The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

17 October
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David Cameron Looks As Iffy As The Police Over The Andrew Mitchell “Plebgate” Affair..

The Police Federation and several senior officers do not appear to be emerging from the Andrew Mitchell “Plebgate” affair in a particularly savoury light. Peter Oborne in the Daily Telegraph has launched a blistering attack on the Police over this and other issues. He talks of lies, cover ups and weak leadership

It is time to acknowledge that the police force faces a crisis of such gravity that it can only be solved by setting up a Royal Commission.

The Independent Police complaints Commission (IPCC) has criticised three Chief Constables for not taking any action over quite well substantiated accusations that three officers had lied about a discussion they had with Andrew Mitchell.

Three police officers have been criticised for apparently giving a false account of a meeting with the former cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell, which the MP had secretly recorded.

What makes this affair so troubling for the police service is less that individual officers may have lied – although that is clearly toxic in itself – but the suggestion that when entrusted with investigating wrong-doing, chief constables did not take appropriate action.

Now David Cameron and Theresa May have made statements deploring what appears to be a stitch up of Mitchell orchestrated by several police officers.

But it appears to me that Cameron is shedding crocodile tears. His behaviour during the whole episode has been rather half hearted. He asked a senior mandarin to investigate the whole incident but the subsequent probe was desultory and rather amateurish. Cameron knew of the CCTV evidence (subsequently used by Channel4 News to undermine the police case) yet did not choose to take it seriously.

As a comment on this post pointed out

Hmmm strange how it took that hotbed of left wing subversion C4news to go carefully through the CCTV footage, and those two well known lefties Jon Snow and Michael Crick to present it to the public and show that Mitchell was being stitched up. It does make you wonder why the Cabinet office and the PM in particular didn’t take the time to do exactly the same thing: I’m sure they must have been aware that the whole area was monitored by CCTV.

Something smells about this whole affair and it’s just not emanating from the boys in blue – it’s also coming out of Number 10 Downing Street

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05 January
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No – The Police Would Never Play A Dirty Trick Over “Plebgate”….Never….Never……

News that all 800 members of SO6, the armed police unit guarding the UK’s political elite, are to be questioned over suggestions that – shock horror – some of them were a little economical with the truth over the Andrew Mitchell “Plebgate” affair has caused a bit of a ripple in the media.


The MP quit after a police log leaked to newspapers claimed he swore at officers and called them “f***ing plebs” when they refused to let him ride his bicycle out of Downing Street’s gates. Mr Mitchell admits swearing but denies using the word “plebs”. Last month doubts emerged about the police version of events when an SO6 officer was arrested over allegations that he had falsely claimed to have been a member of the public who witnessed the event last September.


The Met helpfully added that this investigation will cost about £64.000 and occupy 3,000 hours of police time.

Naturally Labour Party mouthpiece Daily Mirror found a rentaquote MP to sound off about wasting resources at a time of “cuts” and “police sources” (AKA the Police Federation) muttered about “witch hunts”……Labour politicians and Police Federation agitprop activists, of course, had previously milked the whole incident until the arrest of the SO6 officer when they then became strangely silent.

Some might suggest that the details of this police investigation and the accompanying press release have been deliberately designed to stir the pot again and paint the current government (which coincidentally is attempting to reform the police service) in an unfavourable light.

But that cannot be the case for we all know that every police officer is absolutely “wonderful”………

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27 November
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“Community Policing” US Style…Make Vandals Do Press-Ups? I’ll Buy That!!

A controversy is brewing in Rhode Island after four police officers seemingly made a group of young men do push-ups as immediate punishment for vandalizing mailboxes.

The mayor and the police chief of North Providence are apparently up in arms. There is talk of the officers being punished. Probably at this very moment regiments of lawyers are flooding into the town to snap up a juicy “human rights” case.

So perhaps it’s just the right moment for Katy Bourne to phone the four officers and offer them a job here in the UK with the Sussex police or, if that isn’t possible, at least show her officers the video.

No lawyers, no court process ending up months later with nil result, zero paperwork – a bunch of idiots have their time wasted (which irritates them) and victims see something being done….. now that’s what I call a great example of “community policing”!!!

