Grumpy Old Sod Dot Com - an internet voice for the exasperated. Sick of the nanny state? Pissed off with politicians? Annoyed by newspapers? Irate with the internet? Tell us about it!

Send us an email
Go back
11th September 2013: The world's gone mad and I'm the only one who knows
13th August 2013: Black is white. Fact. End of.
11th August 2013: Electric cars, not as green as they're painted?
18th June 2013: Wrinklies unite, you have nothing to lose but your walking frames!
17th May 2013: Some actual FACTS about climate change (for a change) from actual scientists ...
10th May 2013: An article about that poison gas, carbon dioxide, and other scientific facts (not) ...
10th May 2013: We need to see past the sex and look at the crimes: is justice being served?
8th May 2013: So, who would you trust to treat your haemorrhoids, Theresa May?
8th May 2013: Why should citizens in the 21st Century fear the law so much?
30th April 2013: What the GOS says today, the rest of the world realises tomorrow ...
30th April 2013: You couldn't make it up, could you? Luckily you don't need to ...
29th April 2013: a vote for NONE OF THE ABOVE, because THE ABOVE are crap ...
28th April 2013: what goes around, comes around?
19th April 2013: everyone's a victim these days ...
10th April 2013: Thatcher is dead; long live Thatcher!
8th April 2013: Poor people are such a nuisance. Just give them loads of money and they'll go away ...
26th March 2013: Censorship is alive and well and coming for you ...
25th March 2013: Just do your job properly, is that too much to ask?
25th March 2013: So, what do you think caused your heterosexuality?
20th March 2013: Feminists - puritans, hypocrites or just plain stupid?
18th March 2013: How Nazi Germany paved the way for modern governance?
13th March 2013: Time we all grew up and lived in the real world ...
12th March 2013: Hindenburg crash mystery solved? - don't you believe it!
6th March 2013: Is this the real GOS?
5th March 2013: All that's wrong with taxes
25th February 2013: The self-seeking MP who is trying to bring Britain down ...
24th February 2013: Why can't newspapers just tell the truth?
22nd February 2013: Trial by jury - a radical proposal
13th February 2013: A little verse for two very old people ...
6th February 2013: It's not us after all, it's worms
6th February 2013: Now here's a powerful argument FOR gay marriage ...
4th February 2013: There's no such thing as equality because we're not all the same ...
28th January 2013: Global Warming isn't over - IT'S HIDING!
25th January 2013: Global Warmers: mad, bad and dangerous to know ...
25th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
19th January 2013: We STILL haven't got our heads straight about gays ...
16th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
11th January 2013: What it's like being English ...
7th January 2013: Bleat, bleat, if it saves the life of just one child ...
7th January 2013: How best to put it? 'Up yours, Argentina'?
7th January 2013: Chucking even more of other people's money around ...
6th January 2013: Chucking other people's money around ...
30th December 2012: The BBC is just crap, basically ...
30th December 2012: We mourn the passing of a genuine Grumpy Old Sod ...
30th December 2012: How an official body sets out to ruin Christmas ...
16th December 2012: Why should we pardon Alan Turing when he did nothing wrong?
15th December 2012: When will social workers face up to their REAL responsibility?
15th December 2012: Unfair trading by a firm in Bognor Regis ...
14th December 2012: Now the company that sells your data is pretending to act as watchdog ...
7th December 2012: There's a war between cars and bikes, apparently, and  most of us never noticed!
26th November 2012: The bottom line - social workers are just plain stupid ...
20th November 2012: So, David Eyke was right all along, then?
15th November 2012: MPs don't mind dishing it out, but when it's them in the firing line ...
14th November 2012: The BBC has a policy, it seems, about which truths it wants to tell ...
12th November 2012: Big Brother, coming to a school near you ...
9th November 2012: Yet another celebrity who thinks, like Jimmy Saville, that he can behave just as he likes because he's famous ...
5th November 2012: Whose roads are they, anyway? After all, we paid for them ...
7th May 2012: How politicians could end droughts at a stroke if they chose ...
6th May 2012: The BBC, still determined to keep us in a fog of ignorance ...
2nd May 2012: A sense of proportion lacking?
24th April 2012: Told you so, told you so, told you so ...
15th April 2012: Aah, sweet ickle polar bears in danger, aah ...
15th April 2012: An open letter to Anglian Water ...
30th March 2012: Now they want to cure us if we don't believe their lies ...
28th February 2012: Just how useful is a degree? Not very.
27th February 2012: ... so many ways to die ...
15th February 2012: DO go to Jamaica because you definitely WON'T get murdered with a machete. Ms Fox says so ...
31st January 2012: We don't make anything any more
27th January 2012: There's always a word for it, they say, and if there isn't we'll invent one
26th January 2012: Literary criticism on GOS? How posh!
12th December 2011: Plain speaking by a scientist about the global warming fraud
9th December 2011: Who trusts scientists? Apart from the BBC, of course?
7th December 2011: All in all, not a good week for British justice ...
9th November 2011: Well what d'you know, the law really IS a bit of an ass ...


