Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Is this the nadir of British policing?
Political correctness has already corrupted a once respected body of men but this is totally against all that policing should stand for
Convicted criminals will be allowed to join the police under plans to relax strict entry rules that critics fear will undermine standards.
For the first time, candidates will be considered if they have convictions, cautions or fines for offences likely to include possession of cannabis or shoplifting.
The Mail on Sunday has established that Britain’s biggest force is already recruiting those who have been on the wrong side of the law in a controversial attempt to increase race diversity.
It can also be revealed that all forces across England and Wales will be encouraged to adopt softer rules on who should be ruled out from becoming a police officer.
The College of Policing, which sets standards for the profession, is to publish a code of practice in the New Year on the vetting of would-be police officers.
It will set out a relaxation of the current rules – which ban anyone with previous convictions, cautions or fines in all but the most exceptional circumstances – on the grounds that it is keeping potentially valuable people from becoming police officers.
Instead, the college will tell police chiefs they can take on applicants with criminal pasts, as long as they are open about what they did.
Those guilty of relatively minor offences, particularly those committed several years ago and which resulted in light sentences, are likely to be let in to forces.
Applicants who try to hide what they did, or who committed serious crimes involving violence, sex offences or fraud, will continue to be barred from a career in uniform.
And it will still be down to chief constables or personnel directors to make the final decision on a candidate. A spokesman for the College of Policing confirmed last night: ‘We are looking at reviewing the national standards around vetting. The current vetting standards are creating barriers to people who might be interested in policing. We need to look at this and apply discretion for minor convictions.’
But critics warned the move risked damaging public trust in the service, and claimed it was unnecessary as there is no shortage of highly qualified people who want to sign up.
Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents rank-and-file officers, said: ‘The public need to have the utmost confidence that police officers are of the highest calibre and integrity and I have serious and grave concerns about anything which could undermine that.’
The current tough vetting rules, set out by The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) in 2012, do not provide an all-out ban on recruiting people with previous, as each case has to be considered individually.
About 1,000 serving officers have committed some offence, but most are minor infringements of motoring law.
ACPO rules warn, however: ‘Police forces should not recruit people with convictions, cautions and judicial or other formal disposals, which may call in to question the integrity of the applicant or the service.
‘The public is entitled to expect police forces will recruit people who demonstrate the highest standards of professional conduct, honesty and integrity.’
Ahead of the new nationwide code of practice, Scotland Yard has already relaxed its own rules to get more black and ethnic officers on the force, so that it becomes more representative of London’s diverse population.
In a recent report the Met said: ‘Vetting removes 1.6 per cent of all applicants from the recruitment process. However, it removes 4.5 per cent of BME candidates. Earlier this year the Metropolitan Police Service Management Board agreed to accept a higher risk tolerance, particularly where offences occurred some time ago and which were of a minor nature.
The force now disregards the existing ACPO guidance, which says anyone with a Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND) should normally be barred from becoming a constable. PNDs – on-the-spot fines – can be issued for offences ranging from possession of cannabis and shoplifting to using abusive words and being drunk and disorderly.
Keith Vaz MP, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said: ‘Those who join the police should be beyond reproach. Standards must be kept at the highest level.’
Britain Poised to Muzzle 'Extremist' Speech
In Britain, if you have extreme views on anything from Western democracy to women's role in public life, you might soon require a licence from the government before you can speak in public. Seriously.
Nearly 350 years after us Brits abolished the licensing of the press, whereby every publisher had to get the blessing of the government before he could press and promote his ideas, a new system of licensing is being proposed. And it's one which, incredibly, is even more tyrannical than yesteryear's press licensing since it would extend to individuals, too, potentially forbidding ordinary citizens from opening their gobs in public without officialdom's say-so.
It's the brainchild of Theresa May, the Home Secretary in David Cameron's government. May wants to introduce "extremism disruption orders", which, yes, are as terrifyingly authoritarian as they sound.
