Tag: gabriel webber

Morley Academy, Pyongyang

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The Morley Academy's new science block

The Morley Academy’s new science block

A secondary school in Leeds, Morley Academy, has apparently been taking PR advice from Kim Jong-un, after it sent a letter to all parents warning them not to criticise it on social media or else their children would be punished.

The letter told parents there had been too many “inaccurate and deeply offensive” comments made about the school by parents on social media, and that consequences would follow including “full withdrawal of privileges” from pupils.

In particular, it threatened that children of naughty parents would not be allowed on school trips in future, although sadly, in what for me is the worst part of the whole episode, it didn’t use the term ‘school trips’ and instead called them “Enrichment Visits”. (Can you wait while I take a quick vomit? -Ed.)

In other words, they visit the sins of the father on the children, unto the third and the fourth generation. Or in other words:


The school is obviously behaving outrageously but I think the best comment on it has come from former pupil Joe Mitchell:

FireShot Screen Capture #814 - 'Morley Academy, Pyongyang I Gabrielquotes' - gabrielquotes_wordpress_com__p=5892&preview=true&preview_id=5892&preview_nonce=635a492654&post_format=standard

Meanwhile, that other great defender of free speech in an educational setting, Sussex University’s Vice-Chancellor Michael ‘Wackford’ Farthing, has resigned. Details of the precise scandal for which he’s leaving don’t seem to have made it into the public domain yet but watch this space because they’re sure to eventually…

Ministry of Defence, North Korea

220px-Night_GeneralsAs if to cement the UK’s transition into a totalitarian state, an anonymous army commander has threatened a military coup if Jeremy Corbyn is elected Prime Minister by the people of Britain.

They told the Sunday Times that the army would “use whatever means possible, fair or foul” to pursue its own vision of security, regardless of the Labour government’s policy.

Fortunately, though, the security services don’t have to face the terrible menace of democracy quite yet; fortunate because, in the mean time, they have other threats to be dealing with.

For example, officers at Staffordshire University mercifully apprehended a student who was reading a book about terrorism… although on further investigation, it transpired that he was reading it to help him complete his Masters’ degree in Terrorism and Global Crime.

Islamic State's finest

Islamic State’s finest

And a school in Islington was quick to question a 14-year-old Muslim boy who knew a suspicious amount about the aggressive tactics used by some environmental activists… in a lesson on environmental activism. Although quite why this prompted staff to ask him, “Do you have any connection to Isis?” (and quite why they thought that any genuine Isis agent would answer, “Yes I do: bah, foiled again!”) remains unclear.

And, of course, now that I’ve written this blog post, I’ll be picked up and interrogated over my extremist beliefs, then whoever interrogates me will be questioned on their connection to people like me, then their questioner will be grilled, and so on, and so on, getting more and more senior, until eventually whatever General it was that threatened Jeremy Corbyn gets involved, and we find out who it was.

That’s my cunning plan, anyway.

Jobs I’m not applying for, Episode #2

  • Role: Intelligence Officer
  • Employer: Police Skills (security contractor)
  • Salary: £24-30k
  • Entry criteria: “Broad appreciation of organised criminality”
  • Advantages: Season ticket loan, access to company taser
  • Disadvantages: Not only do I not have a broad appreciation of organised criminality, I actually kind of resent it

Court reports

There have been many thrilling developments in the legal world since last time we spoke, my friends:

Firstly, a judge in California has ruled that the lyrics of that well-known Eurovision-winning classic, Happy Birthday to You, are not copyrighted to Warner Brothers. As the judgment was delivered, lawyers for the successful plaintiff skipped around the room, skipped around the room.

argument-clipart-btyezpjtl[1]Secondly, an Australian employment tribunal has found that being unfriended on Facebook can constitute workplace harassment. Presumably it’s also frowned upon to giggle and smirk, or to look at someone in a funny way.

Off to court: Naruto refuses to rule out pre-emptive injunction against David Cameron

Off to court: Naruto refuses to rule out pre-emptive injunction against David Cameron

But by far the most exciting, a monkey has become the first ever non-human to take legal action. Naruto the crested macaque is suing wildlife photographer David Slater (pictured left) for stealing his copyright to the infamous ‘Monkey Selfie’.

Naruto’s lawyers – working for animal rights charity PETA since Naruto’s grasp of copyright law is but rudimentary, for some reason – have filed suit in America saying that since the monkey pressed the shutter, the monkey owns the rights.

This follows a long line of litigation including the well-known ‘dolphin human rights’ case previously covered on this blog.

Apparently nothing in US law says that monkeys can’t hold photographic copyright. And apparently it’s not really, really obviously implied that they can’t, by dint of, well, being monkeys.

But it really does beg the question… Can a six-year-old crested monkey really own a copyright?


Pork-barrel politics

david cameron

Cameron: “Little pig, little pig, let me come in!” (Yuk. -Ed.)

