Saturday, April 05, 2008

Superb ...

The Dumb One rounds up the annual NUT Conference.

On the proposed abolition of private schools :

"Next up, we had the incoming union president claiming the best way to unscrew state education was to nobble private schools - presumably the same way you can improve your cooking by shooting Jamie Oliver."

On the anti-military, pro-sex-ed campaigners :

"Apparently, it's no to 'Saving Private Ryan', but yes to 'Shaving Ryan's Privates'"

Read the whole thing.

I took a quick look to see if there were any blogging NUT activists.

Classroom Teacher found the president's address "inspiring with its emphasis on the class basis of British society" and noted proudly that "The WSTA delegation had a gender balance of 7:2 which reflects the gender balance of the union."

Tragically they failed to mention the delegation's varied sexualities, disabilities and ethnicities - but Rome wasn't built in a day. And if it was, it was only because of a complete disregard for the European Working Time Directive and the relevant Health and Safety laws.

(You may find a suspicious similarity between the blogs of Classroom Teacher, West Sussex Teachers Association and Socialist Teachers.)

Patrick Nash "is Chief Executive of Teacher Support Network", which "now has around 100,000 interactions with teachers every year". (According to Extreme Tracking, this blog has over 300,000 'interactions' with readers every year).

Mr Nash has made a remarkable discovery.

"I am strongly of the opinion one of the biggest mistakes of Labour’s education policy over the last ten years has been the obsession with testing. Not only does this discriminate against many children who are not academically inclined ... "

Yay ! He broke the code ! Mr Nash, ten years or more of teaching, has realised that tests discriminate ! I just hope it doesn't take him another ten years to work out that's what tests are supposed to do.

Let's turn to the blog of the NUT fraction (yes, really) of the Alliance For Worker's Liberty.

"Comprehensive Education, despite its overwhelming popularity amongst voters ..." Next !

My mother taught reception for forty years. I'm a school governor. I'm not wired to despise the profession. In fact, blogs by individual teachers, like Shuggy or To Miss With Love, are invariably fascinating reads by recognisably human beings. Why does every blog claiming to speak for more than one teacher sound like it was written by Howard Kirk ?

Friday, April 04, 2008

"One child in four has a lone parent"

According to the ONS.

(In Ken Livingstone's case, it appears to be three children in five).

Thursday, April 03, 2008

North Country Maids

One of these days I'll get round to a long post on all the female singers I've loved, from earliest memories of my mother's beautiful soprano singing around the house to whichever latest female voice strikes me.

The late Lal Waterson was and is a favourite, something about those flat Yorkshire tones. Solo here (the background video is very Mitchell and Kenyon).

Here she is with her sister and brother in a 1965 BBC documentary. The whole thing looks like a Wednesday Play by a kitchen sink dramatist. Love the visuals, darling !

They do a good job on Hal-An-Tow as well. Note that nearly everyones's smoking ... it's odd to think that that folkie generation (the audience) were part of the great cultural collapse.

Nothing to see here ...

I can't find this on the BBC. I guess it's just a minor incident.

A father-of-three is fighting for life after he had his head stamped on outside a Colne church. Paving contractor Edward Geddes, 29, was left covered in blood after being attacked by a gang of four outside St Bartholomew's Church in the early hours of Sunday.

Eyewitnesses say his head was repeatedly stamped upon by the gang, who are believed to have been thrown out of a party just minutes earlier.

What's the Problem ?

The mighty Aaro with an April Fool classic. The man's a comedy genius.

“Is it me?” I thought. Or them? Am I really part of a metropolitan class that has lost touch with the realities of everyday life? Is their perception more valid, in many ways, than what I like to think is my truth?

Here, in my shoes, stands the Hampstead columnist thinking that Britain is not in terminal crisis, but over there, in yesterday's comment box, is an articulate woman explaining support for the BNP in terms of how “a lot of little things add up” to rage.

In Wellingborough, she explains, one in four of the homes in her road is now occupied by Eastern Europeans, Polish shops are opening up, in local supermarkets people speak to each other in Slav languages.

And instead of feeling all sympathetic to her, my instant response is: “Yes, and what's the problem?

