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?

Owen Jones

I was never taught about LGBTQ issues, except when a teacher told a class that anal sex was bad for your health.

Well, arguably and in part it is. So are a lot of other things some people enjoy and others don’t.

The usual answer to such being that we tolerate those who wish to indulge yet don’t quite teach 5 year olds how to do it.

Or at least that’s how liberals approach such issues.

So, victim hierarchy then

In a letter dated 18 February, seen by the Observer, the society warned the council that the Stop RSE campaign had “promoted material which says the punishment for homosexuality is death. Our research has found that downloadable resources which were available on Stop RSE’s website as recently as last week [since withdrawn] included a book which endorses lashing and killing gay people.” It is understood that the council accepts that the society’s concerns fall within its remit. As a result, it has launched an inquiry, gathering relevant information and judging it against the council’s conduct, performance and ethics standards.

According to the council, if a registrant’s fitness to practise is considered impaired, “it means there are concerns about their conduct, competence, health or character which are serious enough to suggest that the registrant is unfit or unsafe to practise without restriction, or at all”.

A spokesman for the council told the Observer: “We are aware of concerns about Kate Godfrey-Faussett and are looking into what action, if any, we need to take. We have a duty of confidentiality to all parties involved and it would not be appropriate for us to comment further.” Godfrey-Faussett said she had not been informed of the details of the complaint to the council, other than that it had been made by the NSS.

“I have simply tried to warn people of the underlying liberal secular agenda of RSE and the harm that it may cause children – and is, in fact, already causing based on reports I am receiving from parents,” she told the Observer. “It is well known that if you speak out against the secular narrative they will silence you through smear campaigns and getting you struck off professionally.”

NSS chief executive Stephen Evans said efforts to prevent teaching about LGBT people were well coordinated and rooted in bigotry. “Those behind them are undermining legitimate, age-appropriate education which introduces children to issues and people they will inevitably encounter in a healthy, pluralistic society,” he said. “The demand to impose religious conservatism on state schools is unreasonable and must be resisted.”

Islam rather than Leviticus. So, who will win?

Lordy be there’s a richness to this

The seizure, the second in two wekks, resulted in the delay of the launch of the book titled ‘Democracy Works: Turning Politics To Africa’s Advantage’, co-authored by Jeffrey Herbst and Greg Mills.

Obasanjo apologized to the audience about the delay in launching the book, saying most people could not get the book after it was seized at the Robert Mugabe International Airport.

Sure the poverty of Zim, but there’s that richness to the story.

An idle thought

A federal jury in San Francisco found Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide was a substantial factor in causing the cancer of a California man, in a landmark verdict that could affect hundreds of other cases.

The same sort of people who will hail this jury’s wisdom – insist that it is proof perfect that glyphosate kills – will be those who also insist that juries aren’t competent to judge rape cases.

Sigh.

Define hoax that must be suppressed

Facebook will ban anti-vaccination adverts and suppress anti-vaccine content as part of a broad crackdown against dangerous medical misinformation.

The social network announced a multi-step plan to tackle “anti-vaxxer” content after widespread outcry about the way its algorithms amplified vaccine conspiracy theorists and quack medicine peddlers.

The company will set its algorithms to demote pages and groups that spread known hoaxes, and prevent such groups and pages from being recommended to users or from appearing in search predictions.

Vaccines? Higher minimum wages cause job losses? Socialism ain’t all sweet things and no puppy god tails? Rape’s not that common on campus? Dicks are things possessed by men?

what is a hoax that must be suppressed?

It’s not there yet, still only at stage two

Iranian “morality police” were forced to fire warning shots when a crowd intervened to prevent them from arresting two women for not wearing a hijab.

The incident occurred in Tehran’s northeastern Narmak neighbourhood on Friday night, and ended with a mob tearing the door off a police vehicle, Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency reported.

“Morality patrol police members had warned two young women who did not have proper hijab. Within a few minutes, a group of citizens gathered around to prevent the transfer of the two women [into custody],” a police official told the agency.

And:

The crowd physically preventing them, yes, that’s stage two. Stage three, and victory, is when everyone simply laughs at the presumption that the Guardians do, or should, have any authority at all.

Sure, thy could

Companies could use Facebook pictures to discriminate against employees with genetic diseases using AI, scientists fear, after showing that algorithms can spot rare conditions.

Developers at US biotech company FDNA have developed a programme which outperforms humans at diagnosing genetic syndromes by looking at slight variations in face shape.

The face analysis programme, known as DeepGestalt, could in future assist the diagnosis of rare disorders such as Fragile X which brings a long narrow face and prominent ears, or angelman syndrome which is characterised by a prominent chin, deep set eyes, wide mouth.

And?

If it’s rational for people to so discriminate then they should. If it’s irrational, mere taste discrimination, then that’s costly to those who do it.

And? We all have to gouge our eyeballs out so that we don’t discriminate on the basis of melanin?

Be a bit more careful matey

NO PLATFORM, NO PROBLEM

Hmm.

To borrow from Oscar Wilde, it would take a heart of stone to read about the fall of Milo without laughing.

Milo, if you’re lucky enough to be unaware of him, is a vicious right-wing troll (and former Telegraph journalist) who managed to build a very lucrative empire by saying and doing hateful things. “Feminism is cancer” was one of his hits.

Milo discovered that the more hateful your views, the bigger your profile becomes – and the bigger your profile, the more money you can make.

His rise demonstrated that despite what people in the media may have you believe, terrible views don’t die when you expose them; the people with those views just gain some more followers and make the world a slightly worse place. The same trick is working for the stupid man’s philosopher Jordan Peterson, and for former Trump strategist and human bin fire Steve Bannon.

Milo was kicked off Twitter, the no platforming worked.

Well, yes. And to take an example which isn’t personal here. It really wasn’t all that long ago that society said that the promotion of homosexuality was something that shouldn’t have a platform. Not long before that the act itself was a crime. And it was only two centuries ago – a blink in real terms – that this country executed more men in one year for buggery than murder.

A reasonable lesson from this being that no, we don’t want to no platform. Because if that power is around then it might well be us subject to it.

Once it’s made possible it does appear to become probably, doesn’t it?

We’ve seen this case before:

Dutch officials are set to prosecute a nursing home doctor for euthanising an elderly woman with dementia, the first time a doctor has been charged since the Netherlands legalised euthanasia in 2002.

Dutch prosecutors claimed in a statement the doctor “had not acted carefully” and “overstepped a line” when she performed euthanasia. Officials first began probing the case in September, when they allegedly found the doctor had drugged the patient’s coffee and then had family members hold her down while delivering the fatal injection.

The doctor said she was fulfilling the patient’s earlier euthanasia request and that since the patient was not competent, nothing the woman said during her euthanasia procedure was relevant.

But Dutch prosecutors argued that the patient’s written euthanasia request was “unclear and contradictory.”

“In her living will, the woman wrote that she wanted to be euthanised ‘whenever I think the time is right.’ But after being asked several times in the nursing home whether she wanted to die, she said, ‘Not just now, it’s not so bad yet,'” according to an earlier report by one of the Netherlands’ euthanasia review committees.

Murdering someone is “overstepping the line” these days.