Welcome to edition 242 of Britblog Roundup, the weekly summary of all that’s best in British blogging.
This week’s big story is Roman Polanski. It would appear that men who rape thirteen year old girls are not universally popular among British bloggers. Here’s the Heresiarch:
For more than thirty years, the paedophile Roman Polanski has been a fugitive from justice. The vile crime of which he was accused, and for which there is abundant evidence of his guilt, involved the drugging and rape of a thirteen year old girl. He also photographed her topless – which today would be enough in itself to have him sent to prison.
Juliette is not a fan of Polanski’s supporters:
As far as I can tell, just about everything that’s being written in his defence has the strong (and rather alarming) implication that he should be alllowed to get away with his old crime because he’s a very talented film maker responsible for Rosemary’s Baby, Repulsion, Chinatown and The Pianist.
Apparently, for some people – you may call them ‘pretentious cocksuckers’, I could not possibly comment – this oevre should act like a get-out-of-jail-free card entitling their creator to drug and anally rape one thirteen year old girl.
Slummy Mummy agrees:
Apparently Mr.Polanski belongs to a set where the same rules dont apply. His artistic genius, his survival of the holocaust, and the tragic loss of his wife- means that he apparently has carte blanche, to do as he pleases. If Mr.Weinstein and Mr.Polanski, and their friends, donot view the drugging and raping of a child as a crime, the only question I have, is -at what income level, level of celebrity, level of connection, do you just get to bring children to the homes of your friends, and rape them, and it become just a perk?
Kate Smurthwaite takes the same line:
Instead several papers have pieces claiming that while he was guilty he should not be brought to justice because (1) he makes great films, (2) he has experienced other suffering in his life or (3) because he has paid for his crimes by living overseas for many years to avoid prison.
If any of these are to hold any weight someone needs to clarify exactly what the exchange rate is:
(1) Can I punch someone of my choosing without punishment given that my Edinburgh show got a five-star review?
(2) Can I punch someone of my choosing without punishment given that I had an eating disorder in my teens?
(3) Can I punch someone of my choosing without punishment as long as I take two weeks holiday in the south of France straight afterwards?
He is treated in exactly the same way as any other Pleb that happens to be a Paedophile. “But he is a Poet/Artist/Haiku Writing Motherfucker” they say. The Egalite part of Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite doesn’t apply to him, he’s a creative. Apparently if you’re French, having a job playing Dress up and pretend means the law doesn’t apply to you.
Charlotte Gore is sceptical of the government’s policy announcement on teenage mothers:
It’s been decreed that should you find yourself with child you’ve got four choices. Make sure you, your boyfriend or your parents are financially able to deal with a baby, have an abortion, give the baby up for adoption or if none of those three options suit you can now go into supervised communal housing for other menaces to society. They’re not Poorhouses, though. They’re New Poorhouses, which will be clean and basically like a giant live-in Sure start centre providing valuable employment opportunities for social workers and lots of other people with ‘outreach’ in their job title.
And Susan Press writes:
The very idea of “correcting” the behaviour of young mothers by putting them into some sort of supervised housing is worrying and nastily authoritarian, too. Punishing girls for getting pregnant is the kind of mentality which in Ireland saw them banged up with nuns and lectured on their immoral behaviour. Still, at least Gordon isn’t proposing to give the babies away.
Natalie Bennett reviews a performance of Macbeth:
I’ve seen Macbeth in many guises: there was a space-age one set on a rocket in Sydney decades ago, a traditional production at the Sydney Opera House that used so much dry ice we nearly choked in the front row, and a terribly faithful in costume work set in the trenches of the Great War effort in London some years ago.
But I’ve never seen a Macbeth set in Depression-era America that started with a dance competition. There may be a reason for that – it just doesn’t quite work. Yes, there are a lot of plays at the moment dealing with the banking crash, the economic crisis et al, but trying to turn Shakespeare’s dramatic masterpiece to that subject really isn’t going to fly.
