Hypocritical Cant, Politics, Satire, Social Justice

Of Mile End, Emotions & Morals


One cannot help but to feel oneself spiritually elevated, elevated! By the Boticelli and Titian works that hang upon these walls, though of course, this being Mile End, the works are mere fraudulent copies; bequeathed to the Artistic Museum by the Bow Street Detective force in one instance (The Venus) most regretfully!  

But, let us not dwell on that but rather let us note, dear reader, the most prestigious Curate of the Mile End Artistic Museum, as he most surreptitiously guides his elegant guests  betwixt the many rich and lyrical works that grace the walls of this ninth wonder of the British Empire. 

“Little is known of Domenico Venziano the master of Francisco De La Pella, but what little remains of his work has a most lyrical beauty as you may see here. Note, the carefree yet harmonious study of design, the manner in which he depicts the naked Judas Iscariot, an image not of ignominious shame as in the mediaeval mind, but of elegance, of grace” and having so noted, his guests, the infamous Baron Montaperti, Lord Orlando Ottoline and his muse, the stage actress Mrs Madeline Drang, move on. 

“I am told that the best art is always true to the great, glad, aboriginal instincts of our nature. Never representing disease in the guise of health, many sided without being unbalanced, and forcible! Yes forcible! Without ever losing the fine sense of proportion!” 

Lord Orlando Ottoline is quite in agreement, 

“Yes, quite exquisite and most extraordinary!” 

“The painting?” 

“The sum paid for it. I am told Mr Disraeli paid some five hundred British Pounds?” 

“Five hundred sterling and hundred shillings and fifty pence, is the correct sum, I should know having brokered the deal” 


“The good lord knows, though one must confess it hangs as handsomely within Mile End Art Gallery, as the brigands do without! Haw haw haw!” 

Baron (lately Lord) Montaperti is most taken with his own sense of humour though his companions are at a loss as to why they have been invited to peruse copies of paintings hung in some East End haunt, when they might be perusing the latest painting by Edward Lear at the Royal Academy of Art.   

“Though it may be said that the dead soil of art grows ever richer with the addition of new works, it is to be observed that there can be no improvement on the ancient works we have hung here, and that (copies though they are), they are a worthy and most enlightening addition to the culture of Mile End” 

Wonder at the elegance of the curate of the Artistic Museum, his dignified presence and the cut of his jib, as glossy as that of a new bought gelding. What shapely legs! What an elegant figure! What costly attire and all of it most graciously provided by the Society for the Suppression of Mendacity! 


Academies, Academy status, ACCESSIBILITY, Hypocritical Cant, Politics, Social Justice, The Hearthlands of Darkness

Council closed libraries to cut costs, then spent more to guard them


A council that temporarily closed two libraries just before the exam revision season as a supposed money-saving measure has spent up to three times as much per day on private guards to secure the buildings as it would have cost to keep them open, it has emerged.

Details of the security costs at the libraries, run by Lambeth council in south London, were given to the Guardian following a freedom of information request.

The money spent on guards at one of the libraries was inflated as it was occupied for 10 days by local people protesting at the temporary closure plans. However, the figures show that even at another library not similarly targeted, the money paid for private security was almost twice the usual running costs.

'Due to cutbacks, we've removed the last 20 pages from every mystery novel.'

‘Due to cutbacks, we’ve removed the last 20 pages from every mystery novel.’

The two sites – the Carnegie library in Herne Hill, south-east London, and the Minet library nearby – closed their doors on 31 March before planned works to turn each one into a “community hub”, a combination of a largely unstaffed library and a private gym. The Labour-run council said this was the only option to keep both libraries open amid massive central government cuts to local authority budgets.

When the libraries were closed no work was scheduled to begin for months. Opponents of the plans questioned why the sites could not remain open for longer, allowing students to use them for revision for summer exams. At the time the Lambeth cabinet member whose brief covers libraries, Jane Edbrooke, said this was impossible because the council needed to save money before the start of the new financial year.


The freedom of information response shows that from 31 March, when the libraries closed, until 15 April, when the request was made, Lambeth spent £35,392.68 on guards to secure both sites, a fraction over £2,212 a day. In contrast, the council’s 2014-15 budget gives a combined running cost for both of £874 a day. This excludes spending on books and computer services, but those are paid for centrally for all of Lambeth’s 10 libraries, and the council has said it has no plans to cut them.

Of the security costs, just under £25,000 was spent at the Carnegie, a figure made bigger by the occupation by several dozen local residents, which lasted from 31 March to 9 April. But even when this was over, the average daily security cost at the library was £1,382, nearly three times the daily running costs.

At the Minet library, which was not occupied, security costs averaged £677 a day over the 16-day period, almost double the £386 daily running costs.


The Guardian contacted Lambeth council on Friday morning to seek its reaction, and to ask about current security costs at the libraries. The council has yet to provide its promised response.

