Saturday, June 07, 2008

Comment Is Difficult

Here's a handy hint. If you need a cubic metre or more of concrete laid, don't mix it yourself. Even if you've got a concrete mixer. Took me from 10am to 11pm. Order a mixer load - it's well worth it in saved time !

Over at the Stroppers people were getting all lathered up about George Galloway's failure to support abortion on demand. Laban just had to add four penn'orth on the usual subject. Anyone know how many Irish came over to the mainland in the nineteenth century ? The comparison is quite an interesting one. Too many kids, strange religion, terrorist outrages - the Irish ticked all the same boxes ...

Be fair. Galloway's core constituency are very un-keen on abortion (I'm suprised there's not been an NHS campaign to encourage greater take-up of the State's termination services among the Muslim community).

And that's where the votes are. The 'revolutionary left', for want of a better word, don't reproduce much - and, not by coincidence, haven't come near to Parliamentary representation in the last 50 years - until GG, supported by the most rapidly growing demographic since perhaps the Irish in the nineteenth century, stepped up to the plate.

The Irish Catholics had an impact on Labour politics which lasted more than a century (and working class Catholic Labour MPs like the Mahon brothers were at the forefront of opposition to Roy Jenkins' abortion reforms). The cultural influences were also great - and although most Catholics have integrated, they still have more kids then the native English.

But when the Irish arrived, with their families of five, six or more, they were arriving into a society which also had a high birthrate. The immigrants from East and West Pakistan arrived in a country where the birthrate was collapsing as the Pill and the cultural revolution took hold. Their demographic, political and cultural impact will be at least as great as that of the Catholic Irish, and IMHO probably much greater.

GG, for all he is an opportunistic bum, is not a stupid man. He knows which side of his chapati has ghee on it.

How many divisions has the Pope ? asked Stalin. GG might well ask how many voters - and future voters - the SWP has.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Coming Patriarchy

I've written before about the fact that those who say they care about women's equality aren't raising any daughters, let alone sons, and that Europe will be a much more religious place at the end of this century than it was at the beginning.

Via Merk Steyn, this essay by Philip Longman - The Return of Patriarchy. Read the whole thing.

Throughout the broad sweep of human history, there are many examples of people, or classes of people, who chose to avoid the costs of parenthood. Indeed, falling fertility is a recurring tendency of human civilization. Why then did humans not become extinct long ago? The short answer is patriarchy.

Patriarchy does not simply mean that men rule. Indeed, it is a particular value system that not only requires men to marry but to marry a woman of proper station. It competes with many other male visions of the good life, and for that reason alone is prone to come in cycles. Yet before it degenerates, it is a cultural regime that serves to keep birthrates high among the affluent, while also maximizing parents' investments in their children. No advanced civilization has yet learned how to endure without it.

Through a process of cultural evolution, societies that adopted this particular social system -- which involves far more than simple male domination -- maximized their population and therefore their power, whereas those that didn't were either overrun or absorbed. This cycle in human history may be obnoxious to the enlightened, but it is set to make a comeback.

"It competes with many other male visions of the good life" - not just male visions, either. I know more than a few couples, now in their fifties, still toned and honed from the gym and swimming, leading a good life - the million-pound house, the boat, skiing three or four times a year - and no children. Lucky nephews and nieces, that's all I can say - unless the Cats Protection League gets the lot.

The long-term financing of social security schemes, private pension plans, and healthcare systems has little to do with people living longer. Gains in life expectancy at older ages have actually been quite modest, and the rate of improvement in the United States has diminished for each of the last three decades. Instead, the falling ratio of workers to retirees is overwhelmingly caused by workers who were never born. As governments raise taxes on a dwindling working-age population to cover the growing burdens of supporting the elderly, young couples may conclude they are even less able to afford children than their parents were, thereby setting off a new cycle of population aging and decline.

