Down with the Con-Dems

Well, it seems that coalition are selling off the post office. I can’t belive how angry this has made me.

In the worst rececession for years, the Conservatives have finally managed to sell off everything that was publically owned. The NHS is gone, the Post-Office is going, all because their ideology is that business will do more for the public.

Because that works.

Don’t Vote Conservative!

If your still unsure who your going to vote for, make sure it’s not the Conservatives.

No, really. Don’t.

If you’ve been wondering about their motif of family, and this idea of wholesome Britain, and wondering precisely how that’s going to play, well, it’s going to play badly if your Gay.

Philippa Stroud claims to have been responsible for several of the Conservatives policies, and is proud that her Christian Life impact on her political life. As much as in some cases that might be a good idea, you know, equality for all, social security, free healthcare, that kind of thing, Philippa, however, thinks that Homosexuality is the result of demons, and will quite happily pray for you to be cured at her Church.

No, this is not America. This is Britain. Somehow some of that ancient medieval belief is still alive in the UK, and is being held onto by a leading Conservative. If your vote was ever going to count for something, make it show that we, here in the UK stand for equality. Don’t let the Conservatives get in. Even if you are a long-time conservative, write to your MP, demand that they publicly denounce this kind of behaviour.

Do Not Let Philippa Stroud ruin things for all those people who’s life is tough enough.

~ BX


American Episcopate ahead of their time?

Amidst calls for another reformation in the Catholic Church, the American Episcopal Church is busy forging ahead on it’s own. The news that’s making the headlines is of course the consecration as Bishop of Canon Mary Glasspool. This is not because she’s a Woman, the presiding Bishop of the US Episcopal Church is Dr Katherine Jefferts Schori, a woman. It is more because Canon Glasspool is in an openly Gay Civil Partnership.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, fearing for a split in the Anglican Communion, has repeatedly asked for “gracious restraint” in this matter. Now that the decision has been made to go ahead with the consecration of Canon Glasspool, a statement from the Lambeth Palace (as quoted in the Church times) says that this raises “very serious questions, not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole” (Dember 11, 2009, Church Times). The usual responses have been seen from the Fundamental Christian groups, getting all hot-and-bothered about the way that it might affect them. It of course, raises big questions about the communion, as many African Bishops are against Single-Sex marriages. With this going ahead, it is going to leave the traditional Anglican Communion in tatters, especially if there are no sanctions brought against the American Episcopal Church for going against the communion.

The problem is that someone had to do something. Someone had to say that those three lines in the Bible that have been used for oppression had to be changed. We’re not still fighting for Slavery. We worked out that was wrong. Glasspool is the height of all the arguments that the Anglican Church in the UK have been arguing over. Single-Sex Issues, and Women in the Episcopate. Here, in one woman, we have both. The world will hold it’s breath as she gets ordained, and all the liberals pray that she doesn’t screw up. A good example will ensure that others will be able to follow her.

The one thing that isn’t being said that there was also another development in the USA this week that shows that, despite the most vocal Christian opposition, it is busy actually being more liberal than the rest of the world. Clergy in Washington, Iowa, Vermont, and Massachusetts are able to preside at civil same-sex marriages, and bless them. Essentially, it is possible for Clergy who’s conciousness allows to marry single-sex couples. Yes, that’s right, AMERICA is allowing clergy in some states to bless single-sex marriages.

Yes it may be up to individual faith-communities who they see as married and who they don’t but the LAW of America say that they are married.

The fuss about Glasspool means that this little gem is passing by the fundmentalists. While they are busy pointing up at the Bishop, they are missing the fact that America is working through it’s very own grass-roots revolution.

Now, if only the rest of the Anglican Communion could start moving forward, we may yet be able to avoid a split, and embrace this reformation with open arms.


Malicious Allegations Could Cost Your Job

Everyone knows that the most vulnerable people in our society need to be protected. The young, frail, the elderly and so on. For their safety, to avoid employing someone who has convicted or proven tendencies that could harm these individuals a system was set up to protect them.

This was known as the Criminal Records Background check, or CRB.

Everyone that works with any of these vulnerable people has one done on them. They are not transferable, that is, the agency charges every place you work at to produce the same check on you time after time. So, if you work full-time as a Teacher, understandably, they do a CRB check on you. Should you then decide that you are going to help out with a Sunday School, the Church does another check on you. This is the same check, on the same form, that produces the same results, except that the different institutions have to pay. If any of you are thinking that the system seems to double as a way of stealth-taxing those that need the money most (charity, schools, hospitals), then you are probably thinking the same way I do.

