Bollox Britain

 2012

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 Offsite Article: Jimmy Savile fancy dress night lands student rugby club with ban...


Link Here 22nd November 2012
St Cuthbert's team members, from Durham University, posed as disgraced TV star and young girls meant to be his victims. Thanks to Nick

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: Caution. Job Destroyers at Work...


Link Here 4th November 2012  full story: Vetting Workers...UK vets all adults to work with kids
Growing numbers of people are being turned down for jobs and university places because they accepted police cautions for minor offences. Cautions showed up on 153,000 Criminal Records Bureau checks last year.

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

  The Ugly Face of Political Correctness...

Police visit pub after PC complaint about their 'ugliest woman' event


Link Here 3rd November 2012

islay innPolice swooped on a pub landlord for organising an ugliest woman competition.

An uknown complainant reported the Glasgow pub for sexism and demanded the competition be cancelled and also that the owners of Islay Inn be prosecuted.

However, when police arrived at the Glasgow venue they gave manager George Hogg the go ahead after discovering it was, in fact, a competition for men dressed as women.

Landlord George Hogg said:

It was a totally over the top reaction by whoever went to the bother of reporting us - political correctness gone mad!

 

  Miserable in Liverpool...

Bunch of Lib Dems dress up as puritans and go round pissing off the decent drinking folk of Liverpool


Link Here 2nd October 2012

puritansLiverpool Council are being urged to investigate whether the boom in weekend stag and hen parties in Liverpool is giving the city a bad name with ordinary tourists.

The Liberal Democrats claim there is a risk that more mild-mannered visitors will take away a negative impression of the city because of the volume and behaviour of groups enjoying celebrating upcoming marriages.

They said they believed Liverpool residents, particularly those with children, may also be unimpressed with rowdy crowds who are often already well-oiled by the early afternoons of Fridays and Saturdays.

A motion moved by Liberal Democrat Cllr Richard Oglethorpe states:

Whilst recognising their contribution to the local economy, this council believes that the current volume and behaviour of stag and hen parties may be in danger of deterring ordinary visitors and local residents from frequenting Liverpool city centre.

Oglethorpe added:

I was walking down Hanover Street one day and this group of girls came out of a pub really bladdered, shouting their heads off and swearing. It was quite frightening for young kids. It's not just at 4am, it's late afternoons this is happening. I think it will deter people coming to the city, and it doesn't give a great impression for those who live here either.

He said the motion had a lukewarm reception from members of the Labour group at the neighbourhoods committee last week, but is to get a second hearing at the community safety committee.

 

 Offsite Article: CPS grovels after leaking IDs of hundreds arrested during student riots...


Link Here 28th September 2012
Freedom of Information blunder reveals details of people released uncharged. By Jane Fae Ozimek

See article from theregister.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: The unfree streets of London...


Link Here 15th September 2012
A shocking new Google Map shows the bits of London where you can become a criminal without even realising it.

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 Offsite Article: The west's hypocrisy over Pussy Riot is breathtaking...


Link Here 22nd August 2012
Our courts now jail at the drop of a headline, for stealing water or abuse sent on Twitter. So who are we to condemn Russia?

See article from guardian.co.uk

 

 Update: Harassing Tweeters...

Britain leads the way in persecuting its people over internet insults


Link Here 21st August 2012  full story: Trivial Insults...Authorities persecuting insulting comments on Facebook and Twitter

oxford internet institute logoPolice and prosecutors in the UK are accused of being incredibly heavy-handed when dealing with insulting internet messages.

It follows several cases where young people have been arrested, fined or jailed after posting insulting comments on their Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Bernie Hogan from the Oxford Internet Institute monitors what happens in other countries. He said that although the UK was leading the way in cracking down on this type of online abuse, by comparison we are incredibly heavy-handed .

The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said in a statement: People have a right to publish their views but when these views become indecent, threatening or offensive then the individuals they affect also have the right to report them. The police will assist with any prosecution.

Index, which campaigns for freedom of expression, say the cases are silly and the police only pursues them because they are easy prosecutions .

 

 Updated: Spy in the Cab...

Southampton reprehensibly consider appealing ban on taxi snooping


Link Here 21st August 2012

Southampton Concil logoTown hall snoopers have been forcing taxi drivers to record all conversations in their cabs. In an alarming extension of the Big Brother state, CCTV and microphones had been installed in all cabs under the control of Southampton City Council.

However, Information Commissioner Christopher Graham, responding to a complaint by a passenger, said most people expect privacy in the back of a cab, and that while CCTV can still be used, recording conversations must stop. He added:

By requiring taxi operators to record all conversations and images while the vehicles are in use, Southampton City Council has gone too far.