(Talking of Aaro, Peter Briffa has some feedback from him on the subject of the London Election. Read the whole thing.)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

"The philosophers have merely interpreted the world. The point is to whinge about it"

Brett at Harry's Place gets cross with the Muslim parents who objected to their five year olds being taught about Adam and Steve. I'll note in passing his :

"I'm not convinced that parents ought to have too big a say over what children are taught anyway. Children have rights and the State has a responsibility towards them. The same logic that says a parent doesn't have the right to pull a son from school and force him to work up a chimney, or to refuse to let a daughter learn to read and write, demands that children are taught based on what prepares them for life, not what individual nut case parents or sects want."

That's right, Brett. Not wanting your little one to be taught about homosexuality is EXACTLY like sending them up a chimney to work or not teaching them to read. His disdain for parents tells me Brett doesn't have kids. But that's by the by.

What Brett's noted isn't exactly a defeat for his ideology - this stuff has only recently been shimmied into schools under the guise of 'preventing homphobic bullying', now a statutory requirement at all State schools. It's an attack that's been repulsed - thus far and no further.

"Mo pasaran !".

The campaign will continue elsewhere :

Theatreland will have to give up its bedroom secrets in the quest for funding, under new Arts Council requirements. Organisations applying for grants are being asked to state how many board members are bisexual, homosexual, heterosexual, lesbian or whose inclinations are “not known”.

Audrey Roy, the director of grants, said that the council needed to understand who its audience was and to whom its funding was going. “We see diversity as broader than race, ethnicity, faith and disability,” she said. Question 22 of the Grants for the Arts forms, relating to sexual orientation, was not compulsory, she added, although the form states that it must be answered.

I think it likely that the response of the Bristol parents has drawn a line in the sand that educators will be wary of crossing. If Christian parents object, the schools can always call the police and get them arrested. But they'll be paralysed by that old guilt/fear cocktail if the parents are Muslim. We are on the way to a two-tier system of sex education, with all sorts of deviant delights for the natives and 'don't even think, let alone talk about it' for the sons and daughters of the Prophet. It served the UK pretty well for a thousand Pill-free years - and by the STI figures, it seems to work pretty well for Muslims.

It's the commenters at HP that get me. The majority are against what's happened. And there's not a single concrete suggestion ('Fight for secular values' is meaningless posturing without concrete expression) as to what to do about it in all the 118 comments. It's just too uncomfortable to think about. They prefer to talk about their schooldays and what would happen in an ideal world. They'll still be examining their collective navels when HP is closed down as an organ of the Zionist Entity.

UPDATE - BBC is too scared of Islam, says Ben Elton. For once it must be said they reflect the nationsl psyche. Oh, and surprise surprise, Ben Elton is one of those unbelievers who sends their kids to church school.

UPDATE2 - Fulham Reactionary points out that "last May, Sunderland University's Dr Elizabeth Atkinson, who is responsible for the production of the books, was scathingly dismissive of Christian concerns, saying that "we knew when we started this that the Christian groups wouldn't like it because they don't like homosexuals. It wasn't surprising.""

Thugs attack Birmingham army cadets

An army cadet instructor in Birmingham claims his young charges are being targeted by stone-throwing thugs who are angry at the uniform they wear.

Sgt Billy Mazella of the Army Cadet Force, based in Washwood Heath, claimed they were having to put up with systematic abuse by gangs of local youths, who seemed to target the cadets because of events in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The incidents of stone-throwing, vandalism and verbal abuse have escalated during recent months following the removal of a CCTV camera near their hut in Washwood Heath Road.

They mirror events in Peterborough where personnel from RAF Wittering have been ordered not to wear their uniform in public following months of verbal attacks, believed to be linked to current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sgt Mazella, aged 20, who became a cadet eight years ago, said potential recruits were being put off because the thugs targeted open day events attended by the would-be 'squaddies' and their parents.

He said: "The cadets and myself regularly get bricks, stones and even fireworks thrown at us as missiles.

"Our vehicles have been damaged and also our parade grounds at times.

"For around six months there was a camera on a lamppost outside the detachment facing towards a block of flats which are always the source of the trouble. But, since the camera has been removed the trouble has progressed and is now really bad."

The instructor, one of three with the Washwood Heath detachment, said the offenders appeared to be Asian who are aged as young as ten.

"We feel we are being harassed and attacked because we wear British Army uniform.