Laura Swaffield, chair of the Friends of Lambeth Libraries, which opposes the library-gym hybrid model, said the group had long predicted the early closure would not save any money.


“It has been apparent from the very start that wrecking the library service would cost more than preserving it,” she said. “Now all the flaws in their plan are showing up, the council is panicking. It seems prepared to spend any amount of money trying to make this turkey fly.”

Under the plans, sections of both libraries are being handed to the social enterprise Greenwich Leisure Limited so they can be turned into private gyms. The council is promising that both libraries will reopen in early 2017, but building work has yet to begin at either.


(Excerpt from ‘The Guardian Newspaper’)

Hypocritical Cant, Politics, Racism, Satire, Social Justice, The Hearthlands of Darkness

What Is The Purpose of Satire?


Satire is a genre of literature, and sometimes graphic and performing arts, in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government or society itself, into improvement.Although satire is usually meant to be humorous, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit to draw attention to both particular and wider issues in society.

A feature of satire is strong irony or sarcasm—”in satire, irony is militant”—but parody,burlesque, exaggeration,juxtaposition, comparison, analogy, and double entendre are all frequently used in satirical speech and writing. This “militant” irony or sarcasm often professes to approve of (or at least accept as natural) the very things the satirist wishes to attack.

The word satire comes from the Latin word satur and the subsequent phrase lanx satura. Satur meant “full” but the juxtaposition with lanx shifted the meaning to “miscellany or medley”: the expression lanx satura literally means “a full dish of various kinds of fruits.”

The word satura as used by Quintilian, however, was used to denote only Roman verse satire, a strict genre that imposed hexameter form, a narrower genre than what would be later intended as satire. Quintilian famously said that satura, that is a satire in hexameter verses, was a literary genre of wholly Roman origin (satura tota nostra est). He was aware of and commented on Greek satire, but at the time did not label it as such, although today the origin of satire is considered to be Aristophanes’ Old Comedy. The first critic to use satire in the modern broader sense was Apuleius.

Laughter is not an essential component of satire; in fact there are types of satire that are not meant to be “funny” at all. Conversely, not all humour, even on such topics as politics, religion or art is necessarily “satirical”, even when it uses the satirical tools of irony, parody, and burlesque.

Even light-hearted satire has a serious “after-taste”: the organizers of the Ig Nobel Prize describe this as “first make people laugh, and then make them think”.


Satire and irony in some cases have been regarded as the most effective source to understand a society, the oldest form of social study. They provide the keenest insights into a group’s collective psyche, reveal its deepest values and tastes, and the society’s structures of power. Some authors have regarded satire as superior to non-comic and non-artistic disciplines like history oranthropology. In a prominent example from ancient Greece, philosopher Plato, when asked by a friend for a book to understand Athenian society, referred him to the plays of Aristophanes.

Historically, satire has satisfied the popular need to debunk and ridicule the leading figures in politics, economy, religion and other prominent realms of power. Satire confronts public discourse and the collective imaginary, playing as a public opinion counterweight to power (be it political, economic, religious, symbolic, or otherwise), by challenging leaders and authorities. For instance, it forces administrations to clarify, amend or establish their policies. Satire’s job is to expose problems and contradictions, and it’s not obligated to solve them. Karl Kraus set in the history of satire a prominent example of a satirist role as confronting public discourse.[19]

For its nature and social role, satire has enjoyed in many societies a special freedom license to mock prominent individuals and institutions. The satiric impulse, and its ritualized expressions, carry out the function of resolving social tension. Institutions like the ritual clowns, by giving expression to the antisocial tendencies, represent a safety valve which reestablishes equilibrium and health in the collective imaginary, which are jeopardized by the repressive aspects of society.


The state of political satire in a given society reflects the tolerance or intolerance that characterizes it,and the state of civil liberties and human rights. Under totalitarian regimes any criticism of a political system, and especially satire, is suppressed. A typical example is the Soviet Union where the dissidents, such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Andrei Sakharov were under strong pressure from the government. While satire of everyday life in the USSR was allowed, the most prominent satirist being Arkady Raikin, political satire existed in the form of anecdotes that made fun of Soviet political leaders, especially Brezhnev, famous for his narrow-mindness and love for awards and decorations.


