Slash, bang, whallop

Here we have it, Boris Johnson, shows how tough he is on crime and wants to build 10.000 more prison places and increase stop and search.

We are going towards a classical double-sided society. The underlings, living in prison cells and the good people living in houses/flats.

In the old days we could see the two-way society by the way pubs were built with two entrances for the poor and the rich. The public and saloon bars.

Boris Johnson now wants to create a new society whereby everybody just gets locked up, out of the way and that creates the internment society.

Gone has the community cohesion model, the trying to build civil societies who live together in peace and harmony.

I am not against stop and search and I am not against re-introducing the 20.000 police officers that were cut from the budget but recruiting masses of police officers quickly, doesn’t exactly increase the quality control of officer that is coming to our beats.

Yet stop and search done on an aggressively large scale, can seriously push mentally instable people over the edge and we may be walking towards a new age of riots.

Whilst the new government bemoans a break-down in civil society here in Tower Hamlets all Neighbourhood Watch signs were taken down from lamp posts. Those signs were always

  • an expression of anti-crime sentiment,
  • deterrents for criminals and
  • assurance for residents.

Why remove those signs, when they are simply a positive influence on the community? And whilst removing Neighbourhood Watch signs, which always introduced a better feeling of community spirit and increased attempts of community cohesion and simply replace all by a quick lock up and shut up policy?

It seems we are trending towards the Chinese model of building internmnet centres for re-education, and assisted living.

It is totally amazing that the government suddenly can find the funds to build 10.000 new prison places but is unable to build council housing in the same scale.


detachment is responsible

standing family near fireplace

Photo by Victoria Borodinova on Family

I think that the reason for the rise in the crime rate and especially gang related crime, e.g. knife crime, gangs, drugs is the destabilisation of family life.

As I stated in my previous post about renting, currently in Britain, an average renter only stays for 4 years in a flat. People are moved around the country, into areas they do not know anybody just to get a roof over their head. Some call it de-gentrification of inner cities like London.

Renters conditions have been changed, so that a permanent tenancy is now hard to come by. the old-fashioned flats for life, people could pass on to a relative have largely gone.

Additionally the emigration rate through wars in far away lands has unsettled large amounts of people around the globe who also add to the new additions to society.

group of people in a meeting

Photo by on Work place

Families are destabilised because in families now all family members have to work. Decades ago one family member could stay at home until a child reached the age of 13, that is now reduced to the age of 5.

In practise that means if a family has older children in schools, those kids often find themselves without a parent after school.

The close family contact between people no longer exists. Employment conditions have become more and more unpredictable, income can vary tremendously with times of hard-ship, e.g. reliance on food banks.

All these uncertainties contribute considerably to making gangs attractive to young people. Especially vulnerable youngster get picked off the expelled pupils registers to work for Post code drug gangs.

It really has nothing to do with the keeping people busy, it has a lot to do with giving people the right to be the boss of their own life, to have a right to a family life and give kids the guidance they need.

man lights legs silhouette

Photo by Tookapic on     Gang member

Gang bosses can give plenty of guidance and that is why they are so successful recruiting youngsters. Those youngsters then are led to believe that carrying a knife is the only way to stay safe, its either kill or get killed. That is the terrible fact about the current crime scene.

Whilst youth funding is cut back, police officers reduced and parents are stuck into jobs through the work program, there is nobody available to give a shoulder to lean on for our young people.

Families just can’t help each other out any longer easily, they often live apart, have been moved to different parts of the country or world and have no longer any time for each other.

Until a government restores our sense of family, gives people the dignity of having permanent homes and permanent jobs, I do not see an end to the current problems. People need to belong and feel they are safe and increasing the instabilities is not going to help. The government needs to show some sympathy, emphathy for people. We are not just all robots who follow work rosters.

The knife edge

Initially I supported the work program. I thought that is the way to keep people out of trouble, keep them busy and get them into work and it will then make the knife problem go away.

I even supported the reduction of police officers because I thought when people are in work, they won’t have any time to commit crime, they will be too tired.