"Often the youths throw oral abuse at us and nearly all the time they refer to the army and that we are killing their brothers and their families overseas.

"We phone the local police almost every time this happens, yet nothing is done about it. We had one Asian cadet but they got to him and he left."

Sgt Mazella said they recruited youngsters aged 12-18 so they could get good extra skills and qualifications and help them to stay out of trouble. They parade every Sunday and Wednesday.

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said they were investigating an incident on February 10 following reports of stones being thrown at the Army Cadet hut and cars.

Beret-tip - nbc in the comments

Racist !

Those old British Imperialists sure went in for gross racial stereotyping - here's a gung-ho militarist describing the Siege of Lucknow, 1857 :

The natural strength of the Residency at once explains how it was possible for the English to hold out in it against far superior numbers; but this very fact at once shows also what class of fighters the Oudians are. In fact, men who, partly drilled under European officers and provided plentifully with artillery, have never yet been able to overcome a single miserable inclosure defended by Europeans – such men are, militarily speaking, no better than savages, and a victory over them cannot add much to the glory of any army, however great the odds may be in favor of the natives.

Another fact which classes the Oudians with the most contemptible opponents to be met with, is the manner in which Havelock forced his way through the very thickest portion of the town, in spite of barricades, loopholed houses, and the like. His loss, indeed, was great; but compare such an engagement with even the worst-fought street-battle of 1848! Not one man of his weak column could have made good his way had there been any real fighting ...

When Sir Colin Campbell arrived he had about 2,000 European and 1,000 Sikh infantry; 350 European and 600 Sikh cavalry; 18 horse-artillery guns, 4 siege guns, and 300 sailors with their heavy shipguns; in all, 5,000 men, among which were 3,000 Europeans. This force was about as strong in numbers as a very fair average of most Anglo-Indian armies that have accomplished great exploits; indeed, the field-force with which Sir C. Napier conquered Sinde was scarcely half as large, and often less.

On the other hand, its large admixture of the European element and the circumstance that all its native portion consisted of the best fighting nation of India, the Sikhs, give it a character of intrinsic strength and cohesion far superior to the generality of Anglo-Indian armies. Its opponents, as we have seen, were contemptible, for the most part rough militia instead of trained soldiers. True, the Oudians pass for the most warlike race of Lower Hindostan, but this is the case merely in comparison with the cowardly Bengalees, whose morale is utterly broken down by the most relaxing climate of the world and by centuries of oppression. The way in which they submitted to the “filibustering” annexation of their country to the Company’s dominions, and the whole of their behavior during the insurrection, certainly places them below the level of the Sepoys, as far as courage and intelligence are concerned.

We are, indeed, informed that quantity made up for quality. Some letter-writers say there were as many as 100,000 in the town. They were, no doubt, superior to the British in the proportion of four or six to one, perhaps more; but with such enemies that makes little difference. A position can only be defended by a certain number, and if these are determined to run away it matters little whether four or five times that number of similar heroes are within half a mile. There is no doubt that many instances of individual bravery have been seen, even among these Oudians. Some among them may have fought like lions; but of what avail were these in a place which they were too weak to defend after the mere rabble among the garrison had run away? There appears to have never been among them any attempt at bringing the whole under a single command; their local chiefs had no authority except over their own men, and would not submit to anybody else ...

Campbell should be praised for the judgment with which he took the easier route and with which he used his heavy artillery to reduce the intrenched positions before he launched his columns. But the British fought with all the advantages of skilled soldiers obeying one chief over half savages commanded by nobody; and, as we see, they fully availed themselves of these advantages ... when in three days’ consecutive fighting, under circumstances and in positions which are known to cost more lives than any other to conquer, the loss is only one in eight or nine, it is out of the question to call it hard fighting. To take an example from British history alone, what is all this Indian fighting put together against the single defense of Hougoumont and La Haye Sainte at Waterloo?

Who's this blood-soaked warrior, with his talk of warlike races, the cowardly Bengalis, the half-savages of Oudh, and his general air of "call that a battle ?"

Friedrich Engels, that's who. And he was writing from London ! Armchair warrior or what ?

