Saturday, 17 March 2007

Gun control

I have never understood the rationale behind the gun control laws in UK. The Swiss seem to be able to live in a sutuation where every Army reservist retains his semi-automatic service rifle and ammunition at home. America's rules regarding possession of firearms seem to thrive despite the number of occasions they are used to kill or are fired accidentally.

This article seems to be a good discussion of the matter but I cannot ever see any Government changing things now.

Getting it right

"Life on Mars" is a TV show based on the premise that a 2006 generation detective is transported back to a CID office in 1970. This article sets out to reason why this format is so popular and I think he hits the nail on the head. His starting point that the 'old' CID officer got results that would not be achieved by today's copper is very valid. It was the way in which this success rate was achieved that led to the old rules governing questioning of suspects was changed to something where any suspect has all the best cards.

The series has an added attraction for me in that I lived as a detective in those times and thoroughly enjoyed them. We worked hard - very damned hard at times - and played hard. Gallows humour was a major feature and must have reduced any threat of work-induced stress. The especial detectives argot of those days was like the origins of Cockney rhyming slang designed to exclude those not part of the team. There is no mention in the cast list to show who was the police advisor; I can understand his reticence.

Friday, 16 March 2007

Unlawful killing

I suppose in the scheme of things as they are right now in America, George Dubya would regard censure of his Government in little olde Ingerland to be no great problem. A pair of his National Guard pilots were out patrolling the range when they spotted some Army vehicles below them. They talked themselves into a certaintity that these were fair targets and gave them a dusting. A British NCO was killed. The information the flyers got from their base were not very clear.

It was when it came to the Inquest that things started to go wrong. The MoD swore black was white that they had no information but had to back-track when someone leaked a very clear cockpit video. The Coroner asked for the airmen to be made available and that was denied. He asked for a transcript of the US inquiry and parts of that were denied.

Of course, during all this the snivelling idle and useless PM did nothing to raise the matter with his good ole buddy George.

Not the brightest moment in the Coalition history.

Well trained

Ok, OK. Just don't go on about the damned Jack Russell!

My dog could do it. Just we haven't got round to the training just yet.

Carbon copy

A Bill to enforce carbon reductions? "Someone" held liable if targets not met?

Again, we get the gubment using legislation as a big hammer to crack a medium size nut. We have seen similar quick fixes abandoned when actual implementation replaces jam tomorrow and nice sound bites.

What will be done to those who fail? May we expect to see people such as Richard Branson in leg irons or would he be ASBO'd?

Seen from afar

Nice American article regarding living in London. What is that phrase - the onlooker sees most of the action?

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Nasty Ken, dodgy BBC

Thursday, 15 March 2007

I done it - it's a fair cop Guv

I am a long way from being a legal professor but I can come up with something that is, I think, an equally believable situation.

His blanket confession to pretty well every terrorist act from way way back gives him a stage on which to show just how powerful and successful his terrorist organisation really is. He seems to have tacked on a few missed opportunities. He has accepted that he has to go down for something evil. If his followers can sacrifice their very lives, why should he sway away from a long term of imprisonment? His continued presence on earth means that every time his name is mentioned - remember the appeals process in America can run for years - we get a rehash of what a threat Islamic terrorists can be. His story will run longer than The Mouse Trap ever did.

Tridents - best left with King Neptune

I cannot understand the vote to go ahead with the Trident plans. To me, it is money we cannot afford but could better use being spent on something we would never deploy. So, I managed to gain something from this Grauniad article. That in itself is almost a first. It has taken some of the murk out of the water but I still think the Trident thing is madness.

Don't ask. Don't tell

One does not have to have been a serviceman to understand why the question of gay personnel can attract the attention that it does. Whilst I stop slightly short of the position "Some of my best friends are ..." I never had any concerns about the sexuality of the naked man standing next to me in the communal shower or sitting talking to me in the latrine. Those who are uncomfortable with any aspect of LGBT will be uncomfortable whereever it raises it's head.

However, the question is apparently causing debate verging on heated amongst the American forces. I cannot help but wonder if the arm of service of the general who moralised is relevant; I do not recall seeing any gays in Full Metal Jacket and they seemed to have covered just about everything else.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Anatomy of Iraq

Of all the acres of newsprint and the debates on Iraq, the one that makes the most sense to me is that contributed by an American academic Victor Davies Hanson. He manages to set out his stall without excessive drama or vituperation.

