Following the EU Referendum, Google has revealed some interesting post-result searches.
There has been a 250% increase in searches on “what happens if we leave the EU”. I stress that this occurred AFTER the comedians doing the searching had voted.
It also appears that further searches after the polls closed included “what is the EU” and “which countries are in the EU”. Also trending was “what is brexit” and “are we european”.
Londoners have shown an increased interest in moving to Gibraltar, whilst there has been an increase in those seeking to obtain an Irish passport.
The guy from the first link has the same opinion as me – that there should never have been a referendum in the first place because understanding the issues and implications was beyond the wit of 95% of the electorate.
Arguably too complex for the average citizen. Referendums are a brute-force political engine, a numbers game designed to spit out a yes or no answer on a simple question. Something as complicated and multi-faceted as Britain’s membership of the EU, on the other hand, should not have been decided by referendum, instead weighed up by independent experts versed in the thousands of ways the UK interacts with the biggest economic power on Earth.
Absolutely spot on.
It was funny hearing Boris Johnson trying to be gracious in victory by declaring that David Cameron will go down as “one of the great prime ministers”.
Sorry, Boris, but if you were wrong about Brexit not being damaging to the UK, you’re a hundred times more wrong over that.
Cameron has become the man who has broken up the Union. The man who handed Scotland independence on a plate, even after they had voted narrowly against it. The man who has sown the seeds for Northern Ireland and Wales to go the same way. The man who has resurrected Spain’s geographically legitimate claim on Gibraltar (which will almost certainly set the Argentinians off on one again). The man who called a referendum that should never have been called for the purposes of winning a general election. The man who then had that referendum turn on him and disembowel him. And the man who has ensured austerity for at least a generation to come – right after we’d dug ourselves out of a recession. God knows what else will appear on the list, but you can be sure it won’t be good.
There’s a certain irony in all this, since Cameron is also a man who has spent the better part of a decade blaming everything from the recession to outbreaks of scrofula on Gordon Brown and the last Labour government, when in fact Brown (and Labour) had nothing to do with any of that. Gordon Brown was actually a half decent (or half indifferent, depending on how you look at it) prime minister.
In Cameron’s case, on the other hand, all the accusations will almost certainly turn out to be demonstrably true. I have to admit though that – as a person – I feel quite sorry for him. I bet he didn’t see this coming.
Now, what odds can I get on BoJo being in the running as his replacement?
Not surprisingly, the tragic result of the EU Referendum early this morning has been a topic of discussion with my pupils today. As I mentioned recently, none of those I had spoken with on the run up to voting had been in favour of leaving the EU.
Before I continue, an observation from yesterday evening. After my last lesson I went into Asda to do some shopping. Now, the West Bridgford store has a Bureau de Change, and in all the years I have been shopping there I don’t think I have ever seen anyone use it – probably because I shop so late. However, last night there was a queue (all idiots, since they were queuing across the entrance doorways). I wondered vaguely for a moment what was happening as I passed between them, assumed it must just be down to the holiday season, and then promptly forgot about it.
When my first pupil got into the car this morning, we exchanged the usual pleasantries, and when she asked how I was I replied: “Fine thanks – apart from that result last night.” She, too, was unhappy with the result, and in the subsequent discussion she mentioned a friend of hers who had voted to leave, but who was already regretting it because she was going on holiday next week and the sudden decimation of GBP (£) versus USD ($) and EURO (€) meant she would get a lot less spending money.
That was when it hit me about the queue in Asda last night. You see, I stayed up late watching the first results coming in, and watching the markets. Before the polls closed at 10pm there was speculation that there would be a narrow “remain” outcome, and as a result the value of GBP went up.
And THAT’S why they were queuing in Asda!
Although my local Asda is in Rushcliffe – and Rushcliffe was one of the few areas in England to vote “remain” – these vultures, many of whom probably voted to leave anyway, were cashing in on the early financial turmoil.
Something else that just caught my eye was on Sky News just now. They noted that of all the English wards to vote “remain”, the vast majority represented communities where at least 1 person in 3 had a degree or other higher qualification.
