Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Lucky old Britain has a multicultural medical examiner
THE parents of murdered schoolgirl Alice Gross have spoken of their distress after a file containing highly sensitive details of the investigation was left on a train by a coroner.
The 30-page police document, which was never recovered, went missing in November, a month after the 14-year-old’s body was found in the River Brent, West London.
The police are said to have privately described the security lapse as ‘critical’, but Ros Hodgkiss and Jose Gross, Alice’s parents, knew nothing until a whistleblower came to The Mail on Sunday last week.
They said in a statement: ‘We have looked to the police and coroner to help us through our awful loss. Yet now we learn they [...] have withheld from us the loss of this terribly sensitive information about Alice.
‘We are extremely concerned, bewildered and angry – and we have asked for a full written explanation as to what exactly happened and why we were not told.’
Last night the Ministry of Justice said: ‘This clearly appears to be a troubling incident. A full investigation is now under way.’
Police warned senior coroner Chinyere Inyama – who is due to hold an inquest into Alice’s death later this year – not to remove the file from his office. But three sources have told this newspaper that Mr Inyama, 54, left it on a train, apparently discarding it along with magazines he had been reading.
One source said: ‘He [Mr Inyama] shouldn’t have taken any sensitive file out of the office. The potential for disaster in doing something like that is too great.’
Scotland Yard initially said that a single document went missing and that an investigation to recover it ‘concluded that it was highly likely it had been destroyed as waste’.
Supplied with further details of the incident, the spokesman added: ‘With regard to the other issues, I would refer you to the coroner.’
When contacted, Mr Inyama said: ‘You honestly don’t expect me to comment on this, do you?’
Earlier this month Alice’s family said the inquest should ask why police were unaware of her killer’s previous murder conviction and said there were ‘serious questions’ about why he was let into the UK.
Latvian Arnis Zalkalns, 41– who hanged himself before he could be arrested – murdered his wife in 1997. In 2007 he was arrested for a sex assault on a teenage girl in the UK but charges were not brought.
Alice went missing near her home in Hanwell, West London, last August. It was later revealed that Zalkalns used a brick-laden bicycle wheel and logs to pin her body to a riverbed after killing her in a sexually motivated attack.
People with a strong resistance to the idea of inborn sex differences tend to be academics, left-wing, childless
An evolutionary psychologist (EP) writes:
In a study I conducted with my then-undergraduate student, Dan Gambacorta (2010), we found that many people have a strong resistance to accepting the idea of evolved behavioral sex differences. The kinds of people who are so resistant to this idea tended to be people who:
Are very politically liberal
Are academics (especially in the social sciences)
Have no children
These features are often characteristic of academics at many universities and colleges across the nation (especially, of course, being an academic!). So you can see that if EP is being conflated with the idea of evolved behavioral sex differences, and academics generally don’t like that idea, then these same academics might not like EP (see Geher, 2014, for a detailed treatment of this issue (link is external)).
Interestingly, our research found that, generally, academics had no problem with other facets of EP. For instance, the participants in the study were fine acknowledging that evolutionary explanations helped us understand the behavior of non-human animals such as dogs. Further, they acknowledged the utility of EP in helping us understand non-mating-related phenomena such as:
Fear of heights
Disgust at rotten food
The universal nature of human emotional expression
So … if EP is to overcome the resistance that it experiences among so many academics, perhaps the movers of the field need to re-market it a bit – emphasizing the fact that EP is NOT ALL ABOUT evolved behavioral sex differences – research on that topic is simply a slice of EP. EP is a way to understand any and all aspects of behavior.
UK: Tim Farron fell foul of the New Inquisition
Once, gay-rights activists fought orthodoxy - now they enforce it.
It was a dispiriting spectacle. Slumped and a bit sweaty, the newly elected Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, squirmed in his seat on Channel 4 News on Friday, repeatedly dodging Cathy Newman’s pointed questioning. But this wasn’t another exercise in wary, soundbite politicking – another party-political husk offering soft answers as he ‘waits for the report to come out’. No, this was something different, something grimmer.
For Newman wasn’t asking Farron about policy, law or his plans for the much-mocked #LibDemFightback. She was asking about his privately held beliefs. Farron, you see, is a Christian, and a proper one at that. In 2007, he called abortion a ‘tragedy’, and he abstained from voting on the gay-marriage bill in 2013, citing concerns about religious conscience. ‘Christianity’, he once said, ‘is not “a bit” true. It is either not true, or it is so compellingly, utterly true that almost nothing else matters’. None of that Magic FM in the Chilterns guff here.
For Newman, this was enough to call his entire legitimacy as a liberal into question. She asked whether he considered homosexuality a sin, to which he quite eloquently responded: ‘It’s not our views on religion that matter. What matters is whether we go out and fight for the freedom of every single individual to be who they want to be – and that’s what makes a liberal.’ Newman was unconvinced; she asked twice again.
An inevitable backlash followed. A two-minute Twitterhate broke out and then the MPs got stuck in, never missing an opportunity to land some cheap shots. ‘For a liberal, I thought his position seemed incredibly illiberal’, said Labour deputy-leadership hopeful Ben Bradshaw, echoing a prescient Times editorial the morning before the interview, pithily titled ‘Illiberal Democrat’.
