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Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘bad

British Justice On Trial

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Thugs, Slimeballs And Grunts

At last, four of the Metropolitan Police’s Territorial Support Group are to stand in the dock charged with assault causing actual bodily harm and a jury is to decide their fate.   They are PC Nigel Cowley, PC Mark Jones, PC Roderick James-Bowen and DC John Donohue.

He's Got To Go

Perhaps Keir Starmer, Director Of Public Prosecutions, thinks he will win back some credibility through this after his catastrophically bad judgement in the Ian Tomlinson case.   Not a bit of it.  In fact, the decision to prosecute now after a successful civil claim against these thugs, proves how negligent the original decision was.  The CPS is charged to uphold the public interest by statute.   It should not have to be harried to the Court reluctantly by civil action.  Yet again, Keir Starmer should hang his head in shame.  In fact, he should resign

These officers have already been proven on the balance of probabilities to have illegally assaulted Babar Ahmad in 2003.  Last year the High Court heard that he  was subject to “serious, gratuitous, prolonged, unjustified violence” and “religious abuse”.   Now the criminal courts will seek to extend that proof to beyond a reasonable doubt.   Meanwhile, the Met, which decided against any disciplinary action, chooses not even to suspend these proven thugs and bullies.  Sir Paul Stephenson should join them in the dock.  His disrespect for due process is astounding.  How can he have such men under his command?  The IPCC also failed in this case – yet again.  In 2007, it decided to take no action against any of the officers.

Keeping Mum

Almost every day now, new horror stories of illegal, brutal or simply dumb police behaviour are revealed.  This is the reward we have reaped from the massive investment and huge increase in salaries we gave to the police in the 80s.  According to my contact with inside knowledge it is due to a “collapse in supervision…and an arrogance due to few cops having much other work experience”.  The police service is no such thing for the average British citizen.  It is a self-serving bureaucracy with an aggressive sub-culture, acting as a revenue generating workforce for the state.  It is institutionalised racism, brutality, prejudice, bullying, corruption, cowardice, freemasonry, all dressed up in a jack-the-lad, paramilitary uniform.   It isn’t even any good at what it does.    Aside from dealing with road accidents and high-level anti-terrorism, I know of little good work done by the British police.  It has become an out of control monster that avoids doing what the public wants and picks and chooses what to devote its resources to.

PC Simon Harwood

If Keir Starmer can reverse his decsion on these thugs who beat up a suspected terrorist, he can also reverse his decison on the fatal assault on Ian Tomlinson, an entirely innocent bystander.   Meanwhile we await impatiently the coroner’s inquest on his death and the disciplinary hearing against PC Simon Harwood, which must be held in public in accordance with the statutory provisions.

Every time that a police officer breaks the law or exceeds his powers he breaches our trust.   It is the same as a bank employee stealing from his bank.  It must be punished particularly severely.  This must be the standard that British police adhere to.  We must never relent from calling the corrupt and incompetent to account.

We Wait For Justice

Whether a conviction is possible in this latest case, seven years after the events took place, I don’t know.  On the basis of its own rules the CPS must believe a conviction is more likely than not or it wouldn’t be proceeding .  Justice delayed though, is justice denied for Babar Ahmad and the policemen.  This repeated and continuing incompetence by the prosecution and regulatory authorities is every bid as dangerous as the deterioration in the police.   Suspicions of corruption, collusion and conspiracy are inevitable and must be answered.  These are serious threats to British justice.

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A Fundamental Problem At The BBC

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I am very close to being the BBC’s biggest fan.  It is a remarkable and entirely unique institution.  Somehow it occupies a place between the state and the people which I can find no comparison for.  It would be easy to define it as some sort of socialist idea but it is genuinely independent from the state.  I do, however, have some concerns about its accountability.  I am very concerned about the way it handles complaints.

No Complaints Accepted Here

I have grown up with the BBC and I trust it.  In fact, I think that it’s done a better job of maintaining Britishness and values of integrity, tolerance, fairness and justice than any UK government of any political complexion.  That’s why the curmudgeons in all political parties turn against it.  I think Jeremy Hunt’s recent attacks and comments were particularly poorly judged.  He hasn’t a had a good start in government at all has he?

I made a complaint to the BBC recently and I am very, very unhappy about the way it has been handled.   The subject is not relevant here.  I shall write about it in future but for now it would distract from my point.  I am horrified to discover that the BBC does not handle complaints itself.   They are outsourced to Capita in Belfast which describes itself as “the UK’s leading outsourcing company…at the leading edge of redefining and transforming services to the public.”  For me that needs a huge pinch of salt, a mountain in fact and even then I’m choking on it.

Handling complaints should be at the very heart of an organisation.  It is the essence of your brand.  There is no more important management function.  Contracting them out is an abdication of responsibility.  More than that, it is a complete failure of integrity, a massive mistake.   If an organisation is truly committed to meeting its customers’ needs it must be as close to them as possible.  This irresponsibility strikes at the very heart of everything I value about the BBC.  I am deeply disillusioned.

If this disastrous decision had resulted in a well administered service then that might be some consolation but not a bit of it.  It is dreadful.  Every bit as bad as any horror story you’ve heard about British Gas, BT or yes, even a bank.  This is the British consumer experience at its very worst.

Not What It Used To Be

In sharp contrast to the rest of the BBC’s websites, try making a complaint online.  It’s like something from the very early days of the internet with clumsy, badly aligned fields and an archaic feel.  I almost expect to hear a modem whistling away in the background.  From a complainant’s point of view it’s quite useless.  You don’t get any option to save a copy of your complaint or email it to yourself.  You don’t even get an acknowledgement once you’ve completed it so you’re left with a completely unsatisfactory feeling of uncertainty.  Did they get it or not?  Will I get a reply?  When?

