Archive for November 2010

Domestic Violence and the presumption of guilt

This week West Mercia Police started a trial of new powers to allow them to temporarily ban domestic violence suspects from their homes.

On the face of it this seems perfectly acceptable – thousands of men and women have their lives destroyed by domestic violence and the consequences of their abuse stay with them for the rest of their lives – but try and detach yourself from the emotion of it and think about it again.

Real men don't hit womenThe powers are for the police to ban suspects from their homes.  Suspects, not people who have been proven to be guilty of domestic abuse.  The powers are intended to be used where there is (or is thought to be) insufficient evidence to secure a conviction.  So not only are the powers to be used against people who haven’t been found guilty of committing a crime but they are to be used when there is a lack of evidence that any crime has been committed.

The constitution says that you can’t deprive someone of their liberty or property unless they’ve been convicted of a crime.  The constitution is the law.  For the police to require someone to forfeit their home – even temporarily – without the lawful judgement of the courts and before a jury if requested, is unconstitutional and illegal.  To punish someone accused of a crime but not tried or convicted of it is unconstitutional and illegal.

Something clearly needs to be done to help people in abusive relationships escape from their abusers.  It’s a hard thing to do – the victims are invariably broken down mentally and bullied into thinking they can’t or shouldn’t escape the abuse.  You can’t pass a law to make victims of domestic abuse want to or feel able to escape their abuser but a big part of the problem is that there isn’t enough support for the victims if they do pluck up the courage to try and escape and it is this that has to be fixed.

Someone who has been subjected to domestic abuse is already in a fragile state without the soul destroying prospect of ending up in a hostel full of people with god knows what personal problems or a poky little flat with a couple of kids.  The onus is on the victim to go to court and protect themselves, relying on someone who is probably scared to go out in public on their own to face their abuser in court and accuse them in person. ake it easier for people to get away from their abusers and make the temporary accommodation better.  Don’t force victims to face their abusers and make the punishment fit the crime when they’re convicted.  This is what needs changing, not giving the police permission to break the law and doing away with the presumption of innocence that has underpinned English law for centuries.

London student protest pictures and videos

I caught the train down to London yesterday for the AGM of the Campaign for an English Parliament and ended up getting caught up in the student protests after they chose the exact moment the bus taking us from the station to Parliament Square was at the top of Parliament Street to make their way to the House of Commons forcing us to get off and walk alongside them!

The protesters were pretty good natured at first, smiling and pulling faces but then someone let off a firework and that seemed to be a signal for the troublemakers to start winding people up.  You could tell who the troublemakers were before they even did anything – dirty clothes, dreadlocks, hoodies, faces covered.

The CEP’s AGM was a couple of streets away so I popped back a few times to see what was going on and took a few photos and videos.

Lest the BBC forget …

Yesterday, while the country was observing a 2 minute silence to remember our war dead, a group of muslim extremists calling themselves Muslims Against Crusades were burning poppies and shouting “British soldiers burn in hell”.

Muslims Against Crusades inciting hatredNot that you would have known this yesterday if you relied on the BBC News website for your news – until lunchtime today the story was censored by the BBC and it’s only been mentioned today because the BBC have been able to bury it in a story about the English Defence League.

Only one line in the middle of the story “EDL founder charged with Muslims poppy protest assault” – mentioned almost as an aside – is about the disgusting behaviour by Muslims Against Crusades yesterday.  The rest of the story is about six members of the English Defence League (including their leader) being arrested for affray after shouting abuse at the scum inciting hatred against our soldiers.  The fact that two Muslims Against Crusades scum were arrested is mentioned as an afterthought, almost as if it’s a vaguely related bit of information that doesn’t really matter.

The Muslims Against Crusades scum are entitled to their opinions and to voice those opinions provided that they don’t cause a public disorder when they’re doing it.  We still have some semblance of free speech in this country which is why they’re here in the first place rather than some disease-ridden, oppressive shithole muslim country.  But the EDL also have a right to their opinions and to voice their opinions and they’re also entitled to fair and unbiased reporting by the BBC but they certainly haven’t got it.

The BBC is legally obliged, under its charter, to be fair, honest and impartial.  They censored a front page news story because it was about muslims behaving like animals and then when they eventually reported on it a day later it wasn’t about their behaviour, it was about the EDL kicking off at them.  Not fair, not honest and not impartial.

I have Three. Yay!

Talking to a colleague at work about his problems with Orange (pretty much the same we’re having at Chez Wonko), I decided to phone Orange again to see what the score was following my phone call on Saturday.  The person I spoke to actually seemed to be doing something so thinking I was on a roll I decided to phone Three again.

The colleague in question had sent me a link to a website that said Three were opting out of network sharing with Orange in areas where they had good coverage.  Three think they have good coverage here which is why they turned a mast off so maybe they’d opted out of network sharing where I live?  They haven’t but the person I spoke to said “we don’t want you to leave us, let me see if we can fix your problem”.

What have I got to lose?  I’m waiting for Mrs Sane to sort out Orange so we can change networks together and like I said on Saturday, if Orange sort out their problem I don’t necessarily need to change networks.

Imagine my surprise when I looked at my phone this morning and it was on Three.  Not only was it on Three, it had a full signal.  They phoned me today and said they’d changed something at the mast so that I would get coverage while they sorted out another mast for the area which should be operational in about 3-4 months time.