I love my native country, and like most born and bred Englishmen I am proud to call myself 'English'. But the poor old UK does have its really crazy moments.
I find life here very frustrating on occasions. Her widely-admired liberalism often goes beyond even what the most liberal of liberals would expect. We have witnessed three such examples this past week.
The outrage expressed on the news that Tony Blair is to receive a knighthood has been overwhelming; I myself could hardly believe it. I have no idea who recommended this odious man for such an honour, but they should be ashamed of themselves. He should be facing a war crimes tribunal, not being dubbed by Her Majesty. A Total disgrace. I have a feeling that he may decline the honour!
Others who did actually have their time in court this week were those who were caught and filmed tearing down a statue in Bristol. A group of four 'activists' were accused of criminal damage (which we all witnessed), yet were found to be not guilty. If this isn't a charter for criminal behaviour; I don't know what is! Had the judge found them 'guilty', given them a £1 fine, and told them to behave themselves in future, everyone would have been happy; but a 'not guilty' verdict was just plain wrong.
There is no question that these four 'activists' were guilty of pulling down a public statue, and ditching it in the sea. I don't think that any of them would deny that guilt. So, how the hell are they found not guilty? Occasionally the law really is an super-ass. Maybe the DPP will review matters, and we'll see them back in court; we cannot have one rule for the Woke Snowflakes, and another for the rest of us.
And, as if that wasn't enough, we hear that the government is to follow the disastrous agricultural policy of the EU, and pay farmers to do nothing. They are to be offered nearly a £Billion to 're-wild' productive land, so that even more poor quality fruit and veg' can be imported from abroad.
What the government SHOULD be doing, is to pay farmers a premium for producing more good quality home-grown food, in order to reduce unnecessary imports.
Let me explain a few things. Firstly the British public know what sort a man Blair is; and they don't want him knighted. The people also know when they see the law acting as a complete ass. They prefer to see the obviously guilty found 'guilty'. And lastly, urban Westminster bureaucrats should keep their grubby noses out of rural affairs; farmers know best about what to grow, how to grow it, and how to preserve good wildlife and reduce quantities of the bad.
Back in France, right in front of our house, is a roughly two hectare, previously very productive, field that now grows nothing but Brambles for which the owner is handsomely paid. If that's what they really want over here, and to have to pay for it, then bloody good luck to them.
I'm well known for my occasional desperation. I despair yet again!
Your comment of "urban Westminster bureaucrats" says it all - so much of government is totally ignorant of anything happening in big wide world of the country outside of the square mile of Westminster!ReplyDelete
This one was a classic... they haven't a clue what they're doing; it just sounds 'eco' to them.Delete
Blair was very disappointing. Actually so has every PM of yours since.ReplyDelete
I'd have to know more about the statue case. On the face of it, it seems very odd, to say the least.
Inappropriate land clearing certainly happened in Australia and still is. Some that resulted with dire effects has been remediated but more needs to happen. Farmers generally know this now. But farms in England have been there for centuries If there was a bad effect at the time, it will have been sorted one way or the other, and I think English farmers have always been more in tune with the land.
Farmers are guardians of the land (and therefore the country), and know how to manage it. Of course, they're not always right, but generally they know far mare than any London based pencil-pusher.Delete
It was trial by jury in the Crown Court. The 4 were found not guilty by their fellow men, not the judge.ReplyDelete
To say 'judge' is far shorter than 'twelve good men and true'. Précis.Delete
Yes, Cro, it is "far shorter" and, as Rachel pointed out, wrong. This is how misapprehensions take on a life of their own.Delete
Rachel, on reading Cro's post, I couldn't help but grin at his mentioning farming, thinking to myself "Let's see what Rachel, the farmer's daughter, has to say". On a more serious note, agriculture is a darned difficult subject - not to say emotive. I dimly remember my elders' outrage over the "butter mountain" (in mainland Europe). What was all that about? Give me another ten years and nothing else to arouse my interest (fat chance) and I will look into it. In the meantime I feast on many a vegetable that has been grown in Norfolk, the county of plenty.
Ursula, these issues are far too complex to respond to in a comment on social media. I decided on saying it was Jury Trial because it was a significant factor. The farm subsidies issue I could not begin to address in a short comment.Delete
Ursula I am not sure what you are referring to when you say "as Rachel pointed out Wrong" when I made no such judgement. I merely pointed out that it was trial by jury. I happen to hold views that the jury verdict may on the surface have looked wrong but in fact has its merits of which there is not space here to go into.Delete
It is of course quite correct to say that it is the jury who decide 'Innocent or guilty', but it is still the judge who delivers the judgement.Delete
Maybe wires crossed, Rachel. What I meant was, underlining what you said, that Cro used the the shorthand (by his own admission) of "judge" when it wasn't the judge who made the verdict.Delete
And, of course, as you have just said, the jury verdict has its merits (whether one agrees or not) indicating the "Zeitgeist" I mentioned to Cro in my other reply.
