Well, thanks very much to John Platt from the Isle of Wight for taking up so much public money over his little tantrum. In case you missed it, he’s the loving daddy who pulled his daughter out of school for an incredibly important and crucial visit – to Disney World.
OK – I get it! Holidays are more expensive when the schools are off, but that’s just basic supply and demand. It does not give every parent the right to regard their child’s schooling as if it’s a bargain bucket from KFC, to be provided on demand and according to their whim. Schools do not and cannot work that way. At least the Supreme Court saw sense and realised that to rule otherwise than against Le Platt would be grossly unfair to the overwhelming majority of parents who stick to the rules and that it would create absolute wretched anarchy in our already rather chaotic schools.
Most parents faced with a fine would have just coughed up. We’re only talking 120 quid, which equates to about one day’s lunch at Disney, but there seems to be some streak of melodramatic masochism in Platt by which he wants to be seen as the victim. The drivel he came out with as he bad-temperedly commented on the Court’s determination was intellectually offensive.
He claimed that this judgement was about taking away the rights of parents to make decisions about their own children. He claimed that even being a minute late for school would be a criminal offence. What a load of bollocks! It’s neither of those things. It’s about safeguarding the rights of children to education – the single most important thing we can give them – as enshrined in Rab Butler’s Act.
Headteacher’s must always have discretion to allow children time away from school where it is merited, but the circumstances should always be exceptional. Meeting Mickey Bloody Mouse at low season prices does not meet that threshold.
Have some pride, man! Admit you screwed up, pay the fine and don’t be so bloody stupid in future.
I sometimes find it hard to believe man’s ability to be inhuman, but then another senseless act of violence brings it back into very sharp focus.
I could file the events of yesterday in Orlando in the already overflowing drawer labelled “Predictable Consequences of letting any old basket-case have a gun”. We are all too familiar with the seemingly endless stream of carnage and mass murder from around the world, but this one’s rather personal.
The gunman’s father apparently told NBC News that his son was enraged after recently seeing a same-sex couple kissing in front of his family, “an event that could have set him off”.
THAT’S a reason to murder 50 people and ruin the lives of countless others? I see people doing things that offend me almost every day. Does that give me carte blanche to go crazy and kill anyone of whom I don’t approve? No! No! NO!!
What is emerging is a picture of an unstable racist, misogynist and homophobe who, regrettably, had easy access to weapons. The attack must have been homophobic, else why choose a gay nightclub.
Even more gross and disgusting is the absolute glee with which the attack has been seized upon by christian nutjobs claiming it as “god’s punishment”. Just Google “Pat Robertson” or “Westboro Baptist” if you don’t believe me! They are in paroxysms of righteous joy. Filth!
Well, there’s news for you and any other religious extremist who thinks they’re doing “god’s work” by spewing hate or violence towards gay people. Homosexuality occurs naturally. There is reliable evidence to show that we were around long before your religions even got started. And we will be here long after they have crumbled into dust.
We will NOT go quietly into the night.
We’re Here, We’re Queer – now grow up and deal with it!
It’s nice to see in the papers in recent days that our local planning drama seems, at long last, to be drawing to a close.
Robert Fidler owns a farm about a mile from our back door. Back at the turn of the century he started work on a four bedroom house in the farm yard. Fairly unremarkable, except that he didn’t have planning permission and had no intention of applying for it. Instead he built his house inside a shell of hay bales and covered by tarpaulins.
He was trying to take advantage of a provision in Section 171B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to the effect that where building work is carried out without planning permission enforcement action may not be taken against it if it remains uncontested for four years.
Fidler completed his house in 2002, but only removed the hay bales to reveal it in all its “glory” four years later in 2006. He made no secret of his intention to bypass the need for planning permission. What he hadn’t banked on was that the local council and the planning inspector regarded the end of the building work as being when the hay bales were removed – a position later upheld by the Courts. He’d also failed to take account of what’s called the “Connor principle” which is a general rule of public law to the effect that no-one should benefit from their own wrong.
Cutting a very long story short it finally comes down to Fidler being ordered to demolish his house or face going to prison. Reports in April and May suggest that he has finally complied after a legal battle that has cost my local council over 50,000 smackers.
Quite aside from a certain amount of satisfaction in seeing this mock-tudor eyesore reduced to corrugated iron and rubble, I am more than a little cheered that this barrack-room lawyer smartarse has at last been forced to face reality.
However, what really grinds my gears is Fidler’s pathetic attempt to portray himself as a victim and his fractious claim that the local council is out to destroy his life.
Bollocks, Robert! You deliberately set out to flout planning law, but made the most glorious pratfall. Instead of accepting with at least some level of dignity and grace that your gamble failed to pay off you have engaged in a protracted and ever more futile legal battle that has cost the ratepayer a great deal of money that could have been better spent elsewhere.
Planning law is no law unless it is enforced. If Fidler had been allowed to get away with his stunt what’s to stop your neighbour opening a pig farm in their garden?
Asher’s Bakery in Belfast has been back in the Courts this week, seeking to appeal against the five hundred quid fine they received for refusing to bake a cake supporting gay marriage. They say that it conflicts with their deeply held religious beliefs.
Ah, yes, that would be Leviticus 18:22, then? (“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” For the Google impaired among you.)
