One Flew Over The Hemming’s Nest

Before getting into this I should explain that this particular article was to have been on the subject of the so-called ‘forced caesarian section’ case, which has of course been one of the more prominent news stories of the last few days, and the article was to have focussed on a number of matters I’ve been discussing on Twitter with various people, notably The Heresiarch, in regards to what some may see an discrepancies and/or inconsistencies in the information contained in the two legal rulings relating to this case that have been published to date*. *See Re: AA: Approved judgment of Mr Justice Mostyn (PDF 99kb) and P (A Child) [2013] EW Misc 20 (CC) (01 February 2013) In regards to the role… Read more »

Has Nadine Dorries misled the Standards Committee?

I’m not going to comment directly on the Sunday Mirror’s exclusive story of strange things going on in the heart of Mid Bedfordshire…

Mystery of Nadine Dorries MP, her millionaire landlord and the internet glamour model Controversial Tory MP Nadine Dorries shares her landlord with a Romanian glamour model who seeks out sex on the internet. The maverick politician and I’m A Celebrity star lives in a house owned by Conservative bigwig Andy Rayment, her millionaire business partner. Former local party chairman Mr Rayment, 68, also owns a house occupied by single mum Ramona Ladin, who talks on casual sex website Fling.com about her interest in “experimenting”. Ramona, 26, speaking to the Sunday Mirror yesterday, described Nadine as her “best… Read more »

What Dorries Doesn’t Tell You

Let me take you all the way back to 12th May 2013, the date on which the mainstream media finally got around to noticing that Nadine Dorries MP had failed to declare her earnings from her appearance on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here on the House of Commons Register of Members’ Interests, which was only four days after the Ministry had actually broken this particular story. In response to questions put to her by the Daily Mirror, Dorries had this to say about her failure to register this information with the House of Commons’ authorities:

Asked why she had not ­declared any earnings she said: “I am a backbencher, not a minister. My personal finances are my… Read more »

Sex Selective Abortion and the Public Interest

Okay, time to get back in the saddle after a short break to recharge my batteries and we’ll start, as so often seems to be the case, with abortion and an editorial which finds the Telegraph in somewhat conspiratorial mood:

The decision of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) not to prosecute two abortion doctors who allegedly broke the law by offering gender-specific terminations raises a host of questions that need urgently to be answered. The apparent abuses were exposed by a Daily Telegraph undercover investigation into suggestions that clinics were prepared to offer “sex-selection” abortions to women who were carrying girl foetuses. After an 18-month police investigation, the CPS agreed there was sufficient evidence to bring charges and a realistic… Read more »

Cameron ‘Porn’ Advisor’s website ‘hacked’ – Threatens/Libels Blogger

I’m perhaps one of the last people you’d expect to see stepping up to defend Paul Staines (aka Guido Fawkes) but you’d be wrong because there are principles that come into play whenever a blogger, even one as notorious as Guido, is subjected to an unjustified, hectoring attack by a bullying politician for reasons that have never been better expressed than by the playwright Robert Bolt:

Roper: So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law! More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to do that! More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on… Read more »

MPs’ Pay and the Law of Misleading Averages

By now you’ll surely have seen the that IPSA, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, has recommended that MPs should receive a 9% increase in their pay in 2015/16 which, on top of the 1% increases they’re due to receive in the next two year, will raise the basis gross salary for a backbencher to £74,000 a year from its current figure of £66,366 a year. IPSA have also proposed that from 2015 onwards MP’s pay should be indexed to changes in average earnings and, as justification for this increase, has put forward the argument that since 1980, the amount we pay our backbench MPS has fallen relative to average earnings from 3.16 times the average in 1980 to just 2.7 times the average today. Now when people start taking about… Read more »

On Kier Starmer’s Rape Inquiry

If there is one thing I learned very well back in the days that I worked in and with the Public Sector it’s that once you get above a certain level of seniority, the staff become highly adept at creating unnecessary work purely for the sake of creating the appearance of doing something that might appear important or worthwhile to the general public but which, in reality, serves no other useful purpose. A little over ten years ago, I was involved in the planning and development of what was, for the time, an extremely innovative local public health project; a local health information website. That may not sound like much today, but this was back in days when the vast… Read more »

Polygraph Screening for Sex Offenders: Bad Science, Even Worse Policy

Of the many variations on Martin Niemoller’s famous ‘First they came for…’ speech I’ve seen kicking around the Internet none, so far as I can recall, has ever started with the line ‘First they came for the sex offenders”. As population sub-groups go, it’s difficult to think of many that are less likely to attract any significant levels of public sympathy with ratcheting up the ante to the level of prolific serial killers and murderous despots but nevertheless there are still times when it necessary to speak out on behalf of the basic rights of people that one is instinctively inclined to despise, not least when those rights are to be unjustly and unfairly threatened by the state, as… Read more »

Harriet Harman, the BBC and Those ‘Disappearing’ Female Presenters

A little over a month ago you may recall that there was a bit of a short-lived furore over claims that female TV presenters routinely disappear from our screens once they reach the age of 50. The source of this claim was a Labour Party policy review group with the rather ostentatious title of the “Commission on Older Women” and, more specifically, Labour’s current Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman who, let’s be honest, has more than enough previous form when it comes to statistics abuse to justify checking her figures yourself even if she were to tell you that two plus two equals four. To give a quick recap, the headline claims that appeared just over a month ago in the New… Read more »

How Big Is Online Porn?

I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the last three weeks or so debunking a variety of spurious claims about online porn. Amanda Platell claimed to have watched a child porn video she found using Google, but that proved to be an old commercial porn video in which the female performer was at least 18 years old at the time it was made. The Internet Watch Foundation claimed that 1.5 million people in Britain have ‘stumbled across’ child porn online, but it’s ‘study’ turned out to be nothing more than a dubiously constructed opinion poll and the IWF’s own data shows that around three out of every four web pages reported to it by the public as containing child porn turn… Read more »