I have run one or two diatribes on the "hell boys" so far so I need not impress my opinion on the illogical systems of criminal culpability and social care in this country any more. I will, however, say that no man is without merit, and if I had any faith in our British Psychology, Rehabilitiation or Young Offenders Institutes, I may be more forth coming about their ages.
But, in the true political prevaricating way, can I just say that Ed Balls on Radio 4 made an excellent point about the case being used for political gain by the Conservatives. The sound bite "broken Britain" is more Blairite than Hazel Blears.
The Pirates of Distraction Technique
Somewhere in the reports of bungled rescue attempts and removal of ring fenced budgeting, reporters seem to have forgotton the plight of Mr and Mrs Chandeler. It is almost as an afterthought in this article they add;
[The couple] "had been separated and beaten by the pirates and [Mr Chandler] expected to be killed within "three or four days".
I'm sure the local papers in Tunbridge Wells are clamouring for justice, but has the world got so big that we are blind to people suffering harm unless it is a mass disaster or a political tool? I hazard a cynical guess that were Cameron to take up their cause, it would be the main thrust of the BBC et al. However, "Chandler" does not make for a good soundbite, and he would only target the same story presented, blaming Labour spending cuts for the resulting harm the couple are suffering and may suffer still.
Perceived Terror Threat
This comes a little late in the day, would you say? Nearly four weeks after the event? The event that was farcical at best. The biggest fall out has been that the Dutch will be even more scrutinised in customs, and more personal freedoms will be erased with inept profiling based on stereotypes and masqueraded as UK Border Agency Security.
Brown's Debut at The Iraq Enquiry
Sir John Chilcott may have "said the committee was still concerned about the risk of the hearings being politicised in the run-up to the election. and we all knew it was inevitable.
I fail to understand why anyone would want to enter a ballot for tickets to see Blair dissemble arguments when we had that for 8 years with him as a Prime Minister.
And on the Iraq Enquiry, do they not have Lawyers and Judges because the cost of creating a logo eradicated their budget perhaps?
Munchausens Mother Jailed
While the facts of this case are terrible, it perhaps raises mroe concerns about our National Health System than I had initially perceived. With the advent of medical technology, one has to wonder how a child went through 8 years of medical examinations, in a high profile case, and was still diagnosed with conditions which require medical evidence. While I appreciate she put sugar in his urine samples to make him diabetic, I am not sure how anyone can fabricate cerebral palsy and cystic fibrosis without a level of incompetence in the diagnostacians involved.
It also raises an interesting point about coping with Disability.
"Andrew Macfarlane, prosecuting, told the court that Hayden-Johnson's... medical treatment meant that the child was socially stigmatised."
This in turn makes me think about how society responds to disability. We currently live in a society that pities disability and yet stigmatises those who suffer from it. People with disabilities are constantly pandered to in the worst possible way, with no responsibility, few friends and exclusion from society, yet renounced with charity and gifts. But I will leave this for another post I think.