Monday, May 20, 2013
What you get when "There's no such thing as right and wrong"
With a heavily-armed policeman guarding the playground, assault rifle at the ready, it could be the scene of a terror alert. In fact, this is a routine patrol just yards from a suburban primary school.
The show of force is designed to calm residents of an estate plagued by gang shootings. In the past four months there have been nine gun-related incidents in Luton linked to the Marsh Farm and Lewsey Farm estates.
In the latest, a 16-year-old boy was shot in the back early on Saturday morning. He may never walk again.
The violence has left law- abiding families so terrified they welcome the patrols, even if they risk scaring children. Faye Bell, 37, a mother of two, said: ‘The armed police might seem heavy-handed to some people but to us they are hugely reassuring.
‘It’s very sad that it has come to this but we need the police to be armed so they can protect our kids.’
The officers, with a dog unit, have been patrolling the estate near the rundown Purley shopping centre all week.
Marsh Farm residents told the Daily Mail yesterday that the armed patrols had given them the confidence to go outside. Shannon Read, 17, said: ‘I don’t really come out of my house at all so it’s reassuring to know these patrols are here. ‘I knew the lad who got shot on Saturday so it has been even more terrifying recently.’
Darren Putney, 46, added: ‘Some of the children on the way to school or in the play area look frightened. ‘But the police need to make their presence known.’
The officers carry Heckler and Koch G36C assault rifles with 5.56mm calibre ammunition that can pierce body armour.
They were introduced in response to the threat of a ‘marauding’ terror attack, like the one in Mumbai involving a gang of men with semi- automatic rifles. The officer pictured also has a Heckler and Koch baton gun which fires ‘less lethal’ plastic bullets.
He is likely to have a hidden personal protection weapon such as a Glock 17 pistol.
Parents in Luton appear resigned to the patrols. Lisa Conway, 25, a mother of three, said: ‘A Taser gun is not going to be enough when you are dealing with armed gangs.’
Bedfordshire Police have also invoked Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, allowing them to stop and search without suspicion.
Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Richer said: ‘Obviously we are concerned that there could be further incidents and we are doing everything we can do to prevent it.’
More modern Britain: Councillors 'trading insults and speaking at official meetings in Bengali'
Councillors are trading insults and speaking in foreign languages at meetings, prompting concern that it undermined public accountability, it emerged tonight.
Some elected representatives have been accused of slipping into their native tongue at Town Hall gatherings, instead of conducting official business in English.
Some visitors have complained they have been unable to follow proceedings because, when councillors lose their tempers, they appear to trade insults in a foreign language.
Critics tonight attacked councils which allowed public officials to speak foreign languages at meetings, prompting fears the “divisive” practice undermined transparency.
The controversy emerged today at one of London’s biggest local authorities after a councillor formally complained that he was insulted by a colleague in the Bengali language, widely spoken by people from Bangladesh.
One councillor at Tower Hamlet’s council, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was accused of calling colleague Abdal Ullah, a “shurer batcha”, which is translated to mean "Son of a pig".
The comments came during a heated exchange between the pair at a meeting last month, triggering a row within the as the slur is considered extremely offensive to Muslims.
While Cllr Ullah, a Labour councillor, protested at the insult, many English-speaking councillors and other public visitors failed to realise its significance because it was issued in a foreign language.
Some councillors later claimed the issue was widespread and did not just involve trading insults.
It is understood that other members of the public have complained to Town Hall bosses about the use of Bengali during meetings.
It was also suggested that some of the Bengali-speaking councillors have been forced translate for their colleagues.
In a letter to the council's Standards Committee, Councillor Ullah raised concerns about the lack of power to enforce only English being used in council meetings.
“Whilst we may have our differences, councillors should afford one another courtesy in our exchanges rather than resorting to unnecessary and abusive insults,” he wrote.
"In my view the use of Bengali or other languages – other than in translation during public questions or petitions and so on – disrupts the transparency and openness of meeting by preventing some present from understanding the exchanges taking place."
Tonight, Peter Golds, the leader of the council’s Conservative group, said Bengali is was being “used in a very foul manner”.
He added: “At a full council meeting the language should be one that all members of the public should understand.
“It is a very serious problem here that a number of councillors insist on speaking in Bengali.”
"It is not just when they get emotional. It happens a lot. Even when they are travelling in a lift before going into a meeting, they will suddenly begin talking in Bengali.”
Brandon Lewis, the Local Government minister, last night criticised the revelations.
"This is a deeply worrying and divisive move. Council meetings should be held in English,” said the Conservative MP for Great Yarmouth.
"Using foreign languages not only undermines transparency and accountability, but it threatens to promote segregation and harm community cohesion.
"Councils in diverse communities should be encouraging everyone to learn and speak English and not practise the politics of division."
According to official figures, more than half of Tower Hamlets’ population are from non-white British ethnic groups.
