police failed to catch burglars who struck three times before.
She told The Daily Telegraph: "Andrew is a placid and calm person. He is extremely hard–working and someone who is just trying to keep his head above water like any other decent law–abiding person.
"His home has been burgled three times before and I know they were living in fear of it happening again. No one was ever caught as far as I know and it is in such a remote location that they made an easy target.
"It is disgusting that he has even been arrested, let alone been held for this long.
He has never been in trouble with the police and will be suffering immensely being locked up. He does not deserve this."
John Towell, Mrs Ferrie's stepfather, told a newspaper: "Shoot their legs? I'd have blown their bloody heads off. Four of them came in. Andy and Tracey did what anyone would have done."
Mr Towell said the law should now be changed to protect property owners acting to defend themselves in burglaries.
Mr Ferrie's other aunt, Kathleen Merry, said: "Living in such an isolated place, had made them an easy target for thieves. He and his wife want to go to Australia but with this hanging over them they might be refused entry. His life could be ruined because someone else came into his home and tried to burgle him."
The couple were arrested just after midnight on Sunday when Mr Ferrie rang police to report that some people had broken into their house in Welby, near Melton Mowbray.
He told officers he had grabbed the legally owned shotgun the couple possessed and fired it at the burglars.
Mr Ferrie and his wife, 45, who is believed to hold a gun licence, were arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm after two of the suspected burglars were taken to hospital suffering gunshot wounds.
By yesterday afternoon, both men had been released from hospital and were later charged by police. Two alleged accomplices aged 23 and 31 were bailed pending further inquiries.
The Ferries' case has reopened the debate about the rights of householders to use force against intruders.
The couple have been supported by Alan Duncan, their local MP and a Government minister, who said they were the real victims and it would be a crime if they were prosecuted for defending their home.
Earlier this year, ministers said they would clarify the law to make it clear that anyone who uses reasonable force to repel an intruder will not be punished.
Leftists attack free speech
A tiny EDL march in London would have been insignificant were it not for the OTT response of left-wing groups
The fewer English Defence League supporters that can be mobilised for a demo, it seems, the more left-wing campaigners feel the need to go out and counter them. On Saturday, there were about 150 far-right EDL members marching in Walthamstow, London. But that didn’t stop a counter-protest 20 times this size taking place in an attempt to ‘crush’ the EDL.
One thing that never seems to cross anti-EDL campaigners’ minds is what it would be like if the EDL was simply allowed to march without obstruction. The EDL did little to no mobilisation in Waltham Forest, the borough in which Walthamstow sits – it was the ‘We Are Waltham Forest’ anti-EDL campaigners who spent almost two months fliering, putting up posters, holding meetings, getting people to sign petitions, knocking on doors and running stalls in Walthamstow town centre.
Without the efforts of We Are Waltham Forest, 150 EDL members would have turned up on the bleak crossroads by Blackhorse Road station, and trudged for a mile or two towards their planned rallying point at Walthamstow Town Hall, causing minimal disruption. Walking along the largely empty Forest Road, they would have appeared slightly daft and pathetic. Indeed, for much of the route, with their ‘Allah is a paedo’ banners and feamongering chants drawing the attention of only a handful of passersby, that is exactly how they came across. (They really only came snarling to life when spurred on by anti-fascist protesters and photographers who were following the protest from a safe distance on the other side of the road.)
But the idea that the EDL could march unchallenged would be anathema to anti-fascist campaigners who are convinced they are witnessing the birth of a neo-Nazi party, or an angry swarm of Anders Breiviks-in-the-making. Indeed, many wanted the march banned altogether, with local Labour MP Stella Creasy leading the call. At a special meeting last month, she said of the EDL: ‘When they talk about marching on any day, it’s a no go for me. That’s a point when our welcome draws a line in the sand and says no.’
‘When you come with those views’, she continued, ‘when you come with that vision of our local community, it’s not what we expect, it’s not representative, and it’s not what we will accept’. Evidently for Creasy, and the hundreds of people whose views she claimed to represent, only people with the ‘right’ views are welcome in Waltham Forest. Lib-Con home secretary Theresa May and the police ignored the request for a ban, however, and the EDL’s march went ahead.
Some anti-EDL campaigners saw fit to attack May as a result. One furious campaigner started screaming hysterically at the police, who were keeping him apart from the EDL march: ‘It’s Theresa May’s fault, it’s her fault, how could she let them come here?’ One seller of a left-wing newspaper was challenged by a photographer about why he wanted the EDL banned. Are you not in favour of free speech and democracy?, he was asked. ‘Fundamentally, I’m against fascism’, he responded.
The idea that the left can gain unity through being against the EDL – perceived to be the twenty-first century frontline of fascism – was pushed by speakers and protesters. One prominent left-wing blogger tweeted: ‘The stereotype that the British left are best at mobilising AGAINST things is truest… when it comes to resisting fascism.’
