Sunday, August 06, 2006

Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime ...

THE POLICE helicopter hovers overhead. Three Transit vans roar down the country lane, disgorging a riot gear-clad snatch squad. Meanwhile an Armed Response Unit has plotted up in a nearby hedge, fingers hovering on the triggers.

And all because two girls have drawn a hopscotch grid in the road.

You think I’m joking, don’t you? Sadly not. In Halesowen, West Midlands, 14-year-olds Kayleigh Mangan and Georgina Smallwood were accosted by two community support officers and told to get a bucket of water and clean the chalk marks off the quiet street in which they live. Local kids had already been warned off “excessive” bike riding and told to stop playing ball games in the street.

A spokesweasel for West Midlands Police said officers had responded to a complaint about “numerous chalk markings on a large stretch of the pavement”. He added, probably in a nasal monotone: “There have been many reports of anti-social behaviour in the local area and we will deal robustly with this issue. By targeting what may seem relatively low-level crime, we aim to prevent it developing into more serious matters.”

So there you have it. Playing hopscotch turns you into a drugs baron or axe murderer. And I can just picture a young Al Capone skipping across the cobbles of turn-of-the-century Chicago.

THOSE OF us with a genuine social conscience constantly worry about the lack of integration of ethnic communities in this country.

That’s why the planned Muslin day at Alton Towers – now cancelled through lack of support - was such a bad idea. Surely we should be finding ways of living together, instead of perpetuating the ghetto mindset of voluntary segregation?

Unless it’s the Welsh we’re talking about, in which case I’d saw their country off from the mainland and set it afloat tomorrow given half the chance. Well, it’s not as if they want to belong to Great Britain, is it?

Look at that drooling Welsh nationalist youth in the Big Brother house. He’s already confessed to ostracizing English-speaking kids at his school and it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s doing an A-level in cottage burning.

And then there’s the whole issue of teaching Welsh in schools in the first place. Do you know how many millions of pounds we’ve spent inflicting this dead language on generations of schoolchildren? No, neither do I, but I bet it’s a lot. And how many new Welsh speakers are there after nine years of this enforced brainwashing? Just 75,000.

It’s madness. Why aren’t we teaching them something useful, like Spanish or Chinese instead?

And it’s not just Welsh. There’s £600,000 of “European” money sloshing around in the system that’s meant to be spent on promoting the use of the Cornish language. (European money means taxes we have paid to the government which then goes off to subsidise Estonian turnip farmers, a fraction of which then comes back to us in the form of spurious grants.)

As ever with the Turkey Army of public servants, a “Cornish Language Officer” has been appointed (nice pension, free pasties) to further the use of the language in public life by having official documents translated into bi-lingual form, although one would hope that most of the inhabitants of Cornwall already speak the mother tongue and could therefore cope perfectly well with an English version of the driving licence application form.

Still, all is not lost. There appears to be three different versions of written Cornish and the 400 poor souls who still speak it cannot agree on which version should be the official one. The whole process has now stalled while old bearded men dressed in sheets mumble at each other in caves.

And the Cornish Language Officer? He’ll be out and about banning hopscotch.

HEALTH AND Safety update: Fresh from their triumph of being handed the responsibility for prosecuting the Metropolitan Police for shooting a passing Brazilian, the Nanny State Nazis scored another victory last week when Margaret Beckett, our hapless caravan-dwelling Foreign Secretary, invoked their dark powers to have a pop at the Americans.

Put on the spot after planes carrying bunker-busting bombs to Israel were found to be refueling at Prestwich Airport in Scotland, Mrs Beckett climbed down from her four-berth Bailey Pageant Champagne to tell Mr Bush that he had been very naughty – not for upsetting the soap-dodgers by landing his filthy weapons of war on British soil, but because failing to reveal the nature of the cargo had “health and safety implications”.

Magic! Let’s see how much protection a hard hat and a high-visibility jacket provides if that lot goes up.

COMPO CORNER: An American woman, “returning from war-torn Israel”, tells The Sun how she was terrified when she looked out of her hotel bedroom window in Cardiff to see explosions and a tank battle going on in the street below.

“Troops with guns started shouting ‘run for cover’”, she says. “I ran from the window and ducked onto the bed.”

It turned out to be a film crew working on the Doctor Who Christmas special. If I were the great man, I’d get back into that Tardis sharpish before the ambulance-chasing lawyers turn up.