It gets worse.  Complaints are lost.  They don’t get answered at all.  They certainly don’t get answered within the 10 working days promised.  One answer I received was just laughable in its anodyne, crass simplicity.  It was nothing more than an patronising acknowledgement of what I was “unhappy about”.

Useless

I could go on even further but I won’t.  It does get even worse and it becomes embarrassingly so when Capita start to trot out the oldest excuse of all about “system problems”.  It is an excruciatingly bad, defining example of appalling customer service.  I’d say it takes the biscuit.

All this is the inevitable result of outsourcing your complaints procedure.  That aspect of business that should be one of your most important tools.  What’s worse is that Capita are absolutely useless at doing the job.

It is no exaggeration to say that, for me, this rocks the very foundations of everything I believed about the BBC to the very core.  It is not the organisation I thought it was.  I feel betrayed.  I am “disgusted of Tunbridge Wells”.   In fact,  I am very, very, very disgusted of Weymouth, Dorset.

Massive Outcry For Legal Cannabis On Your Freedom Website

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Your Freedom

The coalition government’s Your Freedom website has, according to Nick Clegg, been “helpful and really exciting”.    It’s been going nearly a fortnight now and anyone who has tried to visit it will have their own experience of how popular and therefore slow and busy it is.

The single most remarkable thing about it though is the massive outcry for the legalisation of cannabis and an end to the war on drugs.  I don’t believe that people’s opinions have suddenly changed.  It’s just that they’ve been given a forum in which to express their views.  If the government doesn’t do something about this issue now they’re going to look pretty stupid.

Your Choice

Mind you, during Obama’s transition, after the election but before the inauguration, he introduced the idea on his change.gov website.  Legalisation of cannabis was the winning idea but it wasn’t adopted.

However, it is true that Obama has made big changes in favour of medical marijuana and that the war on drugs is clearly over.

The site itself is an object lesson in how not to set up an internet presence.   The chosen technology is absolutely useless. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so bad.  HMG could have achieved a much better result with an off-the-shelf WordPress blog just like this one.  This is just another example of the now proven theory that anything the government does with IT will go wrong and cost a fortune.  Who are the idiots who were employed to set up this site?

It is completely overloaded and incapabable of handling the traffic it generates.

The software used for adding comments is the worst I have ever seen anywhere on the web.  When a commenter presses the “add comment” button there is no positive response.  Given how totally overloaded the site is it can take several minutes for the post to appear.  In the meantime, the commenter has pressed the button another four or five times before giving up.  Multiple copies of comments appear and the system slows down even more.

The moderation policy is bizarre to say the least.  It’s glaringly obvious that no thought at all was put into how to organise suggestions.  Consequently, there are literally hundreds of ideas that are almost identical.   Some of these are closed by the moderators and referred to another similar idea – but some aren’t.  They’ve learned nothing from the petitions section of the No 10 website.  It is just crazy!

There’s a strong suspicion of gerrymandering or tinkering with the posts, the votes and the comments.  It may just be the chaos of the site itself but it feels wrong.  There are dodgy things going on behind the scenes and protest is snuffed out.

Overall,  I’d rather we had the site as it is than not have it at all.  It’s just embarrassing though to see how bad it is.

It remains to be seen whether the government will take any notice.  If not though they’ve made a rod for their own back.

Khamenei Defiles Islam

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An Evil Old Man

Evil Hypocrite

When you see an old man like Ayatollah Ali Khamenei talking such absolute drivel it is tempting to think that he is either senile or mad.  Clearly though, the truth is he is simply bad.  His conduct will do more to set back the cause of Islam than almost anything else.  This is why the name of Islam is shamed throughout the world.  If followers of the Prophet can not find some honest, intelligent and sincere spokesmen then their religion and the culture that surrounds it will be forever condemned as a medieval anachronism.

His speech today is a catastrophic mistake and misjudgment but it will lead to a better future.  I believe it will enrage the educated and intelligent people of Iran.  He obviously believes that the people are stupid and that they can be bullied or terrorised into accepting that the elections were fair and that there is no corruption.  It would be easier to claim that he is deluded but no, I think this man is simply evil and it would be in the best interest of all mankind, Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu, non-believer if he were gone.

Who will rid us of this turbulent priest?

Castration Is The Answer

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How can a man rape a two year old girl?

I mean the question in both senses.  How, physically, is it possible without vile and serious physical trauma?  How is it possible for any human being with any degree of conscience or decency?

These questions are unanswerable. So is the crime.  No punishment can be sufficient.  A death sentence would be both too forgiving and morally indefensible.  Surely life must mean life?  Perhaps we should consider “hard labour” or some other definition of the way that this man must spend his time in prison?

But of course this is not a man.  This is a sentient being that has behaved at a level beneath a dumb animal.  I doubt that he is “mad” in any sense that we can define.  He is simply bad.  For the full story see here.ball

Louis Theroux’s recent documentary, “A Place For Paedophiles”, gave an extraordinary insight into Coalinga mental hospital in California where more than 500 paedophiles who have served their sentence have been detained because  they are too dangerous to release.  The BBC has already removed this from the iPlayer so am I happy to direct you elsewhere: (download it here via BitTorrent).

In Coalinga more than 70% of the inmates refuse to participate in the therapy that is their only remote possibility of release.  Otherwise they are destined to spend the rest of their days locked up, even if in relative luxury.  One inmate who was participating in therapy had gone as far as having himself surgically castrated in the hope of release.

Now this may be a way forward.  Why not make surgical castration an option for depraved, out of control monsters such as the one convicted yesterday?  It could be optional, as part of rehabilitation, or in the most serious cases enforced as part of the sentence.  For someone guilty of such appalling crimes I do not see this as any infringement of his rights.