Yup. As I've noted before, the stinky rich and the tax-funded poor can sprog away as much as they like. It's Mr and Mrs Average who've found that 2.4 kids doesn't go with a mother who needs to work full time to pay the bills.

the percentage of women born in the late 1930s who remained childless was near 10 percent. By comparison, nearly 20 percent of women born in the late 1950s are reaching the end of their reproductive lives without having had children. The greatly expanded childless segment of contemporary society, whose members are drawn disproportionately from the feminist and countercultural movements of the 1960s and 70s, will leave no genetic legacy. Nor will their emotional or psychological influence on the next generation compare with that of their parents.
While I'm continually bemoaning the malign influence of Sixties culture on our children, the point is that the influence, while real, was almost wholly negative - destructive of the existing culture. We aren't bringing up a race of young hippie Aquarians, if the assault, knife crime and mental illness stats tell us anything at all.

Nearly a quarter of the children of baby boomers descend from the mere 11 percent of baby boomer women who had four or more children. These circumstances are leading to the emergence of a new society whose members will disproportionately be descended from parents who rejected the social tendencies that once made childlessness and small families the norm. These values include an adherence to traditional, patriarchal religion, and a strong identification with one's own folk or nation. This dynamic helps explain, for example, the gradual drift of American culture away from secular individualism and toward religious fundamentalism. Among states that voted for President George W. Bush in 2004, fertility rates are 12 percent higher than in states that voted for Sen. John Kerry.

Excellent news for a father of four. But in the UK context, "parents who rejected the social tendencies that once made childlessness and small families the norm" will increasingly mean Muslim parents. Remember these stats.

white 1.8
Afro-Caribbean 1.8
Indian 2.3
Pakistani 4.0
Bangladeshi 4.7

(I noted from the coverage of the murder of poor Abdo Sa’eed al-Selwi in Liverpool that he had either 11 or 12 children - the papers didn't agree.)

In almost all the hunter-gatherer societies that survived long enough to be studied by anthropologists, such as the Eskimos and Tasmanian Bushmen, one finds customs that in one way or another discouraged population growth. In various combinations, these have included late marriage, genital mutilation, abortion, and infanticide. Some early hunter-gatherer societies may have also limited population growth by giving women high-status positions. Allowing at least some number of females to take on roles such as priestess, sorcerer, oracle, artist, and even warrior would have provided meaningful alternatives to motherhood and thereby reduced overall fertility to within sustainable limits.

During the eons before agriculture emerged, there was little or no military reason to promote high fertility. War and conquests could bring little advantage to society. There were no granaries to raid, no livestock to steal, no use for slaves except rape. But with the coming of the Neolithic agricultural revolution, starting about 11,000 years ago, everything changed. The domestication of plants and animals led to vastly increased food supplies. Surplus food allowed cities to emerge, and freed more people to work on projects such as building pyramids and developing a written language to record history. But the most fateful change rendered by the agricultural revolution was the way it turned population into power. Because of the relative abundance of food, more and more societies discovered that the greatest demographic threat to their survival was no longer overpopulation, but underpopulation.

Interesting - this is almost a parallel to - and explanation for - the otherwise ahistorical feminist/hippie theory that we were much more matriarchal until a few thousand years back. "And we've got to get ourselves back to the Garden" as One-Child Joni sang.

Patriarchal societies come in many varieties and evolve through different stages. What they have in common are customs and attitudes that collectively serve to maximize fertility and parental investment in the next generation. Of these, among the most important is the stigmatization of "illegitimate" children. One measure of the degree to which patriarchy has diminished in advanced societies is the growing acceptance of out-of-wedlock births, which have now become the norm in Scandinavian countries, for example.

Under patriarchy, "bastards" and single mothers cannot be tolerated because they undermine male investment in the next generation. Illegitimate children do not take their fathers' name, and so their fathers, even if known, tend not to take any responsibility for them. By contrast, "legitimate" children become a source of either honor or shame to their fathers and the family line. The notion that legitimate children belong to their fathers' family, and not to their mothers', which has no basis in biology, gives many men powerful emotional reasons to want children, and to want their children to succeed in passing on their legacy. Patriarchy also leads men to keep having children until they produce at least one son.

Another key to patriarchy's evolutionary advantage is the way it penalizes women who do not marry and have children. Just decades ago in the English-speaking world, such women were referred to, even by their own mothers, as spinsters or old maids, to be pitied for their barrenness or condemned for their selfishness. Patriarchy made the incentive of taking a husband and becoming a full-time mother very high because it offered women few desirable alternatives ...

