Sunday, October 30, 2016
Do taxi-drivers have more sense than singers? It seems likely
Singer Lily Allen today claimed a taxi driver refused to pick her and her children up and told her to 'find an immigrant to drive you, you stupid tart'.
The 31-year-old sparked outrage earlier this month when she made a tearful apology 'on behalf of her country' to a 13-year-old Afghan refugee in Calais, France.
She broke down in tears and told the refugee, who has since been reunited with his father in Birmingham: 'I'm sorry for what we have put you through'.
And today she posted a message on her Twitter account to her 5.8million followers to inform them what a black cabbie [driver of a black cab] allegedly told her.
She wrote: 'Just tried to get in a black cab with my kids. The driver looked at me and said, 'find an immigrant to drive you you stupid tart'.'
Her tweet comes after she met the young boy at the 'Jungle' refugee camp near Calais after he risked his life attempting to board a lorry heading for the UK.
The youngster had been staying at the camp on the edge of the northern French port city for two months.
But her comments led to her receiving abuse online as some people claimed her 'crocodile tears' and apology were simply 'ridiculous'.
The mother-of-two continued to say on Twitter: ‘I had both my hands full with children, couldn’t get to my phone fast enough.’
She told another person they were ‘victim shaming’ her after he said the incident ‘definitely didn’t happen’.
Another Twitter user said: ‘When you insult the country the country’s going to insult you back. It’s called “consequences” and even happens to the very rich.’
Another accused her of deliberately smearing London’s black cabs on a day when rivals Uber were criticised.
Tom at Tjab1425 wrote: ‘@lilyallen what a load of b*******... Funny how this comes out on the day #ubered are found guilty of treating their workers as slaves.’
A spokesman for Transport For London, which licenses 25,000 black cab drivers, said: ‘We’ve asked for more information about this, it’s unacceptable behaviour for any TfL licensed driver.
‘We are taking this allegation very seriously and ask anyone with more information, such as the cab number, to get in touch with us.’
The Smile singer, who has released three albums, later defended herself by adding that she was saying sorry to a 'helpless child for the part this country has played in contributing to his dire situation'.
During the meeting with the boy, which was shown on the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme, Allen said the English 'put him in danger'.
She said to the boy: 'It just seems that at three different intervals in this young boy's life, the English in particular have put you in danger.
'We've bombed your country, put you in the hands of the Taliban and now put you in danger of risking your life to get into our country.
'I apologise on behalf of my country. I'm sorry for what we have put you through.'
After she met the teenager, the singer - whose hit Smile reached number one in 2006 - continued to post online after she received abuse following her comments.
She added: 'A lot of people saying I should be more concerned about cases of migrants raping our own citizens.
'I was talking about the 1,022 unaccompanied children in Calais, who are to be evicted next week.
'I haven't heard any cases of children raping people here, I'd imagine they're far more likely to suffer at the hands of opportunist abusers.'
And her tweet this afternoon comes just days after she said animosity towards refugees in Britain should be compared to Hitler and the Nazis.
She suggested Britons are victims of Joseph Goebbels-style propaganda and that children are taught about the Second World War from 'an early age' and 'how evil Hitler was'.
Allen added: 'You always wonder how he (Hitler) managed to get the whole country to go along with that. Now we're seeing it.'
Her comments have led to criticism from Jewish groups and broadcaster Nick Ferrari told LBC listeners: 'So, another one of these people who likens what's happening in the Calais Jungle to what happened in the Second World War.
'The last time I looked, the showers in Calais dispensed water. As I recall, the showers with Hitler dispensed gas that killed people.
'The last time I looked, people were rounded up against their will, thrown on cattle trucks and driven halfway across Europe without water or anything.
'This time they're carefully processed, details are taken and if they can, they're send to countries such as Britain.'
A reform of rape laws that's anti-men because of our desperation to increase convictions
When Ross Poldark kicked open the door of Elizabeth’s bedroom, kissed her forcibly and then had sex with her on the matrimonial bed, many insisted it was rape.
Women’s groups said the BBC shouldn’t have shown the scene because she initially seemed to resist him and ‘No’ means ‘No’.
