Compassion for Criminals

I just don’t understand the Daily Mail sometimes. One minute they seem to be in favour of total law enforcement, ready to hang a shoplifter if they stole a Chomp bar; and at other times they think that the citizen is being picked on because they’re ‘otherwise law abiding’ – such as speeding offences. Today they print another story that just doesn’t seem to make any sense: ‘What’s worse than your car being flooded up to its windscreen? Finding you’ve been given a parking ticket too…‘.

The Daily Mail makes it clear that they seem surprised that the cars had tickets issued, even though the drivers had been illegally parked: ‘They were flooded up to their windscreens with filthy water, but when the flooding subsided yesterday a parking inspector wasted no time issuing tickets because they were on double yellow lines’. So, whats the problem? Whether the cars were flooded or not does not change the fact that they were illegally parked before the flooding occurred and were rightly ticketed.

The Daily Mail Reporter includes a few words from a nearby landlord who they want to be outraged, but they also see the fact that nothing untoward has happened here:

Shaun Binns, landlord of the Lowther pub, which was also affected by rising river levels, said he was astonished to see tickets on the windscreens.

He said: ‘Normally you get people parking on there but they move them in time to avoid flooding. But in this case I think the river’s come up very quickly and they must have been caught out.

‘There are double yellow lines down there and I suppose you could say if you’re not allowed to park there then you shouldn’t, but the inspector must have seen the cars had been flooded and you’d think they’d have a bit of compassion.’

Why? If they hadn’t been illegally parked in the first place they wouldn’t have been flooded. It seems strange that the Daily Mail doesn’t seem to grasp this fact, they even include the detail that the drivers can appeal against the tickets:

A council spokesman claimed parking attendants had been ‘unaware’ some cars had been flooded when issuing the tickets.

She added if the drivers provided evidence their vehicle had been submerged, they could successfully appeal against the ticket.

Considering how little compassion the Daily Mail show for real human trauma it seems strange that they can manage to forgive illegally parked drivers just because their cars were flooded… as a direct result of being illegally parked.

The worrying insanity of Peter Hitchens

Sometimes when I read the Daily Mail I wonder if it isn’t all a large practical joke being played out by creative writers who want to out-do each other with ever wackier viewpoints and rants. So many columnists writing for the Mail just don’t seem human – the amazing vacuity of Liz Jones and Amanda Platell, the utter bitchy pointlessness of Jan Moir, the vicious ramblings of Melanie Phillips and the predictably terrible drivel repeated by Littlejohn year after year. Still, even when you read these columnists regularly you still get shocked when a different Mail writer tries to trump them all with his utter insanity: step forward Peter Hitchens.

You should never judge someone by how they look, but I think in the case of Peter Hitchens we should at least address the fact that he looks evil. I won’t post a picture of him here because I don’t want his face scaring the occasional visitor that happens across this blog. He looks like the kind of person that has chopped his family into pieces and keeps various body parts in the fridge and freezer. He has the kind of face that scares local children who concoct rumours that he secretly kills dogs and eats them, if any kind of ball went into his garden no kid would dare fetch it.

I appreciate that all of this is rambling rubbish, but how else can you respond to a Peter Hitchens’ column that contains the following passages:

Of course I’d like to think that I would give a terrible thrashing to any burglar who broke in to my home. But I would be crazy to do so. It would be me who ended up in prison. In any case, what makes me think I’d come off best in a fight with some gaunt, rangy dope-smoker?

I long ago decided that the only wise thing to do would be to make the thief a cup of tea and ask him to sign a release form confirming that I had not harmed him in any way. I advise all my readers to do the same.

The solution to the problem does not lie in our having the freedom to bash burglars.

Though we ought to have that freedom as a matter of course, it would be more use as a deterrent than in practice.

The solution lies in a political change at the top – the expulsion from government of the socialists and liberals who have taken over all three major parties and driven justice from our country.

This liberal elite do not believe that burglary is wrong, so they won’t punish burglars properly. They think burglars steal because they are deprived, or because they were abused as children, or because they cannot get ‘treatment’ for their disgusting criminal drug habits. So many of our leaders now are unrepentant illegal drug-takers themselves that they shouldn’t be trusted near the making of laws.

Suddenly, after reading the insanity of Peter Hitchens my introduction – which is largely utter rubbish – seems to be a wonderfully composed and thought-out critique. Peter Hitchens is actually paid to write this shit. To actually write down that most of our elected leaders are ‘unrepentant illegal drug-takers’ and that somehow this has led to a person who (with two accomplices) chased down and beat the shit of out someone with various weapons being sent to jail.

He isn’t finished there either. He still finds room to make up some shite about that silly christian registrar who refused to carry out civil partnerships:

We are told by the Appeal Court that in a ‘modern liberal democracy’ the freedom to express Christian faith must take second place to the rights of homosexuals. So the law of England now says Lillian Ladele, a registrar who politely asked to be excused from conducting civil partnership ceremonies, must stifle her principles or give up her job.

This is the hard face of the same movement which has in recent years been doing its best to take the ‘Christ’ out of Christmas, and has marginalised our national religion in the schools and in broadcasting, often in the name of freedom.

Freedom for whom? Our ‘modern liberal’ society is not liberal at all towards those who continue to believe the message of the angels.

