Monday, August 03, 2015
How long before the British police stop investigating murder?
By PETER HITCHENS
At least our state-school system maintains schools, terrible as many of them are. The NHS, creaky as it is, still treats actual patients.
And in the dear dead days of big nationalised industries, British Coal dug actual coal, British Steel made actual steel, and the same was true of the gas and electricity boards.
But the police force now can’t even be bothered to turn up and investigate burglaries, and its chief spokesperson openly says so.
For the first time we now have a huge and expensive nationalised industry that does not do what it says on the label.
The police do not police, as we understand the word. They are busy doing something else, as you will find if you ever try to speak to them. I am not sure what it is.
I discovered this nasty fact many years ago, the night some vandals put a stone through my front window, and I chased after and caught them.
I had to let them go. The sheer hilarious uselessness of the police on that occasion, their general absence, their pitiful excuses for not coming to my aid when urgently asked (‘we couldn’t find you, the officers didn’t know the area’) alerted me to a problem I’d until then been only dimly aware of.
I ended up writing a book about it, gasping with growing amazement as I found out from the archives what had happened to a body I used to trust and admire.
I have to say here that many of the police officers I meet or talk to are perfectly decent men and women (though a minority are not, as recent figures of criminal convictions show). It’s just that the police force itself is now trading falsely on a name and reputation it earned in another time.
You’ll find this out if ever you actually need them. In the meantime, how many warnings do you want? I have to say that the statement by Sara Thornton, head of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, that ‘if you’ve had a burglary, for example, and the burglar has fled, we won’t get there as quickly as we have in the past’ is a pretty clear indication of how things really stand.
I’m not sure how quickly that actually was, as it happens. Car break-ins long ago went on the police’s ‘ignore if you possibly can’ list, along with drug possession, littering, shoplifting, vandalism, disorderly drunkenness, public swearing, driving while texting or phoning, and a hundred other things they no longer think are their affair. And, as if by some miracle, once the police stop bothering with these offences, fiddled figures claim that they are not happening any more, and the magistrates’ courts are being closed for lack of business. Well I never.
Don’t be surprised if, in 20 years’ time, homicide goes the same way. To save time and trouble, it’ll be recorded as something else (murder is already often downgraded to manslaughter to save time and trouble), and people watching old episodes of Inspector Morse will wonder why anyone is making such a fuss over a dead body.
Once upon a time, I would have minded. Now I just laugh. But, be warned: like other nationalised industries, the police will act swiftly and decisively if you dare to challenge their monopoly. If you are foolish enough to defend your own home against burglary, expect to be arrested, fingerprinted, DNA-swabbed and probably charged. They wouldn’t want the idea catching on that we could manage without them.
Sen. Lankford on Religious Liberty: ‘We Cannot Have a Group Say, If You Don’t Agree with Me, I Will Silence You’
“In America we cannot have a group say, if you don’t agree with me, I will silence you and make sure you cannot operate,” Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) said on Tuesday in reference to preserving religious liberty for faith-based groups in light of the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize homosexual marriage.
“In a private institution, if you remove tax-exempt status and you remove the opportunity to have student loans and you remove the Pell grants, you’ve shut down that institution and it was a volitional act to say: you disagree with me, I will close you down,” Lankford said.
“That is something we’ve got to be able to guard against, to say, can people have religious belief?” said the senator. “That affects how they hire and what they do.”
Senator Lankford was speaking as part of a panel discussion on same-sex marriage and threats to religious liberty in light of the recent Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision, which made gay marriage a civil right, hosted by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC).
Lankford called the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman “an accepted belief in the history of our nation and for a millennia,” adding that the Supreme Court’s decision has “far-reaching implications” for faith-based institutions that hold this belief.
“When this fall someone walks in and says, we’re a couple, we have been married now as a gay marriage; we want to be in married student housing though your faith says something different; we want to join this university and we want to be in that spot and if you don’t accept us we’re going to try to take away your nonprofit status; we’re going to try to take away Pell grants from you; and we’re going to try to take away student loans from you, so you’d better accept us,” Lankford speculated, adding, “What happens at that moment?”
Senator Lankford also said that adoption has become a “critical issue” for faith-based organizations in the fight for religious liberty.
“We have to be able to give some clarity there because we may have a community where you have 100, 200, 500 children that are in the process of adoption and to say to these three adoption agencies: no you can’t, you can no longer do adoptions, you’re going to just need to go away, that’s 300 children with no potential to be adopted,” he said. “That is incredibly unfair to say, if you don’t do this for this certain couple, then you can’t do it for any couple.”
“There’s an interesting conversation about hiring that’s ongoing now with faith-based institutions,” Lankford continued. “Can you be a faith-based institution and still have hiring practices that are consistent with the faith?”
“It’s interesting to me when I get in to this conversation and I talk to colleagues and I say, you know what?” Lankford continued, “typically Republican members of this Senate tend to hire Republican staff members and Democrat members tend to hire Democrat staff members.”
