Monday, 23 August 2010

Punishment fit the crime?

From just one edition of my local paper the sentencing policy of the Magistrates suggests that all that seems to really matter to make our roads totally safe is that you don't exceed some arbitrary speed limit, often bearing little relevance to the true safe speed for the road.

Female without insurance: Fine £100 & six points
Female without insurance: Fine £65 & six points
Man without insurance: Fine £525 plus £85 costs and eight points
Man without insurance: Fine £250+£50costs+£15victim surcharge
Female twice over drink limit: Fine £100 & 18month ban
Man 50% over drink limit: Fine £305 & banned for 12months

Male caught exceeding 30mph limit [doesn't say by how much – if it had been a substantial excess would have been mentioned or even a headline]: Fine £60 plus costs £ 50 plus victim support £15 plus 3 points

What do we learn from this? Well as far as these magistrates are concerned if you are a woman you can save yourself several hundred pounds by not buying insurance. Bad luck on your victims but clearly they are of no consequence to this Bench. Actually being female is a great advantage. Previously a drunk uninsured woman who ran over a boy & broke both his legs got away with a trivial punishment.

Still never mind.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Who are the truly stupid

I've just been reading about the plight of the American 99ers in the paper. We are a bit more receptive to the needs of those who are unemployed in the UK although we have to wait & see exactly what the revisions to the benefit system amount to. The devil is always in the detail. I'd feel more comfortable if the media & political focus was equally condemnatory, & determined to act, over those who 'massage' their tax bill - legally or otherwise. It is hard to escape the conclusion the that the truly, really, stupid in this country are those who work hard, don't make a damn nuisance of themselves & pay their taxes. That is not a good conclusion. I'd like to see a concerted number of positive steps by government to convince me it wasn't true

You have to be impressed.

The World Bank is to lend [not donate you notice] $900m to Pakistan to relieve the distress of maybe 20million people. About one sixth of the bonus pot being dished out by Goldman Sachs to relieve the distress of a few thousand employees. You've just got to be impressed!!!! No wonder the rest of the world hates the Anglo American power block.