Now, for the benefit of the casual reader I state again that I don’t give a rat’s arse what anyone else believes. But if you’re going to use Bronze age writings to justify your moral high ground it is reasonable for the rest of us to expect you to adhere to the whole lot and not let you get off with practicing just the bits you agree with.
I would like to suggest to the Lord Chief Justice, Sir Declan Morgan, that he asks the man from Ashers why he was seen wearing a cotton shirt, with a polyester raincoat and a silk tie (Leviticus 19:19) before requiring him to get his family jewels out in Court to ensure that he is a genuine follower of the Lord (Deuteronomy 23:1).
Nauseating scenes today of christian nutjob Kim Davis being released form jail and wanting to “give god the glory”!
For what, love? You lost – resoundingly. You haven’t stopped the issuing of marriage licences and, indeed, you are prohibited from preventing it on pain of being sent back to prison.
However, what is more disturbing about this is that at least two of the men seeking to be President of the USA condone her unlawful behaviour in the name of religious freedom. What a horrible and dangerous precedent these right wing loonies would set.
While we’ve been away on holiday I’ve been watching, with slowly dropping jaw, the escalation in the Kim Davies case. She is the Rowan County Clerk in Kentucky who has been refusing to issue marriage licences to gay couples.
(The christian right in the USA have been bleating that marriage is the union of one man and one woman for life, so I will mention only in passing Ms Davies’s monstrous hypocrisy, as she herself has been married four times, twice to the same man!)
The crunch came last Thursday when Kim was jailed for her persistent refusal to comply with the US Supreme Court’s ruling on equal marriage. This response to her stance is being portrayed as religious persecution, along with some very tasteless and completely unjustified comparisons with the Holocaust.
Let’s get the matter straight. This is NOT victimisation and it is NOT persecution. It is purely and simply a punishment imposed on a public official for a contempt of Court as a direct result of a wilful refusal to do her job.
I have spent a fair amount of my working life in public service. I currently work for a large government department where I am required to administer law. In all those years there have been occasions – thankfully quite few – when I have been required to do things with which I personally disagreed. I’m sure that many of my colleagues will admit the same. If I were ever to refuse to do those things I would be disciplined, if needs be to the point of dismissal. If I refused to comply with an Order from a Court I could be jailed.
This is a fact of life for public officials – part of the deal! You take the job knowing that you might have to do things you don’t agree with, and if the struggle between public duty and private conscience becomes too great you find another job. You CANNOT just pick and choose which parts of the law you will apply. THAT’S NOT HOW THIS WORKS!
When Civil Partnerships were introduced in the UK there were similar arguments put up by a few christian registrars, but these were all rejected by the Courts. In most cases they were quietly transferred to other duties, but one or two just had to go – and so will Kim Davies unless she does the job she was elected to do.
She has been told that she will remain in jail until she complies or resigns. I say Let Her Rot!
Confirmation today, were it needed, that the lunacy that is UK drugs law continues.
An acquaintance has very recently been subjected to a “stop and search” which resulted in the confiscation of a miniscule amount of weed and a cannabis warning. Apparently it was the result of a tip off!
Hurrah and Huzzah! Our fabulous boys in blue crack another major drugs cartel, responsible for funding international terrorism.
The exercise has taken maybe a gram of green off the streets and identified a “user” who is not going to be daft enough to carry it in public again. And all at an estimated cost to the taxpayer of a couple of hundred quid.
Will it make the streets any safer? No.
Does it bump up the “crimes solved” figures and give the politicos something to crow about? That’s probably the one and only reason this time-wasting twattery still goes on!
Iain Duncan Smith claimed £39 for breakfast.
Where I can afford to eat that buys at least SIX full cooked English.
This is the man who labels people on the bread line as “scroungers”.
Is he a complete arsehole or just another out of touch, posh, piss-taking wanker?
I haven’t had much cause in the past to commend George Carey the former Archbish. of Cant(erbury).
Today, however, George announced that he will support the Assisted Dying Bill when it comes before the House of Lords. He goes up many rungs in my estimation for this.
I fervently believe that anyone faced with a terminal illness should have the right to bring their life to a close with dignity at a time of their own choosing.
Nobody should be forced to live out their life in agony and distress. It is an unsavoury fact that in this country we can offer a sick pet a better death than we can to our own relatives.
That must stop!
Today’s poster girl for the Somebody Else’s Fault Syndrome that has screwed this country is this pathetic spoilt childling.
She it is who managed to piss two million quid up against a wall in the Ritz Casino and is now suing them claiming that they shouldn’t have let her do it. The poor things says that she’s a gambling addict and that the nasty Ritz Casino egged her on and shouldn’t have taken her money.
I wonder if there is anyone in this country who, hearing her story, is really going to weep for her. Two million smackers to most of us is a bigger house and a retirement bond, not an evening of cards.
I speak from experience of battling addiction. I’ve successfully beaten both alcoholism and ciggies. When I was curing my liver I deliberately stayed away from pubs and off-licences. Dealing with nicotine withdrawal I was quite calculating in not standing next to the tobacco counter in Tesco and waiting for the magic doors to open just to catch a glimpse of the forbidden fruit therein.
If this rich bitch had been serious about dealing with her supposed gambling addiction then what the holy screaming fuck was the stupid mare doing in a bloody casino. Besides which she is more than sufficiently minted that she could afford to have hired a professional nagger to remind her just how bastard stupid she was being.
She doesn’t need sympathy from the Courts – she needs a bloody good slap!