It sparked a national debate over predatory male behaviour and whether rape victims are let down by the judicial system.
But I have watched the scene three times. Not once does Elizabeth actually say ‘No’.
She unlocks her bedroom door when Ross arrives. She taunts him and, when he kisses her, says: ‘You wouldn’t dare.’
Next she’s swooning in his arms as he throws her onto the bed, then she’s returning his kisses.
Despite her aunt being in the house, as well as her son and servants, she never cries out for help.
When Ross finally leaves at dawn, she coyly asks when she will see him again.
May I suggest this simply wasn’t rape. Not that you’d know it from all the breast-beating the scene provoked as feminists reverted to the default position that all men are potential rapists and all women victims.
That is why 40 female MPs demanded this week that the law should be changed to protect alleged rape victims from having their sex lives revealed in court following the Ched Evans case.
Evans is, of course, the loathsome footballer who indulged with a drunken girl in a threesome.
He was acquitted of rape during a retrial in which details of the girl’s sexual history were revealed by two of her former lovers.
The MPs feel allowing this evidence will deter women from reporting rape, and want the sexual history of the victim to be inadmissible in future.
But whatever you think of Evans — and he’s clearly an amoral man — the girl’s sexual past was relevant in this case and helped prove his innocence.
So what is preferable?
The right of a woman who remains anonymous to have her past censored? Or a named man to be wrongly jailed because the jurors were denied vital information?
But then we live in a Kafkaesque world in which a draft amendment before the Lords would mean men accused of rape may not be allowed to know the name of their accusers.
This would be an appalling abuse of justice. In our desperation to increase rape convictions, the courts are tipping the scales against men. They are deemed to be guilty unless they can prove themselves innocent.
The BBC wins a landmark victory in the fight against Islamic extremism
Shakeel Begg is an influential extremist who is also chief Imam of the Lewisham Islamic Centre. His radical views are readily available and well-known. But despite these downsides a chap like him also possesses certain considerable advantages. Not least is the fact that he lives in a society which is only very slowly waking up to the threat that people like him pose.
If Begg were a Protestant preacher from Northern Ireland then he would not have been able to make any public appearance for years without being forced to bake the biggest, gayest cake possible right there and then. If he refused, the whole of civilised society would round on him to explain what a great big ‘phobe’ he was. But Shakeel Begg is not a Protestant preacher and nor would he draw the line in his perfect society at merely not baking the cake for one’s gay nuptials.
As such, he is also lucky enough to live in a country where many people who should be in the business of investigation and inquiry fail in their obligations. Many of them do so because they are understandably put off by being called names such as ‘racist’. In these cases, such names are insincerely but deliberately used as a smokescreen to allow extremist behaviour to continue.
Another advantage for the Beggs of this world is living in a country where useful idiots from the other monotheisms are always on hand to play ‘interfaith’ games and in the process either wittingly or unwittingly provide further cover for some seriously bad people.
However, despite all of this, the Beggs do have a problem. Like a bigamist dashing between their wives, he must perforce to keep two sets of books. For although most of his interlocutors – like his beards at the interfaith councils – don’t know what they are doing or what questions to ask, he knows that were they to find out, even they may look askance at one of their peaceful members telling his audiences, for instance, to go abroad and fight Jihad. They may even eventually recognise that the Imam in question means ‘Jihad’ in a very real sense and not in the sense of going and finding a Jew somewhere and then having a really intense personal struggle in front of them.
How to keep these two worlds apart? Well here is where the extremists have their final advantage. Which is that they can always revert to the law. Not the law of Allah – immutable and all powerful though they claim to think it is – but the good old English legal system. And unlike most of the rest of us, these chaps can generally find some low-grade legal team to represent them in their vexatious complaints. The aim is clear. They never really want to get to court, because they know if they do, they might be caught telling the truth on the record. But they do want to make the cost of questioning their views exceptionally high. Their long-term hope is that journalists get so fed up of the bother that they give up discovering stories about people who are trying to subvert our societies and report instead on what the Kardashians are doing today.