A Few Magpies From The Curate's Lawn

A correspondent reminds me of the continuing troubles of Iraqi Christians :

Thousands of Christians from across Iraq have attended the funeral of murdered Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho - as the Pope called for an end to the massacres of the beleaguered minority. The body of the Archbishop of Mosul was discovered near the northern Iraqi city on Thursday last week, almost two weeks after Islamists kidnapped the prelate, who was in poor health.
The archbishop is the highest-ranking Christian cleric to have been killed since the start of the Iraq insurgency in 2003.

Last June Fr Ragheed Ganni and three deacons were murdered in Mosul after driving home from Sunday Mass. Fr Ganni had returned to his native country from Italy after the American invasion, despite being warned of the dangers. "The situation here is worse than hell," Fr Ganni wrote to a former professor the day before he was killed.

Chaldean Catholics are the largest of Iraq's Christian denominations, among the oldest Christian communities in the world. Half of the pre-war population of 1.2 million have fled the country since the US-led invasion, finding themselves victims of Islamic extremists, kidnapping gangs and Kurdish nationalists alike.

In January Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki assured Mgr Francis Assisi Chullikatt, the Vatican's ambassador to Iraq, that the government was committed to the safety of Christians after six bomb attacks on churches on January 6.

Dr Suha Rassam, spokeswoman for charity Iraqi Christians in Need, said: "Christians will now be even more in fear of their lives from Islamic fundamentalists. The only way for the Church in the Mosul area to survive might be if it goes underground, like it did in the first and second centuries," she said. "This way, Mass and other services would be held in secret and priests go about their duties clandestinely. Over the last eight months, attacks on Christians have been escalating. This is not a situation anyone would want, but the Christian population is living each day in terror of being kidnapped or murdered. When the Church is facing persecution of this magnitude, then desperate measures might have to be taken."

As my correspondent says : "Imagine if the scenario was reversed - a small Muslim minority was being shot at by Protestant and Catholic gangs, forced to convert to Christianity, their daughters kidnapped for forced conversions and mosques blown up? We'd never hear the end of it". It's true. I seem to remember that when a Christian militia massacred Muslims thirty years ago it got, not unreasonably, quite a lot of publicity. Even massacres of Muslims that didn't happen get big air.

Here's another story that would get more publicity were the faiths and/or ethnicities the other way round, from (where else ?) Burnley.

A GANG of youths are being hunted after a series of attacks on teenagers on their way to school. Pupils at Blessed Trinity RC College's Ormerod Road site in Burnley have been assaulted in a series of unprovoked attacks. The attacks took place on Wednesday morning in Ormerod Road and Leyland Road at about 9am while pupils were walking to school. Four boys were punched in the face and a teenage boy was threatened with a weapon, forcing him to hand over his mobile phone.

Police said that the all five victims were approached and threatened separately while walking from the Burnley College area to the school.

The park outside Burnley College is where Mohammed Shafiq was killed by an Asian gang while defending his son not long ago.

The gang is said to be a group of six to seven asian and white males and police are appealing for anyone who may have seen the gang or been a victim of an attack to come forward ... The school have contacted the parents of the children attacked and have been patrolling the streets near the school with police at the beginning and end of the school day.


Obviously different in Burnley. Round our way, all the Muslim parents send their kids to the Catholic comp, where fisting is still off the curriculum and little Pashmina is unlikely to be told "now, unroll the condom over the banana". I've often wondered how the government's gay-friendly education policies would fare at secular schools with a large number of Muslim students. Now we know.

Two primary schools have withdrawn storybooks about same sex relationships after objections from Muslim parents. Up to 90 gathered at the schools to complain about the books which are aimed at pupils as young as five. One story, titled King & King, is a fairytale about a prince who turns down three princesses before marrying one of their brothers. Another named And Tango Makes Three features two male penguins who fall in love at a New York zoo.

Bristol City Council said the two schools had been using the books to ensure they complied with gay rights laws which came into force last April. They were intended to help prevent homophobic bullying, it said. But the council has since removed the books from Easton Primary School and Bannerman Road Community School, both in Bristol. A book and DVD titled That's a Family!, which teaches children about different family set-ups including gay or lesbian parents, has also been withdrawn.

The decision was made to enable the schools to "operate safely" after parents voiced their concerns at meetings.

"Operate safely" ? What could they mean ?

(I completely support the Muslim parents. But if they'd been Christian parents, they'd have been more likely to get a visit from the police than a total victory. It's also an interesting sign of the times. How long before Christian parents choose Muslim-dominated schools to shield their kids from that kind of education ? I'm sure there's a word for that sort of status).