For all the bravado about ‘smashing’ the EDL, and chants comparing it to the Nazis and ‘stringing them up like Mussolini’, when the anti-EDL protesters got a chance to take on the individuals who share the ‘same hatred’ as Anders Breivik, they did, erm, nothing. With the EDL march diverted down side streets due to a ‘sit down’ protest by anti-fascist groups, the EDL’s leaders – including founders Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll – found themselves surrounded by about 500 anti-EDL protesters. Robinson took the opportunity to mock the crowds through a loudspeaker system, asking questions along the lines of: ‘If the sun didn’t set during Ramadan, would you rather starve than eat?’
Despite the EDL leadership being outnumbered 100 to 1 by protesters, and buffered by just a handful of policemen, all the protesters did was chant, ‘if it wasn’t for the coppers, you’d be dead’ (to the tune of ‘She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain’). Their failure to act rather gave the lie to the idea that they genuinely believe Robinson and his cronies to be the new Nazis. The Battle of Cable Street this wasn’t. The anti-fascist protest was exposed not as a groundswell of community members, willing to take to the streets to fight the fascist threat, but rather as an army of censors calling upon the state to ban the obnoxious, lager-swilling, working-class louts of the EDL.
If Tommy Robinson really was the same as Breivik, why did protesters just whine when they had him cornered?
Miffed that he wasn’t going to be able to address his supporters at the rally, Robinson bellowed down the loudspeaker, ‘What about our democratic rights? What about free speech?’ One voice in the crowd responded: ‘Fuck your free speech!’
Such an attitude sums up the censorious approach of the anti-Nazi left-wing campaigners. The EDL is cast as hate incarnate, needing to be banned for holding views that the likes of Stella Creasy MP deem unacceptable. The EDL can’t just be countered, it seems, it must be silenced.
The left has cried wolf over the rising threat of the EDL. Should it return soon – as it promises to – it’s unlikely such numbers will turn out from the community to protest against the EDL. Moreover, when faced with the perfect opportunity to ‘crush’ the ringleaders of the movement, these great anti-fascist protesters balked. Perhaps they realised that should the great fascist spectre of the EDL cease to exist, they would have to go through the effort of hyping up another threat instead.
Sam Brick stirs the pot again
I think there's a lot of truth in what she says
Samantha Brick caused a stir when she declared that she is hated by other women for her beauty, but the Daily Mail journalist, who became the fourth person to be evicted from Celebrity Big Brother last Friday, says her experience on the show has only strengthened her views on the subject.
The 41-year-old insists that the fact that all of the evictees from the series so far have been women, proves her point that females are often against each other.
‘Women don’t like each other very much,’ she said during an interview on Celebrity Big Brother’s Bit On The Side.
‘The fact is, there were seven women in that house and now there are just two. Had we bonded together and formed a clique like the guys have done, there would still be seven of us in there and just two guys. ‘But the guys are smart, they grouped together and had each other’s back.’
She says that many of the male housemates, particularly comedian Julian Clary and Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp, have been flying under the radar in the house, saving their best lines for the diary room.
‘The guys are like extinct volcanoes,’ she added. ‘Martin just works on his sun tan, and Julian sits there looking bored out of his mind. Except when they get to the diary room and it all explodes!’
Samantha, who lives in France with her husband Pascal, is desperate to be a mother and has recently been undergoing IVF treatment. She admits that she enjoyed mothering younger housemates such as Olympian Ashley McKenzie and Jersey Shore star Michael Sorrentino.
‘People have commented on the fact that I was like a mother figure in the house and that I looked after all the young ones like they were my own and I really liked that,’ she said in a recent interview. ‘I think there is no shame in saying I would like to be domestic or a good housewife as a career choice and maybe that’s what I’d like to do next. ‘I loved it when people called me mum in the house, as that’s my biggest aspiration right now.‘
During her time in the house, Samantha was particularly critical of Danica and Rhian, who she accused of emotionally manipulating the male housemates.
But she says her opinion of Julian has changed considerably now that she’s had time to watch episodes of the show
‘He’s a misogynistic snob isn’t he?’ she exclaimed. ‘He doesn’t like women. He doesn’t like working class people. He doesn’t like my accent. I don’t think I could ever have won him round.’
Samantha also insisted that she had no regrets about the article that brought her into the spotlight. ‘That story I wrote in April was my idea,’ she said. ‘It came about when I noticed one of my female neighbours consistently ignoring me and it stemmed from there.
‘I was made to feel that she not only didn’t like me but also that she didn’t want me in her social circle at all, purely because she felt threatened and thought I might fancy her husband.
‘Well, that made me angry and I thought I would write down the very thing that I know lots of women have experienced but are too scared to say out loud.’
