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Month: September 2011

The Police, The Media and The Public. All desperate to convict without due process.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Chris Jefferies, Rebecca Leighton are all just names but also people whose livelyhood’s have been tarnished, tried in the court of the media and public opinion and had their freedom taken away from them for some time. All of these people will never face trial and a jury because there was never enough evidence against them to warrant such a thing.

People in this country (and others but I can speak primarily for this country) want justice for those crossed but half the time they don’t give two hoots how justice is gained and if it means that innocent people lose their freedom then who gives a damn. There is a form of blood-lust and pack mentality that is growing by the year. Maybe I just feel it more as I grow older but the people of this country seem prepared to believe what they are told more often than they used to and are not willing to challenge what the powers that be are saying.

The powers that be are of course the media. The media told us Chris Jefferies was a weirdo who did the crime and killed Joanna Yates. It was all sorted by the media. No need for the police to come in with their so called evidence. He was arrested and some of his ex-pupils called him a weirdo and jobs a good ‘un but wait a minute. Hold your horses. When the police delved further into the crime it turns out that he wasn’t the killer. The media were wrong and they couldn’t give a rats arse. They wanted justice because the public wanted the killer to face court. The fact that the media’s first hunch was wrong is neither here nor there.

Next we get to the nurse who has spent 42 days in jail on remand for the murders of patients at a hospital where she worked. Rebecca Leighton was arrested solely on the strength that her fingerprints were on a saline drip. Only problem being that the saline drip her fingerprints were on wasn’t tempered with. Bit of a cock-up eh police? However we all knew she was guilty when she was arrested because the media splashed pictures of her at a club and drinking alcohol. We all know that every nurse in the country who truly cares about patients go straight home after their shift to read more nursing books and to pray. This evil woman went out and had a good time in her spare time so she was without a doubt a cold-blooded evil killer.

What horse expletive.

DSK may or may not have been guilty but if you speak to 90% of women they will tell you he was in fact guilty and they don’t need any evidence to back it up. The media were a tad more ginger with that story because it wasn’t a UK based one so it wasn’t pushing the buttons of your average British newspaper reader and buyer but when it comes to a story us Brits care about them boom. Had anyone ever been arrested for the Madeline McCann kidnapping a few years ago then I am betting within a day we’d know every single thing about this person and the media would paint this person as guilty even before the police had questioned him.

The print media frenzy over reporting criminal cases that haven’t even reached trial yet is for one one of the most disgusting things about this country and it is getting worse I am sure of it. If I was arrested for any serious crime that had got the country talking then I’m sure every photo of me that had ever been taken would be in a media newsroom and every person I have ever been in contact with will have been contacted by the print media and anyone that said anything bad of me would be quoted at length.

I hate our rush to judge culture. Let the criminal system play out and then report the situation. Yes court proceedings are open and you can report on them but speculating about a person when they haven’t even been charged is just plain old character assassination. I hope the young nurse sues all the media and takes them to the cleaners. One day they’ll stop rushing to judge but sadly that day will only come when the people of the UK do the same and I’m not sure that day is going to come any time soon.

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675 train stations across the UK are to be ticket office-less

So we are paying way above inflation for hikes in train tickets but what are we getting for that money? I don’t see a tonne of new rolling stock out there and with the new today that 675 train stations have been earmarked for having their ticket offices closed it is just another kick in the teeth for passengers.

If I’m just popping into town then I have no issue using a ticket machine but older people do not trust technology and I have to admit I won’t use a debit or credit card in an un-manned ticket machine. Far too easy for people to skim the details of your card. So if I’m wanting to use a longer route and not just a couple of quid then I want to get that ticket from a human in the ticket office. I don’t see why that shouldn’t be the norm – I mean rail passengers are paying through the nose so why can’t they expect a decent bit of customer service?

One of the stations earmarked for having no ticket office open any more is Shoeburyness down my way and that is a line terminus. It seems pretty stupid to me to have a line terminus with no ticket office but there are 674 more stations that are going to lose that face-to-face customer service that you expect.

