The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

Our Media Luvvies Do Get The Hots Over Violent Criminals. But Their Victims? Not So Much….

I watched the BBC’s take on the “Great Train Robbers” last night. The Telegraph dubbed it polished which it certainly was. But I can’t help agreeing with one of the comments.

For my money this show was more style than substance. Yes the filming, sets and score were immaculate but where was the script and believability? It sounded more like a 50’s Pinewood studio crime caper. The dialogue between the crooks was dire as if any of them ever spoke to each other in comic voice bubble language. As a consequence I found it very difficult to believe in them and it failed to add any depth to the plot and characters.

It was an excellent example of the geezer caper genre, but more “Italian Job” than “Get Carter” with the snappy one liners and lack of  atmospheric menace – and the production values were not always 100%….snow and leafless trees in August?

Presenting Bruce Reynolds as framing the blag as a symbolic strike against “The Establishment” was a laughable attempt to over egg the whole affair with retro sixties mythology. They were South London thieves, greedy, violent and preferring others to work hard so that they could then rob them of the fruits of their labour.

Robin Hoods they were not.

But then the romantic affair between media luvvies and violent criminals dates back to that very era of the sixties when the colour supplements began to glamourise the Krays.

Dan Hodges, I think, hit the nail on the head. During the “caper” the train driver, Jack Mills, and some of the postal staff were savagely beaten. Others were terrorised into compliance. But, of course, they weren’t chirpy geezers who were dreaming of opening a club or buying a villa in Spain. They were just ordinary anonymous faces who did the boring jobs that keep our society ticking over.

Tonight, the BBC will present the first of a two-part docudrama on the robbery. One, called the “Copper’s Tale”, focuses on the efforts of the police to catch the perpetrators of the crime. The second, “The Robber’s Tale”, shows things from the perspective of Biggs and his colleagues. I presume it was done that way in the interests of balance. I also suspect there will not be a third episode “The Railway Worker’s Tale”.

Amen to that, say I….

posted by david in BBC,Criminals,Film,media,Theatre,TV and have Comments Off on Our Media Luvvies Do Get The Hots Over Violent Criminals. But Their Victims? Not So Much….

These Are Not “Terrorists”…They Are Murderous Criminals….So Don’t Imply They Are Soldiers For A Cause…

You know, Dan Hannan makes an excellent point here

When we call a man a terrorist, we bestow a certain status on him. He ceases to be a common criminal, a violent narcissist, a drop-out. He becomes, instead, a man with a cause.

Bellicose young men, in all ages and nations, look for ideologies that justify their aggression. Sometimes, they latch on to an organisation that already exists – the Baader-Meinhof Gang, the IRA, al-Qaeda. Sometimes, as with Anders Behring Breivik or Seung-Hui Cho, they develop their own Weltanschauung – often in language so conceited and hackneyed that, in other
circumstances, it would be laughable.


Absolutely right. In the 1980s several  IRA prisoners in Northern Ireland, serving sentences for crimes of murder or aiding and abetting murder, went on hunger strike because they wanted to be granted the status of being called political prisoners. Maggie Thatcher faced them down – she knew that giving  them that status would immediately transform  them into enemy combatants, warriors to be treated with respect outside the battlefield because they were fighting for what they believed was a just cause. So she instructed that they were to be treated as criminals, men and women who  murdered, tortured, kidnapped and robbed law abiding citizens.

Equally do not inflate these murderers egos by describing their victims as being “executed” – that portrays the murder  as a killing sanctioned by higher law and acts as a useful psychological justification tool for those with murder on their mind.

Calling a “terrorist” a criminal  buttresses his own self belief that his gruesome deeds have some sort of moral dimension that takes him far above the child killers, wife beaters and gang enforcers who inhabit the other cells. Calling him a criminal would demean his actions .

