Britblog roundup #167

Welcome to this week’s roundup of all that’s best in British blogging!

Sport

We start off with a sporting link from Norfolk Blogger: Why England didn’t qualify for Euro 2008. Here’s an excerpt:

A wall is not a difficult thing to kick. A wall does not move and is a pretty large target. What highlights our problems as a footballing nation is that Rio Ferdinand apparently missed the wall (presumably it jumped out of the way) and instead he kicked a female Chelsea steward.

History

We have a few posts relating to the reformation in one way or another…

Natalie Bennett has a post up about women’s lives during the dark ages, in particular about how women did work for the church. The late middle ages were a time when most people’s leisure and social activities (an many people’s working lives) were bound up with the church, and the reformation, which ended or modified a lot of these links, must have seemed a revolution at the time.

One thing that wasn’t killed off by the reformation was St George’s Day which this year for the first time ever was a bank holiday. Greenman and Diamond Geezer celebrate it in different ways.

Philip Wilkinson recently visited Launde Abbey in Leicestershire. During the reformation, when Henry VIII abolished the monastries, his henchman Thomas Cromwell bagged it for himself. Reminds me of Mugabe’s land seizures in Zimbabwe. Plus ça change…

Crime and punishment

PC Bloggs recounts the career of Judge Julian Hall who has made a number of questionable statements — although to be honest I thought most of the judge’s comments were reasonable — but not this one:

August 2007: Two years for a child rapist because she “dressed provocatively”. How provocative can a 10yr old really be?

I disagree with PC Bloggs when she says this:

March 2008: He jails a woman for a year who lied about a rape allegation. He also denounces her as “evil” and says she has let down “womankind”. Slightly different language than that used to describe the child rapists and pornographers he has discharged from his court on previous occasions, no?

The bit about letting down womankind is obviously absurd, since no one person can be held responsible for the reputation of the entire group of people with similarly-configured genitals as themselves. But anyone who makes false allegations is in my opinion committing a very serious crime, one at least as serious as the allegations they are making of others, because they are offending against the legal system itself.

Meanwhile, Bystander at The Magistrate’s Blog recounts this master criminal:

A man was stopped for money laundering after a dog detected a million of our English pounds in a bag that was on its way to the Middle East. So far, so average. But the smuggler had checked the bag in as hold baggage: given the combined track record of airport loaders and airport baggage handling systems (T5 anyone?) would you entrust a million quid, even a million dodgy quids, to airport check in?

Society

The British apparently care more about donkeys than abused women, says Louise Livesey, who notes the amounts given to different charities:

The 200 biggest charities working with abused women or campaigning against abuse received a total of £97 million funding (all sources). This is contrasted with £110 million for the RSPCA and £149 million for the Lifeboats.

The Thirteenth Carnival of Radical Feminists is up at Shut Up, Sit Down. One bit that caught my attention (though possibly not for the reason the author had in mind) was this:

There is nothing immoral about eating something that tastes good, even if it does become apparent that you’ve done so after the fact. There is nothing ethically unsound about nachos (they make vegan ones, you know). What’s ethically objectionable is harming your health and removing all the joy from your life in order to increase the number of Coors Light drinkers who want to pork you.

Quite right too! The ignominy of being lusted after by people with crap taste in beer!

Simon Bellwood writes about his whistle-blowing at Greenfields secure centre in Jersey.

Earthpal gets nostalgic about the teachers’ strike:

Yes, a real-life proper strike. How retro does that seem? Remember those glorious days of industrial action and picket lines and angry workers shoving placards into car windows and shouting things like scab! scab! at anyone who crossed the picket line . . . days of trade-union power and militant solidarity and passionate working class heroes?

Gavin Whenman writes about the OGC’s striking new logo. Personally I think the agency who designed it are a bunch of wankers.

