Ed Lines – June 29, 2018

Ed Lines – June 29, 2018

PLENTY of beaming sunshine, garden parties and Jo Cox get togethers all over the district, and the European Withdrawal Bill gets signed into law – what’s not to love about Great Britain in flaming June?

Can you imagine the effect on the nation’s psyche, if we could only plan for a few months of proper summer weather every year?

Inflation up? Interest rates and taxes too? Who cares when we’re all splashing out on Ambre Solaire and turning a lovely shade of lobster pink, while the rarely spotted BBQ transforms raw chicken and sausages into crucified portions of the raging trots.

I was watching the weather reports with some envy last weekend, being as I was in Denver, Colorado, to watch England play New Zealand in a ground-breaking Test match on American soil. It was a great, if all-too-brief trip, and although the players baked in 90-plus temperatures, the days either side of the match were quite stormy while back home England sizzled.

Flying back I was full sure the clouds would land about 10 minutes behind me, but nope, it looks like we’re set fair for a while yet. 

I might even get the golf sticks out at this rate.

Still, this is England. Despite the wettest winter since Noah went all ‘animals two-by-two’ what’s the betting that if the weather doesn’t break by next weekend, there will be a hosepipe ban and warnings of stand pipes?

I was going to say ‘I don’t care – I’ll get by on beer’ but apparently we’re heading for an ale shortage due to short supplies of CO2.

Whatever. Chilled white wine will have to suffice, because for my money this weather wants to endure until Christmas and then warm up a bit.

So far (it’s Thursday at 3pm) I haven’t heard anyone complaining that it’s too hot yet. It can only be a matter of time.

On not-too-distant a subject I was taking a gentle walk round Wasinhgton Park in Denver last Saturday morning when a TV news reporter ambushed me with a microphone and a cameraman in tow. What did I think about the city council’s plans to lift the drinking ban in public parks?

I said she clearly knows a beeraholic when she sees one, but I wasn’t local and completely in the dark. Still, it made the main evening news on Channel 7 – even if my quotes were edited completely out of context. 

Flaming journalists, eh?

Still, what a sporting weekend – victories for England at rugby league, union, soccer, cricket and Lewis Hamilton wins the F1. 

As for Germany being knocked out of the World Cup? Laugh? I nearly gave the staff the weekend off. If you have any German friends, just don’t mention the VAR ... boom, boom!

Talk about feelgood factor – all we need now is for England to keep progressing in Russia and the Brexit doom-mongers will find themselves talking to the wall. No-one will care.

Speaking of which, it would have been nice for mass lightning strikes to have ravaged central London last weekend during the Snowflakes’ mass teddy-tantrum, calling for a second referendum, but you can’t have everything. Bad cases of sunburn will have to do.

I find it funny – actually no, I find it infuriating – what the BBC decides to consider ‘news’ given its brazen bias.

Free speech rallies up and down the country, including thousands of people at Speakers Corner and at the gates of Downing Street, are roundly ignored by the Beeb and even newspapers of supposed record like the increasingly left-wing Times, because they are driven by right-of-centre protesters.

Or, as they prefer to describe them, ‘far right thugs’.

At one such march social media was full of images of a Muslim man attacking peaceful protesters with a stick, while police could be seen just yards away, doing their best to ignore it. Could you imagine if the roles were reversed? Feet wouldn’t touch the ground.

Closer to home, the disgraceful, violent scenes outside Frankie’s hamburger joint on Bradford Road took place with uniformed police officers apparently within spitting distance. Arrests? Don’t talk out of your hat.

Perhaps someone someday will explain this craven capitulation better than I can. Or perhaps not.

Maybe they’re just pre-empting possible government policy that would basically abolish prison sentences under 12 months.

Why not? The police have effectively stopped enforcing large tracts of public criminality, except where idiotic serial offenders basically fall into their laps.

I heard a dippy liberal woman on the radio this week saying that prison just turns inmates into repeat offenders.

I preferred the view of media commentator Peter Hitchens who said that by the time courts finally, finally hand out a custodial sentence, the offender has dozens of crimes to their name and is already a serial criminal.

Ergo, prison needs to be tougher and more immediate if it is to work as a deterrent.

Don’t expect such plain common sense to prevail.

IN LIGHT of the second anniversary of the tragic murder of Jo Cox, it’s worth reflecting on the solitary task that faced West Yorkshire Police in its aftermath.

Thomas Mair was swiftly apprehended and his modus operandi established by the simple expedient of studying his internet browsing history at local libraries.

As to how he got the gun he used though – nothing. Zilch. Police know where it was stolen from but not how it got to Mair, a man who didn’t drive and had a very limited social circle. 

Two years on and it’s still a blank. A vital, puzzling one.

As such, you’d think that a journalist who has since gained Mair’s confidence, to the point that the killer is willing to talk to him, would be encouraged by the police and the judiciary, wouldn’t you? To get answers they simply can’t?

But no, the writer has been blocked from seeing Mair by the authorities, thus ensuring no-one can get the answers and explanations so many people would like.

You’d almost think they have something to hide...

I TRY to pay attention to the infernal ramblings emanating from the political pygmies over at Huddersfield Town Hall, but can’t say much of it makes sense.

Conservative leader David Hall’s ‘welcome’ of Labour’s plans to concrete over much of North Kirklees puzzled me briefly. Then it dawned that it probably reflected his relief at the Spen Valley largely escaping scot-free. He didn’t quite say “sod Dewsbury” with the barely believable allocation of 5,500 homes on two sites, but I can’t say he sounded much concerned.

That plan for the cutely titled ‘Dewsbury Riverside’ – I much prefer my monicker of Shariatown – isn’t a homes project, it is literally a new town.

Labour managed to browbeat a planning inspector into rubber stamping their scheme (I think the government is putting the squeeze on these people to shoehorn plans through) but I can’t for the life of me find details about the new schools, roads, health centres and various other infrastructure essentials.

I drove to Thornhill Lees at 4.30pm a couple of Thursdays ago and a one-legged bloke with a sprained ankle would have gotten there faster on foot. Driving through Ravensthorpe at pretty much any time is a nightmare.

I’ve said it before, they’d better plan a helipad in, because getting an ambulance from the back of that dead end all the way to Pinderfields will be fun. You could conceive a bairn and be ready to drop by the time you’d navigated your way to Pinders.

The easy bit has been finally done by Kirklees Labour in getting their plan through. I doubt they’ve bothered thinking about actually delivering it. 

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