The world is going through a troubled time at the moment, for sure. And part of the problem is the somewhat abrupt, not to say discourteous, nature of exchanges between offenders and the police in the United States. Things, it seems, go rather along the following lines:
SUSPECT: [ATTEMPTING TO FLEE] Fuck you, pigs!
[BANG. SUSPECT FALLS TO THE GROUND, SHOT DEAD]
The statistics on this topic, which are somewhat shaky, suggest that the police in the United States more frequently kill unarmed white suspects than unarmed black suspects, but we do want to upset people who already frothing with moral outrage, and so we are not going there. Instead, let’s look across the pond, where a different sort of regime applies. In the above circumstances, the police in the UK are unlikely to shoot the suspect dead, but instead the suspect is, more or less willingly, brought to the police station, where something like the following ensues, as it might be Continue reading
It is been a hell of a week. But at least I have woken up to some things I didn’t know before, thanks to some brave campaigners.
Thanks to these guys, protesting at Downing Street in London, I’ve woken up to the realisation that it was Boris Johnson who got a sadistic American policeman to kneel on the neck of an Afro-American suspect long enough to kill him. Until now, I had naïvely thought it was really nothing to do with the UK government at all. Continue reading
Early in the last century, there was a regrettable passion for two-tone shoes. Rightly derided by the discerning, they nevertheless insinuated themselves into 20thcentury culture.
And what was the result? I will tell you what the result was. It was totalitarianism, and the rise of the National Socialist Party in Germany. Which was a bad thing. You might remark that another result was the rise of communism, but if you will forgive the exercise of the vulgar expression, these are but different ends of the same turd.
And now it’s back. We see it in shirts, where there is a fashion for the insides of collars and cuffs to be made from a fabric different from the main body of the shirt. And in two-tone socks. And in those suits where the buttonholes are made with red fabric, like miniature swastikas. So should we expect the same results over again?
There are signs of it. Millions of people have become willing, like sheep, to submit to the will of governments and NGOs who increasingly want to dictate what we may think, what we may say, and where we may go (if anywhere). Do not tell me, if you please, that Continue reading
Miley Cyrus on stage
Sex has become the cuckoo in the nest of the criminal law.
It used to be the case that the criminal law was principally concerned with two things: violence and property. Obviously enough, citizens want to live their lives feeling protected against the risks that they will hurt, or even killed, by others, or that they will have their property taken away from them by robbery, theft or fraud.
Sex has traditionally had a much smaller part to play. For sure, rape has long been a crime, but in large degree, rape has been seen as a subset of violence. Rape is not even contrary to the 10 Commandments. Having sex with people of the same gender, with children or with animals has sometimes been prosecuted, and sometimes not. But, on the whole, both the police and the courts have concerned themselves much more with offences against the person and offences against property.
But now, sex is everywhere in the criminal law, in ways which would appear utterly bizarre to the majority of civilised people, in different places and in different times. It is not so much the actual act of having sex which has been criminalised, but rather a raft of activities peripherally connected with sex.
It used to be okay to prefer to hire Continue reading
My eye was caught by this in The Times today:
Q My partner is a fitness fanatic and she only ever wants to have sex after a workout. It’s great when our endorphins are racing and we’re a bit sweaty, but sometimes I would like it to be after a romantic dinner, like a normal couple. Why doesn’t she fancy me at any other time?
A There are lots of physiological explanations for why your girlfriend likes having sex after a workout. Vigorous exercise releases endorphins, chemicals that act on the brain to block pain and create feelings of exhilaration, happiness and calm. Exercise also increases blood flow to the pelvis and the vagina. If your girlfriend is doing a lot of core exercises, such as squats, leg lifts or planks, she may be in a heightened state of arousal by the time she gets home. It’s not uncommon for exercise sequences that place a lot of pressure on the lower abdomen, hip flexors and inner thighs to bring some women close to (or even spontaneously to) orgasm.
I have never had a Continue reading
So much for the Project Fear line about a clean Brexit (“crashing out” as they melodramatically call it) meaning no aeroplanes will be able to fly across The Channel: the EU says:
The Commission has today adopted two measures that will avoid full interruption of air traffic between the EU and the UK in the event of no deal. These measures will only ensure basic connectivity and in no means replicate the significant advantages of membership of the Single European Sky. This is subject to the UK conferring equivalent rights to EU air carriers, as well as the UK ensuring conditions of fair competition.
- A proposal for a Regulation to ensure temporarily (for 12 months) the provision of certain air services between the UK and the EU.
- A proposal for a Regulation to extend temporarily (for 9 months) the validity of certain aviation safety licences.
So, sensibly, the EU says it will allow UK planes in the EU if the UK allows EU planes in the UK. Good. The UK should say the same; indeed, it has already done so. But never mind too much about what they say they will do; the proper reaction is according to what they actually do.
But who is “they”? The EU? Or each EU country?
There is something to be said for the later. Air France, for example, flies between London and Edinburgh. Should the UK continue to allow it to do so? That should depend, I suggest, on whether France allows British Airways to fly from Paris to Lyon. It is in everyone’s interest for the answer to be Continue reading
Photo by Kara Murphy
Am I alone in think that there is really something rather cruel about fishing?
Think of it from the fish’s point of view, There you are, quieting going about your business, enjoying a spot of lunch. Then suddenly – BAM! – something the size of a ship’s anchor and as sharp as a kitchen knife is embedded in your upper jaw. It is excruciatingly painful, of course, and it is barbed, so there is no escape.
This thing – the worst thing that has ever happened to you – is attached to a line, and the line gets pulled. It drives the barbed hook yet further into your jaw. You might fight, perhaps for as much as half-an-hour, but there is no escape. Relentlessly, you are pulled up and up until you hit a toxic environment where you cannot breathe.
Here is where luck cuts in. A few things might happen Continue reading
A dishwasher is a good thing. It washes dishes much more efficiently and effectively that we could do by hand.
So why do we feel a mild resentment about the task of emptying it?
Anne Marie Morris, the MP for Newton Abbot in Devon, has been disciplined for saying, in the context of a discussion about Brexit:
Now I’m sure there will be many people who’ll challenge that, but my response and my request is look at the detail, it isn’t all doom and gloom. Now we get to the real nigger in the woodpile, which is, in two years what happens if there is no deal?
Well, the American expression “nigger in the woodpile” (meaning an important issue that is being overlooked) is somewhat antique, and probably best avoided in public speech. But it is really less offensive than many other epithets that are regularly thrown around, like imperialist pig, pakeha, bog-trotter, breeder, red-neck and Continue reading
Happily, Sweden has just dropped its nonsensical rape charges against Julian Assange. JA should now be able to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
The Metropolitan Police say:
Whilst Mr Assange was wanted on a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) for an extremely serious offence, the MPS response reflected the serious nature of that crime. Now that the situation has changed and the Swedish authorities have discontinued their investigation into that matter, Mr Assange remains wanted for a much less serious offence. The MPS will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence.
So, he still has to answer for jumping bail. But no more risk now, it seems, of being sent to Sweden, which has a terrible record of “extraordinary rendition” to the USA. Hopefully, there will be a decent street party for him when he comes out.
The end of a disgraceful chapter in Sweden’s history.
There will be no party, presumably, for his one-night stand Anna Continue reading