O The views of Mr Beelzebub are purely personal and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Editor or staff of this website, of anyone who doesn't hope that Coronation Street's Clare and Ashley Peacock call their new-born son Drew, of anyone not distraught that Fred ... I say, Fred ... Elliot is going to keel over and die in The Rover' Return on his wedding day, or of anyone not equally upset about the news that Jack Duckworth is packing it in next year.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are all interested to hear the views on Krime from Karing Kris the Kommunity Kopper. Should be most illuminating.

12:12 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Funnily enough, I thought to myself the action of the police against those two girls was a tad jobsworthy - still, better to be safe than sorry. :)

As for the Welsh & Cornish language cretins, total agreement: did you know S4C (the Welsh channel 4) is the world's most expensive publicly funded channel in the World? What makes me laugh, though, is that they use English to advertise Welsh language programmes... *rolls eyes*

Mind you, if we could cut a swathe between us and England...

You may also like to know that in the Snowdon National Park, all private homes and buildings must use local materials in any renovation/build. Sadly, the Park has decided to use Portugese slate in the build of a new cafe on the top of Mount Snowdon.

Their excuse? We're publicly funded, hence more accountable to the tax-payer.

2:15 AM  
Blogger Neal Asher said...

I can see the HSE stepping in here with instructions on how to chalk a hopscotch grid without bending down and how you must keep both feet firmly on the ground while playing the game. Though if they really wanted to be useful some instructions concerning never running for a tube train while wearing a rucksack might come in handy.

4:09 AM  
Anonymous sammy the sailor said...

All is not lost Barry is back.
I need to bring to your attention the high child crime rate in Halesowen. Millions of pounds worth of paving slabs have been stolen by children with super glue on their shoes pretending to play hopscotch and then taking the slabs home for their fathers to build patios. Council tax payers of Halesowen are entitled to protection from the likes of them.

Where's Jimmy McT? On holiday in England enjoying a bit of class I suppose!

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Black Dog said...

You may also like to know that in the Snowdon National Park, all private homes and buildings must use local materials in any renovation/build. - Chris

They do, and they don't. Like almost all councils, it depends on who you know. A friend of mine lived near Llanberis, in a tiny village called Fachwen. He was told that he did indeed have to use the local stone and slate to build a house extension, yet a week later, someone else got permission to build an unsightly grey tin building, like an industrial estate building, with a bright red roof.

I wonder how much S4C has actually done to increase the usage of the Welsh Language? Not so much.

When I lived near Caernarfon, I attended an interview at the council for the job of photographing listed buildings. Fully satisfied with my technical skills (i.e understanding and using medium format camera, printing etc), the interviewers asked if I could speak Welsh. When I replied that I couldn't, but was willing to learn, their attitude changed completely. "We'll let you know....".

They gave the job to some 16 year old who could hardly use a 35mm SLR. But who could apparently talk to the cameras and houses in Welsh.

In North Wales, at least, this appears to be the most important thing in the world.

The Welsh language will only survive because of goodwill, not enforcement.

How hard is Welsh pushed in South Wales, Chris?

10:47 AM  
Blogger kris said...

karing kris the kk says he was in court (peanut gallery- not in the dock) chatting with acquaintances- when he was introduced to a council lady from norfolk.

For the last year, the sole focus of her life apparently was bringing "Pikey Mikey" to book for-what- being king of chavs- a dickhead.

I'd don't suppose any murders, rapes, robberies etc took place in norfolk last year and this is the reason the council/police/mags court were able to throw all of their resources at PM and focus exclusively on his case.

You should have seen the smug glee on her face as she told how all about the final moment when the "got him".

Good job Nancy Drew!

12:08 AM  
Blogger Jimmy McTourette said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:09 AM  
Blogger Jimmy McTourette said...

A touch of class from Sammy "I like it up the spam fritter" Sailor from rough old Halesowen, I certainly would not want to holiday somewhere with this much class!
Halesowen homes blitzed by mystery catapulter!!!!!!!!!
An Old Hill mum whose house has come under siege from a mystery stone catapulter has described her life as a `living nightmare'.

Clare Wilson, 37, and neighbours in Best Street and Victoria Gardens say they have become prisoners in their own homes, scared to let their children in the garden for fear of injury from the three-inch rocks.

The businesswoman and mum-of-one said ambulances had been called on two occasions to neighbouring houses when children had been injured.

She said: "The stones are too big to be thrown and we think they have been catapulted; they come over the roof into the front garden.