This confirms my own belief that you needed to have the IQ of fungus to want to vote “leave” – as evidenced by that filthy house on Wigman Road, which still has a huge poster nailed to the wall outside, and which has now added a number of England flags. Indeed, I pointed out to a pupil this morning that the number of English flags now draped outside of houses in Bilborough is dramatically higher than it was yesterday.
Oh my God! The UK is now doomed. We have voted to leave the EU.
Well, almost exactly half has voted to leave. Because almost exactly half has voted to remain. Worse still, ALL of Scotland voted to stay, whereas virtually ALL of England voted to leave. The pound has fallen to its lowest level against the dollar since 1985.
Let’s just look at that again: the pound is at its lowest value since 1985. It has seen it’s biggest one-day fall. Ever. It is at a 30-year low – thanks in large part to people who weren’t born that long ago. The stock exchange is currently on its way down in sympathy. So well done, Brexiters, this is what the future will be like – and it is all your fault.
David Cameron must step down as a result of the unmitigated disaster he has caused. Indeed, he has announced he will do so in October. Quite frankly, you have to wonder if the Queen is considering a charge of treason against him – the skewed result will inevitably lead to Scotland demanding another vote on independence. Mind you, if the right-wing propaganda machine is even half right, she was a Brexiter and deserves as much credit as Cameron for this catastrophe.
This has been a perfect example of democracy at work. It has also been a perfect example of why democracy doesn’t work. A result this close could have been decided by the toss of a coin, yet the extreme skew between England and Scotland is about as anti-Scottish as you can get.
But we’d better get used to skews, because our lives will be full of them now that the lunatics have taken over the asylum.
The referendum should never have been held. The only purpose of having it was to get Cameron into No. 10. Ironically, it has now got him out. The simple fact is that the choice should never have been given to a people too stupid to put away their flags and make the right choice.
So voting is underway in the EU Referendum.
This is the promised referendum that ensured David Cameron won the last election – a promise which appealed to the type of person who probably shouldn’t have been allowed to vote in the first place. It is a referendum which should not be taking place – you simply should not be allowing stupid people to become involved in decisions of this importance. The Boaty McBoatface debacle, though far less important, illustrates the point perfectly.
Something I’ve observed is that not one pupil I have asked has said that they would vote to leave. All of them except one (and he was undecided, but very confused, as he was picking up information from Facebook) has stated outright that they thought we should remain EU members.
This contrasts oddly with the number of “Leave” posters. I note that the size of these posters appears to be inversely proportional to the IQ of the homeowner who is displaying it. The largest ones frequently appear in rough areas on the sides of council houses with filthy curtains and unkempt gardens (there’s one on Wigman Road in Bilborough).
Brexiters don’t like being labelled as racists. Well, they might not be overt racists, but they are definitely cast-iron nationalists – and unless you’re one yourself, you will know precisely what that means concerning their likely opinions regarding those of non-UK lineage. A prime example is on Bunny Lane in Nottinghamshire, outside a large house right next to the Commando Paintball centre. The nationalist who lives there has erected a crude wooden hoarding outside his gates which has had a different crudely painted message every few days. I suspect that he has been spoken to about the racist overtones, since the earlier bad prose about Albania has more recently confined itself to single words about Turkey, Serbia, and other countries.
I’ve concluded that there are more “Leave” posters simply due to the fact that Brexiters have the biggest mouths. Indeed, this morning I saw that they have effectively vandalised bridges and railings with their posters overnight. I guess it sums up their intelligence if they think that some inkjet-printed A4 signs are likely to change the outcome of the vote this late in the day.
I hope to God that we vote to remain.
The BBC website is full of stories today about how poor Londoners and Home Counties residents had some heavy thunderstorms yesterday. Apparently, “one month’s worth of rain fell on London is less than 24 hours.” A prominent table shows how Reading had 20mm of rain, Hampton 41mm, and Farnborough 46mm.
Mmmm. Just in case they missed it, Nottingham had a recorded total of 55mm of rain over three days between 14-16 June (20mm was recorded on 15 June). There is only one Met Office station up here, at Watnall, and the heaviest localised rainfall was definitely not there, and actual rainfall at such locations was certainly much higher. Many homes and businesses were flooded. But that never got into the news headlines. And all this applied to areas of Leicestershire, Derbyshire, and South Yorkshire.
