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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Westminster Parliamentary By-Election : Clacton (date to be announced) on: August 29, 2014, 06:28:13 pm
Labour's candidate was also a big factor; Ivan Henderson is a beloved figure in Harwich. Which was removed from the seat for the 2010 election. Conservative MP (and candidate in 2001) was a parachuted Scot mostly notable for a failed attempt at chicken running in 1983.
2  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: This on: August 29, 2014, 01:16:32 pm
An excellent couple of posts by someone else now:

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The report does not say that officers were afraid to be accused of racism if they pursued the men. Indeed it states the opposite, that there was no evidence that this was a factor in cases not being investigated.

What it does say is that there were fears within the council of race being identified as a relevant factor in the abuse, which meant that, for example, there was little attempt at engagement with Pakistani-origin residents except in a limited way through the traditional 'community leader' route. This is specified as one of the issues which may have prevented an effective response to the problem, but it was not a cause of the failure to properly investigate in the first place.

I would recommend the short chapter 11 of the report on this topic.

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Your own quotations demonstrate the point. The suggestion is not that complaints were not pursued because of ethnicity (the report finds no evidence for this). It is that the ethnicity of the perpetrators was played down for fear of it being seen as a racial problem. This is a serious failure which undoubtedly prevented an effective response to the crisis but it is not the cause of the original failures to investigate. There is no evidence in the report, and its author does not claim, that the men would have been brought to justice faster had the networks been predominately white.
3  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: This on: August 29, 2014, 01:12:59 pm
And here we go...

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Just had a read through of the report. We can... er... be reasonably sure that 'political correctness' was certainly not the cause of what went wrong...

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Now as Senior Officers come out of the report especially badly, it may be of interest to wonder where many are now. A very quick check of a few names listed towards the end of report show a lot of retirements, but also many with careers elsewhere: Liverpool City Council for example (and formerly of Lancashire and - briefly - Sunderland), and the State of Victoria.

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Also political leadership seems to have been so deferential towards senior officers that you have to wonder whether 'leadership' is even the correct word to use. Not unsurprising, but still miserable reading.

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Why don't you read the report for yourself and find out? Won't take very long and is actually quite well written. Mostly I was put in mind of Gogol.

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Regarding 'political correctness', I would draw particular attention to pages 120 and 121 of the report.

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Except that if you read the report you'll see that that [a claim that what happened was the result of a 'cult of diversity'] was pretty clearly not the issue in Rotherham. The report is presumably extremely uncomfortable reading for devotees of business-as-usual in local government, but for other reasons.

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And the issue would seem to be a general desire to avoid ethnic tensions in the borough - in the context of the period 'community cohesion' can be read euphemism for so many things; from Extreme Right activity to riots - and also to prevent the authority from getting a reputation as racist, which are goals of a very different (and more bureaucratically self-interested: the protection of the reputation of the local authority. Well, good luck with that guys) order to a 'cult of diversity' or 'political correctness' or whatever term of disparagement is currently in vogue.

The report also notes that the abuse of Asian girls was/is certainly underreported and that the authority made no attempt to engage with 'the Asian community' other than via the usual (male, middle aged-to-elderly) channels.

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Note that senior council officers (after a little chat with senior coppers) decided to suppress the critical 2003 report because they did not believe the victims.
4  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: This on: August 29, 2014, 01:04:40 pm
A very thoughtful piece that provides useful context is here.

Key passage:

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The truth is that large numbers of children are and always have been sexually abused in this country. Over a decade ago, the NSPCC conducted a major research programme to try and identify the scale of the problem. They spoke to more than 3,000 18 to 24-year-olds and asked them if they had ever suffered sexual abuse as a child.

Around 1% said they had been sexually abused by a parent or carer, 3% by another relative and 11% by people known but unrelated to them. The figures suggested that in an average group of 10 children in the UK, at least one would have been the victim of sexual abuse.

It was a finding that beggared belief, implying that a million children were being sexually abused at any one time. Faced with incredulity, in 2010 the NSPCC published a second study based on interviews with children and young adults.

Once again, this suggested over 11% of under-18s had experienced contact sexual abuse during their childhood.

I made quite a few posts about this on another forum. Will copy to here in a moment...
5  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Another Chess schism? on: August 29, 2014, 12:30:27 pm
Here we go again...
6  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: How would you have voted in the 2014 Indian General Election? on: August 29, 2014, 10:43:00 am
That would depend on the candidates in whatever constituency I lived in.
7  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Do any regions in Estonia or Latvia want to break away and join Russia? on: August 29, 2014, 10:38:07 am
The Balts actually slaughtered their own Jewish populations before the Germans even passed through.

There were some villages in Lithuania where this is reported to have happened, but it wasn't the general picture, which was more one of an unusually high level of local co-operation in the murders ('unusually high' still does not mean 'everyone').* But there were also people (in all Baltic states) who tried to save their Jewish neighbours, and not a tiny number were killed themselves as a result. There is an issue with what we might euphemistically refer to as 'problematic historical remembrance' in the Baltic states regarding the War and the Holocaust, but that's not an issue unique to them or even to Eastern Europe. Consider Austria or even France.

In any case I don't think the vile actions of some of their grandparents justifies a (hypothetical) Russian invasion today...

*Or was it 'typically high once you ignore Poland?' Depends how you choose to look at things.
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Westminster Parliamentary By-Election : Clacton (date to be announced) on: August 29, 2014, 10:02:48 am
The only people who care about that kind of thing are Sunday newspaper columnists. Admittedly this means that it can't be ruled out entirely.