It was one of the strongest arguments from the Tories against the previous Labour government that knife crime was so high.

But what headline do we have now?

Knife possession at 9 year high.

So the work program is not helping the wave of crime we are experiencing now. The reduction in police officer numbers also didn’t help.

And I am sick and tired of the tit for tat accusations between political rivals to accuse each other for being responsible.

I don’t even think that Boris can help the problem by reducing taxes. Especially not by reducing taxes. Though the aim is to make the poor better off without reducing the wealth of the rich. Yet, it doesn’t work. Dropping out of the EU will not work and getting the deal changed will not work. The early autumn will be very stressful for most of us.

I think Boris did well as London Mayor, he delivered the Olympics, sorted out a lot on London Transport, but that is it.

The situation now is different, he said a lot more that is offending a lot of people and all he can count on is his nice voice and his sincere personality and a lot of memories people have.

Of course he might get the top spot but that is because his party colleagues think he may help the Tories win the next general election. Dooooooo

Having lives before politics

I am astounded to read that

  • Michael Gove took Cocaine
  • Rory Stewart smoked Opium
  • Jeremy Hunt had a Cannabis Lassi
  • Boris Johnson snorted cocaine and smoked drugs as teenager

Although these events are kind of ancient, e.g. they have been described by

Mr Gove who told the Mail: “I think all politicians have lives before politics. Certainly when I was working as a journalist I didn’t imagine I would go into politics or public service.”

I think that is the source of the problem of our increased drug culture in Britain, that taking them is seen as having a life.

On the front line, living in Tower Hamlets, a borough that has a high drug dealing problem, we find that it’s the social users, the ones that have jobs and earn enough money to consume drugs, have a substantive responsibility towards the drug dealing problem. If they wouldn’t buy the drugs, the dealers would have less reason to sell.

I can only hope that people are starting to realise that it would be better for all of us not to take any class A, B, or C drugs whether in politics or not.

Tower Hamlets Council is currently  conducting a substance misuse strategy survey on how to best combat drug use and how to educate people about it. They suggest that care leavers and high risk groups like pupils who have been excluded from schools should be educated about the dangers. Yet, the council seems to forget that it is those established high earners and middle class university graduates that also need educating.

Drugs are very common these days and it is definitely not easy to say no.

Yet if a pupil in a school these days would be caught out in any way with drugs whatsoever, they would be expelled and had little chance to ever enter a high-profile political post.  It doesn’t help to play down the drug taking of major politicians and put it down to life before politics.

What should happen is that children who nowadays get themselves in trouble whilst in school should not be expelled but helped instead so that they have a future equally as those politicians who now admit their failures once they had a career.

It is more than cynical that Michael Gove feels fit to admit his drug taking when he used to be Minister for Education who fell through the net.

Perhaps also our alcohol drinking culture should be called into question as this also has severe health implications both on our minds and on our bodies.

But the moral of the story is though that nobody is perfect after all.


Back to reality


Johanna Kaschke a judge at London Swimming Regional Champs

Just decided to air this blog again, after I had been hiding it for years because of the shame of losing this libel trial. But history is what it is and we just have to live with it. Apparently we are now being defined by our online history and seeing that employers now choose employees by their public profile, I can well now understand that it is absolutely hopeless for me to ever get a well paid job.

What has happened so far?

I am a pensior now and I volunteer a lot to keep busy. I volunteer with

  • my local community centre
  • my local Safer Neighbourhood team and Neighbourhood Watch
  • for British Swimming at competitions as a swimming judge/starter

I am not active in politics at all. It is just amazing how small local activities of a female to do with political parties or interest groups get blown out of all proportions. Does it have to do with power-sharing?

Just having watched Dragon’s Den this week, there is now an online business that offers to clean up people’s public internet profile for a yearly membership of £70, so that it is easier to get the well paid job.

I think I will pass on that and allow the people who so completely and utterly bullied me online to live with their own conscience.

