Notepad on Life

December 21, 2016

Cop this plea – there’s no degree in ‘streetwise’

Filed under: crime,Education,Law and order — - @ 5:00 pm
Tags: , ,

Pic courtesy of Police-Mad-Liam

It’s hard to pick highlights in Peter Hitchens’ latest excellent Mail on Sunday column, but vested family interest leads me to the last item, on the misguided plan to make university degrees mandatory for would-be police officers.

“Graduates spend the first ten years in any job discovering that they don’t, in fact, know everything, while the non-graduates roll their eyes in despair,” writes Hitchens. 

“What police officers need is not a certificate, but the common sense that comes from years of friendly contact with the people they serve.”

I shudder to think how many potentially excellent policemen and women will now never materialise because of the fashionable yet flawed belief that only higher education can unlock a young person’s potential. What a slap in the face for those myriad ‘failures’  who left school with nothing, only to become rip-roaring successes once they were set free to engage a world beyond Academia.

It’s just not everyone’s bag, the life of dissertations and doctorates. There are people whose talents lie in their hands, in hand-eye co-ordination, or in tackling real problems instead of the more abstract variety. If that means three years in the University of Life then they should be allowed to get on with it, not erroneously pigeon-holed just to keep the quota brigade happy.

We don’t need spectacular double-firsts from our police. We need street-savvy, impeccable people skills and an air of mild intimidation that can, when warranted, be fully backed up by the judicious use of brawn. And you don’t learn those qualities over cappuccino in some junior common room.

As for how the whole thing might yet backfire on those who dreamt it up, meanwhile, just Google ‘university’ and ‘snowflakes’, and brace yourself for the day when our boys in blue ask if they can sit this particular riot out because they’ve been ‘triggered’.



August 27, 2014

Rotherham child abuse scandal – we’ll never tame the culprits until we crucify their accomplice

Filed under: Kids,Law and order — - @ 11:09 pm

If you believe that the measure of a country is how it tends for its most vulnerable members, then you may consider yourself tragically spoilt for choice when trying to identify the money quote in yesterday’s appalling revelations concerning Rotherham’s betrayal of its children.

  • “Around 1,400 children were sexually exploited in one town over a 16-year period”
  • “…in more than a third of these cases the youngsters were already known to agencies”
  • “…children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally-violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone”
  • “They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten and intimidated”
  • “…girls as young as 11 had been raped by large numbers of men.”
  • “…no council officers will face disciplinary action”

Allow me, however, to suggest this as the successful candidate:

 ‘The report said: “By far the majority of perpetrators were described as ‘Asian’ by victims.”

But, she said, councillors seemed to think is [sic] was a one-off problem which they hoped would go away and “several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist”.

She said: “Others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so.”‘

I don’t know where the authorities are when it comes to bringing the perpetrators of these wicked deeds to justice but I do know that we have their chief accomplice in custody for questioning.

Almost one and a half thousand children violated and with heaven knows how many of them, there is a case to answer that political correctness ran interference for the culprit, with harsh reality playing second fiddle to a party line that decrees not even child-rape trumps racism on a scale of improper conduct.

If this is true, how many Britons would honestly be surprised? This kind of rigid, terrified group-think has begun to typify our nation the way that cricket once did.

At the risk of going all Thomas Jefferson, I think it is high time we declared some truths of our own to be self-evident.

That telling the truth is not hate speech.

That reality is not to be tucked away in the shadows for fear of upsetting someone’s la-la land narrative, but is to be brought out into the brightest light and assessed and acted upon in a way that is right, objective, and grown-up.

That when a child is in imminent danger of being sexually traumatised, leftist niceties rank some way below the price of eggs on a list of related priorities.

And that if you really want to further racial cohesion, you might like to placate a whole lot of British Sikhs and Hindus by spelling out precisely what you mean by ‘Asian’. I understand it’s something of a bugbear.

It’s a long road back for Rotherham but if yesterday’s events finally see the cult of PC take its first tentative steps in a long walk off a short plank, some good may yet come of this wretched tale.

Last week, I read how a compatriot of mine may have sawn the head off an American journalist, and I thought it would be a long time before I felt so embarrassed to be British.

Turns out it was seven days.

September 6, 2013

The Maldives – another crappy day in paradise

If this Amnesty International text I received wasn’t so serious, you’d be tempted to laugh at the lunacy of it all:

“MALDIVES – After action from people like you, 15-year-old rape survivor will not be flogged for ‘fornication'”

Enjoy your holiday.

