Send in the army: stupid Tory “solutions” to knife crime

Gavin Williamson and Boris Johnson.

Political incorrectness gone mad.

A spate of knife crime is upon us, and the Men Are Having Ideas.

Yes, two of the most ludicrous Tories have come up with two daft “solutions” to the growing rate of violent crime across the country.

With his signature idiot grin, the toy Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has suggested sending in the army. Again.

Ever playing soldiers, he has said the UK’s armed forces “stand ready” to intervene in knife crime, and that military personnel “would always be ready to respond”, while the Ministry of Defence “always stands ready to help any government department”.

Do the Tories not realise they’ve not only cut police numbers, but the defence budget too?

Details, details.

Next up was the former foreign secretary and sinister anti-clown Boris Johnson who used a column in the Daily Mail – the biggest weapon the government knows how to wield – to suggest beefing up stop-and-search powers, calling them “an essential tool of big-city crime fighting”.

Except, of course, they’re not.

While criticising City Hall for pandering to “politically correct squeamishness surrounding stop and search,” Johnson fails to mention that last January Sadiq Khan announced a “significant increase” in police’s use of stop and search and the Met increased its use of stop-and-search last year. Yet the number of arrests it yielded – at 16 per cent – was a lower proportion than in April 2016-March 2017 (17 per cent), and April 2017-March 2018 (19 per cent).

Johnson also mentions New York in the piece, but somehow omits that since police reduced their use of equivalent stop and frisk powers in the city, the murder rate has fallen to a record low.

Getty …read more

Source:: New Statesman

      

Kurtenbach: The Warriors don’t have much time to solve their DeMarcus Cousins conundrum

It wasn’t solely DeMarcus Cousins’ fault that the Warriors lost on Tuesday. To allege as much would be ridiculous.

The Dubs — to a man (well, at least the men that talked) — said after the game that the Warriors’ issue in their 33-point blowout loss was their collective effort.

Indeed, no one can reasonably claim that the Warriors brought it in the blowout — it was another apathetic performance from a team that’s gone through the motions time and time again this regular season.

But given the way the Celtics were effectively targeting Cousins seemingly every time they had the ball, I’m not certain that increased effort would have flipped the script of the game.

It speaks to a larger issue, too: We’re 17 games into this Boogie experiment, and despite a strong start, it’s not working yet.

And there isn’t much time for the Warriors to figure it out before the start of the postseason.

Golden State Warriors’ DeMarcus Cousins (0) exchange words from a distance with Boston Celtics’ Terry Rozier III (12) (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Stephen Curry said after Tuesday’s loss that the Warriors need to “flip the switch” — the first 2019 reference to the phrase made famous last year. Cousins, pushing back at the accusation that he is struggling on defense, said that his shortcomings are merely a product of him trying to adjust to the Warriors’ defensive system.

Both issues are huge need to be sorted in the five weeks remaining in the regular season. The Warriors cannot win a title playing the way they’re playing at the moment, having lost five of their last eight games.

We’ve seen the Warriors “flip the switch” before — they deserve the benefit of the doubt in that area. But Cousins has shown little, if any, progress on the defensive side of the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports

      

First Thoughts: The causes of knife crime and Margaret Thatcher’s missing museum

Police officers are calling for the return of stop-and-search after knife crime reaches an all-time high.

The rise in knife crime has led to demands from police officers, supported by some Tory MPs, for a revival of stop-and-search. “Stop-and-search is at an all-time low and knife crime is at an all-time high,” said Stu Berry, chairman of the Manchester Police Federation, after the fatal stabbing of an A-level pupil at the private Manchester Grammar School (MGS). “This cause and effect isn’t difficult to understand.”

If only it were so simple. As most MGS A-level pupils will know, cause and effect cannot be deduced from a statistical correlation. But the correlation doesn’t exist anyway. Knife murders last surged in the early 2000s and peaked in 2006-07. Stop-and-search peaked in 2008-09. From that year, both stop-and-search and knife killings were at significantly lower levels than they were in the 2000s until a sudden surge in the latter in 2017-18. Labour MPs would prefer to blame Tory austerity policies and cuts in police numbers. But the statistical trends obviously don’t support that school of thought either.

Why do we focus on knives anyway? True, they’re the largest single method of homicide, accounting for between a third and a half of the total. But while grieving for every one of the 285 mostly young people who lost their lives to knife attacks in the year ending March 2018, we could note that murders by blunt instruments are at the lowest ever recorded and that 29 people were shot dead in the same period against 96 in 2001-02.

Conservation project

The Tories’ incompetence isn’t, it seems, confined to their performance in government. They cannot even organise a memorial to their greatest hero since Churchill. A Margaret Thatcher Centre, containing documents and exhibits related to her life, was due …read more

Source:: New Statesman

      

The artist who created the portrait of Meghan Markle as Queen said he had no idea Beyoncé and Jay-Z were planning to use it in their BRIT Awards acceptance speech

beyonce jay z meghan markle brits

A portrait of Meghan Markle as Queen gained worldwide recognition after it was used by Beyoncé and Jay-Z in their filmed BRIT Awards acceptance speech.
The portrait, painted by Tim O’Brien, was originally created for the summer 2018 edition of The Key, the magazine of Meghan’s former college sorority.
O’Brien says he had no idea it was going to be used in Beyonce and Jay-Z’s video — and now the artist joked that he wants to see the painting hung in the Louvre in Paris.

The artist behind the “Queen Meghan” portrait that featured in Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s BRIT Awards acceptance speech has spoken out — and he says he wants to see his painting of the Duchess of Sussex featured in the Louvre.

Tim O’Brien, 54, was originally commissioned to create the “regal” painting for the cover of The Key, the magazine for Meghan’s former Kappa Gamma sorority.

He couldn’t have predicted that it would become famous around the world, like it did after Beyoncé and Jay-Z featured it in their BRITs speech last month.

Unable to be in London to accept the award for Best International Group on February 20, the superstar duo created a video message for their fans where they stood smiling beside the portrait.

O’Brien then shared a screengrab of the speech on his Instagram account, with the caption: “So this happened today.”

…read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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