I’m a big lover of trains. I’d be all for re-nationalising the train network the next time it is fiscally possible to do so. I also think the network needs proper investment and if it gets it then it could once again become an excellent mass transit operation that would reduce the stress on our overcrowded road network. I don’t think it is dumb to say that Dr. Beeching started the slide of the railways in the 60s and had he been able to he would have done even more damage – he wanted to shut-down many more lines including both lines to Southend from London. His vision was carried on by another Tory government culminating with the Railways Act of 1993 that set the wheels in motion for privatisation. This is one big black bruise that the tories are never going to be able to remove from their résumé.

This is just another knock on the head for railway passengers. The news will be released in a report by Sir Rory McNulty into how to save money on the train lines. Yes it will save money but sometimes it isn’t all about saving money. It is about providing a service worthy of what the customers pay for it and the customers is getting jilted left, right and centre by train companies and you get the feeling that some of them think of passengers’ needs more as an inconvenience than what it actually is.

The full list of train stations that have been earmarked to have their ticket offices unmanned are as follows alphabetically:

Aberdare
Accrington
Acocks Green
Acton Main Line
Adderley Park
Addlestone
Adlington (Cheshire)
Aigburth
Ainsdale
Aintree
Alderley Edge
Alfreton
Alnmouth
Alresford
Anerley
Angmering
Appleby
Apsley
Arlesey
Arundel
Ash
Ashtead
Ashton-under-Lyne
Ashwell & Morden
Aston
Atherton
Aughton Park
Aylesbury Vale Parkway
Aylesham
Bagshot
Balcombe
Baldock
Bank Hall
Bargoed
Barming
Barmouth
Barnstaple
Barry
Bebington
Beckenham Hill
Bedhampton
Bellingham
Belvedere
Bentley (Hants)
Berkswell
Berrylands
Berwick
Bescot Stadium
Beverley
Bexhill
Bidston
Billingshurst
Birchington-on-Sea
Birkdale
Birkenhead Central
Birkenhead North
Birkenhead Park
Blackhorse Road
Blake Street
Blundellsands & Crosby
Bookham
Bootle New Strand
Bootle Oriel Road
Bosham
Boston
Bourne End
Bowes Park
Bradford-on-Avon
Bramhall
Branksome
Bredbury
Brentford
Bridgwater
Brimsdown
Brinnington
Brixton
Broad Green
Broadbottom
Broadstairs
Bromborough
Bromborough Rake
Bromley Cross
Brondesbury
Brondesbury Park
Brookmans Park
Brough
Bruce Grove
Brunswick
Burnage
Burnham
Burnley Central
Bushey
Butlers Lane
Buxted
Buxton
Byfleet & New Haw
Cadoxton
Caledonian Road & Barnsbury
Camborne
Canley
Carpenders Park
Carshalton Beeches
Castle Bar Park
Cathays
Chafford Hundred
Chandlers Ford
Charing
Charlbury
Chassen Road
Cheddington
Chessington South
Chester Road
Chestfield & Swalecliffe
Chipstead
Chiswick
Cholsey
Christs Hospital
Clandon
Colchester Town
Coleshill Parkway
Congleton
Conway Park
Cooden Beach
Cookham
Corby
Coseley
Cradley Heath
Cressington
Crewkerne
Cricklewood
Crofton Park
Cross Gates
Crouch Hill
Crowborough
Crowhurst
Crowthorne
Cwmbran
Dagenham Dock
Daisy Hill
Datchet
Davenport
Deal
Denham
Deptford
Dinting
Disley
Dormans
Dorridge
Dovercourt
Downham Market
Drayton Park
Droitwich Spa
Duddeston
Dudley Port
Durrington-on-Sea
Earlestown
Earlswood (Surrey)
East Didsbury
East Dulwich
East Tilbury
Eastham Rake
Eccles
Eccleston Park
Eden Park
Edenbridge Town
Edge Hill
Elephant & Castle
Ellesmere Port
Elsenham
Elstree & Borehamwood
Emsworth
Enfield Lock
Erdington
Eridge
Erith
Essex Road
Etchingham
Evesham
Ewell East
Eynsford
Falmer
Farningham Road
Farnworth
Farringdon
Fazakerley
Feniton
Finchley Road & Frognal
Fishguard Harbour
Flint
Flixton
Folkestone Harbour
Folkestone West
Ford
Formby
Four Oaks
Frant
Freshfield
Frimley
Frinton-on-Sea
Fulwell
Furze Platt
Garforth
Garswood
Gatley
Gipsy Hill
Glazebrook
Gobowen
Gogar
Goole
Goring & Streatley
Goring-by-Sea
Gorton
Grange Park
Grange-over-Sands
Gravelly Hill
Great Bentley
Great Chesterford
Great Missenden
Green Lane
Greeneld
Greenhithe for Bluewater
Guide Bridge
Hackbridge
Hackney Wick
Haddenham & Thame Parkway
Hadfield
Hadley Wood
Hag Fold
Hagley
Hale
Halewood
Hall Green
Hall Road
Ham Street
Hampden Park
Hampton-in-Arden
Hamstead
Hamworthy
Handforth
Hanwell
Harlesden
Harlow Mill
Harrietsham
Harringay Green Lanes