July 2, 2013

We don’t like to talk about it – an open letter to the British Home Secretary

Dear Home Secretary,

I write to add my voice to those of the many people angered by your decision to ban American anti-jihad campaigners, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer from these shores.

That people who trade in words and ideas can be kept out of the same land that takes forever to expel Islamists who openly campaign for the destruction of our way of life would be baffling enough but on top of this, I believe the rationale behind your action is flawed.

For if expressing views that “foment…terrorist violence” or “foster hatred” is enough on its own to justify exclusion (the question of how valid such views might be does not even warrant consideration, I notice) then the gameplan is clear for anyone who objects to inconvenient truths being told or too bright a light being shone upon his ideology.

Slaughter a soldier on the streets of London. Blow up a tube train. And watch the British Government do your all your media management for you: suppressing anything likely to provoke you in future and allowing you to continue moving silently in the shadows.

If someone chooses to react violently because of discussion, you go after the violent. You don’t close down the debate.

A free society is never easy, I know. Voices get raised in the marketplace of ideas and making sure everyone stays peaceful takes time and effort. That is the price we have to pay, however, because the alternative – a land where debate is silenced – is unthinkable.

Sadly, I believe you took the ‘anything for a quiet life’ approach in making your decision. Rent-a-mob grumbled loudly in the corner and you blinked. In doing so, you revealed the most tenuous of grips on what democracy entails and made this country look gutless and shallow.


[Petition protesting the decision now 6,000-strong at time of writing]

May 27, 2013

Cavalry arrives to counter Woolwich fall-out’s most ludicrous quote


Boris Johnson (Photo: Wikipedia)

It should be the soundbite that ensures Boris Johnson is allowed nowhere near high office ever again.

‘One obvious point, it is…also wrong to draw a link between this murder and British foreign policy’

If Johnson isn’t being the canny politician and saying something he knows isn’t true here, then he is even less bright than I thought he was. Thankfully, two correspondents have now put him in his place.

“Yet anyone who dares to use the words “western foreign policy” in this context is bound to be speedily shut up by the likes of Paxman and co. This isn’t because they have never heard of drones and Guantánamo. They are surely aware of the countless thousands of innocent civilians dispatched to their graves by western operations in the Arab world, for whom there are no floral tributes piled on the London pavements. It is rather because they imagine, in their muddled way, that to explain an event is to excuse it. Those who point to the dead of Iraq and Afghanistan are surely doing so as a devious way of justifying the slaughter of a young soldier outside his barracks.” – Terry Eagleton, The Guardian


“Last but not least, let us not forget the broader context of this mess and the responsibility of one particular war crimes suspect who is still free and roaming the world, making loads of money: Tony Blair.

We do not normally quote from newspapers in China, the world’s most active imperialist power, but the Chinese press hit the nail on the head by reminding us that the UK had turned itself into a target of revenge by actively supporting US-led military actions abroad. In the words of Guangming Ribao: “The UK has been actively involved in the US-led regional conflicts and acted as a vanguard to become the second target of revenge after the US for Islamic extremists.”

Now everyone, except the chief culprit, is reaping the harvest.” – Redress

We would have still faced terrorist threats even without the Charge of the WMD Brigade but I doubt it would have been anything like the pronounced menace is it is today. You wanted a ‘legacy’, Blair? Here it is.

November 28, 2012

When penal systems go soft, the criminal heart grows harder

Filed under: crime,Law and order — - @ 10:51 pm
Português: Uma cela moderna em Brecksville Pol...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Considering the uninvited guests she was inadvertently entertaining, she may be relieved that she was in a hurry when she interrupted a night on the town to dash home and collect her mobile phone.

In and out without switching on  a light, she made her way into her lounge, grabbed the phone from the table where she remembered leaving it and left. In the darkness behind her, the sound of exhalation was probably audible.

When she came home for good later that night and flicked the switch, she was met by chaos. They had turned the place over good and proper. And because going where you aren’t invited and stealing what isn’t yours wasn’t enough for these moral bankrupts, they had paused to twist the knife on the way out.

‘Good job you didn’t turn the lights on earlier…’ said the note on the table.

Next time you’re being invited to accept that giving prisoners voting rights and most of the comforts of home improves us as a nation, you might remember this story. Today’s criminals do not take such compassion as a prod to their conscience but as their cue to take a yard rather than an inch and to spit on whatever they deign to leave us with.

