Ed Lines – September 6, 2019

Ed Lines – September 6, 2019

I NEARLY dropped a right clanger on Monday lunchtime in the centre of Batley, when I found myself standing next to two yobs on a motorcycle at the junction of Branch Road and Commercial Street.

The older teenager riding the bike had braked momentarily – neither he nor his pillion passenger, a younger lad, were wearing helmets –  and I reached out to grab the one at the back. As his pal jerked on the throttle I let go, at which the motorbike mounted the pavement, turned and the kid rode it straight at me.

I don’t know if I would have tried to clothes-line him or jump out of the way, because he suddenly swerved to head the wrong way down Branch Road, before circling and heading off up Upper Commercial Street, the pair of them screaming foul-mouthed abuse.

I’d like to think that what I almost attempted was a ‘citizen’s arrest’, but if I had dragged that kid off the back of the motorbike, I suspect we all know what would have happened next – Locky up in front of the magistrates for assaulting a minor, while the little scrote walks away with nothing more than a slapped wrist, if that.

No doubt if ever those two hit a wall at 50mph, or maybe go under the front of a HGV, whichever Batley estate they hail from would be festooned with floral tributes and notes saying “Jonny wor a write good lad, allus good fer a laff”.  

Sorry folks, but ‘Jonny’ or whatever his name is, who delights in making honest people’s lives a nightmare, is a complete waste of oxygen and for my money, the wall or HGV can’t come a moment too soon.

What would probably be better for all concerned, especially with the levels of casual crime being committed in and around our towns right now, is the return of a dedicated police presence, a specified officer or officers whose job is to get to know the people, the places and in no time at all, the low-lives who are running amok.

Given the current chaos in Westminster, the good Lord alone knows if Boris will ever get to deliver his promised 20,000 extra police officers, but the fact that crime detection levels have fallen to an all-time low of just 7.8% is appalling. Only one in nearly 13 crimes solved. Wow.

It’s no wonder kids can ride wild on uninsured motorbikes with impunity. Who’s there to stop them?

This sense of being above or beyond the law isn’t confined to anti-social behaviour. A pal who runs a business in Huddersfield was alerted to a ‘customer’ who owed the company a substantial amount of money. 

When he declined the job, a 4x4 and caravan pulled onto his forecourt and half a dozen big and nasty men descended.

He was told, in no uncertain terms, “I’m a proper effing Irish pikey and you’ll do this job or else…”

What do you do? Call the police? They’re not going to even try to make a threatening behaviour charge stick. They just want the pikeys gone (I haven’t been reported to the Equality and Human Rights Commission for quite some years now, but if those people are happy to self-define in that manner, surely it’s beholden on me to respect their choice?)

But if he challenges them and calls the police, the businessman likely gets a midnight call to say his premises are on fire, or all of his expensive stock has had bats and hammers taken to it – because that’s what happened the last time he had such a run-in. And so, considering his duty of care to his terrified staff he phoned head office for advice – and was told to do the job, which was worth around £1,000.

It grated on him, you can be sure of that. He’s not the type to be bullied, on any level. But what can you do?

That, sadly, is the land we’re living in today.

DON’T ask me to interpret what on earth is going on in the Houses of Parliament. 

These are unprecedented times and the overt power grab by Speaker John Bercow is nothing short of outrageous. If ever a man deserved throwing in the Tower it’s him.

I am honestly clueless about where we go next or in what direction, other than recognising that the battle lines have been drawn – 300-odd MPs versus 17.4 million people (and I suspect that number has grown significantly) who are now impatiently waiting for their opportunity to have another say.

I’ve never been totally convinced by Boris Johnson but in what are existential times for the British nation, if he sticks to his patriotic guns against the EU’s tinpot dictators and their Parliamentary quislings, then he has my wholehearted support.

This enemy within needs sweeping aside, the sooner the better. How exactly that comes about, only time will tell because this really is a conundrum.

Jeremy Corbyn and his MPs clamour repeatedly for a general election – yet they decline one when offered.

They and their Remoaner friends are insistent on passing legislation to prevent Brexit happening (their fixation on ‘no deal’ is as abject a deceit as the Brexiteers’ £350m a week for the NHS) but yet the EU position is that we leave on October 31st. It only requires one of the 27 EU leaders to do Boris a favour, and Brussels can’t extend it.

So what then? Surely the rebels would have to repeal Article 50 – which they all voted to pass? – and that would absolutely betray the referendum result. Either way, sooner or later, their treachery will have to face the public wrath. I hope Paula and Tracy’s CVs are up to date...

I KNOW I have a moan about our (generally) lousy British weather and 2019 will go down as one of the less memorable summers, but you only have to look at the pictures of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas to stop whingeing about a few blustery showers.

The Lockies are shortly heading overseas for a week and I’ve just checked the weather forecast – it is due to ‘vary’ between highs of 28c and 29c with nary a cloud in the sky for a solid seven days. Clearly no-one’s told them I’m on the way.

The olive farmers of Crete can look forward to the heavens opening for half the week...

I’LL wager the doughty souls at Batley Bulldogs will be glad when the 2019 season is over … and it almost is. 

It hasn’t been a great campaign on the field, but that is pretty meaningless when you consider what the Bulldogs family have been through, losing chairman Kevin’s wife Beverley Nicholas, and then suffering the tragic death of young Archie Bruce during the trip to Toulouse.

I’m sure they had second thoughts about staging the traditional end of season awards, but it is going ahead next Wednesday night – as it should. The show must go on, and all that.

Such as anyone can take anything from this year, the £47,496 the club, its members, friends and fans have raised towards breast cancer charities in the memory of Beverley Nicholas is a fantastic testament to everyone involved. 

It’s important not to lose sight of how much good people do. Hats off and well done, every member of the Bulldogs gang. Give yourselves a big pat on the back. 

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