Archive for the ‘crime’ Category

Circus Freak Show Morality

April 5, 2013

In response to a poster who contributed to this debate.

Good article – now we just need statues of Orwell and Churchill to be put outside the houses of parliament!

– RussN , London, 05/4/2013 10:16

Why Orwell?

Could we not have Kipling?

And I’m not sure we’ve had a proper Conservative Party for a number of decades.  Look at Margaret Thatcher’s voting record on ‘liberal’ issues.  Fiscally conservative, maybe but morally and socially Conservative? I think not.

Mick Philpott’s children were living in moral squalor and yet this country made him into some kind of circus freak show.  That should be the issue being discussed here, not how much they cost.

Bystander apathy on a national scale.

Stirring the Hornet’s Nest

September 29, 2010

I’ve been engrossed in the blog of Inspector Gadget (No, not that Inspector Gadget with the niece called Penny and all of those Gadgets; our Mr Gadget is not even entitled to carry a firearm).

The main topic of conversation over there at the moment is the inquest into the death of Barrister Mark Saunders and The Daily Mail’s unashamedly biased reporting on the issue.  First, a caveat: I have some sympathy for Mr. Saunders and his family and I expressed it unequivocally here.  In spite of this I believe Mr Saunders was killed lawfully.  Whether they were aware of it or not the authorised firearms officers were acting on the principle of the lesser of two evils.  The greater evil would have been to simply leave him be and let him do whatever he pleased with his loaded weapons.  This, clearly would have been untenable so they reacted exactly as their training had taught them to and fired back when they were fired upon.  They killed one to save many.

The ever-self righteous Daily Mail includes a gallery of gunmen shot dead by  authorised firearms officers in the last fifteen years.  According to The Daily Mail these men are victims, even those who, at the moment they were shot, were holding innocent bystanders hostage.   Of course, this has all been precipitated by the inquest into the death of Cambridge educated barrister Mark Saunders.  If you take a look at the paragraph accompanying Saunders’ picture you will see that his apartment was worth 2.2 million.  Only in the Daily Mail…

But the greatest calumny of all can be found in  their Sunday editorial in which they equate the shooting of gunmen by police with formal execution.  They then go on to propose that any AFO who draws his weapon should be  identified and publicly named.  They clearly have not thought of the consequences of the policy they are advocating, for who would volunteer to be an AFO in the knowledge that if they do their job they will be ‘named and shamed’ by The Daily Mail and possibly be facing a murder charge if the mob turns against them?

The Daily Mail is beyond parody.  It frequently complains of the break down of law and order in this fair land and then prints ‘investigative’ pieces like this that only serve to contribute to the destruction of all it claims to hold dear.  What is their agenda?  They don’t have one.  They like to stir the hornet’s nest for conflict is their bread and butter.

Malingerers, Malingerers Everywhere

September 16, 2010

I am currently reading the seemingly endless output of Dr. Theodore Dalrymple,  (Now, remember kids, prolificacy in itself is not a virtue) nom de plume of Dr Anthony Daniels: retired consultant psychiatrist in a hospital situated in a run-down district of Birmingham (in a fit of shrieking hyperbole the good doctor calls it a ‘slum’).  He also spent two afternoons a week working in the city’s Winson Green Prison.  In other words he has spent the latter part of his career treating (to put it bluntly) the criminal and the insane and sometimes the criminally insane.  The kind of people who have been told in no uncertain terms by the judiciary and the medical profession that their behaviour is unacceptable. That is how they wind up in hospital or prison. Dalrymple’s advocates often argue that his experiences in these institutions give him a clear view of the decline of civilization. Well, no, not really; he had been given a clear view of the behaviour and worldview of social deviants.

These people are called ‘deviants’ because they deviate from the norm and yet Dr Dalrymple/Daniels tells us that their worldview and the behavior that emanated from this is prevalent across the country amongst the law-abiding and the non mentally ill.  I am reminded of something a war-veteran neighbour told me about a medical officer he once worked under when he was overseas. Some members of the conscripted lower ranks, shell shocked before they’d set foot on any battlefield, feigned illness in order to avoid being sent into battle. The phrase ‘to shoot oneself in the foot’ is a reference to military personnel who would literally shoot themselves in the foot to render themselves unfit for armed conflict.  A tiny minority of new recruits were willing to do anything to avoid what was coming.  The medical officer wised up to the fact that a small proportion of those who came before him were ‘malingerers’.  In time he began to see ‘malingerers’ every where even when there were none.  And, because of this, many genuine invalids suffered more than they should have.  (There is a similar situation replicating itself in the benefits system in that, according to some sections of the media, some benefit claims are fraudulent so all benefit claims must be fraudulent.)

