Tag: gabriel webber

Evolutionary throwback becomes primary school headteacher

6a00d8341ca86d53ef0133f1a5f4f5970b-800wiScientists were astounded last week as Christina Wilkinson, headteacher of an Anglican school in Lancashire, took to Twitter to opine that schools should teach creationism as there’s “more evidence that the Bible is true”.

Professor Nathan Ural-Selection, from the University of Snide, said: “Ms Wilkinson is plainly a remnant of a pre-modern human subspecies, long thought extinct, lacking in the intellectual and reasoning abilities which we contemporary homo sapiens take for granted.”

The headteacher, famed throughout south Lancashire for her cave paintings, use of rocks as a rudimentary form of currency and support for a joint Trump/ Palin ticket in the forthcoming US election, was unavailable for comment.

Clinton Cards

george campbell in americaAnother of the US election’s plethora of starting guns was fired last week, as Iowa caucused. Gabrielquotes appreciates that the electoral system can be very confusing to people outside America – and positively baffling to people inside America, as evidenced by the fact that some of them voted for Donald Trump, which can only be explained as a mistake.

To help us understand what’s really going on across the pond, we would like to welcome Sir George Campbell MP. He visited America once in 1878 so we’re extremely lucky to have him share his expertise with us:


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Schoolboy held in ‘arbitrary detention’, UN panel confirms

cutcornersA United Nations panel of human rights experts has ruled that Julian Assange, an 11-year-old pupil at St Ecuador’s Primary School in Knightsbridge, is being held in ‘unlawful detention’ by one of his teachers, a Mr Hogan-Howe.

The panel’s decision explained that, when Mr Hogan-Howe asked the boy to stay in after school, Julian said that he’d just walk out. But the teacher’s response – “If you walk out you’ll be in deep trouble” – was found to constitute “a severe and genuine threat to the rights of the child” which terrified Julian into remaining in the classroom and thereby rendered his detention ‘arbitrary’.

Young Julian, well-known for his playful, childlike habit of going round telling people what other people said about them behind their backs, is now gearing up to escape from St Ecuador’s.

In doing so, he will take his place in the pantheon of freedom fighters who have also had the courage to leave arbitrary detention, including Hannah, 34, from Hounslow (stuck in traffic at Chinese Garage Roundabout in Beckenham), Victor, 59, from Padstow (stuck at work when he’d really like to retire and focus on the garden) and Nick, 49, from Sheffield (stuck in political obscurity following an ignominious descent from power).

You’re booked

Romania had a law which says that prisoners can get their sentences shortened by 30 days for every book “of scientific interest” that they write.

All work and no play makes ∂zak a dull boy

All work and no play makes ∂zak a dull boy

Unfortunately – and this consequence was totally unpredictable, of course – white-collar criminals have been abusing the system and churning out dozens of books of dubious quality and originality.

For example, disgraced businessman Gheorghe Copos, jailed in 2014 for corrupting the Romanian national lottery, recently published a 212-page book entitled Matrimonial Alliances as a Policy of Romanian Kings in the XIV-XVIth Centuries which took him just under 8 hours to write.

Shame the prison authorities didn’t use TurnItIn plagiarism detection software

So the law’s just been suspended. But I see absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t have another round of Prison Library Book Club:

  • To Kill a Mocking Jailbird
  • A Dance to the Music of Doing Time
  • Jury to the Centre of the Earth
  • Dock Doolittle
  • The Tiger Who Pleaded Guilty
  • Lady Chatterly’s Guvnor
  • No Country for Old Bailey Men
  • Stolen Treasure Island (by Robber Louis Stevenson)
  • Mug and Mog
  • The Woman in Blackmail
  • Our Manslaughter in Havana
  • The Light-fingered Keeper’s Lunch
  • Erm…
  • That’s all this prison can afford in its library

Just one more prison item

Zimbabwe-FlagAndre Babbage is a Zimbabwean living in London, with a really quite impressive string of convictions for every crime from drug-running to assault. He has no right to remain in the UK, seems to view the law mainly as a gentle suggestion, and is, apparently, likely to continue offending if he stays here.