The basic CRB covers for most jobs with Children. It shows that you have no convictions against you, and are not currently being investigated for any possible crimes. Makes sense. Seems a fairly sensible approach.

There is also another level. This is an Enhanced CRB. This is designed for people who will be in sole care of children. Playgroup leaders, Scout Leaders and so on. The baddly-designed CRB Website gives the following as an explanation of what an Enhanced CRB is. (This was found in the Glossary Section on the website. There doesn’t appear to be anywhere to click through to find out more information).

Enhanced CRB Check
Also referred to as an Enhanced Disclosure. These are for posts that involve a far greater degree of contact with children or vulnerable adults. In general the type of work will involve regularly caring for, supervising, training or being in sole charge of such people. Examples include a Teacher, Scout or Guide leader. Enhanced checks are also issued for certain statutory purposes such as gaming and lottery licences.

This level of check involves an additional level of check to those carried out for the Standard CRB check – a check on local police records. Where local police records contain additional information that may be relevant to the post the applicant is being considered for, the Chief Officer of police may release information for inclusion in an Enhanced check. Exceptionally, and in a very small number of circumstances (typically to protect the integrity of current police investigations), additional information may be sent under separate cover to the Countersignatory and should not be revealed to the applicant.

The idea seems to be fairly straight-forward. If your applying for a job somewhere near these vulnerable people, and you have done something, or are currently being investigated for something then the people employing you need to know. The grey area comes with the case of John Pinnington. He was the deputy principal of Thomley Hall, a college for Autistic Children. He was fired when a change in his responsibilities prompted his employers to request an Enhanced CRB check. This showed up an allegation of sexual abuse made against him by an Autistic child four years earlier that had been dismissed by the police.

This all arises from Soham Murders. Ian Huntley murdered two school girls for an unknown reason. Their disappearance sparked the biggest man-hunt in British History. This is probably why a public inquiry was launched. Turns out that Ian Huntley had been investigated, but never charged with sexual assault. He did apply for the job as Ian Nixon, but did state that he was once known as Ian Huntley on the application form. At the time, information about the unproven assaults would not have been put forward when a CRB was made. After an inquiry set off by that oh-so-reputable David Blunket, things changed.

The CRB was initially set up in 1997 to protect those organizations in the statutory sector for staff who had ‘substantial unsupervised access’ to children. It is important to note here, for the sake of completeness that the Soham Murders happened in 2001, a year before the final launch of the CRB services as we have today in 2002.

An Enhanced Check would have stopped Huntley. It also stopped John Pinnington.

John Pinnington had been fighting to have this information removed from his CRB form, and today Lord Justice Richards ruled:

In relation to employment with children or vulnerable adults, it is information of which an employer should be aware. It is then for the employer to decide whether the employment of the person concerned involves an unacceptable risk.

This is one of those deep-water situations. An allegation could be the precursor to something more, or it could be some brat trying to get their own back on a hated teacher. Under this current system, they are the same thing. The NASUWT gives this statistic of it’s mebers:

Over the last few years there have been 2,316 allegations against NASUWT members alone.

Of the 2,231 which have been concluded, in a staggering 2,116 either no grounds were discovered for prosecution or the allegation was not proven at court.

Source: NASUWT

So that’s a worrying 2116 people who would fail the enhanced CRB check in this instance.

The details of John Pinnington’s allegation are unknown to me at this time, but it seems to me that there’s something just a little broken with this system. It gives a lot of weight to malicious children, and can ruin the livelihood of (presumably) upstanding people. It also means that even if it is proven that the child is lying, it is still going to end someone’s career.

The system at this point is obviously broken. Anyone working with children runs the risk of running afoul of the allegations. Not just teachers, but Vicars, Playgroup Leaders, Scout Leaders, and a whole host of other volunteers just trying to do their bit. This is not a state of affairs we want to be in.

It means that you can no-longer stop to help a child. If you offer help, and they cry wolf, your screwed. It’s much better for you if you just ignore them. Pay them not attention. Don’t get involved. Don’t help. If you do, and they, or their parents (because your trying to stop visible physical abuse, say), call foul, that’s you out of the game.

What a situation. It’s better all round if people don’t stop and help children.

What a wonderful world.

