Facts and transphobia

Apolice force has been accused of “incredible irresponsibility” for treating the display of transphobic stickers around Oxford as a “serious crime”.

Some of the stickers, which have been dotted around the city centre, state: “Woman: noun. Adult human female” and “Women don’t have penises”.

Thames Valley Police has announced that those responsible could be charged with a public order offence and has appealed for witnesses.

It said: “Officers are investigating a large number of offensive stickers that have been placed across Oxford city centre containing transphobic comments.

Interesting to see what actually counts as transphobia, no? Presumably “Blacks have more melanin” is racist therefore, “Buggery, not just for homos” is inclusive?

Michael Biggs, Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Oxford, suggested that the police had overreacted.

“This is literally the Oxford English definition of what a woman is,” he said.

“I can’t believe that needs any stance at all. To say that a dictionary definition is a terrible hate crime is extraordinary. The police is being incredibly irresponsible.”

How NewSpeak we’ve become. Quoting the dictionary is a crime now.

The rule of law is important

So too is that democracy thing. As is the primacy of Parliament:

Carloway said the situation was very fluid and if Johnson did try to thwart or sidestep the act, this would become clearer after midnight on 19 October. If he breaks his promises to the court, it could issue an interdict, or injunction, ordering Johnson to send the extension request, or it could do so, using unique powers open to Scottish judges known as nobile officium (noble office).

That empowers a court to take action on a legal matter where the responsible person fails to do so, or in order to remedy a deficiency. It would be unprecedented but in that situation, the court would write, sign and send the letter specified in the legislation to Brussels and the other 27 EU member states.

That would, presumably, apply only in Scotland. What fun, eh? The Scots become independent just like that…..

Excellent

On Monday afternoon, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone issued a statement with a faux apology about the ban.

“Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts,” the statement reads. “We too love money more than freedom and democracy. Xi doesn’t look like Winnie the Pooh at all. Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday at 10! Long live the great Communist Party of China. May the autumn’s sorghum harvest be bountiful. We good now China?”

Some nutter will want to legislate here

Atransgender man who attempted to create legal history by having his baby become the first to legally not have a mother has lost his High Court fight, with the presiding judge citing the “basic facts of life”.

Freddy McConnell, who was born a woman but later transitioned to become a man, took the Government to court earlier this year for refusing to let him register as the “father” on his child’s birth certificate.

The Government argued that he must be the “mother” because he gave birth to the child, who has a “right to know the identity of the person who carried him or her”.

Handing down his decision in the High Court today, the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, sided with the Government, telling Mr McConnell that he must appear as “mother” on the birth certificate.

In his written judgment, Sir Andrew “looked back on earlier times” to draw upon the common law definition of a mother “prior to the mid-20th century, when conception and pregnancy other than through sexual intercourse was unknown.”

Because it’s such a common thing that a woman insisting she’s a man gives birth. And then wants the birth certificate to read that the child doesn’t have a mother.

But there will be that call for legislation because rights……

Sounds fairly normal

Samoa is a small Polynesian country located in the western Pacific Ocean. Fields of taro flank the side of the country’s few roads, and coconut palms and ginger flowers dot well-tended villages, where the people by and large live very traditional lives; defined by church, subsistence farming, and loyalty to family.

But the beauty of this verdant tropical paradise conceals a dark secret: one of the highest rates of family and sexual violence in the world. Last year, Samoa became the first Pacific Island country to conduct a national public inquiry into family violence. Published in late 2018, the findings revealed an “epidemic” of violence and sexual abuse.

Why do you think the entire peasantry has escaped the villages as soon as they were able?

Everywhere, from Cornwall right around the world to the Carolinas, via Chengdu and all places in between?

Because village life is that suffocating conformity to the established power structure. It’s only in the crowds that freedom resides.

Why do you think both the commies and the fascists want block captains? To enforce that village uniformity in the towns of course…..

Well Owen, it’s like this, you see?

Far-right violence is on the rise. Where is the outrage?
Owen Jones

Human beings are inconsistent creatures. It depends upon who is getting the slapping, d’ye see?

There is also that thought that those who say we must “fight” fascism, “fight” racism, “fight homophobia” might get people confused as to what the word “fight” actually means.

Well, yes, they can

Yakou Méïté: ‘People think they can say what they want, even if it’s racist’

People do indeed get to say what they want even if its racist. It’s called free speech.

They also have to put up with the reaction to what they’ve said – say, being derided as racists – but that is the way the whole thing’s supposed to work.