And Mr Justice Garnham has just ordered his release from prison because people can only be deported to Zimbabwe if they agree (which deportees tend not to).

I’m by no means a ‘human rights gone mad’ Daily Mail reader but when I read this story, I couldn’t help thinking it sounded like there was something a little askew. And I felt it even more after I heard Andre Babbage’s hit single, Be Out Soon:


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West Wall Story

It was bigotry that brought them together…

Jerusalem, until 2016, was a city divided. Torn apart by a bitter ethnic conflict that had lasted for generations. But a glimmer of hope ignited last week, as two of the different factions came together and stood side-by-side in unity.

What was it that brought about this remarkable coalition? A great danger that united all in common humanity? The love of a young couple? The plea of an innocent and frightened child?

Nay, it was more remarkable than that.

It was bigotry that brought them together.

Prayers_at_the_Western_Wall_2Yes, this is the news that the Israeli far right has finally found common ground with the Palestinians (I thought the entire conflict was about common ground? -Ed.) in their joint opposition to the introduction of egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall in East Jerusalem.

The Palestinians are unhappy because it’s ‘a change to the status quo’, ie. moving a wooden fence a few feet to the left.

The Israeli far right is unhappy because it’s ‘a change to the status quo’, ie. recognising women as human beings just as entitled to pray to God as are normal people).

We’ve yet to see whether this newfound oneness of mind will extend to anything other than gross intolerance and schadenfreude. Who knows. It might even encompass peace one of these days.

Police Academy

The boys in blue

The boys in blue

“What fresh hell is this?” I asked myself when I read of the Home Secretary’s plans to give Police and Crime Commissioners the power to open their own primary schools.

It was bad enough when she vowed to let them take control of fire services, but the idea of these clowns running schools – with the exception of Sussex’s Katy Bourne, whose experience as a dance teacher actually makes her better suited to that than to administering a police force – kind of chills the blood.

A prototype is about to open in Northamptonshire, where Conservative PCC Adam Simmonds was delighted to find an “independent trust” planning to open a school on the site of the police force’s former HQ (following his decision to move location).

Wootton Park School will apparently have:

a crime-centred curriculum

So qualified teachers of safe-cracking, counterfeiting, bomb-making and people-trafficking should watch out for jobs.

But what a fortuitous coincidence that a wholly impartial group of public-spirited citizens (and also Conservative Party activists, as it happens) are independently pursuing Simmonds’ vision.

Of course, a pedant might look at emails released under the Freedom of Information Act which show that Adam’s assistant PCC, Kathryn Buckles, nominated the ‘independent’ trustees as part of her job.

Police commissioner Adam Simmonds and Kathryn Buckle

But of course, as a member of staff rather than a political appointee, Kathryn Buckles (pictured left with her boss) was selected on merit so is not just a crony of Adam Simmonds. Oh no wait, that’s what would have been the case if he were following the law, whereas in fact he employed Buckles – his election agent and, in his words, “best friend” – following a rigorous interview process which, fortuitously, happened to conclude that she was the ideal candidate for the job.

So in fact, even though PCCs don’t yet have the power to open free schools, Adam Simmonds is vicariously setting one up, themed on Police Academy, by appointing his “best friend” to a post which the law says must be filled on merit, and having her nominate Tory pals to sit on the ‘independent’ trust taking advantage of a large area of land left vacant by a decision he, Adam Simmonds, took.

Nothing like setting children an example of ethics and propriety, is there.

අනුමත කර

Well, as the primordial ape of fate evolves into the early human of eternity, and the archbishop of time denies all knowledge to the court of destiny, we see that it’s the end of the blog post.
In tonight’s episode, the erudite academic work was ghostwritten for Gheorghe Copos. The Israeli-Arab conflict was solved by bigotry, and Christina Wilkinson was created on the sixth day. Julian Assange was seriously wronged by police investigating an allegation of sexual assault, and Katy Bourne could perhaps finally have found her niche. This was an Gabrielquotes production!

