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Jon Platt, of ‘Isle of Wight libertarian’ fame, has persuaded the High Court that it was not a criminal offence for him to take his daughter out of school for 10 days so she could have the vital educational experience of, er, visiting a well-known theme park in Florida.
Mr Platt (pictured right) apparently took the view that because Maisie had an overall attendance record of 90%, it would be a severe human rights violation for the Isle of Wight Council to deny her permission to visit Disney World, especially as it is often described as “the happiest place on earth”.
The fact that, had the child’s attendance been even slightly lower she would have been officially classified as a truant was not something, it seems, that he cared to take into account.
But this blog has acquired a vital piece of evidence which was not available to the High Court: the original Disney World advert which persuaded Mr Platt to embark on such a dangerous venture, and to risk the bare necessities of his life…
Over and out
It’s fun to be a Brighton shopkeeper, because the local Business Crime Reduction Partnership offers them the opportunity to rent a walkie-talkie, making it quicker to summon the police in an emergency.
Now, I can’t really fault anyone for what happened next. I would have done exactly the same thing if I’d been given a walkie-talkie with diret access to Sussex Police.
Because, according to the Crime Reduction Partnership’s Facebook page:
We are disapointed to have to remind members, once again, to not swear over the radio. Today we have issued three misuse of radio warning letters due to swearing…
…wait for it…
…and one incident of a user saying, ‘10 points to Gryffindor’.
Media secretary John Whittingdale (pictured right) has unveiled plans to revamp
state control rigorous independent governance of the BBC.
His white paper A BBC For the Future contains a whole basket of measures designed to strengthen the broadcasting giant, including stern action against the rising tide of evil freeloaders watching iPlayer without a TV licence, arbitrary deletion of large swathes of useful information from the BBC website and an end to Test Card F.
Some people have voiced concerns that the plans are designed to curb the BBC and bring it under politicians’ control. To reassure such people, Whittingdale included a section in the document headed “Enshrining independence”. The first sentence in this section read:
The government will provide guidance on content requirements to set clear policy paramaters.
A similarly robust method enshrining of editorial independence was in place at Pravda between 1912 and 1991.
The government also plans to force the BBC to publish details of the pay packets of high-earning stars. Apparently transparency is the name of the game. (Is this the same government taking you to the High Court in order to hush up details of the pay packets of high-earning unelected former Prime Ministers, Gabriel? -Ed.) (Yes. -G)
Voting with one’s feet
A petition to “make it illegal for a company to require women to wear high heels at work” has gained hundreds of thousands of signatures in the last week as voters express their horror at some employers’ sole-destroying practice of forcing female staff to wear painful and sometimes dangerous footwear.
The law says that gender-based clothing requirements are only allowed if they are a fair way of “achieving a legitimate aim”. The aim of the requirement that female receptionists at PricewaterhouseCoopers toe the line and wear high heels is, presumably, ‘the perpetuation of stereotypes’. Someone in a park in Bath even got too much into the spirit of it.
But, of course, no commentary on contemporary gender relations would be complete without reference to Sir George Campbell’s magisterial 1893 publication, Memoirs of My Indian Career. In volume 1, chapter 2, ‘The Sikh Country’, he described how he, sitting as a judge in the Punjab, approached a difficult law which obliged widows to marry the brother of their late husband:
Boris criticised over Eurovision remarks
A second former Mayor of London has been criticised for making offensive remarks about the Nazis. Boris Johnson (pictured left) told reporters that the Eurovision song contest “has the same aims as Hitler had”.
Senior Leave campaigners defended Boris, claiming that there were indeed “marked similarities”. The music event ended on Saturday night with Russia beating Germany, various European states turning their back on Israel, and Swedish leaders remaining ‘neutral’ and failing to stand up for what is right.
The referendum will take place on 23 June. A professional jury will have a 50% say in the outcome.
- Readers who enjoyed this light satire of Euroscepticism will also enjoy this light satire of Euroscepticism, published earlier this week in The Huffington Post.
Security company proves greatest ever security threat
Professional football has survived the IRA, Hillsborough, police corrupion, 9/11, 7/7 and the credit crunch. It’s even been around for longer than the Chilcot Inquiry.
But it’s finally met its match (Not funny. -Ed.) in the form of Security Search Management & Solutions Ltd., a company which – despite supposedly being on ‘our’ side – managed to get the Manchester United v Bournemouth match cancelled at the weekend.
The fake bomb (pictured right), which consisted of an old Nokia sellotaped to a short length of pipe, was planted as part of a training exercise the previous Wednesday, designed to teachstadium staff how to find old Nokias sellotaped to short lengths of pipe.
On Monday, the security company’s director Christopher Reid accepted responsibility for miscounting the number of recovered pipe bombs and accidentally leaving one behind.
Although interestingly he didn’t accept responsibility for the fact that Old Trafford’s newly-trained super-sleuth guards had, er, wandered about the stadium for several days and not noticed the fake bomb lying around – which was, apparently, “not concealed”.
Retired copper Reid also seems pretty vague on security procedures, telling journalists that, on discovering the apparent bomb: “They didn’t need to evacuate the stadium.”
Good work team!
Popular satirical blog Gabrielquotes has featured a story about Eurovision and a story about football all in the same blog post.
Well go to the foot of our stairs…