So three cheers for the BBC. For our national broadcaster refused to give in when – in the wake of an edition of the Sunday Politics in November 2013 – Andrew Neil of this parish mentioned on air that Begg had described jihad as ‘the greatest of deeds.’ Begg sued for libel. And while most papers and broadcasters worry about the extraordinary financial and reputational cost and try to settle when something like this comes up, the BBC fought Begg all the way. Earlier today the judge in the case dismissed Begg’s case and his judgement is damning. Mr Justice Haddon-Cave described Begg as ‘something of a Jekyll and Hyde character.’ He went on:
‘He appears to present one face to the general, local and inter-faith community and another to particular Muslim and other receptive audiences. The former face is benign, tolerant and ecumenical.
‘The latter face is ideologically extreme and intolerant.’
The Judge also went on:
‘The various core extremist messages which emerge from the claimant’s speeches and utterances would, in my view, have been quite clear to the audiences.
‘The claimant’s ostensible cloak of respectability is likely to have made his [extremist] message in these speeches all the more compelling and seductive. For this reason, therefore, his messages would have been all the more effective and dangerous.
‘It is all too easy for someone in the claimant’s position of power and influence as an Imam to plant the seed of Islamic extremism in a young mind, which is then liable to be propagated on the internet.’
Happily Shakeel Begg will now face a very large legal bill. I for one will be opening a bottle to celebrate that fact tonight.
What the viewing and reading public often do not know is that because of two-faced Imams like Begg, for every tiny piece about some Islamist nutcase that does go on air, there are now often weeks or even months of costly work behind the scenes to respond to the resulting barrage of legal claims from the Islamists who use the law cost free most of the time. This is how they operate. And for once that fact has been exposed.
There are now some very serious questions for a set of institutions to answer.
The first is Lewisham mosque. How can Imam Begg remain in place? How can an institution led by a man proved in court to be a liar and an extremist possibly retain its charitable status? Perhaps readers would like to ask the Charity Commission themselves. Complaints to the Charity Commission can be registered here: The Lewisham Islamic Centre’s Charity number is: 285641.
There are also serious questions to ask of the Muslim Council of Britain. Imam Begg’s mosque is a member of the MCB. Why are the MCB happy to continue to have an affiliate member who is now so thoroughly exposed and disgraced? If the Imam remains in place and the mosque remains a member of the MCB there will be very serious questions to ask of the MCB.
And what, finally, of all the Rabbis and Vicars and others who have given cover to Shakeel Begg all these years? Have they no shame? In my experience such people plead ignorance about the extremist connections of some of their Muslim counter-parts. Well thanks to the BBC they can claim ignorance no longer.
British government's pogrom against journalists finally unwound
'The Met Police and Crown Prosecution Service effectively made up a law on the hoof.
A news reporter who was convicted after a controversial investigation into the payment of public officials has been cleared of all wrongdoing today.
Sun crime reporter Anthony France, 42, from Watford, was accused of having a four-year 'corrupt relationship' with a police officer but saw his conviction quashed by three judges at the Court of Appeal in London on Thursday.
He was initially found guilty at a trial at the Old Bailey last year and given an 18-month suspended sentence.
Mr France was investigated under the high-profile, multimillion-pound Operation Elveden, which was launched in 2011 to investigate payments by journalists to public officials.
The Metropolitan Police operation, which cost £14.7 million, led to 90 arrests and 34 convictions, including police officers and 21 public officials.
But, out of 29 cases against journalists brought by the Crown Prosecution Service, the only jury conviction to remain standing was that in Mr France's case.
A number of reporters were cleared by juries. Others had charges against them dropped, or they launched successful appeals following conviction.
After the ruling, Mr France said: 'I am delighted that this serious miscarriage of justice has ended today, allowing me to rebuild my life after 1,379 days of sheer hell.'
A News UK spokeswoman added after the ruling: 'Today, Anthony France's conviction has been overturned on appeal and we are delighted that these proceedings are now over for him.
'In the course of the last five years, 19 journalists from The Sun were prosecuted as a result of Operation Elveden and not one has resulted in any conviction being upheld.'