Captain Grumpy's bedtime reading. You can buy them too, if you think you're grumpy enough!
More Grumpy Old Sods on the net


Older stuff






This from Scriptonite ...

There has been a digging away at the core principles of Britain’s system of Law and Justice over the last decade which threatens to undermine it entirely. Today, we look at key changes in pre war Nazi Germany which saw the Nazification of Germany’s nation of Laws, and corresponding changes in the British justice system today.
We need to acknowledge the warning signs and uproot this resurgent fascism while it’s still a sapling, or we’ll be hacking away impotently at a mighty oak before we know it.
Godwin’s Law? Oh Give it Up
No doubt someone is already preparing a comment accusing me of Godwin’s Law for making this comparison. So I’ll take a moment to set out why I am making it, and why it does not conform to the term.
Godwin’s Law was intended to highlight the sort of ‘Little Hitler’ comparisons to the Third Reich ...
“Train conductor just gave me a fine for not having a ticket … Nazi!”
“Health and Safety laws mean I can’t smoke in my office any more … it’s like Nazi Germany in here!”
“The government is telling me I can’t smack my kids any more … Fascists!”

This is the sort of thing that Godwin’s Law pertains to. This is not what I am doing today. I am laying out some genuine similarities in the functioning of the state and private institutions of Germany between 1933-7 as it moved from a nation of laws to a nation of Nazis, with recent developments in British institutions. These similarities should raise real concerns about the direction in which successive governments are driving our nation. The reason I have chosen Germany is that it is the closest, most recent and most readily acknowledged example of such a transition.
Despite this, I accept that nevertheless many people are determinedly unwilling to consider the awful prospect that our government might not be acting on our best interests and will use Godwin’s Law as a tool of cognitive dissonance. In essence, Godwin’s Law itself can become a tool of censorship, used to close down important debate about the authoritarian impulse of the state and corporate power.
Law and Justice
Prior to the commencement of Nazi Germany in 1933, Germany had operated under the Weimar Constitution in a Republican democracy since the end of World War I in 1918. Judges were independent, bound only by law, protected from arbitrary removal and duty bound (at least in theory) by Article 109 to safeguard equality before the law.
Protective Custody
With the reinterpretation of “protective custody” (Schutzhaft) in 1933, police power became independent of judicial controls. In Nazi terminology, protective custody meant the arrest – without judicial review – of real and potential opponents of the regime. “Protective custody” prisoners were not confined within the normal prison system but in concentration camps under the exclusive authority of the SS (Schutzstaffel, the elite guard of the Nazi state).
The End of Open Justice
The Nazis set fire to the German parliament building (the Reichstag) in February 1933 and pinned the blame on the Communists in a cunning move which was pivotal in bringing Hitler to power. The point was to provoke such fear that Communists were mounting a coup, that a strong National Socialist was required to quell the rebellion and restore stability. It succeeded.
However, when the suspects were brought before the court, all but one of the suspects (a mentally incapacitated Dutchman who had confessed) were found not guilty. The ruling so incensed Hitler and the Nazis that within a month they had passed legislation which removed the right to try cases of treason at the Supreme Court. Henceforth, this responsibility would be carried out by the new People’s Court which was no court at all.
Now, one might ask, how on earth is this in anyway similar to the British justice system? The Nazis are not the only government exploiting misplaced fears to curtail civil liberties.
In 2009, the former head of MI5 Stella Rimmington accused the British government of exploiting the fear of terrorism to pass laws intended to restrict our civil liberties. She was right. In recent years, an astonishing amount of legislation has been passed curtailing civil liberties, the right to protest and the right to fair and open justice in Britain. The Labour government passed 25 Acts of Parliament and 50 individual measures to restrict civil liberties for UK citizens in the name of ‘national security’ in its thirteen year term.
Protective Custody
The US opened Guantanamo Bay and began kidnapping citizens from around the world, detaining them illegally for years without charge or trial and committing torture against them and the British government was complicit in it.
Control Orders were passed in 2005 and gave police the right to place citizens under permanent house arrest with an electronic tag without any judicial intervention, that is, outside of the court system. Between 2005 and 2011 fifty people were made subject to these control orders.
After promising to remove the powers on election, the Coalition government simply replaced them with TPIMS, which amount to the same thing but restricted the orders to a review after two years.
The Terrorism Prevention Act and other legislation give the State the power to detain citizens indefinitely by identifying them as a terror threat, without reference to a judge or a court. This amounts to protective custody.
The End of Open Justice
One piece of legislation you might not be aware of is The Coroners and Justice Bill of 2005 which removed the independence of coroners, and gave the Executive (state) the power to suspend inquests or hold them in secret, even in cases of homicide.
Recently, when British citizens started to be released from Guantanamo Bay and seek justice for their treatment, the UK government first appealed to the courts to block the cases, then to redact information that would show their complicity in torture and rendition, and finally sought to pay people off.
As the compensation bills mounted, they changed tack and drafted The Justice and Security Bill, which stipulates that in future, all such civil cases will be tried in secret courts. These courts would be blocked to the media and the state would be able to present its argument and evidence to the judge in the absence of the plaintiff in the case.
This decision ends a 700 year old tradition in the UK of open justice, in the name of national security but in reality, for the sake of state control of information and justice.
The Rev.Nicholas Mercer, a lieutenant colonel who was the army’s most senior lawyer during the last Iraq war, told the Daily Mail: “The justice and security bill has one principal aim and that is to cover up UK complicity in rendition and torture. The bill is an affront to the open justice on which this country rightly prides itself and, above all, it is an affront to human dignity.”
These two pieces of legislation have made it legal for the state to intervene in and end the investigation of suspicious deaths, and lawfully kidnap and imprison its citizens without ever being challenged in an open court. Open justice is no longer guaranteed.
Propaganda and the Demonisation of Groups
The Nazis used propaganda to such a degree and with such horrific results that the practice was widely condemned and Ministries for Propaganda across the world changed their names … in itself an act of propaganda.
I would like to compare and contrast two specific pieces of propaganda, one by the Nazi Regime and one by the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper.
The Nazis made puff pieces about one concentration camp called Theresienstadt which made it look like a holiday camp. The reality was that Theresienstadt was a transitory base to transport Jews from the East, to the death camps. Of the 140,000 Jews taken to Theresienstadt nearly 90,000 were deported to death camps where they died. 30,000 Jews died at Theresienstadt itself.
However, the propaganda sold the lie to the German public that the Jews were taken elsewhere but treated well. This allowed the holocaust to go on far longer than it might have if people had been forced to face the reality of it.
Guantanamo Bay
Guantanamo Bay is a detention camp which has imprisoned nearly a thousand (officially acknowledged) detainees of the US (and British) government for years on end, without judicial intervention and under conditions of torture.
The Dail Mail however recently ran an article entitled “Inside Guantanamo Bay‘ which sold the place as some sort of recreation centre for the world’s scariest muslims. Alongside random pictures of fresh fruit, books written in Arabic and (gasp) halal meat, were quotes like this: “Far from languishing in a dank and desolate dungeon as many in the outside world imagine, inmates are in fact able to rent Harry Potter movies, borrow car magazines and even get strawberries for their tea. To relax, prisoners can visit the camp’s in-house library, which contains a host of books, in Arabic and English, Hollywood blockbuster DVDs and magazines.”
This article is one of many staged in cahoots with the US military. President Obama signed an Executive Order in 2009 to close Guantanamo Bay. These articles have been released as the majority of the 166 men still detained without trial have mounted a hunger strike in a bid to regain their freedom. More than half of these men have been cleared for release for months, yet remain behind bars regardless. One cannot help but note the similar playbook adopted by the holocaust and Guantanamo Bay apologists.
Outside of this isolated issue, the government has launched a propaganda war on the poor which has seen the unemployed, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups suffering escalated hate crimes as a result.