Juvenalian satire, named for the writings of the Roman satirist Juvenal (late first century – early second century AD), is more contemptuous and abrasive than the Horatian. Juvenal disagreed with the opinions of the public figures and institutions of the Republic and actively attacked them through his literature. “He utilized the satirical tools of exaggeration and parody to make his targets appear monstrous and incompetent” (Podzemny). Juvenal satire follows this same pattern of abrasively ridiculing societal structures. Juvenal also, unlike Horace, attacked public officials and governmental organizations through his satires, regarding their opinions not just as wrong, but as evil.
Following in this tradition, Juvenalian satire addresses perceived social evil through scorn, outrage, and savage ridicule. This form is often pessimistic, characterized by the use of irony, sarcasm, moral indignation and personal invective, with less emphasis on humor. Strongly polarized political satire can often be classified as Juvenalian.
A Juvenal satirist’s goal is generally to provoke some sort of political or societal change because he sees his opponent or object as evil or harmful. A Juvenal satirist mocks “societal structure, power, and civilization” (Thomas) by exaggerating the words or position of his opponent in order to jeopardize their opponent’s reputation and/or power. Jonathan Swift has been established as an author who “borrowed heavily from Juvenal’s techniques in [his critique] of contemporary English society” (Podzemny).


Ancient Greece

The Greeks had no word for what later would be called “satire”, although the terms cynicism and parody were used. Modern critics call the Greek playwright Aristophanes one of the best known early satirists: his plays are known for their critical political and societal commentary, particularly for the political satire by which he criticized the powerful Cleon (as in The Knights). He is also notable for the persecution he underwent. Aristophanes’ plays turned upon images of filth and disease. His bawdy style was adopted by Greek dramatist-comedian Menander. His early play Drunkenness contains an attack on the politician Callimedon.

The oldest form of satire still in use is the Menippean satire by Menippus of Gadara. His own writings are lost. Examples from his admirers and imitators mix seriousness and mockery in dialogues and present parodies before a background of diatribe. As in the case of Aristophanes plays, menippean satire turned upon images of filth and disease.

Roman world

The first Roman to discuss satire critically was Quintilian, who invented the term to describe the writings of Lucilius. The two most prominent and influential ancient Roman satirists are Horace and Juvenal, who wrote during the early days of the Roman Empire. Other important satirists in ancient Latin are Lucilius and Persius.Satire in their work is much wider than in the modern sense of the word, including fantastic and highly coloured humorous writing with little or no real mocking intent. When Horace criticized Augustus, he used veiled ironic terms. In contrast, Pliny reports that the 6th century BC poet Hipponax wrote satirae that were so cruel that the offended hanged themselves.


Medieval Europe

Two major satirists of Europe in the Renaissance were Giovanni Boccaccio and François Rabelais. Other examples of Renaissance satire include Till Eulenspiegel, Reynard the Fox, Sebastian Brant’s Narrenschiff (1494), Erasmus’ Moriae Encomium (1509), Thomas More’s Utopia (1516), and Carajicomedia (1519).

Early Modern Western Satire

Pieter Bruegel’s 1568 satirical painting The Blind Leading the Blind.

Direct social commentary via satire returned with a vengeance in the 16th century, when farcical texts such as the works of François Rabelais tackled more serious issues (and incurred the wrath of the crown as a result).

The Elizabethan (i.e. 16th-century English) writers thought of satire as related to the notoriously rude, coarse and sharp satyr play. Elizabethan “satire” (typically in pamphlet form) therefore contains more straightforward abuse than subtle irony. The French Huguenot Isaac Casaubonpointed out in 1605 that satire in the Roman fashion was something altogether more civilised. Casaubon discovered and published Quintilian’s writing and presented the original meaning of the term (satira, not satyr), and the sense of wittiness (reflecting the “dishfull of fruits”) became more important again. 17th-century English satire once again aimed at the “amendment of vices” (Dryden).


Jonathan Swift was one of the greatest of Anglo-Irish satirists, and one of the first to practise modern journalistic satire. For instance, In his A Modest Proposal Swift suggests that Irish peasants be encouraged to sell their own children as food for the rich, as a solution to the “problem” of poverty. His purpose is of course to attack indifference to the plight of the desperately poor. In his book Gulliver’s Travels he writes about the flaws in human society in general and English society in particular. John Dryden wrote an influential essay entitled “A Discourse Concerning the Original and Progress of Satire” that helped fix the definition of satire in the literary world. His satirical Mac Flecknoe was written in response to a rivalry with Thomas Shadwell and eventually inspired Alexander Pope to write his satirical The Rape of the Lock. Other satirical works by Pope include the Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot.

Alexander Pope b. May 21, 1688 was a satirist known for his Horatian satirist style and translation of the Illiad. Famous throughout and after the long 18th century, Pope died in 1744. Pope, in his The Rape of the Lock, is delicately chiding society in a sly but polished voice by holding up a mirror to the follies and vanities of the upper class. Pope does not actively attack the self-important pomp of the British aristocracy, but rather presents it in such a way that gives the reader a new perspective from which to easily view the actions in the story as foolish and ridiculous. A mockery of the upper class, more delicate and lyrical than brutal, Pope nonetheless is able to effectively illuminate the moral degradation of society to the public. The Rape of the Lock assimilates the masterful qualities of a heroic epic, such as the Iliad, which Pope was translating at the time of writing The Rape of the Lock. However, Pope applied these qualities satirically to a seemingly petty egotistical elitist quarrel to prove his point wryly.