Harwich International
Hatch End
Hattersley
Haydons Road
Headstone Lane
Heald Green
Heaton Chapel
Hebden Bridge
Hedge End
Hendon
Henley-On-Thames
Hertford East
Higham
Hightown
Hillside
Hilsea
Hinchley Wood
Hinckley
Hindley
Hinton Admiral
Holmes Chapel
Holyhead
Homerton
Hooton
Hough Green
Hoylake
Hunts Cross
Hurst Green
Ifield
Imperial Wharf
Iver
James Street
Jewellery Quarter
Kearsney
Kenley
Kensal Green
Kensal Rise
Kentish Town West
Kenton
Kidsgrove
Kilburn High Road
Kingham
Kings Langley Kingswood
Kirkby
Kirkdale
Kirkham & Wesham
Knebworth
Knockholt
Ladywell
Langley
Langley Green
Lea Green
Lea Hall
Leasowe
Ledbury
Lenham
Leominster
Levenshulme
Leyton Midland Road
Leytonstone High Road
Lichfield Trent Valley
Limehouse
Lingfield
Littlehaven
Llandaf
Llandrindod Wells
Llandudno
Llanelli
London Road (Brighton)
Long Buckby
Longbridge
Lostock
Loughborough Junction
Lower Sydenham
Ludlow
Lye
Lymington Town
Machynlleth
Maghull
Maidstone West
Malden Manor
Malton
Malvern Link
Manor Road
March
Marden
Marston Green
Martin Mill
Mauldeth Road
Meldreth
Melton Mowbray
Menston
Meols
Merthyr Tydfil
Micheldever
Milford (Surrey)
Mitcham Eastfields
Mitcham Junction
Moorgate
Moorside
Moreton (Merseyside)
Moreton-in-Marsh
Morpeth
Mortimer
Mossley
Mossley Hill
Moulsecoomb
Muirend
Narborough
Netley
New Beckenham
New Brighton
New Mills Central
New Mills
Newtown
New Pudsey
New Southgate
Newhaven Town
Newington
Newport (Essex)
Newton for Hyde
Newton-le-Willows
Newtown (Powys)
North Camp
North Dulwich
North Sheen
North Wembley
Northfield
Northfleet
Northolt Park
Northumberland Park
Northwich
Nunhead
Oakham
Ockendon
Old Hill
Old Roan
Old Street
Oldham Mumps
Olton
Orrell Park
Overton
Pangbourne
Par
Parbold
Parkstone (Dorset)
Penarth
Penge West
Perry Barr
Pevensey & Westham
Pluckley
Plumpton
Pokesdown
Port Sunlight
Portchester
Poulton-le-Fylde
Poynton
Prescot
Prittlewell
Pwllheli
Queenborough
Queens Road, Peckham
Radyr
Rainhill
Ravensbourne
Reading West
Rectory Road
Redcar Central
Reddish North
Reedham (Surrey)
Riddlesdown
Robertsbridge
Roby
Rock Ferry
Romiley
Romsey
Rose Hill Marple
Rotherham Central
Rowlands Castle
Rowley Regis
Roydon
Runcorn East
Ryde Esplanade
Ryde Pier Head
Rye
Rye House
Salford Central
Salfords
Sandbach
Sandhills
Sandling
Sandwich
Sandy
Sankey for Penketh
Sawbridgeworth
Seaforth & Litherland
Seer Green
Selby
Settle
Severn Tunnel Junction
Shanklin
Shaw & Crompton
Sheerness-on-Sea
Shelford
Shenstone
Shepherds Well
Shirley
Shoeburyness
Shotton (H Level & Low Level)
Skegness
Slade Green
Sleaford
Small Heath
Smethwick Galton Bridge
Smethwick Rolfe Street
Smitham (for Coulsdon)
Sole Street
South Acton
South Bermondsey
South Hampstead
South Kenton
South Tottenham
Southbourne Southbury
Southwick
Spalding
Spital
Spring Road
St Annes-on-the-Sea St Denys
St Erth
St Helens Junction
St Johns
St Margarets (Hertfordshire)
St Michaels
Stamford
Stamford Hill
Stansted Mountfitchet
Stechford
Stoke Mandeville
Stoke Newington
Stone Crossing
Stonegate
Stonehouse
Stourbridge Town
Sturry
Sundridge Park
Swanscombe
Swanwick
Sway
Swaythling
Swinton (Gtr. Manchester)
Swinton (South Yorks.)
Sydenham Hill
Tadworth
Tame Bridge Parkway
Taplow
Tattenham Corner
Templecombe
Teynham
Thatcham
Thatto Heath
The Hawthorns
Theale
Thetford
Thirsk
Thorne North
Thorpe-Le-Soken
Tile Hill
Tilehurst
Tipton
Tisbury
Tolworth
Tooting
Totton
Town Green
Trefforest
Turkey Street
Tyseley
Uckfield
Ulverston
Upper Halliford
Upper Holloway
Urmston
Walkden
Wallasey Grove Road
Wallasey Village
Walmer
Waltham Cross
Walthamstow Queens Road
Walton (Merseyside)
Walton-On-Naze
Wansted Park
Warblington
Warminster
Waterloo Merseyside
Watlington
Watton-At-Stone
Welham Green
Wellington (Salop)
Welwyn North
Wendover
West Allerton
West Brompton
West Drayton
West Dulwich
West Ealing
West Hampstead (Thameslink)
West Horndon
West Kirby
West St Leonards
West Sutton
Westgate-On-Sea
Whaley Bridge
Whiston
Whitchurch (Hants.)
White Hart Lane
Whitehaven
Whittlesford Parkway
Whyteleafe
Whyteleafe South
Widnes
Widney Manor
Windermere
Winnersh Triangle
Witley
Witton
Wivelsfield
Wivenhoe
Woldingham
Wolverton
Woodgrange Park
Woodmansterne
Woodsmoor
Wool
Woolston
Woolwich Dockyard
Workington
Worksop
Worplesdon
Wye
Wylde Green
Wythall
Yardley Wood
Yatton
Yeovil Pen Mill
Ystrad Mynach

