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Archive for October, 2012

So, basically Jimmy Savile got away with it because hard evidence wasn’t there, it was in the heads of his victims who were in no mental state to protest or condemn him. Those who did come forward were told it was his word against theirs. However this was happening all over the country and it seems that at least six people did complain to the Police, but the dots never got joined up.In fact changes made for the sharing of police data only happened following the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in 2001.  This failing has happened a number times relating to different types of cases and highlights the lack of  linked information systems. In a modern society such as ours this failure in itself is a crime. Savile could have been stopped and misery for hundreds of young people avoided.

Sir Roger Jones’s (former BBC Governor for Wales) says he had suspicions about Savile but no evidence came to him that could be used with confidence. His action though was positive and as UK chairman of Children in Need, he tightened up their policies and says….. “When I was with Children in Need we took the decision that we didn’t want him anywhere near the charity and we just stepped up our child protection policies which again would have put him at risk if he tried anything. “So the way that we dealt with it was by stepping up our child protection policies.”

Other people at the BBC must have heard these rumours…but what did they do to tighten things up and protect children at risk?….It seems they did nothing. But maybe that will be more clear when Dame Janet Smith former Court of Appeal judge gets stuck into her review of the culture and practices of the BBC during Savile’s time  there. It may get interesting.

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So the last quarter UK finance results showed we have just moved away from a double dip recession. That’s good news but as almost everyone says there is still  a long way to go. Austerity is less practical if it doesn’t address jobs and a whole generation of homeless and jobless people.

If the Nation has to borrow again,  now is the time as long as it’s invested in the right things. This means Housing, Infrastructure (flood defences, motorways, Roads and Airports), Education (Properly funded University places), Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation.  There is a longer list but that would be a start.

This UK Government has an opportunity to take us forward, if they don’t grasp it they will lose the support of all.

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BinderGate

First time I heard it, it just hit me straight between the eyes (and I’m a bloke) couldn’t immediately explain why, it just sounded randomly bizarre, and wrong.

Ideas

Thank you Mitt Romney for your “binders full of women” gaffe. Surely you weren’t intending to be condescending at the second presidential debate, but it turned out to be a perfect metaphor for the obstacles so many women face in the workplace. The image of women in binders is so good, so visually acute, it might just replace the shopworn “glass ceiling.” After all, you can’t dress up for Halloween as a glass ceiling. Something about women in binders is both disturbing and funny. That’s useful because there’s nothing less popular these days than a humorless feminist. It’s no wonder that binders have become a kind of exquisitely evocative shorthand the way that hoodies were after the death of Trayvon Martin.

(MORE: Women Voters Won The Second Presidential Debate)

Still, I gather that you and many male political pundits are perplexed as to why this “nonissue”…

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Trivial Things

In an effort to accelerate my very slow understanding and ability to speak, read and write French, I am lucky to be able to have weekly language discussions with some neighbours who live just a few doors away. They want to improve their English and I of course benefit with listening and responding in French. Tonight we all played Trivial Pursuit (the French version), and stuck to children’s questions to ensure we concentrated on the language and not the knowledge.

Magically it worked and I learned a bit about Harry Potter as well; it is a recommended method.

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Money Jihad

Caravan raids.  Confiscation of enemy property and enslavement of the vanquished.  Exorbitant tax rates against non-Arab Muslims and ever higher taxes against non-Muslims.  It’s all justified by sharia law and centuries of Islamic tradition—especially if the profits are reinvested into jihad.

Now add to sharia’s financial crimes against civilization the systematic destruction, looting, or both, of priceless historical artifacts throughout the Middle East during the Arab Spring.  The Syrian rebels are bartering away Roman heirlooms in exchange for weapons of war.

From the Smithsonian Museum’s “SmartNews” blog late last month:

War zones are dangerous places, for both people and cultural heritage. Lately, Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt have endured high-profile looting or looting attempts on archaeological sites and museums. Now, Syria has joined the inglorious list as priceless artifacts are being stolen, smuggled and even traded for weapons.

Interpol has gotten involved. The situation got to a point where they posted…

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So the saying “It all comes out in the wash” has a ring of truth and in todays information maelstrom people in the public eye get away with less and less. And so may it continue.

SO IT GOES - John Fleming's blog

Late tonight, ITV1 are broadcasting their much-publicised Exposure programme on The Other Side of Jimmy Savile. They are mad. They should schedule it in peak time.

A couple of days ago in this blog, I posted an alleged transcript of the un-broadcast sections of a BBC TV Have I Got News For You episode in which Jimmy Savile appeared. At the bottom of the transcript, I revealed that it was a 1999 hoax.

The reason the hoax has been believed by many over the twelve years since it first appeared is partly because it was built on (as it has turned out) well-founded rumours.

But also because it was so well-written.

So who wrote it and why?

Comedian Richard Herring, who knows most things, told me it was some people calling themselves SOTCAA and, indeed, it was. Two of them.

Around 2005, when they were writing on the Cookd…

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People who have “faith” in religion will believe anything and do anything. That is the horrifying fact that haunts humanity, and can make us ashamed to be human.

The following is some of the thoughts of Steven Weinberg that great American theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate in Physics for his contributions with Abdus Salam and Sheldon Glashow to the unification of the weak force and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles. All nicked from his Wiki.

Frederick Douglass (an African American abolitionist, orator, author, editor, reformer, women’s rights advocate, and statesman; born a slave as Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey) told in his Narrative how his condition as a slave became worse when his master underwent a religious conversion that allowed him to justify slavery as the punishment of the children of Ham.

Mark Twain described his mother as a genuinely good person, whose soft heart pitied even Satan, but who had no doubt about the legitimacy of slavery, because in years of living in antebellum Missouri she had never heard any sermon opposing slavery, but only countless sermons preaching that slavery was God‘s will. With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil — that takes religion.

Many people do simply awful things out of sincere religious belief, not using religion as a cover the way that Saddam Hussein may have done, but really because they believe that this is what God wants them to do, going all the way back to Abraham being willing to sacrifice Isaac because God told him to do that. Putting God ahead of humanity is a terrible thing.

Maybe at the very bottom of it… I really don’t like God. You know, it’s silly to say I don’t like God because I don’t believe in God, but in the same sense that I don’t like Iago, or the Reverend Slope or any of the other villains of literature, the god of traditional Judaism and Christianity and Islam seems to me a terrible character. He’s a god who will… who obsessed the degree to which people worship him and anxious to punish with the most awful torments those who don’t worship him in the right way. Now I realise that many people don’t believe in that any more who call themselves Muslims or Jews or Christians, but that is the traditional God and he’s a terrible character. I don’t like him.

I have a friend — or had a friend, now dead — Abdus Salam, a very devout Muslim, who was trying to bring science into the universities in the Gulf states and he told me that he had a terrible time because, although they were very receptive to technology, they felt that science would be a corrosive to religious belief, and they were worried about it… and damn it, I think they were right. It is corrosive of religious belief, and it’s a good thing too.

I’m offended by the kind of smarmy religiosity that’s all around us, perhaps more in America than in Europe, and not really that harmful because it’s not really that intense or even that serious, but just… you know after a while you get tired of hearing clergymen giving the invocation at various public celebrations and you feel, haven’t we outgrown all this? Do we have to listen to this?”

 

 

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