"Sometimes it's in the day, sometimes until two or three in the morning - the police are coming here every night at the moment.

"It's making our lives an absolute misery and we think someone must be trying to drive us out.

"We have got surveillance cameras but as soon as it starts and the camera moves, they do it from another direction. It can't be children, it's too calculated and specific for that."

She added windows had been smashed and cars dented by the stones.

The fed-up residents are now calling for urgent action and are set to call a public meeting and start up a petition to draw attention to their plight.

A police spokesperson said there was a log of reported incidents of stone throwing in Best Street and Victoria Gardens and enquiries were ongoing.

He added a 23 year-old woman had been struck on the forehead by a stone on Sunday July 23 and required paramedic treatment.

Halesowen and Rowley Regis MP Sylvia Heal has met with residents about the problem. She said: "I contacted the police at Old Hill three or four weeks ago and they have increased activities in the area to try to identify who the culprits are because it's potentially a serious situation.

"There have been five or six people who have been hit by these stones and some damage to residents' property.

"The police are trying to restore some peace there."

12:11 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

black dog, the Taffia try their best to bludgeon the language down our throat - a phrase "the ability to speak welsh would be advantageous" is quite ubiquitous in the job's section of the Western Mail.

I've always stated I'd be willing to learn if needed, but alas it seems to fall on deaf-ears.

1:48 AM  
Anonymous sammy the sailor said...

Jimmy mctourette said

Good to see you up and about again Jimmy we've missed you. Sorry your operation failed again. Do you go private or NHS? Perhaps you've done both, so many tries. Do you get to select where the new brain comes from or do you get the next one off the shelf? Perhaps you should insist on one from a different country. An Irish one would be a tremendous upgrade for you!

Cheers pal!!

2:08 AM  
Anonymous i luv haggis said...

jimmy mct 12.11

See you, Jimmy!

Surely that item made you feel right at home Jim! :-)

3:21 AM  
Blogger kris said...

This story warmed my heart when it came out!


Manchester United captain Roy Keane was yesterday cleared of assaulting a teenager branded by a judge as a "less than satisfactory" witness who was "caught out as a liar".

Earlier, Trafford magistrates' court had been told Keane grabbed the teenager around the neck and swung a punch at him after the boy insulted him. The court was told Keane, a Republic of Ireland international, marched up to the 16-year-old student, who had sworn at him, and took up a position where their foreheads were touching. Keane allegedly "spat" with rage as he demanded, repeatedly: "Did you call me a wanker?"

Keane, 33, had denied a charge of criminal damage. He also denied assault and a public order offence in September last year.

District Judge Paul Richardson said of the student: "It was clear this was a young man who enjoyed the attention that the incident had given him. Given his motive was at the best very questionable, I could not rely on his evidence."

Peter McNaught, prosecuting, said the charges arose after Keane had clashed when the teenager (referred to in court as Boy A) and a friend (Boy B) had been riding their mopeds near Keane's house in Hale, Greater Manchester. Keane was walking his labrador dogs when the boy sounded his horn a number of times, according to McNaught.

As the teenager and his friend passed by, Keane swung out with his walking stick. He did not make contact but the teenager turned round and raised his hand in an offensive gesture towards the footballer, said McNaught.

Keane gestured back and approached Boy A a few weeks later when he spotted him again, wearing the same, distinctive yellow crash helmet. Boy A and Boy B were visiting a house across from the home Keane shares with his wife, Theresa, and five children. Keane, who was in his garden, spotted them and strode over.

The boy saw Keane approach in his moped's mirrors. "I felt a bit like, 'God, what's going to happen now'," the boy told officers.

At first, there was confusion because Keane alluded to a middle finger being raised in the earlier exchange and his accent was difficult to understand. But then Keane said: "Did you call me a wanker? Why did you do that?"'

"Because you nearly hit me; you swung for me with your walking stick," the boy replied. Then Keane allegedly swung a right punch at him and said: "That's nearly hitting you."

Testifying via video-link, the boy told the court: "I felt the hair of his fist against my face. He was saying things like 'I'll hit you in a minute; I will sort you out in a minute'."

Keane, accompanied by United solicitor Maurice Watkins, listened intently as the boy added: "He said 'you had better get out of my face'."

The boy said he walked off and threatened to call the police, but Keane started laughing and grabbed his arm.

