Thus spaketh the immortal St. Bill Hicks after spending a few nights in the town of Shaftesbury, not far from where I live while not studying.
It seems the BBC have been making the same mistakes Bill's friends did, when talking about UK crime levels. According to the BBC robbery is up and making poor citizens lives a misery. In fact, while the article makes certain concessions in places, the whole thing reads like a Daily Mail editorial, only with slightly less frothing and ranting (and no mention of immigrants, which the Mail is utterly obsessed with). The little facts box comes up with impressive and frightening statistics of crime over the last year.
However, if we look at the link to the actual Home Office crime report, it shows that total crime is down 2%, firearms offences are down 8%, vehicle crime is down by 6% and there has been no change in antisocial behaviour and violent robberies statistics. Also, the 5% increase in robbery is mostly teen on teen street crime - nasty, to be certain, but easily rectifiable if police are taken away from paperwork that any civil servant can do and, oh I don't know, put on patrol maybe? I know, a revolutionary idea in policing (coming from a Discordian no less), but it may just be crazy enough to work.
Of course, ever since the Hutton Report, the BBC has essentially been gutted of any people who may try and critically examine government claims or policy, to the point they indulge in bullshit like this to keep people calling out for a more effective police state. Thanks to Anxiety Culture for the story.
In the rest of the world news roundup, US trained deathsquads continue to do the dirty work in Iraq (thats what happens when you concentrate on training numbers and not loyalty among the troops), the Janjaweed are killing little children because no-one cares about Africa enough to send troops, Felix Kulov has taken a leaf out of Ann Coulter's book and Russia continues its quest for hegemony.
I do wonder when everyone is going to start to take notice of Russia again. They've paid off the Soviet era debt and have started to loan money to other countries, they've gained a hell of alot of leverage with the gas issue, Chechnya has become very quiet of late (as genocided people are wont to do), the military is nearly totally professionalized, the Colour Coded revoltions backed by the CIA have been mostly reversed and everyone is still looking at China. With NATO bottled up in Iraq, who is going to stop the Russians rolling into East Ukraine and possibly Belarus? Because they will, with the Ukraine at least (Belarus is basically Russian anyway, its like the Australia of East Europe, so compliance is assured). But nooooooo, China and the Middle East are the problem.
Good grief, just let Iraq collapse into chaos and pull out. It'll fuck the Chinese over by pulling the plug on whatever little oil is making its way out of the country (meaning their economy will suffer and the PLA wont get its shiney weapons) and free up US forces for real threats - Russia, North Korea and anything else that goes horribly wrong between now and whenever.
Urgh, time to stop ranting, I can tell.