We recognise the council's desire to ensure the safety of passengers and drivers but this has to be balanced against the degree of privacy that most people would reasonably expect in the back of a taxi.

Jacqui Rayment, Southampton City Council's deputy leader, reprehensibly  said:

We are disappointed with this decision. We are currently taking legal advice on the next steps to take, including appeal.'

Southampton began forcing local taxi drivers to record conversations between themselves and passengers in 2009, claiming it would provide greater safety for both parties.

In other parts of the country, including London, it is recommended that cabs either install CCTV systems without audio recording functions due to privacy concerns, or use a system which triggers audio recording only in specific circumstances for a short period, such as if the driver has pressed a panic button.

Doncaster Snoops

See article from bigbrotherwatch.org.uk

After successfully challenging audio-CCTV in Oxford and Southampton, it has come to our attention that Doncaster is also pursuing audio recording in taxis.

Always-on audio recording means recording every minute of every conversation of every passenger. It is a disproportionate and intrusive policy that goes against data protection law and does little to address to the underlying threats to driver safety.

Needless to say we'll be contacting Doncaster Council and the Information Commissioner about the scheme.

Update: Southampton Council Stasi

21st August 2012. See  article from  bigbrotherwatch.org.uk

StasiFollowing a Big Brother Watch complaint to the Information Commissioner, last month Southampton Council was handed an enforcement notice for it's policy of requiring taxis to record both audio and video of every taxi journey.

The council has now announced it will appeal the ICO's action.

Yet more public resources will be tied up defending a policy that has no grounding in rational thought or civil society. It's another example of a council trying to steamroller surveillance through without paying attention to public opinion, privacy or in this case, the law.

A Government minister has agreed with Big Brother Watch. Bob Neill, Minister for Local Government, has also come out against the move. He said:

This is another example of excessive and unjustifiable snooping by a Town Hall Stasi, harming civil liberties and lacking common sense. The Labour council should withdraw the appeal rather than waste taxpayers' money on an expensive legal challenge.

 

 Update: Police Don't Need New Laws for Twitter...

But it's us that need new laws to preserve free speech


Link Here 5th August 2012  full story: Trivial Insults...Authorities persecuting insulting comments on Facebook and Twitter

ACPO logoTwitter should take action as quickly as possible to deal with supposed abuse on its website, according to a senior police officer.

Stuart Hyde, chief constable of Cumbria police who speaks on e-crime for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said it was right for police to intervene in cases of bullying on twitter.

Asked if new laws were needed, Hyde told BBC Radio 4's Today programme:

No, I think we have got quite a lot of legislation, dating back to the Malicious Communications Acts of 1998 and 2003. There is a lot there that helps us and gives us the power to do stuff.

This is a new technology, a new way of communicating, it has grown exponentially. There hasn't been separate legislation, so we are using legislation that wasn't particularly created for this, but it works reasonably well most of the time.

We are learning from it, there are things that have sometimes gone wrong and I think sometimes it is important that we make sure we provide the service people need.

If people come to us and say 'I am really upset, I've been offended, my life has been made a misery and I want somebody to do something about it', then yes the police should, whenever possible, try to help.

I don't want police officers dragged off the streets to deal with frivolous complaints. Where these complaints are pretty serious, then it is quite right that we should intervene, and we do that.

It is important to look at the whole context. It is not just about one tweet, it is a whole range of tweets.

Look at what the individual has done -- is this a concerted attempt to have a go at one individual in a way that passes the threshold for offences against the law? If it is, then clearly we should intervene and do something to stop it.

But Hyde said that police have so far not received large numbers of complaints about abusive Twitter messages.

 

  Trivial Tweets: Pandering to the Easily Offended...

Can't the ombudsman just say no for once


Link Here 3rd August 2012  full story: Trivial Insults...Authorities persecuting insulting comments on Facebook and Twitter

king arthur ombudsmanA complaint has been made to a PC watchdog about a councillor accused of suggesting on Twitter that a woman turn to prostitution to earn money.

According to the Western Mail, Carmarthenshire councillor John Jenkins responded to a female Twitter user who said she needed to earn money quickly by writing:

Prostitution? On a serious note, good money in being in an escort.

Jenkins, who represents Elli in Llanelli as an independent, said:

Someone has obviously gone to a lot of effort to trawl through an archive of my private communications to find something that they can take out of context to make me look bad. Continue reading the main story Start Quote

In no way can private banter between friends, none of which were offended by the obvious tongue-in-cheek banter, be considered offensive.