You get the impression with Peter Hitchens and most of the intellectually challenged keyboard stabbers that write for the Mail that their main problem is that they read the Daily Mail and believe it. Hitchens packs his columns with lazy conclusions arrived at by a lying newspaper. Thus he writes that all criminals are let out whilst the law-abiding are put away, that Christmas has been banned and that the world is run by some kind of liberal-elite that are – ironically – always accused of not being liberal.

The worst thing about the Daily Mail is just when you think it cannot get any madder, someone like Peter Hitchens pops up to remind you that it can.

Outraged… in favour of a criminal

Daily Mail readers are hardly the sort of people to defend criminals… except when they haven’t committed a ‘real’ crime in their eyes. You know the sort of thing: speeding, shooting criminals in the back if they are on your land and any crime committed in the eyes of any council, anywhere. All these offences should not apply as long as the victim is assumed to be ‘a law abiding, tax-paying citizen’ who is assumed to naturally be ‘hard-working’. Of course, Mail readers never see the simple truth that breaking a law – whether you agree with that law or not – makes you a criminal, so the whole notion that a criminal can somehow be ‘law-abiding’ at the same time as committing offence is laughable.

The annoying thing is that the Daily Mail normally prints stories that are pretty misleading so you can kind of understand why Mail readers (who do not question and jump straight to ignorant outrage) get worked-up when they read another crazy example of fines for not emptying bins or sorting recycling etc. However, today they print a story that is clearly aimed at outraging Mail readers (it already has 371 comments) yet it also contains enough information in it for most readers to conclude that the council had no choice but to take this particular person to court and they were clearly acting in the interests of the taxpayer.

However, Daily Mail readers are far too predictable (and in some cases, utterly, utterly stupid) to see beyond the headline: ‘Young father fined £550… for leaving his wheelie bin outside his own home‘. Of course, the headlining and the opening of the article is completely misleading and aims to rile Daily Mail readers, but the end of the article does contain enough facts and input from the council to make it patently obvious that this isn’t another case of jobsworths fining an innocent family man, but an adequate response to someone who was ignoring pleas from the council.

Council officers went to Mr Robinson’s home eight times between February and June this year and saw his bins had not been taken in on each occasion.

The authority said about 3,500 wheelie bins are stolen, vandalised or reported missing each year – costing the taxpayer £2million.

In 2008 the fire service were called out to more than 1,000 arson attacks caused by antisocial behaviour, of which a significant proportion were wheelie bin fires.

As well as the cost of replacing the bins, there is a significant cost to the turnouts and a risk to life and property of the arson attacks.

The costs to the taxpayer for each call out is around £2,000.

Mr Robinson was warned about his behaviour and served with a notice not to put the bin out before 7pm the night before collection and to bring it back in by 11pm on the day it was emptied, the council said.

He ignored this and was issued with a £60 fixed penalty notice. Robinson failed to pay the fine and the council started court proceedings.

He was then fined £350, and ordered to pay £200 costs and a £15 victim surcharge when his case came before Salford Magistrates’ Court.

Councillor Joe Murphy, the council’s environment spokesman, said: ‘Every month we get about 50 complaints from residents about bins being left out on their streets. It is something people want us to do something about.

‘It’s a two-second job to bring your bin in from the street once it’s been emptied and one that could save lives and thousands of pounds that can be put back into public services.’Salford Borough Commander for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, Geoff Akroyd added: ‘Too many times we attend incidents where wheelie bins are the target of opportunist fire setting which costs the council taxpayers in several ways including fire service time and obviously replacing the bins.

‘In conjunction with the obvious financial cost a very serious impact is also that it diverts fire crews and their equipment from doing their most important job, protecting the safety of the people of Salford. We even have had incidents previously where fires started in wheelie bins have spread to houses and put people’s lives at risk.’

Sometimes you can perhaps sympathise with Mail readers because you can appreciate that they are being lied to – and they might not have the cynicism or intelligence to find out the truth about matters. However, in this case it is clear to see the overwhelming supporting case for the council, if only the average Mail reader could actually read the article before spouting their idiotic comments on a story. The trouble is that the narrative is repeated so frequently by the Mail and the utter drones that buy it that they don’t feel they have to read the articles anymore. If the headline mentions someone being fined by the council then they don’t have to read the article: the council are guilty of fining a law-abiding tax-payer and it’s another example of New Labour Stasi madness.

You even end up with the sort of comment that just makes you want to give that person a good slap and suspend their licence to comment until they can actually READ THE FUCKING ARTICLE THEY ARE COMMENTING ON. Take this utter moron for example:

If you work are you supposed to come home just to bring your bin in? Oh I get it now, thats why all these youngsters dont go to work anymore, its so they can be home to bring the bin in, no matter what time they turn up to empty it. What if you are sick or have a baby and the weather is bad and you are reliant on other people. What a ridiculous time scale- 6pm or 7pm would be far more realistic if there has to be a time.
– rose, cheshire, 1/12/2009 14:08

Rose from Cheshire must have misunderstood the meaning of ‘PM’ because the article clearly states that people have until 11PM to take the bins in – which is far more generous than the 6 or 7PM that Rose would like. Furthermore, like most Mail readers ignorance flows from ignorance and she’s already hypothesising that this is the real reason why young people don’t go to work anymore. Wonderful.

Sometimes you get the distinct impression that the Mail really don’t have to try hard to fool their readers because they’re just so fucking stupid (see most of the other 370 comments for more evidence).