Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Fat is a Fanit Issue and a ramble about blogs the law and so on.

 Apologies for not posting since Saturday, I have been busy with my bookshop, mainly I think because of the problem that ordinary people have with disposing of the books they don’t want.

I think the real issue here is that I am now running the last of the large general secondhand bookshops in East Kent, there are a few small ones left and there are a few which only deal in the much more expensive collectable end of the market. There is however really nothing large doing the whole lot apart from me.
 Obviously if there is nowhere else you can find a large range of reasonable quality books there isn’t really anywhere else you can sell them, so at the moment we are very busy on the bookbuying front.

Anyway I have finally got around to reading some of last Thursday’s Isle of Thanet Gazette and discovering that nearly a third of people in Thanet are classed as obese. I am pretty much certain that this doesn’t apply to my bookshop customers or to me, I am a bit over weight as I usually am towards the end of the winter, I think this mostly relates to the clocks going on and it being light enough to go for a walk after work. 
 It seems unlikely that reading would make one thinner and frankly I have my doubts that even half the people in Ramsgate are obese, so is there something wrong with the statistics?

I see Simon Moores long awaited revelation has appeared on his blog, here is the link http://birchington.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/under-caution.html and interesting one from the point of view of a blogger, for once again it highlights the grey area of what constitutes either internet bullying or internet harassment.

Much has been made on the blogs about libel, but frankly I think the problem with that is the it would be very expensive to mount a libel action. However when it comes to cyber bullying or internet harassment, then this is an area where reporting what has happened to the police is an option. 
Now this is a sort of grey area when it comes to how the police deal with the issue mainly because it is a relatively new thing and as in the UK the law is mostly that of president i.e. the courts make it up the law as they go along, I would say at the moment the police are far more likely to take on cases related to comment on the internet that don’t appear to be very likely to result in a prosecution than they would in other areas of the law. After all unless the courts get on with making up the law about this we will all be in the dark for ages.

I guess there are two sides to this issue, one side being that we need to have open and public debate about local issues on the internet, and to some degree there has to be some protection for everyone including local councillors, so that they can say what they think about local issues. On the other hand there has to be protection for individuals who are named or whose identity is heavily inferred on the internet.

To clarify this inference business, I would say that if someone refers to a bookseller on the local websites then everyone assumes that this me me.

Just as if anyone refers to a pilot then everyone assumes this means Simon Moores.


I guess the main implication for all bloggers is mainly not really having any idea, not only what one can say about any individual, either named or inferred but also having no idea what one can allow anyone else to say in a comment on your blog.

I guess up to a point it also makes a difference whether a comment is made by a known real person, my assumption so far has been that if say William Epps or Peter Checksfield comment here then the responsibility for those comments is theirs and not mine. I guess there is a sense that by allowing a comment or not deleting it then one is condoning it.

There is also the situation where no one knows the real identity of a blogger and a fair likelihood that the various foreign based companies that hold the chain of information that would identify the individual wouldn’t release it to the UK police or courts.

I guess also that it would be possible to conceal ones identity from the isp with creative use of mobile internet and wifi.            


Perhaps that is enough about this issue for now, I am not a very quick thinker and have only seen Simon Moores account of this issue.


Back to the obesity problem, as I said I don’t actually believe the statistics although I concede there are more obese people in Thanet the figure of nearly a third doesn’t equate to what I actually see when engaging in normal life in Thanet.  


Is there a cure I wonder? Something like the picture above perhaps. I think I will leave this one for a while too.


The children have just sent me a link to a website that turns your computer into a piano, it takes a little while to load if you connection is slow, but is fun to play with, here’s the link http://muzy.com/app/music_maker

Here in Ramsgate some sort of activity has started again on the Pleasurama site, my understanding is that one mechanical digger and one dumper truck have been delivered to the site and that Cardy staff have been on site.

Perhaps the developer is due to make a press statement that work is in progress, or even that it will be completed on schedule.

The Royal Sands website http://www.royalsandsramsgate.co.uk/faq.asp says “We are expecting the first apartments to be ready in autumn 2013.” So no real surprises there.

Personally I am slightly worried that playing yet another peculiar game there may be unwise after all this rain, last time there was activity on site the foundations at either end of the cliff façade were undermined and I don’t think that anything was done to prevent them from weathering.


I will ramble on here as and when I get a bit of time.

139 comments:

  1. Personally I think there has been much comment on here and other blogs about "robust commentary" and that is the nub of the matter. IMHO much of what was said on hammy's, Simon's and on here was not robust but unwarranted and vicious and the problem seems to focus on what was said not on how it was received.

    To say that "the barracks" were much worse ignores the fact that abuse is perceived in the mind of the recipient and to say that the abused shouldn't take offence at "robust commentary" is to ignore the fear that the abused feels.

    So would the commentators take that into account before they reply and it isn't their opinion that counts but that of the target who is being abused.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barry,

      You state, "To say that "the barracks" were much worse ignores the fact that abuse is perceived in the mind of the recipient and to say that the abused shouldn't take offence at "robust commentary" is to ignore the fear that the abused feels."

      I take your point but where, if anywhere, do you place a judge and jury in your premise?

      You appear to have turned Descartes on its head and that it's now a case of I am offended therefore I am.


      February 12, 2014 11:00 am

      Delete
    2. Nice one, John, good to have you on board.

      Delete
  2. You're the first local blogger to cover the obesity issue, despite it appearing on the Gazette webpage 7 days ago! Seems that most people (and that includes cllrs) just want to bury their heads in the sand over this... or perhaps theirs faces in pies! ; )

    Seriously, this something that needs robust attention. I'd start by bringing back compulsory P.E. (or P.T. or sports or whatever you call it) for all school ages, even making sure that the fat kids get to run around the field more if neccesary. I'd also seriously consider cutting benefits for out of work fatties if their weight restricts the type of work they can do.

    As for Simon's blog post, it's obvious that he's sulking because the police dared to think that he was a possible suspect; if the same thing had happened to Driver, Worrow or Scobie he'd be the first one to gloat. Personally I'm happier for public money to be spent on investigating online bullying and / or alledged wrong doing by councillors than I am on endless delays to planned superstores...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Personally I'm happier for public money to be spent on investigating online bullying and / or alledged wrong doing by councillors than I am on endless delays to planned superstores..."

      Given there is a proper proceedure for both complaining about the actions of councillors and the planning system, I'm not sure there is really a difference, other than personal preference. Personally, I wish that everyone would stick to using proper proceedure and debate rather than personal attack.

      Delete
    2. Are you obese? Or is that a "personal attack"?

      As I said, everyone seems to be avoiding the subject.

      Delete
    3. It is hard to discuss, though isn't it, Peter. In an ideal world, we'd be able to discuss human beings and their bodies without sounding like we are infering things about individuals. But I'm not sure that is possible.