He said he had been the subject of a vexatious, politically-motivated complaint and looked forward to explaining it to the ombudsman if the watchdog thinks there is a case to answer.

A spokeswoman for the Public Services Ombudsman confirmed a complaint had been made. She said it would be considered before a decision is taken whether to launch a formal investigation.

 

 Offsite Article: Dorset Police Censorship...


Link Here 3rd August 2012  full story: Trivial Insults...Authorities persecuting insulting comments on Facebook and Twitter
The arrest of the Tom Daley tweeter was not an isolated act by idle coppers -- it was part of today's sweeping culture of intolerance. By Brendan O'Neill

See article from blogs.telegraph.co.uk

 

 Update: Insulting People GB...

The trivial insult elevated to serious crime


Link Here 2nd August 2012  full story: Trivial Insults...Authorities persecuting insulting comments on Facebook and Twitter

Twitter logoA Welsh Premier League footballer has been suspended after a supposedly homophobic tweet was sent to Olympic diver Tom Daley.

Port Talbot Town FC said midfielder Daniel Thomas has been the victim of a misguided prank after leaving his phone unattended, but said they have suspended the player and are investigating. A club spokesman said:

Port Talbot Town Football Club can confirm Daniel Thomas has been suspended from all involvement with the club until we have carried out a full internal investigation.

We were made aware to an offensive comment appearing on the Twitter feed of one of our players.

Having spoken at length to the player in question, we believe he regrettably left his phone unattended and was the victim of a very misguided 'prank'.

The club said it and Thomas apologised unreservedly and in no way condoned the views made in the tweet.

 

 Updated: Continuing Scottish Shame...

6 year in jail is not enough for some in Scotland as Gough is rearrested


Link Here 24th July 2012  full story: Naked Rambler...Stephen Gough imprisoned for being naked

Stephen GoughThe Naked Rambler Stephen Gough has been arrested three days after he was released from prison.

Gough, a former Royal Marine who hikes across the country naked, was arrested in Townhill, Dunfermline, by policemen from Fife Constabulary.

He was released from Perth Prison on Tuesday, having spent the past six years in the Scottish jail.

A spokesman for Fife Constabulary said he was arrested following complaints from members of the public and has been charged with a supposed breach of the peace.

The Naked Rambler's supporters on Facebook have made an official complaint to the Fife Constabulary

Re Arrest of Mr Stephen Gough on the afternoon of 20th July 2012 whilst in the course of peacefully eating his lunch unattired

I refer to the ruling on Breach of the Peace, in 2001 in the High Court of Justiciary, where Lord Coulsfield held that breach of the peace required conduct severe enough to cause alarm to ordinary people and threaten serious disturbance to the community and that mere annoyance or irritation were insufficient .

Misapplication of the legislation governed by this ruling would in itself constitute Breach of the Peace by any individual(s) conducting such misapplication. Fife Constabulary is hereby on notice to provide indisputable evidence, including a physical witness, of serious disturbance to the community .

In this regard, this message is being copied to Professional Standards and constitutes a formal complaint.

Update: Jailed for at least a month

24th July 2012. See  article from  bbc.co.uk

Stephen Gough, the man known as the naked rambler, has denied charges concerning nudity 'close' to a play park near Dunfermline.

Prosecutors said he refused to put on clothing or move away and supposedly committed a breach of the peace on 20 July.

Gough chose to represent himself and was naked during the court appearance.

He was jailed until 23 August. Gough did not ask for bail.

 

 Updated: Scotland Shamed...

Naked Rambler Freed After 6 Years in Jail


Link Here 19th July 2012  full story: Naked Rambler...Stephen Gough imprisoned for being naked

Stephen GoughStephen Gough, nicknamed the Naked Rambler, has vowed to continue walking around Britain with no clothes on after tasting his first day of freedom after being jailed by Scotland for 6 years.

Former marine Stephen Gough has spent the vast majority of the past decade behind bars because of Scottish intolerance and injustice.

He initially earned the title Naked Rambler by walking unclothed from Land's End to John O'Groats after quitting his job as a lorry driver.

He was spoken to by police immediately after his release, but was then allowed to go on his way in an apparent shift in Tayside Police force policy. On the last few occasions he has been immediately arrested by officers waiting for him at the gates, but yesterday he was given the go-ahead to walk off despite being naked.

Following his release he said: My opinion is that the police have thought 'the guy's not going to give up so let's have a think about it.

He revealed that he had spent the vast majority of his time in solitary confinement in maximum security Perth Prison - although he said life inside flew by.

