Tag Archives: Somerset

If you are homeless, sitting down is now a crime in Tory Somerset

Disgrace: If it isn’t bad enough that this person is homeless, if he was in Somerset he would be criminalised by the police and the justice system.

This is cruel, unnecessary, and frankly silly.

It seems sitting down is now a crime if the UK’s skewed justice system can make it seem that you might be begging.

Think about it, next time you take advantage of a sunny day to go out and sit on a handy bit of grass.

Depending on how you look, you could be committing a crime.

Note also that this man was ordered to pay a £115 “victim surcharge”, even though there was no victim (let’s face it; there wasn’t a crime).

Perhaps it doesn’t seem much to you, but this is a homeless man living in a hostel. He doesn’t have that kind of money – and shouldn’t have to spend it on a fine handed out because someone doesn’t like the way he looks.

Utterly ridiculous. Avon and Somerset Constabulary should be ashamed, as should HM Courts and Tribunals Service, and anyone who created the legal framework that allows this abuse.

A homeless Taunton man has been jailed for 20 weeks for sitting on the ground “without reasonable excuse”.

Haydon Mark Baker, 33, who was staying at a homeless hostel at the time… admitted sitting on the ground, which he was banned from doing under a Criminal Behaviour Order, outside Greggs, in North Street, on April 28; outside tReds, in East Street, on May 2; and outside McDonald’s, in East Street, on May 5.

He was sent down for 20 weeks (concurrent) on each count, which were contrary to the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

He was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge, but there was no order for costs due to lack of means.

The court heard there was considered to be a high risk that he could be seen to be begging and that his deliberate actions were the latest in a line of deliberate breaches of the order.

Source: Homeless man jailed for 20 weeks for sitting on the ground ‘without reasonable excuse’ | Somerset County Gazette

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Nonsense talk about Corbyn ‘hiding’ in Somerset will only make his critics look silly

Marie van der Zyl: False pretences?

How silly of Marie van der Zyl to suggest Jeremy Corbyn is “hiding” from having to discuss her overblown claims of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

In fact he is on holiday in Somerset.

What – is a man not allowed to have a holiday any more?

There’s no urgency about the anti-Semitism issue. The demand for Labour to adopt all the examples that go with the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism – which the party has already adopted – is duff. The party’s new code of conduct is better.

And it isn’t as if the party is slacking off its prosecution of cases against those accused of anti-Semitism by Ms van der Zyl’s self-elected Board of Deputies and others of similar political disposition.

I just met the deadline for sending my defence against the ridiculous allegations against me to the Labour Party, and I understand that Jackie Walker expects her own disciplinary hearing before a panel of the party’s National Constitutional Committee to take place soon.

Readers of This Site will be aware that I have no faith at all in any claim by the Labour Party that its investigations are in the interests of justice. The directive from the party’s National Executive Committee to find my guilty, no matter whether the evidence clearly demonstrates my innocence (which it will), is ample justification for that belief.

And of course a Labour representative is on the record as having said the “antisemitism subgroup” of Labour’s National Executive Committee means “we have the potential to kick people out super fast”.

So why is Ms van der Zyl kicking up such a fuss about nothing?

Simple. She is stirring up indignation with fake accusations for political purposes. Can you imagine what those purposes may be?

Jeremy Corbyn has been told to “come out of hiding” in Somerset by an angry Jewish leader.

The President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Marie van der Zyl, has said Mr Corbyn has “seemingly disappeared” since last weekend, when he released a video and comment pieces.

She has repeated a call for Labour to embrace the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism in full.

The leader of the Labour party has been spotted in Somerset cafes and tea rooms this week, as well as reportedly enjoying strolls on the Somerset coast, taking in local tourist destinations and even trying his hand at a spot of lawn games.

Source: Jeremy Corbyn’s Somerset ‘holiday’: Labour leader told to ‘come out of hiding’ while on South West getaway – Somerset Live

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Flooding: Why is the taxpayer picking up the tab? There’s an EU fund!

The Conservative response: David Cameron swans around the Somerset Levels in his wellies while local MP Ian Liddell-Grainger (second from left) tries to get a word in edgeways.

The Conservative response: David Cameron swans around the Somerset Levels in his wellies while local MP Ian Liddell-Grainger (second from left) tries to get a word in edgeways.

It seems that David ‘Money Is No Object’ Cameron is unnecessarily forcing British taxpayers to fork out for flood relief while European officials scratch their heads and wonder why he isn’t taking advantage of a huge EU fund that is available to us.

We should all know why the comedy Prime Minister is avoiding Europe – he doesn’t want to lose face.

Eurosceptics in the Conservative Party across the UK criticise our membership because we pay so much in and take so little out (in their perception); this argument would be defeated if Cameron actually used the fund in the manner for which it was created and he would then lose support from members of his Parliamentary party.

Also, at a time when the UK’s future in Europe is being questioned, it would be “politically sensitive” (as Reuters describes it) for Cameron to go there and ask for a handout.

But governments are judged on the way they deal with crises (as the Political Rant blog put it) – and this one has put Cameron, figuratively as well as literally, between the rock and the river.

According to Reuters: “Asked whether Britain would ask for EU money, Cameron’s official spokesman told reporters on Wednesday the government was looking at every source of possible funding, playing down the idea that there was anything political behind it.

“Under EU rules, a country has 10 weeks from the first damage caused by a natural disaster to request aid.

“A person close to Cameron said there were technical grounds to do with spending thresholds that determined when to apply for a grant. Britain had no desire to get into a war of words with Brussels on the matter, he said.”

The news agency added that the government had deployed the armed forces to evacuate residents and shore up river defences, while under fire from critics for what ministers have acknowledged was a slow initial response.

Political Rant is less diplomatic (as you might expect): “Ken Clarke said it was just a normal winter and people complaining about flood defences were just a ‘lynch mob’. Eric Pickles criticised the Environment Agency while the Environment Agency criticised government cuts and Owen Paterson criticised Eric Pickles.

“David Cameron has undertaken several jaunts in his nice clean wellies, first to Kent just after Christmas where he was harangued by people left waist-deep in water without power for a week, then Somerset which he only visited after Prince Charles had been the day before, making it look rather silly the Prime Minister hadn’t bothered, and … to Cornwall where, a friend tells me, Railtrack diverted engineers who were supposed to be fixing the washed-out rail line at Dawlish to shake hands with the PM at a rail depot.

“The same PM has talked sadly about how a power cut interrupted his viewing of The Sound of Music on New Year’s Day while staying silent about two SSE engineers who said they were diverted from reinstating the power for 11,000 people to locate his trip switch.

“When the floods recede, we are more than likely to find a few people who died.”

Yes, and they’ll be in rural areas because the increased funds Cameron has announced amount only to a slightly smaller cut than he had originally intended, and the funding formula for flood defences demands £8 of economic benefit for every £1 spent – meaning a concentration on densely-populated urban areas.

Add to that the fact that Cameron only bothered to act when Conservative-voting areas were affected – the Somerset Levels, Windsor, Reading, Oxdfordshire, Surrey, Kent – and couldn’t care less when the waters were hitting places like Scunthorpe (as revealed on the BBC’s Question Time yesterday) and Cameron has put himself in a serious political mire.

He has made it clear that his is a government that only looks after its own supporters.

Everyone else can drown.

We won’t forget that.

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