Saturday, October 29, 2011

Police and the Frailty of Truth

"Britain's most senior police officer," (Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan police commissioner) "has defended the practice of undercover officers using fake identities in court."

He claimed, when he appeared before the Metropolitan Police Authority, that "there's no law that says it can't happen."

That was, according to Lord Macdonald, a former Director of Public Prosecutions, "a bold assertion."

It is stupendously, horrifyingly, cretinously, unbelievable that a senior police officer can suggest for a moment that committing perjury in open court is OK if you happen to be a policeman.

And this amazing statement was not made headline news by the supine, stupid, lazy, wicked people who run our newspapers and other media.

I did not see it mentioned in Metro, the Evening Standard or on the news on Radio 4 or BBC tv. I only found out about it from the Guardian (28th. October, main section, page 8).

Even the Guardian did not put this most revealing comment on the front page.

What's wrong with people now?

Don't they see the creeping corruption that is infecting and has infected our society?

To assert that dishonest police behaviour, if tolerated and authorised by senior police officers, should also be tolerated by the courts, means that ALL our standards have gone down the path of dishonesty well trodden by the fat cats of the city and British industry, where bosses' salaries have risen hugely in the past few years while ordinary workers salaries have been rigidly controlled or even diminished.

Is that the country we all want to live in?

I don't understand why it is so difficult to shout these simple truths from the roof tops and get people to listen.

Morality is important.

Lying is wrong.

Greed is not good, it is intolerable and the invidious distribution of wealth in our society will be paid back in blood.

Probably soon.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Protests at St. Paul's

St. Paul was a tent-maker.

St. Paul's Cathedral, in the heart of the City of London, is currently surrounded by tents occupied by protesters opposed to capitalism and the greedy excesses of capitalism which the City now represents.

"Greed is good," said the (fictional) icon, Gordon Gekko, in a movie made in the '80s.

It seems otherwise now, as Western capitalism starts to collapse in upon itself like a dying star.

The cathedral has been closed "for health and safety reasons" for the last week. The police are about to be called in to evict the tent-dwellers by force.

It is sad, says the Canon Chancellor of St. Paul's, who has resigned from his post on this issue, that the protesters "came to occupy the Stock Exchange but ended by closing a cathedral."

But what do the protesters want? What are their demands? What answers do they propose?

"Answers?" wrote an anonymous commentator on the Guardian's internet column. "They barely have questions."

"Why should they have all the answers," retorted another, "There is no such thing as all the answers."

"It's pretty obvious what people want first off," wrote a third. "To show how damn angry and frustrated they are with the status quo and how much they want change. It will take a long time, longer even than a winter's camping on St. Paul's cobbles, but this is as good a place to start as any."

(Sources: Guardian 29th. October, G2 p. 15 and main section interview.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Britain is best .... but at what?

UK has 'worst quality of life in Europe'

Survey of 10 developed European countries puts UK at bottom of the pile due to high costs of living, while France takes top spot

Mark King
Thursday September 29 2011
The Guardian

The UK has been named the worst place to live in Europe for quality of life, behind countries with damaged economies such as Ireland and Italy, according to the latest uSwitch [" title="uSwitch website] quality of life index.

The UK emerged as having the second lowest hours of sunshine a year, the fourth highest retirement age, and the third lowest spend on health as a percentage of GDP.

Despite above average household income ? the fourth highest in Europe ? Britons have 5.5 fewer days holiday a year than the European average and endure a below average government spend on education.

UK households also struggle with a high cost of living, with food and diesel prices the highest in Europe, and unleaded petrol, alcohol and cigarettes all costing more than the European average.

As a result, more than one in 10 Britons (12%) said they are "seriously considering" emigrating, with "broken society" the biggest concern for 59% of those questioned, followed by the cost of living (49%), and crime and violence (47%). Just 5% of those questioned are happy in the UK.

(A later report, a few days later, from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, seemed to suggest the opposite of this, that Britain was rather popular with its inhabitants, but few details were published and they did not seem very convincing. When I tried to look up the report on the OECD's web-site, I could not find any mention of it. Did it ever exist? Was the newspaper 'story' about it just that, a story?)