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27 September
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Rochdale Sex Grooming Case – Sensivity About “Racism” Plus Disparagement Of Girls From Council Estates = Keep It In The Pending File?

The fearless BBC is never afraid to grasp nettles…

Social services and police “missed opportunities” to stop the sexual abuse of young girls in Rochdale, a report into a grooming scandal has revealed.
……………………………………………………..
It comes after nine men were jailed in May for grooming girls as young as 13.

Oh and why were these opportunities missed?

“Deficiencies” and “patchy” training of front line staff were behind the failings, the Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Board said in its review of child sexual exploitation.

Ah, the old patchy training ploy, as Inspector Cluseau would say…but never fear

Lynne Jones, chair of the Rochdale Borough Safeguarding Children Board, said the council had “responded” to the review and had “improvements” had already been put in place.

That’s right, somebody wheeled out the same robot that was constructed in 1973, called it Lynne Jones, and pressed the button marked “LESSONS LEARNED”

“…working together….sharing information….raising awareness…..staff traing…..”

Only deep down towards the end of the piece, however, does the “fearless” BBC offer up a “by the way, please move along, nothing to see here” factoid

During the trial there were demonstrations by far-right groups after it emerged that white girls were being exploited by the gang, eight of whom were of Pakistani origin, with another from Afghanistan.

OMG – those crazy “far-right” groups with their racist agenda….take to the hills……oh, wait a minute

However, Greater Manchester Police said that there was no racial element to the case. It said that the main issue was older men exploiting vulnerable young women and girls.

Phew, that’s a relief. It wasn’t because of their cultural background….it was because they were “older men”. It’s not race/culture – it’s age/gender.

Julie Bindel, however, took a different view

One youth worker in south Yorkshire told me that because religious Muslims are being pressurised to marry virgins within their own extended family networks, it means that some are more likely to view white girls as easily available and “safer” than Pakistani girls.

Moreover, she felt that the reluctance of Social Services, Police and CPS to act in these cases wasn’t really down to lack of training or “working together” – but fear of being accused of being racist. This allowed the BNP to hijack the issue which obviously made it even more toxic. Now, of course, some people are speaking out…but why were they silent for so many years?

Anna Hall made a documentary for Channel 4 about Bradford Social Services which included interviews with two mothers who said their teenage daughters were being groomed.

The explosive grooming story nearly didn’t make the shortlist. Hall had already filmed several other stories through the children’s department which she was unable to screen for legal reasons. “We weren’t looking for this issue,” she says. “It just kept surfacing. Social workers said, ‘You can’t do that story because it’s too difficult.’ What did they mean by ‘too difficult’? Too racially sensitive?”

The BNP made a big deal of this film, seeing it as a vindication. Channel 4 got cold feet, especially as the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire spearheaded a campaign to stop it being shown.

So it does seem that one thing that motivated the various agencies to keep this in the Pending file was the fear of being accused of racism even though there were clearly people in the Muslim community who were confronting it.

There are, however, a growing number of individuals within the Muslim communities who are willing to speak out against the criminals. Mohammed Shafiq, the director of the Lancashire-based Ramadhan Foundation, a charity working for peaceful harmony between different ethnic communities, advocates better education about sexual exploitation to be disseminated through imams and other community leaders.
“I was one of the first within the Muslim community to speak out about this, four years ago,” says Shafiq, “and at the time I received death threats from some black and Asian people. But what I said has been proved right — that if we didn’t tackle it there would be more of these abusers and more girls getting harmed.”

But there also appears to be another factor which pushed it down the agenda, according to the Telegraph

Police said the victims were from “chaotic”, “council estate” backgrounds and as many as 50 girls could have been victims of the gang.

That explains it, then – not nice little middle class girls from the suburbs or twee villages. Chief Constables would scarcely get into their golf clubs before being badgered by “concerned” members of the public. But “white trash” from those chavvy council estates….maybe they were, y’know, asking for it?

No wonder these evil men were happy in their work. Their culturally influenced disparagement of these girls was buttressed by the prejudices of officialdom against the Sharon’s and Tracey’s of the white working class..

A self fulfilling prophecy if ever there was one…..