      Delete
    4. Why is it so hard to discuss? Surely you can at least talk from personal experience: if you're overweight then you can tell us what (if anything) you've tried doing about it, or if you're not then you can tell us how you manage to keep trim. Not that difficult really.

      Delete
    5. I'm not overweight. I don't know what to say about Thanet's 'fat epidemic' other than reflecting that it is probably related to other social problems in our district.

      Delete
    6. Then surely we all need to discuss and hopefully address those problems.

      Delete
    7. Ah well I'm very happy to do that. How do we get more and better paid work in the district? It strikes me that at a fundamental level is the root of many problems. I don't believe a focus on tourism is going to get us that outcome.

      Delete
    8. I believe it has more to do with how people are raised and education than it does poverty. I'm sure I'm not the only person who've noticed that the local Eastern European immigrants tend to largely be trimmer than the born-and-bred locals.

      It's actually easy to live very cheaply AND healthily when you know how.

      Delete
    9. Oh I certainly agree with the education point too. Of course, low educational attainment is also linked to poverty, which is also linked to how people are raised and low opportunities and expectations.

      Delete
    10. Peter,

      Your 6:35pm,

      From my experience I am compelled to agree with you about Eastern Europe. I have lived in Hungary, Czechoslovakia and more recently free Bulgaria. Obesity is not a problem, especially where the girls are concerned. None that I saw was obese. In fact they had stunning figures, I can see picture them now, they....they..... it was like.....I'm off for a cold shower.

      Delete
  3. Conspiracies, cautions & cyber bullying. I can see both sides to this story. I feel for Louise for the abuse that she has suffered - primarily at the hands of Hammy (rip). He often got far to personal. But - if you offer an opinion, you have to accept people will disagree. You hope that people will be polite but you have to roll with the punches. If you took every comment as a point you need to "win" you are in an endless feedback loop of bs. And this is evident on the local blogs. X says something about Y. Y tells X they are wrong and Y.X tells why where they are wrong. Repeat to fade.

    Frankly - its boring. Its also VERY bad debating, showing very low levels of discussion. If you cant bat the comment off and make a new point, dont make the comment. Or just rise above it. The ones that make the personal jibs (you know who you are) will eventually just be left looking exposed if you dont bite.

    Look at Hammy. It was only when people responded to his bs that he became more vocal. It was a game for him. If you ignore him, he looks like a "ranter". If you bite, some of that can come back on you.

    I must admit, out of the twenty (at most) people who comment on blogs in Thanet, a couple annoy me. I simply don’t engage with their arguments (as usually they are off topic).

    But others do. They want to “score the point”. And it usually doesn’t move the discussion forward, it takes it on a tangent.

    Anywho – my opinion is this. If you express an opinion, accept that people have the right to disagree. If you cant take the potential abuse, keep your opinion to those who you know support you. That’s public life. It’s a hard game.

    Getting the police involved and talking about a personal conspiracy against you is a little too much.

    Getting questioned by the police for “liking” a comment is going far too far.

    If this continues, I suspect blogs may soon close down as the owners become worried about the comments. Which will be a shame.

    I would like to say to both parties, please calm down and make a diplomatic exit. This has gone far enough now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd actually agree with your comment if you weren't such a staunch defender of Moores. He is by far the number one "point scorer" out of all the cllrs, bloggers and commentators.

      Delete
    2. I take your point Peter. I wasnt defending his methods. Just his right to express it. I personally wince at a few people comments on the blogs. It feels like playschool talk to me

      Delete
    3. Let me say again: I disagree with much/most of what Louise publicly stands for. But it is an undeniable fact that she was subject to personal abuse which meant that she was concerned about her safety walking about in Thanet. I think that belief was highly unlikely to be true. But she is entitled to feel that there is a conspiracy and to complain about it to the relevant authorities, I think there was plenty of reason for her to do so.

      I would hope that everyone would expect the police to investigate in exactly the same way if it had been anyone else. Quite possibly Simon has no case to answer, but how would the police know without investigating?

      Asking someone to make a diplomatic exit when they feel personally under threat seems to me to be a poor choice of words, Duncan.

      Again, I don't defend Louise's views, but her actions are entirely legal, if misguided.

      Delete
    4. I agree with you there Duncan. This is the main reason I both left facebook and I rarely comment on blogs these days. Twitter somehow seems a bit more civilised.

      Delete
    5. My apologies for using the term "diplomatic exit". I meant this as a way of concluding this episode and bringing it to an end.

      Delete
    6. Duncan, I agree with you and there are real dangers to democracy and freedom of speech if we cannot disagree with each other. I get some pretty unpleasant insults from a certain quarter, from being a useless geriatric through lying to taking my allowance under false pretences, but, although I know who the culprit is, I am not going to call in the police. Like you I accept that if you stick your head above the parapet you might just get shot at.

      My other concern here is the intervention of the Police Commissioner. Here we have an elected representative, effectively a political appointment, ordering the police to conduct an inquiry into something they had already dismissed. The Commissioners are supposed to help the police with their resources, not waste them using senior detectives to investigate name calling. Real cause for concern is a civilian not trained in policing over ruling professional officers on operational matters.

      Delete
    7. William your opinion on what constitutes bullying is just that, your opinion.

      Bullying is felt by the abused not the observer.

      In this case you have to ask the abused how she felt at the time as Joe says.

      Delete
    8. I don't know for certain, but I think one of the roles of Police Commissioner is to act as a voice for those who believe that they have not investigated complaints properly. If so, this episode seems to be the correct use of PC powers. I'm guessing this is not far different from someone complaining to their MP that their complaint to [any given] government department has not been properly considered and/or acted upon.

      I'm sure that at any stage - up to and including arresting someone - the police could have reported back to the PC that there was no case to answer. The problem appears to have been that they took no action on the first report.

      Delete
  4. William, if you choose not to call the police then that's your choice; the law is there if you want to use it.

    I believe that the Police Commissioner became involved because it was felt that the original complaint wasn't being taken seriously enough (though I'm not so sure it had actually been "dismissed" by them).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right. My understanding is that the police actually did nothing until a complaint was made to the Police Commissioner.

      Delete
    2. my understanding Joe was the police in the first instance might have not taken it seriously as they failed to investigate at all.
      it is difficult to form an impression if you fail to talk with anyone involved. As Moores said they didn't talk to him but he was alleged to be involved

      Delete
    3. Still regard it as an appalling waste of police resources and the ranks of the investigating officers well over the top for the seriousness of the crime. Barry, all this in the perception of the victim nonsense is part of the problem. Some people take life as it comes whilst others take offence far too easily. Are we now to have police officers running around because one of the latter thinks they have been offended.

