SadButMadLad's Blog

Just another blog complaining about anything and everything

Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category

The right to hate

Where I go all Predator like

Nothing I said on the Nicky Campbell show was so outrageous that it should provoke such a response from a man who should know better. If I, as a citizen of this country, cannot even express an opinion about human rights and the moral authority of our politicians, what does that say about how equal we are?

Everything Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (YAB) says is outrageous. She winds me up no end. I find it very exasperating to read her articles that I hardly get past the first paragraph before giving up and trying to calm down before I personally feel that I have to shove a big huge clue stick down her throat to shut her up.

I feel that as a citizen of this country I should be able to respond to a person in the public eye in the same manner in which she comments. I think that makes us equal.

Gareth Compton is not an idiot, he knew what he was saying. If I had said, “It would be a blessing if this man was stoned to death,” what would happen to me as a Muslim woman in this country?

YAB is an idiot. She obviously knows that as a muslim woman if she said such things that she wouldn’t even get a quiet talking to because everyone is afraid of offending in the slightest manner any Muslim anywhere in the world at any time in the future.

We are in a post-Jeremy Clarkson universe where men think they can only be men if they insult people; there is a masculinity associated with this rough and anti-politically correct talk. What is so manly about going on Twitter and putting this out about a journalist who is trying to do her job and giving an honest opinion?

Sexist bitch. Can’t women insult people? Ahhh, I get it, YAB is a woman so she can’t possibly insult anyone.

This is not just an insult, this is incitement in my eyes. He knows I’m a Muslim – he didn’t say “shot,” he said “stoned to death”. My daughter was distressed but she would not tell me why. “Why do you have to be a journalist?” she asked. “Every time you go to the door, mum, I think someone is going to shoot you.”

He said “stoned to death” because that was what you were talking about. If you were talking about interfering in Chinese politics and their execution by firing squad I’m sure he would have said “shot”.

Your daughter is distressed because you haven’t taught her “That sticks and stones [pun intended] might break my bones by words will never hurt me”. If anyone has a public presence of any sort then they should know that they will get some odd and possibly extreme responses. It’s part of life.

Of course I do not think I’m going to be stoned when I go outside, but he validates those people who threaten columnists like me, and I cannot accept that. There are a lot of very violent people out there and they think they have the right to threaten me. This guy has made it OK.

Ah-ha, you’ve just admitted that you don’t think it a credible threat. Isn’t that admitting that it’s a joke? So you think that because someone has voiced their opinion that because some mad random nutter then uses it as the excuse to do something that the opinion voicer should be dragged over the coals? If that was the case anyone reading Guido’s blog who decided that it was right to abuse MPs and actually did it that you would get Guido locked up.

I am glad we live in a society where I am freer to speak than in any Muslim country I would be living in. I am grateful.

Except if someone disagrees with you.

I question the hypocrites though; there are people who say they believe in freedom of speech, but not for black people or Asian people or Muslim people, who turn into the Taliban when someone upsets their own views.

I question the hypocrites though; those that believe it they can make any outrageous comment to others, but who feel that if they receive the same kind of comment in return that the comment maker has gone beyond the pale.

In which universe does a Tory councillor think it is a joke that the Taliban go around stoning people for expressing themselves? I don’t think that is acceptable, and I’m very pleased the Tories have suspended him.

In which universe does a newspaper columnist think that they can make their opinions known and not expect to get some robust, negative, comments in return. Especially when their opinions are outrageous and narrow-minded. I found YAB’s opinions offensive and would be very pleased if the Independent got rid of her.

Update: All the comments on the Independent article have now been removed – possibly because they were overwhelmingly negative.

Update #2: Important point about Gareth Compton’s tweet. It had the hashtag #R5L which immediately puts it into the context of a discussion about a Radio 5 Live programme.

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Written by sbml

November 12, 2010 at 12:37

Criminal votes

So prisoners are going to be given the vote. Has the world come to an end?

According to the Daily Mail and its ilk it has. Everyone on both sides of the political fence are up in arms about it on the basis that criminals do not have rights. Everyone on both sides of the fence who hate Europe are up in arms about it on the basis that the EU is trouncing our own democracy.

Here’s my take on the issue and I don’t think the world has ended. It might surprise many but I think the decision is pretty fair.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by sbml

November 3, 2010 at 22:51

Posted in Ethics, Human Rights

Tagged with , ,

Cell block H for Hospital

Just been watching Watchdog and Fiona Phillips talking about the situation in NHS hospitals with regards TV and telephones at the bedside. Whilst I hate her husband, she has a point about the situation.