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24 September
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No Police DNA On Those Andrew Mitchell Logs Shown To Tabloid Hack, Guv…And I’ll Have Another Pint…

I have no sympathy for Tory Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell in the ongoing “Plebs” row. I still think he should go but , when I read The Sun’s report quoting the official police log why did it immediately conjure up images in my mind of shady deals in pubs between hacks and coppers as a result of notes written up after conversations in the police canteen?

Of course such images only stem from memories of the “bad old days” and do not accurately reflect the relationship between police and press in the 21st century.

Not at all….

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22 September
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Sorry,Mr Montgomerie, Andrew Mitchell Needs To Disappear – And Fast…..

Tim Montgomerie, from ConservativeHome, his magisterial perch at the summit of Mount Olympus, has pronounced his verdict on the Andrew Mitchell “swearing at a police officer” fandango – and it appears that it’s all part of dastardly plod plot to kneecap the Cameron regime.

His focus is on the Police Federation and the Bob Crow PF spokespersons who come onto our screens and mouth toneless drivel in the same manner they might recite “evidence” in court in order to fit up some lowlife loser for an extra 156 burglaries he didn’t really do.

He implies that the PF has an agenda and are milking the Mitchell incident for all they are worth so we should accept his apology and move on because maybe Mitchell is a “bruiser” but he is a diamond geezer who is only fiery because he is passionate about his brief.

Yeah – pull the other one

If, as he left Downing Street with his bike it had suddenly dawned on him that he had behaved stupidly and gone back immediately and apologised with good grace then that might have been sufficient. But his apology only came when the situation went pear shaped and, most likely, he received a sharp phone call from Number Ten – it was therefore that classic of modern politics the gritted teeth apology mouthed unwillingly as a red hot poker hovers menacingly close to the derriere.

Of course the PF is milking it – but that doesn’t excuse Mitchell’s conduct. As one commentator said

What one member of a party said when he had a bad day couldn’t really concern me less these outbursts happen people get stressed and a dam breaks. I am glad he has apologised that is the right response and had it been in a less public instance i imagine that would be the end of it. However even he must be aware that his actions have reflected very badly with the general public and are now doing harm to both the party and its message, he shouldn’t have to be pushed out he should realise he needs to go. The fact he hasn’t and has chosen to place his self intrest above the good of the whole reflects worse on him in my book than the initial fiasco.

It also reveals the lack of sensitivity in Cameron’s political antennae. He should have immediately recognised the political/social ramifications of this incident and acted quite brutally. It would have squashed the “toff” narrative dead in the water and shown the key quality of ruthlessness that leaders must display at odd moments to instil a little fear into the lower ranks.

Not good enough, I’m afraid, Mr Montgomerie. Mitchell should disappear – and fast.

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31 August
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Summary Justice…..How Police Constable “Ginger” Dealt With Violent Husbands In 1920s South London….

My dad lived on a tough estate in Brixton when he was a kid in the 1920s. His own father disappeared from the scene very early on so he and his brother and sisters were brought up by his mum. He recalled that quite a few of his friends were in the same position – only the phrase “single mum” had not then been invented.

Working class couples didn’t get divorced but most likely the statistics of separation might have been the same as today. There were also quite a few “common law” wives and “uncles” just living together as “partners” – another word that hadn’t been invented yet.

Wives/mothers tended to stay but some men appeared and disappeared as circumstances changed. That’s not to say that there were not lots of couples who soldiered through together and did their best even through trying times but dysfunctional relationships are not a monopoly of 21st century Britain.

My dad, through his young eyes, saw drunkenness as a familiar facet of everyday life – not amongst his peers but by watching older men staggering out of pubs as they wended their way home through the streets. And, with the drunkenness there was the violence – between men when tempers flared but, more often, the violence inflicted on the women once the men got home.

Levels of accepted behaviour were different in those days. Some men felt they had the right to slap their children and their wives but, as my dad said, there did seem to be an invisible boundary between what was acceptable – and what was not. Using your wife as a punchbag was not right – but few would dare to intervene between man and wife.

Except Ginger….

Ginger was the local bobby and the estate was his beat. He walked it regularly and knew everyone and made sure he was aware of what was going on….”intelligence led policing” is what it would be described as today….Ginger would do it by chatting to mums and kids and shopkeepers and milkmen and postmen and the local publican – and by using his eyes.