Under patriarchy, maternal investment in children also increases. As feminist economist Nancy Folbre has observed, "Patriarchal control over women tends to increase their specialization in reproductive labor, with important consequences for both the quantity and the quality of their investments in the next generation." Those consequences arguably include: more children receiving more attention from their mothers, who, having few other ways of finding meaning in their lives, become more skilled at keeping their children safe and healthy. Without implying any endorsement for the strategy, one must observe that a society that presents women with essentially three options -- be a nun, be a prostitute, or marry a man and bear children -- has stumbled upon a highly effective way to reduce the risk of demographic decline.

Another Laban theme - the normalisation of bastardy. However, far from not being encouraged, the production of bastards is one of the most heavily taxpayer-subsidised industries in the UK - and contrary to received libertarian economic theory, production has increased something like eight-fold in the last 40 years, making bastards a real British success story. I'm not sure Prof Longman has taken this into account - but on the other hand, underclass males are the storm-troopers of patriarchy (parental advisory) in their relationships with the tender sex. In Robert Whelan's words :

"We have created the classic conditions for the emergence of a warrior class: separation of economic activity from family maintenance; children reared apart from fathers; wealth subject to predation; and male status determined by combat and sexual conquest."

I digress.

Often, all that sustains the patriarchal family is the idea that its members are upholding the honor of a long and noble line. Yet, once a society grows cosmopolitan, fast-paced, and filled with new ideas, new peoples, and new luxuries, this sense of honor and connection to one's ancestors begins to fade, and with it, any sense of the necessity of reproduction. "When the ordinary thought of a highly cultivated people begins to regard 'having children' as a question of pro's and con's," Oswald Spengler, the German historian and philosopher, once observed, "the great turning point has come."

Yet that turning point does not necessarily mean the death of a civilization, only its transformation. Eventually, for example, the sterile, secular, noble families of imperial Rome died off, and with them, their ancestors' idea of Rome. But what was once the Roman Empire remained populated. Only the composition of the population changed. Nearly by default, it became composed of new, highly patriarchal family units, hostile to the secular world and enjoined by faith either to go forth and multiply or join a monastery. With these changes came a feudal Europe, but not the end of Europe, nor the end of Western Civilization.

This is where the whole thing gets a bit too optimistic.

In Europe today, for example, how many children different people have, and under what circumstances, correlates strongly with their beliefs on a wide range of political and cultural attitudes. For instance, do you distrust the army? Then, according to polling data assembled by demographers Ronny Lesthaeghe and Johan Surkyn, you are less likely to be married and have kids-or ever to get married and have kids-than those who say they have no objection to the military. Or again, do you find soft drugs, homosexuality, and euthanasia acceptable? Do you seldom, if ever, attend church? For whatever reason, people answering affirmatively to such questions are far more likely to live alone, or in childless, cohabitating unions, than those who answer negatively.

The great difference in fertility rates between secular individualists and religious or cultural conservatives augurs a vast, demographically driven change in modern societies. Consider the demographics of France, for example. Among French women born in the early 1960s, less than a third have three or more children. But this distinct minority of French women (most of them presumably practicing Catholics and Muslims) produced more than 50 percent of all children born to their generation, in large measure because so many of their contemporaries had one child or none at all.

Many childless, middle-aged people may regret the life choices that are leading to the extinction of their family lines, and yet they have no sons or daughters with whom to share their newfound wisdom. The plurality of citizens who have only one child may be able to invest lavishly in that child's education, but a single child will only replace one parent, not both. Meanwhile, the descendants of parents who have three or more children will be hugely overrepresented in subsequent generations, and so will the values and ideas that led their parents to have large families.

Yes.. but .. in Europe lets say you have the nice liberal Guardianista/feminists and those good-timers who can't be fagged with the whole children thing - no kids, the religious natives and the native underclass - 3 kids - and the religious incomers - 4 kids. Given that natives are in the UK currently nearly 90% of the population (but less than 77% of the children), the die-off of the childless baby boomers is going to leave a different landscape, in which (IMHO) the religious incomers will make a far more cohesive group, and probably a larger one, than the religious natives.