Offsite: The naked truth

19th July 2012. See article from fleetstreetfox.com , thanks to David

A good article about Stephen Gough and Scottish injustice.

A commenter also makes the point that 6 years spent in jail is the equivalent of a 12 years sentence with 50% remission.

...Read the full article

 

 Updated: Bruce Springsteen Unplugged...

When did Britain become a Health and Safety Police State?


Link Here 18th July 2012

Bruce Springsteen Concert Unplugged Elf and Safety extremists pulled the plug on a concert by Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band and Paul Mccartney citing ludicrous bollox that they had run 8 minutes past their allotted time.

Fans were left angered after the Hard Rock Calling event ended prematurely after Paul Mccartney joined Bruce Springsteen on stage to perform Twist and Shout and I Saw Her Standing There. 

As 80,000 rapturous fans yelled their delight under the pouring rain, the microphones were switched off after the health and safety curfew was breached by eight minutes, leaving the singers to leave the stage in silence.

While organisers defended the unfortunate decision last night, it provoked a storm of protest from fans and even members of Springsteen's entourage.

Steven Van Zandt, the guitarist with Springsteen's E Street band, said:

One of the great gigs ever in my opinion. But seriously, when did England become a police state?

Boris Johnson, the London Mayor, also wade into the row, criticising the excessively officious decision .

Last night, a spokesprat for Live Nation, the event's organisers, spewed:

The curfew is laid down by the authorities in the interest of the public health and safety.

A Westminster Council spokesman said it was concert organisers, not the council, who pulled the plug.

Update: Oops Wrong Jobsworths. It wasn't Elf & Safety after all. It was the department of Petty Bureaucracy and Clock Watching

18th July 2012. See  article from  telegraph.co.uk

Promoter Live Nation released a statement in the hours after the plug was pulled on Bruce Springsteen, claiming the curfew was in place as a result of safety issues.

However Kevin Myers, the deputy chief executive of the Health and Safety Executive, who was actually at the gig, said it was not true to blame the end of the show on those grounds. He said:

The fans deserve the truth. There's no health and safety issues involved here. While public events may have licensing conditions dictating when they should end, this is not health and safety.

 

 Update: Brand or Land Army?...

A uniformed army of jobsworths search for businesses using banned Olympic words


Link Here 16th July 2012  full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control
Uniformed Olympics officers

  Hundreds of Olympics officers of the
Brand Army

Hundreds of uniformed Olympics officers will begin touring the country today enforcing sponsors' multimillion-pound marketing deals, in a highly organised mission.

Almost 300 enforcement officers will be seen across the country checking firms to ensure they are not staging ambush marketing or illegally associating themselves with the Games at the expense of official sponsors such as Adidas, McDonald's, Coca-Cola and BP.

The Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, refused to rule out that even more soldiers may be called upon to help with security. However, as well as the regular Army, the Olympic brand army will start its work with a vengeance today.

Wearing purple caps and tops, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) are heading the biggest brand repression operation staged in the UK. Under legislation specially introduced for the London Games, they have the right to enter shops and offices and bring court action with fines of up to 20,000. The ODA seems to comprise of council workers seconded from Trading Substandards.

Olympics organisers have warned businesses that during London 2012 their advertising should not include a list of banned words, including gold , silver and bronze , summer , sponsors and London . Publicans have been advised that blackboards advertising live TV coverage must not refer to beer brands or brewers without an Olympics deal, while caterers and restaurateurs have been told not to advertise dishes that could be construed as having an association with the event.

The scale of the brand enforcement squad is likely to intensify criticism that the Olympics has become too corporate. Paul Jordan, an expert in brand protection at Bristows solicitors said they were almost certainly tougher than at previous Olympics: No other brands would have people walking the streets being their eyes and ears, protecting their interests.

 

 Offsite Article: A 15 million pound racket shows why we need libel reform...


Link Here 4th July 2012
Libel claims being used to stifle criticism of 'civil recovery schemes'

See article from liberalconspiracy.org

 

 Offsite Article: Unrespected Policing...


Link Here 3rd July 2012
One of the UK's most respected photographers has accused police of harassment after he was quizzed over PC extremist claims that he was somehow taking indecent photographs of a child

See article from amateurphotographer.co.uk

 

  And Then it Dawned on Them...

Licensing police turn up en-mass to ban the pub band '4am'


Link Here 20th June 2012

monty python police Confusion over a band called 4am and the time the group was due to perform on stage, prompted a visit from licensing officers and police to a local pub. The Feathers in Laleham, Surrey, had advertised live music from 4am .