Last week, Lord Ashcroft revealed something horrendous: that the British care more about David Cameron’s indecent acts against a dead pig in the 1980s, than about David Cameron’s indecent acts against millions of living people in the present day.

Yes, this is the news that in a university custom even more unusual than those followed by Sussex, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland allegedly had a steamy romp with a deceased porker, as prophetically written about by Charlie Brooker for the sci-‘fi’ series Black Mirror.

Although, The Guardian reports, “Conservative sources” deny the allegation (but come on, how do ‘Conservative sources’ know anyway? They can’t have been there throughout his entire time at Oxford), David Cameron is likely to have had a rather awkward time at his weekly audience with Her Maj last week. Still, gives him a break from launching semi-pornographic video channels.


For police tip-offs, press the hash key

This is Kingston, not Hempsted Garden Suburb...

This is Kingston, not Hempsted Garden Suburb…

OK, so it turns out there’s a cannabis farm the size of a football pitch just a few roads away from my house. It’s clearly nothing to do with me.

In fact, this blog has been at the forefront the fight against drugs ever since its the release, back in 2012, of its groundbreaking guide on how to discover dealers living in one’s own neighbourhood.

In relation to the Kingston cannabis haul, police seem to have had the time of their lives taking photos next to the plants. They told the media:

Anyone who has any information about the cultivation of these plants should call police on 101.

So they’re interested in learning how to cultivate the plants themselves! Cunning devils.

from the desk of sir georgeOf course, it’s not the first time in history that agents of the British state have got involved in the narcotics trade. Our very own Sir George Campbell MP recorded, in his Memoirs of My Indian Career, an earlier episode…

In other druggie news (Are you sure you want to branch into this? -Ed.), a kennel in Arizona has been destroyed by a £6,500 bundle of marijuna which somehow fell from the sky. Or that’s what the house-owner says, anyway…

Detectives suspect that it dropped out of a smuggler’s aeroplane, in what I think is technically – and, in this case, ironically – called a ‘dead-drop’. Either that or ‘getting high’.

According to The Telegraph:


Tsk, what a painfully sheltered life he must lead.


I recommend that people buy Private Eye this Thursday. No particular reason… *innocent face*


In tonight’s episode, Naruto the monkey was played by PETA (basically). Happy Birthday was liberated from the shackles of copyright. Kingston-upon-Thames introduced a new, less restrictive economic policy. Morley Academy opened a new branch in North Korea, and the British Army went to join them. This was an Gabrielquotes production!

Corbyn blimey

jeremy-corbyn-sootyFar from Matthew Corbett, the new puppetmaster over at Labour Party HQ is Jeremy Corbyn. After Sweeping to victory after a Sooperbly-organised campaign of socialist drama, Jeremy won in the first-round of voting, the cunning little scamp(i).

According to The Independent, Jezza (the only one of the four leadership candidates who doesn’t follow me on Twitter, sour old sod) marked his victory by decamping to a local pub and singing The Red Flag.

According to Sussex Friends of Israel, the fact that he celebrated with a few drinkies rather than immediately, that second, wishing the Jewish community a happy new year was indicative of his deep-seated Nazioid tendencies (Tendencies apparently shared by you, Gabriel… -Ed.).

And according to Donald Trump, Corbyn is considering voting Republican this year.

The BBC, meanwhile, came up with this superb piece of investigative journalism on Monday morning:


Yes, he confounded expectations by choosing to populate his top team with supporters rather than with bitter enemies. Deeply shocking stuff.

Then there was the whole #Anthemgate thing. Jeremy Corbyn, a republican of deep integrity who admittedly swore an oath of loyalty to the Queen when he first became an MP but that was like decades ago, scandalised every one of Her Majesty’s subjects by refusing to sing the national anthem at a WW2 memorial service. (Every one of said subjects sings the national anthem to themselves daily, of course.)

He doesn’t, it seems, want violent revolution against the monarchy. He just wants them put to one side and gently ignored. So really he should have sung: “God, waive our gracious Queen…” (You’re fired. -Ed.)

Holloway Road

 Don't think you can hide your bad haircut behind your hand, mate...

Don’t think you can hide your bad haircut behind your hand, mate…

The Tories aren’t doing much better than Labour at the moment. They’re in disarray as the furore over Adam ‘my barber’s a damn foreigner’ Hollway MP’s remarks continues. Readers will remember how he complained that he was unable to get a haircut last week because his barber had gone off on holiday to the country from which he’d been seeking asylum.

However, said barber has now come forward to tell the world that they actually weren’t on holiday in Iraq (funny, that) but instead, Great Yarmouth.

Equally bleak, though, to be fair.

Jobs I’m not applying for, Episode #1

A new column documenting one sarcastic so-and-so’s hunt for full-time employment.

  • Role: Cannabis farm clearer
  • Employer: Avon & Somerset Police
  • Salary: £18,000 “plus benefits” (hem hem)
  • Advantages: opportunities to develop a career as a cannabis grower
  • Disadvantages: hey, look at that blue unicorn!

