No, not “more severe”, just “less effective”:
Firearms offences also increased, up 4% in the whole of 2007 to 9,967… however, gun deaths fell to 49, seven fewer than in the previous 12 months.
What’s wrong with kids today? I’m fairly sure that even when I was 15, I could have achieved a better-than-0.5% hit-rate…
Seriously though, it’s nice to see that crime is falling, both according to police records and to the generally-more-reliable British Crime Survey. Shame the mongers won’t pay a blind bit of attention…
“Can someone please explain on what basis I am supposed to care more about the plight of the white working classes than that of, say, Congolese people driven out of their homes by war?”
(an oasis of sanity in a thread dominated by horrible bigots)
A question for the multiplicity of blogging non-bigots [*] who support the Ham & High’s decision to run an advert for the BNP ahead of the current London elections on Voltaire-ish ‘free speech for all, however disgraceful’ grounds: would you have supported the H&H on the same grounds had it run an advert advocating the legalisation of sex with children?
[the advert would be placed by a hypothetical paedo organisation that wanted to lower the age of consent to 10, but explicitly did not advocate breaking the current laws until any change was made - just to avoid any ‘but they’re inciting illegal activity so it's not the same’ get-outs].
If not, you’re already saying that some people should be denied a platform to advocate opinions that they hold perfectly legally, just because those opinions are vile and wrong – in which case, the only difference with the BNP is the degree to which the opinions advocated are vile and wrong. Which means that you’re saying “even though I sometimes believe in media self-censorship, the BNP should still be allowed a platform because they’re not all that bad”.
If you would have supported the editor’s decision to publish the paedo group’s advert, then you’re certainly consistent. I’m not sure that you’re in line with the general public’s moral compass, though…
[*] i.e. people who think that the BNP are scumbags. Those who think it’s possible simultaneously to be a non-bigot and not think that the BNP are scumbags are wrong, and should be ignored.
In the UK, all debt for which the government is ultimately liable appears as government debt on the national accounts.
If the debt of a PFI company is guaranteed by the taxpayer (as for Metronet, for example, unwisely) then it appears as government debt on the national accounts.
If it does not appear as government debt on the national accounts, that means that the taxpayer isn’t liable for it.
While there are many arguments possible about the benefits or disbenefits of PFI (and, irrespective of whether PFI is a good thing or a bad thing in aggregate, it is certain that the disbenefits are exaggerated and the benefits understated in nearly all discussions of the topic), this isn’t one of them.
From Flat Earth News by Nick Davies:
I spoke to a man who had worked for the Daily Mail for some years as a senior news reporter. He said: ‘They phoned me early one morning and told me to drive about three hundred miles to cover a murder. It was a woman and two children who’d been killed. I got an hour and a half into the journey, and the news desk called me on my mobile and said, “Come back.” I said, “Why’s that?” They said, “They’re black.”
Would you abolish the current right under English law of Orthodox Jews to have civil cases heard in the Beth Din with the agreement of both parties?
If so, why haven’t you protested about the Beth Din previously? If not, then why on earth don’t you think that Muslims should be granted the same rights you are happy to extend to Orthodox Jews?
Update – from dsquared in the comments, a summary of the ways in which the rights available to Orthodox Jews are currently not available to Muslims, and would not be available to Muslims without additional legislation:
[Sharia] arbitration services aren’t in general binding unless they’re recognised by the normal courts, meaning that they are absolutely rife with jurisdiction-shoppers who go to the sharia court in bad faith, with the intention of then going to a normal court if the judgement goes against them. You can’t do this with a Beth Din (or various other courts of arbitration) because they’re binding arbitration. At present there are Sharia Councils which do carry out arbitration, but in the absence of a specific pre-existing contract, it’s not binding.
When John Doe shows up to the court complaining about the deal he received at the Beth Din under arbitration, claiming he’s been made the victim of a capricious and arbitrary ruling, the courts will chuck it out because there’s a lot of history of the Beth Din working as a proper arbitration service. If Richard Roe shows up claiming that Sheikh Joe Bloggs has acted unfairly and arbitrarily in the Sharia Court of Bumsville, then the court will have to take this seriously because they’ve never heard of Sheikh Bloggs or his alleged “court” before.
It might seem reasonable to conclude that things would work a lot better if the British Islamic community could agree on a core of sharia principles that they could all live with, unify the Sharia Councils structure and work toward getting improved legal recognition of its work in arbitration.
Tim has an excellent summary of why nearly all discussions about trade miss the point:
“Imports are what make us richer… exports are just the dreary shite we have to do to be able to buy the imports.”
This is also why protectionists should be lined up against a wall and shot.
There’s a criminal trial going on at the moment that’s interesting on three levels:
1) ‘pensioner dies in attack on home’ – the usual tabloid-friendly, ‘you’re not safe from hoodlums even in your own house’ story of an old man who was tracked down and harrassed after a road rage incident by the other party’s husband and his brother, to the point where the old man’s dicky heart gave out. This is pretty much the angle the press has taken.
2) ‘your data is not safe’ – the thugs tracked the old man down by getting a bent copper to procure his details from the Police National Computer, and there doesn’t seem to be any indication that the policeman in question is being prosecuted or has been sacked. Hopefully once the trial is over, we’ll find out the score (note to self: check this one later). This is the angle bloggertarians tend to have taken.
3) ‘boorish thuggery isn’t just for feral yoof’: the 79-year-old old man started the whole affair off by unleashing a torrent of rage on a young woman in a car-park over nothing, leaving her almost in tears (and onlookers worried that he was going to die of sheer anger on the spot, which might have been better for all concerned). The husband was 40 and the brother in his early 20s – truly, we’re living in an equal-opportunities, age-indifferent society when it comes to childish bullying and lack of self-control. This is an angle that nobody else appears to have taken, so I’ll claim it as mine…
My comment, reproduced from over at Jamie’s:
I always find it a bit weird that people with leftie leanings tend to favour small businesses over big companies, even though small businessmen tend to be worse-paying, more anti-union, more likely to break employment law, and more socially right-wing than big firms.
See also: Pierre Poujade, Jose Rivera…
What the hell is this even trying to say, and what the hell does the music have to do with the subject matter?
It’s not even the shallow clichés (“ooh, Gordon is the puppet of fat cats, and that’s why he didn’t let Northern Rock go bust”. Not because, y’know, that would have made ordinary people panic or anything), it’s the total incoherence with which the thing is stitched together – just throwing a couple of NR clichés and a couple of general anti-Labour clichés in a blender, and not even pretending to link them with a storyboard…
Which is a shame, because “Northern Rocky Horror Show” is quite a good pun in its own right.
Oh, and a final, semi-related point: anyone who thinks that the proposed government guarantee on Northern Rock’s assets represents an unfair state subsidy is a raving idiot, because the bidding process for NR’s assets is open to anyone who wants to participate (and hence, the price paid by the successful bidder to the government will be equal to the perceived present value of the assets being purchased, including the government guarantee). Similarly, it wasn’t an unfair state subsidy to Veolia when my local council decided, after a tendering process, to pay them to empty the bins…