Patients trapped in a hospital bed and bored out of their mind are having to pay over the odds just for basic entertainment and communicating with their family and friends. In 2000 Labour in the wisdom decided that rather than the NHS arrange such services for patients the best thing would be to offer it to private companies. That way it would be the patients paying for it rather than the NHS. Plus the NHS can take a percentage of the profits. A very similar situation to the car parking at NHS hospitals – the patient pays for it.

Patients have to pay nearly £3/day for access to the TV and phone access is charged at rates sometimes higher than mobile phones. And the access to the TV is not useful either. Sometimes even just to watch a half hour programme you have to pay for the whole day. Then the quality of the TV can be quite variable with audio sync problems, channels not working, remotes not working, etc. Then when you contact the service provider, at premium rates, they acknowledge the problem but won’t fix it straight away. If you are in hospital for any length of time, the charge builds to extortionate amounts very quickly. Well over £100 just for stays of a week or two. And this is for free tv too, not just for premium channels like Sky.

Phone access is bad too. This has got worse from 2008 when patients could bring in mobile phones into the hospital. This was brought about because of the complaints about the high charges. Because the service providers do not make so much money from the phones, they’ve had to increase their charges. So patients without mobile phones are at a disadvantage. Not exactly what should have happened when mobile phones were allowed. And it’s not because patients can’t afford a phone. There are still occasions when ill-informed nurses stop such access, or when hospitals more concerned about the money they get from the service provider refuse mobile phones in the wards.

Basically Labour made a mistake in 2000 just as the internet was starting and all the digital channels were being created and mobile phones were becoming ten a penny. As is usual, the government set up long contracts with no break clauses. When times changed and there wasn’t much of a market for TV and phone services there was no way to bring the system to a stop. That’s because the “stakeholders”, and no the patients aren’t the stakeholders, had no reason to stop it. The NHS hospitals didn’t want to stop it because they made money from the service. The service providers didn’t want to stop it because they had invested so much money because they were promised the service in perpetuity so spent over the odds on the infrastructure.

Generally if you are in hospital for some time, you are better off buying a smartphone and using the various video on demand services and the internet.

And the real kick in the teeth? Prisoners get their TV for free. Admittedly the don’t get mobile phones for obvious reasons, but they are generally better off than patients in terms of entertainment facilities.

Written by sbml

October 28, 2010 at 22:01

Marriage != Civil Partnership

Bit of an old issue (2008) but I need to up my post count so I may as well comment on anything and everything as my blog byline says.

This is about Lillian Ladele who was a registrar in Islington and who refused to carry out a civil registration because it was against her religion/beliefs. She was subsequently sacked and then took the council to the employment tribunal and won on the basis that she was discriminated against.

Firstly, civil partnerships are not marriages. Civil partnerships are a legal creation to allow people to take advantage of tax benefits offered by the state. Marriages are a purely religious event which are recognised by the state. So to refuse to perform a legal act because of your religious beliefs shows you to be a bigoted and narrow minded person, especially when the legal act has no religious connotations.

Secondly, what about the beliefs of the gay people who want to have a civil partnership in Islington. They would be offended if they had to rearrange their ceremony if Ms Lillian Ladele refused to perform for them.

So which offence trumps the other. Do religious rights come first before sexual rights. Or do sexual rights come first.

Why don’t we just remove all such offending situations from the law. If you are offended then feel happy because it also means that you can say what you think even if offends someone else. If you felt that you could never say or do something because someone “might” be offended you would always be looking over your back and you would always err on the side of caution. Is that freedom? Nope.

The “!=” in the title means does not equal in computer speak.

Written by sbml

October 23, 2010 at 16:48

Acorn Close, Barlby

A primary school in Barlby, near Selby, just south of York has taken leave of their senses and given into to a few obnoxious residents who complained about noise levels. Obviously everyone in the blogosphere and in the MSM are going WTF! Has the world gone mad? Have the rights of a few old people* living in Acorn Close, Barlby trumped the rights of dozens of young kids who need to exercise?

Yes is the answer. It’s all down to 13 years of political correctness where everything has to be fair and everyone has human rights. This means that the human rights of someone who buys a house near a school gets it into their head that they have a right to complain about the noise levels of kids playing. This is kids playing at lunch time. The middle of the day. When right minded people are usually at work.