Today’s criminal has upped or lowered his game, depending on whether you stand with him or against him. Where once he dished out a good hiding, now he kills. Where he was once content just to rob, now he mocks his victim into the bargain.

And no-one eggs him on more than those who would appease him.

May 23, 2012

Criminal right to vote? You can say that again

English: European Court of Human Rights at Str...

English: European Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Different entities they may be but there’s a depressingly similar theme whenever the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights flex their muscles these days. A nonsense is made of democracy.

The EU? Its most vociferous opponents are still to be given a vote on their country’s place at its table. Pure coincidence, I’m sure. Then there are the Irish, made to vote twice for an EU Treaty until they provided the correct result.

And now we have the ECHR, which believes that one man, one vote is worth fighting for, as long as the man in question is a burglar, bank robber or murderer.

It is, of course, the most blindingly obvious consequence that when someone’s criminal behaviour spits in the face of the country that gives him a home, his right to any say in its governance should be temporarily forfeit. There is something so rational in this proposition that only the most gushing of bleeding hearts could imagine that Civilisation would be better served were it to be turned on its head.

Cometh the hour, alas, cometh the nitwits, prompting the suspicion that we Brits are ignoring the elephant in the room, as long as we focus on Greece and the question of  if and when it might default on its debts.

A more pertinent question, surely, is whether we should be contemplating a default of our own. For when those entrusted with administering the European Convention on Human Rights seem so hell-bent on blurring the distinctions between Strasbourg and La-La Land, maybe it’s time we were taking our ball home until common sense re-enters the building.

July 18, 2010

Moat, Mandelson and the blurring of lines

Filed under: crime,Law and order,News,politics — - @ 2:49 pm
Tags: , ,
Peter Mandelson, British politician and Europe...
Image via Wikipedia

So some 13,500 people like a tribute Facebook page set up in the memory of Raoul Moat. Seems they rather dig the martyrdom myth slowly snowballing around a man who took one life, and wrecked two more because the world didn’t quite suit.

You can, if you wish, put this down to a social media generation in desperate need of a life, whose brains are being slowly fried by their laptops, although 13,000 people is a lot to be so dismissively bracketed together.

But then you may like to consider this: two posters on a fly fishing forum (and fly fishing isn’t a sport lacking in people with their heads screwed on) talking about Peter Mandelson in the wake of his memoirs being published…

“Thing is, as much as I’d love to loathe the man, I just can’t. He is without doubt the shrewdist political operator of our times and as such I can’t help but admire him. Totally unflappable (even when confronted by Paxman), totally in control and fully in command of his destiny, even after all the scandal”

“Whatever you might think of him, in a world of dull pasty-faced political yoofs he does add a bit of interest”

This persuades me that we’re dealing with something rather broader than misguided dimwits when we behold the homage to Raoul Moat.

I fear there is now a genuine amorality at large in British society generally; a lazy, blinkered mindset that warps wrong into right and leaves it down to each indivdual as to where the distinction is drawn.

The red light of moral relativity has begun to flash. This will not end well.

July 12, 2010

One case that’s cut and (blow-) dried

Filed under: crime,Law and order — - @ 6:58 pm
Northumbria Police
Image via Wikipedia


With the Raoul Moat manhunt resolved, let’s hope Northumbria Police can now focus all their efforts on the other criminal whose nefarious deeds came to the attention of a shocked nation last week.

Acting Chief Constable Sue Sim’s hairdresser.

July 6, 2010

There are two types of cosmetic surgery

Filed under: Health,Law and order — - @ 10:58 pm
Tags: ,
Edgware Road tube station (Circle/District/Ham...
Image via Wikipedia

Those of us whose medical expertise extends no farther than applying a plaster can only gaze in awe at the remarkable reconstruction of Davinia Douglass.

The 29-year-old’s face was trashed in the 7/7 bombings that hit London five years ago. The photograph of her being led away from Edgware Road Station in a ghoulish protective face mask became one of the atrocity’s iconic images.

Yet today, not even such scarring as remains can diminish the fact that a handsome young woman is once again ‘back in the room’.

Everyone responsible for this amazing come-back should take a bow, yet even as I marvel at their work, I am struck by this thought: what wonders cosmetic surgery can do when asked to restore Nature, yet what botch-ups it so often produces when asked to improve upon it.

Do you suppose the Botox brigade and those who pander to them will hear that penny drop as they contemplate the pictures of Davinia Douglass, or will it be drowned out by the clamour of ego and rustle of notes?

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