Parallel lines, thin blue edition

I’ve written before about how the general uselessness of the British police has led to vigilantes and private companies filling the void. Now via William of Ockham, this story:

A private police service is mounting the UK’s first private prosecutions for theft and other “minor” crimes because it claims the police have “given up” taking them to court.

The private firm, which provides neighbourhood policing to residents, firms and shops, says it has set up a new prosecution unit after its teams have apprehended shoplifters, pickpockets and drug dealers only to be told by officers called to the scene to release them.

This is how the RSPCA works, I think. It has no actual powers except the ability to bring about private prosecutions (which get rubber-stamped by the courts). I’m interested to see if the courts cooperate in this case; I’m sure the police will be leaning on them not to.

Mr McKelvey claims it could be a “win-win” situation for the police as it would enable them to “allocate resources to crimes that require more police time while at the same time, the shops and residents get an outcome that people want.”

Alas, Mr McKelvey is being rather naive. The last thing the police want is being shown up to be useless by someone else doing their job more effectively. I expect. Let’s see how long this operation lasts before Plod is on TV issuing dark warnings about people “taking the law into their own hands”. Frankly, I’m of this school of community law enforcement.

The former senior Metropolitan police officers who run the My Local Bobby service blame cuts in police numbers which meant officers were reluctant to spend time and valuable resource investigating and prosecuting minor offences.

Unless someone’s been uttering wrongthink on Twitter, in which case the entire force is deployed. I don’t think anyone is buying the “scarce resources” argument any more.

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Patreon

Some time back I put up a post linking to my Patreon page and begging my readers for money. A few of you were kind enough to donate, and for that I am truly appreciative, especially as I didn’t have an income for a year and a few dollars per month paid for things like the hosting, domain name renewal, and anti-spam services.

However, now I’m not posting as much I feel bad about accepting money each month while I loaf. I also have a job nowadays, and am no longer an impoverished student. I have gone onto Patreon and there doesn’t seem to be an option to delete subscriptions, only suspend billing each month. I want to keep the site open in case I start blogging with a vengeance again (which may or may not focus on the penchant of Kiwi women for poisoning, dismemberment, and backyard burials) so please can I ask that anyone who is currently donating cancel their subscription? I am massively grateful for your supporting me, but I don’t feel comfortable accepting any more donations.

Naturally, those of you who have top up my pocket money by clicking on the ads for Pakistani singles in your area or socks which look like bacon rashers, you keep doing your thing.

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Loyalty

This poem seems appropriate today. I first saw it posted on the noticeboard outside the office of this great man, and it had a lasting impact on me.

Never believe the worst of a man
When once you have seen his best,
Of any loyalty worth the name
This is the surest test.

Gossip is ready at every turn,
Your faith and trust to slay,
But the loyal soul is deaf to doubt,
Whatever the world may say.

Whatever you hear on others’ lips,
Don’t let it soil your own;
Let your faith still stronger be
While the seed of slander’s sown.

Keep the image before your eyes,
Of the friend who’s a friend to you:
And stand by that friend through thick and thin
Whatever the world may do.

Never believe the worst of a man,
When your own soul sees the best;
All that matters is what you know
Not what the others have guessed.

And if all that you know is straight and fine
And has brought you friendship’s joys.
Be proud to treasure the truth that’s yours,
Whatever the world destroys.

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Blogging Off

I guess I owe everyone an explanation of some sort, don’t I?

As you remember, I came back to the UK in September and started a new job on a Monday. On the Wednesday I was called into an office by my new boss and found the head of HR waiting for me. What the hell have I done now, I thought. It’s too early for me to have upset anyone; maybe they’ve found the blog? So when they told me they’d had a reorganisation and were making me redundant, I was actually quite relieved. In fact, the situation was so preposterous I laughed. Rather grateful I’d not made any serious commitments such as selling a house, quitting a job, or moving a family to join them (I’d basically loaded up my car with a few suitcases and drove from Annecy to Cambridge), I asked them whether I should come in tomorrow or go back to France. They told me my redundancy period was 3 months, and so I said I might as well make myself useful during that time. After a year off for my MBA, any work was better than none. As it turned out there was plenty to do, and I was well placed to do it. So for the next ten weeks or so I kept myself busy doing project management and writing procedures, to the point they were good enough to offer me a permanent position in the new organisation chart. So here I am: not doing the job I came to do, but another well within my capabilities on the same terms and conditions.

