Apparently a judge has said that calling a New Zealander, a stupid, fat Aussie is racial abuse. It’s here in the Australian.
I belong to an Internet forum about Visual Basic and sometimes, the banter between Aussies and Kiwis has got a bit fruity, with frequent references to sheep. Although, it hasn’t happened for some time!
I’ve also been involved in lots of banter with Aussies, that you wouldn’t have used with some nationalities as they are much more sensitive.
Then he shouldn’t have beaten his wife. It’s here in the Telegraph.
There is a story in the Standard last night entitled Tantrum of the Opera. A Twickenham housewife tweeted to her friend that although she had seen the musical eighty times, she couldn’t stand the star. It has now developed into a full-blooded row.
I would make three conclusions from this.
In the first place the comment was only tweeted to a friend and thus the star is being a bit over the top.
Secondly, the lady has seen the musical eighty times, and so as she is effectively paying some of the star’s wages, she deserves a little respect.
Lastly, if I was producing a musical, I know someone, who I wouldn’t be employing.
They were also discussing another case on BBC Breakfast this morning, where someone made a comment about an X-Factor contestant. She has now suffered months of abuse.
She was possibly a bit unwise to say what she says, but it does illustrate, why you should always be careful what you say on social networking sites. However to abuse the lady and call her all sorts of unwise things in totally wrong.
The sooner we have a high profile case, where one of these so called trolls, gets some time at Her Majesty’s pleasure, the better. It will be interesting to see how much abuse the judge gets.
I have had a bit of abuse in my time over this blog and suspect it was because the post was about an odious foreign government.
Parked dubiously and possibly illegally at Upper Street tonight was a rather flash car with the number plate BF followed by a few digits.
To my father, this would have been appropriate as BF were used as a term of abuse by his generation.
In the previous post, I said that commercial pressures and the fact that most of the social networking and other companies are outside the jurisdiction of the UK and the EU, will make it very difficult to enforce any proper reporting of abuse.
But we can do something.
Take Sunday morning. I was driving out of Cambridge, when a guy in a very large 4×4 pulled out on me. He just didn’t look and if there had been anything coming the other way, I would had the choice of hitting his vehicle side-on or the other vehicle head-on. Luckily, there wasn’t any traffic and I passed easily.
I did shake my head at him and he took offence. So as I drove out of the city in a queue of traffic at the legal limit, he was about a couple of metres from my back bumper. This behaviour continued on the A14, until I was able to let him go.
We’ve all had things like this happen and they are just too trivial to report. For me life is too short and I have many more important things to do, than waiting in a Police Station to fill in endless forms, that will result in no action at all.
Now, this guy’s behaviour could have been caused by many things. He may have just got out of bed the wrong side, had a row with his girl-friend or more seriously he may have been severely hung over from the night before. One off’s are excusable, but supposing he’s a bad driver all the time and is always driving like this. If it’s the latter he needs to be informed that his behaviour is not acceptable.
I should say that I have a vested interest at this point. A few years before my wife died, she had breast cancer. The cancer appeared at exactly the same spot, as where she had got a bruise from a car air-bag in an accident. (Search various forums and you’ll find other women, who have got breast cancer by say being hit by a ball, whilst playing tennis or squash.) The cause of the accident had been a foreign truck driver. A few months later we believe that the same driver killed an innocent motorist because he was driving outside his hours.
How many near misses had the truck driver had in the UK between the accident with my wife and the killing of the other driver?
What is needed is a site, where driving misbehaviour can be reported? Not a site run by say the transport industry, which only reports compliments, but one run by the Police.
Obviously, the Police would not be able to follow-up every report, but software exists to analyse these reports to identify the worst offenders. (I’ve wrote systems like this so I know!) So if say a vehicle is always cutting up other drivers, then it can be identified. Probably in most cases a simple letter to the keeper of the vehicle would suffice.
But, one thing that has to be born in mind is the fact that often bad drivers, find it impossible to get any insurance and so how many of those reported would be drivers who shouldn’t be on the road for one reason or another. You may think that this a bad link, but the Police have shown that if they stop a driver without valid documents, there is a fifty percent chance a non-motoring offence is being committed.
The system would have to have safeguards, but just as it would identify bad and irresponsible drivers, it would also identify the vindictive, who perhaps constantly report someone for parking outside their house, when they have a perfect right to do so. I’ve heard policemen say that these are sometimes the worst disputes between neighbours.
Properly used such a database would be an asset to everyone, but if it was setup badly, it could be used as a means of abuse.
Over the last few days, we’ve had reports of cyberbullying and problems with social networking sights.
Let’s take the cyberbullying first and I’ll add to that all of the fraudulent scam e-mails that you get trying to extract money from your bank account. The problems may be different, but the solutions are the same.
The government should have a short text message number and a simple e-mail address, where any unwanted message can be sent. These could then be analysed and real abusers located. With say mobile phones, the abuser would just be told to desist and after a second strike their number would be cancelled. The same could be done with e-mail messages too, although here it would be more difficult to cancel addresses as many are outside the jurisdiction. But many of these e-mail scams use UK phone numbers, which can of course be cancelled immediately.
Some would argue that this might be a bit draconian, but I suspect, it would most abusers would quickly take the hind and desist. You won’t stop the foreign crooks and their scams, but hopefully the publicity would mean that there work was less productive.
There is always the point about who pays.
In fact, if done properly, these sort of systems would be self-financing, as there would be reductions in motoring offences, cyberbullying and e-mail fraud.
Unfortunately, Pete’s budget would have to be raided to pay for Paul’s. Governments never do that well!