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Nadine Dorries is just a a conduit for God to use (with nice Adolf Hitler link)

Not my words folks. Her own. Yes just when we thought that Nadine Dorries had no lower to go when talking she goes and gets the Royal Flush of insaneisms (yes I know that isn’t a word but it really should be – its great).

Nadine Dorries God
I'm just a conduit for God to use

As you may have seen elsewhere as it has been bouncing around the blogosphere today, Nadine Dorries in an interview with The Salvation Army has said that she is only an MP because God decided that is how it should be. It has nothing to do with her or anyone else making a decision using their own free will. She is an MP because the puppet master that is God who is playing out her life for her (and I presume everyone elses) thought that if he had one of his people on the inside on backbench politics then it was a sure winner.

I would argue that if God wanted control then he’d use a better conduit – maybe the President of the United States, or the Prime Minister or whoever is in charge of Manchester City Football Club. They all have power and would be a much better conduit than a backbench MP who at the time was in opposition so not even in the government.

Using my so called logic I have to argue whether or not God made the decision that Nadine Dorries would become Nadine Dorries MP. I would say maybe the people on the Mid Beds panel decided that she was the best person for the job but I understand that as a non-believer I know nothing. I’m just a silly little boy with no understanding of the greater work that a being with the power to create a universe has in store for every single one of us.