Almost a third thirty per cent are of Bangladeshi origin, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in the 2011 Census.
A Tower Hamlets Council spokesman said tonight: "Council proceedings are carried out in English and members’ and officers’ conduct in the chamber is subject to the council’s code of conduct.”
A spokesman for the Local Government Association said it was the right of councillors to speak in a foreign language dependent upon each local council's constitution.
The councillor at the centre of the row did not respond to inquiries.
Council vetoes flag of St George after concerns raised about links to Crusades
A local council decided against flying the flag of St George after concerns were raised that it would offend the town’s 16 Muslim residents.
Eleanor Jackson, a university lecturer, said the red and white symbol could cause upset in Radstock, Somerset, because it was used during the Crusades 1,000 years ago.
The Labour councillor voiced her concerns at a meeting called to discuss which flag should be purchased to fly atop the town's repaired civic flagpole.
She said: “My big problem is that it is offensive to some Muslims, but even more so that it has been hijacked by the far right.
"My thoughts are we ought to drop it for 20 years."
Radstock Town Council, which serves a local population of more than 5,600 residents, eventually decided to purchase a Union flag to fly on Armistice Day.
The rainbow flag of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pride movement will be flown at “appropriate” times of the year while an In Bloom flag will celebrate the town's achievements in the gardening competition.
The objections raised about the flag of St George were branded “oversensitive” by the local Muslim community while the Muslim Council of Britain said England's patron saint should not be associated with “any hatred of Muslims”.
Spokeswoman Nasima Begum said: "St George needs to take his rightful place as a national symbol of inclusivity rather than a symbol of hatred.”
Rizwan Ahmed, spokesman for the Bristol Muslim Cultural Society said: "I think they are going a bit far here. "It is political correctness going a bit too far.
"Use by the far right is one thing, but to say that Muslims are offended I don't think is correct. We understand the flag is part of this country's heritage, and in fact many many Muslims will identify as being British themselves.
"In actual fact we are normal people. We have a sense of humour and have the same concerns as everyone else – we are not just some single group."
Lesley Mansell, the council chair, insisted that the discussion focused primarily on buying a Union flag.
“We were presented a list of every flag we can fly as a local authority but the council agreed that we did not want to fly all of them and simply wanted to purchase our own Union Jack," she said.
“The statement made by one councillor regarding the St George’s flag was not really taken into consideration.”
Australia: NT Chief Minister Adam Giles says fears over "Stolen Generation" are causing child neglect
Leftist fantasies hurting people, as usual. Leftists have demonized social workers who took black kids from abusive, alcoholic homes. So now the kids just get left there. Leftist "compassion" at work
NORTHERN Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles says he will remove neglected Aboriginal children from their parents and place them in adopted homes if necessary.
Mr Giles, Australia's first indigenous state or territory leader, said governments had failed Aboriginal children because of fears they would be accused of creating a new Stolen Generation, but he would not be put off by such accusations, The NT News reports.
"Whatever we do has to be about making parents take responsibility for their kids," Mr Giles said.
"And if they won't, (we're) prepared to provide alternative solutions. If that means those kids are loved and cared for by other parents, then so be it."
Mr Giles said despite the federal intervention, only one Aboriginal child had been adopted in the past decade.
"There are situations in the Northern Territory where nobody has been prepared to support a permanent adoption of a child for fear of Stolen Generation," he told the Northern Territory News.
"There is a lineup of families out there who say, 'If you want help with children, we'll be happy to foster a child, look after a child.'"
Mr Giles, speaking in an exclusive interview, said there would not be a mass grab of children, but he and his cabinet were ready to consider cases of child neglect on a case-by-case basis and move to protect them.
"I think it needs to be negotiated (with biological parents), but there has to be a point in time where you take the necessary steps to protect children."
Mr Giles said the legal mechanisms for adoption were already available, but governments had been reluctant to act.
The result, he said, was that in towns across the Territory, numerous children wandered in high-risk situations, often fearful to go home to households awash with alcohol and violence.
"Where there are couples who wish to provide love and support for children who are neglected and not cared for properly, and it can be determined that the parents will not be able to look after their kids properly till they're older, then we need to make that opportunity available," he said.
"You mean to tell me when we've got all these alleged cases of chronic child sexual abuse, children running around on petrol, going on the streets at night sexualising themselves in some circumstances, and there's only one permanent adoption, for fear of Stolen Generation?
"That is not standing up for kids."
Mr Giles said he wanted the public to know he was prepared to act and said his cabinet was fully behind him.
"If you've got kids who aren't being looked after by their parents, there's only so many times you can try and intervene to get that right," he said.
"And if it's not working, and those kids' lives are falling apart in front of your eyes, make a decision.
"It's not like we're coming in to take kids, but where individual issues come up, we will take that decision.
"People were too scared of Stolen Generation. And I believe that's why there's a lot of kids out there with such social dysfunction."
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, 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.