An embarrassment of riches today Almost need a contents page to cover. Venables (the kiddy fiddler-murderer not the Manager), The Facebook rapist-murderer, Bush and his Cameron delusion and dangerous dogs.So, if you are all sitting comfortably, I'll begin.
Venables. My main thing here is 'So What?' Why is the British world and his wife so exercised about this - the really horrible bit was many years back when they tortured, abused and murdered the small child. Should we not just be satisfied that Venables is locked away? Clearly, he was supervised and detected. Given the many recent cases where youngsters have died because police, social workers, medical staff and neighbours all fell down on the job, we have had a good result.It may be that the matter is welcome relief from the political storm und drang or salacious and puerile interest but every nook and cranny supports pages in MSM and on TV and radio. For my part, we certainly have a right to know but do we really have a need to know? I am sure there truly are some who are not able to sleep safely in their beds whilst this is unresolved but that cannot explain the exposure we are all getting. I cannot understand what drives the former Mrs Bulger in her demands for personal service from Jack Straw. If she ever achieved closure, the stress she is putting upon herself will just tear the scabs away. Thankfully, there has only been the one really sad and painful event in my life. I would not welcome having to rehearse it all again.
Straw seems to be batting on a dodgy wicket where he claims that justice would be prejudiced if the nature of Venables' transgression were fully disclosed. Think for a moment about some sensational crime - Heathrow bullion or that Knightsbridge safe-deposit sort of standard. When the offenders went to court for trial, we all inew what they were accused of. So, why is Venables any different - if fore-knowledge would make a trial unfair why were the bullion/safe-deposit guys banged up? Straw's explanation is not sustainable. It also suggests to me that there was no Plan A in the event that Venables or his colleague lost their cover or committed further offences. Anyway, what need of a trial? The terms of his licence are very clear - do this and you are back in the slammer. There must be good evidence as to what he did so re-imprisonment is automatic.
One factor not yet exposed to light is the validity of the decision for early release of the two murderers. Did they con the Review Board, was the Board too complacent or did the new course of action come out of the blue totally unforeseen? There were strong paedophile connections in the way they abused their victim and the popular rumour is that Venables had indecent images of children on his computer. It is difficult to get rates of recidivism for licence releases and there are even less where criminals with newly manufactured identities are concerned. Hopefully, Venables will get a Brady now he is back behind bars and there will be no need for more expenditure. What happened here should set off a review of the tariff system - why is it needed? The trial judge heard all the evidence including the victim impact statement and should be capable of deciding what balance there has to be between the demands of an injured society and the hopes of a guilty person.
A case where the police did not do such a fine job came to an end yesterday when the Facebook Groomer was weighed off. He was on the Sex Offenders' Register but had been over the side for over a year with, it seems, no real effort being made to trace him. His previous sex-associated detention had also been reduced such that he did not serve the full term. Facebook is now getting a kicking about what is does (or,in this case, does not do) to block or detect use of false identities or ongoing grooming. They do have previous form for weakness in protecting subscribers from undue attention. There was a conversation on Today that a monitoring association had received only 3% of it's alerts from FB. The attitude that checking what one's off-spring are up to is a parental responsibility has also been pushed about. Hard to see just what the average parent knows of grooming to be able to detect it - this assuming they have that much (interest)/(concern) anyway. Some police forces run sting teams where officers pose as youngsters on the Internet and follow up on suspected friendship approaches. There is ample good advice readily available but, of course, the parent has to bother to find and read it. Werew I to be carried back some 40 odd years, I would include drawing such a site to my child's attention as part of the Birds and Bees process. We seem to begin in-school teaching about sex at a very early age and grooming could fit into a module there.
I would imagine that amongst the telephone calls Boy Dave wished had not been placed was the one from Dubya Bush. Bush - aided and abetted by Hilarious Clinton - wanted Dave to exert pressure on the Ulster Union Party. This target for conversion shows just how little the two Alices in Wonderland know. the former Ulster Unionist MP, Lord Maginnis, has said his party would not give in to what he called "blackmail" or "bribery". "What on earth do they know about about day-to-day security, policing and justice in Northern Ireland?" he said. And it is not just about those matters in NI that they know fu*k all about Ken!
Last in the running order - dangerous dogs. To me, there is a perfect synergy with the NI snippet. What better place for mad dogs than amongst mad people? Ideally suited and the nutters are fully reconciled to dangerous dogs, We let a Army attack dog off the leash and launched it at a rioting crown of rabid Loyalists. It was never seen again - not a hair, not a whisker. Soldiers' view was that the demonstrators had eaten it alive there and then, raw and on the street.
In terms of the Government proposal regarding 3rd party insurance and microchipping, they seem to have failed to recognise that it is the criminal minded or otherwise dodgy moron who keeps a dangerous dog as a weapon. These are also in the class of society least likely to set much store by Government regulations.