My dad said he was big and beefy with butcher’s hands. He could take a joke but was uncompromising if boundaries were crossed. Several times dad or one of his mates would be dragged by the ear to their home and parents informed in no uncertain terms of the appropriate transgression. No parent argued with Ginger – his word was law…Ginger WAS the law.

Ginger exuded authority and never walked away from trouble. He had great physical presence but dad never recalled him actually hitting anyone…..except when some wife had been used too often as a punchbag by her beer sodden husband or “uncle” – then there followed the same ritual.

Ginger would appear outside the house or block of flats, take off his jacket, fold it neatly and place it on the ground. On top would go his helmet and truncheon. He would then roll up his sleeves and go up to the front door and announce “Police – open up”. If nothing happened he would kick it open. Once inside he would hold a fairly one sided discussion with the man. This usually entailed, from visual evidence observed over the next few days, beating six bells out of the man with his bare fists. Ginger would then reappear, put his jacket and helmet back on and proceed down the road in his usual slow ponderous fashion without saying a word.

Nobody thought of going to the police station and complaining. It was rough street justice sanctioned by Ginger’s uniform.

Was it right?

Did it end domestic violence? Probably not – but maybe the thought of being at the receiving end of Ginger’s fists might have made some men hold back their punches…

Does violence resolve violence? Who can tell….

But I do know Ginger’s behaviour made a big impact on my dad, as a youngster, in terms of showing that bad actions could have unpleasant consequences – a kind of down on the street education in the realms of ethics….Ginger as the avenging angel…

It’s easy in our supposedly more enlightened culture to be very sniffy and disapproving of how Ginger went about things – but I suspect that a lot of us feel that in an imperfect world it might be comforting to know that Ginger could well be coming round the corner…

BTW…that is not Ginger in the pic, it’s just how I imagined him to look like…

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26 March
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This Is What I Would Like A Government To Do….Am I Some Sort Of Eccentric Oddball?

Chained......

I feel I am in chains – I want a government that breaks those chains by implementing policies that might be deemed unfashionable by the media and cultural elite…

The will of Parliament should be sovereign over the the opinions of judges and external officials and/or institutions

I am easy with civil partnerships and have no desire to place a government cctv in anyone’s bedroom but to me marriage is a social compact between a man and a woman buttressed by law and tradition – and it should stay that way

Just as the police can only enter and search my home with a warrant from a court having shown some evidence of good reason so they should only be allowed to trawl my internet history in a similar manner

Illegal immigrants and foreign nationals who commit crimes should be immediately expelled from the country once they have served their sentence

Legal immigrants who wish to contribute to our society and respect it’s values should be welcomed

Border controls at seaports and airports should be effectively staffed and efficiently organised. Security should always take precedence over waiting times.

Foreign aid should not be financed by taxpayers. Instead private donation should be encouraged by tax relief incentives

Imprisonment terms for serious crimes of violence or murder should be a minimum of 20 years

It is not for the state to tell me what to eat or drink unless it impacts directly upon the rights of other people

No environmental legislation should be countenanced without a detailed and well informed cost benefit analysis

There should be a regular and transparent audit of all government expenditure and officials who cannot provide a clear expenditure trail should be disciplined

Military personnel who enter combat zones should be guaranteed the best medical treatment and a lifetime pension of full pay if they are seriously injured and their families should be similarly looked after if they are killed

People who break the law should suffer considerable inconvenience and if they continue to break the law the consequences should not be pleasant

The so called “conservative” government of David Cameron and his metropolitan elite would sneer at me for being naive while emptying my pockets to fund their feelgood fantasies. Liberals and left wingers would call me a “fascist”.

Is there any political party rooted in the present and future rather than in an idealised past and untainted by racist intolerance that would find my list fit for purpose?

h/t for Prometheus

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19 August
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Moral Panics? At The BBC It’s What We Do…..

Obviously over the last few days the great and the good at the BBC have become rather unsettled as control over the urban mob violence and looting narrative began slipping through their fingers.

