Serious violent crime is going up NOT down in Britain
Despite frequent government claims to the contrary. Under the Left, British government statistics are about as trustworthy as Stalin's
The head of the Home Office has admitted in a leaked document that the Government has failed to reduce serious violent crime over the past decade. In a paper marked `Restricted Policy', Sir David Normington, the Department's top civil servant, admits that under Labour the levels of the most violent crimes such as murder, serious assaults and rape are higher than they were in 1997. The admission by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith's most senior Civil Service adviser appears to be at odds with claims by Ministers that levels of violent crime have fallen since Labour came to power.
The Home Office admitted last night that its own figures showed there were 14,000 serious violent offences in 1997-98 and 16,000 in 2007-08. Sir David's 101-page document, sent to new Home Office Ministers appointed in Gordon Brown's reshuffle last month, says that because police forces were given incentives to concentrate on less serious offences in order to improve crime figures, they were less able to tackle the more violent incidents. Sir David discloses that because the most serious violent crimes have not been reduced, the Government's long- term strategy will now concentrate on these rather than less serious ones.
In July, Jacqui Smith twice used the British Crime Survey, based on surveys of thousands of members of the public, rather than crimes recorded by the police, to claim all types of violent crime had fallen substantially since 1997. In response to the July 2008 crime figures, she said on the Home Office website: `Since 1997, crime measured by the British Crime Survey has fallen by 39 per cent with violence down by 40 per cent and burglary down by over half (55 per cent).' And on July 17 she repeated her claim that violence had dropped by 40 per cent since 1997, `with a 12 per cent fall in the last year alone'.
But in his document Sir David writes: `In view of the fact that more serious violence has not reduced in the way that we would have wanted in recent years, and that these offences cause the most harm to individual victims and to society as a whole, our long-term strategy on violence focuses on seriousness. This includes homicides, serious wounding and serious sexual offences such as rape. `Recorded crime statistics do indicate that despite recent falls, the levels of the most serious violence are higher than they were ten years ago.'
The document also reveals that more than 50 per cent of people surveyed by the Home Office are still not confident that the criminal justice system is effective in bringing offenders to justice.
Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve said last night: `This document is a shocking admission that Labour's crime reduction policy has focused on chasing petty incidents in order to spin crime statistics. Jacqui Smith's claim that violent crime is down has been dealt a fatal blow.'
A Home Office spokeswoman said: `The most recent statistics show that recorded crime has fallen by six per cent in the last year. The chance of being a victim of crime is at its lowest level ever. `But we know there is more work to do with particular crime types, and in particular areas. Reducing serious violence will always be a priority.'
If thick-cut marmalade is the touchstone of social class, as correspondents to our Letters page suggest, spelling is the chief indicator of education. No more deadly betrayal of incapacity in this department exists than misusing the apostrophe.
The confusion of they're, their and there drives the nation into red mists of rage. Yet which of us can swear that, in some careless holiday postcard or some late-night composition, we have not, on automatic pilot, written there when we meant they're?
Feelings have run so high that foaming pedants have joined bands of spelling guerrillas, armed with correcting fluid and scalpels to scratch out "greengrocer's apostrophes" (or should that be "greengrocers' apostrophes"?) in potatoe's or insert one in mens shoes.
It should be easy, for heaven's sake. The apostrophe stands for a missing letter. It sits before the possessive s (dog's) in the singular, because the genitive was once expressed by the termination -es (dogges). It all began to go wrong when an apostrophe was added to a plural possessive (dogs'), as an arbitrary sign, for there was no missing letter to mark.
The classic case is Queens' College (Cambridge), to be distinguished from Queen's College (Oxford) by the number of queens who founded them, hence the position of the apostrophe. Very neat, except that, as the Spectator's language columnist Dot Wordsworth reported, Queens' College confesses that the earliest examples of the name spelt with any apostrophe always have the apostrophe before the s. Indeed, the first example of Queens' College is from 1823. In the University Calendar, the spelling was changed from Queen's to Queens' in 1831.
Anomalies in names with and without apostrophes are everywhere. It is Earls Court on the London Underground, but the next stop is Baron's Court. It is St Albans but St David's; St Andrews in Scotland but St Mary's in the Isles of Scilly. St Thomas's hospital mis-spells its own name as St Thomas'. It's a terrible mess.
The trouble is that English language has suffered from the disease of creeping apostrophitis. The apostrophe is the Japanese knotweed of the garden of English. Decoratively established in words like dog's, it then popped up in words like children's. Before we knew what had happened, it was invading carefully tended phrases such as for conscience' sake. All this, says the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary gnomically, "was not yet established in 1725". No, indeed.