Daniel Defoe pursued a more journalistic type of satire, being famous for his The True-Born Englishman which mocks xenophobic patriotism, and The Shortest-Way with the Dissenters – advocating religious toleration by means of an ironical exaggeration of the highly intolerant attitudes of his time.

The pictorial satire of William Hogarth is a precursor to the development of political cartoons in 18th-century England.The medium developed under the direction of its greatest exponent, James Gillray from London.With his satirical works calling the king (George III), prime ministers and generals (especially Napoleon) to account, Gillray’s wit and keen sense of the ridiculous made him the pre-eminent cartoonist of the era.

Satire in Victorian England

The Force of Example.

A Victorian satirical sketch depicting a gentleman’s donkey race in 1852

Several satiric papers competed for the public’s attention in the Victorian era (1837–1901) and Edwardian period, such as Punch (1841) and Fun (1861).

Novelists such as Charles Dickens often used passages of satiric writing in their treatment of social issues.

In the same period, in the United States, Mark Twain (1835–1910) was a great American satirist: his novel Huckleberry Finn (1884) is set in the antebellum South, where the moral values Twain wishes to promote are completely turned on their heads. His hero, Huck, is a rather simple but goodhearted lad who is ashamed of the “sinful temptation” that leads him to help a runaway slave. In fact his conscience, warped by the distorted moral world he has grown up in, often bothers him most when he is at his best. Ironically, he is prepared to do good, believing it to be wrong.

Twain’s younger contemporary Ambrose Bierce (1842–1913) gained notoriety as a cynic, pessimist and black humorist with his dark, bitterly ironic stories, many set during the American Civil War, which satirized the limitations of human perception and reason. Bierce’s most famous work of satire is probably The Devil’s Dictionary (1906), in which the definitions mock cant, hypocrisy and received wisdom.

20th Century Satire


Benzino Napaloni and Adenoid Hynkelin The Great Dictator (1940). Chaplin later declared that he would have not made the film if he had known about the concentration camps.

In the United States 1950s, satire was introduced into American stand-up comedy most prominently by Lenny Bruce and Mort Sahl. As they challenged the taboos and conventional wisdom of the time, were ostracized by the mass media establishment as sick comedians. In the same period, Paul Krassner’s magazine The Realist began publication, to become immensely popular during the 1960s and early 1970s among people in the counterculture; it had articles and cartoons that were savage, biting satires of politicians such as Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, the Vietnam War, the Cold War and the War on Drugs. Prominent satiric stand-up comedian George Carlin acknowledged the influence The Realist had in his 1970s conversion to a satiric comedian.

A more humorous brand of satire enjoyed a renaissance in the UK in the early 1960s with the satire boom, led by such luminaries as Peter Cook, Alan Bennett, Jonathan Miller, and Dudley Moore, whose stage show Beyond the Fringe was a hit not only in Britain, but also in the United States. Other significant influences in 1960s British satire include David Frost, Eleanor Bron and the television program That Was The Week That Was.


Contemporary Satire

Contemporary popular usage of the term “satire” is often very imprecise. While satire often uses caricature and parody, by no means are all uses of these or other humorous devices, satiric. Refer to the careful definition of satire that heads this article.

Satire is used on many UK television programmes, particularly popular panel shows and quiz shows such as Mock the Week (2005) and Have I Got News for You (1990–ongoing). Similarly it is found on radio quiz shows such as The News Quiz (1977–ongoing) and The Now Show (1998–ongoing). One of the most-watched UK television shows of the 1980s and early 1990s, the puppet Spitting Image was a satire of the royal family, politics, entertainment, sport and British culture of the era. Created by DMA Design in 1997, satire also features prominently in the British video game series Grand Theft Auto.

Stephen Colbert satirically impersonated an opinionated and self-righteous television commentator on his Comedy Central program in the U.S.

The television program South Park (1997–ongoing) relies almost exclusively on satire to address issues in American culture, with episodes addressing anti-Semitism, militant atheism, homophobia,environmentalism, corporate culture, political correctness and anti-Catholicism, among many other issues.

Stephen Colbert’s television program, The Colbert Report (2005–14), is instructive in the methods of contemporary American satire. Colbert’s character is an opinionated and self-righteous commentator who, in his TV interviews, interrupts people, points and wags his finger at them, and “unwittingly” uses a number of logical fallacies. In doing so, he demonstrates the principle of modern American political satire: the ridicule of the actions of politicians and other public figures by taking all their statements and purported beliefs to their furthest (supposedly) logical conclusion, thus revealing their perceived hypocrisy or absurdity. 

Legal Status

For its nature and social role, satire has enjoyed in many societies a special freedom license to mock prominent individuals and institutions.In Germany, and Italy satire is protected by the constitution.