Two licensing officers and two police officers visited the pub the day before to stop the performance, before being told it was the name of the band.

The pub's licensee, Kate Dillon, said she was speechless after the visit. She said:

If one official turns up that's funny enough, but if four people come into the pub like they did, it's absolutely ridiculous.

When I calmed down a bit I thought it was absolutely hilarious. They made idiots of themselves really.

The two-piece band, of Joe Becket and John Adams, was named after a track by jazz musician Herbie Hancock.

 

 Offsite Article: Social Workers More Fascist than the EDL?...


Link Here 18th June 2012
Social workers want to seize a baby as soon as it is born because they are concerned about the mother's violent links to the English Defence League

See article from express.co.uk

 

  Brits earning less than 20-30k told to fuck off elsewhere if they want to live with their spouses...

Human rights to a family life in Britain somehow don't apply to those on less than average income


Link Here 10th June 2012

UK Visa British citizens who marry foreigners will have to earn at least 20,000 a year if they want to set up their family home in the UK under new proposed human rights abuse.

The planned changes mean lower-paid Britons would be forced to emigrate if they wanted to live with a loved one from overseas.

And if the foreign-born spouse had children, their British partner would have to earn 30,000 or more, depending on how many children they had. They will also have to pass a strict new combined attachment test to prove they share a genuine loyalty to Britain, not another country, and they will remain on probation for five years instead of the current two.

The proposals, to be announced by Home Secretary and human rights abuser Theresa May, are expected to cut immigration, currently standing at 250,000 a year, by 25,000. Tory rights abusing MPs last night welcomed the move .

May is also expected to confirm stringent English-speaking test for husbands, wives or partners of UK citizens applying to come to live in Britain on a family visa.

The new human rights abuse will not apply to partners from within the European Union, as they will continue to have the right to settle here.

 

 Update: Strathclyde Partnership for Repression...

Photography to be banned on Glasgow's subway system


Link Here 25th May 2012  full story: Policing of Photographers...Snapshot of a British police state

spt logo Passengers have condemned plans to ban the use of cameras on Glasgow's iconic Subway system, describing the move as illogical and unnecessary.

The public body that manages the circle line has proposed a by-law which could involve fines.

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) claims new laws are crucial to ensure the system remains easy, safe, secure, and comfortable for passengers.

However, the contentious initiative has prompted a backlash from regular users, as well as photographers, of the third oldest underground railway in the world after London and Budapest in Hungary.

Known as byelaw 12.1, the rule is defined in a consultation document issued by SPT. It states that people must not take photographs, or make video, audio, or visual recordings on any part of the Subway. Should anyone fall foul of the new rules, they could face prosecution, court proceedings, and a fine -- although its level has not been stated.

Twitter users have pointed out that SPT accepts advertising which features Quick Response (QR) codes, designed to be scanned by smartphone cameras.

 

9th May   

Playing with the Economy...


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empirex.co.uk
 

Labour's Heln Goodman adds merchandise for children to the long list of banned pleasures of life
Link Here
helen goodman Labour's shadow media minister Helen Goodman has called for curbs on merchandising by children's television programmes, claiming that the proliferation of products is placing an intolerable burden on hard-up parents.

Speaking at a Westminster media forum, Financing Children's Media , Goodman called for limits to the growth of merchandising.

Speaking as a parliamentarian I am not enamoured of ideas to liberalise rules and allow more product placement and merchandising. Governments are also responsible for preventing the economic exploitation of children, she claimed.

Speaking after her speech, she added: Parents do become quite tired of being pestered to provide things they might not be able to afford.

 

30th April

 Offsite Article: Photographers harassed at stations...

Link Here  full story: Policing of Photographers...Snapshot of a British police state
While terrorists can work from home. By Cleland Thom. Thanks to Nick.

See article from blogs.pressgazette.co.uk

 

28th April

 Offsite Article: Olympics Police Uniforms...

Link Here  full story: Snooper's Charter...Tories re-start massive programme of communications snooping
The chilling (and balaclava-clad) face of modern British policing: London siege reveals armed-to-the-teeth team preparing for the Olympic Games

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

24th April   

Updated: Making a Bad Image of the London Olympics...


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O2 Arena security set to harass photographers anywhere near the venue
Link Here  full story: Policing of Photographers...Snapshot of a British police state

o2 arena Media and civil liberties groups have expressed alarm after the managers of an Olympic venue pledged to intercept and question anyone seen photographing or filming the site, even from public land, and defended security guards who wrongly tried to invoke terrorist laws to prevent footage being shot of the arena.