Last month, May unveiled her ambition to "eliminate extremism in all its forms." Whether you're a neo-Nazi or an Islamist, or just someone who says things which betray, in May's words, a lack of "respect for the rule of law" and "respect for minorities", then you could be served with an extremism disruption order (EDO).
Strikingly, EDOs will target even individuals who do not espouse or promote violence, which is already a crime in the U.K. As May says, "The problem that we have had is this distinction of saying we will only go after you if you are an extremist that directly supports violence. [This] has left the field open for extremists who know how not to step over the line." How telling that a leading British politician should be snotty about "this distinction" between speech and violence, between words and actions, which isn't actually some glitch in the legal system, as she seems to think, but rather is the foundation stone on which every free, democratic society ought to be built.
Once served with an EDO, you will be banned from publishing on the Internet, speaking in a public forum, or appearing on TV. To say something online, including just tweeting or posting on Facebook, you will need the permission of the police. There will be a "requirement to submit to the police in advance any proposed publication on the web, social media or print." That is, you will effectively need a licence from the state to speak, to publish, even to tweet, just as writers and poets did in the 1600s before the licensing of the press was swept away and modern, enlightened Britain was born (or so we thought).
What sort of people might find themselves branded "extremists" and thus forbidden from speaking in public? Anyone, really. The definition of extremist being bandied about by May and her colleagues is so sweeping that pretty much all individuals with outré or edgy views could potentially find themselves served with an EDO and no longer allowed to make any public utterance without government approval.
So you won't have to incite violence to be labelled an extremist —in May's words, these extremism-disrupting orders will go "beyond terrorism." May says far-right activists and Islamist hotheads who have not committed any crime or incited violence could be served with an order to shut the hell up. She has also talked about people who think "a woman's intellect [is] deficient," or who have "denounced people on the basis of their religious beliefs," or who have "rejected democracy"—these folk, too, could potentially be branded extremists and silenced. In short, it could become a crime punishable by gagging to be a sexist or a religion-hater or someone who despises democracy.
Never mind violence, you won't even have to incite hatred in order to be judged an extremist. As one newspaper report sums it up, the aim is "to catch not just those who spread or incite hatred," but anyone who indulges in "harmful activities" that could cause "public disorder" or "alarm or distress" or a "threat to the functioning of democracy." (By "harmful activities", the government really means "harmful words"—there's that Orwellian slip again.) This is such a cynically flabby definition of extremism that it could cover any form of impassioned, angry political or moral speech, much of which regularly causes "alarm or distress" to some of the people who hear it.
As some Christian campaigners recently pointed out, they are frequently accused by their opponents of being "extremists" and of "spreading hatred" simply for opposing gay marriage and taking other traditional stances. Will they potentially be silenced for saying extreme things and causing distress? It's not beyond the realms of possibility, given that May has said that anyone who wants to avoid being thought of as an extremist should "respect British values and institutions" and express "respect for minorities." Slamming gay marriage could very well be read as disrespect for a British institution (gay marriage was legalised here this year) and disrespect for a minority.
What the government is proposing is the punishment of thoughtcrimes, plain and simple. Its insistence that officialdom must now move beyond policing violence and incitements to violence and start clamping down on hotheaded, "harmful" speech that simply distresses people is about colonising the world of thought, of speech, of mere intellectual interaction between individuals—spheres officialdom has no business in policing.
But self-styled progressives, members of the left and those who consider themselves liberal, don't have much of a leg to stand on when it comes to challenging May's tyrannical proposals. For it is was their own arguments, their claims over the past decade that "hate speech" is dangerous and must be controlled and curbed, that gave legitimacy to May's vast silencing project, that inflamed the government's belief that it has the right to police heated minds and not just heated behaviour.