As we said at the time, this was always going to happen

Breach the principle only for the most serious issues and it will, inevitably, move on through the system.

Child abusers should no longer be allowed to escape prosecution under the double jeopardy rule, says the victims’ commissioner.

Dame Vera Baird wants the law to be re-written so that paedophiles who have been acquitted of indecently assaulting children can be brought before the courts again if new evidence emerges.

It follows cases where sports coaches have been charged and acquitted but cannot be retried because the offences did not involve penetrative sex.

Less serious sexual assaults are not included in the list of offences where prosecutors can override double jeopardy – the rule barring the retrial of a defendant for an offence of which they have previously cleared by a court.

Slippery slopes do exist.

Sigh

As Hacked Off put it on Twitter: “Some newspapers have resorted to distortions, inaccuracies and explicit transphobic abuse.”

And?

IPSO is not fit for purpose and sectors of the UK press are out of control. What they do is not journalism, and it does not deserve protection.

We don’t protect it because it’s journalism. We protect it because it’s free speech.

Quite so

In a statement put before the court, Dr Mackereth said: “I appreciate that in the present political climate, somepeople, including some of those who believe they are transgender, may find my beliefs to be offensive.

“However, in a free society, this is not a good enough reason to censor my beliefs and coerce me to act contrary to my conscience.

True whatever we think of this:

“Moreover, as a doctor, my responsibility is always to act in good conscience in the best interest of the patients – not to adopt various fancies, prejudices, or delusions, to avoid offence at all cost.”

Dr Mackereth added that his inherent belief is that transgenderism is a “rebellion against God, which is both pointless and sinful”.

He said: “I am, of course, aware that there are men or women who believe they have been trapped in a wrong body, and I do not question the sincerity of their convictions.

“A small number of such people have always existed. Up until recently, such a belief was considered by medics to be delusional and a symptom of a medical disorder.

“It is only recently that transgenderism has been recognised as normal and such delusional beliefs accepted at face value. What is responsible for that change is political pressure, not scientific evidence.”

No, you can’t, now bugger off

Moral Money: ‘My dad is squandering my inheritance, can I ask him to stop?’

It’s his money, he worked for it, it ain’t “your inheritance”.

My divorced father, who is in his late 60s, is spending huge amounts on holidays, luxuries and generally living the high life.

I worry there will be little left for me in my inheritance. I am 35, and I feel that my father’s generation had it easier when it came to making and saving money. Can I ask him to be more thrifty?

GH, via letter

You are a victim of the intergenerational wealth gap.

Your father’s age puts him slap bang in the middle of the baby boomer generation, many of whom benefitted from cheaper property prices, better wage growth and higher savings rates than their children and grandchildren.

Some readers would say your father earned his money and that he can spend it how he likes….

Not just some readers, all with any moral sense whatsoever.

Bugger off matey.

Isn’t this a can of worms?

Britain’s top prosecutor has been urged to prevent the courts being “abused” in a plot to stop Brexit after Boris Johnson was told he could face trial over his part in the Leave campaign.

The Tory leadership contender has been summonsed to appear before a judge to answer three charges of misconduct in a public office following a complaint that he “lied” about how much Britain gives to the EU.

Marcus Ball, a Remain-backing campaigner, took out a private prosecution against Mr Johnson, claiming he was wrong to say during the EU referendum campaign that Britain gives £350 million a week to Brussels.

On Wednesday a judge decided the case should go ahead,

That a case goes to trial does not mean that a verdict of guilty has been reached.

But isn’t that going to be interesting if one is? Lying by politicians is a criminal offence? Won’t that be fun.

Actually, we’ll be able to put the whole lot of them behind bars.

Slightly dangerous treason law maybe?

In a major speech on counter-terrorism, he said: “Our definition of terrorism is probably broad enough to cover those who betray our country by supporting terror abroad.

“But if updating the old offence of treason would help us counter hostile state activity, then there is merit in considering that too.”

His proposal follows a report by the think tank Policy Exchange which recommended Parliament legislate to make clear that any British citizen or person settled in the UK would be liable for life imprisonment if he or she helped a group which UK forces are fighting.

It cited Choudary, who was sentenced to five and a half years imprisonment for encouraging support for ISIS but who could have been sentenced to life under a new treason law.

Encouraging support for Isis shouldn’t be a crime in the first place. Incitement to violence should be.

But, think this through. British troops definitely fought the IRA. Jezza should do life for treason? The Navy fights cocaine smugglers, Life for treason for aiding and abetting cocaine smugglers?

It’s giving them a hell of a lot of latitude, isn’t it?