Elsewhere :

Kurds v Asians in Dewsbury - again.

Interesting Sunday Times pieces on manufacturing in Britain :

In the past 10 years manufacturing output has risen by 2.8% – in total, not per year.

And in Germany. How come the Germans aren't in it for the short term buck but the long haul ? It's culture, I tell you !

Last year manufacturing output grew by more than 6%. Exports rose more than 8%, making Germany the world export leader, ahead of even China, for the fifth year running, with total trade of €969 billion (£758 billion). Overall, the German economy expanded in 2007 by 2.5%, with external trade accounting for 1.4% of this growth.

In the past decade exports have been responsible for 80% of German GDP growth, in contrast to Britain, where consumer spending has easily outpaced manufacturing growth.

Germany is strongest in the emerging markets. Exports to Brazil, Russia, China and India grew by 31% in 2007 from €43 billion to €63 billion. Germany has also invested heavily overseas - its manufacturing companies account for 15% of Brazil’s economic output.

Why ?

Germany’s manufacturing might is down to family-owned firms that do not subscribe to Anglo-Saxon notions of “shareholder value”. They are paternal towards their workforces, the products they make, the interests of their customers and the sustainability of their companies.

A study of more than 1,000 such firms by Bernd Venohr of the Berlin School of Economics discovered that most are among the top three world leaders in their chosen markets, from mobile-phone ring tones to steel rolling mills.

“A family-owned business can adopt a long-term approach.

They do not face short-term pressure to maximise profits. Typical for these firms are classic products that are continually being refined. I estimate they invest between two and three times as much in research and development as comparable firms in the same sector abroad,” he said.

Thomas Hune of the Federation of German Industries added: “The motor industry is a good illustration. It is comprised of thousands of small companies that are the ones developing advanced technologies.

This is not the case in Britain, where everything is outsourced. As a result, there is no core competence. The Germans have done their homework. They are competitive, efficient, innovative and, with the label ‘made in Germany’, renowned for quality.”

And the sad story of Glasgow benefit culture. This place was once one of the workshops of the world.

A third of residents in Ruchill and Possilpark claim either incapacity benefits or severe disability allowance, three times the national average; they are also six times more likely to die from a drugs overdose.

In Parkhead and Dalmarnock, 60.7% of children are raised in unemployed households; incapacity benefit is claimed by a third of the residents, the highest proportion of any neighbourhood in Glasgow.

Other communities blighted by high rates of unemployment include Sighthill, Roystonhill and Germiston where 59.2% of children live in workless households. In the city centre, including the affluent Merchant City, the figure is about 50%.

Across the city, almost a third of the population is on sickness benefits, with almost half “economically inactive” in some areas.

Why ?

The situation has been blamed on the current benefits system that allows some 70,000 British households to receive more than £25,000 a year. About 20,000 of these are claiming more than £30,000 in benefits every year.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

News via Google

Getting hits for "what happened in Ravensthorpe last night".

This hit and run, or something else ? Doubtless all will be made plain by tonight.

She Knows Whereof She Speaks ?

Guardianista Jackie Ashley (Mrs Andrew Marr) gets the claws out in a somewhat tasteless Grauniad piece. Apologies for what follows :

There has, however, been one female political heroine of the past few days. I refer, of course, to Carla Bruni, now Mrs Sarkozy, who has had the British media lying on their backs drooling, gurgling with delight and with a certain suspicious bulge in their collective trousers. Yup, agreed, she's quite a girl ...

She has it all: the smile that manages to be both demure and debauched, the perfectly judged Parisian dress sense, the Audrey Hepburn-esque tilt of the head. No Hollywood blockbuster could cast such a perfect adult-fairytale princess as Carla. My grouch isn't with her. I do think that Nicolas Sarkozy looks just a trifle silly trotting alongside her with the dazed-codfish expression of a man who's just swallowed a suitcase of happy pills; but Carla is only exercising a power that has been familiar since the dawn of time. No, it's that the adulation was so unrestrained ..

