Posted in 2007

Mo’toons redux

I seem to recall, about 18 months ago, the “we’re libertarian, err, except when it comes to Muslims, who should probably all be sent home or killed or something” branch of blogland getting very excised about the reaction to some puerile cartoons of an old religious geezer.

“We live in a dhimmi state”, was the cry. “People who publish these cartoons get censored and harrassed, while the fanatics who protest about them get away with it.”

Now the judicial process has run its course, let’s see the final statistics: number of people prosecuted for disseminating said cartoons: 0; number of people jailed for several years for protesting about them: 4.

Mysteriously, the dhimmibollocks brigade has been silent about this. It’s almost as if it didn’t fit their paranoid conspiracist agenda…

Old jokes revisited

A disturbing number of people have been endorsing Boris’s hilarious decision to run for Mayor of London.

Fine, if you’re endorsing him because you want buses to be abolished, subsidies for your 4×4 and don’t give a fuck about the poor. Or if you’re so right-wing that you think shaking hands with Hugo Chavez makes someone inherently eeeeeeeeevil.

But if the reason you’re endorsing Boris is because you think Ken Livingstone is antisemitic, then you’re a fucking eejit and should be gassed [*]. He isn’t. There is no evidence that he is: only the ravings of paranoid nutjobs.

[*] with apologies to certain ex-bloggers

Political correctness gone, err, sensible

Consider a business which – despite repeated complaints from its landlord renders the area around it unsafe. Through its lack of proper procedures, it causes someone to suffer serious injury, in precisely the same way envisaged by its landlord.

I’m not a huge fan of lawsuits in contexts such as libel, but this seems like a situation where the victim is entirely reasonable to sue – and where the dodgy business that kept up dangerous practices despite fair warning frankly deserves to be put out of business.

Unsurprisingly, the Daily Mail disagrees with me.

Get a grip, people

The BBC showed an invited audience a slightly misleading trailer for a documentary about an old lady being photographed. Another branch of the BBC picked a child from the studio audience to enter a quiz competion after its phone system went down (and also, 30 years ago, pretended a tortoise hadn’t died).
If you think that these utterly trivial accusations prove anything beyond the fact that BBC’s critics will clutch at any straw in their paranoia, you are silly.
If you think this throws into question whether the BBC should exist, you are bonkers.

On internment

I would rather die in another 7/7 style attack committed by someone who’d previously been released because of a lack of evidence of their guilt, than live in a society locked people up indefinitely without evidence on the off-chance that they might do bad things.

If you disagree, you don’t deserve to live.

Easy questions answered

From the comments at Commentisfree:

Can you please explain how almost every Muslim family in the west is willing to murder, yes murder their daughters if they marry outside their faith?

I can: they aren’t. And you’re a loony.

(fx: outbreak of evil bastardry)

On reading the ‘young girls shagged ‘n’ bribed into smuggling coke for dodgy Africans, now facing ten years’ third-world hard labour‘ story, I thought it would be hard to find *anyone* who thought this was a sane, fair or proportionate outcome.

I mean (sensible point) they’re only kids who barely know what they’re doing and (slightly less sensible, but still more accurate than most prohibitionist commentary) cocaine is a consensual and mostly-harmless-to-third-parties way of making rich wankers slightly less rich and more wankerish for a few years, until they get over it or die of heart attacks.

Digression: and if anyone’s got a ‘my [relative/friend/person I saw on TV/dog] died of DRUGS and they’re EVIL and must be STOPPED’ sob story, then fuck off. Whoever you know that died of coke-related illness undoubtedly had a fuck of a lot more fun than you ever have or will in between their first line and their demise…

Unwisely, I turned to the Daily Mail messageboard:

Withdraw their citizenship, do we really want them back after their sentence is complete?

- Andy, Bradford, England

If only our lilly-livered government could take such strong action!

I hope our media will ensure this is given as much publicity as possible to deter other potential smugglers.

- John, East Sussex, UK

They deserve everything that is meted out to them for this!

- Terence, Hereford, UK

What fucking planet are these mad cunts on? How can anyone greet the ruining of a child’s life for a trivial non-crime with a ‘mmm, yeah, good, more of that please’?

Sometimes I actually, rather than merely for satirical effect, despair at the utter mindless idiocy and sheer evil of the scum we’re forced to share this planet with…

When ‘dogged pursuit’ turns into ‘lunatic obsession’

Welsh teacher Paul Davies drove like an idiot in May 2006. This isn’t especially surprising – if you’re a driver and claim you’ve never driven like an idiot, then you’re an arrogant liar.

Unlike most people who drive like idiots, Mr Davies was unlucky: he span out of control and hit another car, driven by a man named Kelvin Palmer. Mr Palmer was unluckier still, breaking assorted bits of himself in the crash and having to spend several months in hospital.

The police and CPS were initially reluctant to bring charges, on the basis that there wasn’t much evidence that Mr Davies had done anything terribly appalling [side note on press competence: the crash has universally been reported as a '120mph' crash. The testimony in court from experienced drivers was that Mr Davies was driving at 80-90mph - a 22-year-old nurse was the only witness to suggest the 120mph figure].

Mr Palmer doggedly pursued them until they did. Which is sort-of fair enough: the guy did drive like a twat, and did fuck Mr Palmer over royally. And it’s just about possible that enough prosecutions of people who drive like twats and are unlucky to have a serious accident will deter people from driving like twats generally (albeit incredibily unlikely, given the evidence across the criminal justice realm that draconian punishment has next to no effect unless people perceive a serious chance of getting caught). Eventually, Mr Davies was convicted and sent to prison.

However, that’s not the end of the story. Mr Davies is a good teacher – so good that the parents at his school have lobbied the governors of his school to not sack him. And indeed, the governors have decided to keep his job open until his release in the autumn.

Some people, me included, might be glad to see a good man who’s making a valuable contribution to society not having his life totally ruined for a moment of mild idiocy crossed with bad luck. Mr Palmer, however, is lobbying to get Mr Davies sacked. I think that’s the point where ‘quest for justice’ becomes ‘being an utter cunt’.