Archive for January, 2010

Regular Slot

I’m pleased to announce that I now have a regular weekly slot on Hospital Radio Swindon. As expected I’ll be presenting a jazz and blues show focusing on album and concert reviews, gig listings and a smattering of great jazz and blues (and the occasional bit of fusion) from across the decades.

It’s great to be back behind the desk again after a long break since my time on URY. I look forward to getting back into the grove with presenting and hopefully moving onto bigger and better radio orientated things in the future.

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Corporate Facebook Fail

Splashed across a banner on the top of the corporate internet home page yesterday was an announcement that my employer had teamed up with Facebook to raise an impressive amount of money for charitable causes and were encouraging employees to get involved. Clicking on the proffered Facebook link I was greeted with a message “Social Networking. Access to social networking sites is forbidden on the corporate network.”

A better example of shooting yourself in the foot I haven’t seen in some considerable time.

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National Trust View

As a member of the National Trust I was delighted to find out that google are placing some of the key National Trust sites on street view. Not only will this increase the exposure of some of the country’s most beautiful vistas but it will also help the prospective visitor who is trying to decide between locations.

If, like me, you enjoy photography, what better way to scope out potential shots than to go there from the comfort of your own home before making the drive!

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It cannot have escaped your attention in the last couple of days that a sentencing hearing has been going on to decide on the period of detention for the two young brothers who brutally attacked and left for dead two young boys in Edlington, South Yorkshire.

Keeping an eye on the news I had rather been hoping that given the serious nature of the crime a long sentence would be passed and that some semblance of my faith in British justice could be restored. Sadly this was not to be the case. What actually happened was both inadequate and disgraceful. The brothers were handed a minimum sentence of 5 years.

To put this in context and thus explain my complete and utter outrage, consider the following. At point of sentencing the bothers are aged 11 and 12 respectively. This means that subject to good behaviour and their managing to persuade the authorities that they pose no danger to society (which considering the failings of social services before the case they are highly likely to be able to do), these violent criminals will once more be free to roam the streets at the ages of 16 and 17. This is of course just in time for them to reach adulthood, their criminal record slate to be wiped clean by the authorities and them to proceed into adult society as if nothing had ever happened.

Can I be the only one who sees something seriously wrong here? Ok, the sentence could be extended given that the term was a minimum one, but do you seriously think that is going to happen? Already we hear cries of blaming the parents, shifting the responsibility. Sure, the parents might carry a portion of blame, sure, prosecute them for abuse if you want, but do not under any circumstances let that detract from the fact that is was the two young brothers who committed this heinous crime. To add insult to injury, they have refused to reveal the identities of these thugs. If an adult had committed this crime they would be named and shamed in the public press and be looking down the barrel of 25 years in jail.

The rationale in treating children differently in criminal court is that society deems them to be less capable of perpetrating the severity of crime that might be carried out by an adult. The problem is that we steadfastly stick to this notion irrespective of the crime commited by the child, this case being a classic example, 5 years vs. the adult 25 years, yet the societal impact of this crime and it’s perpetrators roaming the streets is the same, irrespective of their age.

Seated round the dinner table at the home of a good friend and her family over summer we got onto news and current affairs discussion, in particular about the increasingly violent actions of young people. In putting my views across I coined the phrase “You do the adult crime, you do the adult time”. I received a resounding note of agreement from all in attendance and indeed have continued to do so going forward when I have quoted the phrase to others.

For too long we have merely bemoaned the fact that the balance of power is in the hands of the criminal rather than the law abiding citizen. We have talked for too long. The time for action is now.

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Snow Hits Swindon

I awoke this morning to find half a foot of snow had fallen. After half an hour of snow clearing I managed to get my car out.


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Hair of the Dog

I’m in the pub and have ordered a large steak. The hair of the dog pint of Guinness is already working wonders.


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