I rather like it here. The average employee in my previous company, were he to meet an ancient carpet weaver in Tashkent, would immediately tell him how to do his job properly. My previous boss used to talk to me as if I’d just floated down the river on a raft full of cow shit. This wouldn’t have been so bad if what he knew about the oil industry couldn’t be written in the margins of a Paris metro ticket. Here I am actually consulted on stuff and, generally, people listen if not agree. Also, the work I am doing has some purpose. By contrast, I spent much of my time between 2014-18 entering obviously incorrect data into spreadsheets and then deleting the spreadsheets. I am also rather busy as, this not being the oil industry, things move a little faster than a glacier. I once thought oil companies spent so long making decisions that the reservoir grew a little thanks to the continuous exertion of geological forces on the dead dinosaurs. In my last company I started to think that was an actual strategy.

Readers may recall my original intention had been to live near King’s Cross and then commute to Cambridge. Then I’d decided that was too expensive and lived in Cambridge in the company-provided serviced apartment. Well, Cambridge sucked. I found it cold, wet, and uninteresting, possibly because I was on my own. I had to drive 14 miles each way to get to work which took 40 minutes going and between an hour and an hour and a half on the way home. The problem was insane traffic and forests of traffic lights spaced 20m apart which weren’t synchronised. Whoever designed the traffic system in and around Cambridge was obviously paid by the Fresnel lens, and he needs dragging into the Cam and drowning. By the end of a sixth week of sitting in a line watching a trail of twin red lights stretch into the distance in front of me, I’d had enough.

While all this was going on I was enjoying the occasional company and a lot of telephone conversations with someone I’d met in London when I’d come over for my interview. She’d felt a little guilty that she had to go to Hong Kong on business for three weeks a few days after we’d met. However, I’d had to first confess I was living in Annecy and not London, then I was going to live in Cambridge and not Kings Cross, and finally that my new company was giving me the boot before I’d even seen a dress-down Friday. I was partway through my sorry tale when she boarded a plane for Hong Kong again, from which she returned almost a month later and we both decided we’d spent quite enough time apart. This, coupled with my unhappiness with Cambridge and the commute, drove me to move to London. So here I am, living near Wapping.

This is made possible by one of the major changes in the British workplace which has taken place since I left: flexible working. When I joined my new company I discovered I didn’t have a desk. Everyone just comes in, finds an empty desk, and plugs their laptop into a docking station. Nobody has a phone any more, and instead all calls are routed to Skype installed on your laptop. You can phone into any meeting, meaning you don’t need to be there in person. All this means you can work from pretty much anywhere, and don’t need to be 9-5 in the office every day like we did back in 2003. So I can catch the Brighton to Cambridge train each morning by walking 15 mins to London Bridge, wait for it to empty at Farringdon and St Pancras, then sit down in a deserted carriage, connect to the wifi, and do about an hour’s admin and emails until I arrive. It’s a bit expensive, but much easier and a hell of a lot less stressful than that damned drive I used to do (I ditched the car back in Annecy a few weeks ago).

In short, I am busy at work and I’ve met someone rather nice who I’m spending a lot of time with. This leaves me with little time for blogging, but it goes a bit deeper than that. Firstly, my new companion is not a former mail-order bride from Russia with a collection of children and divorces, nor a nutjob with nose piercings and a penchant for polyamory. Sadly for my blog and my readers, but happily for my mental health, she is a native English speaker (of a sort) and about as sane as you can expect from someone living in London. Secondly, if I’m being honest, I’ve lost the fire in my belly to churn out 2-4 posts per day. It’s getting harder and harder to write something without repeating what I’ve already said. When I first started writing about polyamory it was a new and interesting topic for me, and learning about the lunatics who practice it was as amusing as it was informative as to just who walk among us. But there’s a new article every second week and I’ve nothing original to say. The same is true for carrier bags, Brexit, Trump, and most other subjects I weigh in on: nothing changes, the stories stay the same, and my blog gets dull and repetitive. At least, the writing part feels that way.