If God really is a puppet master using people as conduits then I wonder why he got Nadine Dorries to go after a married man and then have sex with him causing the man to break one of the ten commandments. That doesn’t sound like something God would do. He wouldn’t put someone in a position to break one of his own commandments condemning them to Hell would he? Maybe I’m just being a tad cynical here and in fact there is a greater plan.

Look I hate the God defence has you cannot prove it one way or the other. If a defendant in court says that he murdered his family because God used him as a conduit then he would be laughed out of court and found guilty. You cannot use the God defence to justify anything and it doing so all you are doing is making it out that you are a superior person to others because God is using you.

You want to know something folks? Nadine Dorries is not a superior person. She is all flesh and blood like you or I. She makes her own decisions using free will. If she wants to say that it is all God’s work then so be it. If she wants to be delusional then that is her prerogative. The thing is we need to remember that it isn’t true and she cannot use the God defence for good when she also does bad.

We have been given the power and ability of independent thought. It is a wonderful thing. I think and hope we all use it and in her case she does but she hides behind her God line. Adolf Hitler once said, ‘Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.’ We knew he was wrong – so very wrong – no-one can justify what they do because it is the will of God. We do things because we feel it is the right thing to do. Whether what we do is right or wrong has nothing to do with God but to do with us and who we are.

Nadine Dorries has the same thoughts as Adolf Hitler that she is doing God’s work. It wasn’t right when he did it so is it right when she does it? That is only a question that she can answer but in conclusion I think it is fair to say that I disagree with her completely. You can believe in God and you can believe that he can influence you in your decisions in life but to say that you are doing God’s work and that you are just a conduit for him to use is just not believable. You have to take charge of your own life and whatever you do – you do – it isn’t because someone was using you or your body for their own will.

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I have to disagree with a Lib Dem MP…

So this lunchtime when I read this article entitled BBC bosses face grilling from MPs over controversial Formula One rights’ sharing deal I wondered who was the MP who has caused a stir. The answer would be Lib Dem MP for Bath Don Foster.

Now I have written before about what I think of the BBC/Sky deal and it is not ideal – not by a long shot. However it is pretty clear how the deal went down. There is enough out there that you can quite easily cobble together a timeline for what happened but Don Foster doesn’t seem overly keen on reading up the background to the matter. He has written to the BBC Chief asking for answers and has said that, ‘The least fans deserve is a clear account of what happened.’

Well Don. Let me help.

The BBC had it’s budget cut by the coalition government. One that you are a part of due to your Liberal Democrat links. Therefore the BBC had to save 20% from its sport budget. This meant is essence one of the big four of Wimbledon, MOTD, Six Nations and F1 would in all likelihood have to go. Wimbledon and MOTD were pretty much safe – the belief inside of BBC Sport is that they are the two crown jewels of their yearly output (obviously Olympics, World Cup, European Championships are not yearly events). Therefore Six Nations Rugby or F1 had to go.

The RFU have reached an agreement with the BBC over the Six Nations rights but have yet to announce them. Therefore F1 was on the outside looking in but the BBC had award winning coverage and they wanted to see if there was a way to keep the sport on the channel. Neither ITV or Channel Five showed too much interest but Channel 4 was around but wasn’t keen on starting in 2012 preferring to begin in 2013. A share between Channel 4 and the BBC was possible but being a commercial partner Channel 4 would have wanted the premier races and they still wanted a 50/50 split of costs. This was not acceptable to the BBC.

Therefore the BBC approached Sky to talk to them about a deal that would save around £25m-30m for the channel but still giving them half the races live. Sky who have this year showed much more interest in the sport knowing the current Concorde Agreement was up at the end of 2012 were keen on doing a deal. Financially it made sense for all three parties. The BBC has ten races live a year and the option to run full delayed coverage of all the other races in prime-time in the evening. Sky has every race live and will include many of the support races. Bernie gets a lot of cash. Everybody is a winner.

