Tuesday, July 26, 2016
More astonishing laxity from the British police
Being seen to pursue paedophiles trumps everything -- even acting on the claims of a known chronic liar is just fine
Just imagine, if you can, being in the shoes of David Bryant. In 2013, this retired fire chief, with multiple commendations for bravery during his 40 years with the Dorset fire service, was sentenced to six years in jail for a sex attack on a 14-year-old boy which had allegedly taken place more than 35 years earlier.
In 2014, Bryant’s sentence was increased to eight-and-a-half years, after the then Solicitor General Sir Oliver Heald — who last week was made Justice Minister in Theresa May’s Cabinet reshuffle — had argued the initial sentence was ‘unduly lenient’.
Perhaps it was thought that the original trial judge was too much influenced by the countless tributes made to Bryant’s impeccable character. Well, it turns out that those tributes had been entirely accurate: last week, Bryant’s conviction was overturned after it was demonstrated that his accuser, Danny Day, was a fantasist with a history of mental illness.
Scandalously, none of this was revealed during Bryant’s trial. It came to light only as a result of a campaign by his wife, Lynn, who assembled a team of friends and private investigators. Working free of charge, they discovered Danny Day’s past, in particular that he had for a decade sought medical help from his GP for being a ‘chronic liar’: among other things, he claimed entirely falsely to have been an Olympic boxer.
They also discovered that the fire station pool table, on which Day claimed to have been raped, had not been bought until 1992 — well over a decade after the offence was alleged to have taken place.
The Bryants believe Day’s false claims were based on greed. He is said to have been awarded £50,000 through the taxpayer-funded Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and, after the trial, began a £200,000 claim against the Bryants and Dorset County Council.
But none of this explains the timing of Day’s claims, which began with a handwritten letter to Bryant: ‘At 6 o’clock tonight I am going to the police station to report what went on and at 7 to the national papers. I think it is time you and me had a chat.’ That pay-off line has the distinct whiff of blackmail.
Day himself declared to the Press that he had been ‘motivated to come forward in the aftermath of the Jimmy Savile affair’. Add another one to the thousands — and I mean thousands — of claims encouraged by the police, who declared after the Savile revelations that they would henceforth ‘believe’ anyone who came forward with claims of ‘historic abuse’.
The most extraordinary of these were from a man known only as ‘Nick’, whose claims that he had witnessed the abuse, torture and murder of children carried out by the late Prime Minister Edward Heath along with sundry generals and MPs, were described as ‘credible and true’ by the Metropolitan Police. This, despite the absence of a single strand of corroborative evidence, let alone the names or bodies of those allegedly murdered.
Among those innocents whose lives had been torn apart were the war hero and retired Army Chief Lord Bramall, on whose home and that of his dying wife 20 police descended as if raiding a mafia boss; and the late former Home Secretary Lord Brittan, who died without being informed by the police that they had decided not to continue with an investigation into equally fanciful claims that he had raped someone decades earlier.
For this the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, later grudgingly apologised to Lady Brittan.
She has nobly endured so many hurts, not least by the decision of the Home Office not to send a representative to her husband’s memorial service in May last year (before the Met had very belatedly stopped its investigations into ‘Nick’s’ fantasies). Every single previous such memorial for deceased Home Secretaries had been attended by the current holder of that office.
Yet the Home Secretary at the time of Leon Brittan’s death, Theresa May, stayed away. If the new Prime Minister is the decent and moral woman I believe her to be, her conscience should now be troubling her greatly.....
What a farce this whole business has become: and also a tragedy, as poor David Bryant discovered.
Why I Support Israel
Australian Far Leftist webzine is enjoying the Muslim immigration controversy
See below. They perversely see the debate as a condemnation of Australia generally. Taking only SOME refugees is "racist", you see. In case it's not clear, Australia's prioritizing of persecuted Christians for the refugee intake is what has got the writer all burned up and gripped with the fires of prophecy. The writer is Shakira Hussein, if that tells you anything. An obvious Presbyterian?
Much of the response to Andrew Bolt and Sonia Kruger’s call to halt Muslim immigration has rested on the assumption that such calls are just hate speech for the sake of hate speech rather than a realistic policy proposal. But Australia’s immigration policy has been discriminating against Muslims since the 2014 announcement of the special refugee intake in response to the crisis in Syria and Iraq during the last throes of the Abbott prime ministership.
And the grounds for the discriminatory framework for the special refugee intake were remarkably similar to those stated by Kruger for a blanket ban on Muslim migration: to accommodate the Australian public’s fear of Muslim men.
At the time, the announcement of the special refugee intake felt like a victory for people power, coming as it did in response to the candlelit vigils for drowned Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi. And after all, no one could argue that the “persecuted minorities” who are the favoured candidates under this policy are not in need of asylum.