If you want to say “has declared war upon” then maybe….

Lordy be headline writers!

80,000 Britons on web forum run by neo-Nazis

Jeebus. That’s more than the BNP vote, isn’t it? And we know hot all of them can read let alone log on.

A white nationalist and neo-Nazi online discussion forum received 80,000 responses from people in the UK, Theresa May will reveal today, as she says it is time to confront the growing threat from the far right.

Well, that’s less worrying. It’s a different number, responses to members. for one person might make many responses. Which is actually how web forums work.

The work by the Home Office’s Office for Security and Counter Terrorism shows that a white nationalist and neo-Nazi discussion forum had 12 million posts during its lifetime. In one month it had 800,000 visits, with 80,000 appearing to originate from the UK, according to Downing Street.

Oh, wait, what? 80,000 visits? That’s less than this blog gets in a month. Hmm, well, maybe. But we’re in tat sort of range, a specialised and exotic taste or fashion at least.

Details matter, eh?

Hmm, well

Social media trolls are as bad as drink drivers, the Government’s Suicide Prevention Minister has suggested as she called for society to treat them with the same level of revulsion.

Jackie Doyle-Price said some online behaviour would never be “tolerated in the streets” and people needed to make clear “we don’t find that acceptable”.

She compared online trolling to someone 30 years ago driving after drinking four pints – something that was “socially acceptable” at the time but which now most people would take a “very dim view of”.

It’s an entirely useful analogy. But is it a correct one?

Useful in the sense that yes, it used to be socially acceptable and now it isn’t for the booze. And there are those who are trying to make the “abuse” similarly socially unacceptable. But should we be doing so? Is robust free speech something that should be made socially unacceptable. Possibly, possible not.

No, really, just fine with people having any view on that at all. It’s like burping at the dinner table, chacun a son gout.

Meanwhile, she said social media platforms needed to clamp down on internet trolls and harmful content to stop the “Wild West” nature of the internet.

Which is where the analogy breaks down. Because now she’s saying that pubs shouldn’t serve four pints because someone might then drive….

Well, yes, I suppose so

Isil extremists are using Instagram to promote jihad and incite support for terror attacks on the West, an investigation by The Telegraph has found.

They are circumventing the platform’s security checks to post images and text celebrating the killings of “kafir” (unbelievers) accompanied by images of dead soldiers and beheadings as well as threatening terrorist atrocities on the scale of the Sri Lankan suicide bombings that claimed 253 lives.

Some posts brazenly use Isil’s logo or images of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, as their profile pictures and urge followers to join jihad.

The investigation exposes serious flaws in the ability…

People use method of communication to communicate.

And?

Well, actually, we know, don’t we? This is the modern world so we don’t have a Stasi that listens to all telephone calls. That would be using taxpayer money, money that could be better spent upon diversity advisers. No, instead, BT must censor the conversations of callers on its own dime.

Hmm? What? The telephone company, as a common carrier, isn’t held responsible for what people say? And yet Instagram, Facebook, are? A purely historical mistake that, who thinks the prodnoses wouldn’t impost that duty upon BT if they could?

Off duty behaviour isn’t off duty any more

In the messages, the disgraced Essex Police response officer referred to a “pikey killings trial” and said Asians “reproduce like 3/1 compared to us”.

The former Royal Signals soldier even described a waitress working in a London bar as a “hot black chick”, “umbongo” and “coco angel” when out with friends.

Not exactly enlightened.

Mitigation heard that he had never used the language with his police colleagues or shown any prejudice whilst serving the public.

Alston joined the force in 2013 after working as a PCSO and served in the Army Reserve for more than 10 years.

Detective Superintendent Dean Chapple, head of the Essex Police’s professional standards department, said: “PC Alston was a highly respected and capable officer however his conduct, whilst off duty and in the presence of selected friends who were not associated with policing, fell way below the standards we expect of our officers and in no way represents our values.

“All police officers are responsible for their own actions and we cannot just turn off those standards and values in policing when it suits a given environment or group.”

Eh?

Sure, what you do at work is fair game. But nattering over a pint with non-work mates – which is roughly what a WhatsApp group is – gets you canned? Don’t we think that’s delving a little too far into what should be private life?

This is also a tad extreme:

Alston failed to challenge homophobic slurs

You mean, in private life, that’s necessary? When in buggery did this become a requirement for anyone? You’re in a pub, someone says “shirtlifter”, you fail to walk over and tell ’em off and you lose your job as a thief taker? Might we not have made a societal error here?