There are a couple of dozen Met Office stations in and around London – or what is considered to be “London” when the media is reporting things. The rainfall figures from yesterday are much less likely to have missed any extreme localised events.
As the title says, all that matters is London. No one else exists on the front pages.
Original story published 7 January 2015, updated October 2015. Updated again as a result of Evans’ successful appeal as of April 2016 and subsequent date for retrial in October 2016. Updated again in June 2016 after Evans is signed by Chesterfield on a one-year deal.
I’ve been trying to steer clear of this, but I can’t. Before I start let me make one thing absolutely clear: RAPE IS WRONG.
For background, Ched Evans is a footballer who used to play for Sheffield United. A couple of years ago he was convicted of rape and sent to prison for five years. He’s served about half of that sentence and is now out on probation. He is trying to rebuild his career. Initially, it looked like Sheffield Utd would take him back, but there was an outcry and they backed down. A Maltese club wanted to sign him, but the Ministry of Justice said he couldn’t play abroad.
Currently [see update], Oldham Athletic are in talks about whether or not to sign him, but they are under intense pressure not to.
Evans still maintains his innocence, even though he was convicted. He is preparing an appeal.
The reason I have decided to comment on this very sensitive issue is down to this article I saw today [January 2015] on the BBC website. Of course, the first thing I did was locate the Jean Hatchet blog mentioned in that article – it’s here, if anyone wants a look.
What immediately struck me about the blog – and in all honesty, I just wanted to see a selection of Jean Hatchet’s writings to find out what sort of things she wrote about – was that in spite of the BBC’s label describing her as “a blogger” she has, at the time of writing, only actually published five articles. The first was produced in November last year – less than three months ago, which hardly makes Hatchet the fount of all blogging knowledge the BBC story implies. All five posts are essentially foul-mouthed rants, and all but one of them is specifically to do with Ched Evans, with the other one certainly being along related lines. Jean Hatchet’s main claim to fame (other than being a self-proclaimed “radical feminist”), and the main reason the BBC sought her out (though being a self-proclaimed “radical feminist” was undoubtedly part of the equation), is that she is the one who started the online petition that is trying to force Oldham not to sign Evans. I have no doubt that she would start any number of additional petitions if any other football club showed an inclination to sign the player.
On her blog, Hatchet makes the following statement:
It is evident that Mr Evans, and men like him, do not understand the notion of consent.
This is the crux of Evans’ conviction. The girl he is said to have raped was allegedly out of her skull on drink. She had already gone with one of Evans’ friends – presumably while she was still capable of thinking and walking – and was having sex with him when Evans turned up and joined in. The friend was acquitted, but Evans wasn’t. The girl says she couldn’t remember any of what happened. The whole situation is far from being black or white, except in terms of the Law and Evans’ subsequent conviction.
The issue with “consent” is far more complex than Hatchet seems capable of realising. You see, it is absolutely possible for a woman to consent to sex with a man, then to have regrets the following day and make allegations concerning non-consensual intercourse (possibly throwing in a few comments about being drunk). Intercourse may not even have taken place for such claims to be made, and the motive may well be financial gain or some sort of retribution, but it will immediately be labelled as “rape”. The man’s name will automatically be published in every newspaper in the land, whereas the woman will automatically be granted full anonymity. Even in cases where the woman is proved to be lying – and it happens quite often – her anonymity often remains in force, yet the man’s life is in ruins. But what makes this even more frightening is that Hatchet (and, increasingly, the Law) actually seem to believe that that rape of some sort has still taken place… if not in actuality, very nearly so.
At this point I will say again: RAPE IS WRONG. If a man forces himself on a woman, he should rot in prison for a long time. But should that still be the case if there is any doubt at all over consent?