But why did the council get in touch with the school and raise the noise issue with them? Are they politically correct left leaning councillors? Not quite.

Even though Labour have been in power nationally for 13 years, this is a Conservative council since 2003. But local councillors are just politicians like MPs. Those councillors who do have power, the ones on committees, like to keep their empires and enhance them. Being Tory or Labour doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference. They all care about themselves and not their electors.

The other factor in how the council reacted is the council officers. These are employees of the council and are not elected officials. These are the real poison in councils. These people are the ones on excessively high salaries (some CEOs of councils are paid more than the PM) who bow to no one, not even councillors. These are the ones with real power. These are the ones who are the left leaning politically correct busy bodies even if the whole council was comprised of Tory councillors. These are the ones who make life awkward and difficult for anyone with any common sense.

So the council, read council officials who have nothing better to do except create work for themselves to justify their existence, raised a meeting with the school and told them that they had received complaints about the noise. They did this because they had a duty to react after any complaint. This means they react without thought. So the council officials have pretty much told everyone that they don’t have any common sense and didn’t talk to the complainants to ensure that they really had a reason for making their complaint. No, what they did is go straight to the school because that way they can have a meeting because having meetings means that they can discuss the issue and pass the buck on to someone else. In this case the school.

So the school gets the story from the council that complaints have been made. And the council have probably talked up the issue because a silly little complaint would be worth having a meeting about would it? So the school hears the story as a major complaint has been received by the council, that the council have had to think about noise abatement orders (a way of making the issue bigger than it is and scaring the school further) and possibly call in consultants (more scaring about the thought of expensive consultants) to check the noise levels with their fancy machines.

The school’s board now have to react because they have been passed the buck by the council. And they are worried that they might incur extra costs if they don’t follow the council’s advice. This is advice from a person who probably has no legal background nor intelligence. The only thing they have was perceived authority based on FUD. The school’s board, who don’t have the background nor experience of how to handle such situations as they are only ordinary people wanting to do best for the kids, do what they can only do in such situations. Issue a ban as that is what they’ve seen loads of other organisations do in such situations. They can’t talk to the complainants, because the council wouldn’t tell them who they are because of data protection issues (amazing that organisations use this when they don’t want to do something, but freely ignore it when it’s our data they lose). They can’t negotiate with the householders who live on the other side of the fence. An acoustic fence mind you. They can’t find out what’s causing the irritation to the householders to work out if its a particular thing or just the noise in general. So what they do ban noise making activities. They stagger the kids playtime – this only lengthens the noise making period. They ban hard ball games – as if that making more noise than kids screaming.

This will not solve the problem as the complainant (there will be a key person, the other two are just hangers on) will probably not be satisfied till the school is shut down. They probably lived there for many years, years before the school was built in 2002. They probably didn’t want the school then. Rather than move, they demand that their human rights are taken into account and that they are more important than the human rights of dozens of kids. They were probably the single person who complained when they school put in a planning application for an extension in 2007. This ties in with reports in some newspapers that the noise level increased due to “funnelling” after the recent redesign of the school. And this redesign and extension must have been big to change the noise levels so much. You would think so. But in fact it’s a single class room. Not even two story. And conditions were imposed as part of the planning including the installation of an acoustic fence. All I can think of about the noise objection is that this was put in by a very pedantic NIMBY. How does a single class room extension make the slightest difference to noise levels outside? Does a single classroom extension suddenly increase the number of kids at the school to unimaginably high levels where the noise levels are unbearable.

Unlike a lot of journalists, I’ve did a quick bit of research. Only five minutes mind. I’m not paid to do this kind of work. Amazing what you can find out on Google and some thought.

Oh, and have a look at the attached picture and see how many houses are near the school. The green line is the acoustic fence. The red box is the single classroom extension.

Links:
North Yorkshire Planning Committee report on Barlby Primary school extension – 2007

GoogleMaps of Barlby Primary school

* I’m only assuming that it is old people because they stereotypically are the ones who are at home during the day and who can be arsey enough to make a complaint. I make this assumption from Streetview where I notice that the houses in the local estate are predominately bungalows and houses have very neat front gardens. The are other possibilities, but pensioners are my guess.

Update: More info on BBC news item here, and Guardian article here.

Written by sbml

September 18, 2010 at 00:04