The ruling led to criticism of both the police and CPS from within the journalism and legal industries. Lawyer David Allen Green, who has a column for the Financial Times, wrote on Twitter that the CPS 'cobbled together' a piece of 'legal daftness' to go after journalists and that 'serious questions should be asked' over the decision to prosecute.
He said: 'When evidence of reporters paying public officials came to light, there was a legal problem for the police/cps. 'The problem was to identify what offences had allegedly been committed. What would be the charges? A basic point, you could say. 'The alleged offences took place before the Bribery Act was in place. So that Act couldn't be used.
'The public officials were therefore prosecuted for the ancient but vague offence of "misconduct in public office". Many pleaded guilty. 'But that left the reporters. They were not public officials and so could not be prosecuted for that (primary) offence.
'But the CPS decided to prosecute the reporters anyway: and used a strange legal means for doing so. The CPS constructed an elaborate (secondary) offence of aiding/abetting/conspiring with he public official to commit misconduct.
'The courts and juries could not make much sense of the offence - what was the requisite criminal intention? And so on. So in case after case in this "Operation Elveden", at great public expense, all the reporters (but one) were acquitted.'
He added: 'Some may say it is unfair to criticse the CPS over any acquittal. But this failure by CPS was wide-ranging and systemic. 'With France's acquittal, serious questions can and should now be asked of CPS over its prosecutions of reporters under Elveden.'
Press Gazette Editor Dominic Ponsford also wrote a column taking aim at the police and CPS over the 'shameful episode in the history of the UK criminal justice system'. He wrote: 'The Met Police and Crown Prosecution Service effectively made up a law on the hoof.
'They used the obscure offence of misconduct in public office against journalists who paid state employees for stories.'
Mr Ponsford added: 'What sort of a country puts journalists who wrote true stories about matters of public interest behind bullet proof glass at its top criminal court?'
Bob Satchwell, executive director of the Society of Editors, said: 'The appeal court's decision shows why there needs to be far wider protection for journalists reporting in the public interest.
'In most of the cases in which journalists were charged, ordinary members of the public who made up juries clearly decided that journalists were working in the public interest.
'The police and the Crown Prosecution Service need to think more carefully before they charge journalists for informing the public. 'Careers and lives were destroyed by the over-long and hugely expensive police investigation.'
In May last year Mr France was given a jail sentence of 18 months, suspended for two years, after being convicted of aiding and abetting PC Timothy Edwards, who worked at Heathrow Airport in SO15 counter-terrorism command, to commit misconduct in public office between March 2008 and July 2011.
Mr France, described by the sentencing judge at his Old Bailey trial as a journalist of 'hitherto unblemished character' who was 'essentially a decent man of solid integrity', had his conviction overturned by Lady Justice Hallett, Mr Justice King and Mr Justice Dove.
Lady Justice Hallett said Mr France was 'one of a number of journalists and public officials whose conduct was investigated by police during Operation Elveden'.
She said: 'He was employed as a junior crime reporter at The Sun newspaper. The Sun openly advertised the fact it would pay money for stories.' Between March 31 2008 and July 1 2011, Edwards 'sold them 38 pieces of information'.
She added: 'The applicant wrote the articles that followed and submitted the necessary forms to his employers for Edwards to be paid. 'The forms had to be approved first by the news editor and then by an editor or deputy editor. In total, The Sun paid Edwards over £20,000.'
Edwards pleaded guilty to misconduct in a public office and was jailed for two years in 2014.
The jury at Mr France's trial heard that Edwards passed on details ranging from airline pilots being breath-tested to a drunken model flying into a rage after 'catching her boyfriend romping with a woman next to him'.
The appeal centred on directions given to the jury at the trial by Judge Timothy Pontius.
Lady Justice Hallett said: 'Taking any one of those criticisms in isolation, we may not have been persuaded the summing-up rendered the conviction unsafe. 'However, we must consider their cumulative effect and read the summing-up as a whole.
'Having done so, we are driven to the conclusion that the jury were not provided with legally adequate directions tailored to the circumstances of the case and that the conviction is unsafe.'
Mr France said afterwards: 'Having spent more than three years and nine months fighting to clear my name, this is not a time for celebration. 'Nobody has 'won' and the public are less informed.'
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.