      The real test in all this will be if anyone is actually charged with anything and such charge leads to a conviction in court. If not the whole thing will have been a total waste of money, money better spent on real victims of crime.

      Delete
    4. William, it'd be nice if you stopped this line of argument that asserts that anyone who does what you would not do, perfectly legally and properly, is wasting money. Louise acted perfectly properly based on her analysis of the problem. You and I may well not have done so. The structures she used are there to be used in the way that she used them. You don't have to like it to realise that she had the perfect right to use the structures in that way.

      Constantly harping about things being a waste of money are just a smokescreen to drown out other people's constitutional and legal right to access public services. If you don't like how other people use the service, tough.

      Delete
    5. Joe, you miss the points. Firstly I have an opinion which, whilst different to yours, I am perfectly entitled, in a democratic society, to voice. Whatever Louise's perception of the criticism she was taking, and I in no way dispute her right to complain, it is the intervention of the Police Commissioner and the ranks of the investigating officers which I find an appalling waste of resources.

      That is my opinion, it is not a smokescreen for there is nothing to hide. We are simply discussing here something that has happened. Evidently you support some right for people to complain about on line harassment, but what actually constitutes that? In your response to me you call on me to stop my line of argument, a denial of my democratic right, and you terminate your comment with a dismissive, tough. Supposing I found that offensive, on Barry's 'in the opinion of the victim approach,' and went to the police. What a silly world it would become where the police are running around after over sensitive souls whilst the rest of us investigate our own burglaries and muggings because there are no more cops available.

      Delete
    6. The difference is, William, that the law is on my side. Victims decide when to complain to the authorities, not anyone else. The authorities decide whether the victims have a point, not anyone else.

      There is no denial of your democratic right to voice a stupid opinion, but one would hope that as an elected official, you'd have slightly more self-awareness.

      Delete
    7. There you go again, Joe, dismissing my opinion as stupid. If that is your idea of reasoned debate then so be it, but you still miss the point about the OTT ranks of the investigators for the offence. As for more self awareness, I fail to see why elected persons should have more than others, but, whatever, I get by with what I have.

      Delete
    8. Because elected representatives have responsibilities that those of us who are not do not have. As you must know.

      I'm not dismissing your opinion, I'm disagreeing with it and the whole line of your argument.

      Delete
    9. No problem with you disagreeing, Joe, as is your right. Just do not see the need for the stupid label.

      Delete
    10. Some people believe that they have a right not to be offended. The old joke about a chicken crossing the road might cause offence to a farmer who had his chicken run over in the road.

      Delete
  5. Assuming that Mick Tee was also interviewed, I'm still wondering who the 3rd councillor was (and no, I don't think it's you William). Anyone know more?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The interesting thing here, Peter, is the suggestion of a conspiracy to harass. That implies a group working together yet the main culprit in slagging off Louise, variously as a NIMBY and outsider with adjectives, was John Hamilton. Since none of us knew who he was, and the great investigative minds placed him in Arizona, I find it hard to grasp how he could have conspired with some TDC councillors, whoever they may be. True, there were councillors who criticised Louise's stance on the Arlington Tesco, as you did yourself, but that is hardly a crime.

      Delete
    2. I'm not sure I care. No doubt that they'll try blaming anyone else other themselves anyway. If they had attacked the issue rather than the personality in the first place, none of this would be news.

      Delete
    3. No, William, this went well beyond disagreeing with Louise, and you know it. And it went well beyond John Hamilton (whoever that was).

      Peter at least had the honesty to realise that he'd overstepped the mark when he removed himself from facebook. The rest of you have moral questions to ask yourself about your conduct, if nothing else.

      Delete
    4. Joe, I do not do Facebook and I do not even recall criticising Louise over the Arlington Tesco in any personalised way around the blogs. That issue, for me, was always a matter for the people of Margate and nothing to do with a Broadstairs Town Councillor. We have our own regular protestors, currently objecting to the temporary closure of the access through Vere Road car park, during major construction works. Frankly I find your suggestion, made publicly here, that I have moral questions to ask myself about my conduct, rather offensive. I might just have to consider my legal rights!

      Delete
    5. Do so, William. I'm very happy to speak to the police about why I talk to you about the morality of your behaviour and why I think you are wrong to suggest others are wasting public money by doing something perfectly legal.

      Delete
    6. Joe, it was a tongue in cheek remark. I really would not waste police time on you.

      Delete
    7. HIlarious. Yeah, it is everso hilariously funny when you make suggestions like this.

      I must look up how to report unbecoming behaviour of councillors to Broadstairs Town Council. Presumably they also have a policy and a proceedure.

      Delete
    8. William, it was suspected by many (including the police it seems) that "John Hamilton" was in fact a local cllr with a grudge against Louise, Ian and others. So I think that's where the "conspiracy to harass" thing came from.

      I really don't know why Simon is taking it so personally. He (it seems) isn't guilty of anything, and (like myself) was merely helping police find their man (or men).

      Delete
    9. Joe, you can make your complaint via the Broadstairs Town Clerk at Pierrement Hall (full address on the website) which I will then be called upon to answer. It could even go all the way to an appearance before the Standards Committee over at TDC. Real knee knocking stuff this and about as useful as DCI's investigating name calling.

      Delete
    10. Peter, whilst agreeing with you that some, including Smudger, thought that Hamilton was involved in local politics there is one big discrepancy with that theory. The very senior detectives have interviewed local councillors and people, but, allegedly spoke to a man in Arizona who has since stopped blogging. I say again, how could the cowboy conspire with the councillors.

      Delete
    11. Curiously, the DCI who spoke to me had no knowledge of that (or at least that's what he told me). Perhaps they were following new leads, I don't know. Presumably you William now believe this Arizona story?

      Delete
    12. Don't know what to believe, Peter, but accept that Barry was told by one of the investigating officers that they had spoken to someone in Arizona. At least it establishes you cannot believe all you read in the newspapers, but perhaps blog sites are different?

      Delete
    13. Joe Turner,

      I have read your recent exchanges with Cllr Epps. You appear to be saying nothing more that you are free to offend him, but for him to offend you is some sort of crime that deserves admonishment. Do you not consider that you are being grossly self centered in this matter?

      Delete
    14. I always have and still do find it difficult to accept the Arizona story.

      Delete
    15. John I have asked the investigating officer whether he can confirm ownership of the blogsite hosted by google USA however I am aware that even that might have been set up under a false identity. If this information, when it arrives, can be disseminated I will post.
      The problem, if Arizona based, then becomes what can the police actually do about it.

      What is apparent is the hammy profile has, at present, ceased tormenting people which ultimately is what was required.