The stance taken by the O2 in Greenwich highlights wider concerns that Olympic security operations could see photographers, film crews and even members of the public harassed for entirely legal activities.

John Toner from the National Union of Journalists said he would seek an urgent meeting with managers of the O2, saying their tactics had no basis in law: I'm stunned, and what they say is utterly outrageous.

While there are strict photography rules inside Olympic venues and on many other private spaces, when standing on public land the press and public have a clear right to shoot still or moving images.

As an experiment, the Guardian attempted to shoot video footage of the O2 arena from a public road on its southern edge, only a few minutes' walk from the main entrance.

Very quickly the reporter was challenged by O2 security guards, who made a series of demands with no basis in law. They ordered that the filming stop -- We've requested you to not do it because we don't like it -- and that they be shown any existing footage. Asked on what basis they could demand this, one replied: It's under the terrorist law. We are an Olympic venue. Another added: You have, for want of a better word, breached our security by videoing it [the O2].

At one point they refused to allow the reporter to leave. One said: It's gone too far for that. Guards are entitled to challenge suspicious behaviour and call the police. However, they have no additional legal powers on public land. While such overreach is not uncommon it is often followed by a management apology.

An O2 spokesman defended the guards' approach. He said: On the basis that [the reporter was] filming areas of the O2 that are not usually of interest to the public, our security staff's approach and handling of the situation was entirely appropriate.

The civil rights campaign group Liberty said it was alarmed. Its legal officer Corinna Ferguson, said: There's no power stopping a person taking photographs on public land, let alone to arrest them or seize property, without reasonable suspicion they've committed an offence. Police officers or security guards who get this wrong could well find themselves in trouble with the law.

Offsite: And from the Independent

Surely the security guards are not acting off their own initiative. Sounds like bollox and that they are doing what they have been told to do.

24th April 2012. See  article from  independent.co.uk

The Independent Poorly trained and overzealous security guards are abusing the law by clamping down on public photography in the run-up to this summer's Olympics.

Amateur and professional photographers say they are being routinely harangued by aggressive guards near Olympic venues, who use the upcoming Games as an excuse to restrict public photography despite having no basis in law to do so.

G4S, the private security company which is recruiting at least 10,000 extra staff for the Games, was forced to apologise yesterday after staff stopped a group of professional photographers taking pictures of the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, east London.

The five photographers were standing on public property outside the Olympic Stadium on Saturday but were forcibly prevented from taking photos by guards who claimed it was forbidden from where they were standing. Only a week earlier, senior police officials had assured photographers that private security guards have no extra powers to clamp down on photography.

...Read the full article

 

31st March

 Offsite Link: A Scottish license to kill culture...

Link Here
Bureaucrats north of the border seem to be on a mission to bleed all the spontaneity out of Scotland's thriving cultural scene. By Tiffany Jenkins of Spiked

See article from spiked-online.com

 

28th March   

Only Rich People will be able to Take their Spouses to the UK...


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Brits earning less that 25,700 don't qualify for the human right to a family life
Link Here

UK VisaTheresa May, the British Home Secretary, is planning a rights abusing immigration clampdown on tens of thousands of people who use family visas to settle in Britain, according to a leaked cabinet letter.

The letter from May to Nick Clegg, which has been seen by The Sunday Telegraph, proposes a tough new minimum income of 25,700 a year for anyone seeking to bring a spouse, partner or dependant to the UK from outside the European Union from June - almost double the current threshold of 13,700.

The minimum income would rise dramatically - up to 62,600 - if children are also brought in.

May also wants a longer probationary period of five years before spouses and partners can apply to live permanently in Britain, and a higher level of English to be required.

The proposals could cut the number of immigrants allowed in by 15,000 a year - a significant step towards the Government's aim of reducing net migration to 100,000 people each year.

However, they are expected to fought hard by Clegg and other Liberal Democrat ministers, escalating still further the tensions between the two Coalition partners that have risen dramatically since last week's controversial Budget.

In 2010, some 48,900 visas were issued under this category. The majority of those who come to settle in Britain using this method are women from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

 

24th March   

Update: Another Granny Tax...

Miserable Cameron to impose a minimum price on alcohol
Link Here

temperance uk government logoThe government is proposing a minimum price of 40p per unit of alcohol in England and Wales. It ludicrously believes this could transform the behaviour of those who cause the most problems for hospitals and police.

The drinks industry said a minimum price was misguided and would hit consumers hard.