For the best part of two decades, so-called progressives have been spreading fear about the impact of dodgy words and dangerous ideas on the fabric of society. On campuses, in academia, in public life, they've continually pushed the notion that words hurt, that they cause terrible psychic damage, especially to vulnerable groups, wrecking people's self-esteem and making individuals feel worthless. From Britain's student-union officials who have banned Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' in the name of protecting "students' wellbeing" to feminists who have demanded (and won) the arrest and imprisonment of misogynistic trolls, a climate of intolerance towards testy and vulgar speech has already been created in Britain, and the government is merely milking it.
May's proposal to set up a system of licensing for speech, essentially to provide a license to those who respect British values and deny it to those who don't, is the ugly, authoritarian endpoint to the mad obsession with hate speech that has enveloped much of the Western world in recent years.
We should defend extremists. Extremism can be good. I'm an extremist, especially on freedom of speech, which I don't think should ever be limited. Extremists enliven public debate; they sex it up, stir it up, forcing us all to rethink our outlooks and attitudes and sometimes to change our minds. A world without extremists would be conformist and dull and spiritually and intellectually dead.
Let's remember the words of the 17th-century poet John Milton in his impassioned argument against those authorities that last tried to license public expression: "Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties." Guess what was said about Milton after he said those words? Yep, he was called an extremist.
There ARE too many migrants: Ex-premier John Major tells Brussels unless Britain's borders are tightened there's a 50% chance Britain will quit EU
Britain is likely to leave the EU unless it allows us to restrict immigration, Sir John Major warned last night. In an extraordinary intervention, the former prime minister said ‘our small island cannot absorb’ the huge numbers moving here each year.
Sir John, who declared as premier that he wanted Britain at the heart of the EU, claimed our chances of leaving the union were ‘just under 50 per cent’ – and warned this would increase unless Brussels reforms rules on freedom of movement.
He said that although the country welcomed hard-working migrants, the ‘sheer scale of the influx’ had put ‘strains on our health, welfare, housing and education services’.
Britain had accepted ‘one of, if not the largest population movement in peacetime European history’, he told an audience in Germany, adding that failure to tackle the trend would cause ‘huge public disquiet’. ‘It is a matter of numbers,’ he said. ‘Whereas some European populations are falling, the UK has grown by 7 per cent in a decade.’
More than a million people have entered Britain from Poland and seven other former Eastern bloc countries since 2004, when temporary restrictions on migrants from those nations were dropped by Labour. Officials had predicted that just 13,000 would arrive each year.
Sir John, the last Tory leader to win a Commons majority, stressed that he grew up among immigrants in south London who were friends and neighbours.
‘I hate having to make this argument. I hate it. I don’t wish to close our doors to strangers, especially strangers with skills from countries that are often allies.
‘But I do recognise, reluctantly, that our small island simply cannot absorb the present and projected numbers at the current speed. It is not physically or politically possible without huge public disquiet.’
Sir John also launched a strong attack on Ukip, saying: ‘I hope we are going to push them back to the fringes of politics from which they should never have emerged.’
The Tory grandee – whose remarks were shown to and discussed with Downing Street in advance – sketched out David Cameron’s plan to negotiate looser ties with Brussels.
Sir John, who fought bitter battles with Eurosceptics when in Downing Street, appeared to rebuke Mr Cameron after he erupted over the EU budget at the last Brussels summit, suggesting it was time to ‘tone down the oratory and turn up the diplomacy’.
However, he insisted that as large net contributors to the EU’s budget for 40 years, Britain expected the ‘national dilemma’ of seeking to control free movement ‘to be treated with consideration’.
‘It is not too fanciful to say that our partners must weigh up a choice: help us on this issue, or deny us – knowing that the latter course can only fuel the Eurosceptic argument.’
Sir John stressed that migration across borders was not just a problem for the UK, arguing the ‘sheer volume of migration across Europe is alienating citizens from their governments’ in countries such as Greece, France and Italy. ‘It is powering the rise of single-issue political parties whose convictions are alien to a liberal and civilised society. 'Some are racist: others are border-line racist. Some are merely bigots,’ he added.