Politics, Social Justice

Tom Brown’s School Days?



‘Retail chairmen overwhelmingly back the Coalition Government and have expressed fears of a swing to the left at the general election.’

Morrisons chairman Andy Higginson was concerned a more left-wing government pumping more money into public services would be damaging.

One chairman speaking under the condition of anonymity said: “A Labour/SNP coalition could spook the financial markets.’

‘Asos chairman Brian McBride, who said: “Don’t mess with the economy.  If it’s not broke don’t fix it – steady as we go.”’


Oh the irony, that businessmen who were averse to a Brown Coalition Government should now be fearing the worst after Brexit and a Cameron led one! Yet still the myth prevails that we would be worse off under a Left- Wing Labour government than a Conservative one.

How much worse off? We have a decrease in police budgets and the numbers of police officers able to police.

A drop in the budgets allocated to social services and youth services, a drop in the amount of housing benefit allocated to vulnerable families, a drop in the construction and provision of social housing, and all under this current government.

An increase in pauper funerals, an increase in welfare benefit influenced suicides, a drop in youth centre and youth events provision, a decrease in the number of funded libraries, how much worse off is it possible for this country to get?


In Harrow alone the construction, purchase and allocation of social housing only started taking place again once the Conservative Councillors’s were in the minority on the council and Labour Councillors were in the majority.

Add to that the numbers of jobs destined to go under Brexit and we are looking at a parlous state of affairs. All these calamities have been achieved under a right-wing government, how much more have we as a nation to undergo before we give politicians with integrity a chance?


As for the Parliamentary Labour Party? Their stance on Jeremy Corbyn is not helping, to have engineered a vote of no confidence without consulting one’s constituency members? To call the party leader into a no confidence voting meeting in order to castigate and bully him into resigning? Then to set about smothering the electoral voice of all the impoverished, disenfranchised, struggling people who have elected to support his leadership and then saddle them with the bill for legal costs? All of this intriguing might seem clever to the holders of £60,000 a year, but it’s not raising any laughter amongst the 130,00 people they have so coldly disenfranchised.


Could one describe the Parliamentary Labour Party as cold and calculating? How about simply very corporate in dealing with the ‘Jeremy Corbyn problem’. If you can’t jettison the man asap via gross misconduct, why not try constructive dismissal (we won’t work for you therefore you’re leadership isn’t viable). If that won’t work because although middle management is repulsed by him the workers still like him why not bully the workers into silence using all means to hand and any methods viable.

It’s a pity and a shame because those disenfranchised folks supporting Corbyn are as determined as the PLP are to have their say. So much for social justice,what a terrible, terrible, way to poison and destroy a political party.


Politics, Social Justice

Kent Police ordered to pay aggravated damages in race discrimination case


Kent Police have been ordered to pay aggravated damages after a tribunal found senior officers had subjected a British Asian constable to racial discrimination and police witnesses had “suffered a collective memory loss” while giving evidence about a key aspect of the case.

Angus Bowler, 53, a “long-serving, loyal and successful officer, was worn down by the conduct of his senior officers,” the employment tribunal ruled.

Because of the discrimination and victimisation, the father of three went from having hardly any sickness absences in 25 years to needing time off for stress, suffering dizzy spells and chest pains, and feeling sick on the way to work.

Yet the panel ruled that after an earlier judgement produced findings of racial discrimination and victimisation, “there was a complete lack of action” from Kent Police. Mr Bowler, the tribunal found, was “fobbed off” by the force’s professional standards department when requesting an investigation into the findings.

The tribunal also said that an apparent letter of apology sent by Chief Constable Alan Pughsley five days before the tribunal’s compensation hearing was “half-hearted and late” and “smacked of an attempt to avoid aggravated damages.”  The tribunal included the letter as one of the reasons for awarding £5,165 in aggravated damages. 

In a judgement entered on 5 August, the tribunal also ordered Kent Police to pay Mr Bowler’s £1,450 tribunal fees, plus £20,822 in compensation. 

Mr Bowler claimed race discrimination after failing to get promotion to sergeant in March 2014 while working for Kent’s special branch frontier operation near the French entrance to the Channel Tunnel.

The initial employment tribunal ruling, made in April this year after a hearing in Ashford, Kent, cleared Detective Inspector Nicholas Staddon of racially discriminating against Mr Bowler, partly because the evidence indicated that he had also  been “rude and abrupt” to a white officer.

The tribunal found, however, that once Mr Bowler lodged a grievance complaint over his lack of promotion, he was subjected to both victimisation and racial discrimination.

The tribunal heard that Detective Chief Inspector Andy Somerville had found race relations legislation “convoluted”, so his investigation of the grievance consisted of him quoting the Oxford dictionary definition of racism to Mr Staddon, who assured him he wasn’t racist.

