Err, yes?

A company that oversaw health and safety on a £50 million construction project for Britain’s most powerful trade union was led by a man jailed for a knife attack, it can be disclosed.

Martin Grant, 33, from Liverpool, received a ten-year sentence in 2015 after creeping up on a man and slashing his face and fingers with a Stanley knife. The wounds required 90 stitches.

After Grant left prison in 2019 he was swiftly appointed managing director of Safety Support Consultants (SSC), a company owned by the son of Joe Anderson, the mayor of Liverpool.

The company was awarded a contract to act as health and safety adviser during the construction in Birmingham of a conference centre, hotel and regional offices for the Unite union.

Sounds like just the laddie really, doesn’t he? Entirely the right skills to be dealing with Derek Hatton – yes, he’s part of this little group of developers and builders in Liverpool…..

The famed people of no appearance

A brawl between 40 men using knives, bottles and a sword has been broken up by police in west London.

Police initially reported that two swords had been used in the fight in Southall in the early hours of Sunday, but later corrected this to “at least one sword”.

At 8pm on Sunday, police released a statement saying that they had been called at “around 0200hrs to a large group of males fighting with knives and at least one sword in the area of King Street, Southall”.

Presumably Jehovah’s Witnesses, they can be vicious buggers when cornered.

So, here’s an idea

Forty per cent of police forces now investigate attacks on punks and goths as possible hate crimes, it has emerged, as academics urge the Law Commission to introduce new legislation aimed at protecting subcultures.

A consultation by the Law Commission is currently considering whether to recognise misogyny and attacks against “alternative subcultures”, including punks, goths and emos, as a hate crime category for the first time.

Prof Jon Garland, a lecturer at the University of Surrey who worked on the consultation, has welcomed the proposed legal reform to include the new group, which is already recognised by 18 police forces across the UK.

“My research has shown that the impact individuals from alternative subcultures suffer when they are targeted in attacks does seem to resemble that of the five main protected victim groups,” he said.

Why not just say that an attack on someone is a crime and go from there? Or would that be missing the point by making an attack on a cis-het-white-bourgeois-guy also be a crime?


Non-payment of the licence fee is a criminal offence for which more than 100,000 people are prosecuted annually.

That’s what, 7 or 8% of the 1.3 million prosecutions each year?

Labour MPs have said plans to decriminalise non-payment of the licence fee should be dropped

Why? Don;t they want to bring the crime rate down?

Well, yes, hmmm

Of course it is possible for rape to take place within a relationship. And yet:

A mother whose rape claim was dismissed by a High Court judge with “outdated views” on sexual assault has won an appeal.

In January, Ms Justice Russell criticised a male colleague after he ruled that a woman had not been raped by her violent partner because she “took no physical steps” to stop him during sex.

Judge Robin Tolson QC had concluded, following a private family court hearing, that “because” the woman took “no physical steps” to stop him from raping her – “this did not constitute rape”.

That’s not actually the bit that makes me go “Hmm” at all.

The judge heard that the man and woman had separated more than three years ago, and that their son, now five, has remained in her care.

Family court litigation began after the man asked to be allowed to spend time with the boy.

The woman objected, and said the man had been controlling and had raped her.

That is the bit that makes me go “Hmm”.

A fun rumour started right here

Does she know where her father’s money and his employees pensions went? I have a hunch she managed Epstein rather than the other way around. There is a great deal of scepticism about his transition from school teacher to billionaire…

Now wouldn’t that be fun if it were true…..

I’m sure there is a Fnarr Fnarr here

Undercover police officers can have sex with suspects if refusal might blow cover
They must keep it as short as is possible to ‘mitigate the threat’ of being exposed and report it ‘immediately’ to their senior officer

Knee tremblers are legal, romantic afternoons teasing the new bra and panty set off aren’t. And someone must be able to make a joke out of blowing cover.

We’ll throw that open to community participation shall we?

After which, my actual reaction is that this is why planned economies don’t work. OK, sure, I take the Sun rising in the east as evidence that planned economies don’t work. But look at the absurdities we do get when the authorities try to define, in detail, what may be done. Anything more specific than general rules (“Don’t take the piss, Son” would seem useful although given some modern sexual habits perhaps not) descends into this sort of absurdity. And if we try to apply this sort of detail to the politicians and bureaucracy deciding who may make what, how, at what price, from which ingredients…..

Oh isn’t this going to be lovely?

A senior Catholic cardinal has been accused of using €700,000 of Vatican funds to bribe witnesses to secure a sex abuse conviction against a rival.

