Friday, 23 December 2011

And a happy Christmas...

... to all White Rabbit readers from rabbits large and small. Among the larger rabbit's resolutions will be to blog more next year and get round more regularly to linked blogs. We shall see...

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Custody, Knob of the Week 8 and how the rabbit did better out of Europe than Cameron

An update as regards the infamous Croydon Tramlink woman is in order. As the matter is now sub judice the rabbit had better avoid the substantive issue for the time being but one aspect of subsequent events calls for comment.

The Tramlink One - as perhaps we are now to call her is named Emma West. She is 34 and comes from New Addington - a place the rabbit has commented on in comments on original post, albeit less unkindly than as per a site called Chavtowns - Britain's Worst Places To Live (torrent of bad words and worse thoughts alert)- one can only conclude that the Chavtowns writer is a Tourettes sufferer and the rabbit is still pondering the information about the horse.

But back to Emma West - it is little surprise to discover that she has appeared Croydon Magistrates' Court charged with what is described as a racially aggravated public order offence - presumably s5 as SW has observed in previous comments. She was remanded to reappear in court on the 3rd January - in custody. She applied for bail but was refused for her own protection. She has now (last Tuesday) been granted bail but the original remand in custody has attracted little comment - cases with an unattractive racial or sexual dimension tend to result in an instant failure of the liberal instincts of the otherwise ostentatiously liberal. I have only had one client (ever) who in the face of an objection to bail 'for their own protection' was not anxious for bail despite the alleged risks and he didn't apply for bail. Online death threats were apparently made in Emma West's case - one may wonder if they were so serious that they over-rid the presumption of bail that follows from the presumption of innocence - a presumption that even applies to unattractive people doing/saying unattractive things! To post something threatening on the internet - presumably under cloak of anonymity - is one thing. Seeking to effect homicide in real life is another. The distinction doesn't take too much working out. I can only doubt that la West should ever have been remanded in custody in the first place.

The moon faced Tory twerp to the right above (as opposed to the moon faced Tory twerp to the left of whom more later) is named Aidan Burley. He is Conservative MP for Cannock Chase and latest winner of the prestigious White Rabbit Knob of the Week award. Burley is not facing criminal prosecution and is not and has not been in custody (okay, I don't say he should be but the contrast with Emma West is irresistible).

Burley attended a stag do with 12 friends in at the restaurant in the ski resort of Val Thorens in France. Bad behaviour - indeed seemingly criminal under the French penal code - ensued. Burley was unwise enough to be present - and indicating no dissent -  while another guest, sitting beside the MP at the restaurant, was caught on film making a speech in which he said: ‘Let’s raise a toast to Tom for organising the stag do, and if we’re perfectly honest, to the ideology and thought process of the Third Reich.’


Later, after moving on to a British-themed pub, some of the group, many of whom adopted thick German accents, chanted: ‘Mein Fuhrer! Mein Fuhrer! Mein Fuhrer!’, ‘Himmler! Himmler! Himmler!’ and ‘Eichmann! Eichmann! Eichmann!’ One of the party commented ‘We are trying to intimidate as many people as possible. A lot have been quite offended, especially one guy who was both Jewish and gay.’

Double oooops!

The point is not that Burley actively participated in any of this behaviour or dressed up in SS uniform (as two of his party did - Burley is the one on the right - so to speak - above) ) but that he acquiesced in it - indicating no dissent at all. What happens next - which may include criminal investigation in France - remains to be seen. The rabbit will keep a beady eye but in the meantime a Knob of the Week is the least that can be done in recognition of his role.

As regards the other moon faced Tory twerp - the rabbit won £2.80 (two balls correctly predicted) on the Euromillions lottery last Friday, thus bringing back £2.80 more from Europe than Cameron did. 'Nuff said.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Ska, Knob of the Week 7 and appeal...

I mentioned that The Selecter (see posting below) took to the stage at Fairfield Halls to the strains of The Pioneers' Longshot Kick De Bucket through the PA and promised some ska. So the first song selected itself. It was produced by Lee Perry and is the story of a horse race at Cayamanas Park, Jamaica. It is the story of the death of a long lived but wholly unsuccessful horse - the appropriately named Longshot - who died (during his 203rd race).

If this doesn't bring a smile to your face, check your pulse. You are probably dead.

Also played on the PA was The Upsetters' Return of Django - Wikipedia tells me the title is a reference to the spaghetti western Django. Didn't know that.

I've posted Louie Louie before - the oriiginal Kingsmen version - complete with lyrics to debunk the theory that the lyrics are in fact a barrage of filth - which they are not. Here is the Toots and the Maytals version, which wasn't played on the PA at The Selecter concert but did crop up on This Is England on the TV the next night so there is a sort of connection...

So for a complete overlap, played on the PA at the The Selecter concert and figuring in the opening sequences of This Is England here are Toots and The Maytals with 54/46 Was My Number - a reference to his prison number when serving time for possession of two spliffs. Watch the opening sequences anyway - they are a striking  collage of clips of early eighties England.

Moving on, the silly season has come early - for overseas readers and the terminally inattentive, above is Jeremy Clarkson who presents a motoring TV programme called Top Gear that the rabbit manages to find hugely resistible. He is also a prize prat. Clarkson has caused an enormous storm by his comments  on The One Show (another TV programme the rabbit has managed to resist) including comments that striking public sector workers should be shot. Specifically in front of their families.

Cue the most immense uproar - the BBC has received more than 21,000 complaints, 'Dave' Cameron - a prime minister - has pronounced the comments
'a silly thing to say... I'm sure he didn't mean it'. Labour leader and panda imitator Ed Miliband was in some danger of exploding with indignation. Most absurdly, the trade union Unison initially called for the Top Gear presenter to be sacked by the BBC over what it described as 'appalling' comments and then said it was seeking legal advice over the issue as to whether Clarkson could be referred to the police. Free rabbit legal advice: don't be so silly and get over yourselves...

Can we deal with the matter this way (a) Clarkson's comments were witless posturing but anyone with two brain cells to rub together could work out they were not to be taken literally (b) he is an obvious right wing knob (c) let's move on. He loves the attention so maybe stop giving him so much.

But as a parting shot, another White Rabbit Knob of the Week is in order (number 7 I think) and is awarded jointly to Clarkson and whoever from Unison wanted to take legal advice about dragging the police into this farrago of posturing.

Changing the subject yet again, the rabbit's seasonal appeal - Amnesty International are running a campaign - Write for Rights - to send greetings to prisoners. Not all the selected prisoners are political prisoners in the strict sense but all are cases where there are serious questions as to their imprisonment. This has been going for some years and in a number of instances has apparently made a difference. There is guidance given - for example reference to Christmas can get the prisoner in trouble in some countries - and a choice. Seems worth doing and the rabbit will be sending off a few.

Very finally - and belatedly - the rabbit did a guest post on the Charon QC blog on how he became a barrister. If you're really at a loose end take a look...