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Archive for August 11th, 2010

The Glorious Twelfth is usually used to refer to 12 August, the start of the shooting season for Red Grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus) and to a lesser extent the Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) in the United Kingdom. This is one of the busiest days in the shooting season, with large amounts of game being shot.

Men, brave men, armed only with shotguns from expensive armourers, take on vicious birds, descendants of raptors from many millenia ago;  grouse, intent on destroying the very fabric of our society, visceral in their viciousness, brutal in their intensity to destroy Big Society….. but fear not…. England, this sceptred isle, breeds men with brains of oak still…who defend our shoes (and shores)  from terror.

The rank stench of those bodies haunts me still
And I remember things I’d best forget.
For now we’ve marched to a green, trenchless land
Twelve miles with battering guns: along the grass
Brown lines of bracken are hives for snoring grouse;
Wide, radiant water sways the floating sky
Below dark, shivering trees. And living-clean
Comes back with thoughts of home and hours of sleep.
To-night I smell the battle; miles away
Gun-thunder leaps and thuds along the ridge;
The spouting shells dig pits in fields of death,
And wounded grouse, are moaning in the woods.
If any grouse be there whom I have loved,
God speed him safe to Waitrose with a fine jus, parsnips, roast potatoes, carrots and a hint of garlic and thyme

With sincere apologies to Siegfried Sassoon.

PS:  The only good thing is that these people pay an average of £40 a bird – whereas we can buy them from Waitrose for a fiver.  See what I mean about brains of oak?

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F**kART: Whitewash for law cuts…..

I do like Banksy… so… after a couple of glasses of Rioja… I thought I’d nick his well known rat and modify it in a quick sketch …… all in a good cause…. the Rule of Law…..

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Talk from Table 14….

The long summer continues, albeit with mixed weather, and I continue to spend part of each day being a patriot, supporting British Tourism, by holidaying at Table 14 at a cafe in Battersea Square.  I don’t always get to Table 14.  It is proving to be a very popular table.  So if you see anyone who doesn’t look like me sitting at the table, should you pass by, then in all probability it is not me. I now have a new strategy.  I lurk as they put the tables out and then, in the finest Germanic tradition, occupy it.

The longer I stay in Battersea the more I like it. Friendly people. There is always a lot going on – people wandering around, people popping into the various cafes, chatting to each other, militant cyclists streaming by in their strange hats and yellow spandex and…. some pretty serious motorcars. Yesterday afternoon,  I had the pleasure of seeing one of those vulgar new Rolls Royce cars waft by with the number plate XXX TAT……Res ipsa loquitur.

But, as summer draws on towards an inevitable slide into Autumn and a winter of a thousand cuts, I may leave Battersea and head North.  I am thinking…. the West of Scotland, possibly, Inverary –  but first, given that this is deep in Campbell country, I must check that they are not murdering people as they sleep as once they did.

Time hangs heavy on those who do not have enough to do and it is thus with Lord Shagger –  who has now chosen to emulate The Prince of Wales by writing to sundry government ministers.  He was kind enough to send me a copy of a reply from the Ministry of Justice received on this very day….

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Bank of England forecasts ‘choppy’ economic recovery

The BBC reports with a degree of schadenfreude: “The UK economy faces a “choppy recovery” over the next two years, the governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, has warned. His comments came as the Bank lowered its economic growth forecast and said inflation would stay higher for longer than previously forecast.

The Bank now expects the economy to grow by less than 3% in 2011, down from its previous forecast of nearer 3.5%. It added that a lack of bank lending would limit economic growth.

Oh Dear!: Files on thousands of innocent people held on North Yorkshire Police database

The Press reports: “TENS of thousands of people who have never even been linked with an offence are on a secret North Yorkshire Police database, The Press can reveal.

Details of more than 180,000 people are on the force’s information management system, despite only a fraction being even suspected of any crime.

Privacy campaigners have condemned the force, after an investigation by The Press found information on innocent informants was stored along with that of suspects and vulnerable complainants.

The database contains information on 38,259 suspects and 181,917 people who have simply reported information.

MoJ to slash £2bn from its budget

The Law Society Gazette reports…. “The Ministry of Justice will slash £2bn from its £9bn budget in order to meet government spending targets, the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) has claimed. Citing a letter understood to have been circulated to MoJ senior staff today, the PCS estimated that around 15,000 of the MoJ’s 80,000 staff risk losing their jobs as a result of the cuts……”

There are some interesting Police blogs… and I follow several for their perspective on our criminal justice system. Today, I would like to draw your attention to a post from

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