Italian media have reported that Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, 72, is suspected of wiring the cash to recipients in Australia who helped to ensure hostile testimony in the abuse trial of Cardinal George Pell, who was accused of molesting choir boys in Melbourne in the 1990s.


Before he returned to Australia in 2017 where he was tried, jailed and acquitted on appeal, Cardinal Pell, 79, served as finance minister at the Vatican, where his attempts to clean up opaque accounting were opposed by Cardinal Becciu.

Quoting leaked documents, the Italian newspapers La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera reported at the weekend that Vatican investigators suspect that Cardinal Becciu hoped to use the money to definitively derail Cardinal Pell’s transparency programme, which threatened to expose Cardinal Becciu’s allegedly corrupt management of Vatican cash.

Isn’t it all going to be so glorious if this turns out to be true? That entire witch hunt against Pell purely bought and paid for?

True, it seems a bit of a stretch but then…….

Well, yes, but, well……

A man has been jailed for rape after he admitted deliberately piercing a condom with a pin before having sex.
Andrew Lewis, 47, claimed he had punctured the contraceptive in the hope that it would split and improve intimacy.
But he was arrested and charged with rape after his victim found the damaged condom in his bin and went to police.
The train driver was jailed for four years

Sex without the full and informed consent so, yes, rape. It’s also not Whoopi’s “rape rape” and yet appears to be being punished as such. Which seems a tad extreme. There being gradations even within the same crime.

BTW, before the righteous get too loudmouthed about this, this is exactly the form of rape that Julian Assange was accused of. Sex without a condom when it had been agreed to only with. And a number of rightons and Woken were insisting that he shouldn’t have to even stand trial…..

A most impartial report

As expected, Trump raised unfounded accusations about Biden’s son, Hunter, related to his business dealings in Ukraine. Trump was impeached for pushing government officials in Kiev to investigate the Biden family. Despite no evidence of wrongdoing, Republican allies of the president have continued to fixate on the manufactured controversy.

Hunter was raking it in left right and centre because Daddy was VP.

Now, whether this is unusual or not is a fair question but there’s nothing manufactured about it.

More impartiality:

Trump ensures first presidential debate is national humiliation

What confuses is why they bother with this vituperation. Who among The Guardian’s readership is not going to vote for Biden anyway? Well, except the brave investigators like me here who read it so you don’t have to? Who is this rhetoric supposed to convince?

French men of no appearance

French police have opened an investigation after a young woman said she was attacked by three men and beaten in public for wearing a skirt.

The government denounced the “very serious” incident as unacceptable, which came amid growing anger in France at physical and verbal abuse towards women over their dress in public.

The student, 22, identified only as Elisabeth, said she was punched in the face in the eastern city of Strasbourg on Friday afternoon, in an attack “by three individuals who complained about me wearing a skirt”.

She was walking home when one of the three exclaimed “look at that whore in a skirt”, Elisabeth told France Bleu Alsace radio. Two of them then held her while the third hit her in the face, leaving her with a black eye, she told the radio station. The men then fled.

She said there were more than a dozen witnesses but no one intervened or pursued the attackers.

Isn’t that nice. A full report which manages to make no reference at all to the specifics of the men thought to have done this.

Leaving us to have to guess as to what might have caused this. The well known Gallic propensity for abhoring wimmins who show their knees? That centuries long insistence that bits be covered up like they do on the beaches? Or are we talking about some more recent cultural influence upon the society?

After all, this is the place where the national statue has her tits out*. Something seems to have changed.

*Often, in some versions.

Well, yes, yes and no

Daniel Cameron, Kentucky’s Attorney General, said the pair – Sgt. Johnathan Mattingly and Officer Myles Cosgrove – were “justified” in their use of force as they fired in self-defence after Ms Taylor’s boyfriend fired a shot.

That part seems justified. Cops being shot at, cops fire back.

Former police officer Brett Hankison, who fired a number of the shots, was on Wednesday charged with three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree, after it was determined he had shot into neighbouring flats.

That also seems fair. Duty of care and all that even under fire. The actual problem, in the larger picture, is here:

Ms Taylor, 26, was shot multiple times by plainclothes officers who entered her home after midnight using a no-knock warrant that allowed them to enter without warning during a drugs investigation on March 13.

Armed men are – righteously, this is the police and here they#re in plain clothes – storm into your home without warning? Your ability to distinguish between this and a home invasion is? A home invasion you are – righteously – allowed to defend yourself against?

The problem here is, to use something of an unpopular word, structural. Insane policing that is.