It also helped that Tony Abbott — with his fear-mongering talk of death cults and demands for Muslims to “do more” to prove that Islam is a religion of peace — was replaced soon afterwards by the more “reasonable” Malcolm Turnbull, who was one of the Coalition MPs to have called for Christian refugees to be prioritised but who also set about repairing the government’s damaged relationship with Australia’s Muslim communities.
The process of damage repair, of course, culminated in the iftar at Kirribilli House to which Andrew Bolt took such entertainingly deranged exception as the election results came through. Turnbull’s “reasonable” approach to The Muslim Issue has put pressure on Muslims to be “reasonable” in return, so that Waleed Aly chose to “tease” Turnbull about the NBN rather than publicly raising more fraught issues like the internment of asylum-seekers on Manus Island and Nauru and the introduction of ever-more stringent anti-terrorism legislation. A guest at a dinner party must keep their personal opinions within certain boundaries, after all.
TV host Sonia Kruger Kruger’s fear-driven, fear-mongering against Muslims has jeopardised her relationship with sponsors like Porsche and Swisse, who have no desire to lose their Muslim customers. She also triggered a debate about how best to respond to the rise in racist hate speech, with a plethora of tweets and op-eds dissenting from Waleed Aly’s call for her, and others like her, to be forgiven.
Kruger’s hate speech has expanded the boundaries of what can be said in what used to be called polite company (Andrew Bolt having long been unfit for such company). In resisting the dangers that this raises, we must not lose sight of the way in which the shift that she calls for is already underway. Kruger may well have to return her Porsche, but we cannot afford to regard this as anything more than a temporary respite.
The prioritising of persecuted minorities in the special refugee intake provides us a foretaste of how a Muslims Need Not Apply migration policy might come about — not overnight in the form of a blanket ban, but incrementally, step by step in order to allay the reasonable fears of reasonable Australians and under the watch of a reasonable Prime Minister like Malcolm Turnbull or whoever his (probably) reasonable successor might turn out to be. And at the end of this fearful week, it is difficult not to speculate on what other measures that now belong to fringe platforms like The Australian’s letters to the editor might come to seem reasonable.
Campaigns against the internment camps on Manus and Nauru have often rested on the assumptions that these represent an abhorrence for which history will judge those responsible in the not-too-distant future. We should perhaps begin to contemplate that they may, in fact, provide us with a glimpse of the future and that just as off-shore detention was introduced on reasonable humanitarian grounds in order to prevent drownings at sea and prevent the profiteering of people smugglers, a “reasonable” government might decide that internment of its own citizens is a necessary and reasonable security measure.
It is reasonable to be unforgiving when such spectres are so easily and reasonably conjured.
Tolerance of extremism will provoke backlash
Chris Kenny comments from Australia
The corrosive impact of Islamist extremism is evident to most of us but our political and community leaders are only making things worse by ignoring this insidious challenge.
Violence and intolerance preached and perpetrated by extremists creates fear, mistrust and division. That is its intention. We can’t pretend it away.
Speeches at Sydney’s Lakemba Mosque to celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan yesterday showed how we are fumbling the problem. The president of the Lebanese Muslim Association, Samier Dandan, spoke aggressively about Australian Muslims being victims of “Islamophobia” and unspecified government policies.
“The continued rise of Islamophobic discourse in the public, in addition to a number of divisive and toxic policy decisions have only exacerbated negative sentiment towards the Australian Muslim community,” he said. “We have been left in a vulnerable position.”
Dandan lashed at media for being more interested in “attendees to an iftar” rather than “hate preachers” in the political debate. He was clearly downplaying the homophobic views of Sheik Shady Al-Suleiman (who attended Malcolm Turnbull’s Kirribilli House fast-breaking dinner) compared to the rantings of the likes of Pauline Hanson.
We shouldn’t need to pick and choose our intolerance — Hanson and Al-Suleiman can both be called out.
Worryingly, Dandan’s speech reeked of Muslim victimhood and neglected to criticise the Islamist extremism at the heart of any tensions. You can’t plausibly blame Hanson for domestic terror plots or more than 100 Australians joining the Islamic State slaughter while as many (according to ASIO) support them from home.
This is not to make excuses for an anti-Muslim backlash. To prevent such responses gaining momentum, people need to know Muslim community leaders and government authorities can discuss real problems frankly.
Dandan talked about the “spread of hatred” from mainstream society and that — presumably in relation to security agencies — “their surveillance will not add to our safety.”
This is irresponsible. Our police and security forces protect Australian lives, Muslim and non-Muslim.
NSW Premier Mike Baird didn’t raise challenges of extremism in his speech either. He spoke of a visit to “Palestine” and declared young people there wanted peace — thereby appealing to a crucial Islamist grievance and ignoring unpalatable facts.
This approach from politicians in this space is typical — tough issues are skirted around. Baird said: “Where we see intolerance we must respond with tolerance.” He could not be more wrong — our political leaders should be clear that the one thing we do not tolerate is intolerance.
This is why fractious voices such as Hanson’s are on the rise; mainstream political leaders are unwilling to even discuss the real issues surrounding Islamist extremism.
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.