Sunday, 31 August 2008
Monday, 25 August 2008
I think 'Britishness' is quite easy to define - it is the sense of community in the face of adversity the country used to display.
Britishness is knocking on a neighbours door if they haven't taken the paper in for a couple of days. It is helping others out if they have a crisis, it is volunteering for a good cause. It is teaching your children respect for others person and property. It is keeping a public stiff upper lip and not going on Jeremy Kyle and washing your dirty laundry in public, it is caring if people are abusing children, animals and vulnerable people. It is stopping to help push a car, or offering a neighbour a lift home at the bus stop when they have been shopping.
It has nothing to do with colour or creed, class or education. We were a great nation because that community spirit once existed.
Much is being made of the global recession and credit crunch, as it is financially affecting most families in the UK, with fuel, food and other goods being more expensive, topped by the rise in utility bills. It is more difficult to get a mortgage or loan at the present time.
In the last decade or so, credit has been so easily obtainable that the culture of saving up for luxury items has become almost non existent. Nothing really, has a value any more - if it can be replaced straight away, then it doesn't matter if it is not treated with respect.
This can sadly also be attributed to other values. Our society has become morally bankrupt. Respect used to exist within families and within the system - respect for parents, authority figures and for peers. This has almost been eradicated. The family unit is no longer strong, with both parents being forced to work, there are no role models at home, which in the first few years helps build character in a child which should reinforce them throughout their life. Even single parents have felt forced by the Government to go back to the workplace. Both parents and schools have been forced to look at how to discipline children, and to be honest - nothing seems to work (the threat of a smack was enough a couple of generations ago, but this is no longer admissible).
Thursday, 21 August 2008
A man was kicked and punched by 3 "men" after he refused a request to give one of them a cigarette. The full story can be found here. He is now in a drug induced coma in intensive care.
Reminiscent of a case in Bristol where a man died after a man jumped out of a car and punched him in the head and he fell.
Well, this is a week the UK can again be proud of, isn't it?
If you look at both links and have any information, ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
Wednesday, 20 August 2008
I do not usually reproduce an article in full on this Blog but here goes...........
A drunken Darlington teenager has admitted smashing a rabbit against a wall while her friend filmed the attack on a mobile phone.
The 14-year-old swung the pet by its ears and its skull could be heard cracking on the footage. It died later.
The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had drunk three litres of wine and claimed the four-month-old rabbit had bitten her.
She admitted cruelty and was given a referral order for 10 months.
A 17-year-old youth admitted a charge of aiding and abetting the girl to cause unnecessary suffering.
He will be sentenced at South Durham Youth Court, sitting in Bishop Auckland, in September.
The court heard how the girl was babysitting at a house in Darlington when she was egged on by her friends to abuse the family pet by smashing it against a wall four times.
A 30-second video was then sent to several other people via Bluetooth.
The RSPCA has been unable to establish who filmed the incident.
Lucy Shuttleworth, defending the girl, said the animal's owner had already carried out her own "justice" and had been given a six month conditional discharge by magistrates for assaulting the teenager.
Ms Shuttleworth said: "She deeply regrets it and is extremely remorseful for what she has done."
Mr Abbott told the girl: "In my time as a magistrate, which is now 18 years, I heard never heard anything like this.
"The bench felt very strongly. If you are capable of doing this to animals, what else are you capable of?"
The referral order means the girl will have to be monitored by a youth offender team for 10 months in an effort to reform her behaviour.
The court also banned the girl from keeping animals for five years and ordered her mother to pay £455 prosecution costs.
RSPCA Inspector Mark Gent said: "This is the worst case of wilful animal cruelty I have seen in my career.
"What that rabbit went through was absolutely horrendous."
Published: 2008/08/20 15:30:54 GMT
© BBC MMVIII
Remorseful??????? After bluetoothing it to all their friends?????????????
Thursday, 14 August 2008
Following on from the last article, a former Police Officer was arrested in Northumberland for standing up to a bunch of yobs, hot on the heels of last months appeal from the Chief Constable of the same force asking the public to challenge rowdy behaviour.
The former Police Officer had his life threatened by 12 male youths who were throwing cans at cars, and he was later locked up for 2 hours in the cells on suspicion of assault. It took 2 months to be told no charges were to be forthcoming.
Yet another reason not to put yourself at risk!
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
Following a man being sprayed in the face with pepper spray and threatened with a knife, a woman was thrown onto rail tracks after she asked 2 men not to smoke at a train station (story here)
There are ways of taking a stand against crime and antisocial behaviour without putting yourself at risk. Crime and ASB can be reported anonymously and the onus is on the criminal justice system to put every available tool in place to protect witnesses and victims. Lobbying to make sure this happens is the best proactive action the public can take.
People are voted into public office to represent the views of the law abiding decent people who reside in this once great country - So take a stand and demand (in a lawful and peaceful manner) that they do the job they were elected to do and listen to overriding public opinion.
A 13 year old was arrested for weapons offences after Police found a gun along with 2 silencers and 20 bullets in the stairwell of his home, the full story can be found here. It appears the Baikal is the weapon de jour for today's teenage gang members in Inner City Britain, with a 17 and an 18 year old being killed this year in London with this gun.
Monday, 11 August 2008
Yesterday, Gordon Brown called for communities to rally against knife crime, the article can be found here.
An injection of money into community groups and non-profits perhaps would facilitate the message being taken out to the public in a safe and proactive way, also making community education more freely available.
Communities need to address such issues with input from agencies as a one size fits all approach will never work. More money needs to be available for funding projects to work holistically with at risk groups.
I would also venture to suggest, the reason some communities are not taking a proactive stand against crime and antisocial behaviour, is that when individuals try to make a difference, the law lets them down with weak and ineffectual sentencing - and it is difficult to access support from overstretched agencies while trying to take a stand.
I have attended respect events and what horrifies me is that these brave members of the community who have stood up to the bullies and criminals, have been forced to relocate because of ongoing harassment.
Thursday, 7 August 2008
According to an article in today's Bristol Evening Post, over a 3 month period half of the youths caught in possession of a knife were not charged. The article can be found here. With the current campaigning and public outrage about knife crime and the senseless loss of life, it seems quite ineffectual that harsher sentencing is not being carried out, at least charge those in possession of an offensive weapon.
Wednesday, 6 August 2008
Tuesday, 5 August 2008
Today, the Weston-super-Mare Mercury reported that a man who terrorised a 13 year old boy with a gun and punched him to the ground, escaped a jail sentence.
How on earth are we supposed to make a difference and sort out the knife and gun culture in this country if custodial sentences are not given out.
The mitigation in this case was that the offender hadn't realised his victim was only 13 years old and that the offender was working long hours.
I expect this will be a comfort to a 13 year old who will probably bear the mental scars for the rest of his life.