Politics

Jim Jay is concerned that the BNP may win a seat or two in the London Assembly elections:

But it is the BNP who are the real threat here. With 5% of the vote the BNP could gain the highest profile political position that they’ve ever had but, worse, with a touch more they could win two seats on the assembly which would notonly be disastrous in the fight against fascism but could also have a significant impact on the direction the Assembly takes over the next four years.

However, fortunately the far-right vote may be split several ways:

In this sense it is very good news that the BNP have four main rivals for their detestable affections, not including the single issue anti-congestion charge grouping who may also steal some of the BNP’s potential vote.

Jonathan Calder has his Lord Bonkers column up.

Bill Jones notes that Gordon Brown has climbed down over the 10% tax band, but thinks he could have done it more gracefully:

Brown would have done better to admit that he just got it wrong rather than keep on that he had not reneged on his determination to abolish the 10p band. But the question remains, how come he missed the significance of the measure to 5.3 million of the poorest people in the country?

Ministry of Truth writes about the EU’s transnational regions. Yes, they are rather artificial and silly. No, they are not a sinister plot to abolish England.

And that’s all for this week! Hope you enjoyed it. Next week’s Britblog roundup will be by Jonathan Calder at Liberal England; nominations should go to the usual address, britblog at gmail dot com, unless you’re a spammer, in which case you should ritually disembowel yourself.

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11 Responses to Britblog roundup #167

  1. Pingback: Britblog Roundup # 167

  2. Pingback: Dodgeblogium » BOMS outta April

  3. john b says:

    I thought most of the judge’s comments were reasonable — but not this one: August 2007: Two years for a child rapist because she “dressed provocatively”. How provocative can a 10yr old really be?

    In that case, the court accepted that the girl looked like she was in her mid teens, that the defendant believed she was in her mid teens and that the ‘rape’ was statutory rather than non-consenting:

    “doctors who examined the girl believed she was in her mid-teens and she was treated by most people as older than her actual age.”

    The judge was then treated horrendously by the tabloids and the usual rentaquote merchants, who lied that he’d let off a chap who actually raped a girl he actually believed to be 10 because the girl was wearing skimpy clothes…

  4. Pingback: Britblog Roundup #167 Audio Podcast by Amused Cynicism | The Wardman Wire

  5. cabalamat says:

    the defendant believed she was in her mid teens and that the ‘rape’ was statutory rather than non-consenting

    If that was the case then it wasn’t rape, and calling it such is an abuse of the English language.

  6. john b says:

    It’s been the case for as long as we’ve had common law that having sexual contact with a child deemed too young to understand what’s going on (currently under the age of 13, although I think a very long time ago it was under the age of 10) is legally classed as ‘rape’.

  7. Jennie says:

    PC Bloggs is a girl, isn’t she?

  8. cabalamat says:

    PC Bloggs is a girl, isn’t she?

    Indeed she is. I fucked up.

  9. cabalamat says:

    John B: It’s been the case for as long as we’ve had common law that having sexual contact with a child deemed too young to understand what’s going on (currently under the age of 13, although I think a very long time ago it was under the age of 10) is legally classed as ‘rape’.

    I wasn’t aware of that. I thought that calling it “statutory rape” was an Americanism.

  10. john b says:

    The term is an Americanism, and America is different in that they refer to all underage sexual activity that way.

    You can kind-of see the point of the English rule in most cases – obviously if a five-year-old says “OK”, that hardly stops it from being rape – but it’s problematic in cases like this one. Particularly since, as the concept of statutory rape isn’t widespread in England, uninformed people reading about the case inevitably assume that it was forcible.

  11. cabalamat says:

    obviously if a five-year-old says “OK”, that hardly stops it from being rape – but it’s problematic in cases like this one. Particularly since, as the concept of statutory rape isn’t widespread in England, uninformed people reading about the case inevitably assume that it was forcible.

    There are there separate types of activity: (a) forcible sex, (b) consensual sex with uninformed consent, and (c) consensual sex with informed consent. It is confusing to use the same word for A and B, and someone is using the same word because they want to make the point that A and B are equally harmful, then it’s dishonest.

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