So I’m not going to be posting anywhere near as much as I was. I live a different life now, probably a more boring life, but one that I hope will make me a bit happier. I don’t know where blogging will fit into it, but it won’t be like before. I will definitely keep it online and write posts from time to time, because I still love writing and have things to say. If ever I get time in future there’s a good chance I’ll ramp it back up again, provided I have something new and interesting to write about. And I still want to finish my second book, the first having been such a roaring success. Ahem. This one is a murder mystery set on Sakhalin Island, loosely based on my experiences, and a very different story from the first but written in similar style. I have no idea when I’ll be able to continue with it, let alone finish it.

So please check back here every now and again, because I wouldn’t like to lose all of you. You’ve been a wonderful, brilliant, tremendous set of readers who have helped, encouraged, criticised, and kept me on the straight and narrow without ever letting up, and I love you all for it. I am always up for a drink, which should be easy to arrange now I live in London. You can find my email address here, so drop me a line if you’re bored. As I said, the blog isn’t dead, nor is it on hiatus. It’s just kinda plodding for a while. I’ll see you in the near future.

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Israeli Settlement

Heh:

Rugby Australia (RA) says it “did not back down” by reaching a financial settlement with player Israel Folau after he was sacked for making homophobic comments.

The ex-Wallabies star sued RA for A$14m (£7.4m; $9.5m) after his contract was terminated in May.

Similarly, France didn’t surrender in 1940.

The parties settled for an undisclosed amount, according to a joint statement on Wednesday.

“We had to make a decision that was right for rugby in this country,” RA chief Raelene Castle said at a news conference in Sydney.

And which by pure coincidence has saved us the humiliation of losing a costly lawsuit.

“We stick to our values that inclusiveness is absolutely core to rugby.”

So Izzy’s being reinstated then, is he? Lord knows, it’s not like you couldn’t use him after your lacklustre performance in the World Cup which saw you beaten by both England and Wales.

She said taking the matter to court was not in the interests of the game and the eventual decision was “more cost-effective for us”.

But not as cost-effective as complying with the law in the first place, I expect.

“So we made a decision that gave us cost certainty that put us in the best financial decision entering the new year in a positive way,” she said.

This rearguard action is as impressive as that against Wales in the second half.

“I think it’s clear to say our values are not aligned and the expectations that Rugby Australia would have of Israel coming back into the sport would not be acceptable.

Presumably by “our values are not aligned” she means that Folau at least refrains from trampling people’s rights and being forced into costly legal settlements. Note the woman who heads Rugby Australia isn’t stepping down over this, and why should she? It’s not her money, after all. What price virtue signalling, eh?

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Florida Turn-Bike

From The Daily Mail:

A polyamorous woman has fallen pregnant by one of her four partners after they went away together – but says they will raise the baby as a ‘family’.

Tory Ojeda, 20, from Jacksonville, Florida, met one of her partners Marc, 18, in high school and then started a relationship with Travis, 23, two months later.

Their love story began three years ago and she has since announced her engagement to Travis in July.

She also found love with their long-term mutual friends Ethan, 22, and Christopher, 22. While seven months ago, Tory and Chris found out that they were pregnant with a baby girl.

At least it’s good to see they don’t conform to any stereotypes about polyamorists:


What’s the betting the kid either runs away from home or is taken in by social services before age 15?

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Dumb baggery

Now there’s a surprise:

Sales of “bags for life” rose to 1.5bn last year as the amount of plastic used by supermarkets increased to 900,000 tonnes, Greenpeace research has found.

Many supermarkets have stopped selling 5p single-use bags altogether in favour of stronger 10p bags, which are intended to be reused.

A study by the Environment Agency concluded that these plastic bags for life needed to be used at least four times to ensure they contributed less to climate change than the lighter, single-use bags.

Y’know, it might have been a good idea to have investigated the relative effects of different bags on the environment before lobbying idiotic politicians into passing laws banning the most useful and popular type. But as I like to point out, this is driven by emotions not rationality.

The Greenpeace and EIA research says that bag for life sales were cut by 90% in the Republic of Ireland by setting higher prices of 70 cents. The report recommends a charge of 70p or “ideally” a government ban.

The charge appears to be based on that of another country, only changing the currency without even bothering with exchange rates, let alone purchasing power. I suppose we should be grateful the unwashed clowns at Greenpeace didn’t take Venezuela as the test case. And what is everyone supposed to use to carry groceries if there is an outright ban on plastic bags? Re-purposed drawstrung elephant scrota?