Asylum seekers see red

G4S, everyone’s favourite agent of state-sponsored oppression, has been in the news again this week for its alleged policy of making asylum seekers live in houses identified by red doors. G4S “holds the Home Office contract for asylum seekers”, because obviously contracting a pirate security company to ‘look after’ foreign victims of civil war fleeing to safety isn’t at all inappropriate or sinister.

'I'm Spartacus!'

‘I’m Spartacus!’

Several asylum seekers have reported attacks to their homes, including graffiti and excrement-smearing. G4S responded by writing letters of apology to those affected, which is basically more excrement smearing so it didn’t help much.

Amusingly, the whole episode took place in the Parliamentary constituency of ‘Redcar’.

The company, what we all fondly remember for failing to secure the Olympics but nevertheless having a great corporate song, denied that it had any systematic policy of painting refugees’ doors red, essentially playing the, “It was all a dreadful coincidence, honest guv!” card – much as David Cameron played the, “It was just a dreadful coincidence that that pig’s mouth was aligned with (Aaannnddd, move to the song. -Ed.)


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Relocation, relocation, relocation

Attractive semi-detached property with 650 sitting tenants

Attractive semi-detached property with 650 sitting tenants

Parliament might have to move house (or should that be move Houses) for a few years to enable vital restoration works to take place in the Palace of Westminster.

A committee is currently considering options, which include “full decant” – which is where the contents Parliamentary port cellar are also moved out – and the temporary relocation of proceedings to a specially-built marquee in the Department for Health’s back garden. Which ironically is also what’s going to happen to most hospitals over the next five years.

One further possibility is for the House of Lords to move out, and the Commons to sit in the Lords chamber for a while (How come it’s OK to force displaced MPs to use red benches? Doesn’t that single them out? -G4S) (Pipe down. -Ed.)

There is concern about the ability of MPs and peers to integrate into the outside world should they be forced off the Westminster estate. “Anyone who wants to live in our country has to speak the language,” pledged David Cameron, confirming that politician refugees will be offered free classes on how to communicate with ordinary people.

rhodes-statue

Relocation, relocation, relocation: stop press

The Department of Hell

The Department of Hell

There has been movement! (Isn’t that the point of a relocation? -Ed.) Since the paragraphs above were written, the potential Parliamentary outing to the Department of Health has caused a massive scandal in the Daily Mail, which was enormously excited by the story: MPs banned from drinking due to Sharia Law!

It seems that, if the House of Commons has to move into the Department for Health, then because the building is leased from an Islamic finance consortium, they won’t be allowed to sell alochol on the premises. It’s almost as if it’s the Department for, you know, Health.

So the scandal in this case would actually put MPs into much the same position as everybody else in the United Kingdom, who – if their office relocates to temporary accommodation – tend not to have bars built for them in the new facility.

How terrible that this affliction of the commoners might affect our politicians. I might write to my MP.

PJ gone mad

So raise the scarlet PJs high

So raise the scarlet PJs high

The headteacher of a Darlington school has gone viral after sending parents a letter asking them not to drop their kids off in pyjamas. “You can drop them off in a car or a Land Rover,” she wrote, “but dropping them off in pyjamas is just taking the pyj.”

Kate Chisholm, trunchbull-in-chief at the Skerne Park Academy, was faced with an unexpected form of civil disobedience, then, when a number of parents turned up in very ostentatious pyjamas (pictured left) as an act of protest against the intrusion into their private lives.

One family has apparently withdrawn their children from the school, while another told reporters:

I got stuck at home, my leg went into cramp and I didn’t want to be late dropping Holly off so I just grabbed my coat.

I bet the dog ate her homework, too.

However, the response hasn’t been entirely negative. Chisholm apparently spent most of Wednesday receiving “more than 150 supportive emails and ’phone calls” regarding her letter.

“I’ve had a number of headteachers from Darlington ringing me saying ‘well done for taking a stand’,” she added, “I’ve had an 85-year-old man ringing every 20 minutes every time something pops up on the news because he loves it. I’ve actually had to disable my Facebook account because it was being bombarded with friend requests.”