Tomorrow's children, therefore, unlike members of the postwar baby boom generation, will be for the most part descendants of a comparatively narrow and culturally conservative segment of society. To be sure, some members of the rising generation may reject their parents' values, as always happens. But when they look around for fellow secularists and counterculturalists with whom to make common cause, they will find that most of their wouldbe fellow travelers were quite literally never born.
I agree. I'm just not sure that the "narrow and culturally conservative segment of society" will be crusty Laban-style Christians.

The rollback of the welfare state forced by population aging and decline will give these elements an additional survival advantage, and therefore spur even higher fertility. As governments hand back functions they once appropriated from the family, notably support in old age, people will find that they need more children to insure their golden years, and they will seek to bind their children to them through inculcating traditional religious values akin to the Bible's injunction to honor thy mother and father.

Societies that are today the most secular and the most generous with their underfunded welfare states will be the most prone to religious revivals and a rebirth of the patriarchal family.
That's the rub. How will people who've paid taxes all their lives respond when they're told that the old social contract has been torn up ? But I still see that people with a living tradition of family self-help are likely to cope better with such a scenario than those who've been conditioned to wait for 'someone' to 'do something'. The Lord does indeed help those who help themselves.

As not seen on the BBC ....

The Beeb lovingly treasures every Bushism.

You won't find Justin Webb salivating over Barack Obama's Memorial Day opening line :

"On this Memorial Day, as our nation honours its unbroken line of fallen heroes - and I see many of them in the audience here today ..."

Looks as if he really does reach out to communities with little history of political involvement.

New Stink-bomb Horror ?


Prosecutor Peter Wright QC said Mr Ali had been planning to "reek carnage" in the skies on the orders of al-Qaeda.

Monday, June 02, 2008

A Few Fox Cubs In The Curate's Coppice

Education, Education, Penetration

Two teenage boys have been arrested by police investigating allegations that a fellow pupil was repeatedly raped at their school in Birmingham, it emerged today. The 14 and 15-year-olds were quizzed by police earlier this month after the sex assault allegations came to light.

The alleged attacks on a 15-year-old girl are understood to have happened at the city school between January and April this year. However, officers were only called in recently when the youngster reported the matter to police. Detectives from Rose Road police station detained the boys on May 13. They were questioned and later released on police bail pending further inquiries. The alleged victim and the two boys all go to the same school in central Birmingham.

More transgressive types who aren't so transgressive after all :

Desperate to flaunt their "bravery" with their controversial depictions of Jews suffering in concentration camps and highly sexualised images of children, the artists Jake and Dinos Chapman have admitted to Mandrake that there is one subject area that remains off-limits.

Jake says they would not be prepared to touch Islam.

"It’s a very difficult and sensitive issue and we wouldn’t see it in our remit," he said at the private view of If Hitler Had Been a Hippy How Happy Would We Be at the White Cube gallery.

Ban Bandanas

Four Birmingham teenagers who police claimed were part of a notorious gang have been banned from wearing bandanas in the colours of the city's Slash Crew. They were given two year ASBOs after the gang carried out a string of robberies on school-children across the city and attacked bystanders at Star City in a six-month reign of terror.

Micah Bailey, 17, of Porchester Drive, Newtown, Neon Stewart, 16, of Hawkesyard Road, Erdington and Remaine Dixon, 15, of Bennetts Street, Lozells, appeared at Birmingham Magistrates' Court yesterday. They were told they couldn't wear a mask or other garment that held "street currency". District Judge Neil Davison, also ordered them, along with the absent Anthony Harris, 17, of Wheeler Street, Newtown, not to meet in public or commit further anti-social behaviour acts.

At a hearing in January, PC Gary Ellis said: "It is believed they are part of the B19 Slash gang, which is a sub-section of the Slash Crew - a large organisation supported by groups of gangs that also associate themselves with the notorious Johnson Crew."

Dewsbury MP Shahid Malik's libel case against the local Dewsbury Press has been dropped after a jury failed to agree in the first trial.

The Guardian's Larry Elliott was in prophetic mood on October 1, 2007 :

"Go for that early election, Gordon, this is as good as the economy is going to get"

Talking of which , a lot of people seem to be recommending this book - David Craig's "Squandered". Just the thing for Tax Freedom Day, which falls today.