“They don’t want to have, like, five Republican staff members in their office as a Democrat and everyone’s okay with that,” he said. “Yet there seems to be this double standard in hiring for faith-based institutions.”
In his dissent in the Obergefell v. Hodges case, Chief Justice John Roberts referenced some of the difficulties religious institutions could face in light of the decision, particularly the question of college housing arrangements for same-sex married couples.
“Hard questions arise when people of faith exercise religion in ways that may be seen to conflict with the new right to same-sex marriage – when, for example, a religious college provides married student housing only to opposite-sex married couples,” Roberts wrote.
“There is little doubt that these and similar questions will soon be before this Court,” said Roberts. “Unfortunately, people of faith can take no comfort in the treatment they receive from the majority today.”
In his dissent of the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling making homosexual marriage a civil right, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that the decision “will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. … I assume that those who cling to old beliefs will be able to whisper their thoughts in the recesses of their homes, but if they repeat those views in public, they will risk being labeled as bigots and treated as such by governments, employers, and schools.”
Ladies-only parking spaces introduced at Frankfurt airport that are ‘bigger, nicer and close to the terminals’ spark sexism row in Germany
Frankfurt airport has caused controversy after it painted a section of its car park pink and designated it entirely for the use of women.
Worse still for people striving for equality, the Ladies Parking section has bigger parking bays insinuating they require less skill to manoeuvre their vehicle safely into the parking spot.
According to airport authorities, the new bays offer 'quick, safe and convenient from your parking to the terminal.' Airport officials said the bays are 'bigger, nicer and close to the terminals'.
They added: 'This is our exclusive parking offer at Frankfurt Airport for women only. With new and special designed parking areas, which are colour-coded and easy to find.'
Women hoping to avail of the new parking zones have to find their way to the pink areas which are located in several areas.
Geraldine Herbert, editor of Wheels for Women magazine told The Local that many areas in Germany have a requirement that 30 per cent of parking spaces are allocated exclusively for women.
She said: 'It's very patronising for women to be singled out in this way. All this does is reinforce the stereotype that women are bad at parking.'
Campaigners claim that women-only parking spots enable the introduction of better security and CCTV systems to help lady drivers feel safery.
The German Automobile Association added: 'We believe that in car parks, every parking space should be a "women's" parking space.
'This means making sure every space and stairwell is well-lit, avoiding blind spots and corners and installing sufficient electronic security systems - most importantly video surveillance and emergency call systems.'
Bias against rich people in Australia
Brighton is a wealthy Melbourne suburb
I LIVE in Brighton. I’ve grown up in Brighton my whole life and I went to a private school. There, I’ve said it, loud and proud. Have you already summed me up? Let me start by saying this, I’m not the “typical Brighton girl”.
Yes I like nice things — who doesn’t? But I’ve had to work for every single one of those “Brighton” items — whether it was my car, a handbag, or a new coat for work.
Why is it though, when people ask where I’m from, I become awkward and end up lying? “Oh, do you know Bayside? Yeah, I live around there kinda, um, Sandringham, Black Rock way.”
I found, going through university and now in full-time work, Victorians can be quick to judge.
First impressions are everything and society likes to make up its mind in about five seconds.
When I was at university, in the first class of each semester the teacher would make us go around the class and introduce ourselves.
First year uni, I was a novice. I didn’t understand society’s quick judgment. “Hi, my name is Cassie, I’m studying journalism and I live in Brighton.”
I remember the initial reaction of one of my tutors: “Oh we’ve got a Briiiighton girl in the class!”
I didn’t know what he meant. Should I be offended? Embarrassed?
By third year, I knew how to avoid the unpleasant looks and reactions. I didn’t want people to treat me differently, or think I had it easier than them. So I lied. “Hi, my name is Cassie, I’m studying journalism and I live around the St Kilda area.”
But what my fellow students, teachers and society didn’t sum up in the five seconds of the first impression was how my family got to be where they are. How we came to live in Brighton.
When my grandfather was 14 he fled Greece for a better life. He came here alone.
When he arrived in Australia, he taught himself English, working 70 hours a week in a family cafe in Richmond until he eventually married and took over the cafe when his uncle died.
My mother’s parents had a fruit shop in Black Rock. My mum, and her two sisters, lived in the back of the shop until her parents could afford a house.
My grandparents on both sides struggled. They struggled to send my parents to school, to put food on the table, to give them a life they deserved. But they did it.
My mother and father are dreamers. They have huge, crazy, unimaginable goals but they work hard to achieve these goals — which is how they’ve raised me and my younger brother.
I live where I do because of their sheer hard work, their sacrifice for us. Why do people judge that?
My parents have taught us, if we want something in our life — whether that’s a career, a holiday or a home — it’s not impossible, nothing is impossible. It just comes down to pure hard work.
It hurts when people want to stereotype us and jump to conclusions, ridiculing us for striving to be successful.
I’m not saying everyone who lives in Brighton is like my family, but Bayside is made up of 100,000 different people, each with their own histories and dreams for the future.
Society should not be so quick to judge.
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.