The GOS says: Don't agree with all of that, especially the last sentence; some would say that it was left-wing politicians who feather-bedded the unemployed so that any attempt to claw back some of the wasted money is seen as an attack on the poor. And I can't actually think of any hate-crimes recently against the unemployed, can you? I can think of a few BY unemployed people, though.
It's all a bit thin, to be honest. For instance, it was the British who started concentration camps during the Boer War, and there is one pretty significant difference between Theresienstadt and Guantanamo Bay which is that so far as we know the Americans haven't been using Guantanamo to wipe out an entire ethnic minority. Still, it's thought-provoking which is why I find it worth quoting.
“Godwin's Law” mentioned above is described as follows in Wikipedia: Godwin's law (also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies or Godwin's Law of Nazi Analogies is an observation made by Mike Godwin in 1990 that has become an internet adage. It states: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1." In other words, Godwin observed that, given enough time, in any online discussion, regardless of topic or scope, someone inevitably makes a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis.
Although in one of its early forms Godwin's law referred specifically to Usenet newsgroup discussions, the law is now often applied to any threaded online discussion, such as forums, chat rooms and blog comment threads, and has been invoked for the inappropriate use of Nazi analogies in articles or speeches. In 2012, "Godwin's Law" became an entry in the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Grumpy Old - homepage

Use this Yahoo Search box to find more grumpy places,
either on this site or on the World Wide Web.








Copyright © 2013 The GOS
Grumpy Old - homepage


Captain Grumpy's
- some older posts

ID cards
Old folk
Hairy man
The church
The Pope