It was in Private Eye first, Guido's commenters have added a few names - the Guardianista ruling elite :

Editor Alan Rusbridger (Cranleigh); political editor Patrick Wintour (Westminster); leader writer Madeleine Bunting (Queen Mary's, Yorkshire); policy editor Jonathan Freedland (University College School); columnist Polly Toynbee (Badminton), sent the kids to Westminster; executive editor Ian Katz (University College School); security affairs editor Richard Norton Taylor (King's School, Canterbury); arts editor-in-chief Clare Margetson (Marlborough College); literary editor Clare Armitstead (Bedales); public services editor David Brindle (Bablake); city editor Julia Finch (King's High, Warwick).; environment editor John Vidal (St Bees); fashion editor Jess Cartner-Morley (City of london School for Girls); G3 editor Janine Gibson (Walthamstow Hall); northern editor Martin Wainwright (Shreswbury); and industrial editor David Gow (St Peter's, York), Seumas Milne (Winchester College), the Observer's Andrew Rawnsley - Rugby School and Cambridge University, columnist Zoe Williams (Godolphin and Latymer).

Who killed Amar Aslam ? I wonder if the villains will turn out be related to this crowd ? The old Heavy Woollen District really does seem a rough place :

The 42-year-old woman, who has asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, said: "I was driving through the centre of Heckmondwike and I saw a gang of about 15 to 20 youths chasing a man. Suddenly he jumped into my car and said 'drive', but as he did I took my foot off the clutch and stalled. It's a diesel so it takes a while to get it started again, but then the youths came and surrounded the car. They threw bricks through the front and back windscreens and side windows, started kicking it and tore both of the wing mirrors off. I was scared. I didn't know anything about what had happened to provoke this and I thought, 'what have I done, I've just pulled up at the lights'!"

She said the group came from the direction of Firth Park towards the Northgate traffic lights. The woman was on her way to collect her son from Ravensthorpe when the incident happened at about 8pm on Monday May 5. Mechanics said the six-and-a-half year old red Saxo was not economically viable to repair.

The woman, who lives in Heckmondwike, said: "I thought the gang were going to beat the guy up and I'd never want to see anyone get hurt, so I'm glad that didn't happen. But he's fine and I've been left without a car and am £350 down."

New BNP shock horror. Is there no end to their evil ?

“I am very concerned about the spate of anti-semitic graffiti in the Hackney area,” Abbott told the Jewish News on Tuesday. “This is very threatening and disturbing for the whole community. Sadly we’ve recently seen a member of the BNP elected onto the Greater London Assembly. This proves the need to fight back against racism and anti-semitism.”

The anti-semitic graffiti in question ?

“Jihad to Israel” was among the messages left on walls, paving stones, phone boxes and dustbin lids in a spate of attacks last week. The Community Security Trust believes there were at least 20 separate incidents, including eight reported in Stamford Hill, home to a large community of Orthodox Jews. Graffiti was also reported in Clapton Common, Bethnal Green, Walthamstow and Forest Gate.

The Italian experience of immigration and crime :

Italy’s statistics agency, ISTAT, fanned the fires of anti-immigrant feeling yesterday by releasing numbers showing that immigrants are responsible for more than a third of the murders committed last year.

ISTAT said foreigners had committed 70 per cent of all petty theft, 39 per cent of the sexual offences and 36 per cent of the murders.

The damning figures confirmed the opinion of almost half the country that immigrants are “dishonest”. However, ISTAT also noted that many of the crimes committed by foreigners were against other foreigners.

And a British one :

Cambridgeshire police has paid for 50 of its staff to attend language schools because dealing with foreign suspects takes up to three times longer than dealing with British cases. The trend is further evidence of mounting pressure placed on the police by the arrival of hundreds of thousands of migrants since the European Union expanded four years ago.

Last month Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, was told by senior officers that the bill for police translators alone had soared from £14m to £24m from 2004-6.

Julie Spence, chief constable of Cambridgeshire, warned last week that the arrival of hundreds of thousands of eastern Europeans in the county, mainly for agricultural work, had left her own force underresourced and could spark “civil unrest” as the economic slowdown bites.

