The NYPD have had a busy time this week busting a drug ring run entirely by observant Orthodox Jews. According to The Jewish Daily Forward, detectives found the entire operation to be ‘shoms’: shomer Shabbat, ie. abstaining from any work-related activity on the Sabbath. The dealers even gave clients written instructions not to call between sundown on Friday and sundown on Saturday. Police have also moved in on a gang of monks selling pirate DVDs – caught out when they tried filming their own scenes to slot into and amend the plot of The Exorcist – and the Dalai Lama’s arms-dealing operation.
Sussex University’s building excitement
You may remember that Sussex’s exciting shiny new building, which had been earmarked for my School of Law, Politics & Sociology, was instead given to the Business School because University management accidentally admitted too many law students to fit in the new premises.
The plan was that as a consolation prize, LPS would move into a pleasant-enough refurbished building on the edge of campus, the Freeman Centre, from this September (ie. now).
But you’ll be astonished to hear that this hasn’t happened! There’s been no official announcement, no explanation, it’s just that it quietly… hasn’t happened. The press office hasn’t responded to my request for a comment, even though I received an email read-receipt from them.
This seems remarkably similar to the way that the University promised in 2010 to create a ‘Student Charter’ but, according to a report by external inspectors, has made no progress at all towards this.
A Student Charter would “more clearly define […] the expectations of students.” No wonder the University doesn’t want to introduce one. Its students might realise that all of their/our expectations are fairly dramatically not met.
STOP PRESS, 3pm Tuesday: the University Press Office has just issued a statement about this issue (what a coincidence) which seems to evade the point completely. “Refurbishment of Freeman Centre going ahead,” it announces, with not even an attempt at an explanation for the delay, “Plans are well underway and building work will commence in January.” So not even the plans are finished yet. I wonder what they’ve been doing for the last 15 months?
Sussex’s police tzar Katy Bourne was dragged into Parliament last week to explain her crime reduction policy to the Justice Select Committee.
This was actually quite a difficult task, since her crime reduction plan can basically be summed up as, “Reduce crime.”
In fact, her precise words were: “Sussex Police plays a significant role in tackling and reducing crime.” STOP THE PRESS!
Katy’s basically earned her £85,000 salary right there, though slightly at odds with her evidence to the Select Committee that “it’s very important that you don’t just pour money into a black hole.” #resign
Her closing remark was, “My aspiration would be to chair the Sussex Criminal Justice Board.” Hmm, it’s important to have a dream.
A roadmap to peace?
British Airways did something wrong this week. Really wrong. In fact, I don’t often use this word about large companies which bring jobs and business to the UK, but I think they’ve basically crossed the line that separates the mundane from the evil.
You won’t believe what the fiends have done. They’ve had the effrontery to show passengers a map of the Middle East “which has the name ‘Palestinian Territories’ covering part of Israel.”
No! Surely they haven’t run roughshod over the advice of the Jewish Chronicle and instead caved in to pressure from cowboys like the EU and the United Nations? Surely they haven’t fallen into the trap of labelling the Palestinian territories as ‘Palestinian Territories’? But yes! They have!
I think the time’s come for a full boycot of this invidious company. Next thing you know, they’ll be labelling part of Britain as ‘India’!
- UK Human Rights Blog: Judicial Review is not part of a vast left wing conspiracy – very persuasive article about why the government of a democratic state shouldn’t be allowed to do whatever they want free from any oversight by citizens or judges (pity it had to be written though).
- BBC News: Woman with 19-syllable name wins driving licence battle – “‘No-one ever gets away with chopping my name without hearing about it,’ Janice Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele told our reporter.”
- Clive Lawton: Jonah the Prophet – now that Yom Kippur’s over, a more light-hearted look at the Book of Jonah… “Chapter 1, talks to God. Chapter 2, in the fish. Chapter 3, spat out. Chapter 4, pissed off.”
- Jewish Vocal Band: Adon Olam (Cups version) – artfully combining ‘the Cups song’ with that song we all know wot fits to any tune at all.
- The Huffington Post: Whose Chief is it anyway? – a renowned commentator with whom I think you’ll all be familiar gives their view on the direction the new Chief Rabbi should take.