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11th September 2013: The world's gone mad and I'm the only one who knows
30th August 2013: Isn't sarcasm a wonderful thing?
25th August 2013: Operation Yewtree has turned British justice on its head
13th August 2013: Black is white. Fact. End of.
11th August 2013: Why 'human rights' is nothing of the sort ...
11th August 2013: Electric cars, not as green as they're painted?
6th August 2013: How the British nation treats its friends ...
8th July 2013: The BBC biased? How can that be? They're so NICE!
26th June 2013: Think this country is a bastion of freedom and justice and a shining model for the world? Think again.
18th June 2013: Wrinklies unite, you have nothing to lose but your walking frames!
17th June 2013: is the end finally approaching for this evil woman?
31st May 2013: Now it's official - the BBC really is a left-wing propaganda machine
31st May 2013: Those evil bastards are at it again. Yes, you've guessed it - social services!
27th May 2013: Well-known TV presenter talks sense. No good will come of it.
24th May 2013: British justice is best? Only for the very poor, apparently ...
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 ...

 

 
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Railway guard Paul Yarwood has been fired from his job with One Railway for assaulting a passenger, despite the fact that his trial won't come to court until November. He says his life has been wrecked and he has had to sell his house because without a job he can't pay the mortgage.
 

Paul Yarwood leaving court after being given bail

 
Paul, who spent 14 years as a career soldier and has three children, refused to stand idly by as the hooligan intimidated commuters and staff in Colchester. The fare-dodger vaulted a ticket barrier, abused employees and defied the law by smoking on a waiting train. When a supervisor tried to get him to leave, he violently grabbed him, threatened to batter other staff with a broom and offered to "thump" a commuter.
 
Paul led passengers to safety and challenged the yob but was knocked to the ground, with the man looming over him. As Paul got up, their heads collided. Despite Paul's bravery, One Railway sacked him after claiming CCTV showed he head-butted the man. There were many witnesses to say that this was not what happened, but police questioned and charged him - not with assault, but with threatening behaviour - while the drunken thug just got an 80 fine for smoking.
 
The RMT union is backing Paul and has held two strikes over the incident, while there has been strong support from the public including the Essex Rail Users' Federation. Even the thug has admitted he was at fault and said that no blame attached to Paul Yarwood at all. The RMT said "He gave a taped interview to the station manager in which he admitted being abusive and threatening. He made it clear he felt he was to blame for the entire incident and did not feel any action should be taken against the guard." One Railway have ignored this.
 
Sadly this is not an isolated case. Another train guard, Robbie Moran, asked a teenage girl to take her feet off the seat. One of the girl's male companions then got up and shouted abuse at him. After a short stand-off Mr Moran, thinking that he had calmed the situation down, returned to his guard's van. The youth followed him there and attacked him. When the British Transport Police arrived, they arrested both the attacker and the guard. Neither the guard nor the youth were prosecuted, but South-Eastern Trains sacked Mr.Moran anyway.
 
South-Eastern trains is run by Govia, whose Chief Executive is Keith Ludeman. Mr Ludeman is also on the governing body of the British Transport Police. His phone number is 0208 929 8650.
 
Strangely the Deputy Chief Constable of the British Transport Police, Andy Trotter, recently went on record as urging railway passengers not to suffer anti-social behaviour in silence. He said "This lack of respect for fellow passengers and staff, as well as rail property, makes passengers feel uneasy and creates a perception of an unsafe environment."
 
The travelling public are not stupid though. They are perfectly capable of spotting that what monkey say is not what monkey actually do. When even a railway official can't rely on his company and the BTP to back him up after being attacked by a thug, what chance would an ordinary passenger have?
 
And it's not just the railways and the BTP who have this cowardly, vindictive attitude. On the BBC News website recently a listener calling himself just "John" from London says he was charged with GBH after a teenager who had been abusing a woman in a petrol station then squared up to him and threatened to knock him out. John punched the youth and fractured his jaw. After being charged he was suspended from work, depicted as a thug by lawyers and faced the prospect of jail. Fortunately the charge was dropped when CCTV evidence clearly showed the youth, who was eventually convicted of affray, behaving threateningly.
 
And broadcaster Jeremy Vine is quoted at length
 
"I was sitting in a Tube carriage next to an attractive young woman who was reading a magazine. There was a guy sitting opposite me, who was kind of Neanderthal. He had obviously taken an interest in this woman.
 
"Hello darlin', give us a smile! Come on darlin'! It's not that bad is it?"
 
That was just annoying. But then he leant forwards and he started tapping her knee. And she kind of shrank back into her seat. I kind of 'tutted' and lifted my magazine even higher. That was my initial move.
 
Anyway, all the passengers on the Tube were aware of this. The Tube stops. He gets out of the doors - the thug. He walks off down the platform, we're all quite happy he's gone. Another passenger flips him a V-sign. The doors have closed, by the way, when he does this. And then the disaster happens - the doors reopen.
 
The thug runs back in. He's six foot three, his muscles are so big they're flexing against the Tube glass, and he just starts beating seven bells out of this fellow. And actually when you see physical violence or are on the receiving end of it, it's very very nasty.
 
His fist went into the side of his head, blood came out, another fist, the guy goes down on the carriage floor, and the thug walks off very happy with himself. And I did nothing. The carriage was pretty full. But none of us did anything. It was terrible.
 