      Delete
    16. John Holyer, I am not offended by William's opinions, but I think they are unbecoming of an elected official. And yes, I do believe that he is held to a higher standard than other people. Self-centred or not, that is the crux of public life - those in elected office are held to a higher standard.

      Delete
    17. Standard, of course, being judged by how my opinions compare with yours, Joe. You, Sir, are having a laugh.

      Delete
    18. Barry - 11:48,

      Thank you, I look forward to the result.

      If, as you claim, the charge to public funds is immaterial then I suggest we seek the assistance of GCHQ - they'll find him. Sorry Barry, I couldn't resist that retort but you might agree I have point?

      Delete
    19. Joe Turner,

      Do you seriously believe that you are entitled to hold others to a higher standard than that which you apply to yourself?

      Delete
    20. John where on earth did I say anything on the matter of Public funds. Your logical argument is strange as I did not opine on the matter at all

      Delete
    21. Joe Turner,

      I am sure I'm wrong and I hope that you will not be offended when I say that you come across to me as 'professional' complainer. Scratching around looking for faults in others while excusing yourself at every turn.

      Do you seriously believe that you are entitled to hold others to a higher standard than that which you apply to yourself?

      Delete
    22. Barry,

      Yes you did. You said elsewhere that cost of the investigation was immaterial.

      Delete
    23. I believe in the law, John Holyer. And the law says that people are able to act in certain ways when they feel that the situation requires it. If a person acts within that, there is nothing anyone else complain about. And yes, I think a councillor who continues to accuse others of wasting funds is making a personal political attack on the complainer which is unwarranted. And yes, a local councillor who does such things is held to a higher standard than anyone else doing the same thing. Not by me, but by the law and the rules of the body to which they are a member.

      Delete
    24. Joe Turner,

      In my view you have a somewhat casual interpretation of the law.

      You are saying nothing more that you are free to insult as you see fit but you deny a Cllr the right to retaliate.

      If you wish people to be polite to you then you must be polite to them. Anything less could be construed as bullying.

      Delete
    25. The only possible insult I made was with reference to an opinion that William holds which I called stupid. And I called said he should ask himself moral questions about his conduct.

      Funny how those who enjoy baiting and bullying others are suddenly so precious when called on their opinions.

      Delete
    26. There is a world of difference between William making a statement - which can be construed as being highly political, if not legal - regarding Louise wasting public funds and me saying that this opinion is stupid and unbecoming of an elected official.

      Delete
    27. Joe, self opinionated seems to be applicable in your case and even your interpretation of law is mainly conjecture rather than fact. Until now I have not insulted you, but have tried to present reasoned argument which you interpret as bullying and baiting. Weird, but, for the record, you try bullying and baiting all you like because I will not take offence, run off to the PC or top myself. You, on the other hand, negate your own case by so doing.

      Delete
    28. Excuse me, William, I have not complained to anyone. I am simply defending the rights of others to do so without having slurs from elected officials.

      Delete
    29. John on your 12:26 are you not quoting out of context?

      Delete
    30. Barry, your 12:45pm

      Maybe I did, maybe I did not; but for some peace and quiet I am willing to concede that on the matter of public funds your probity is beyond challenge.

      Delete
  6. William fact. the DI confirmed 4 (yes 4) complaints had been made to Ann Barnes reference the internet trolling. So in the opinion of 4 people they felt strongly enough that they were being abused. So (in your opinion) 4 not 1 were wrong.
    It is not about you or your opinion as to what constitutes a crime it is up to the police (after an investigation of the facts) to decide on whether to take it forward. Everything else in the discussion is an opinion and opinions are not facts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. William is entitled to hold an opinion, and to exercise it. But constantly alleging that someone is deliberately wasting public funds because they happen to disagree with him is pretty low.

      Delete
    2. On the record I was one of the 4 and am aware of who all 4 were. and also for the record I complained because one of the 4 were (at the time) in a vulnerable state for medical reasons and hammy was made aware of this and refuse to stop abusing this person.
      I cannot speak for the others however I suspect they felt the police action was inadequate (but that last is an opinion)

      Delete
    3. Barry, you complained about Hamilton and that I can understand. I find it difficult to see where there could be a conspiracy to harass between him and certain councillors and I also reiterate that I think the ranks of the investigating officers to be OTT for the crime alleged. Joe, I do not think anyone is wasting public funds simply because they disagree with me. I simply find the ranks of the investigating officers unbelievable in the circumstances and whereas normally a DC would have been given the job, it seems the elected Commissioner can demand the use of senior officers. That is the waste and, Barry, rather more than four people have written to their MP in Thanet to complain about that.

      Delete
    4. As I said above, I believe Police Commissioners are there to be complained to. If you know better, please show me.

      You disagree that this should happen, but I'm sorry, that is the system. There is no waste of funds in investigating something of this seriousness. Therefore the 'waste of funds' is simply a political opinion of yours and not any kind of statement of fact.

      Delete
    5. Joe, a DC could have investigated this quite effectively and I suspect the high ranks involved are entirely down to the Commissioner's intervention. That I think is wrong and wasteful.

      Just loved 'something of this seriousness' but where would you place murder, rape, mugging, burglary, physical assault, child beating, abduction and bank robbery by comparison with name calling of a mature landlady on a blog or facebook.

      By the way, the waste of funds, is a personal, not political opinion and one shared in this case by people across the political spectrum.

      Delete
    6. The fact that four people complained to Anne Barnes might be considered a conspiracy too, allegedly. It was all bound to end in tears anyway. The use of senior rank policemen to investigate the matter might indicate that the police themselves are being scrutinised with regard to their initial reaction to the original complaint and therefore a senior officer needs to investigate. This storm in a teacup will hopefully blow over and bloggers and trolls like me (can I complain about being called a troll?) will return to the fray sadder but wiser.

      Delete
    7. could only be considered a conspiracy if the 4 colluded before the act and as I did not speak to any of the other 3 I think not.
      By the same token is it a conspiracy if people write to their MP complaining about things.

      To put the matter right the rank of police that emailed me was DI however I have no idea whether that is senior or not and whether they are on not is immaterial so long as it was investigated.

      Delete
    8. I am of the opinion that employing a DCI & DI on a case of this sort is a waste of public funds. The job could have been done just as well by a DC or DS.

      Delete
    9. Barry,

      At the risk of offending you: do you really believe that the rank and therefore the cost of the investigating officers is immaterial? You do come across as having a cavalier approach to the use of public funds.

      Delete
    10. How John it is not up to me to tell anyone on how to do their job. They after all make those decisions not I.