Philip Booth talks wind turbines in Stroud:
Ecotricity say they are kicking off the energy debate in the Stroud District by pushing for 50% of our energy needs to come from clean, green energy from wind turbines right here in Stroud.
Earthenwitch discusses October.
Leg Iron sees no point in the proposed law banning drinking in public:
We’ve had this in Aberdeen for quite some time. Drinking in the street or in the park was banned long before smoking in pubs was banned. You can take a drink outside a pub as long as you are on pub property, a beer garden or other area that belongs solely to the pub. Most city centre pubs don’t have such areas
So why do we need this law? Police already have the power to arrest anyone who’s causing a nuisance by throwing bottles around or shouting at strangers. Police can arrest anyone urinating in public. Why do they need the power to arrest someone freezing their most treasured appendages off at a bus stop, and who mitigates the pain with a swig of brandy from a hip flask? We already have laws against causing a public nuisance, whether drunk or not. Nobody really needs this no-drinking-at-all law.
Letters From A Tory writes to the Prime Minister of Poland:
The Daily Mail here in the UK would love your approach to sex offenders and I daresay our electorate might be broadly supportive too. Getting into a strop about human rights is all well and good but releasing dangerous people from prison fully in the knowledge that they pose a risk to others, particularly children, is surely not tenable. If we can do something to reduce that risk as part of their rehabilitation programme, I see no reason to stand in its way.
Diamond Geezer tries his hand at Eastenders scriptwriting:
Scene 1: The Queen Vic (interior)
Boris: Hail thee serving wench, a pint of your finest fermented barley please.
Peggy: You what?
Boris: Intoxicant from the Bacchanalian vine, the enchanted fruits of Dionysus, quod erat demonstrandum.
Peggy: Don’t you come swanning in off the street with your fancy language, young man.
Boris: I’m sorry, am I not in leafy Richmond, home to the cultured and the highly educated?
Peggy: Nah mate, this is bloody Walford innit.
Boris: Dammit. OK, I’ll just have a pint of Pimms and be off.
Kate Smurthwaite discusses how “charity” can shortcurcuit one’s critical faculties:
So Guy Laliberte, the founder of Cirque du Soleil is going to go to the International Space Station as a space tourist. That I can live with. He’s going to do a show about it too. Again I get it. What I don’t get is the bit where he says he’s doing it to raise awareness about the problems of access to clean water for people worldwide. Is this the ultimate expression of the now exhausted theme of “going on holiday for charity”? I
Feminist Avatar discusses patriarchy:
Patriarchy is not exercised directly by men over women, but indirectly through our involvement in social structures- the way we talk to each other, what we mean when we think ‘woman’ or ‘man’ in our heads, our legal system and governance, social customs, traditions and formal institutions like education and religion. Patriarchy is a social system which is built on the concept of gender difference and that gender difference should determine how we think about each other, what our role is in society, and what people get to exercise power.
Illustrated by example: Last week, I pointed out the rather large discrepancy in sentencing between men and women who killed their children. So, how does this happen? Did the judge (male or female) just hate women and want to punish them? This is unlikely. In fact, s/he probably thought s/he was responding to the crime appropriately. But subconsicously, when confronted with a woman who killed her child s/he probably had a thought that went: women = mother> mothers protect, nurture children> this woman killed children =heinous. The judge sentencing the men thought: men + violence = normal masculinity > men killed children = within the boundaries of normal masculinity= standard sentencing. The gender of the criminal had a differential impact on how the same crime was viewed, resulting in different sentencing.
Juliette is not a big fan of Sarah Brown:
When it comes to Sarah Brown, I’ve never quite bought into the ‘loveable Everywoman and people’s sweetheart’ image. Admittedly, she’s more likeable than Cherie Blair, but let’s not get carried away here. The same could be said for virtually any bint on earth, up to and including Rosemary West.
Charles Crawford looks at iPhone apps.
Dave Coles thinks Prince Charles should shut up:
Prince Charles, as we know, has been interfering in the democratic process by advocating his preferred architects*. However, it goes beyond this.