Even those who remained sympathetic to Farron felt he was being unduly evasive and disingenuous. But, while Farron did go out of his way to shorn off his few remaining edges in the run up to the ballot – insisting that he supports gay marriage, expounding on transgender rights, and backtracking on abortion – he was not just dodging the question here. Rather, the question was irrelevant. Believing people should have the right to live their lives as they see fit, free from state-enforced morality or social coercion, is the essence of liberalism. That doesn’t mean you have to approve of how people choose to use their liberty. His private views, his superstitions, his God-bothering, have no bearing on his ability to govern – so long as he doesn’t go imposing them on others.
The shaming of Farron speaks to how distorted our conception of liberalism has become. No longer are we guided by the principle of true tolerance, of ‘as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, we’ll leave you to it’. Today, the mantra is ‘you are what you are – let’s throw a parade in your honour’. And, as Farron found out, those who refuse to join in the festivities can find themselves cast out of respectable society. Whether or not you choose to keep your heretical views to yourself seems to be irrelevant.
As Brendan O’Neill has pointed out previously on spiked, we live in an age of the New Inquisition, in which those who dare transgress the new, metropolitan orthodoxies of today, even in their most private of exchanges, are wont to be shamed, sacked and spat on. Last year, Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the Premier League, found himself in hot water when his secretary leaked private emails containing jokey-sexist banter with his friends. Then there’s Donald Sterling, the former owner of the LA Clippers, who received a lifetime ban from the NBA after a recorded conversation of him making derogatory comments about black people made it to the press.
But as the gay-marriage campaign has reached new and intolerant heights across the West, one’s views on gay issues, in particular, have come to be the ultimate citizenship test for your inclusion in public life. In 2013, as the vote on gay marriage in the UK parliament loomed, gay-news sites transformed into a kind of rolling name-and-shame of crotchety peers, religious types and downright cranks who dared utter their disapproval. Last year, Brendan Eich was sacked as CEO of Mozilla when it was revealed he had donated money to anti-gay-marriage groups. And, since then, the intolerant campaign against the unbelievers has gathered pace.
The recent ‘gay cake’ scandal, in which campaigners from the group Queerspace hauled a Presbyterian-run bakery in Belfast before an equalities hearing for refusing to bake a pro-gay-marriage cake, marked a line in the sand. The case against Ashers bakery, funded to the tune of £38,000 by the Northern Ireland Equalities Commission, showed that campaigners don’t even need to rely on leaked, bigoted asides to crush their moral opponents. All they have to do is push the right buttons, probe them, make them show their hand, and the full force of moral opprobrium, and the full power of the courts, will come down upon them.
The tragedy here is that it wasn’t that long ago that the jackboot was on the other foot. As recently as the 1983 Bermondsey by-election, in which an intolerant and violent campaign was unleashed against Labour candidate and gay-rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, one’s embrace of homosexuality could be used to exclude you from political life. Now, with the establishment and the courts beholden to a skewed notion of equality, this intolerant process is playing out once more - only now it’s those who question any aspect of homosexuality who are cast out.
The Enlightened impulse behind gay liberation was the idea that one’s private life and proclivities should have no bearing on how you are treated in the public sphere. Today, this ideal has been thoroughly trashed by a new secular elite, a ‘new clerisy’, as Joel Kotkin has described it, which emulates the old intolerance in the name of liberty. Farron is the latest target; he won’t be the last.
Woman barred from taking needlepoint on jury service... in case she uses it as a weapon (!)
It is surely one of the most ladylike and genteel of hobbies.
But former Royal aide and sewing fanatic Sandy Marsh was barred from taking her needlepoint to court while on jury service – because it would make her ‘a security risk’.
‘They said the needle – which is less than 2in long – could be used as a weapon,’ said Mrs Marsh. ‘It’s ludicrous. What about common sense and discretion?’
The 63-year-old grandmother, who was decorated by the Queen for dedicated public service, hardly fits the classic criminal stereotype.
She was Prince Charles’s Press Secretary for seven years, worked for the Metropolitan Police for 14 years and was vetted to work at Downing Street, the Ministry of Defence and the Crown Prosecution Service.
Her husband, Bob Marsh, is an ex-Scotland Yard commander who was responsible for the Royal Family’s security as head of the Royal and Diplomatic Protection Department. Yet the court was unyielding in its interpretation of security rules.
Following her summons to Guildford Crown Court in Surrey, Mrs Marsh received a booklet which suggested bringing ‘a personal pastime’ because of the amount of waiting around outside court.
There was also a note saying that sharp objects such as knives were not allowed in the court building and would be confiscated. The only exception was the kirpan, the religious sword carried by sikhs.
‘I didn’t think for a minute that needlework would fall into this category, but I rang the court just to be sure,’ said Mrs Marsh.
Court officials insisted the needle would indeed be confiscated if Mrs Marsh brought it to court so she decided to raise the matter with the HM Courts and Tribunals Service, an agency of the Ministry of Justice. She added: ‘I said I had a police background and I couldn’t believe this was the case.’
Refusing to give up, she contacted the Ministry of Justice where, bizarrely, she was told to submit a Freedom of Information request in order to find out who to raise the issue with.
In a statement the HM Courts and Tribunals Service said: ‘We have a robust security system to protect court users. Any item a security officer deems to be potentially dangerous will be confiscated on entry.’
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.