The killers of Drummer Rigby in Woolwich were murderers not religious/political activists. The more often we spell that out the less likely shall we hear those weasel words

“Of course I cannot condone these killings BUT……..”

posted by david in Criminals,UK and have Comments Off on These Are Not “Terrorists”…They Are Murderous Criminals….So Don’t Imply They Are Soldiers For A Cause…

Will Cameron Really Defy European Judges Over Prisoners Being Allowed To Vote…Does He Actually Have A Spine?

Well he has said it

On Tuesday, Euro judges rode roughshod over the will of Parliament by upholding a 2004 ruling that Britain’s blanket ban on prisoner voting is unlawful. MPs had previously voted by an overwhelming 234 to 22 majority to keep the ban.
Yesterday Mr Cameron was asked in the Commons by DUP leader Nigel Dodds: ‘Will you give an undertaking that you will not succumb to the diktat from the European Court of Human Rights in relation to prisoners’ voting?
‘Will you stand up for the resolution that was passed in this House by an overwhelming majority and that you will stand up for the sovereignty of this House and the British people?’

Mr Cameron said yes.


Cue all the BBC and Guardian bleeding hearts to say how unhelpful this and surely Cameron could have a quiet chat with the ECHR and negotiate some form of weaselly compromise that would give European judges the green light to carry on dismantling our centuries old tradition of common law and parliamentary sovereignty. Cameron has let it be known that he will also defy any “punishment” issued by the ECHR (a stiff letter or maybe a fine) so he has really left himself no room for manoeuvre.

Trouble is he is not known for translating his verbal defiance of Europe into deeds…..remember his embarrassing retreat at a recent EU summit on the question of allowing the European courts to police any infringements of a future EU Fiscal Union? His original stance of open defiance was reduced to that pathetic “watching like a hawk” squeak.

Voting is a right and those who break the law and go to prison give up that right, no matter how many GCSEs or degrees they gain while inside.

Cameron is of the metro elite, a creature more at home with the chattering classes. His Euro scepticism is a sop to the right wing in his party who he secretly despises. But even he can see the growing appeal of UKIP so a bit of red meat thrown to the beasts has got to be par for the course.

Will he do it? We shall have to see – but if he doesn’t then I predict more Tory voters haemorrhaging to UKIP and the bell will be tolling for any hope Cameron might have of being Prime Minister in 2016…..

posted by david in EU,Europe,Law,Liberal/Left,Politics,UK,UK Politics and have Comments Off on Will Cameron Really Defy European Judges Over Prisoners Being Allowed To Vote…Does He Actually Have A Spine?

They Might Be The Toughest Drinkers In Britain But They Are Not The Worst Educated….

Pubs, by their very nature, can be lively, noisy, boisterous places especially as the evening moves on and the alcohol keeps flowing. Some, of course, because of their clientele, project an atmosphere of potential violence where a word or even a glance can generate a challenge. My father, who had been brought up in one of the tougher parts of South London and then, as a soldier, became a frequent patron of pubs throughout Britain and bars around the Mediterranean, took great pains, when I came of drinking age, to induct me into the self preservation strategies that allow a drinker to sense trouble a half minute or so before it breaks out and head towards the most appropriate exit.

So I doubt that, if I had lived in Bolton, I would have gone within a quarter mile of “The Flying Shuttle”, described by the Daily Mail as probably the “toughest pub” in Britain. It appeared to be open all the time, in defiance of the licensing laws, not because the landlord held an open house but simply because the bar staff were too frightened to call time. In the end it took thirteen police officers to close it down and even then there was a mini riot.

But in the midst of even the most terrifying indictment of human degradation something can sometimes sparkle through the darkest gloom. Although the patrons of the Shuttle appear to be a mixture of drug dealers, thieves, gangsters and whores there is at least one person who seems to have not only a rather dry sense of self deprecating humour but also (very rare amongst the denizens of our underclass) a grasp of the English language and an ability to spell…….for he or she could turn The Flying Shuttle

….into The Lying Slut

What’s that sound? It’s Will Shakespeare chuckling up there in the big library in the sky……

h/t UK Daily Mail

posted by david in Criminals,Education,Food & Drink,UK and have Comments Off on They Might Be The Toughest Drinkers In Britain But They Are Not The Worst Educated….