Through the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health, there is criticism with a crest of ‘orthodox’ medicine and advocacy of homeopathy and chiropractic, amongst others.
Through the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, there is the promotion of the old against the new.
Through Duchy Originals, there is distortion of the market and a removal of opportunities for small companies to enter the organic market.
Penny Red notes changes in attitudes to gays:
You know someone’s rolled up the map when one of the most prominent right-wing voices in the nation is out of the closet, proudly civilly partnered to another man and, today, challenging the Daily Mail over its nasty, patronisingly homophobic comments about his campaign for election in Bracknell in today’s edition of the paper. I never thought I’d say this, but Iain Dale’s principled stance is actually pretty damn impressive.
Matt Selwood says Brown should go:
You see, Gordon Brown spent quite a long time talking today about the failure of the free-market idea. […] The only problem? Well, he’s spent the last decade implementing exactly the policies he repudiated today.
James MacKenzie discusses “the second annual PoliticsHome superpoll of the marginals is out today, based on YouGov interviews with 33,610 people. They polled everyone, it seems. They certainly polled me – did they poll you?”
Swiss Toni looks at church signs:
Will Sarah Palin replace Obama? Neil Craig says yes:
I would give at least even chances that Sarah “starting in January we will build nuclear plants” Palin will replace [Obama]. Most British people know nothing about her except what the BBC say & they lie in a way the American media would like to if the audience didn’t already know something about her… Palin was a very capable executive, ending Alaska’s budget deficit & anybody reading her Facebook page can see she has a very strong grasp of issues, a deep respect & understanding of American constitutionalism & the ability to handle words in a way any politician would be glad of. I am quite certain that had the policy I quoted been done the US would now be out of recession. Her opposition to the global warming scam also shows her intelligence & indeed courage.
Polly Toynbee seems to be obsessed with buildings not people:
I was struck by her celebration of buildings rather than the life that goes on in them. The sixth-form college may be “spectacular”, but does it provide its students with a good education? […] That is one of the differences between a liberal like Masterman, who celebrates life, and a social democrat like Toynbee, who celebrates institutions.
Stephen Bigger reminisces about Rupert Bear going to war in 1939.
Mark Pack discusses the danger of pacts for the Liberals:
By spring of 1930 Lloyd George was involved in behind the scenes talks with Labour on policy areas such as unemployment and house-building in rural areas. This developed into a stable relationship, with weekly meetings by spring 1931.
Again, though, MacDonald’s long-term vision was not of cooperation. He wanted to ensure that Lloyd George did not back the Conservatives, but he didn’t really believe in cooperation and did not trust the Liberals. He wrote privately about the need “to humour” the Liberals. When it came to electoral reform, therefore, there were talks – sufficient to humour the Liberals – but MacDonald was not a believer in even the alternative vote, despite the temptations of it delivering more seats for Labour. That was outweighed in his eyes by the way in which AV would help sustain the Liberals and a three party system. In the end, he was content for the House of Lords to mangle an electoral reform bill.
Paul Canning lists the eight stages of genocide:
classification, symbolization, dehumanization, organization, polarization, preparation, extermination and denial.
Neil Stockly writes about the power of story telling as a political communication tool, using as an example the speech by Katy Gordon in the debate on the Real Women policy paper.
Neil Craig says that global warming is a deliberate fraud:
Once again Steve McIntyre has proven a crucial part of the global warming swindle to be without factual merit. In this case he has proven statistically that Michael Mann, in producing his Hockey Stick theory has deliberately faked his most basic evidence.
Neil Craig also writes on the way this is going round the blogsphere:
Therefore we are not dealing with some possible honest accident but deliberate fraud. Deliberate fraud on which the whole catastrophic Global warming swindle is based. […]It may also be the moment the blogsphere became the primary news source. This has been growing geometrically over the last few days online yet has been virtually non-existent in the dead tree press and TV.
And that’s all for this week. Next week’s Roundup will be done by Jackart of A Very British Dude.