Under the minimum price proposal, such as at the suggested 40p level, it would act as a floor and retailers would not be allowed to offer alcohol cheaper than that. While most prices would be unaffected, it could significantly alter the price of heavily-discounted ciders, super-strength lager and cheap spirits.

The impact could include:

  • A 2.99 bottle of red wine, containing 9.4 units of alcohol, would become 3.76 Cheap
  • strong lager at 75p a can, with three units per can, would become 1.20
  • strong cider, costing 87p a can and containing four units, would 1.60
  • Cheap supermarket whisky at 16.10, with 40 units of alcohol, would probably be unchanged in price

Home Secretary Theresa May said that just under one fifth of all alcohol sold would be affected by introducing a 40p minimum.

The repressive alcohol 'strategy' also seeks to give local agencies an extensive range of tools and powers such as restricting opening hours and amount of licensed premises.

It also plans to end the notion that drinking is an unqualified right by piloting sobriety schemes for those people whose offending is linked to excessive alcohol consumption , threatens the 'strategy' document.

The strategy also includes a plan for a late-night levy to make clubs and pubs help pay for policing.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the Labour Party supported the idea of a minimum unit price, subject to debate about where it should be set to ensure it worked.

Gavin Partington, interim chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said he thought a minimum price move would be highly likely to face a legal challenge from a drinks company.

 

10th March

 Offsite Article: Big Pricks...

Link Here
Police thugs lay into stag party with tasers and pepper spray

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

4th March   

Update: Paying the Olympic Price...

Parody not allowed and satellite dishes forcibly removed in the name of beautification
Link Here  full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control

london 2012 video Creating parodies goes to the heart of comedy and is one of the most effective ways to highlight social issues.

But parodies of films and music aren't allowed under UK copyright law, unless you have explicit permission of the copyright owner.

A political YouTube video that may have infringed copyright got over 90,000 views when published last year by Mother's Best Child, before being abruptly taken down thanks to the Olympics Committee.

Update: Dishing out repression

4th March 2012. See  article from  dailymail.co.uk

police take down satellite dishesResidents of every property in Shepherdess Walk in Hackney, East London, were told by their local council to remove their satellite dishes or face eviction.

Most of the dishes have been fixed to the front of houses for more than ten years. But Hackney Borough Council says planning permission was never granted.

Only people living in listed buildings need planning permission for a satellite dish (up to about a meter diameter), but the properties under duress are in fact listed.

The council has now told housing trust Circle 33 to make their tenants take down the dishes and fit them to the rear of houses - or switch to cable.

It is believed that the residents are the victims of a bid to clean up Hackney before the start of the Olympic Games in London in June.

resident Tony Emberson said:

I got the letter with only three days to sort something out. Residents believe the council's order is part of a bid to smarten the area up ahead of the Olympics, many events of which will be staged from the Olympic Park in the neighbouring borough of Newham.

The deadline was extended to three weeks once the press got hold of the story.

 

22nd February

 Offsite Article Don't Lift a Finger Lest You Get Finger Strain...

Link Here
Police and firemen refuse to retrieve recently drowned man from a pool with just 3 foot of water. Shameful Britain where political correctness trumps basic humanity

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

20th February   

Update: Miserable Cameron...

Suffocating any avenue of life that is fun and pleasurable, in this case drinking
Link Here  full story: Drinking Restrictions...Drinking becomes the target of killjoy politicians

Metropiltan Police badgePolice chiefs launched a scathing attack on David Cameron's miserable plans to tackle so called binge drinking, branding them dangerous and unhelpful .

The Police Federation also warned that forces did not have enough resources to implement the Prime Minister's crackdown.

Cameron on had pledged to tackle the growing scandal of alcohol-fuelled disorders during a visit to a hospital in Newcastle. He confirmed the Government was considering plans to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol and give police more powers to tackle violence and disorder.

The crackdown includes plans for drunk tanks , cells where those deemed incapable of walking home would be sent by police to sleep it off, and booze buses , which pick up revellers and take them to cells. Other proposals include deploying more police to accident and emergency wards to prevent drunken violence.

Paul McKeever, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: The Prime Minister's suggestion of putting more police on patrol in hospitals to help deal with problems of drunken and anti-social behaviour would be laudable if the police service wasn't struggling to meet the current workload. We simply do not, and will not, have the police officers or the resources.

McKeever said plans to tackle alcohol purely from a health perspective without considering the implications on other public services were unhelpful and likely to fail .

 

13th February

 Offsite Comment: Bookmakers Under Duress...

Link Here
Miserable moralists look to suffocate yet another pleasure of life and means of making a living. The Association of British Bookmakers responds

See article from telegraph.co.uk

 

31st January   

The New Olympic Event of Freedom High Hurdles...