In the meantime, after having left the Conservative Party and been politically abstinent for years, I tried to re-join the Labour Party but was refused membership by my local association apparently just a year after I applied, apparently when I posted a picture of  being at a Jewish synagoge durinng a multi-faith celebration of the yearly Holocaust commemoration, which also included Councillor Islam for Bethnal Green. I declined an inviation to appeal the refusal.

Somehow I have the feeling I just don’t fit into political parties and will give that a miss in future.


Duggan conclusion misrepresented

Today a jury decided that Duggan was killed lawfully by police. I listened to the original BBC broadcast. It appears that the jury had to decide how the nearby gun, wrapped in a sock came to be over a fence and the jury decided that Duggan had thrown that gun away prior to the police having stopped the car.

However AlJazeera now reports that the jury decided that Duggan did not have a gun. I think that the finding of the jury did not conclude that Duggan didn’t have a gun but that the gun found nearby was thrown before the police stopped.

That does not mean that Duggan could not have had another gun in the car. It would be important to know how the actual stopping procedure went and if he was asked to surrender prior to being shot or how he behaved and what actually happened. We get so many bits and pieces from the press its not conclusive for me as reader.

In the meantime Sir Hogan-Howe has promised that weapons police officers will wear cameras in future to learn from this event.

Safety is still in the eyes of the beholder. An officer just has to feel that his life is threatened to be able to aim a gun. All a camera has to proof that the subject made a movement that could be interpreted as preparing to shoot at the officer. I don’t think that in the Duggan case a camera would have made any difference.

In this BBC article on 12/1/14 it says now the jury said Duggan wasn’t holding a gun when shot by police.

Responsible messaging

Residing next to Victoria Park brings more events than planned.

I didn’t realise a drama was unfolding right around the corner, opposite the south entrance and near the London Chest Hospital. I later found out that apparently armed police had cordoned off the whole area because some man in Reynolds House, Approach Road, E2, shot at passers by with an air gun from his window.

All I heard was a helicopter overhead and that sound is nothing new as we frequently get helicopters hovering over the area. There are lots of concerts in the park with even more people coming to visit. A lot of those travelling by underground go through Approach Road and passed Reynolds House.

The incident seems to have happened during evening, when it was still light. But then around 22:00 somebody posted on Facebook that a man was shooting a gun wildly in Victoria Park. Of course anybody responsible picking up such a message would immediately inform police about this.

What would help is if people were to relate such remarks to the correct time or even state to say that they have heard that this had happened.

But if you message somebody is actually doing this then it appears as if that really happens there and then. Of course police would have to dispatch armed units to this ‘incident’ and that is wasting valuable police time.

So please if you tweet, tweet responsibly and state times and places and if you see something criminal happening call 999 and if you heard something then tweet that it is a rumour.  The incident was captured by a ITV reporter who lives around the corner on Twitter. East London Advertiser reports on 28 May 2013 that it is not certain what weapon was discharged and where and that no arrests were made.

Obviously this area near Victoria Park has seen several criminal incidents with stabbings and shootings. It is questionable that this area is adequately secured.

Such incidents result in a lock-down of the area, so residents can neither go in or out of their residences. Please keep tweeting to the absolute facts and do not exaggerate and preferably always call police first rather than tweet if some crime is actually going on.

Philpott makes benefit changes look good?

Just watched this TV documentary about this most sad and extremely tragic case of the death of six children in a house fire that was apparently started deliberately according to the latest media reports and that 3 people including the children’s mother are up for sentencing for only manslaughter today. I say only because if one looks at the financial implications one must wonder whether manslaughter was in fact enough to charge them with.

Learning that Mr Philpott gotten all the money from benefits for the kids and his partners straight into his account, he must have gotten loads of money for up to 2 women and 11 children. That was a source of income for the man who allowed his best friend to share his women.

With the new benefits restrictions coming into force, a bigger house would not have solved Mr Philpott’s problems it would have increased them because less benefits and more rent would not be profitable at all. For somebody who is so financially suave, starting a fire for a bigger house, does not make sense when it is quite obviously clear that less money is going to come in.