Shocked by the tsunami of contempt that hit them when they tried to frame the discussion in terms of “protestors”, poverty and/or race the Beeboids and their allies in the left wing media/academic cultural elite have been desperately searching for a way of regaining control of the issue by shifting the parameters of the debate.

The initial attempt was laughably unsubtle. Making much of a bevy of leading police officers, spearheaded by ACPOs big cheese Sir Hugh Orde, the aim was to portray the Cameron government as being out of touch. “Leave it to the boys in blue” became the watchword.

Unfortunately the evidence of a lack of leadership and control from the higher echelons at the Met over the first 2/3 days of mob rule in parts of London was so overwhelming that the utterances of Orde and Co. had a very hollow ring.

But, as David Vance at Biased BBC noted yesterday, a new editorial line had been adopted by the BBC suits and programmed into the robotic Sarah Montague as she fed the appropriate cues to the former Director of Public Prosecutions, Lord Macdonald, over sentences handed out to looters. Naturally he came back with the appropriate response – “a collective loss of proportion” This triggered Sarah’s circuitry and produced the key phrase we shall be hearing over and over again at this weekend’s North London dinner parties.

Moral panic.

It’s all out of proportion, you see. There’s no real threat but a lot of opportunists have jumped on this bandwagon to further their own political agenda.

Moral panics allegedly arise when an event is perceived as a threat to society and its values. Those who foment the panic are said to be motivated by a fear of losing control. They therefore attempt to channel potentially disruptive energy by portraying another person or group – “folk devils” – as more of a danger than they actually are. So the Sarah Montague/BBC line appears to be that Cameron is using the riots as an opportunity to demonise the disenfranchised and divert attention from his austerity drive and, strangely enough, that was the angle recently taken by The New York Times…..surprise, surprise….

Heavy stuff, indeed…

But wait a minute – “no real threat but a bandwagon to further an agenda”……”folk devils”…..that seems to ring a bell….

Rupert Murdoch, Anders Breivik, bankers, EDL, AGW deniers, Israelis – now there is a collection of folk devils for you, always presented as the symbols of dark forces ever ready to take us back to some Thatcherite nightmare away from sweetness and light.

Moral panics? At the BBC it’s what we do…..

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14 May
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Indiana Supreme Court Saying Magna Carta Isn’t Fit For Purpose About Freedom?

Bruce McQuain at Hot Air posted an eloquent and powerful deconstruction of a recent decision of the Indiana Supreme Court

Overturning a common law dating back to the English Magna Carta of 1215, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Hoosiers have no right to resist unlawful police entry into their homes.
The author of the story reporting this is right – somehow the ISC managed, in one fell swoop, to overturn almost 900 years of precedent, going back to the Magna Carta.
In a 3-2 decision, Justice Steven David writing for the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer’s entry. [emphasis mine]

Although Magna Carta (1215) did not stop subsequent medieval kings of England from sometimes acting in a coercive way it was important in that, for the first time, an English king signed a document publicly recognising that his powers were limited by the law.
Of course the barons and prelates who gathered on Runnymede to force King John to sign were mindful of their own privileges and had little concern for the ordinary folk. Nevertheless, from the 16th century, as the position of the commons in parliament became more influential, the rights enshrined in Magna Carta began to have greater resonance. By the time of the early 17th century, in the decades leading up to the English Civil War between King and Parliament the document had assumed a degree of symbolic significance far beyond the original intentions of the baronial clique that had authored it.

Most of the original clauses no longer remain statute law, having been replaced or updated as an adaption to changing circumstances but three clauses still remain as statutes, including this, probably one of the most stirring and majestic proclamations of freedom of all time – not because it burns with fierce oratory but it’s plain matter of fact bluntness in setting out the boundaries of executive authority

No freeman is to be taken or imprisoned or disseised of his free tenement or of his liberties or free customs, or outlawed or exiled or in any way ruined, nor will we go against such a man or send against him save by lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land. To no-one will we sell or deny of delay right or justice.

Perhaps a visit to Runnymede would give the justices of the Indiana Supreme Court an opportunity to reflect on the reason why the framers of the US constitution were men who had the imagery of Magna Carta burnt into their very souls…

Magna Carta memorial at Runnymede

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