      The are enough people out there who want to tell all and sundry how to do their jobs but it is up to the professionals to make those decisions. Everything else is opinions and whether an opinion is right or wrong is in the eyes of the listener (or should that be ears). All I was doing was confirming the rank from the email I have.
      When all the facts of this case are presented then people can still have their opinion but at least it will be on everything not just conjecture.
      And John if you knew me you wouldn't have said I was Cavalier with public funds

      Delete
    11. Barry, you hit the nail on the head with the comment 'up to the professionals.' In this case the professionals decided not to take the matter further, but an elected representative, not even a warranted police officer, seemly intervened resulting in the deployment of very high ranking officers.

      In a way it serves to highlight the problem of Police Commissioners, whose election in 2012, produced the lowest electoral turnout ever. Instead of the old police authorities or watch committees, made up from a cross section of council representatives and lay people, you now have just one paid person holding the chief constable to account. The roll, like school governors, is that of critical friend, but woe betide any school governor who started telling teachers how to teach. Here we seem to have a politician telling the Chief Constable what he should investigate.

      Oh, and before Joe says this is a political opinion, Commissioners were introduced by the present government and supported by David Cameron. I always thought it a daft idea with the potential to politicise the police. Nothing Ann Barnes has done has served to allay my fears.

      Delete
    12. William is entitled to dislike the Commissioner. However that doesn't change the fact that Louise and others are entirely within their rights to complain to her.

      Delete
    13. Joe, you seem to have a problem grasping points. This is not about people's rights to complain, but about the intervention of a non warranted police officer, a political appointee, intervening and reversing a police decision and causing excessive resources to be poured into the case.

      I do not dislike the Commissioner on a personal front, not knowing the woman, but I am opposed to the whole idea of one person overseeing the police. A good cross section of the community on a watch committee is far more democratic and less political.

      Delete
    14. I doesn't matter, William, what you think. This is the system, people have used it. End of story.

      Delete
    15. " In this case the professionals decided not to take the matter further" William have you heard from the margate police as to why they "decided" not to take further action as so far we only have conjecture and no facts.

      Delete
    16. Barry, it is alleged that a complaint was made to the police and no action resulted. Then, apparently, the matter was put to Ann Barnes. Agree it is conjecture, but if that is in fact what happened I have problems with an elected non police officer taking decisions on what should or should not be investigated and also the level of detective at which it was pitched.

      Joe, mainly it does not seem to matter what any of us think, but we are still allowed to express those thoughts. 'End of story' would seem to imply you have some divine right to determine when comments on Michael's blog should cease. As I said before, bit self opinionated and maybe you should apply for Kim Jong's job.

      Delete
    17. I agree William it is definitely "alleged" and in this case conjecture is all anyone has to go on. I'll keep my opinions to myself (which is always best during a current police investigation) until more definitive proof is offered

      Delete
    18. Barry, agree with you about opinions relating to the potential charges, if any, and suspects, but the points about complaints made to police, to the Commissioner and to comments about people being contacted by senior detectives, you included, have been widely discussed on blogs for a couple of weeks now. That is the only part, at this stage, I have an opinion on.

      Delete
  7. Peter, I truly agree with much of what you say on the subject of obesity.

    But then I would wouldn't I bearing in mind that I have the body of a veritable Adonis. And if anyone says I haven't I'll get offended and call a policeman - of at least Commander rank. So there!

    ReplyDelete
  8. My oh my, just browsing around the old patch and came across this saga. Always felt that Thanet was over endowed with nimby types, but it seems to have more than it's share of easily offended wimps as well.

    Appalling waste of police resources, if what is reported on the blogs is correct, and, since the senior officers involved, or at least one of them, were diverted from my own home district of Canterbury, I too shall be writing to my MP.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Just a thought before I wander down the Horse & Groom for lunch, much has been made by some commentators of the right to complain. Surely rights also incur responsibilities and is it really a responsible act to waste police time on a matter so trivial as internet name calling between adults.

    Makes you wonder about the old country when rights, entitlements and blame culture seem to have replaced responsible society. Were Bill Kitchener today to ask for volunteers because 'Our Country Needs You' how many would go? Half are too fat or on disability living allowance, others have rights or religious beliefs that would be breached or offended by military service and still more would be protesting, as is their right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How would you solve the "fat" problem Allan? Perhaps that's something you can think about over your beer and pub lunch... ; )

      What's the roads like in Fordwich and Sturry by the way? If they're not flooded I might cycle that way on sunday (unless the forecast changes).

      Delete
    2. Is it as trivial as you assume allan, you have perhaps spoken to the lady concerned in Simon's post perhaps or maybe you have spoken to the lady recovering from Cancer who was one of the abused who complained. They did not feel this was a trivial matter as you have portrayed.

      Delete
    3. Allan,

      I agree that some would not serve for the reasons you have stated. But I believe that the majority of our young would volunteer and go to to war if called. From their number would arise brilliant commanders and true heroes who risk their lives for others. As has been the case for a thousand years.

      Delete
    4. Peter, you already have the solution to keeping trim as I always did in my service years. Even now I regularly walk at least 30 minutes a day and eat a sensible balanced diet, but, in my book. it comes back to personal responsibility. This should not be something the state needs to get involved in, but is down to individuals, plenty of whom seem hell bent on self destruction either through obesity , smoking, drinking or drugs.

      Barry if you cannot see the difference between name calling on the internet and crimes like murder, rape and robbery, what can I say. I would also point out that the state of health of the offended lady is irrelevant unless her disability was used to insult her.

      John, you are probably right, but I suspect there would be many more these days trying to dodge the draft than in days gone by. How many people around these blogs do you see showing qualities of leadership or with whom you would wish to share a two man slit trench?

      Delete
    5. Allan as you have decided now that the abuse is just name calling then I suggest you consider how name calling and bullying on the internet (trolling) which seems quite prevalent has led to people taking their own lives on a number of occasions as reported in the press.
      sticks and stones aren't the only thing that hurts people in this world and you come across as heartless and uncaring which I'm sure you aren't. I would suggest that you speak to the abused victims before you make such remarks.

      Delete
    6. Latest figures for percentage of children cycling to school: China = 60%, Netherlands = 50%, Denmark = 40%, Sweden = 20", Switzerland = 17%, Germany = 15%, UK, Australia, Canada = 2%, USA = 1%...

      I see Simon has also stopped accepting anonymous comments (and he's still sulking!).

      Delete
    7. Peter, on the children cycling to school I really think the safety of our roads is a major factor. As a boy, like most of my friends, I cycled to school to and from Ramsgate whilst living in Broadstairs. Not sure I would be too keen to follow those old routes on a bike today.

      On the Simon issue, I do not think it is so much sulking, as anger at being subjected to a caution rather than starting off with inquiries and then going to a caution if a charge or arrest is about to happen. The impression on gets here is that the initial complaint to the police of insulting comments from JH basically failed, but a bit of research produced the knowledge that a conspiracy to harass is a criminal offence and so, armed with this wisdom, the complainant went back to a seemingly higher level throwing a few other names into the pot. Hey presto, and we have an apparent conspiracy although the proof of the pudding will not so much be in the eating, but more will any charges or a conviction result.