London bans feeding the pigeons and protesting in Trafalgar and Parliament Square
Link Here

parliament-squareWhat byelaws, specific to Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square, could our dear Mayor be drafting in such a hurry? So, I had a look.

I found that, buried among various rules making it a criminal offence to feed birds or fly kites, it contained some astonishing and highly undemocratic rules effectively stifling peaceful protest. No doubt Boris Johnson is thinking of the upcoming Olympics and what an embarrassment it would be to have poor people protesting near tourists.

The byelaws make it an offence to:

  • erect or keep erected any tent or similar structure
  • display any sign
  • make or give any speech or public address
  • fail to comply with a reasonable direction given by an authorised person to leave the square.

It is my belief that this is an outrageous and unprecedented attack on our freedom as citizens. The consulation notice explains that any objection to the confirmation of the Byelaws may be made by letter addressed to Carl Schnackenberg, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2-4 Cockspur Street, London SW1Y 5DH, or by email to: Carl.Schnackenberg@Culture.gsi.gov.uk.

The closing date for responses is 29th February 2012.

 

24th January   

Update: Protestors Left Steaming...

Kettling back on the police menu after High Court appeal
Link Here  full story: Policing UK Demonstrations...Heavy handing policing of demonstrations

Old BaileyThe Metropolitan Police has won its appeal against a High Court ruling over kettling tactics used during the G20 demonstrations.

The High Court ruling had been won by Hannah McClure, a student, and Josh Moos, a campaigner for Plane Stupid.

They challenged the legality of restraint methods used against them in April 2009 when they were contained by policemen in Bishopsgate.

But the Court of Appeal has now ruled against the High Court's decision.

The High Court ruling, where policemen were said to have used unjustified force , led to a call from human rights lawyers for an immediate change to police attitudes and tactics .

Police used the kettling tactic - where demonstrators are corralled inside police cordons and prevented from leaving - against the protesters in Bishopsgate, even though they had been peaceful.

 

22nd January   

Update: Late Night Pub Levy...

Yet more suffocating legislation to stop British people enjoying themselves and making money
Link Here  full story: Drinking Restrictions...Drinking becomes the target of killjoy politicians

cinderella midnightA public online consultation has been launched asking for views on the implementation of two new powers designed to spoil people's fun and depress the late night economy.

The measures, contained in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 and due to be introduced in the autumn, will empower local killjoys by:

  • allowing local authorities to charge a levy for late-night licences to contribute to the cost of extra policing
  • extending Early Morning Restriction Orders -- a power that will allow licensing authorities to restrict the sale of alcohol in all or part of their areas -- to any time between midnight and 6am

The consultation asks whether some types of premises should be exempted from the new measures, or eligible for a reduction in the levy, if they are judged not to be major contributors to the type alcohol-related crime and disorder that can blight neighbourhoods. Such premises could be hotels, cinemas or community venues.

Minister for Fun Prevention Lord Henley said:

Alcohol-related crime and disorder is a problem for many of our communities. These new measures give power back to local areas so they can respond to their individual needs.

But we also recognise that some types of premises that open late to serve alcohol do not contribute to late night drinking problems and should not be unduly penalised. That is why we are seeking views on whether they should be exempt or see a reduction in fees.

We are keen to hear from anyone who is affected by these new powers to help inform our plans to ensure the premises we have proposed are the right ones.

The public, licensing authorities, the licensed trade and police are all encouraged to contribute their views.

The consultation runs until 10 April 2012.

 

1st January   

Suffocating and Impoverishing Britain...

Ever more criminal offences enacted to micro manage people's lives
Link Here

Ministry of Justice logoThe Ministry of Justice claims it is making progress in streamlining the criminal justice system despite adding 175 new offences during its first year in office.

In total the fledgling government department passed 33 new pieces of legislation in England and Wales in the 12 months ending May 2011. That was a significant reduction on the 92 statutes yielding 712 new criminal offences the previous year.

A MoJ spokesman said:

We want to see greater transparency across the criminal justice system and stop the creation of unnecessary new criminal offences.

It is encouraging to see that in the first year of this government we substantially reduced the number of new offences created.

The figures have been released in the same week as Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge used his annual press conference to call for a decrease in the legislative burden. He said:

The law relating to the criminal justice system has become astonishingly complicated, and I suspect that anybody working in any particular field will say the legislative process in the last 10 to 15 years has become increasingly complex -- harder to understand and therefore more difficult to comply with.'

 

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