Labour leader Ed Miliband warned that leaving the EU would be a ‘disaster’, but claimed Mr Cameron was unwilling to take on his party’s Eurosceptics. ‘The Tory party is increasingly a party drifting towards exit from the EU – that is where the centre of gravity of the Tory party is,’ he said.
Mr Miliband added that Sir John’s speech was a ‘damning indictment’ of the prime minister, who was ‘burning bridges and not helping Britain in Europe’.
5 Reasons Why Christians Should Not Obtain a State Marriage License
Every year thousands of Christians amble down to their local county courthouse and obtain a marriage license from the State in order to marry their future spouse. They do this unquestioningly. They do it because their pastor has told them to go get one, and besides, “everybody else gets one.” This pamphlet attempts to answer the question – why should we not get one?
1. The definition of a “license” demands that we not obtain one to marry. Black’s Law Dictionary defines “license” as, “The permission by competent authority to do an act which without such permission, would be illegal.” We need to ask ourselves- why should it be illegal to marry without the State’s permission? More importantly, why should we need the State’s permission to participate in something which God instituted (Gen. 2:18-24)? We should not need the State’s permission to marry nor should we grovel before state officials to seek it. What if you apply and the State says “no”? You must understand that the authority to license implies the power to prohibit. A license by definition “confers a right” to do something. The State cannot grant the right to marry. It is a God-given right.
2. When you marry with a marriage license, you grant the State jurisdiction over your marriage. When you marry with a marriage license, your marriage is a creature of the State. It is a corporation of the State! Therefore, they have jurisdiction over your marriage including the fruit of your marriage. What is the fruit of your marriage? Your children and every piece of property you own. There is plenty of case law in American jurisprudence which declares this to be true.
In 1993, parents were upset here in Wisconsin because a test was being administered to their children in the government schools which was very invasive of the family’s privacy. When parents complained, they were shocked by the school bureaucrats who informed them that their children were required to take the test by law and that they would have to take the test because they (the government school) had jurisdiction over their children. When parents asked the bureaucrats what gave them jurisdiction, the bureaucrats answered, “your marriage license and their birth certificates.” Judicially, and in increasing fashion, practically, your state marriage license has far-reaching implications.
3. When you marry with a marriage license, you place yourself under a body of law which is immoral. By obtaining a marriage license, you place yourself under the jurisdiction of Family Court which is governed by unbiblical and immoral laws. Under these laws, you can divorce for any reason. Often, the courts side with the spouse who is in rebellion to God, and castigates the spouse who remains faithful by ordering him or her not to speak about the Bible or other matters of faith when present with the children.
As a minister, I cannot in good conscience perform a marriage which would place people under this immoral body of laws. I also cannot marry someone with a marriage license because to do so I have to act as an agent of the State! I would have to sign the marriage license, and I would have to mail it into the State. Given the State’s demand to usurp the place of God and family regarding marriage, and given it’s unbiblical, immoral laws to govern marriage, it would be an act of treason for me to do so.
4. The marriage license invades and removes God-given parental authority. When you read the Bible, you see that God intended for children to have their father’s blessing regarding whom they married. Daughters were to be given in marriage by their fathers (Dt. 22:16; Ex. 22:17; I Cor. 7:38). We have a vestige of this in our culture today in that the father takes his daughter to the front of the altar and the minister asks, “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?”
Historically, there was no requirement to obtain a marriage license in colonial America. When you read the laws of the colonies and then the states, you see only two requirements for marriage. First, you had to obtain your parents permission to marry, and second, you had to post public notice of the marriage 5-15 days before the ceremony.
Notice you had to obtain your parents permission. Back then you saw godly government displayed in that the State recognized the parents authority by demanding that the parents permission be obtained. Today, the all-encompassing ungodly State demands that their permission be obtained to marry.