      As for switching off anonymous comment, well it appears to have worked wonders here particularly with the absence of Tim of 'Time for Change' fame.

      Delete
    8. I don't know about when you were young William, but cycling in Thanet is undoubtedly much safer now than it was during the 80s and 90s thanks to so many designated cycle paths and lanes... and anyway, the figures presumably include all school ages, so if 15 and 16 year olds are too scared to cycle on the roads yet start driving at 17 that's a very scary thought!

      I was certainly never cautioned, so I can only assume that the police had reason to suspect him but not me.

      Delete
    9. Very valid point about driving at 17, but I think it more parental concerns over cycling than teenagers being scared. You are a mature adult and an experienced cyclist, very different to young children setting off in bicycles along the Ramsgate Road or Hereson Road to get to Chatham House as my friends and I did. In the 50s and 60s there was a fraction of the traffic there is today.

      Whether they suspected him or not, Peter, it is a bit unusual to caution before enquiries have been made and a charge formulated. No doubt he had been named in the complaint, but that does not mean he had actually done anything. There are such things as vexatious complaints you know. How would you feel if someone complained to the police that your web site was pornography and you were duly cautioned before being given the opportunity to explain what you do professionally.

      Delete
    10. I grew up cycling in the Peckham and Bermondsey areas of south London in the 70s, and there was undoubtedly more traffic on the roads even then than there is in Thanet today (and no cyle paths or promenades of course!). Parents today are over-protective, hence so many younger people are overweight wimps!

      Delete
    11. Perception of danger has changed, Peter, thanks largely to the media. As a young child I roamed Keston Common looking for snakes and lizards, I fell out of trees, into the lakes and invariably returned home soaking wet and with grazed knees or the odd bruise. Although even then society had its weirdos and nutters, parents did not seem worried about letting their children out to play. Now everybody is a stranger who should be avoided like the plague and catching adders (not that there are many left) would turn most parents grey with worry. You mentioned before driving at 17, well I was flying gliders solo at Hawkinge when only 16. Times change I am afraid.

      Delete
    12. What I find strange about this is the fact there seems to be an acceptance, at face value, that a "nom de blog" has acted in good faith. Isn't part of the problem it is difficult to understand the morality of someone who hides behind a false name.
      In the case of hammy the research identified 5 identical profiles on Facebook along with at least 4 sockpuppet profiles also on Facebook. Why on earth does one person need to hide behind so many false identities?

      Some of the Facebook sites he had been thrown out of includes "Save A&E at QEQM", and "Free Bradley Manning" and "Friends of Ramsgate Seafront" in this case 3 of his profiles were ejected.
      He created trust by stating his belief in the cause and then humiliated anyone who disagreed with his view for instance he agreed Pleasurama was terrible that it had gone on so long then defended the "developer" and humiliated any one who dared to disagree. In the end his patronising tone was rightly removed and this was pattern was repeated across a number of different causes.
      It is even possible to believe he got some sort of thrill in upsetting people and a badge for being kicked out.

      It is doubtful whether he even cared about the causes just in annoying and upsetting people, as people advise "Don't feed the Troll" however that doesn't take into account how annoying he became.

      Delete
    13. Not the only issue really, I would guess that if you let your children behave in the way we were allowed to behave in the 50s and 60s, we would go off into the countryside for the day as a group of children the oldest being eleven or twelve and the youngest about six, climbing trees swimming in the rivers and so on, I guess you would soon have social services taking your children into care.

      Having disabled anonymous comments at the beginning of the year I am now only having to delete about twenty unsuitable comments a week from the nom de blog brigade, most of these fall into what I would call the non commercial spam bracket. Either people who repeatedly post about their obsessions, trying to bring the subject of the thread round to something unrelated. Or people who post derogatory and or obscene material.

      I only have four of the nom de blog brigade and normally when they post I delete the comments without even reading them using my smartphone, so much easier than having hundreds of anonymous comments all of which I had to read through before deciding whether they needed deleting.

      Delete
    14. I must be fortunate Michael as most have given up posting on mine but then Thanetonline is much more popular so I presume will attract more rubbish. I see Moores has commented today with his frustration at another spam comment

      Delete
    15. One interesting thing regarding cyclists (of all ages) is that the less rules there are then the more people cycle. Where compulsory wearing of helmets have been introduced there has always been a major downturn in cycling, and even in this country people are led to believe that cycling is a dangerous past time that requires special clothing and safety gear (it is far more dangerous NOT to exercise!). In Germany and the Netherlands almost no-one wears helmets or high vis clothing, and myself I never ever wear a helmet: I've come off my bike dozens of times over the years, but it's always been my hands, knees and legs that have been hurt (the last time was last summer when I came off my bike near Minnis Bay, badly cutting a knee and palm of my hand, as well as £40 of damage to my gears). Rant over!

      Delete
    16. I used to cycle everywhere as a child. I was put off cycling a few years ago when a friend of mine was killed coming to work cycling down Whitehall. But then Central London is no place for a cyclist. The last place I cycled was in Ontario. Perfectly safe there, big open spaces and few cars. Some cyclists are a menace coming silently at speed behind you on the pavement, with their steering obstructed by shopping bags on the handlebars.

      As a child we all used to go out by ourselves, in perfect safety. At five I and many others habitually walked to and from school on our own in London. At six I took the dog for a walk to the River Lee. I found the river OK but then realised that I did not know the way home. I was lost. Didn't matter though, the dog took me home.

      Delete
    17. Overall, Thanet is a great place for cycling. Not only is it relatively flat, but there's plenty of designated paths away from traffic.

      I highly recommend the Viking Coastal Trail, 32 miles of cycle paths or quite roads (and it goes near to all 7 Thanet railway stations if you get too tired): http://www.visitthanet.co.uk/attractions/viking-coastal-trail/8676

      Delete
  10. I have long held the view that if you can't take it then don't dish it out. If you are easily offended then don't make comments in the first place. Politicians have to be thick skinned to do what they do, and without wishing to appear sexist, may be the reason why many female MPs are standing down at the next election. Having said that there is no excuse for bad or insulting language. John Hamilton often made very good points but could have been a bit more subtle in his approach. As for bullying, I choose to buy a particular newspaper. I choose not to look at others, my choice. You don't have to read comments on the internet, it is not compulsory, you have a choice. Perhaps blogs, twitter, Facebook etc. should carry a warning, or even a lower age limit. The trouble with the internet is it's like Wopsy, it just growed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly my line of thought, Bemused, for far too many people who take stands on issues seem to feel they have some divine right not to be criticised by others of differing opinion.