I lack the ability to evaluate his position. I have read other articles and find them in accord with my ideas. That does not make him right of course. You should make up your own mind. Anyway, he is my Guest today.

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Hanson's explanation of how things developed in Iraq

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Modern life styles

This little story casts a new light on how things run today. Wonder what Jane Austen would have said?


My memory has not retreated to that place where the minds of old men go!

Into that part of me where Star Trek lives, came an article written by John O'Farrell. Yeah - OK, so he is a Grauniad correspondent but I think it pays to know every weird form of life on this planet. I recalled he had written about the Honours system. Quite some while previous to the hoo ha that is now going on. I thought it might be interesting to re-visit his thoughts.

Hey - well done man. See the final paragraph of what he then wrote. Just coincidence or did he have inside information that passed over our low cranium at that time.

Monday, 12 March 2007

The final touch

I suppose most of us have had this sort of mistake - all dressed up but overlooked the one thing that really matters?

New - A book review

Something I have not done here previously. A book review. Well, more of a recommendation – a strong recommendation at that – that this book should be obtained and read. I've even found a web site where you can see which library may have it even though it is well worth the tenner that Amazon UK are selling it for as used stock.
The book is “A Brief History of Crime. The decline of Order, Justice and Liberty in England” by Peter Hitchens and published by Atlantic Books, London, in 2003 with an ISBN number I 84354 148 3. His stated intention in the publication is to show that much of the modern debate about crime and punishment is based upon mistaken beliefs, misunderstood or massaged figures and cheap slogans.
It does not make comforting reading for either main political party but certainly challenges their positions on the subject. He is concerned that the current approach to law and order is threatening personal freedoms of the lab-abiding majority whilst still failing to control crime. Society can only escape this downward spiral if it clearly and decisively punishes wicked actions and concentrates on preventing crime and disorder rather than attempt detection at a later stage. He is certain that the country needs to choose between the supposed human rights of wrongdoers and the liberty of all.
Along the way he examines the changing role of police, prison life, gun control, drugs and the jury system. In summation, I have to use his own words – at my peril without permission but with no evil intent. He writes in his summation,

“I have sought to explain in this book what appears to be the driving force of the new law. It is based, like the other changes that have overturned English life since 1960, on the new secular religion of the educated elite. Socialist and collectivist in origin, it worships the welfare state. It believes neither in absolute truth nor in absolute right and wrong. It demands special protection
for cultures and lifestyles that consciously and deliberately undermine the morality and beliefs of the older generation. It uses the grievances of activists within racial and sexual minorities as the pretext for general change. It rejects the whole idea of punishment and affects to believe in rehabilitation
while failing to pursue this objective with any real consistency”

It goes much further than I have dared to reproduce here.
In the words of the Chancellor “I commend this ...” Anyone who presumes to express any public opinion as to the state of the country should read this first. I do not see it as a universal panacea – some sections need further corroboration in the light of events since the book was published. What it does do, and its value lies in this, is cause one to think. Maybe thoughts that otherwise would not occur. If I could afford it, I'd give you all a tenner to buy it. Try bothering your local library.

Sunday, 11 March 2007

Commenting on blogs

I understand and agree with this. Take note Joe.

And you thought 1984 had gone?

The developments threatened in the novel 1984 may have seemed fanciful but were obviously one of the set books at B.Liar's public school. He is now setting about their introduction.

I'd prefer it that he retrogressed to that other alleged feature of private schooling for young boys and his beliefs.


Well, it looks as if one segment of the Press world feels that it is not the done thing to try and discover the identity of a blogger.

I willingly concede that the sanctity of the confessional can in no way be attached to something written from a malicious standpoint or even as the outpourings of a self-appointed do gooder. I find it curious that a media arm has gone down the route of hidden cameras to establish something they would strongly resist were we to use them to discover a reporter's sources. I reckon this will run and run. Maybe a good thing as blogs develop from personal writings to become just another big business propoganda or marketing tool. I'd prefer that they remained a ma and pa sort of thing.