By issuing marriage licenses, the State is saying, “You don’t need your parents permission, you need our permission.” If parents are opposed to their child’s marrying a certain person and refuse to give their permission, the child can do an end run around the parents authority by obtaining the State’s permission, and marry anyway. This is an invasion and removal of God-given parental authority by the State.
5. When you marry with a marriage license, you are like a polygamist. From the State’s point of view, when you marry with a marriage license, you are not just marrying your spouse, but you are also marrying the State.
The most blatant declaration of this fact that I have ever found is a brochure entitled “With This Ring I Thee Wed.” It is found in county courthouses across Ohio where people go to obtain their marriage licenses. It is published by the Ohio State Bar Association. The opening paragraph under the subtitle “Marriage Vows” states, “Actually, when you repeat your marriage vows you enter into a legal contract. There are three parties to that contract. 1.You; 2. Your husband or wife, as the case may be; and 3. the State of Ohio.”
See, the State and the lawyers know that when you marry with a marriage license, you are not just marrying your spouse, you are marrying the State! You are like a polygamist! You are not just making a vow to your spouse, but you are making a vow to the State and your spouse. You are also giving undue jurisdiction to the State.
When Does the State Have Jurisdiction Over a Marriage?
God intended the State to have jurisdiction over a marriage for two reasons – 1). in the case of divorce, and 2). when crimes are committed i.e., adultery, bigamy. etc. Unfortunately, the State now allows divorce for any reason, and it does not prosecute for adultery.
In either case, divorce or crime, a marriage license is not necessary for the courts to determine whether a marriage existed or not. What is needed are witnesses. This is why you have a best man and a maid of honor. They should sign the marriage certificate in your family Bible, and the wedding day guest book should be kept.
Marriage was instituted by God, therefore it is a God-given right. According to Scripture, it is to be governed by the family, and the State only has jurisdiction in the cases of divorce or crime.
History of Marriage Licenses in America
George Washington was married without a marriage license. So, how did we come to this place in America where marriage licenses are issued?
Historically, all the states in America had laws outlawing the marriage of blacks and whites. In the mid-1800′s, certain states began allowing interracial marriages or miscegenation as long as those marrying received a license from the state. In other words they had to receive permission to do an act which without such permission would have been illegal.
Blacks Law Dictionary points to this historical fact when it defines “marriage license” as, “A license or permission granted by public authority to persons who intend to intermarry.” “Intermarry” is defined in Black’s Law Dictionary as, “Miscegenation; mixed or interracial marriages.”
Give the State an inch and they will take a 100 miles (or as one elderly woman once said to me “10,000 miles.”) Not long after these licenses were issued, some states began requiring all people who marry to obtain a marriage license. In 1923, the Federal Government established the Uniform Marriage and Marriage License Act (they later established the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act). By 1929, every state in the Union had adopted marriage license laws.
What Should We Do?
Christian couples should not be marrying with State marriage licenses, nor should ministers be marrying people with State marriage licenses. Some have said to me, “If someone is married without a marriage license, then they aren’t really married.” Given the fact that states may soon legalize same-sex marriages, we need to ask ourselves, “If a man and a man marry with a State marriage license, and a man and woman marry without a State marriage license – who’s really married? Is it the two men with a marriage license, or the man and woman without a marriage license? In reality, this contention that people are not really married unless they obtain a marriage license simply reveals how Statist we are in our thinking. We need to think biblically.
You should not have to obtain a license from the State to marry someone anymore than you should have to obtain a license from the State to be a parent, which some in academic and legislative circles are currently pushing to be made law.
When I marry a couple, I always buy them a Family Bible which contains birth and death records, and a marriage certificate. We record the marriage in the Family Bible. What’s recorded in a Family Bible will stand up as legal evidence in any court of law in America. Both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were married without a marriage license. They simply recorded their marriages in their Family Bibles. So should we.
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 and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.