The girl involved in the Ched Evans case is no exception as far as official anonymity goes (she’s even been given a new identity). However, it isn’t difficult to find her name (it actually appears in Hatchet’s blog in several of the comments). Assuming that what I have read has even a grain of truth in it, the woman in question appears to have a previous (failed) history for attempting to blackmail sportsmen. At the very least, she went willingly with Evans’ friend and was not quite so comatose when the friend picked her up in the chip shop or wherever it was. Much is being made of the fact that she was possibly – not definitely – around two and a half times over the drink drive limit, but that doesn’t automatically mean you are unconscious. It also appears that the girl in question tweeted that she was “going to win big” on the run up to the trial, and made various promises to friends about how she would spend the money on them. If you Google it you can dig all this up – including the tweets that the girl had apparently attempted to delete (and it is worrying that the new identity she has been given is perhaps partly an attempt to side-step this Twitter history without actually considering any of it). I’m not aware that any of this was brought up in court. Interestingly, Welsh police arrested 23 people for naming the victim, and to date nine have been convicted. The full case is described on Wikipedia, though you can see numerous side stories in the media.
None of this proves that the judgement against Evans was wrong, of course, but it does make you wonder. Well, maybe not those like Jean Hatchet, but certainly normal people. The girl who was apparently raped certainly didn’t seem to have had her life damaged the way rape victims’ lives usually are judging by her tweets, and that doesn’t make any sense. The point is that this wasn’t a case of a man kidnapping a woman in the street, dragging her into an alley, and forcibly raping her. It’s much greyer, and as I say it all hinges on the issue of consent and the court’s interpretation of that in this particular case. Evans’ guilt appears to have been as marginal as his innocence would have been.
Irrespective of this very important background information, the big question to me is: should Ched Evans be allowed to have any sort of career?
There is one sensible argument that says he should wait for the outcome of his appeal before trying to play professional football again. However, no matter what the outcome of that appeal, Evans will be hounded by the feminists until the day he dies. You see, the big grey area of the Law that deals with the matter of consent has a bottomless chasm on one side (i.e. you’re totally guilty). Unfortunately, on the other side there isn’t the expected “totally innocent”. Instead, there’s another chasm almost as deep as the first which merely says “you’re nearly guilty, but not quite”. Feminists like Jean Hatchet make sure it stays like that with their foul-mouthed tirades.
At the present time, Evans is being prevented from working by people like Hatchet and the British Legal system. Even Ed Miliband has stuck his nose in – all I can say there is that Miliband is bloody lucky that my support of Labour goes deeper than him. Effectively, people would rather Evans die on the street than rebuild his life. Oh, I’m sure that people like Jean Hatchet would argue in favour of the rebuilding that his victim has got to do – and I’d agree… if only the unused evidence didn’t suggest something more.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t know Evans personally, though everything points to the usual problems of a young man acquiring fame and money, and having it go to his head. Even without the issue of rape coming into it, footballers getting involved in sexual activities that are bordering on the realms of pornography are not uncommon. But it takes two to tango, as the saying goes, and young females are increasingly drawn willingly into the same world.
Yesterday (7 January 2015), Oldham had all but signed Evans in the full knowledge that some sponsors would pull out. Today, they have withdrawn the offer due to threats to staff and their families. They cite the sponsors, but the threats are the main reason. The people who made those threats are scum. The worst kind of scum. And the type of scum that is far lower down the evolutionary chain than Evans could ever be.
I see that Ched Evans’ case is going to be reviewed by the Court of Appeal (as of 5 October 2015).
As of 21 April 2016, Ched Evan’s appeal has been successful and his earlier conviction for rape has been quashed.
Reporting restrictions are still in place because he is now back to being “the accused” and will have to be re-tried on the original allegation – but this time, with important and relevant evidence being heard which had been deliberately ignored the last time.
It goes without saying that Jean Hatchet still openly considers him to be guilty. Indeed, in Hatchet’s mind, any man who ever has sex with a woman is guilty of something. In fact, people like Hatchet just need an accusation for guilt to be proven.
Hatchet should maybe try to remember that people are innocent until proven guilty. Even if they are men. The quashing of Evans’ previous conviction means that – at the moment – he is not a convicted rapist, which is more or less the only thing Hatchet ever has to say.
Ched Evans’ retrial is set for October 2016.
As of June 2016, League One Chesterfield have signed Ched Evans on a one-year deal. Jean Hatchet hasn’t picked up on the story yet.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you cannot be unaware of the terrible events of last week, where Thomas Mair “allegedly” (you have to say that until he is convicted) shot and stabbed MP Jo Cox in Birstall, West Yorkshire. She died shortly afterwards.
