Sunday, December 21, 2008

Stow me the way to go home

THIS IS how our legal system works … or doesn’t. Moroccan Rashid Ali (30) turned up in Britain in 2004 claiming to be an Algerian asylum seeker. His application was rejected and he ended up squatting in an abandoned grain warehouse at Avonmouth Docks, near Bristol. (Why he wasn’t sent home at this point is beyond me, as you’ll see.)

Ali then decided that he wanted to go home, with his preferred mode of transport being a ship. He was booted off the first one he stowed away on at Milford Haven in Wales. He then kept on trying and after being caught for the fifth time was hauled before the courts and sentenced to three years in a detention centre … at a cost to the taxpayer of around £250,000.

Two days after his release (and we pause again to ask why he hadn’t then been sent home) he was caught hiding on yet another boat. Back to the courts again where a frustrated Judge finally asks the question as to why a man who so clearly wants to return to his homeland is constantly prevented from doing so by a judicial system that makes the Three Stooges look like potential Cabinet members.

So I had a quick look on t’internet this morning and a flight from Bristol to Marrakech comes in at £83.27. Might I suggest that that’s a cheaper option for HMG than banging the poor bugger up for another three years at a cost of a quarter of a million? Or am I missing something here?

IT’S NOT much to ask for your local supermarket to decorate your three-year-old child’s birthday cake with his name, especially when you’re willing to pay. Unfortunately for Heath Campbell, from New Jersey, USA, his local store for some reason refused to ice the words ‘Adolf Hitler Campbell’ onto a Victoria sponge. Things are also looking a bit grim for the toddler’s two-year-old sister, Joycelynn Aryan Nation Campbell (pictured above).

It’s all entirely innocent, of course. Heath Campbell said he gave his son the name because he liked it and that “no one else in the world would have that name”. On the other hand, he could just be a notorious neo-Nazi who perhaps ought to go to Wal-Mart next time. Because they did the icing, no problem.

BACK IN 2005, we were told that the legacy of hosting the 2012 Olympics would mean millions of Britain’s obese couch potatoes waddling off to shiny new sports facilities where they’d combat the effects of a diet of Findus Crispy Pancakes and Stella. Well now a secret government report has concluded that there will be few long-term benefits in terms of facilities and that while the Olympics is a good excuse for a party, little else will come from it.

When you put that in context of the escalating cost, estimated at £9 billion at the moment (but if it’s quadrupled in the last four years, what will it do in the next four years) and the admission by Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell that we would never have bid for the Games “if we had known what we know now”, then perhaps it’s time to make a strategic withdrawal.

Let’s face it: we can’t afford it and we’re bound to cock it up anyway. I’ll tell you what. Why don’t we just hand the Games back to China? They’ve got the facilities, and they’ve proved they can stage it, and stage it well. Let them have it again. Welcome to Beijing, the new Athens. Only with fewer ruins.

THESE PUBLIC sector workers who’ve been overpaid on their pensions … some from as far back as the 1970s. I read today that Gordon Brown is being urged to “soften the blow” when it comes to reducing their payments.

Well just hang on a minute. Apart from a few former judges, the average reduction in payment is reckoned to be just £220 a year, or £4.20 a week. These people aren’t being asked to pay back anything; is it therefore too much to ask that they might simply swallow this grievous loss, even if they are ex-civil servants? It’s hardly going to put them on the breadline, is it?

WE ARE told that the credit crunch has hit corporate shoot days, with fat bankers in funny trousers notably absent from our woods this season. If my experience of last week is anything to go by, it’s far worse than that.

Invited to what is usually a splendid day’s sport, I turned up to find that the beaters were a bunch of Poles who couldn’t afford the coach fare home, the dogs were two pit bulls off the local council estate and an arthritic poodle, lunch was sell-by-date Aldi sausage rolls accompanied by a fine Lidl port, and the shoot dinner was taken in a nearby Harvester.

The bag was three pheasant, a squirrel and a brace of badgers. Hard times, indeed.

THE HOUSES used as a film set for the soap Brookside have been sold. At first sight they might seem a bargain – 13 houses in the close for just £750,000, but beware. We already know that one has dodgy light fittings that are liable to electrocute the new owner, what lies under the patio of another is best not discussed, and living there is likely to turn your wife into a lesbian. Caveat emptor, indeed.

I BOUGHT an Advent calendar from Woolworths in their sale last week. It was rubbish. All the windows were boarded up and there was nothing inside.


Blogger northerner said...

£250,000 equals benefit at £5000 p.a. for 50 years. We must be mad - cheaper to let the chap stay.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous ku klux kevin campbell said...

One can buy a lot of cake for £5,000 p.a.

1:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not just civil servants that are hit by this Baz. It includes all ex-Armed Forces too. The pay was crap when we were in, and now we're going to get shafted again. So no change there then. PS Noo Lieboor couldn't run a F@cking bath.

3:19 AM  
Blogger obakesan said...

I now understand why the Australian system works as it does.

Thanks for this bit of investigation

8:23 AM  

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