Arresting and processing a British suspect takes four to five hours. “With a foreign national you may have to bring in an interpreter and have documents translated – that clogs everything up,” Spence said. “As a result, it can take an officer the whole shift plus overtime to get it done. That means you don’t have your policemen out on the streets doing what they were four years ago.”

More BNP outrages - falling onto a neigbour's knife in an act of unprovoked suicide. I've got no idea what the history was between the victim and the killer, and whether the deceased, Keith Brown, subjected Mr Khan to years of abuse or not. But given the political climate of the last ten or more years, and the vilification of the BNP to the point where BBC comedians can joke about shooting them or duffing them up, Mr Khan's solicitor would have been a saint not to have used the 'racist abuse' defence, just as female poisoners use the 'domestic abuse' defence. And it worked for both parties - Mr Khan got manslaughter and our lady poisoner, a former NHS cook, walked free.

The mighty Yazza once again invokes the blessed shade of the late Mary Whitehouse :

Progressives are expected, indeed required, to deride and detest the old crone, and I duly do so here. But I also sense a weakening of the old certainty that we were absolutely right and that she was a wholly malevolent force. The new film, Filth, is, according to Robertson, "an amusing reminder of that age when 'you've got to admit Mrs Whitehouse is right about some things' briefly entered the language."

Have I got news for him. In liberal circles today, that same sentiment is expressed, and without embarrassment. Julie Walters, who plays Mrs W in the drama, is one of the self-doubters: "I think we should have understood her better. She did have a point ... much as I support freedom of expression, I believe children should be protected from things they are not emotionally equipped to deal with. And it was Mary Whitehouse who first campaigned against child pornography."

No one is more intolerant of dissent than the prophets of free speech. Whitehouse dared to take them on and, even though I find many of her views utterly objectionable, she was right to do so and right too to warn of the chaos and bedlam to come.

Yazza, the Daily Mail is your destiny. Don't fight it .. you know you want to ...

Ross at Unenlightened Commentary has an amusing piece on the Yazztastic one.

Via the Speccie, this wonderful Times of India piece on papers and politics :

In the UK, for instance, Conservatives read the Daily Telegraph, which is tailor-made for them, news, editorials and all. The Guardian, on the other hand, is far to the left of not just the Tories but also of New Labour, the paper's constituency seemingly that of the 'Londonistan' of mullahs and minarets. The Guardian used to be called the Manchester Guardian; today it might well be called, by fans and foes alike, the Madrassa Guardian.

Remember all those uninsured drivers in Bradford ?

The BD8 area, which covers Girlington, Manningham and Lower Grange, is the second worst in West Yorkshire, with 42.7 per cent of vehicles uninsured.
I remember thinking how many CCTV cameras there are in Bradford (the killers of PC Sharon Beshenivsky were being tracked within minutes of her shooting) and that therefore someone must have taken a decision not to go after uninsured drivers, doubtless for reasons of "community cohesion".

Alas when Rita Turner was born in the 1920s how could she have known that such decisions would kill her ?

Banned driver Imran Khan was at the wheel of a Vauxhall Astra when it hit 79-year-old grandmother Rita Turner, from Idle, on Drewton Road between Westgate and Manningham Lane, at 2.40pm on May 23 last year.

Mrs Turner, a grandmother and mother of two sons, died at the scene from her injuries and the usually busy road between Westgate and Manningham Lane was cordoned off for several hours. Police launched a hunt for the car, using footage from Bradford's "ring of steel" CCTV system, and appealed for witnesses to help them in their search.

The vehicle was eventually found in Manningham and subjected to forensic testing. It had suffered extensive damage to the windscreen and front end.

Khan, 21, who was uninsured, failed to stop at the scene of the collision and, at an earlier hearing, he and a co-accused admitted a charge of perverting the course of justice by concealing the Astra and throwing away the keys.

And finally ... one of those little stories which just don't seem to make the BBC.

A teenager has been charged with attempted murder following a disturbance in which another 17-year-old boy received head injuries in Rochdale.