In Shakespeare's day, when apostrophes knew their place, the air was freer. We know not where the dramatist put apostrophes, as no manuscripts of his remain. But on the title page of the beautiful first folio it says Mr William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories & Tragedies. No apostrophe for Will. The title of one comedy is: Loves Labour's lost; of another A Midsommer nights Dreame or A Midsommer night's Dreame.
It is not that we know any better now. We merely know different. So would it not be a liberation and a joy to do away with the apostrophe in it's (short for it is)? There is no historical justification for spelling the pronoun its instead of it's. The word its is frightfully nouveau in any case, being invented as recently as the 16th century. Private letters show a reluctance to abide by the baseless distinction between its and it's. "Do you know it's name?" asked Darwin, no simpleton in these matters, in a letter in 1828. As the language historian Lynda Mugglestone has pointed out, such divergences only went out with the long s (which we so enjoy mixing up with f in old books).
A little learning glares at the apostrophe, as basic table-manners concentrate on the knife and fork. Give us grouse and we'll pick them with our fingers, as, once we can spell and parse, we won't mind the odd discrepant apostrophe.
Leftists frantic to keep British National Party head out of Australia
Leftists use words for their emotional impact rather than their simple meaning so it is entirely expected that the proposed visit of Nick Griffin to Australia is being opposed on the Left by calling him a "Fascist". See below. The amusing thing is that, probably unknown to them, they are absolutely correct. The BNP has lots of policies that sit comfortably on the Left, just as the prewar Fascists did. Like the Left from at least Karl Marx on, the BNP and all the Fascists of history want the government to control large swathes of what people do. So the only real beef that the Left have with the BNP is its patriotism. The BNP is not even nationalistic. Far from wanting to embroil Bitain in more wars, it claims that Britain embroils itself in too many wars. Its only distinctive policy is its wish to reduce the immigrant proportion of the British population and that view is now so widely held in Britain that even the British Labour party is now clamping down (in appearance anyway) on immigration.
After all the name-calling, however, the idea that the Cambridge-educated chief of a legal and influential British political party should be kept out while disgusting creatures like American "rappers" are allowed in, is quite absurd. It is certainly an attack on free speech but what Leftist ever cared about free speech? Free speech only for themselves and those they approve of is their definition of free speech. It is true that Griffin has expressed doubts about the Holocaust but even many Jewish writers have opposed attempts to suppress such views, on the grounds that suppression efforts tend to give such views enhanced credibility. Even the article below probably does that
Denying a visa to British fascist leader Nick Griffin, who has a conviction for inciting racial hatred, will only increase the likelihood of Cronulla-style racial conflict, his supporters say. Mr Griffin, head of the far-right-wing British National Party, has applied to visit Australia to tackle the issue of "the demographic genocide . caused by large-scale immigration of people from the Third World". Darrin Hodges, the NSW head of the extreme Australian Protection Party, which is backing his visit, said: "Having a full and frank debate was more helpful than not . and suppressing the debate leads to events like Cronulla." He said Mr Griffin would speak at private forums in Sydney and Melbourne.
However, Jewish lobby groups opposed to the December speaking tour by Mr Griffin - a Holocaust denier with long-standing links to far-right-wing groups throughout Europe - believe the free speech argument has to be balanced against the harm done to local communities. British anti-fascist activists who track his movements say Mr Griffin and the BNP have a history of fomenting racial hatred in Britain. "Australia should not let the racist in," said Matthew Collins, a former member of the BNP who now works for a London-based anti-fascist monitoring service. "Nick Griffin is as dangerous to the community as any radical Islamic preacher."
The BNP has 49 elected councillors and 51 parish councillors among Britain's 6000 local councillors.
Jo-anne Schofield, the head of Catalyst, a left-wing Australian think tank opposed to his visit, said: "The BNP is very clever at moderating its message to appear more acceptable. But scratch the surface, they still have a hateful message at their core. "The burden of free speech is carried by the people harmed by his message."
Mr Griffin, who reportedly lost an eye when a shotgun pellet he threw into a fire exploded [Note: Shotgun pellets don't explode. Sheer Leftist ignorance], was denied entry to Australia in 1998. He once called the Holocaust the Holohoax: "I have reached the conclusion that the 'extermination' tale is a mixture of Allied wartime propaganda, extremely profitable lie and . hysteria."
A spokesman for the Immigration Department said because Mr Griffin's name appears on a Movement Alert List for individuals who may be a security, character or immigration concern, his application was not electronically approved and will be reviewed by the department. No decision had been made yet on whether to issue him a visa
Surprising sense from a Leftist: "Gordon Brown tonight called on the world's most powerful industrial nations to agree a programme of immediate and coordinated tax cuts to prevent the global economy sliding deeper into recession. Arriving in New York for this weekend's unprecedented gathering of the leaders of the world's leading 20 economies, the prime minister said the need for a "fiscal stimulus" both for the UK economy and the world had increased after an autumn in which accelerating job losses had intensified fears of a deep and lasting slump."