A small step in the right direction.


Decommissioning of the information contained on the database will begin at noon on Friday

No comment required. Obviously, they are going to investigate, and I’m sure if there was any wrong doing, it will all be properly sorted out.


Bit like it was for Ian Tomlinson, eh?


Police – out of control. Elected Police Chiefs with real power NOW!

Don’t believe a word of it. It’s all Daily Mail propaganda.

Oh, hang on…… (emphasis mine)

However, Google brought my attention to Nick Starling, an Iraq war veteran who despite no doubt being brave, clearly has the sort political policies most ordinary people would run and hide from.

Right. SO, this guy is some kind of KKK nutter, or something, yes? Erm, no;

Less government
Lower Taxes
Free markets
The economic principle of incentives versus constraints

Are we really saying that most people want to pay more tax, have even more government, centrally planned markets, and constraint over incentive? Me thinks not….

Now, I don’t agree with Nick’s (the American one, not the petulant school teacher one) assessment of Iraq / Afghanistan, but the rest of it looks spot on. I’d hate to be an individual in Nich’s class*, being told that wanting to be left alone, or pay less taxes was ‘not normal’, especially if that dude was a Liberal Demcocrat. I can feel mt teenage blood boiling.




* actually, precisely because of teachers with opinions like Norfolk Blogger, I despised school. Every single moment of it. If you didn’t follow the centre left consensus, you were a ‘Tory’. When you argued otherwise, and tied your English teacher in metaphoric knots, it suddenly wen’t from sitting cross legged in front of the class saying ‘let’s discuss’, to being red faced and angry and threatening petulant 14 year olds with expulsion for making you look like a Guardian reading, ill informed, tit. Apart from Economics, where I had one of the best teachers in the world. I couldn’t understand why he was a member of the SDP / Liberal alliance. All of the other Fibbers I had met were arrogant Social Democrats with Volvos. Looking back, I know realise he was one of the few proper (i.e. classical) liberals left in the old Liberal Party. It’s a shame he is dead now, as I would like to return and shake his hand. ‘The problem with you, Harry, is that you are a bit of an anarchist. You are also exceedingly lazy’. Although I hadn’t a clue what that meant as a 14 year old ~ guilty as charged!

That the minimum wage damages the work prospects of the least skilled is simple economics. Every person’s labour has value ~ a surgeon can command a higher wage than a warehouse picker, and so on. Clearly, setting a minimum wage that two parties can agree on for a job as ‘x’ instantly condemns those who’s market worth is less than ‘x’ to a life of benefits. External training may alleviate this, but most training and skill enhancement that is valued by employers is achieved on the job, as it were. Todays picker becomes tomorrows shift leader, next years supervisor, manager, etc. Pricing the least skilled out off a chance of the first foot on this ladder has is consequences.

These people are, to a large extent, invisible. The benefits system is so complex and clumber some, with such incredible marginal withdrawal rates that I suspect that many on long term benefits aren’t aware how unemployable the minimum wage has made them. Sure, they know that they can’t walk into a job that would make working worthwhile, but they probably don’t know that a minimum wage job is out of their reach ~ minimum wage jobs that give them an extra £5 a week for 40 hours work make no sense at all (your bus fare would wipe that out) so they seldom apply.

Now, let us assume that IDS actually manages to come up with a simplified benefits system that doesn’t punish people for working. Suddenly, it would be worth doing that part time cleaning job, a bit of casual sweeping in a builders yard, etc. Then, horror of horrors, some people are going to find that the minimum wage has priced them out of a job. They can’t say to the gaffer ‘give us a months trial on £3 an hour, and if you’re happy take me on at £5’, because that would be illegal.

Could we see the minimum wage issue being debated again? At the moment, to oppose it has one caricatured as some kind of Victorian Villain, sending children up chimneys and down pipes for a penny a day. However, if the people the minimum wage was designed to protect find it is preventing them entering the workplace, the debate may be very different indeed.

I was going to write something on this subject when Iain Dale posted this article on his blog, but walked away and calmed down a bit.

I’m sorry, Iain, but you are so totally wrong on this subject it hurts. We don’t have the death penalty in this country, thankfully, even for appalling crimes such as those of Ian Huntley. If found guilty, we put the convicted in prison, often for the rest of their lives. Note, that is the punishment, and it occurs only after one has been found guilty by a jury, and sentenced by a judge who has heard both the prosecution and defence witnesses and evidence.

We do no throw people to lions anymore. We lock them up.

So like it or not, Huntley’s punishment doesn’t extend to allowing other convicted criminals to hand out summary justice in the form of boiling water and razor blades. When calculating a sentence, the Judge doesn’t think ‘Mmmmm, I’ll give the perv ‘x’ years, that statistically should see him recieve ‘y’ amounts of random violence from other inmates’.

Thus, the Prison Service do indeed have a duty of care to Huntley. They obviously may have failed in this respect, and like everyone else, he has a right to challenge this in court, which is the correct place to decide if there have been any failings, not on the front pages of tabloids and reactionary Tory blogs. Take the following, for example;

I suspect many people would award a medal to the man who slit Huntley’s throat. Did prison officers turn a blind eye? Perhaps. If so, who would blame them?

Now, if you are of the opinion that he ‘deserved it’ and ‘had it coming’, then if you believe in innocent until proven guilty, your only option is to argue for a return to capital punishment, branding, or some such, after a jury trial. I find it obscene that one could cheer from the sidelines at the possibility that prison officers were turning a blind eye while other criminals carried out a serious assault.

Yes, Huntley is a sick, twisted individual. Yes, his crimes were deeply upsetting, ruined many lives and robbed two children of their futures. For this, he should spend the rest of his life behind bars, not on the torture racks of other similarly unpleasant individuals.

Weekend tunes

Nothing to post today, so I’ll wimp out and drop you a tune.


I don’t care what the words of this song mean or signify, I’ve no clue. I do know that I was hopelessly in love with Harriet Wheeler, from afar you understand, and although that they were oft regarded as the wimpy, commercial end of indie music at the time ~ not something a Spaceman Three fan would admit to his friends, I loved Reading, Writing & Arithmetic to bits.

I got laid to this album on more than one occasion. What’s not to like?

“This was very black and white: Two of your officers who, despite the fact that I know you have given them guidelines because I have a copy of it, who totally disregarded them and were either so completely ignorant of the law, or decided to ignore the law – they were just going to say they knew the law better than the person they were talking to – they were very seriously intimidating. I find it quite worrying that I don’t think you are taking this quite as seriously as I think you should be.”

Anna Raccoon is right. If indeed he cannot ‘..guarantee photography guidelines will be rightly interpreted’, one of the following must happen.

  1. He should stand down, and be replaced with someone who will guarantee that officers will be sufficiently knowledgeable of the law, and be able to demonstrate a level of sufficient self discipline to respect that law, or
  2. Officers who continue to illegally harass innocent people should be sacked and replaced by those who don’t.


It isn’t difficult. Of course, if we had elected police commissioners, instead of ACPO protected bureaucrats, then the pressure to do this would increase.
Update ~ It appears that we can add ‘Rail Enforcement Officers’ to the list of petty thugs who like to intimidate and illegally detain innocent photographers. Jolly good.