      Barry, as you are probably aware, many of those reported cases of p;eople committing suicide were adolescent girls attacked over their weight or looks whilst others had mental problems. The main instigator of this complaint to the Police Commissioner was Louise Oldfield, a mature adult landlady who opposed the Arlington Tesco. Yes, Hamilton used language that I would not, but it was still just name calling all the same.

      I am not hard hearted, but I abhor this trend for people to go running to the authorities over their personal battles whilst the same authorities tell us what we should eat, drink or where we can smoke a cigar. If you think you have been libeled or slandered to your detriment, get a solicitor and pay, don't expect a free ride on the back of the tax payer.

      See others have asked you a similar question, as yet unanswered, but do you think it right that people who are mugged will get a PC, maybe a DS if GBH involved, whilst a lady offended by comments on the internet gets a Detective Chief Inspector?

      Delete
    2. Barry, I would be very interested in your answer to Allan's question as well. I recall back in 2012 getting a lot of complaints from residents about the apparent lack of police presence during Folk Week. Something I might add, well addressed in 2013. It does, however, highlight the stretched resources of our police and one has to be somewhat shocked that such very senior officers can be spared for on line abuse.

      Delete
    3. To both of you the only people who can answer that question are the police themselves however maybe you ought to consider that they decided on how to deal with this on evidence that may be more involved than simple name calling.

      The person I have an email from is a DI so dont know where DCI came from. His rank is quite clear on email

      Delete
    4. Barry, the DCI came from Peter and what you are conveniently over looking is that, we are told, the initial complaint to Thanet Police was not acted upon, probably because they thought it a non criminal matter, and it has only attracted such high ranking officers from outside the area since Ann Barnes got involved. In my book that remains a waste of police resources.

      Notwithstanding what I have said, the proof of the pudding in this case will come when someone is charged, tried and convicted for the serious offence you seem to think is involved.

      Delete
    5. I'm pretty certain he introduced himself as a DCI, and anyway Simon on his blog post mentions TWO senior officers.

      Incidentally, this must be the first time ever in the history of Thanet blogs that things have stayed on-topic for over 100 messages... and all without any anonymous comments. So perhaps Thanet blogging does have a future after all.

      Delete
  11. and if you get abused without justification what then?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is it about justification or otherwise, Barry, Surely it is about comparing abuse with more serious crimes like physical assault or murder. Not you, or anyone else, will ever convince me this case justified the ranks of the investigating officers involved and I can assure you that the ex-coppers among my friends feel the same way.

      Delete
    2. Allan I have said on here and elsewhere how you feel when abuse occurs is in the eyes of the abused victim not those looking on from the outside. You can have your opinion but it is based on your life not that of the victim

      Delete
    3. Barry you persist in missing the point, however offended the victim may feel, does the alleged offence, if any, justify police involvement at all and, if so, why at the kind of detective rank one normally associates with very serious crime?

      As for my opinion being based on my life, as you put it to Allan, wrong, my concern is the balanced policing of our community and I have yet to be convinced this is a proper use of limited resources.

      Delete
    4. I return to a point I made earlier. If the original complaint was re-visited because of doubts about the original investigation then an officer of a higher rank should carry out this investigation, If the original investigating officer was a detective sergeant then the next rank above is a detective inspector. This would explain the reason for the high rank.

      Delete
    5. All very well, Bemused, but when my daughter was mugged a couple of years back for her mobile and purse, the case was handled by a PC. Even if, for some reason, this complaint was originally looked at by a DS, it still would not justify and explain local people being interviewed by a DCI and a DI.

      We have it from Barry James, who we must assume knows who interviewed him, that the investigating officer was a DI and knew about the man in Arizona. Elsewhere, Peter Checksfield, equally sure of his facts, was interviewed by a DCI though he made no mention of the Arizona connection. Hence you have two senior officers following up the same inquiry concerning alleged internet abuse.

      Think you were right the first time about choice. People do not have to publicise their views on blogs and Facebook and should be a bit more thick skinned when challenged over them.

      Delete
    6. William I have never been interviewed by the DI. He states in the email why he has contacted me and I had a brief phone conversation (at my instigation) concerning the Arizona person and he confirmed to me how he managed to contact the guy. That was the extent of the conversation. His rank was DI and as I stated before if I get permission to discuss any of the findings I will do so, however this is an ongoing investigation and I have no idea how long this will take.

      Delete
    7. William, I entirely understand your point re your daughter, but in the circumstances we are talking about here the complaint to Anne Barnes was in respect of an investigation which may or may not have been carried out correctly by the police, in which case an officer senior to the original investigating officer should re-investigate. I trust that in your daughter's case there was no cause for complaint about the investigation. Perhaps I should add here that all my knowledge has been gleaned from the various blogs and not first hand.

      Delete
    8. Bemused, the PC was kind, considerate, kept us informed on progress and, although no arrests resulted, did eventually recover the Blackberry when someone tried to sell it on. Definitely no complaint. Point is, however, that if in Thanet the mugging of a young girl is handled by a PC, not even a DC, why do you assume the investigating officer for this vexatious complaint in the first instants was a DS. Is name calling on Facebook or a blog site really more serious than mugging on the streets?

      I understand what you say about the rank of an officer taking on a case, already handled by police before, but that still does not explain why both a DCI and DI were involved, which does rather smack of the commissioner demanding such involvement. If such were the case I would be very concerned, which is why I have written to my MP for answers from the Home Office.

      Delete
    9. Barry, did I say you had been interviewed? Think if you check back that I said 'that the investigating officer was a DI' according to you. Elsewhere Peter claimed the officer who contacted him was a DCI. Frankly, I think you are nit picking which really adds nothing to the debate over the use of police resources.

      Delete
    10. "We have it from Barry James, who we must assume knows who interviewed him" seems clear to me maybe it isnt what you meant to type.

      Delete
    11. Whatever, Barry, contacted or visit6ed, you still have not commented on the use of police resources.

      Delete
    12. William I have commented but to make it clearer the use of police resources are a concern for the police authorities not me.

      Delete
    13. Sorry, Barry, but I do not agree. The use of police resources should be of concern to everyone. Perhaps some of us take a more responsible attitude than you. Perhaps also you are not aware that you pay for policing through your council tax and, as such, have a right to question the way your money is used.

      Let me put it to you this way. You have long been concerned about Pleasurama and have been at the forefront of a campaign to get things sorted. That is your right. I happen to think that policing is even more important to our society and am concerned at the resources applied to this case. Thus I will campaign over this and also continue to question the wisdom of elected politicians being involved in policing decisions.