I strongly suspect that the Dalrympian worldview can be partially attributed to the fact that he spent the twilight years of his medical career treating the mad, the criminal and sometimes the criminally insane therefore, to his mind, many people he sees outside the world in which he once moved are possibly mad, criminal or criminally insane. ‘Mad people, mad people everywhere and I’m not permitted to forcibly medicate a single one.’

Miscarriage of Justice

March 18, 2009

There isn’t enough money in the world to compensate someone for this.

A Criminal is a Criminal

January 31, 2009


I often derive bitter amusement from what Erwin James of The Guardian calls the hypocrisy of prison barbarism. I am also perplexed when I hear people who profess to be ‘tough on crime’ defending the right of prisoners to mete out vengeance whenever they see fit.  The advocates of media fuelled prisoner-on-prisoner ‘justice’ seem to forget that prisoners declaring themselves judge, jury and executioner have committed crimes too.  Many of them have children. Where are their children now? And what are they doing? These people don’t know because they are in prison. They committed crimes in the full knowledge that there was a strong possibility that they might be convicted and incarcerated and that, as a result of this, their children would be deprived of a parent. They themselves brought children into the world and then abandoned them. Are such people really in a position to judge the parenting skills of others? 

We are told that convicted prisoners hate nothing more than ‘child killers’, implying that there are victims who have reached an age at which it becomes acceptable to harm them. The men responsible for the killing of Rhys Jones aren’t branded ‘child killers’ although that is exactly what they are. It is worth remembering that Rhys was only a couple of years older than Shannon Matthews and yet there is no indication that they are facing reprisals in jail. One of the accused commented, ‘All this fuss over a kid.’ No. Only some kids. It’s amazing what a difference a couple of years can make.


January 24, 2009

innocence defiled

And so the latter day Moll Flanders also known as Karen Matthews has been sentenced.  What she did was wrong.  I’ve never disputed that but is what she did really worse that this?

It gets worse: ‘He said: “Only four of these assailants would probably have been convicted – six had to be let go.’  And it wasn’t even headline news. It was tucked away on the inside pages of tabloids and broadsheets. It was an afterthought.  Will the perpetrators of this truly evil crime spend their time in gaol fearing for their lives as Karen Matthews is?  Have their fellow prisoners expressed animosity towards them?  Is there a price on their heads?  And, above all, where is the public outrage in this case?

Addendum: From The Guardian: ‘Rogel McMorris, 18, now living in Stockwell, south London, was jailed for nine years for rape and grievous bodily harm.  Jason Brew, 19, from Tottenham, was jailed for six years and Hector Muaimba, 20, from Walthamstow, was given eight years for rape and robbery. Stephen Bigby, who was charged with rape, was stabbed to death in a gang fight in Oxford Street before he could face trial.’  Pitiful.  Quite pitiful.  I wonder if Sun readers will protest on the streets for this young woman.  I wonder if Daily Mail readers will be writing indignant letters to their MPs on her behalf.  Probably not.  We inhabit a strange and seriously fucked-up world.  And no one will ask them why because no one ever does.

All Aboard the Gravy Train

December 14, 2008

Circle of Visciousness

Interesting comment by Peter Hitchens in his Mail on Sunday Column.  And, God forgive me, I agree with him.  I feel all dirty now.  I’m going to be scrubbing my skin with scouring pad and bleach for the next week.

My mother, a psychiatric nurse in inner city Birmingham, on an acute ward told me how the addiction gravy train works. Here’s what happens: police bring addict in to the acute ward.  The next day they meet with the consultant psychiatrist and key nurse and a care plan is drawn up.  One of the conditions of that care plan will be that if the addict leaves the hospital and returns obviously under the influence of drugs they will be discharged.  In numerous cases this is exactly what they will do – leave the hospital and return clearly under the influence of their drug of choice.  The nurses will recommend discharge.  The patient will meet with his/her consultant and the nurses will almost invariably be overruled, proving that the care plan is, quite literally, not worth the paper it’s written on.

Treating addicts as helpless victims is not always helpful and, in many cases, it can be downright destructive.  Because the hidden message is that they will always be addicts, that they are not capable of anything else; that this is all they are and this is all they ever will be.  By failing to treat addicts as autonomous beings who are responsible for their own actions, you are depriving them of their humanity. And that’s more insulting than a thousand ‘right wing tirades’ could ever be.

Sometimes kindness can kill.

‘Little Shannon’

December 5, 2008

The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of the civilization of any country…an unfailing faith that there is a treasure if only you can find it, in the heart of every man – these are the symbols which in the treatment of crime and criminals mark and measure the stored-up strength of a nation, and are the sign and proof of the living virtue in it.