"I said, 'I'm definitely phoning the police now', and he laughed and said 'Go on'. I was quite intimidated and shocked. "He said something like, 'come back later and we'll see who's a big, hard man.' It was like he was pushing for a fight."

When Keane had walked off, the boy turned to his friend and said "What a wanker", prompting Keane to reappear.

The youth recalled: "He approached me quite fast, pointing at me and saying: 'Did you call me a wanker?'

"I said, 'I don't know'. He was being pretty scary. He looked quite aggressive, the expression on his face. He was repeating 'did you call me a wanker'

"He had his head right up against mine. He grabbed my shirt and must have caught my chain and was pointing. His forehead was touching mine. I was quite scared. He was spitting all over my face and saying: 'you had better watch it'."

The boy said that when his neck chain fell to the ground, Keane said: "Give it to me, I will get it fixed for you and you can get it back tomorrow".

The footballer suggested he would get the chain welded.

After leaving court, Mr Watkins said on behalf of Keane: "Roy has been here for two days. He co-operated fully with the police inquiries and maintained his innocence throughout. Today Roy has been vindicated and is very relieved that justice has been done."

4:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who the fuck cares a fig about Roy Fucking Keane or even Kopper Kris for that matter. Really, can't you find anything else to talk about other than Arsenal, Roy Keane, the Emirates stadium, Clissold Park leisure centre, Stoke Newington, Abba and an assortment of nonentities of no interest to anyone but yourself like Luke Akehurst, Nancy Drew and Pikey Mikey?

You really are a tosser of the first magnitude aren't you?

7:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do hate people who sit on the fence. Someone twisted your knackers?

9:00 AM  
Blogger kris said...

oh dear. seems like it is Mr anon's wrong time of the month...

11:17 AM  
Blogger kris said...

mind you, the first mr anon and mr B.Liar that hasn't surfaced for a while now do seem to have the same style of prose and learned insight.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous tony b.liar said...


I've been watching the Blogs with interest and amusement and I 'haven't surfaced for a while now' [as you charmingly put it] because I am now suffering terminal boredom and have relinquished my own short adventure into Blogging. I also got rather tired of being abused by intellectual pygmies like your goodself. [That should get a few Anons going!!]

If your own Blog is anything to go by, you seem to have turned it into something of an art form! Your Stoke Newington blog is so full of exciting and interesting things that it is my preferred regular reading these days. I guess it fulfills your harmless need for something/one to pull your chain, it stops you from frightening the horses and keeps you off the streets I suppose, old son?

Thanks so much for the compliments regarding Mr Anon's style of prose and intellect - I would like to claim it, but sadly I have to disappoint you. I most certainly agree with him/her however - I share the opinions and wish I had said it.
I'm sure [knowing you] you will want to have the last word, but you won't get any further response from me. Oh, and one last tip - try and get out more and get a life, OK? Byeeeeeeee!!!

11:33 PM  
Blogger Jimmy McTourette said...

Must have touched a raw nerve with Sammy "My arse is sore since I went aboard" Sailor. Kris I think you'll find that last September Roy Keane was a Celtic player and as such had to behave like one.
But back to Sammy "Gayboy" Sailor - get it right fucking up you!

12:19 AM  
Blogger kris said...

ooh Tony bliar, please do leave your blog contact details before you go!

5:42 AM  
Anonymous sammy the sailor said...

jimmy mct 12.19

Jim my old mate, I see they put the old brain back this time!
You haven't changed since we sailed together. I looked you up on Genes Reunited but the website is down, I couldn't trace you back past 'algae' without the website crashing.
I like the picture, I remember you doing that sword dance on Mark Oaten's glass topped table at that party, a 'reel' eye opener!
Hoots mon,
Your old shipmate,
Sammy XXX

P.S. Are you still running the bagpipe farm?

6:08 AM  
Blogger Jimmy McTourette said...

Sammy "the uphill gardner" Sailor is at it again - get tae fuck ya wee faggoty hole fiddler.

12:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see we've got a gay "domestic" spilling out onto the streets.

2:17 AM  
Blogger kris said...

yes, there has been a bit of a gy undercurrent running since bazza's previous post: to paraphrase- gays ok as long as they do not worry the horses. This was robustly adopted by mr b.liar who used it again as an oblique swipe on this page. Having said that, it think Sammy the Sailor's posts and Mr McT's response are rather humourous- and lack that certain spite Mr B.liar always brought to the table.

8:59 AM  

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