The research also found that overall supermarket plastic use has risen to more than 900,000 tonnes in 2018, despite pledges by retailers to cut down on packaging.

The previous year, they used 886,000 tonnes of single-use plastic packaging.

The report found that supermarkets had slightly reduced the plastic from own-brand goods but that packaging from branded goods increased.

In other words, they’ve spent years hounding the wrong part of the supply chain. These are the people who wish to be in charge of a command and control economy.

Fiona Nicholls, ocean plastics campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said: “Supermarkets are failing on plastics and failing their customers.

“We hear piecemeal supermarket announcements on plastic every other week, but in reality they are putting more plastic on the shelves than ever.”

These supermarkets are failing their customers in the same way coke dealers are failing London property developers.

Only Tesco has given suppliers an ultimatum to cut plastic use or see their products removed from the shelves.

Perhaps their management are not happy with the pace at which they are losing market share and wish it to quicken?

Waitrose was ranked top for cutting its packaging and trying out refill stations for products such as coffee, rice, pasta, wine and detergent.

The Waitrose near me in St. Katherine Docks serves coffee in porcelain cups, but doesn’t let you leave with them. In other words, it’s a cafe serving people who have time to loaf around in the middle of the day drinking coffee. And we’re back to London property developers again. Meanwhile, nobody seems concerned about the amount of plastic used in women’s makeup:

I wonder why that is?

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Lez have a fight

Remember my post about the two lesbians being attacked on the upper deck of a London bus?

So here’s what I think happened. These two women are political activists, steeped in third-wave feminism and high on the fumes of the extremely dangerous narrative that women can go head-to-head with men and come out on top. They were on this bus when they encountered a bunch of feral thugs of the sort who plague British cities but remain untouchable thanks to the efforts of the same lefty do-gooders who encourage open displays of homosexual affection.

I expect these women, being foreign, didn’t sense the danger. Maybe they believed Sadiq Khan’s tweets about London being a welcoming utopia where diversity is celebrated by all? So when these thugs first noticed them instead of getting up and leaving or moving closer to other passengers, they engaged, perhaps with some sassy feminist boilerplate while thinking feral British youths have some sort of code about smacking women around. Big mistake.

Via Julia, here’s a video of the incident:

Which pretty much confirms my original suspicions. Note that it appears it was one of the women who started the physical altercation, something the report is careful to conceal but it explains why they’ve been charged with public order offences and not assault:

At approximately 0230hrs on Thursday, 30 May, two women, both aged in their 20s, boarded the bus in West Hampstead.

As they sat on the top deck, they were approached by a group of males who began to make lewd and homophobic comments and gestures to them.

A fight ensued which left both victims with wounds to their faces after being punched several times by the suspects and a phone and bag were stolen.

If you or I were to punch a feral scumbag on a bus for making lewd gestures, we’d either be nicked for assault or beaten up in return with the police showing no interest whatsoever. But as I’m fond of saying, the term protected classes means just that:

The investigating officer, Detective Constable Darren Barlow, from the Met’s Roads and Transport Command (RTPC), said: “No one should ever be victimised because of their sexuality and I hope that this result brings some form of closure to both victims and they can put this ordeal behind them.

Detective Superintendent Andy Cox, from the Met’s Roads and Transport Command, said: “Any Hate Crime on London’s transport network, or anywhere else in London, will absolutely not be tolerated. The Met’s RTPC officers will always fully investigate crimes that are committed on the bus network and we would urge anyone who has been a victim of crime to contact us.

“The transport network in London is, and remains, extremely safe and occurrences of this nature are few-and-far between.”

Mandy McGregor, Head of Transport Policing and Community Safety at TfL, said: “This sickening incident was utterly unacceptable. Homophobic abuse is a hate crime and won’t be tolerated on our network. All of our customers have the right to travel without fear of verbal or physical abuse.

The police have wheeled out three people in succession to remind us they will not tolerate protected classes being assaulted by violent, teenage thugs as if they were just ordinary members of the public. Nor will the protected classes be punished for throwing the first punch. I wouldn’t mind them protecting only their preferred demographics if they’d let the rest of us drown feral scumbags in the Thames, but if we tried to do that we’d find Plod suddenly on their side. I’ll say this for our ruling classes, they let us ordinary plebs know where we stand.

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Totally Lost

Via reader Gavin Longmuir, this:

Total SA has joined Royal Dutch Shell PLC in withdrawing from American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers because of disagreement about polices on climate change.

