Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Few Moorhen Chicks From The Curate's Pond

Gloom unrelieved for Labour :

What is holding cabinet assassins back, according to one ex-minister, is the fear that Brown will refuse to go and the rebels will not back them up when it comes to it. 'It's like when you tell a wife who separates from her husband, "I always thought he was a bastard". And then she takes him back and never speaks to you again.'
Mind you, I'm not sure I can trust anything Observer editor Gaby Hinsliff writes :

Last month's itinerary for the Foreign Secretary was interesting, to say the least: Palestine, Tokyo, Luxembourg, Brussels - and Slough. The commuter town hosts the only council Labour now controls outright in the whole of the south, a mecca for those wanting to know how Labour can recapture Middle England.

Slough ? Middle England ? Middle England in thirty years time, maybe. Has she actually been there ?

Leaving aside London, Slough can claim to be the most diverse place in England. If you were to pick any two people at random from its population of 120,000, there would be a 62 per cent chance that they would be from different ethnic backgrounds.

(En passant, the website of the now defunct Commission For Racial Equality is archived here. And here's Trevor Phillips on how diversity is good for business. So good it needs laws to enforce it !)

Private Godfrey - trench fighter. Arnold Ridley's First World War.

"His battalion had been sent to attack the Gird trench near Gueudecourt. They were dispatched without any proper reconnaissance being carried out. A lot of the battalion was wiped out by machine gunfire, but Ridley and the other survivors simply had to make their way through the trench armed with bayonets and lobbing bombs. He was hit on the head with a rifle butt and fell to the ground. The German soldier than lunged a bayonet at him, but he managed to save his own life by directing it into his groin rather than his stomach. He was unconscious for a while but did recover. Then a soldier lunged a bayonet up his hand and through his wrist. He passed out again. We can only assume that the German soldier was killed at around the same time because Ridley obviously survived."

It took 15 operations to save his hand and he was left without movement in three fingers. For two years Ridley did not realise that the rifle butt had cracked his skull. That injury would cause him to suffer blackouts for the rest of his life. Although he established a successful career as a director, actor and writer, he lived in fear of collapsing on stage.

Hideous attack on asylum seekers :

A group of more than 40 people armed with iron bars and knives has attacked a holding centre for asylum seekers in Norway, injuring more than 20 people.

Far-right thugs ?

The attack, at a centre in Valer, 60km (40 miles) south of Oslo, was sparked by a disagreement between two groups of asylum seekers, reports said. No-one was seriously hurt but 10 people reportedly needed hospital treatment. The Nordbybraten centre houses 200 refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Russia, Somalia and Eritrea.

Remember the news that Community Cohesion Partnerships are liasing with local newspapers to be sure that no news which might 'raise tensions' is reported (unless it's a racist murder by a white person, in which case give it 24/7 coverage) ?

I thought there was something strange about this story - a gang fight and murder which made BBC radio news but has no background and no named victim. Just this one snippet leaked through from the Telegraph and Argus. Someone will get their wrist slapped.

A murder investigation was under way today after one man died and another was critically injured in a street gang knife fight. Police who were called to the incident in Gaythorne Road, West Bowling, yesterday found three men with stab wounds – three other people, including a woman, have now been arrested on suspicion of murder. The injured, a 17-year-old, 22-year-old and 24-year-old, all from Bradford were taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary. Surgeons battled to save the 22-year-old but he died shortly before 3am today. The 24-year-old, who also had surgery, remains in a critical condition, said detectives. The 17-year-old was released after treatment for a laceration. Two men, aged 42 and 25, and a woman aged 34 are being held for questioning at different police stations across the county. The murder investigation is being led by Detective Superintendent Tim Forber, of West Yorkshire Police homicide and major enquiry team. Initial reports from bystanders suggest there had been fighting for about 20 minutes between rival black and Asian gangs. One of the men had been stabbed in front of a three-storey terraced house in Parsonage Road which runs alongside Gaythorne Lane, said a witness.

I must admit I thought the Asian gangs had long taken over whate'er illicit stuff may go on in that fair city.

A third of Muslim students think violence in the name of religion is justifiable ? Be fair. Once upon a time pretty much 100% of Christians would have agreed with that.

Wes Streeting, president of the National Union of Students, condemned the study. “This disgusting report is a reflection of the biases and prejudices of a right-wing think tank – not the views of Muslim students across Britain,” he said. “Only 632 Muslim students were asked vague and misleading questions, and their answers were wilfully misinterpreted.”

Only 632 ? I'm presuming Wes Streeting isn't studying statistics - or is he ?

Labour appointed an anti-prison activist to be Inspector of Prisons and wonder why she gives the system a shoeing in every report. The new Director of Public Prosecutions is a "human rights" lawyer who's spent the last few years overturning Home Office strategies.

Mr Starmer has acted as a prosecutor and CPS adviser in the past but is best known for his work challenging government decisions in the fields of human rights and criminal law. He acted for two terror suspects in the landmark House of Lords case last year that led to the control order system for terror suspects being declared unlawful under human rights law.