A vexed question

1[1]The United Nations has voted to fly the flags of non-member Observer states – namely Palestine and the Vatican City – at its headquarters in New York. The decision was carried by a slender majority of 119-8.

It caused a little bit of well-considered, measured comment online:

text2985But all of the outrage focussed on the Palestinian flag. The Vatican City seems to have got away with it… and I reckon that was their cunning plan all along.

Hear all about it in a new Tom Lehrer-esque song: The Vatican Flag


Katy Bourne gets fired

As if life wasn’t dreadful enough, the government has announced new plans to let Police and Crime Commissioners “take on responsibility” for the fire service, essentially merging fire and police into one structure headed by a Chief Constable. Sadly said fire service wouldn’t actually get a say in this process.

New legislation would enable PCCs to seize the reins of fire services

where it is in the interests of economy, efficiency and effectiveness or public safety.

Note the “or”. Or public safety. If letting a load of half-witted overpoliticised Police Commissioners take control of the fire service would be in the interests of economy, public safety be damned.

The government has launched a ‘consultation’ on the proposals, which asks the public for their views with neutrally-worded questions such as:

What benefits do you think could be achieved from empowering Police and Crime Commissioners to create a single employer for police and fire and rescue personnel?

‘What benefits’? ‘Praise us, praise us, say you like our idea! Please!!’

Thank goodness these people aren’t choosing the EU referendum question. Oh wait; they are.

katy bourne fireman samThe proposal was welcomed – astonishingly enough – by Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, and empire-builder, Katy Bourne (pictured left). She’s no doubt looking forward to getting her dance teacher’s teeth into another highly technical area in which she has no expertise or knowledge whatsoever.

Here’s the campaign song for her new initiative:


The other news, in briefs

  • Parliament discussed the Assisted Dying Bill, which aims to support those too ill to change the colour of their hair on their own.
  • Apple announces new products, thereby meaning that those people who own existing Apple products become obsolete.
  • Facebook will be introducing a ‘dislike’ button following a petition by users who want to watch what the Conservatives are up to but are too embarassed to ‘like’ them.

I’m Surrey I haven’t a clue

when-the-hurly-burly's-doneTurns out the Hurley-burly is not yet done.

Following last week’s blog coverage of Surrey Police & Crime Commissioner Kevin Hurley, he’s been a busy bee on Twitter. Despite his PA saying he would be unable to reply to my original request for a comment “due to his diary commitments”, he somehow found time to tweet at me on the day of publication at 1:29pm, 3:48pm, 3:52pm, 4:00pm, 4:23pm, 5:26pm, 5:33pm and 6:26pm. Clearly it’s a packed schedule he had.

One of his tweets accused me of playing “witch finder games” (‘Witch-hunt’, surely? -Ed.); another threatened libel proceedings even though he can’t legally bring any and I anyway didn’t write anything defamatory.

All rather strange behaviour from an elected office-holder, especially one who told the Committee on Standards in Public Life only this year how much they wished the public would scrutinise them more:

I am very concerned about the impact on democracy of the decline of local journalism. Local reporters have traditionally been the ‘armchair auditors’ to do the leg-work on behalf of the public to pick out the key headlines and the interesting stories – including ones relating to the ethical discharge of public duties – from public bodies’ data. That is the service they render to our community. Their numbers are falling.

Although interestingly, in a later tweet, Hurley denied ever having written this:

kevin-hurley-surrey-pcc-imbecileAll very weird. As is the entry in his formal statutory Register of Gifts explaining why he accepted a BBC-branded umbrella:

kevin-hurley-utterly-wet-and-a-weedHowever, he did raise two points of response to last week’s blog which it is only fair I share with you, dear readers:

  • in relation to his plan to have asylum seekers set upon by Gurkhas, it’s OK because he “started the Gurkha Rights Campaign”; and
  • in relation to him retaining a personal service company as his Assistant PCC rather than an actual person, this is because the individual who uses the company as their alter ego is a local councillor so cannot be directly employed by a Police Commissioner.

To summarise:

  • Kevin seems not to have understood that my concern was more about his approach to refugees’ rights than to Gurkha rights; and
  • Cllr Shiraz Mirza uses a personal service company as a front (“a practice which generates suspicions of complicity in tax avoidance and which fails to meet the standards expected of public officials”, in the words of the House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee) in a scheme of dubious legality designed to circumvent statutory controls on the political activities of public sector employees.

I hope that’s helped clarify the situation.


In tonight’s episode, Kevin Hurley simultaneously gave and did not give evidence to the Committee on Standards in Public Life. Jeremy Corbyn won the Labour party leadership, while the Vatican City won diplomacy. Avon & Somerset Police were hallucinating, as was Katy Bourne if she thinks she is even slightly competent to run the fire service. This was an Gabrielquotes production!