In a report on integrating climate with strategy, the company said it reviewed 30 industry associations to which it belongs “to verify that their stances on climate issues are aligned with the group’s.”

Total Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne also cited the Paris agreement, stating, “Our policy regarding industry associations demonstrates our consistency and credibility. Transparency will strengthen the action of businesses, which are key participants in discussions on how to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement.”

Now it might be the case that Patrick Pouyanne believes capitulating to climate activists is the best way to safeguard the interests of Total’s shareholders. It might also be that he’s chiefly concerned about how he is perceived by France’s political elite, having realised his nest is well-feathered regardless of what happens to Total in the long term. I don’t know. But I found this interesting:

Total has suspended all activities on a planned $3.5bn crude export pipeline from Uganda to Tanzania due to uncertainty over its Uganda operation.

The 1,445km pipeline was planned to pass through neighbouring Tanzania to the Indian Ocean port of Tanga.

The decision follows last week’s termination of the farm-down transaction between Tullow Oil, Total E&P and CNOOC.

All parties have been actively progressing the sale and purchase agreement (SPA) since 2017. However, the companies did not reach an agreement on the fiscal treatment of the transaction despite negotiations with the authorities.

Total’s Ugandan development has been going nowhere pretty much from the beginning, and word on the street that the Frenchmen they sent to negotiate with the government – including the CEO – might as well have been random farmers plucked from the fields of Normandy. So if I may make a helpful suggestion to Total’s senior management, perhaps it’s better to reacquire the necessary skills and expertise to develop oil and gas reserves rather than waste company resources in meeting the objectives of the laughably self-serving, corrupt, and ultimately pointless Paris Climate Agreement?

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Swiped Out

There’s a trial underway in Auckland involving the murder of an Englishwoman at the hands of an Australian man whose name is suppressed by a New Zealand judge who may not realise the internet is global:

British backpacker Grace Millane died after being strangled by a man she met on a Tinder date, who later buried her body in a shallow grave, the Crown says.

Grace and the accused met on Tinder and went to a number of central city bars and eateries that night.

The pair were “plainly comfortable” in each other’s company and Grace had messaged her friend saying so, McCoubrey said.

CCTV footage captured from the Bluestone Room bar showed the pair kissing.

“She was plainly enjoying the date, at that stage … there’s clear evidence that both parties probably anticipated sexual activity,” McCoubrey said.

So she was travelling alone in a foreign country, met a total stranger online, went to his apartment to have sex, and wound up dead. Did she find hugging crocodiles in the Northern Territory a little too sensible, or what?

This blog’s resident Kiwi David Moore points us towards this related article:

A witness who wept after being told she would have to return to the High Court in Auckland will continue giving evidence on Tuesday in the trial of the man accused of murdering Grace Millane.

The witness told the court on Monday how the 27 year-old accused of murdering Grace sat on her face as she performed a sex act on him, inside his apartment in November 2018.

The Crown says Grace was murdered about a month later in the same room.

Okay.

On Monday the witness, who has name suppression, said she had drinks with the accused at his apartment in CityLife Hotel, after the pair connected on the dating app Tinder.

Hey, let’s go to some random bloke’s hotel room, what could possibly go wrong?

Giving evidence by CCTV, she told Crown prosecutor Brian Dickey the accused said he loved her and wanted to be with her.

“He grabbed my arm and I said: ‘We’re not having sex’.”

Then why go to his apartment?

The pair moved to the bed and she performed a sex act on him before he sat on top of her.

Because the natural response of someone who declares “we’re not having sex” is to perform a sex act on the chap she’s just yelled at.

The witness said she exchanged messages with the accused in the days following the incident but decided not to mention the suffocating episode because she didn’t want to aggravate him.

Unless she’s exchanging messages with him while they’re sat in the same room, this is a level of imbecility impressive even for the antipodes.

Under cross-examination from the accused’s lawyer, Ron Mansfield, she was asked why she exchanged over 700 messages with the accused, in the month following the sex act.

She told Mansfield she was leading the accused on and was scared that if she cut him off, he was going to turn up in her life.

I’m beginning to think those mullahs may have a point about letting women out on their own. Perhaps this is why Jacinda Ardern was encouraging Kiwi women to adopt the burkha a while back?

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