Police were called to Denehurst Park in Greave after reports of a disturbance involving two groups of youths at about 9pm on Friday 23 May.

Police believe a group of about 12 white youths were attacked by a group of seven or eight Asian youths.

During the disturbance, a 17-year-old white boy was assaulted and sustained head injuries resulting in bleeding on the brain that required emergency surgery. He was taken to Hope Hospital where his condition is currently described as comfortable.

Extra patrols were placed in the Greave area over the bank holiday weekend to provide extra reassurance to residents (i.e. to prevent reprisal and counter-reprisal - LT).

A 17-year-old boy from Rochdale was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and subsequently charged. He appeared before Rochdale magistrates today (Wednesday) , where he was remanded in custody until next Wednesday (4 June).

The arrest and subsequent charge was the result of detailed information provided by witnesses and inquiries are on-going.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Another Innocent Woman Jailed

Poor Joanne Hussey - a tragic victim of Brown's insistence that the English pay their care-home fees, while the Scots have theirs subsidised by general taxation.

A young woman who battered her grandmother to death with a spade has been found guilty of murder. Joanne Hussey had admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. But a jury at Leeds Crown Court took just over an hour to decide the 33-year-old had murdered Annie Garbutt at her Mirfield home last May.A police chief said later that greed had sparked Hussey into killing her 76-year-old grandmother. Worried that her gran’s money might be spent on nursing care, she repeatedly struck Annie Garbutt as she slept.

The two-week trial heard that Hussey, from Yeadon, had a history of violence, once stabbing a former partner. She had been worried about the financial implications of Mrs Garbutt going into a nursing home. Mrs Garbutt, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, was said to have had considerable savings.
If Mrs Garbutt had been fortunate enough to live in Scotland, she'd be alive today. I blame Gordon Brown.

Oops !

Sunny's having a pop at Bishop Nazir Ali and the massed ranks of Christian fundamentalists like, er, Melanie Phillips.

I’m writing a longer article on how crap Nazir Ali’s article in Standpoint is, but there’s no surprise that the usual suspects on the right are getting a hard-on over it. The thing is, Nazir Ali’s point was actually made by Melanie Phillips ages ago and it was taken apart then. After all, it wasn’t long when she asked in all seriousness: “How long will it be before Christianity becomes illegal in Britain?”

A good question ...
A police community support officer ordered two Christian preachers to stop handing out gospel leaflets in a predominantly Muslim area of Birmingham.
The evangelists say they were threatened with arrest for committing a "hate crime" and were told they risked being beaten up if they returned. The incident will fuel fears that "no-go areas" for Christians are emerging in British towns and cities, as the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, claimed in The Sunday Telegraph this year. Arthur Cunningham, 48, and Joseph Abraham, 65, both full-time evangelical ministers, have launched legal action against West Midlands Police, claiming the officer infringed their right to profess their religion.

Mr Abraham said: "I couldn't believe this was happening in Britain. The Bishop of Rochester was criticised by the Church of England recently when he said there were no-go areas in Britain but he was right; there are certainly no-go areas for Christians who want to share the gospel." Last night, Christian campaigners described the officer's behaviour as "deeply alarming".

The preachers, both ministers in Birmingham, were handing out leaflets on Alum Rock Road in February when they started talking to four Asian youths. A police community support officer (PCSO) interrupted the conversation and began questioning the ministers about their beliefs. They said when the officer realised they were American, although both have lived in Britain for many years, he launched a tirade against President Bush and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr Cunningham said: "I told him that this had nothing to do with the gospel we were preaching but he became very aggressive. He said we were in a Muslim area and were not allowed to spread our Christian message. He said we were committing a hate crime by telling the youths to leave Islam and said that he was going to take us to the police station."

The preacher refused to give the PCSO his address because he felt the officer's manner was "threatening and intimidating". The ministers claim he also advised them not to return to the area. As he walked away, the PCSO said: "You have been warned. If you come back here and get beaten up, well you have been warned".

West Midlands Police, who refused to apologise, said the incident had been "fully investigated" and the officer would be given training in understanding hate crime and communication.

Not that I think Christianity will be made illegal. It'll still be OK to "be" a Christian - as long as you don't "live" like one.

(see also this)