Black Xanthus

42 days detention without Charge

Did you hear it?

Can you hear that wonderful sound? the sound of yet another Human Right dissoppearing into the meglomaniac hands of Gordon Brown and his Party. Does anyone remember where we’ve seen bill put forward that remove human rights in the idea of National Security before? Somewhere back in the mists of time? A small place called Germany. Remember that?

I can’t help but feel that we are slowly loosing our lives. Like if we don’t start speaking up it’s going to be the Muslims to stop them from being extreeme….

Perhaps I’m just being Paranoid.

The uproar that accompanied this bill in Parliment caused some members to yell that the members of the DUP that finall swung the vote had been “bought” with promises of more money for Northern Ireland, and for not trying to relax the laws on Abortion in Northern Ireland.

Seriously, though, how much good is it going to do? All we’re going to succeed in doing is locking up a few people without charge and if they weren’t already angry at the U.K. they will be 42 days later. If the police can’t find enough evidence to actually bring them to trail, or to proove that they need to hold them for longer then perhaps that’s because there’s nothing there to find. The idea that we will be sorry is, frankly, horsehockey.

We didn’t need this kind of Law when we were actually being bombed on a regular basis by the IRA. If it is necessary now, where’s the proof? This culture of fear that the Government wants us to live in doesn’t appear to come with the equivelent worry that living during the times of the IRA did. Those were scary times. There were legitimate fears of bombs because they actually went off. They actually did manage to kill people. They were no different from these “sucide bombers” appart from the fact they were intelligent enough to work out that if you don’t blow up the people who can make the bombs in the first place, then you can make more and more successfull bomb attacks.

The whole thing annoys me on two levels. I dislike the idea that we are afraid of idiots. Yes they are idiots with bombs, but overall they are idiots who are going to end up blowing themselfs up. They are never going to know if it does bring about change, they are never going to know that it’s not going to make a difference.

The second point is that we are currently running scared. What happend to the idea that we were not going to give into terrorists. The idea that we were strong as a nation and they were not going to terrify us. The most galling thing about all this is that these bunce of idiots are succeeding. The Goverment is Running Scared. They are, inshort, being terrified by the terrorists.

Don’t they realise that if this keeps up, with all the rights that we are loosing, we might as well give the terrorists what they want because their extreeme society will still be more free than what the government wants for us?

The suprising thing that has come out of this is that I’ve found myself being impressed with a Tory. A normally Die-Hard Liberal Democrat (not because I think that they are likely to be any better, or worse, but if they made it into opposition it would scare the bejeusus out of the other two pompus parties), I found that the resignation of the Shadow Home Secretary Davis Davis in order to force a by-election on this issue is actually admirable. I was actually impressed. Not quite enough yet to vote for them, but they do seem to be making the right noises about this and ID cards.

What do you think it’s going to take to get this Maniac out of our Governement? What we need right now is an Election, before he instigates Emergency Powers, and makes himself Fuhrer.

Black Xanthus

Footnote I am aware that the bombings in London killed people. My point is that during the time the IRA was active there was a lot more to be physically afraid of. Perhaps, of course, the reason that there is nothing actually going off is because the measures are actually working, but then, if they current mesures are working, what’s the justification for increasing them? I really must remember to re-read my billious outpourings before publishing them.

Thanks to Rosslyn for pointing out my Error


Who are the Terrorists?

A thought occours.

The UK Governement is busy removing our rights in the name of keeping us safe. Two of the biggest governments in the West are waging a war. A war on an idea.

Ever since George W. Bush instigated his War on Terror, we have marched into a country on the off-chance that they had some Wepons of Mass Destruction(WMD’s). They didn’t. Of course, this was in response to someone dring a couple of planes into the Twin Towers by way of protest against what the Americans had done during the Gulf War, and their continued presence in Saudi Arabia.

These large Governements, with state of the art war machines, with hundreds of soldiers, with tanks are going to war aginst… Terror. Against the idea that we might be afriad to walk down the street. In case we are afraid. As was pointed out to me by a friend, V for Vendetta walked along a similar premis. How far from the truth is this fiction?

The things that scare me is the idea that I become a criminal by enjoying myself with my Fiance. That should we enjoy, as most couples do, a little light Bondage, and I take a photograph, I’m a criminal. The idea that the way I think is now illegal. That’s a terrifying thought.

This war is meant to make us feel safe. I don’t. Not while the Governemnt is no-longer listen to me. While the Government thinks that it can do what it likes. While the Government becomes all the things that it’s meant to be fighting against.