Hobbesian Britain In The 21st Century…

His girl friend compained that he hadn’t made any garlic bread – so he killed her, stabbing her 30 times.

A man was on the edge of a tower block balcony threatening to jump. Neighbours and police were trying to persuade him to get back but below a crowd gathered shouting “Jump”…they got their wish.

This woman was having a night out with friends and family when she was groped by some guy as she walked across the pub. She slapped his face. He smashed her in the face with a glass, leaving one of her eyes permanently damaged.

A couple were at home when they received a call inviting them to a torture party. They joined in the physical abuse of a young man and enjoyed it so much they invited everyone to take him to their house to make his life even more miserable.

No doubt the BBC/Guardian would blame it on THE CUTS – but old Tom Hobbes would have had a different view of a world where morality is mocked and law is absent from the streets…

no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

posted by david in Criminals,Law,Morality,UK and have Comments Off on Hobbesian Britain In The 21st Century…

Welcome To The Organ Bazaar – Lahore, Kidney Capital Of The World…

Just a few days ago in the Pakistan city of Lahore Muhammad Riaz was feeling very depressed. A very friendly and concerned stranger asked him why he was so unhappy. Mr Riaz told him that with no regular income he was desperate for money.

Don’t worry, the man said, I can fix you up with 110,000 Rupees (about £800) by this evening – and all you have to do is sell one of your kidneys to a wealthy Arab. He is ill, but your kidney will save him, you will still have your other kidney plus about four times what you could earn in a year by doing various odd jobs.

To Mr Riaz that was an almost unimaginable sum of money so he followed the man to a house in Street No 6 Block-A of Al-Faisal Town where he was told to lie down on a stretcher while a doctor made preparations for the transplant operation.

But Mr Riaz began to have second thoughts and, just as the doctor was about to inject him he broke free, ran out of the house and sought assistance from passers –by.

Such were the details presented by police to a magistrate who decided there was a case to answer and remanded two doctors and five other men in custody for further investigation. One of the doctors, however, was not very happy. He said the house was not used for organ transplants but merely as a free clinic for poor people. Moreover he claimed that he was beaten up by one of the police officers and told that if he passed over R700,000 the case would be “forgotten”

Who was telling the truth? Police in Pakistan, like police in many other countries, are not averse to a bit of intimidation and bribery. But Lahore has become a major organ bazaar as thousands of poverty stricken locals are driven to sell bits of their bodies to keep the rest of themselves alive – and there is no shortage of customers for these body parts from wealthy families in every continent. Waiting for a legal above board donation can be frustrating and in countries like China, Egypt and Pakistan there is a ready made medical mafia willing and eager to trouser big bucks for no questions asked medical procedures.

Charging the patient £20,000 and paying the “donor” £800 certainly equals a juicy profit margin though part of that might have to be passed to corrupt police officers – the traffic was recently made illegal after a public hue and cry. However passing a law in Pakistan does not guarantee enforcement in what many believe to be a failing state.

The donors are, like Mr Riaz, from the poorest levels of society – usually Punjabi bonded labourers faced with a lifetime of debt. Just as with the drugs cartels in Mexico whenever there is a demand there will always be supply.

And of course there is always a more chilling dimension to the supply side. A donor can survive with only one kidney but there is also a demand for transplanting other organs – and a child with no family could offer a rich harvest for ruthless and greedy criminals with no soul…..

H/T to Pakistan press: Dawn, Express Tribune, Daily Times

posted by david in Law,Medical,Pakistan and have Comments Off on Welcome To The Organ Bazaar – Lahore, Kidney Capital Of The World…

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