Winston Churchill to the House of Commons, July 1910

 ‘…the individuals who sat at the table at the Wannsee conference were salaried functionaries from one of Europe’s great nations, not back-street terrorists, though their crimes were to be greater than any conventional ‘criminal’ act in the history of the world. Equally instructive, when some still refer to an ill-educated ‘criminal underclass’, is that of the fifteen people around the table eight had academic doctorates.’ (My italics).

Auschwitz, the Nazis and the Final Solution, Laurence Rees

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

Ecclesiastes  1:9

Shannon’s mother, the now infamous Karen Matthews is, according to Detective Superintendent Andy Brennan pure evil‘.  If this is so then what does that make this man (Peter Tobin)?  His story barely registered on my radar simply because it was not front page news and my patience with the mainstream media is almost at an end.  If the mainstream media coverage reflects the severity of a crime then that would make Ms. Matthews more evil than Mr. Tobin.  Feckless, inarticulate and not exactly over-endowed with brains she may be but ‘pure evil’?  In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think so.  She sucks at being evil and is, at this very moment, awaiting a rejection letter from hell.  Satan himself wrote: “Evil?  We’ve got Hitler, we’ve got Pol Pot, we’ve got Stalin.  Sorry, love, but your name ain’t down here so you’re not coming in.’

Superintendent. Brennan also (most unwisely in my opinion) stated his belief that if the police hadn’t found Shannon and arrested Michael Donavon when they did then she may have been murdered.  There appears to be no concrete evidence to support this, only speculation.  One has to wonder why, if this is true, Mr. Donovan was never charged with attempted murder.  This:  ‘Little Shannon Matthews may have been just minutes from being murdered when she was rescued, senior detectives revealed last night. They believe Michael Donovan was poised to kill her and flee when officers burst into the flat’ sounds like pure conjecture to me. ‘ Supt Andy Brennan, who led the massive hunt for the youngster said: “I am convinced Donovan was planning to take Shannon’s  life rather than face justice.’ ‘

I am not defending the actions of Ms. Matthews.  I condemn them unequivocally.  I also believe that her treatment at the hands of the mainstream media is, in comparison to the treatment of offenders who have committed similar crimes, somewhat disproportionate.  And I have a feeling her sentence will be too.

As for ‘Little Shannon’, she will probably wind up in care or spending what is left of her childhood in the custody of a seemingly endless stream of foster parents.  Until she is sixteen, that is, and the media lose interest in her and the cycle starts all over again.  Or maybe she’ll get the support she needs, compete school and even end up at university before embarking upon a high flying career.  In a parallel universe perhaps, one in which things actually make sense.

Predictably, this case is being used as a stick with which to beat the so-called ‘underclass’ and, even more predictably, it’s being used as a stick with which to beat new Mainstream Media Enemy No. 1: social workers.  No surprises there then.

Beyond Comprehension

November 17, 2008

When I was eighteen I worked as a nanny. My charge was a beautiful little girl aged two and a half. I loved that job. Every day was unique. Every day was a new adventure. She was a bright, vivacious little girl and her joie de vivre was infectious. We would spend the days playing, making up games and stories, painting, baking, walking in the park. It was the happiest time of my life. There is nothing purer than a baby, nothing more delightful than a toddler. You are pulled into their world. You share every new and wonderful and exciting experience and sometimes you have to share their pain. You are rejuvenated by them. So how then could anyone do something like this?

I cannot have children and, given my various issues, maybe that’s a good thing. And I know that is no one’s fault but my own. Starving yourself doesn’t do much for your reproductive capacity and I think you have to have this thing called ‘sex’ and that scares me so I’m not asking for sympathy, just stating a fact. It still breaks my heart though. I think I would have made the decision not to have children anyway even though it is something I have always yearned for. And I can’t help thinking that maybe more people should make that decision. Having children is not a right, it is a privilege.

As I read about this case just for an instant I found myself hoping that the three people responsible for this baby’s death have a really, really bad time in prison. I don’t like feeling like this and I am wondering if that makes me as bad as them. My mother said, ‘no, it makes you human.’ The identities of the three perpetrators have been revealed and all over the ‘blogosphere’ people are speculating about their fate. The mainstream media have accused these bloggers of ‘encouraging vigilantism’ but their revulsion is natural and perfectly human. They are supposed to feel like this. They are shocked because it is shocking. They are horrified because it is horrific and no amount of supercilious sneering will change that. I am not saying that wishing this trio of killers dead is right, I am saying it is understandable.