Hmmm. I recall spotting this in the Times Court and Social column the other day :

The President of the French Republic and Madame Nicolas Sarkozy arrived at Windsor Castle today on a State Visit to The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh ...
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh gave a State Banquet at Windsor Castle this evening in honour of The President of the French Republic and Madame Nicolas Sarkozy ... The following had the honour of being invited :

... Professor and Mrs Mervyn King, Mr Andrew Marr and the Hon Jacqueline Ashley ...

So the Hon Jacqueline Ashley was in pole position when it came to the trouser and adulation monitoring. The trouble is, significant other Andrew Marr has previous when it comes to trouser control, Guido Fawkes reporting that he fathered a child a few years back with Times journalist and Felicity Kendal lookalike (from some angles anyway) Alice Miles.

Her writing seems straight from the heart in those few paragraphs. Gone is the usual nuLab feminist boilerplate. You can't but wonder if she knows whereof she speaks. Did Andrew Marr get a spoon over the knuckles and a whispered instruction to get his tongue off the table and put his eyealls back in ?

Monday, March 31, 2008

Wow ...

Everyone who's interested in rugby knows about the greatest try in the greatest game (and what's second to that ? France v New Zealand in 1999 would be my choice).

But I'd forgotten about this huge Paul Thorburn penalty. Pretty impressive.

More Street Crime

Living in a reasonably well-off town lowers the risk of random unpleasantness, but you can still get your head kicked of a Saturday night in Gloucester, Cirencester, Cheltenham.

Blogger Clive Davis' son was beaten up last weekend. Let's hope he - and the family - make a full recovery.

Judge Beverley Lunt

The Burnley/Bacup/Nelson zone, so close to the beautiful Pennine moors, seems like a wee microcosm of modern England, with its cast of smackheads, paedophiles, thieves and unruly (if not downright murderous) gangs, all mixed in with the unique issues that pertain to such a vibrant part of the multicultural UK, and presided over by a bunch of visionary social engineers.

Mixed in with said ne'e'r-do-wells are a lot of ordinary hardworking types, heavily taxed to pay for the social workers, youth workers, solicitors and drug outreach workers of which the former have such need. They only tend to be seen in the comments boxes of the local press, raising metaphorical eyebrows as yet another serious crime is given yet another non-custodial punishment.

I was visting the Burnley Citizen site to find out, in the light of the recent reports on 'grooming', what sentences had been handed down to the gang who kidnapped, beat up, and dumped a fourteen year old schoolboy - for the crime of talking to their (female) cousin at school.

Suspended sentences. Not surprisingly the boy's father is extremely unchuffed.

The court heard that the gang of five set upon the boy because he had been seen talking to one of their cousins. He was hit with a crook lock during the assault and a footprint was left on his face by one of his attackers. After the violence he was left to walk home alone.

But the father of the victim, who has asked not be named, said the sentences, handed out by Judge Andrew Woolman last week, were 'unduly lenient and disappointing'. He said: "I really feel that a golden opportunity has now been lost to send a strong message to the community. I am particularly saddened that it has taken a great deal of effort from my young son, standing up to these people and willing to go to court where others may not have. And all this effort has amounted to nothing. The original attack and in particular the subsequent sentence has been devastating to him. His grades at schools have slipped and he is nervous in unfamiliar places and never allowed to go out unaccompanied"

The father has contacted Lancashire's Crown Prosecution offices in Burnley, urging lawyers to launch an appeal against the sentences. He has paid tribute to the police and prosecutors in bringing the case to court - but feels 'appalled' at the outcome. A Lancashire CPS spokesman said: "We are reviewing the issues which he has raised in his letter."

Where was I ? Ah, yes - the comments. Another of the stories in the Citizen featured a couple of guys who, baseball-batted, hooded and balaclava'd, kicked down a front door to "have a word with" the occupants. Mr Balaclava, Lee Rainford, got sent down (two months - what's that in real money - 3 weeks ?) and Mr Hoodie, Shaun Rushton, got a community order, which he failed to turn up for.

Judge Beverley Lunt told him "you have thrown a chance in the judge's face and I will not stand for that" - before giving him 12 weeks suspended and more community service.

So far, so normal. It was the comments that struck me.

"I KNEW who would have presided over this case before I even opened the link."

"Well what a surprise finding out who the judge was"

"Judge Beverley Lunt - a name that must warm the hearts of all the local thugs and criminals"

She seemed to have quite a fan base. Time for a quick Google. Wow.

