Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RANTS!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 26/09/15

A Sort Of Round-Up

I wouldn't want anyone to get the impression that the long gap since the last piece in this section is indicative of things (both generally and specifically) being hunky or even dory. They're not: it's just that writing with the bile duct is a perilous activity for those doing it and - frequently - for those on the receiving end of pieces making up in vitriol what they lack in coherence.

For instance, I was almost moved to write about the totally absurd over-reaction of the powers (I won't call them 'authorities', because the two things are frequently not the same, as Chesterton pointed out) at a high school in Texas to a fourteen-year-old student bringing a home-made (or, as others would have it, home-assembled) clock in to show his science teacher. When the thing started going 'beep' in another teacher's class, a long chain of stupidity led to the boy being arrested, cuffed, marched through the school and off to a kid's prison, the idiocy extending even to the cops saying that the boy was suspect because he couldn't tell them what the clock was for (beyond telling the time, a skill which I would have thought even Texas' Řber-plod might have mastered by now).

Oh, how I would have fulminated against the cowardice of administrators, about the tapeworm-length persistence of their determination to cover their own sorry asses however ludicrous it made them look, about the sheer brain-curdling racism of US cops (did I mention that the boy was called Ahmed Mohamed?)!

But I didn't. It may have been on the basis of it being a 'dog bites man' story, in that in the US in general, and in places like Texas (and please, Bay-u-bee Jee-zuz, may there be as few places in the world like Texas as possible!) in particular, the jacks-in-office and police therein now clearly see humiliating and punishing young people (and non-white young people specifically) as part of their Patriotic Chore as mediated by Fox News, the GOP and their friendly neighborhood money- and kiddy-fiddling pastor.

Or it was simply down to the fact that I had to cut the grass that day, and others were covering the story far better than I could?

Still, we on this Spectred Isle can be confident that our authorities couldn't possibly be guilty of such idiotic behaviour...erm...

No, no, no, that's so unfair! We take great care not to offend the sensibilities of vulnerable groups, even going to the stage of getting the police in to help us do so by providing a convenient excuse for our own cowardice. Or by deliberately misrepresenting what someone stands for in order to placate the hurt feelings of people who would take umbrage at their position being argued against by refusing to allow that individual to speak on their premises.

(Anyone who has ever had dealings with so-called 'student unions' in the UK will recognise the forces at work here, and will understand why it is that those organisations - and their over-arching body the NUS - have been the hatching grounds for some of the most reactionary and anti-freedom Home and Justice Secretaries of recent times).

Finally, on a more parochial - if not provincial - political level, it seems that that ambulating vacuum known as the First Minister of the 'Welsh' government has just given a speech. Once all present had been revived from the stupor of having to listen to someone so devoid of charisma that he could be replaced by a standard lamp without anyone noticing until the 40W bulb in it blew, it emerged that - in a time after the election of an old-style social democrat to the leadership of his party, and when it seems that Labour might - just might - start edging towards a progressive opinion on one or two things - Carwyn Jones (for it is he) stated very firmly that his party must be "fiercely pro-business". Which, of course, it hasn't been for such an awfully long time that it is impossible for anyone alive to remember a time when a Labour government - irrespective of where situated - had ever given generous tax breaks, substantial legislative favours or enormous subsidies from taxpayers' contributions to those hard-working wealth creators whose only wish is to contribute so massively to the economy...of Belize, the Caymans, or any Channel Island you could name. It is clearly, in Jones' view, time to redress the balance.

And where did this towering genius of what passes for our nation's politics make this clarion call?

At the annual Keir Hardie memorial lecture; which also goes to demonstrate mighty Carwyn's redoubtable sense of timing. Even more so when it is remembered that Keir Hardie died one hundred years ago today. And what effectively killed him, by totally breaking his faith in the people he fought for? When he went around making speeches against the war into which - by its arrogance and incompetence - the London Úlite had hurled the working class of these islands, the noble, horny-handed Sons Of Toil™ whose welfare he had advocated over decades shouted him down and sang Rule Britannia and Land Of Hope And Glory to drown him out. He would have seen the war-mongering, boss-fellating, worker-degrading filth who occupy the upper reaches of his party today for what they are: traitors and parasites.

Is that fulminating enough for you for now?