Filed under Crime & Punishment

Sentencing question

Why is shooting an on-duty police officer considered 67% worse (35 years’ minimum sentence) than stabbing an unarmed lawyer (21 years’ minimum)?

I hope it’s to do with the use of guns, the extent of previous convictions and the defendants’ lack of mitigating personal factors, rather than any kind of bizarre fetishisation of the police as better than the rest of us…

Worst joke of the season

It’s a shame to see Jeff Skilling has finally been sent to jail – especially as it means he’s not going to be able to come to my Christmas party.

Then again, I only invited him to make up the numbers…

Two shit jokes for the price of one

British Transport Police have told the BBC there have been close to 1,000 copper-related incidents on the railways so far this year. That is a 50% rise year on year.

a) obligatory rozzer joke. b) why not just turn the voltage up?

Get a fucking brain for two seconds

So far, in the collapse of “we have a stupid business model and we steal money off idiots” company Farepak, HBOS have been blamed for:

a) foreclosing on the company instead of letting them trade while insolvent;

b) not foreclosing on the company soon enough, and therefore letting them squander the idiots’ money on running cost.

Now, let’s assume, for no reason whatsoever, that people fucktardly enough to stick their savings in a non-FSA regulated institution deserve anything other than bankruptcy (Christ, we don’t have debtors’ prisons anymore, the worst that will happen to any of these idiots is “explaining to their kids that Santa has only brought tangerines and handmade cards”, which happened to me for the first few years of my life anyway because my parents thought that books, pensions and schools were a better investment).

Nonetheless, allowing for human stupidity, HBOS are the last people who should be blamed for Farepak’s collapse, and any stupid cunt who’s considering withdrawing their HBOS account over the scandal should just fuck off. As anyone with half a brain might notice, a) and b) are the opposites of each other; HBOS moved from funding Farepak to foreclosing” when it became apparent that Farepak was no longer a going concern. The latter phrase has a technical meaning, but it’s basically “when any fucker who ought to know notices that the company can’t possibly pay its debts and carry on unless something incredibly unlikely happens”.

HBOS noticed this, and had the company wound up. The company kept on lying that it wouldn’t otherwise have gone under for a while, then admitted that it was screwed. HBOS’s role, in other words, was to make the company be wound up shortly before it was unable to meet its hamper commitments, and therefore save its investors their November and December payments.
I’m not a fan of companies that exploit the stupid and the gullible, which makes me not a fan of Farepak. If you want to save some money, stick it in either an ING account or a National Savings ISA (depending on whether you pay some or no tax, respectively), then buy presents at Christmas. If any cunt asks for your money without a Bank of England guarantee, tell them to fuck off.

This doesn’t mitigate my contempt and hatred for the bastards at Farepak who spent the customers’ money on wages and running costs rather than calling the receivers on themselves. But although I’d be delighted to see the directors sent to jail, don’t blame the bankers (or the auditors) for not doing what it isn’t and shouldn’t be their jobs to do.

Surprise of the century

The majority of ‘drug rape’ victims are actually just drunk, through self-administered grog, and have no bloody idea whether or not they consented in the first place.

“Rape is never the victim’s fault”, a Home Office spokeswoman added, inaccurately.

A million pointless candles

The latest online viral “ease your conscience by doing fuck all” meme is Light A Million Candles To Stop Online Child Abuse (this doesn’t literally mean online child abuse, which would be bizarre; it means using the Internet to access images of child sexual abuse. As far as I can make out, images of other sorts of child abuse are fine).

I think we can safely all agree that child abuse is a bad thing – obviously, as with all pointless platitudes, there is a great deal of debate at the boundaries (currently, someone caught in the UK with pictures of a 17 year old posing in a bikini is technically guilty of possessing child pornography; if you think this is sensible then you are insane), but there’s certainly a consensus as you move away from the margin.

According to this group’s own propaganda video (naturally, featuring “99% of statistics are made up on the spot”-type FACTS without any kind of references), “4 to 5 new faces [ie children in child porn images who haven't previously been spotted in child porn by law enforcement agencies] are discovered every week”. Given that law enforcement agencies aren’t totally shit, we can assume this is a reasonably high proportion of the total number made available – for conservatism, I’ll say 10% (which is insanely low, but never mind). So 50 new children are sexually abused every week worldwide for internet porn purposes, meaning 2,500 a year.

There are a billion people in places with readily available Internet access. To avoid having to look up demographic data, I’ll say that means 200,000,000 children (actually, there are more). Assuming that over an 18-year period the chance of abuse remains constant (obviously it doesn’t, but the end chances of a child having been abused for Internet porn by age 18 are effectively the same either way and it makes the sums easier), this means that 0.0225% of children will be abused for Internet porn.

The generally quoted figure for the prevalence of sexual abuse in childhood is around 20% for girls and 10% for boys (some surveys report higher levels). Based on this total incidence, online child abuse accounts for 1 in every 700 cases of child sexual abuse. And remember, this estimate assumes that the police only find 1/10 of images traded online, which does not tally with most actual reports on the subject.

Abuse by friends and relatives (which obviously encompasses most of the online cases as well) accounts for something rather closer to 700 out of every 700 cases of child sexual abuse. A more effective viral campaign would be something along the lines of “just because he’s your brother or your friend doesn’t mean he’s above suspicion if your kid starts behaving weirdly”.

But that would shift child sexual abuse away from being something committed by semen-encrusted hoboes like Sidney Cooke and Roy Whiting and by shadowy Russian pimps and pornographers, toward being something committed by your friends and family (given the incidence of child sexual abuse in society, it is highly likely that someone you know and trust has sexually abused a child). And that would make people feel uncomfortable, instead of giving them a meaningless emotional high.

Paul Gibbons is a cunt

So come and beat me up, you ponce.

Seriously, though – fucking hell. No wonder I don’t use my name any more.

Katie Davis is evil, but the system is worse

The headline is fairly trivially true based on this story. Falsely accusing someone of rape is pretty much as bad as raping someone, especially since it makes accusations brought by real victims less likely to be believed.

However, the most outrageous thing about the whole case is that the man accused spent 10 weeks on remand in prison as a ‘child-rapist’ (during which time, enlightened and community-minded citizens smashed up his house) based on nothing more than Ms Davis’s word: there was no other evidence whatsoever to bring his story into doubt.

This is simply wrong – nobody should be consigned to jail, whether following conviction or while awaiting trial, on the uncorroborated word of another person. And if you disagree (or indeed, as some suggest, think the law should be made even more wrong in this context) because you think applying a proper ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ test would let too many real rapists get away with it, you’re just as bad as the people who support internment-without-trial for alleged terrorists.

(minor digression: based on this photo, I’m struggling to see why anyone would consent to sexual activity with Ms Davis in the first place…)

No, this is all wrong

People who don’t like rock are the ones who ought to be stabbed in the eyes