"How did I know when I read the headline that this judge would be Judge Beverley Lunt?"

"when i first saw the headlines "troubled youth spared jail" how come my first instincts was to say "It has got to be Beverly Lunt" and sure as glass is glass it was! What is wrong with this woman?"

"I guessed the name of the Judge before I read the report."

When ever a case like this comes up in court and Judge Beverley Lunt is in the chair she gives out outlandishly lenient sentences.

Joseph McDonald had a long record even though he was only 17 and Judge Beverley Lunt said structured assistance from the Probation Service could be just what he needed. Burnley Crown Court heard how the defendant had stole victim Syed Kazmi's money bag and punched him.

The judge warned the defendant: "People who attack taxi drivers in this town must expect a custodial sentence. The courts are going to protect taxi drivers. They are serving the public during unsociable hours."

But she then spared him jail, saying support could help "make a man out of him".

"So, Beverley,you've been duped yet again."

"Beverely Lunt is THE worst judge that this county has had the misfortune to ever meet"

"As soon as I read the headline I knew who the Judge would be"

"Lunt has struck again"

"I saw the headline and thought to myself, I'd put my house on this Judge being let em go LUNT. If only I was a betting man"

"I am now awaiting the approval for a petition that I have set up demanding the resignation of Judge Beverley Lunt on the Downing Street website"

A soldier suffered a fractured skull after he was attacked by a gang in Burnley whilst on leave from the army. Scott Condron, 20, who serves with the Royal Signals Regiment, was punched in the face by drunken Luke Thompson before the gang repeatedly kicked him. Signaller Condron suffered a fracture to his temple as well as cuts and vomited repeatedly after he was taken to hospital, Burnley Crown Court heard.

But a judge decided not to jail Thompson, 18, who pleaded guilty to inflicting grevious bodily harm, for the appalling attack' saying it was time for him to turn his life around.

Judge Beverley Lunt said anybody involved in street fighting with kicking should expect prison and added it was appalling Mr Condron was home for rest and relaxation and was the victim of such an assault. But she said he was working and the authorities prevailed upon judges to impose an alternative if a sentence of 12 months or less could be passed. Judge Lunt said Thompson had had too much to drink and added the number of drink fuelled offences by otherwise responsible young men was becoming frightening. She added it was now the time to turn his life around.


"Here's some more on the judge who appears convinced prisons are so overcrowded that she shouldn't send anybody there...