It wasn't fight or flight, it was fight or sit there and watch. And I chose to sit there and watch. And I've replayed it many many times. I'm very unhappy that I did that, and I now have sort of resolved that if I see a similar kind of situation where I see someone being attacked like that, I will intervene "

 
I'm sure most of us can relate to his feelings, although there are people who are sanctimonious and unworldly enough to believe that the victim can be blamed for being picked on. Noel from Norfolk replied to Jeremy Vine "Surely in the first example, the rudest act was the woman not replying to the man asking her to give a smile. If she had said "Sorry, I'm having a really bad day" that might have shut him up, or led to a brief conversation, but certainly not aggression and someone being assaulted."
 
We seriously considered making Noel from Norfolk our Wanker of the Week, but there are limits: why should we give any publicity or recognition, even negative publicity or recognition, to pusillanimous tossers like that? We can all exhibit cowardice under pressure, and many of us, like Jeremy Vine, can feel ashamed of it, but seeking to justify it is shameful.
 
The same BBC website tried to interpret the law on self-defence. Assault is usually deemed unlawful unless in self-defence, but lawful if preventing a crime or protecting family, property or another person. Force must be reasonable and proportionate.
 
"There's the concept of self-defence in case law that extends to defending not just one's self and one's property but also one's nearest and dearest and family," says solicitor Robert Brown. "If I was married and my wife was being attacked then it would be a form of self-defence by analogy to protect property or family. So to that extent there would be some permission."
 
This self-defence protection extends to anyone else, including a stranger. The Criminal Law Act aims at preventing a crime and permits assault if, for example, a shoplifter is being stopped from leaving a store. "Therefore by analogy if you see someone beating up a stranger and intervene and you are accused of assault then you could use the Criminal Law Act to say 'I've a defence because I've prevented a crime,'" says Mr Brown. "Therefore there's a rather broad defence in law to protect someone who intervenes."
 
Whether the force used is "reasonable and proportionate" and is decided by a jury, which should take into account the difficulty of assessing what this means in the heat of the moment.
 
Whatever the law says, the advice from police is unequivocally against intervention. A Home Office statement said "The public should not intervene in any situations of any criminal activity. They may put themselves in danger, exacerbate the situation and ultimately be acting on the wrong side of the law." So the guardians of society, the very people we look to for protection, are simply not prepared to enforce the law of the land in our defence. They are, in effect, making up their own laws because they can't be bothered to enforce the real ones.
 
A spokeswoman for the Association of Chief Police Officers says they have only one instruction - call the police. You can really see that working, can't you
 
Police telephone operator: You have dialled 999. Which service do you require, police, fire or ambulance?
Caller: I ow! police, I think ouch!
Police telephone operator: What is you name and full address, please?
Caller: Ooh! I'm being assaulted - ow! Can you help me, please?
Police telephone operator: I must have your name and address before I can do anything.
Caller: Aaaargh! Oh God, I think he just broke my fingers, for God's sake can't you Ouch! Ow!
Police telephone operator: I have to warn you that a police patrol car is on its way as soon as we have traced your call. Now, please give me your full name.
Caller: B ouch! Bill! Ow, God. Stop it, please, I haven't got any more money! Ow! No, not my you bastard, I'll
Police telephone operator: Mr.Bill, I should tell you that this call is being recorded and I have heard you using threatening language. You may be charged
Caller: I'm just trying to protect myself there! Take that!
Police telephone operator: Sir, that's our job. I believe you are committing an assault. Please put the other person on the line.
Caller: Would you ? Oh, right. He says he's busy. Ouch!
Police telephone operator: Sir, you are to stop what you are doing. That's an order.
Caller: All right, all right, I've stopped. Aargh! Oh, shit, that hurt. Oh well, I suppose I've got another eye.
Police telephone operator: Sir, we have now traced your call and a car will be with you in five minutes.
Caller: What am I supposed to do in the meantime? This bloke's kicking me look, you swine, I'll Ow! Ow!
Police telephone operator: Sir, I must caution you about the use of foul language and physical violence. Does the other person wish to make a complaint?
Caller: Ow! Do you want to look, hold up a minute, she wants to know if you want to make a complaint?
Police telephone operator: Sir
Caller: He says he doesn't, thanks. He's got no complaints at all. He's just going to kick me in the nuts and then he'll be strolling Aaaaaargh!
Police telephone operator: Sir? The patrol car's just two minutes away
Caller: Oh, no, don't bother. He seems to have finished now. I think I can manage to get up only one leg's broken
Police telephone operator: Sir, are you saying that you don't need the police after all? I hope you're aware that wasting police time is an offence punishable by a fine or a term of imprisonment? Please wait there - an officer is on his way, and he will wish to question you before deciding whether you will be charged or not
 

 
The GOS says: I guess a lot of us would like to show our displeasure about the Paul Yarwood case by withdrawing our custom from the train operators concerned. Except, of course, you can't: it's impossible to boycott a railway company, because almost all of them have monopolies on their own particular routes.
 
Isn't this a bit odd? Weren't we told that the railways were to be privatised to stimulate greater efficiency through competition? So where is the competition, exactly?
 
The truth of the matter is that British Rail was broken up into its constituent parts and privatised - the actual track and infrastructure in one company, the rolling stock owned by two or three others, the various operators holding franchises to hire trains and run them on the track - so that the government and its cronies could all become shareholders and directors of as many different companies as possible, creaming off profit at every possible opportunity. And who pays? - the poor passenger, of course.
 
And lest anyone be tempted by the enchantment lent by historical distance, let's remember that the architect of this outrageous theft of public property was the awful Margaret Thatcher.
 
Now that's what I call a Grumpy Page! A shocking story, a bloody good dig at the police, some stuff about trains, and a concluding paragraph blaming it all on Maggie Thatcher. Life's so good sometimes.

 

 

 
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