Ruling that such “sheer incompetence” amounted to racial discrimination, the tribunal panel said: “The lackadaisical approach by Mr Somerville indicated he held a stereotypical view that the claimant [Mr Bowler] was being oversensitive about being treated badly because of his race.”

When Mr Bowler appealed, the tribunal added, Superintendent Martin Very “brushed aside” his arguments and “rubber stamped” the earlier report, failing to take the complaint seriously because he viewed the British Asian constable “stereotypically, as oversensitive.”

The tribunal ruled that Mr Very had been “disingenuous” in claiming in evidence to the hearing that Mr Bowler’s representative Wendell Henry, of the National Black Police Association, had told him there was “no racial element” to the grievance. 

“It was so unlikely that he would have told Mr Very that the grievance was not about race as to be incredible,” the tribunal observed in its judgement.

A Kent Police spokesman said: “Whilst Kent Police accepts that there are points within the grievance and appeals procedures that could be improved, it does not accept that the officer was treated differently due to his race, and Kent Police has been granted an appeal against the tribunal’s decision.

“Having submitted the appeal, Kent Police requested that the remedies hearing be adjourned pending the conclusion of the appeals process. However, this was rejected.

“The Chief Constable did send a letter to Mr Bowler apologising for the way in which the matters were dealt with. There was concern that Mr Bowler might be staying at two different addresses therefore to ensure prompt receipt the letter was sent via his solicitor.  Kent Police now awaits the result of the appeal. Recommendations submitted by Mr Bowler for improvement to procedures will be considered by the force.”

(Excerpt from ‘The Independent’ Website)



Prison guards put gun crime prisoner in the same cell as his victim


A “vulnerable” teenager was hospitalised after he was put in the same cell as a former friend who was in prison for trying to shoot him.

Lewis Clarke, 18, shot at the front window of William Cowley’s home in Formby, Merseyside after the 17-year-old, who has autism, accused him of stealing cigarettes in May 2015.

In response, Cowley took a knife out with him a week later and stabbed another boy, a friend of Clarke’s who cannot be named for legal reasons, in the side after getting into a “fistfight” in an alleyway.

The boy survived but was taken to hospital in a critical condition.

Following the two attacks, the boys were both taken to Werrington Prison in Stoke-on-Trent were prison guards put them in the same cell.

Clarke then stabbed Cowley in the kidney, the Liverpool Echo reported.

Speaking during Cowley’s sentencing in August, where he was jailed for five years with three years on licence, his defence lawyer Jeremy Rawson said: “Due to an administration error they were placed in the same cell.

“The defendant was hospitalised as a result of that. He has now recovered.

“No contact should have been allowed, unfortunately it was, and the defendant was injured as a result.”

The mistake could not be reported until Clarke was sentenced to seven and a half years in a Young Offenders Institution in a separate trial last week.

He had admitted the charges of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, possessing a firearm and two counts of possessing bullets.

He and several other co-defendants were found guilty of handling the firearm which killed a Toxeth teenager, Kevin Wilson, in February 2015. They were not accused of Kevin’s murder.


Hypocritical Cant, Politics, Social Justice

Work To Change

I have discovered something none to radical, it does not pay to be kind, it does not pay to be generous and it does not pay to be loving. When you’re dealing with folk who’ve made predatory selfishness their mantra, the biggest mistake you can make is to wear your heart on your sleeve, it does no one least of all you, any good. So I’ve changed, I observe the selfish and the self-serving more calmly than I once did and with a much sharper sense of humour.

I look on with disbelief as they dynamite their lives, demanding my help in as aggressively manipulative a manner as they have learned to adopt. I look on and proffer the help they will surely need from an emotional distance, because if they haven’t changed their mindset, manner or approach in forty years they are not going to change now.

I proffer that help knowing full well that at the very first advantageous and profitable opportunity they will cut my throat (figuratively speaking), and then expect me to take the blame for them having done so. Not only that I know that as they blame me for having helped them to my injury, they will be backed up and supported by other relatives who will chime in with their agreement at the opportune time.

Even so my attitudes have changed, my outlook has changed, so the help will be given but it won’t alter my sense of humour or my course through life or my outcomes. Having embraced change, their lack of it has ceased to significantly impact me.


Politics, Social Justice

Hardly Rocket Science?


When Sir Philip Green bought BHS in May 2000, he insisted it would not be rocket science to revive the ailing high street retailer. After paying £200m, he was convinced he had the skills to secure its future. But last year, after failing in his mission, Green sold BHS for £1 to a little known group of investors who have steered it into collapse in just over 12 months. His dreams for the chain may have come to nothing, but Green’s family have still been big winners from BHS, taking out more than £580m in dividends, rental payments and interest on loans to help fund a lavish lifestyle.