Precisely what are we meant to be afraid of? There are some vauge ideas about Al-Queda, who belives that the West should live by their ideas of Law. Of course, their laws are a little… insane, at least compared to what we have… wait, what we HAD.

These people are going to wage war on us with some home-made bombs, and a few vaugue notions that blowing themselfs up will get them laid. We’ve been here before. We spent 25 years trying to convince some of the Irish that blowing us up wasn’t going to get them anywhere. Unlike the IRA, this army is not being funded by the USA. It’s not as organised, and it’s goals are not as clear-cut.

So, these two Superpowers are running scared of a group of disorganised anarchists. A small group of terrorirsts who have so far managed one big attack (on America), and several attacks on the UK. In the UK they managed to set off a few bombs on London Transport. There were injuries, people were scared, but the following day, indeed, by later on the same day, London was back as it used to be, complaining about the fact that some idiot had made their train a few minits late.

The Governemnt made all the right noises about keeping us safe, but they missed. They tightned their stranglehold on those of us that are following the spirit of the law on the off-chance that they could catch a few extremists. They scared their own people. They became what they claim they were fighting agains.

Who are we now more afraid of?

Black Xanthus

What happened to our rights? welcome to UKistan

I have spent some time on this blog bemoaning the loss of rights that Americans suffer, but I’ve said absolutly nothing about the way that the British Governement is busy turning this into a UKistan.

They are busy making a whole host of laws that are obviously being made by people who have no idea of what the real topic is, and seems to be giving into the loudest voices, or the voices that seem to be saying the right things. Their first move was to ban fox hunting. Seems like a sensible move for the liberal fox-loving people. Right up until you think about what’s going to replace hunting. In fox hunting your drive a load of dogs and horses accross the land will scare any future foxes away. No fox wants to be near that many killer dogs. Also, dogs will go for the throat of the fox. Dead. No questions. Horrible, perhaps.. but what do you replace it with?
Farmers with guns.. who can miss, and leave the fox to die slowly. You can poison them, but not only foxes eat meat, so do badgers, the same with trapping them. So yeah, win for the fox, but loose for all other animals. Nice one. You also have to remember that there was a hunting season, there is no season on trapping. So mothers are trapped, and their cubs starve. That was the first one. They listened only to the bleeding-heart city lovers who have no real idea of the country-side.

Next they thought they would put in these nice rules about Terrorism. The idea that you can hold people without charge for longer if they are suspected of Terrorism. Pardon? So the rest of the Legal system means jack? Admitedly (to my limited laymans knowledge) we havn’t gone as far as the USA, but still, it’s a slippery slope.

Then they removed the “right to protest”. Well, actually they didn’t. What they actually did was to say that you now needed a licence to protest. So, not exactly a “right” then, but more of a privilege to protest. Another right we no-longer have.

They want to re-clasify Canabis to a class B drug. AGAINST advice of their own advisers, against the advice of the people they set up to tell them these things. Why? because they don’t like it. Again, people who are not listening to what the people want. Heck, if they won’t listen to their own advisers, why would they listen to the people?

Then they slip out this one. The new sex act. The idea is sound, but as it points out this can cover Manga, and does remove the idea of consent. Now trying to ban Manga is rather like trying to close the door to stop the flood. It’s already here, and there’s been no real object to it for nearly 15 years. It’s yet another example of a Governement so far out of touch with it’s people it has no idea that you can buy manga quite happily is many main-stream outlets. The problem is that people will get the wrong idea, fail to draw the necessary lines, and ban all of them outright. Best I go hide my Manga Bible…

You also can’t have pictures of people who are 17. Despite it being legal to sleep with them, you can’t take pictures. That’s going to cause a whole host of arrests for blooming 17 year olds comming of age with their digital camera. So, you can sleep with them, just don’t take pictures, don’t even say it’s art, don’t use your girl-friends body for your A-level art project. It’s illegal folks.

That asside, you apparently can’t consent to be in the photos. IF you happen to take a picture of your wife, all trussed up, perhaps as part of legitimate sexual roleplay, your looking at a prison sentance. For doing what you enjoy, what you consent too, and in some cases what your entire relationship based on, you get a prison sentance.

Wnat to know something that’s going to compound the Issue? If this was France, none of this would be a problem.

Arn’t you glad you live in UKistan?

Black Xanthus