Nobby once told me that when the second world war was over, he was in charge of a group of German P.O.Ws who, because they were former SS officers, were kept here until 1949 while they underwent a process of denazification (yes, they actually called it that). He described how one particularly fanatical prisoner deliberately provoked the guards by singing Nazi songs and verbally abusing them. It wasn’t long before one of them snapped. He pulled him off the chair on which he was standing and punched him in the face. He was accused of brutality and put on a charge. Nobby, who was his sergeant, spoke up in his defence saying ‘but they’d do the same to us if they could.’ His commanding officer replied, ‘Well, we are not them.’

Do not permit the incoherence of the moral universe of others to corrupt your own.

Because you are not them.  Remember that.

Auguries of Innocence
William Blake

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.

A dove-house fill’d with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell thro’ all its regions.
A dog starv’d at his master’s gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.

A horse misused upon the road
Calls to heaven for human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted hare
A fibre from the brain does tear.

A skylark wounded in the wing,
A cherubim does cease to sing.
The game-cock clipt and arm’d for fight
Does the rising sun affright.

Every wolf’s and lion’s howl
Raises from hell a human soul.

The wild deer, wand’ring here and there,
Keeps the human soul from care.
The lamb misus’d breeds public strife,
And yet forgives the butcher’s knife.

The bat that flits at close of eve
Has left the brain that won’t believe.
The owl that calls upon the night
Speaks the unbeliever’s fright.

He who shall hurt the little wren
Shall never be belov’d by men.
He who the ox to wrath has mov’d
Shall never be by woman lov’d.

The wanton boy that kills the fly
Shall feel the spider’s enmity.
He who torments the chafer’s sprite
Weaves a bower in endless night.

The caterpillar on the leaf
Repeats to thee thy mother’s grief.
Kill not the moth nor butterfly,
For the last judgement draweth nigh.

He who shall train the horse to war
Shall never pass the polar bar.
The beggar’s dog and widow’s cat,
Feed them and thou wilt grow fat.

The gnat that sings his summer’s song
Poison gets from slander’s tongue.
The poison of the snake and newt
Is the sweat of envy’s foot.

The poison of the honey bee
Is the artist’s jealousy.

The prince’s robes and beggar’s rags
Are toadstools on the miser’s bags.
A truth that’s told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.

It is right it should be so;
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro’ the world we safely go.

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.

The babe is more than swaddling bands;
Every farmer understands.
Every tear from every eye
Becomes a babe in eternity;

This is caught by females bright,
And return’d to its own delight.
The bleat, the bark, bellow, and roar,
Are waves that beat on heaven’s shore.

The babe that weeps the rod beneath
Writes revenge in realms of death.
The beggar’s rags, fluttering in air,
Does to rags the heavens tear.

The soldier, arm’d with sword and gun,
Palsied strikes the summer’s sun.
The poor man’s farthing is worth more
Than all the gold on Afric’s shore.

One mite wrung from the lab’rer’s hands
Shall buy and sell the miser’s lands;
Or, if protected from on high,
Does that whole nation sell and buy.

He who mocks the infant’s faith
Shall be mock’d in age and death.
He who shall teach the child to doubt
The rotting grave shall ne’er get out.

He who respects the infant’s faith
Triumphs over hell and death.
The child’s toys and the old man’s reasons
Are the fruits of the two seasons.

The questioner, who sits so sly,
Shall never know how to reply.
He who replies to words of doubt
Doth put the light of knowledge out.

The strongest poison ever known
Came from Caesar’s laurel crown.
Nought can deform the human race
Like to the armour’s iron brace.

When gold and gems adorn the plow,
To peaceful arts shall envy bow.
A riddle, or the cricket’s cry,
Is to doubt a fit reply.

The emmet’s inch and eagle’s mile
Make lame philosophy to smile.
He who doubts from what he sees
Will ne’er believe, do what you please.

If the sun and moon should doubt,
They’d immediately go out.
To be in a passion you good may do,
But no good if a passion is in you.

The whore and gambler, by the state
Licensed, build that nation’s fate.
The harlot’s cry from street to street
Shall weave old England’s winding-sheet.

The winner’s shout, the loser’s curse,
Dance before dead England’s hearse.

Every night and every morn
Some to misery are born,
Every morn and every night
Some are born to sweet delight.

Some are born to sweet delight,
Some are born to endless night.

We are led to believe a lie
When we see not thro’ the eye,
Which was born in a night to perish in a night,
When the soul slept in beams of light.

God appears, and God is light,
To those poor souls who dwell in night;
But does a human form display
To those who dwell in realms of day.

Nobby Clarke

February 25, 2008

(91 year old war veteran) upon seeing this man’s infamous face on his TV screen:

‘I shot better men than him when I was in Sicily.’

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