Jo Cox believed that the UK should remain a member of the EU. She had worked for various humanitarian charities and pro-EU pressure groups. She was opposed to strikes against IS in Syria because of the effects on the civilian population. She wasn’t pro-IS – she was pro-civilian. EU Referendum campaigning was suspended over the weekend, and pleas were made to avoid politicising Ms Cox’s murder by either side.
There is absolutely no evidence that Thomas Mair murdered Ms Cox because she was a woman. You’d need to be almost as insane as Mair apparently is to believe that (at his initial hearing, he gave his name as “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain”).
With that in mind, take a look at Jean Hatchet’s blog. All she is interested in is that a man killed a woman. She repeats this at least six times, almost like a Tibetan mantra.
It appears that Thomas Mair was already partially on the radar because of his mental state. His words at his first hearing tell you what his political views were. Quite simply, you can only gauge someone’s mental state based on what they say and – if you don’t catch it early enough – on what they subsequently do.
So you have to wonder at Jean Hatchet’s words. This is one seriously mixed up woman.
An email from DVSA reports that the lease at the Beeston Business Park “has been terminated”, and the last test there will be on Tuesday 26 July, 2016. My first – and absolutely sincere – reaction was: thank God for that!
From 1 August, tests will be conducted from The Village Hotel in Chilwell. This is a temporary arrangement, though they don’t say for how long. However, there is a McDonalds and a Costa next door, and I will put money on it that McDonalds and Costa don’t start sticking up stupid notes everywhere forbidding instructors from leaving the waiting room or holding the front door open for more than 10 seconds “because it messes up the air conditioning”, as if none of the other residents ever do so.
Apart from the very pleasant couple who run the cafe in the Beeston Business Centre, who I will miss, everyone else who works there detests the presence of DVSA and driving instructors. If anything goes wrong (blocked toilets), it is blamed on ADIs, and although all those pathetic notes are in the Centre Manager’s name, it is the stupid bitch in reception who is responsible. The manager is just too spineless to stand up to her.
But back to Chilwell. The arrangement is similar to that at Clifton – instructors are to wait in their cars and the examiners will come out to them. There is no waiting room, and no toilet facilities – though as I have already said, there is a McDonalds and a Costa just across the road. Furthermore, McDonalds and Costa are open from early in the morning until after tests conclude, and they are open weekends (at Beeston, the place is shut on weekends). I also note that there is a Starbucks in The Village, and I am assuming this is accessible to the public without them having to be members (I don’t like Starbucks and won’t be using it).
DVSA adds the note:
…access to ‘The Village Hotel Nottingham’ venue is only available to those candidates attending for test; you won’t be allowed to use this site for practice either during or outside of working hours (including weekends)
I can guarantee that there will be some arseholes who ignore that and try to practice bay park in there.
DVSA notes also that they have a long-term solution in the pipeline, and are working towards securing a lease for the site they have in mind. They have wisely not identified the site this time – when they did that with the current Beeston location, it was quickly gridlocked by the aforementioned arsehole instructors.
As far as I’m concerned, moving away from that Beeston Business Park is the best thing that’s happened in a long time. Good riddance to it.
An email alert from DVSA notes that there will be a local meeting at Beeston on 22 June 2016 providing more information about the relocation.
A number of my pupils (or their friends) attended the Download festival last weekend. I remember saying to one of them last Wednesday that it looked like they were going to have good weather for it (at the time, it was in the high 20s and very sunny). Note to self: stick to your day job and leave bad weather forecasts to the Met Office and Exacta.
You see, on the morning of the first day of the festival we had one of those downpours that needed a whole chapter to itself in The Bible. And then we had some more throughout the weekend. Download was under about a foot of what they were calling “mud custard”, and as long as I live, I will never understand how anyone can have a good time in such conditions.
The very idea of standing in a field for three days, unable to go to the loo, does nothing for me. Doing it in mud, the liquid part of which is going to be around 10-20% human urine (let’s not speculate on how much of the solid part is… no, let’s not even go there), trying to eat while covered in it, and sleeping in a tent in a similar state does even less. But as this video clearly shows, not everyone feels the same.
The video of this guy’s wacky dance moves has gone viral. TeamRock has apparently tracked him down and named him as Aaron Woods. He has become a worldwide celebrity overnight.
Good luck to him! He was enjoying himself.