As the pensions regulator considers whether to pursue Green for between £200m and £300m – to help fill the black hole in BHS’s pension schemes that had developed since 2000 – he is awaiting delivery of his latest toy: a $150m (£100m) superyacht named Lionheart. The 90-metre vessel will join Green’s two other yachts, speedboat, helicopter and Gulfstream jet, which comes in handy for his weekly trips to and from Monaco to visit his family.

Green and his wife Tina were listed as the UK’s 29th richest family in last weekend’s Sunday Times rich list, which estimated their worth as £3.22bn. 

Tina, who since 2004 has been the legal owner of BHS – and the Arcadia Group, which includes Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins – is based in Monaco. The handover of BHS to Green’s wife was completed just before the family paid themselves £1.2bn in dividends from Arcadia in 2005, the biggest pay cheque in British corporate history, equivalent to four times the group’s then profits.

11,ooo loyal and faithful BHS employees on the other hand, are either staring limited redundancy payments or modest pension payments in the face. That’s 11,000 constituents who have dutifully paid their taxes, raised their families and contributed much good towards society.

11,000 people who used to believe that if you worked hard and saved hard you were sure to be amply rewarded. 11,000 people who considered it a good idea to make monthly payments towards their BHS pensions only to discover that there is a massive financial hole in the pension pot, I bet they wonder how that happened.

11,000 people who haven’t had a ride on Sir Phillip Green’s yacht, haven’t attended his lavish parties and weren’t privy to the awarding of his knighthood. Incidentally, talking about that knighthood, when is its removal going to be debated in the House of Commons? Anytime soon?


T’is said you’re not supposed to talk evil of the dead or the filthy rich, but it’s a terrible thing when the non-existent business integrity of the filthy rich, corrodes the values of grass-roots workers.

What point is there in pursuing a career with an established firm, if all you’re doing is setting yourself up to get robbed at work by the firm that employed you? What point is there in ‘being moral’ whilst your bosses party away both your pension, and the businesses profits? When businessmen who steal their worker’s pensions remain free and at large, rather than being prosecuted and sent to prison, you have to ask yourself what advantage there is in behaving as though you, the employee, are morally decent. In the words of the celebrated Phillipines Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago,miriam-quotes

That goes for the private, as well as the public sector.

Social Justice

Peerages: A Love Affair

Before I wade into Shami Chakrabarti I think it is necessary to explain exactly what a peerage is.

The Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876 and the Life Peerages Act 1958 authorise the regular creation of life peerages, with the right to sit in the House of Lords. Life peers created under both acts are of baronial rank and are always created under letters patent. So, if Shami Chakrabarti CBE were to accept a life peerage she would become Baroness Chakrabarti CBE as opposed to just Ms Chakrabarti CBE, isn’t that interesting?


There is no limit on the number of peerages the Sovereign may create under the Life Peerages Act. Normally life peerages are granted to individuals nominated by political parties or by the House of Lords Appointments Commission, and to honour important public figures such as the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Prime Minister on their retirement.

Although Shami Chakrabarti C.B.E was head of the UK Civil Liberties Organisation ‘Liberty’ for thirteen years, and although she has campaigned tirelessly against excessive terrorism measures, and also paneled the Leveson Inquiry she hardly counts as an important person. Which is why news of the granting of a life peerage to somebody as unimportant as the former head of ‘Liberty’ should have been greeted with cries of elation.

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Tom Watson however, pointed out that Shami Chakrabarti C.B.E, Chancellor of the University of Essex, Honorary Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford, and Master of the Bench of the Middle Temple, had placed herself in an awkward position by accepting a Life Peerage from Jeremy Corbyn.


Accepting a Life Peerage after having completed a report on Anti-Semitism for the Labour Party was tantamount to receiving a bribe, his disapproval insinuated, perhaps she was softer in her criticisms than she should have been because Corbyn offered her a peerage. The timing is not great for the Labour Party he avowed, forgetting to mention that on most issues from Brexit to the Leadership Challenge Labour’s timing has become decidedly off-piste.


Perhaps Mr Watson forgot the fact that a Labour PM awarded her a CBE inspite of her harsh criticisms of him and his government, and that the Sunday Times has previously listed her as one of the ‘100 Makers of the 21st Century’. The lady is weighted beneath so many honours that one more is hardly likely to corrupt her previous good character. Perhaps Mr Watson would be better occupied ferociously petitioning the Honours Forfeiture Committee with regards to Sir Phillip Green & the removal of his Knighthood. Now there’s a cause worthy of aggressive pursuit on behalf of BHS Pensioners who have been robbed of their full pension, and  those remaining employees of BHS who are on the brink of being made redundant.