It is dead complicated, and yes, some subjects can't be explored within the (arbitrary) confines of a comment box.
Hope it's now all clear as mud or, rather, clarified not cloudy broth. Any cook's ambition. Rarely fulfilled.
Ah I see. In fact I didn't understand Cro's response to me in the first place!Delete
The fact is that it was trial by Jury and apart from the verdict itself is the most significant factor and I don't believe Cro mentioned it in his post.Delete
And will be significant in any future similar situations. (In front of a magistrate they would likely to have been found guilty).Delete
The jury made a 'political' decision; which I can understand. However, if juries continue to make 'heart over head' decisions, it doesn't bode well for the future. A jury should always decide on the facts presented, and come to a non-political decision of innocent or guilty.Delete
You can sign the petition HEREReplyDelete
Cro, that they weren't found guilty (by the jury) speaks of Zeitgeist. Sometimes those put on a pedestal in the past need to be toppled to make room for the new. I don't have an opinion one way or the other. Indeed I remember, some years ago, there was a general outrage that some guy (under cover of the night), inebriated, bladder full to the brim, took a piss in one of our parks. Aiming the stream at the War Memorial no less. As it happened a group of media students at our Uni latched onto me, microphone, camera and all, to ask my opinion. My opinion? What opinion? The guy was desperate; and men - so it seems - need something to piss against. In absence of a tree he stumbled on the war memorial. For all we know he might have thought it a tree. Or something. Certainly no "disrespect". The dead soldiers won't have minded. They'd have probably joined him in similar circumstances. I don't like faux outrage over nothing.ReplyDelete
In this case it was a very deliberate action; of that there is no question. Again I say, one can sympathise with their actions, but the fact is that they committed 'criminal damage'; and of such they SHOULD have been found guilty.Delete
I also think of Johnson, denigrating the position of prime minister by accepting backhanders, lying through his teeth and then getting away with it all - free holidays, flat refurb etc.. What a disgrace.ReplyDelete
When history is written, I don't think you'll find that Boris's peccadillos are a scratch on Tony's. Where his sudden £millions came from is as mysterious as Jeffery Epstein'sReplyDelete
Blair was regularly taking free holidays, they are well documented, and I recall a row about a very expensive refurb of No. 10 soon after he took office.ReplyDelete
If I walk into my local village right now, and tear down the statue of a former, much loved, politician, will I be charged with and found guilty of Criminal Damage?ReplyDelete
You can bet your last pound that I will be!
How on earth can people who have committed a crime witnessed by millions of TV viewers possibly be found Not Guilty?
I will join you in the 'I despair' club as soon as possible!
That, of course, is the most important question. Once a precedent has been set, it usually stays there, so If you wish to knock H M The Queen off her plinth, you must remember to say that you are a Woke Snowflake, and you did it for humanitarian/BLM/Save the Planet reasons. I hear that the Attorney General is looking at the verdict!!Delete
I agree with you entirely. The public sees the facts rightly as they are and the leadership seems to stray is befuddling. This straying is almost cult-like and it comes in many shapes and sizes at all levels. The question is: How do we shift this?ReplyDelete
We just have to hope that there are people in authority who see when 'mistakes' have been made, and rectify them.Delete
We have farmers being paid for not growing tobacco. I do not understand the logic when viewed long term. There are a lot of other crops to be grown.ReplyDelete
48 years ago, all my neighbours in France grew wheat, maize, tobacco, vines, vegetables, etc. They had cows, pigs, ducks, and hens, and lived a wonderful life. These days they hardly grow anything, and have no animals or vines.Delete
I completely agree with your sentiments……as I would assume most people would? Or am I wrong there? There is no common sense in our courts or government.ReplyDelete
There has been a huge outcry about Blair and the hooligans; not so sure about the farming.Delete
I don’t understand being proud of one’s birth nationality. I see it in the same vein as being “proud” of having size X feet, having blue eyes or being right/left handed. I can understand being glad one was born “an Englishman” - but proud! Nope don’t get it. I do, however, understand being proud of a nationality that you had to earn.ReplyDelete
Hmmmm. Maybe 'proud' is too strong a word. I certainly feel very lucky, and very happy to have been born in England. But there's certainly some pride in there somewhere. The UK is an amazing country considering its size and location; and her history is up with the greatest.Delete
Amen, down the lie.ReplyDelete
I see "far ahead" thinking with the farmers being asked and paid to not grow stuff, in decades to come that land will be seen as "wasted" and some developer will build thousands of highrise flats on it. How I wish it could be different and the farmers paid far better rates to grow quality produce to be sold locally.ReplyDelete
I'm sure that before long the policy will be reversed, and our Framers WILL be paid better for producing the good quality foods that they always have. What is the point of living in a highly fertile country if one doesn't take advantage of it?Delete