Remember all those TV shows about his lack of living space were made prior to benefit changes in regards to maximum benefits a family can get.

I think manslaughter is too lenient!!!!

But still I think the utmost consideration when looking at benefits is the quality of life it brings for families and responsible parents would always try to make the best out of what they got. I cannot comment on the quality of life for the Philpott children, what they did as extra-curricular activities if any.

But for parents who want well for their children, the withdrawal of benefits can mean no ability to pay for out-of-school clubs for example. But then the Philpott case looks as if the reduction of benefits was justified because people can just produce children as their sole source of income.

Remember, always put your kids first. Children are not a commodity.

PC for Performance Conjunction

I just wonder whether this legal case where a Police Officer sues a crime victim for negligence is just supposed to be a test case to try the law on police officer injuries. I think that this Petrol Station owner is just the one that has to bite the paper trail on this because he has been selected to test the law.

I think that police officers suffer from a deterioration of working conditions in that this government wants to bring in performance related pay. Whilst in the good old days an injured officer, in the course of duty of course, could continue to claim full pay for desk duties, it might not be so easy when pay is performance linked. Obviously an injured officer does not work as well as a fresh and healthy one.

And also I am not fully familiar with the working conditions of officers but it seems they could claim compensation for on-duty injuries in the past, perhaps they can’t do so any longer.

It therefore doesn’t surprise me that this officer wants to exploit other avenues of securing their lifestyle, future etc.

Quite clearly the risk of investigating crimes has always been taken by the Home Office that insures its officers. Of course it would make little sense to bring in a rule that says police can only investigate crimes if a crime scene is fully risk assessed and lit at all hours of the day.

If that were the case then a lot of crimes could not be investigated and all dim places would be robbed much more than they already are simply because police won’t go there into that dark corner.

But since the police service pays performance related and reduces the salaries of officers, it seems quite a logical conclusion that officers want to protect themselves by seeking redress for losses of the financial kind.

It’s all good and well to expect unselfish public servants but how much risk can we expect individuals to take? We frequently and too often hear of fire fighters dying in fires, soldiers dying on the front line and police officers being attacked by criminals but how many injuries police officers can be expected to suffer under this performance related pay regime, of course brings about new legal avenues that lawyers will want to explore I suspect.

But from the point of environmental considerations. For the police officer to expect that every area is lit for 24 hours per day, is environmentally unfriendly. Too much lighting causes too much warming of the atmosphere, at least with today’s technology.  On the other hand the garage owner could argue that the police should have given the PC night vision goggles or glasses.

Re-arranging the police

I cannot help thinking that the government’s forced budget cuts onto the police drove them into trying to dismiss anybody who was in service for 30 years. Yet now before a tribunal the very question of whether those age discrimination workforce cuts could be justified, is being heard. The police budget was supposed to be ironed out by using Regulation A19.

I just wonder whether the government’s urgent pleas to cut police budget, whilst they involve non police officers into top posts will completely dishevel the current policing structure. It must have an immense impact if one takes out a whole age group of middle aged officers, who are the life and the soul of the force.

Seeing also that the whole dismantling of the police as we know it will also manifest itself by way of discarding landmark police buildings like the current Scotland Yard HQ in Westminster, then I think that is a strategy aimed at causing a revolution within the police force to drive it into a different direction.

The Police Superintendent Association warns against the big shake-up and I think that taking out a whole middle group of very experienced officers and replacing the leadership with inexperienced officers at Superintendent level and highest officers even from outside of the UK, means the police force is missing out on the basic knowledge that every police officer gathers over years of service.

In that respect, reinstating older officers can only be beneficial for the service as a whole and also provide those new top brass officers without police experience with appropriate senior experience in the lower ranks, that will bolster the gap between new leaders and lower ranks.

It is quite extraordinary that this government wants to introduce new work ethics and dismantle organised policing as we know it.

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