And, no, there's no chance of a Labour gain. Clacton was mostly in the old Harwich constituency that voted Labour in 1997 and 2001... but these were basically flukes, even for those elections.
9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Westminster Parliamentary By-Election : Clacton (date to be announced) on: August 28, 2014, 05:06:25 pm
Yeah, he can't act like this is Canada.
10  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Official 2014-15 Club Soccer/Football Discussion Thread on: August 28, 2014, 12:31:31 pm
Crappy performance from RBS.

Yeah, fycking bankers. They nearly sank the entire British economy back in 2008.
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Westminster Parliamentary By-Election : Clacton (date to be announced) on: August 28, 2014, 12:23:17 pm
Potential mild amusement: UKIP already have a candidate selected for Clacton (some county councillor).
12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Westminster Parliamentary By-Election : Clacton (date to be announced) on: August 28, 2014, 10:59:57 am
Yeah, I'd be very surprised if the Government actually reacts in that way. Would be totally counterproductive.
13  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Nine year old kills gun instructor with Uzi on: August 28, 2014, 10:36:52 am
The concept of a nine year old with an Uzi (an Uzi!?!?!) is hilarious. As Oscar Wilde said of the death of Little Nell, you'd need a heart of stone not to laugh.
14  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Urk, a town in the Netherlands on: August 28, 2014, 10:34:51 am
The progressive and freedom-loving government of Holland...

When did this happen?
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Westminster Parliamentary By-Election : Clacton (date to be announced) on: August 28, 2014, 10:28:48 am
This is going to be a ridiculous circus of a by-election.
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Westminster Parliamentary By-Election : Clacton (date to be announced) on: August 28, 2014, 10:20:39 am
Owen Patterson?

Paterson is an NFU hack, so, no.
17  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Senate Office of NC Yankee (Healthcare Statement) on: August 27, 2014, 06:12:02 pm

A Letter to Senator NC Yankee

The Reality Or Nothing organisation has placed you on its official target list. You have failed to stand up to the Communist menace because you are a weak and cowardly man, more interested in maintaining your long and sordid political career than in providing much needed opposition to the Communist government. You grovel and simper when you should be fighting back and trying to turn the tide. This is not acceptable. As such, we intend to assassinate you. But first, and to let you know that we are serious, we intend to kill the downtown whore that you have taken to claiming - at social functions at least - as your wife. Civilian deaths are regrettable, but the Communists must be resisted at all costs. Your failure to resist leaves your life as forfeit.

Yours Sincerely,

The Central Committee of the Reality Or Nothing organisation
18  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Office of Senator Cynic: Did We Win?! on: August 27, 2014, 06:05:50 pm

A Letter to Senator Cynic

The Reality Or Nothing organisation has placed you on its official target list. As worthless Communist hack you are a menace to the organisation's goal of a Reality based State. You are a lapdog and a lackey, whipped by your masters in the Politburo to rubber stamp Communist idiocy on a daily basis. You are a man of no consequence and will not be missed. As such, we intend to assassinate you.

Yours Sincerely,

The Central Committee of the Reality Or Nothing organisation
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: New Zealand general election, 20th September 2014 on: August 27, 2014, 01:27:36 pm
Last three polls:

Roy Morgan: Nat 48, Labour 27.5, Greens 11.5, (Left 39),  NZF 6.5, IM 2, MP 1, Con 1, ACT 0.5, UFNZ 0.5
Herald-DigiPoll: Nat 50, Labour 25.2, Greens 13.7, (Left 38.9), NFZ 4.3, Con 2.6, IM 2.1, MP 0.7, ACT 0.6, UFNZ 0.4
3NNR: Nat 45, Labour 26.4, Greens 13.5, (Left 39.9), NZF 6.3, Con 4.6, IM 2.1, UFNZ 0.4, ACT 0.3

Polling in New Zealand has historically tended to overestimate the Nationals and the Greens and to underestimate Labour and the minor parties (this should not be read as a prediction). There is also a tendency for different companies to produce wildly different figures. Additionally it should be noted that Fairfax-Ipsos tends to be very National leaning and that Roy Morgan can be highly volatile.
20  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Is this post racially insensitive? on: August 26, 2014, 01:41:22 pm
Although, and let us be absolutely honest here, a knotted handkerchief on your head is cooler than Fresno.
21  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Imprisoned - A Review on: August 26, 2014, 01:35:37 pm
going after the low-hanging fruit, Al.

Absolutely. Though this is the start of a series, I think.
22  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: August 26, 2014, 01:25:06 pm
Regrettably, yes.
23  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Is this post racially insensitive? on: August 26, 2014, 12:47:10 pm
Yeah, but the term emerged as a replacement for 'slum', which was my point really. Of course in Australia (where they do cities differently) 'inner city' has very different connotations.

Most American big city downtowns (as we call them, not sure if that term is used in the UK)

City centre. Colloquially the usual term is 'town' or 'the city'.
24  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Present Israel-Palestine Conflict Thread on: August 26, 2014, 12:12:23 pm
It's over, apparently.
25  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of coal mining on: August 26, 2014, 12:08:22 pm
The industry that created the modern world, like it or not. No coal, no coke, no steam, no... well, you get the idea. By-products of the industry were also of critical importance to the development of chemistry and medicine. As an industry it was - and what's left of it is - horrible to work in, and over the centuries it has killed a staggeringly high proportion of its workforce (not through pit disasters, as horrific as they are, but through pneumoconiosis). Yet it also provided - and largely because miners generally fought for this - secure, skilled and relatively well paid employment for generations (almost nowhere is this still the case, of course). Miners were at the forefront of trade unionism and socialist politics in many countries, and mining communities had rich cultural lives. The changes to - and very frequently collapse of - the industry have led to social catastrophes. The correct opinion is a deeply conflicted one.

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