1 ARMED MUGGING – WALK FREE ONE of a gang of three hooded and masked knifemen who took a mobile phone off a terrified teenager has kept his freedom. Burnley Crown Court heard how Shumel Mahmood (16) was said to be the "main player" in the incident in which all three attackers were armed with multi-tool weapons. Mahmood, of Gordon Street, Burnley, admitted robbery in March. He was given 200 hours of community punishment with £100 costs and £100 compensation.
2 MUGGING & SERIOUS ASSAULT - A CUSTODIAL!!!!! A TEENAGER has been sentenced to five years in jail for a vicious mugging which left a Brierfield man scarred and needing surgery. Baron Paul Newton (19) pleaded guilty at Burnley Crown Court to the July robbery in which he taunted and punched a man in the face as he walked home from a night out in Burnley
And yet a soldier gets beaten to the point where he may lose his career and the criminals WALK!!!!
3. ATTEMPTED MURDER _ WALK FREE A DISTRAUGHT middle-aged mum who knifed her ex-partner after he found a new woman, has walked free from court. Depressed Joan Harris (46) had hidden in victim Harold Bleasdale's garden, armed with a 4in. weapon, before pouncing on him from behind as he walked home with his new girlfriend in the early hours, Burnley Crown Court heard.
So, attempted murder = walk free
4. PUB GLASSING _ WALK FREE A DRUNKEN teenager who glassed a man, leaving him "scarred for life", has kept his freedom - even though a judge slammed him as a menace. Burnley Crown Court heard how Mark Steer (19), of Woone Lane, Clitheroe, immediately rang his victim to apologise. When the police answered, he owned up. Judge Beverly Lunt told Steer he worked hard all week, but then went out, got drunk and was out of control. She went on: "That has to stop and one way is to make sure you don't have the money to do it." Steer admitted wounding in January and had been committed to sentence by Hyndburn magistrates. He was given 52 weeks in custody, suspended for two years, with 12 months' supervision.
6. FRAUD – WALK FREE DVD pirate was so successful he installed CCTV in his garage "store" to deter shoplifters. Hugh Hamer, 59, had 7,500 Hollywood bootlegs with a value of £100,000, on sale for £5 a copy. Trading standards said his garage was like a high street store, selling DVDs, CDs and computer games. The divorced dad-of two, who lives with his mum in Billington, Lancs, also admitted selling ****. Burnley judge Beverly Lunt said: "You have done a wicked thing. Continue and you will go to prison." He was given a 12-month suspended sentence and ordered to do 250 hours' community work.
7. PUB GLASSING – WALK FREE Kirsty Ryan (22) hit one victim with a glass and then sank her teeth into the landlord as he tried to break up fighting between her and another girl at the New Black Bull pub in Padiham. Burnley Crown Court heard how Ryan had descended into a downward spiral of drink and drugs after her three-year-old daughter was mowed down and killed by a disqualified driver in September last year. This offence was committed just a month after she received a conditional discharge for throwing a vase at her mother's partner. The defendant's barrister told the court how Ryan had struggled to cope with not only her loss, but also the high-profile court case following the accident and the ensuing publicity.
Despite personal tradegy it is somehow OK to go around glassing people and not get locked up…
8. ARSONIST WALKS FREE A woman set fire to her flat after a vodka binge with her partner still sleeping inside, a court was told. Deborah Ryan set fire to curtains on the flat on Albyn Street East, Preston last December. Preston Crown Court prosecutor Paul Cummings said she and her partner George Crompton had been drinking during the day. Eventually she asked him to leave, he refused and fell asleep only to be woken by smoke. Ryan was heard to say: "Let the place burn", Mr Cummings added. Mr Crompton was able to douse the flames and damage was confined to curtains and a window costing about £250 to repair, the court heard. Ryan, 43, pleaded guilty to a charge of reckless arson. Her barrister, Miss Nadine Hope said immediately after the fire she accepted what she had done, in drink, when police arrived at the scene. In her state at the time, she had wanted to harm herself but recklessly started the fire, not intentionally. She had been allowed to stay in the property and was now repaying the costs for the damage to the Housing Association who own it. Miss Hope said her client was successfully fighting an alcohol problem. She also had mental health difficulties. Jude Beverly Lunt told Ryan she could have put her own life, that of her partner and neighbours at risk. She had come close to receiving an immediate prison sentence but the judge told her she had decided to suspend the 12 month term for two years."

But it's this one that takes the biscuit.

On Friday at Burnley Crown Court Judge Beverley Lunt gave Jason Davies a last chance to kick his habit after he admitted twice raiding Nelson fire station on one occasion threatening a firefighter with a screwdriver and violent behaviour.Davies, of Dover Street, Nelson, who had almost 150 previous convictions, also asked for 45 offences carried out to fund his addiction to be considered.

Judge Lunt gave him a suspended jail sentence, 12 months supervision and a nine month drug rehabilitation requirement.

Magistrates had earlier warned Davies who also faced charges of supplying amphetamine he faced jail when they sent the case to crown court.The crown court was told Davies was on bail from a prison term at the time of the fire station break-in, which happened on April 14.

So he was a violent smackhead, with 140+ previous convictions, out on bail when he committed more crime - and Beverley Lunt thought a 150th last chance might just turn him round.

That was Friday morning. Friday afternoon ...

A Nelson man returned from a shopping trip to find a body in his living room.Jacob Sadiq today spoke of his horror at finding drug addict burglar Jason Davies, 33, slumped on the settee of his home in Fir Street, Nelson, following a suspected drug overdose.

Mr Sadiq, 30, returned from a two-hour trip to Nelson town centre to find Davies lying in his living room surrounded by drug paraphernalia.

Just hours earlier, Davies had walked from court after Judge Beverley Lunt gave the career criminal a last chance to kick his addiction.

Mr Sadiq was questioned by detectives but quickly cleared of any involvement in Davies' death.

He said: "I was totally shocked. I was in total disbelief. I thought he was just lying there so I called the police ". I just closed the door straight away. It turned my stomach. I felt sick. He had been foaming at the mouth and the sofas were moved all over the place. He had had a good rummage around."