Whilst some – well many – well say that those who cannot afford a Sky subscription are big losers I wonder where was Don Foster or other MPs when all live Cricket left free-to-air TV? This deal is far better for the F1 fan than it is for the cricket fan. There is no live cricket on free-to-air TV any more only highlights. At least this way F1 fans can still watch every race – in full – on free-to-air TV albeit only half of them live with the others delayed but shown the same day either on BBC1 or BBC2 or behind the red button and with the digital switchover set to be completed next year then everyone will have red button and interactive options.

The one line that really got my goat in the report was ‘He says the deal has led to disappointment among angry fans, who would miss out on seeing their idols such as Brits Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.’ Well Don. They won’t be missing out. Remember every single race will be played in full on free-to-air television on the same day. With half of those races live and half of them delayed by up to five hours.

As they say on the BBC News on Saturday evenings ‘If you don’t want to know the result then look away now’ – it is easy to keep away from a race result and watch it in full without knowing it later in the day. Spend the afternoon with your kids or with the other half. Go out for a walk. Yes I know it’s not perfect – not by a long shot – but this was the only option available as the BBC were ready to pull out of the sport completely and had they done so Sky may have swooped in and taken all the races live and left only highlights up for grabs.

I’d have preferred it if the whole championship would have continued live and uninterrupted on the BBC but that wasn’t on the table. We have seen what a butchers of Athletics Channel 4 has made and after seeing that I suspect Bernie is thanking his high heavens that Channel 4 are nowhere near his sport. F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport and it deserves the best coverage possible and in the UK that means Sky Sports and/or the BBC and that is what we have got.

So there is no need to find out how this all went down. The information is out there. Use google and stop wasting time.

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Why are Tories such prudes when it comes to gay kissing on TV?

I read the following article yesterday entitled Tories cold on gay kissing over on Politics Home and the content wasn’t a huge shocking. The piece was about a survey done on what is acceptable to broadcast on TV both before and after the watershed and the options were a straight kiss, a married kiss, a gay kiss and a lesbian kiss.

The results were unsurprising as in the party affiliation breakdown we saw that the Lib Dems are in general the most chilled out about what they see on their television sets. Both they and Labour don’t mind straight kissing or married kissing. The Tories though aren’t totally enamoured by a straight kiss but that goes up a bit when it comes to a married kiss. If you are married then as all Tories know then all bets are off. Marriage is the answer to a whole host of societies problems *rolls eyes*

The interesting part however is when we get to all-boy and all-girl kissing. Here the Lib Dems lead the field by a country mile. A very similar percentage answered that they didn’t mind seeing gay or lesbian kisses compared to straight and married kisses at around 65%. Go Lib Dems. Labour dropped off to 45% of people were ok with a gay kiss but only 40% were ok with a lesbian kiss.

Then we get to the Tories. 22% of those who responded to the question and identified themselves as Tories said they were fine with a gay kiss. That is a third of the Lib Dems and half of Labour. Why are the Tories against gay kissing so much? That means that 78% of those surveyed were not ok with a gay kiss on TV before the watershed. Then though looking across the graph that a lesbian kiss is ok according to 32% of Tories. So 10% of those asked who identified themselves as Tory were not fine with all-boy kissing but that all-girl stuff – yes please!

That is the biggest shocker of them all to me. What is the difference between two guys kissing and two girls kissing? None whatsoever. I just don’t get why anyone would be fine for one and not the other. In all fairless Labour saw 5% of those who were fine with all-guy kissing vote no to all-girl kissing. The Lib Dems saw a 2% differential.

Personally speaking I couldn’t care less. Kids will need to learn at some point that sometimes it isn’t just married mummy’s and daddy’s who kiss but also unmarried people and get this – people of the same sex. It should be accepted and embraced by society. Being gay (whether you are male or female) is not something to be stigmatised and the sooner young people are indoctrinated into the fact that it is ok to be different to the norm then all the better in my eyes. The fact that Tories see the family unit as the utopian future to me stinks and shows that many supporters of the party do not live in 21st Century Britain. The differential staggers me beyond belief I must say and this poll is another reason why I’m sure the Liberal Democrats are the right party for me and a party with a healthy future. The world is changing and becoming more liberal and in time the liberals will run the world.

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