Thursday, August 23, 2007

Learco Chindamo

A few things occur to me as I read about the furore concerning the decision not to deport the killer of Philip Lawrence

1) He's still serving a life sentence. That is the punishment determined by the court when he was convicted in 1996. He is eligible for parole next year, but that is no guarantee of release. Even if he is released then or later on, he will be under license for some time.

2) He was 15 when he committed his crime. That doesn't diminish the seriousness of it, but in my view we should treat young offenders as being likely to be less capable of adult decision-making than, ummm, adults. However, it seems that in the UK we reserve a special kind of hatred for women or children who kill.

3) As eloquent and outspoken as Mrs Lawrence is, that is not a reason to let her decide the punishment. If her husband had not been a nice middle-class headmaster, but say, an asian shopkeeper, would we have a Mrs Patel on the from pages of the tabloids? Doubt it, somehow

4) It wasn't the Human Rights Act, it was the fact that by law EU citizens have freedom of movement, combined with the rules that say you can't deport an EU citizen if they've lived there for more than 10 years (which he'd done at about the time of conviction)

5) Hang on, Dave is leading on this one, right? One of the real complaints is that 12 years was too short a minimum sentence. So who was in government when Chindamo was convicted in 1996? Which party had a whole 17 years of power before then to set sentencing guidelines which would have stopped such a thing happening at all? Here's a clue - Dave is a member of it, and was working for them for part of that time...

A War on Errorism

Some science news. In fact, check out the rest of Tom Hamilton's blog let's be sensible to see how Daily Telegraph pundits who right on education can't tell the difference between 'half' and 'all', and thing that degrees in advanced computing like Artificial Intelligence are useless, how 'Dave' thinks that a bare knuckle fight is a departure from Punch and Judy politics, and the things a wide range of idiots will say.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Crawley hosts a superstar

Tonight at K2, there is a basketball international between Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. Making his d├ębut for GB is Luol Deng, who came to this country as a refugee (or, as the current parlance has it, asylum seeker) from the war in Southern Sudan. In the USA he plays for the Chicago Bulls, one of the top NBA teams, and is in the process of starting a new contract which is worth more than Wayne Rooney's.

It's heartening that he has retained his association with his childhood home, where he started his career, and wants to play for the GB team, it's quite possible that he could easily take US citizenship and try to get into their team, given his talent.

Good luck to the GB team tonight!

[Edit - GB 88 - 59 RoI, with Deng scoring 24 points. Looks like luck wasn't needed, but there's another game tonight (17 August) with a real test against Slovakia next week in Birmingham]