Satire, The Hearthlands of Darkness

Chapter 11: Professor Powell’s Revelations


“I dare say Jonas, that you find my behaviour squalid and tawdry, that you feel as though you’ve entered a light-less region far, far, away from the innocence of British Civilisation.” I made no reply to this, for, dear reader, how may respond to such a one, who, having brazenly discarded all things Christian, avows that he has done so for a higher purpose? What greater purpose could there be in savage hinterlands such as this, than dauntless and unflinching service to that imperious empire led by our great and glorious queen?

“Look at them Jonas! Look at these artless innocents and consider whether it is better to have followed the imperial edicts of Umbongo Umbongo and the British Empire or do as I have done! These are children freed! Freed! From years of enslavement to the vulgar business of Ivory harvesting! Freed! From miserable, crushing enslavement to the overweening hubris of empire! Freed and free to twerk!”

Equatorial winds whistled through the palm trees around us and as if in response the palm frond skirt tied around his waist rustled. Professor Powell swayed his hips gently in time to music he alone could hear. I must confess that even though the twerking fantasia had abated, a distinct feeling of nausea overcame me at the sight of him performing that torrid native dance with a look of ecstasy upon his face.

50e4c-6a0112791cb10528a40168e888d710970c-550wi I felt myself encompassed by a dark, cabalistic silence in that stifling, steaming place. Torches soaked in elephant fat, and then set alight, surrounded us on every side, their barbarous glow drenched the Umbongoan natives who surrounded us in scarlet and orange light, so that they seemed more savage looking than usual. 

“The worker deserves his hire Jonas, but these my poor, poor, infants” he gestured grandly towards the Umbongoan Natives “Have received not so much as a sovereign from the grandiose empire! Oh but we shall have what’s ours despite them!”. Professor Powell’s eyes blazed with a degree of monomanic malevolence that I thought most imprudent in one who had taken the British Empire’s many sovereigns, along with an oath (most passionately given I might add), to do his duty by queen and country.

“Nivy! Teelah! Maguti!” he cried, “Nawaba Nimbi! Come forth! Come hither my children! Show Mr Stanley what servants of the empire will do for the Queen’s shilling! Ribi Ha! Neeti Kon-Tiki! Show him, show him my children! Show him how the empire rewards those it keeps in servitude!”. 

How may I describe the hideous cries that broke unbidden from my lips at the sight of so many crippled! For where there should have been two arms there was only one, and where two legs had been, one leg and a pair of wooden crutches sufficed! Who had been the author of these unspeakable villainies?”. 

“But this is not a British practice!” cried Captain Dunrudy,”T’is a Belgian aberration! You cannot hold the British Empire to blame for this surely?!”. Oh that Captain Dunrudy had kept his mouth shut! For at his utterances Professor Powell’s face reddened with anger and his eyes gleamed with a most unnatural light. 

“Before the advent of the British Empire the Nederhiwi numbered two thousand. All that remains of the Nederhiwi now is what you see here, some one hundred and fifty souls gifted to me by the Goddess Umgowah! Of these some sixty have been mutilated, mutilated in punishment for not meeting the Imperial Administrator’s yearly quotas for Ivory! ”


RibaKiba Mission

Oh grotesque horror of horrors! What monstrous lunacy was it that forced civilised men to resort to such practices? To leave off worshipping Jehovah and to bow one’s educated brow to heathen practices and a heathen goddess! To dress like a native and resolutely take up the cause of a foreign and barbarous race! Reeling back in disgust I caught hold of Pasher Arshad by the arm, but his ashen face offered me no reassurance, his right hand firmly wrapped around his prayer beads he shook his head sorrowfully. “To put one’s hand in the mouth of the British lion” he grimly declared, “and then to thump it righteously on the head is not a good idea Professor Powell Saab! Compassion and mercy are most glorious things, if one is alive to appreciate them! But the empire is a mighty, ravenous, beast which none have stood against for good reason! We are all doomed! You have brought the taint of death and destruction down upon all our heads! It is like Khartoum under General Gordon Pasha all over again!”.

Oh terror upon terror! The Professor was flirting with immense forces far more powerful than himself, heinous forces that would have him court-marshalled and hung! Yet still he was defiant,”Doomed?” he cried looking around at his children who grimaced reassuringly back “Doomed? We children of the Goddess Umgawah have freed ourselves and we will not be subjugated again! The lioness of Britannia is unassailable you say? Do not think that we stand alone in our virulent dislike of the empire! Why even now the Wahiri Hiri and the Barbary Corsairs march towards our glorious outpost! We shall join arms with them and together we shall bring down that nefarious imperial beast! If they will not free us we shall free ourselves! Umtargatie victoree! Victoree!” shrieked he,

“Dear God he’ll kill us all!” declared Captain Dunrudy reaching for his hip flask, which fortunately for us Pasher Arshad had confiscated,”Moribund moribund tee tee!” declared he upon finding that his flask was missing. “Moribund gazulu tee tee!” I replied, for few had passed through such a fiery trial as our own!

missionaries Congo early 1900s