Friday, July 09, 2010

Friday Night Dixie - Money Talks

I think this is quite a way better than the original.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Sunny Hundal "Two Great Truths" Shocker

Now that Labour are consigned to the privatised council dustcart (rubbish/recyclables alternate weeks) of history, its adherents seem able to speak a few previously un-nameable truths.

First of all, a little aside in a Lib Con piece by one Adam Ramsey :

"Tony Blair seemed to believe that if you sound like a Tory, you can sneak through some Labour policies. So he switched from “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime” to announcing initiatives to march ‘hoodies’ to cash machines.

And while these statements were Daily Mail fodder which never actually happened, a whole generation of people began to believe that attacking those who commit crime is the appropriate response ..."
I've been pointing that out for five years at least.

And here's the Sunster himself telling it like it is - or was :
The war on social issues has broadly been won by the left.
Can't argue with that, can you ? Nor with this (other than the word 'great') :

" ... expanding the size of the welfare state and making it central to people’s lives, despite Thatcher’s best attempts to destroy it, was one of New Labour’s greatest achievements ..."
He's not too sound on his history - given that the Thatcher years saw the explosion of the British underclass and the fatherless family*, and some fairly hefty public spending. But his point about trying to create as many welfare recipients as possible is a valid one. This struck me when I realised that an income of 48K entitled one to Child Tax Credit. The Gord giveth and the Gord taketh away. Welcome to the Benefits Big Tent !

* as Charles Murray put it :

When I wrote (in 1989) in the Sunday Times Magazine that Britain did indeed have an underclass, small but growing, the news had no natural constituency. Conservative politicians were embarrassed that crime, unemployment, and illegitimacy had soared conspicuously on their watch, and would just as soon have ignored the whole thing. The Left, ordinarily delighted to blame anything on Margaret Thatcher, couldn’t admit that crime really was rising and large numbers of people were exploiting the dole without sounding like lower-case conservatives. As for unmarried women having babies, it was a good sign, not a bad one, that women were no longer forced into marriage just because they got pregnant. From Left and Right alike, the notion of a British underclass was generally dismissed as an attempt to impose an American paradigm on British problems that weren’t really so terrible anyway.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

It's a delicate suggestion - nothing more ...

A feminist classic of Edwardian times, recorded in 1932 by the Spanish mezzo-soprano Conchita Supervia.

I once walked with her by the Arno, in Florence, where navvies engaged in road work put down their picks and stared in frank admiration as she passed. Supervia, without even a glance in their direction, sensed their admiration and visibly preened herself.

"You surely don’t enjoy men looking at you like that?" I asked.

"I do," she replied, amused at such a very Anglo-Saxon question. "I don’t find it unpleasant to think that they are all saying to themselves, “If I was a rich man, that’s what I’d want.”"

If you want to learn a lesson with the fan,
I'm quite prepared to teach you all I can
So ladies, every one, pray observe how it is done,
It's a simple little lesson with the fan.

If you chance to be invited to a ball,
And meet someone that you don't expect at all,
And you want him close beside you,
While a dozen friends divide you,
Well of course, it's most unladylike to call,

So you look at him a minute - nothing more
And you cast your eyes demurely on the floor,
And you wave your fan just so,
Well, towards you, don't you know,
It's a delicate suggestion - nothing more ...

When you see him coming to you, simple you,
Oh be very, very careful what you do
With your fan just kindly play,
And look down as if to say
It's a matter of indifference to you,

Then you flutter and you fidget with it so,
And you hide your little nose behind it so,
And when he begins to speak
You just lay it on your cheek,
In that fascinating manner that you know,

And when he tells the old tale o'er and o'er,
And vows that he will love you evermore,
Gather up your little fan
And secure him while you can,
It's a delicate suggestion - nothing more ...

(When she takes a crack at an English song the results are quite charming.)

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Today's Early Release Murderer - Strike One For Ken Clarke

Ken Clarke is so right - prison is an expensive way of making bad people worse.

Take Raoul Moat for example - an ordinary bouncer from Gateshead who inadvertantly 'got caught up in crime' and assaulted someone.

Some idiot magistrate who probably read in the Mail that 'prison works' sent him down - and what happened ? He comes straight out and murders someone !
Armed officers are seeking Moat, 38, who is believed to have fired on the young victim, named locally as Samantha Stobbart, through the living room window. A man believed to be in his late 20s or early 30s was also shot dead outside the property in Birtley, Gateshead. He has not yet been named by police. Miss Stobbart, 22, who has a young daughter named Chanel, is thought to have been shot in the stomach and is now in a critical condition in hospital. Moat has previously worked as a nightclub doorman and was released from jail on Thursday after serving time for assault.

So our criminal justice system turns a man into a murderer with one short sentence ! Nobody gets a long sentence for a little thing like assault nowadays, do they ?

As Rob Allen of the Centre For Crime But No Justice Studies puts it :

His recognition in today's speech at King's College London that there are more people in prison than necessary is as welcome as it is overdue. His description of prison as often costly and ineffectual marks a return to late 1980s Conservative policy under Douglas Hurd, which saw that far from working, "imprisonment can often be an expensive way of making bad people worse."

UPDATE - that short sentence has done even more damage than we thought.

Police said the uniformed motor patrol officer was carrying out a "static patrol" on a roundabout joining the A1 and A69 when he was attacked. He suffered a gun shot wound and was taken to Newcastle General Hospital.

I suppose it's no surprise that Rob Allen is on board. I've just taken a look at Ian Duncan-Smith's Centre for Social Justice site. Who's on the Working Groups ?

Aslyum - Bob Holman, the holy fool of Easterhouse. Did they really ever send asylum seekers there ? That is what I call cruelty. And an asylum seeker, of course.

Courts and Sentencing - well, there's the chair of the Prisoners Education Trust, anti-prison activist Enver Solomon, deputy dawg at the anti-prison 'charity' based at King's College London. And who's this 'advisor' - no less than Rob Allen, director of same 'charity' !

Social Cohesion don't look too promising, either, given the presence of a Peace Studies lecturer whose book has 'a foreword by Jon Snow'.

Economic dependency looks a bit 50-50, Early Years seems full of pointy-heads .. only the Police Reform working group looks sound - Ray Mallon, Norman Dennis, David Green, Ken Pease (possibly the only non-Guardianista criminologist in existence). Even they have Steve Green, former head of Notts Police and the guy who in August 2005 issued his force with green ribbons "to show solidarity with the Muslim community after a series of racist attacks".

Prison reform - uber-liberal Rod "The Master" Morgan and James Monahan, the double murderer who writes for the Guardian - the CJS give him his pen-name. He also features (with Rob Allen again and some NACRO guy) in the Youth Justice area.

What we're seeing in Ken Clarke's "Back To The 80's" initiative is a toxic synergy between the desire of the Tories to cut government spending and the desire of the liberal establishment to bang no man up except racists and smokers. They pretend that a few more social workers and probation officer chats will cut crime and he pretends to believe them.

This is cost centre management at its very worst. Ken will save on the headline costs while passing on even more of the cost of crime, financial, social, moral, psychological, to individuals, families and communities.

Looks like the Cameroon honeymoon is the shortest on record.