28 March 2007

Nest-featherers feather nests

The large police service for which I slave away for (sorry, work hard for - how un-PC of me! Oops!) has said that we all have to wind our necks in when we are blog, if we REALLY feel we have to.
I've paraphrased this of course. And yes, I do really have to.
We also mustn't be nasty or political or reference any cases (well duh for that last point! Some of my best stories are awaiting a suitable time period to have elapsed so as further to sanitise them...). However, political is one of those deliciously fuzzily-defined words and I choose to adhere to the (lawful? really?) curtailment of my speech on political grounds by empirically slagging off all idiots, cross-party, with no political bias whatsowhatso. I hate 'em all. They are all equally inept.
Their latest fiddle (whilst Rome's housing estates, healthcare and criminal justice systems all burn) is to vote THEMSELVES a lovely big pay-rise. Not an overt payrisey sort of payrise, that they'd have to quote openly on the "Nest-feathering" section of their websites (of which more later), but a quieter, harder-to-find benefit.
Firstly, last December, some of them reportedly wrote to their Senior Salaries Review Board to request, cap-in-hand a meagre and humble 66% payrise. What? A WHAT? Yup, a SIXTY-SIX PER CENT PAY RISE. Even quality newspapers like the Torygraph (oops again, perhaps some political bias might be evident there...) I mean Telegraph, report that during 2006 MPs' renumeration in its various forms rose by £13m. Again, yes that's right THIRTEEN MILLION POUNDS - about $25m for any US readers - whipped from our taxes.
The year before that, they had their snouts in the trough looking for 22% for themselves. Now the poor underpaid lambs want a further £10,000 per year towards their websites??! The darlings are only on a measley £60k average. Oh yeah, there's the small matter of (averaged) £131k each and the numerous directorships, heavily subsidised cafés, heavily subsidised BARS, their spiffy pensions. In fact, ever wondered why so many UK politicians are so fat? If you've ever been to one of their canteens (as I have) you'll understand - you'd run out of intestinal volume long before you ran out of money. Some of the many benefits they receive are listed here; in case that's a subjective source, go to their own site, here (and references therein). If they are also a member of a devolved parliament they receive an EXTRA £11k - 18k on top of their £60k (just to pi55 off the English!).
Police had to fight and go to arbitration this year to get a mean 3% - bodes ill for next year when we'll have a real fight on.
Nurses have just received a sub-inflationary pay rise of 1.9% per year.
But then they can't vote for their own pay rises, can they?

26 March 2007

Denial - it's not....

... big and it's not clever (hands up who thought I was going for the "river in Egypt" line?) [oh, wait, I kinda just did]
Apparently another of our glorious Home Office leaders, Baroness Scotland, has decided that there is no such specific thing as "black-on-black" violence and that gun crime is no more a young-black-male thing than a young-white-male thing. The data, apparently, do not support this being disproportionate to one ethnic group over another.
So why then do we have a large, handsomely-budgeted operation running to combat such crime? Why do Baroness Amos (another senior black female peer) Trevor Phillips (erstwhile commissioner of the Commission for Racial Equality, now the chair of the Commission for Equality & Human Rights) and Lee Jasper (London Mayor's police advisor) as well as the combined tactical brains of the Met Police all think that it DOES exist? Even Diane Abbott agrees on this one!!
Somebody is being disingenuous, but who (or just plain old-fashioned "wrong")?
Does Ma'am Scotland think that young black men are neither disproportionately the victims of gun crime, or is it just the shooting and not the victimhood that we are expected to deny for the sake of the Newspeak endemic in our, increasingly Orwellian society?
The implication of all this was that it is racist to suggest that young black men are more involved in gun crime than other groups. But why stop there? After all, no-one's saying that young black women are going around shooting people [sexist]. And why not deny other things just in case there's some perceived racial or ethnic bias? Perhaps it wasn't actually mainly white people who enslaved Africans 200 years ago - after all, the majority of white people 200 years ago were not any part of the slave trade, and whilst they probably on the whole didn't have lives quite as crappy as black slaves did, they certainly weren't all living on a cloud eating ambrosia either. So why pick on white people, or British people for that one?
Perhaps, in the 70s and 80s, Irish terrorism wasn't really committed by or on behalf of Irish people either. Perhaps the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor (sic) wasn't really carried out by the Japanese [racist], just by some random people who happened to be living in the Japan area at that time.
I am NOT claiming any moral equivalence here, by the way, just pointing out that sometimes, however distasteful, we might have to recognise that if it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, has big flappy feet, a large bill, says "quack" and swims rather well, it is - in all likelihood - a bloody duck.
If young black men are really disproportionately victims of gun crime, and it's okay to point that out (and probably, thinking about it, institutionally racist to ignore and not try to tackle) then can we acknowledge too that some of these young lads are also disproportionately doing this sort of crime without the bony finger of racism being pointed our way?
Or if, in fact, this is not the case at all, we should surely, morally, be disbanding Operation Trident and its like and using the money elsewhere?
PC "Ducky" Bitseach.

05 March 2007

World's cutest

Sorry, I know this will ruin my reputation, as this post is neither very grumpy nor about coppering, but I saw this on the BBC news web-site last night and it is THE CUTEST picture I think I've ever seen (apart from those of my pets of course!)

My views are my own and would probably not endear me to my dear employers.