EU funding 'Orwellian' artificial intelligence plan to monitor public for "abnormal behaviour"
The European Union is spending millions of pounds developing "Orwellian" technologies designed to scour the internet and CCTV images for "abnormal behaviour".
A five-year research programme, called Project Indect, aims to develop computer programmes which act as "agents" to monitor and process information from web sites, discussion forums, file servers, peer-to-peer networks and even individual computers.
Its main objectives include the "automatic detection of threats and abnormal behaviour or violence".
Project Indect, which received nearly £10 million in funding from the European Union, involves the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and computer scientists at York University, in addition to colleagues in nine other European countries.
Shami Chakrabarti, the director of human rights group Liberty, described the introduction of such mass surveillance techniques as a "sinister step" for any country, adding that it was "positively chilling" on a European scale.
The Indect research, which began this year, comes as the EU is pressing ahead with an expansion of its role in fighting crime, terrorism and managing migration, increasing its budget in these areas by 13.5% to nearly £900 million.
The European Commission is calling for a "common culture" of law enforcement to be developed across the EU and for a third of police officers – more than 50,000 in the UK alone – to be given training in European affairs within the next five years.
According to the Open Europe think tank, the increased emphasis on co-operation and sharing intelligence means that European police forces are likely to gain access to sensitive information held by UK police, including the British DNA database. It also expects the number of UK citizens extradited under the controversial European Arrest Warrant to triple.
Stephen Booth, an Open Europe analyst who has helped compile a dossier on the European justice agenda, said these developments and projects such as Indect sounded "Orwellian" and raised serious questions about individual liberty.
"This is all pretty scary stuff in my book. These projects would involve a huge invasion of privacy and citizens need to ask themselves whether the EU should be spending their taxes on them," he said.
"The EU lacks sufficient checks and balances and there is no evidence that anyone has ever asked 'is this actually in the best interests of our citizens?'"
Miss Chakrabarti said: "Profiling whole populations instead of monitoring individual suspects is a sinister step in any society.
"It's dangerous enough at national level, but on a Europe-wide scale the idea becomes positively chilling."
According to the official website for Project Indect, which began this year, its main objectives include "to develop a platform for the registration and exchange of operational data, acquisition of multimedia content, intelligent processing of all information and automatic detection of threats and recognition of abnormal behaviour or violence".
It talks of the "construction of agents assigned to continuous and automatic monitoring of public resources such as: web sites, discussion forums, usenet groups, file servers, p2p [peer-to-peer] networks as well as individual computer systems, building an internet-based intelligence gathering system, both active and passive".
York University's computer science department website details how its task is to develop "computational linguistic techniques for information gathering and learning from the web".
"Our focus is on novel techniques for word sense induction, entity resolution, relationship mining, social network analysis [and] sentiment analysis," it says.
A separate EU-funded research project, called Adabts – the Automatic Detection of Abnormal Behaviour and Threats in crowded Spaces – has received nearly £3 million. Its is based in Sweden but partners include the UK Home Office and BAE Systems.
It is seeking to develop models of "suspicious behaviour" so these can be automatically detected using CCTV and other surveillance methods. The system would analyse the pitch of people's voices, the way their bodies move and track individuals within crowds.
Project coordinator Dr Jorgen Ahlberg, of the Swedish Defence Research Agency, said this would simply help CCTV operators notice when trouble was starting.
"People usually don't start to fight from one second to another," he said. "They start by arguing and pushing each other. It's not that 'oh you are pushing each other, you should be arrested', it's to alert an operator that something is going on.
"If it's a shopping mall, you could send a security guard into the vicinity and things [a fight] maybe wouldn't happen."
Open Europe believes intelligence gathered by Indect and other such systems could be used by a little-known body, the EU Joint Situation Centre (SitCen), which it claims is "effectively the beginning of an EU secret service". Critics have said it could develop into "Europe's CIA".
The dossier says: "The EU's Joint Situation Centre (SitCen) was originally established in order to monitor and assess worldwide events and situations on a 24-hour basis with a focus on potential crisis regions, terrorism and WMD-proliferation.
"However, since 2005, SitCen has been used to share counter-terrorism information. "An increased role for SitCen should be of concern since the body is shrouded in so much secrecy. "The expansion of what is effectively the beginning of an EU 'secret service' raises fundamental questions of political oversight in the member states."
Superintendent Gerry Murray, of the PSNI, said the force's main role would be to test whether the system, which he said could be operated on a countrywide or European level, was a worthwhile tool for the police.
"A lot of it is very academic and very science-driven [at the moment]. Our budgets are shrinking, our human resources are shrinking and we are looking for IT technology that will help us five years down the line in reducing crime and combating criminal gangs," he said.
"Within this Project Indect there is an ethical board which will be looked at: is it permissible within the legislation of the country who may use it, who oversees it and is it human rights compliant."
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. Email me (John Ray) here.