What she didn’t mention having done on Wednesday was, er, running a school. She’s employed, presumably, not to police parents’ clothing or mess about on Facebook or receive accolades from Telegraph readers or trigger national debates or chat to 85-year-old snobs, but to deliver education to the 500-odd children in her care.

But at least their parents are getting dressed in the mornings, eh.

A policeman’s lot’s a trigger-happy one

Sometimes, people make completely unjustified complaints. Sometimes, people whinge and whine about things that, on balance, are actually totally reasonable.

Here’s something the BBC reported last week:

Police in Coventry have been criticised on social media for entering people’s unlocked homes and tweeting photos.

Putting the mug back into mugshot

Putting the mug back into mugshot

I initially thought that the sentence order had been skewed and someone had written the article in the Object Subject Verb structure: “Surely,” I said to myself as I went about the place in the course of my duties as an impartial social commentator, “Surely they mean that police have criticised people on social media for entering unlocked homes.”

But no: it turns out that Chief Inspector Helen Kirkman had the bright idea of having the West Midlands Police wander round the streets of Coventry, pushing front doors to see if they were open, and if they were, wandering in and taking a few cheeky Instagram snaps #nofilterneeded, supposedly as a warning to householders to keep everything locked up in case one day the police come calling for a less kindly reason.

Chinsp Helen told reporters:

If neighbourhood teams find a door or window left open I think people would want officers to check everything is OK at that address and not to just walk on by.

Unfortunately the journalists present were all to busy picking their jaws up off the floor to make the obvious point that there may be a happy medium between the extremes of (i) walking on by an unlocked house with no action taken, and (ii) wandering in for a quick impromptu photoshoot.

Helen said no complaints had been received but as one Twitter user remarked:

Whose god is it anyway?

Interfaith_TreeThe Jewish News chose to mark Holocaust memorial week by publishing a letter. It was better than the one where the writer said that Jews shouldn’t support the absorption of refugees because “everyone seems to forget that they are Muslims”. But not that much better.

This letter was about just about the only policy of the current government which seems obviously right and unobjectionable, that of requiring faith schools to teach about at least one other religion so as to promote tolerance and understanding in society.

In the letter, Geoffrey Niman found said policy “highly objectionable”.

What,

he asked,

What are the guarantees that it will not be exploited as a vehicle for bringing missionary messages to the vulnerable?

Assuming Geoff also believes that Judaism shouldn’t be taught in Christian or Muslim schools because it would inevitably lead to a wave of brainwashed proselytes, that’s a very good question he’s asked.

He continued:

Presumably the ‘other religion’ will be presented in a most positive manner!

Audible gasp! Presenting other religions in a positive manner, shameful. We haven’t spent this week learning about centuries of pointless bloodshed fuelled by interfaith ignorance, just to turn round in 2016 and accept that other religions aren’t the spawn of Satan.

I sometimes wonder what the world is coming to. Thank goodness for brave men like Geoffrey Niman, with the courage to stand against the crowd and speak up for intolerance and insularity.

People who enjoyed this light satire of the Jewish far right’s paranoia by Gabriel Webber also enjoyed Why would anyone pretend to support BDS?, a light satire of the Jewish far right’s paranoia by Gabriel Webber.

Police brutality

The New Indian Express has always been one of the best newspapers out there, and this week is no exception. A story appeared on Sunday:

Chennai policeman booked for marrying four woman [sic] and being in a relationship with fifth

The article went on:

naughty-police

Phwoar – lucky old city police commissioner.

признања

Well, as the door of fate is coloured red by the paint of time, and as the refugee of destiny is sent back to the detention centre of eternity, we see that it’s the end of the blog post.
In tonight’s episode, the part of Miss Trunchbull was played by Kate Chisholm. Parliament was relocated by David Cameron, and G4S was investigated by James Brokenshire. Homes were raided by Chinsp Helen Kirkman. Religious hatred was spread by Geoffrey Niman. This was an Gabrielquotes production!