      Delete
    14. strange use of the word "responsible" I do not express an opinion and leave it to the police to make such decision and you appear to conclude I am irresponsible. And then you say I am in the forefront of a campaign to get things sorted at the Pleasurama site which is not just my right but the right of all who are concerned about the length of time it takes to get something built on the site surely you do not think that the developers are just misunderstood and victims of circumstance.

      Delete
    15. Oh, Barry, yet again you either fail to grasp the point or twist it to your own ends. I offered no opinion on the Pleasurama site, though would agree it has been a shameful saga, but merely used it to demonstrate how we campaign over things that concern us. I happen to think the use of police resources is of importance and should not simply be dismissed as leaving it up to them. Especially, in this case, where I suspect the police would have treated this as a relatively low level inquiry, but for the interference by a non warranted police commissioner, elected on the lowest turnout ever for an election back in 2012.

      Delete
    16. I certainly do understand your point you think it a waste of police time and resources based on what: A story put out by an elected councillor as if that story was gospel. I would like to hear both sides and make up my own mind so until then I will presume the police made the right decision.
      Surely even in a court case both sides are presented so the jury can make a decision, you seem to have your opinion based solely on one sides utterances

      Delete
    17. You, Barry, have serious understanding problems. I am not concerned with either sides case, simply the level at which the inquiry was pitched and the apparent interference in the matter by an elected commissioner. In my book that is like a school governor telling the teachers how to teach.

      On the case itself, that of conspiracy to harass, I have made no comment as to the likely outcome, having no way of knowing and I am in no way influenced by the utterances of an elected councillor anymore than I am by those who made the complaints.

      Delete
    18. So just what, in your opinion, is the role of Ann Barnes then?

      Delete
    19. Basically that of a critical friend rather like school governors. Not someone who interferes in police inquiries in the same way that governors to not get involved in teaching. Mind you, I regard such appointments as highly dangerous and too modelled on the American system where everyone from the Sheriff to the judge seems to be elected. Those that uphold the law should be outside of the political process.

      Delete
    20. Its a shame then the police seem more politicised a la Plebgate issues then

      Delete
    21. Could not agree more for once, Barry, but that stems from the politicisation of the Police Federation, hijacked by some people, rather like most unions, with a left wing or self interest agenda. They are hardly representative anymore of the rank and file officers, most of whom still do a good job.

      Delete
  12. I would like to state a couple of facts. I cant remember when I first heard of Hamilton but as soon as I did I went on the counter-offensive. He seemed to be unnecessarily personal when responding and I set out (with some others) to stop him. I spent many an hour sending him posts on his blog, asking him to stop. My work can be seen on his blog where I was called various things with various levels of aggression. My logic was - give him a new target and he will leave others alone. It worked in part but he continued to offer a counter argument to others who were expressing a view on the internet. I was the one to ask John to leave someone alone because they were recovering from cancer treatment. I also tweeted Anne Barnes mid year to ask for her help and then later in the year I was the first of three people to report the issue on Annes web site. This link was then posted onto a site and two others complained. You can call this a conspiracy if you like. I felt it was just needed investigating.

    In late January, I received and email telling me of progress made on the case and apologising for not being in touch earlier. A fourth name was mentioned as someone who had also complained. He informed us of progress. I instantly called the DI and thanked him profusely on behalf of the people of Thanet. I also checked what I could and couldn't publish and received authorisation from him to say whatever I wanted about the Hamilton issue, with the proviso that internet logs were being applied for and would take some time to be published. But the officer did confirm to me that the person who was pretending to be "JH" on the internet was based in America. He had some links with Thanet but they were tenuous. Barry was one of those involved in the group unmasking him.

    There is some speculation that JH was the primary lead for the "Yes to Tesco" site on Facebook and may have been assisted by a local business owner, but this is yet to be proved.

    JH did also enjoy posting on various other blogs – including my own Facebook site. I have a personal policy on my site that states I don’t like issues to be personal or party political. If people want to discuss “business” they can, but I block personal comments.

    Hope that clears up a few issues.

    ReplyDelete
  13. William, I have made no assumption but have suggested that if the investigating officer was a DS then a DI or higher should investigate. My point is that the follow up in this case should be by a higher ranking officer. I am quite often astounded to see on television serious fraud cases being handled by DCs. The police force is strange in that many officers are prepared to stay in the lowest ranks despite being well able to achieve promotion. That is my own personal view. I am now going to watch George Gently and then debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bemused, the police have long attracted those more than happy to spend their careers as constables, but then the armed services have some of the same characters who are content with their lot and do not want the r5esponsibility that goes with rank.

      Delete
    2. Rick, rank may not necessarily be a reflection of ability but it certainly is of cost. You will have gathered also that I regard PCCs as a move towards politicising the police and a dangerous potentially dictatorial replacement for the good old watch committees. One of David Cameron's more stupid ideas I am afraid.

      Delete
    3. This was not my experience in the RAF William. But of course those of us who came up through the technical ladder were keen to go for promotion and the extra money.

      But back to the police. A DS is only one rank up from the bottom and a DI is two up, out of eleven ranks, whereas a sergeant in the RAF in my day was five up with only two non commissioned ranks above.

      Delete
    4. Bemused, I had an RAF Regiment gunner in his mid thirties who we treated as a section commander, because of his expertise and experience, yet he flatly refused to go on a JNCO cadre course. I served with him on and off over a ten year period throughout which he remained an SAC.

      Comparison ranks between armed services and the police are difficult to achieve. The first gazetted rank in the police is superintendent whereas, in the RAF, it is Pilot Officer. The police can also go to much higher salaries through time than could be achieved by remaining an SAC for ever. I also knew a Lance Corporal in the Royal Military Police who ultimately became of Chief Constable after trading his khaki suit fort a blue one.

      Delete

Please note comments that may be libellous, comments that may be construed as offensive, anonymous derogatory comments about real people, comments baiting internet trolls, comments saying that an anonymous comment was made by a named real person, boring comments and spam comments, comments in CAPs will be deleted. Playground stuff like calling real people by their time stamp or surname alone, referring to groups as gangs, old duffers and so on will result in deletion. Comment that may be construed as offensive to minority groups is not allowed here either, so think before you write it, remember that the internet is a public place, that it is very difficult to be truly anonymous and that everyone who uses it leaves a trail of some sort. Also note the facility to leave anonymous comment will be turned of during periods when I am unable to monitor comment, this will not affect people commenting who are signed on to their blogger accounts. When things are particularly difficult on the commercial spam front I may turn comment moderation on for periods.

If you feel that someone has left a comment that is offensive and directed at you personally please email me (link on the sidebar) asking to have it removed, you will need to tell which post and the date and timestamp of the offending comment. Please do not reply to the offending comment as I will assume you continuing the dialogue as meaning that you want the comments left there.