Thursday, 3 April 2014

The Luddite Girls

Monday, 29 October 2012

Hurricane Sandy hits Amazon

Sometimes revenge sweeps through a town like a hurricane!!!!

Hurricane Sandy has hit Amazon with a vengeance (literally) in this exciting new thriller by Phillipa Braham.

The year is 2024, when criminal trials take place on television, with the verdict decided by public vote. Under this populist system, Sandy's uncle Bobby Jensen was found guilty of raping and murdering his 13-year-old daughter Judith, in the face of overwhelming DNA evidence, despite an alibi. And now he is dead - the victim of an unsuccessful escape attempt planned by his niece.

It was Sandy herself who gave him an alibi at his trial. But the public didn't believe her and she was vilified as a sick perjurer. Now she wants revenge on all the people responsible for uncle Bobby's death... the DNA "expert"... the cop who interrogated Bobby... the DA... and TV personality "Judge Jenny" who is more into stripping than law.

Sandy Hunter is... the Hurricane Sandy!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Hidden Menace - sterotyping Arabs and glamorizing Israelis

The following originally appeared on my website

When Mossad operative Dov Shamir kills an al-Quaida terrorist in London, his face is captured on a webcam, turning a routine elimination into a nightmare.

Branded a “rogue operative” and abandoned by his own people, Dov takes refuge in the home of the one man he can count on to help him – a Palestinian intellectual who was his professor and mentor at the School of Oriental and African Studies where he did his PhD. Though Dov and Rahman are divided by politics, Rahman is a man of immense personal loyalty and a staunch opponent of anything that will bring the Palestinian cause into disrepute (as well as being Dov’s former SCUBA diving partner).

But it becomes particularly important to help when Dov reveals the terrorists’ plan to blow up the sunken wreckage of an old World War II munitions ship packed with high explosives. And when the terrorists ambush them, Dov has to form an uneasy alliance with Salima – Rahman’s feisty and distrustful 24-year-old daughter.

Unable to convince the skeptical authorities that the attack on the ship is anything other than a desperate fabrication by Dov, their only hope is a junior police officer. But he has motives of his own. And with the net closing in on the fleeing Israeli operative, Dov and Salima find themselves caught in a race against time to stop the attack before hundreds of innocent people are killed.

I have to confess that I had reservations about Hidden Menace, because on re-reading, it does seem to stereotype Arabs somewhat. I say "stereotype" rather than "demonize" because the book does have some "good" Arabs too - i.e. those who oppose terrorism. But I still can't escape the feeling that I have created stereotypes and effectively sold my soul to the realms of Hackdom, as it were.

This is not what I am about - normally. I like to think that I possess a modicum of literary sophistication. To this end, I try to avoid stereotypes in my characterization, just as in my use of language I avoid cliches like the plague. On the other hand, controversy sells. Look at good ol' Jeremy Clarkson raising hell by suggesting that public sector workers who go on strike against unilateral attempts to breach the pension provisions of their contracts should be shot. A silly off-the-cuff comment that is quintessentially Jeremy Clarkson. In other words, the kind of low-brow, man-in-the-pub macho talk upon which Clarkson has built his stag-party reputation.

And guess what? All of a sudden, everyone's talking about Jeremy Clarkson just when his star was fading. It seems that just as being outrageous can buy the untalented their proverbial 15 minutes, it can also breathe a new lease of life into the talented but erratic.

And while we're on the subject of talented but erratic, let's get back to talking about me! My new book may not be a literary masterpiece. As with cars that's my other book. But it is what I would call an excellent Velvet Underground piece - in other words, a Loo Read.

And as for that cheap shot at publicity.... well here's my contribution to the debate: Jeremy Clarkson should be shot! Now would somebody kindly report me to the Director of Public Prosecutions - PLEASE!!!!!!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Christmas (commerce) is coming

So with halloween over and Guy Fawkes night almost upon us, we are now entering the Christmas rush, when shops start selling like mad as frantic customers venture out into the cold, dark streets to buy presents for family and friends, big gifts, little gifts, special gifts for that special person and stocking fillers.

A few years ago, a survey showed that the Scots are actually the most generous people in Britain but that Yorkshiremen lived up to their miserly reputation.  Then a couple of years later another survey showed that the people of Yorkshire are the most generous but that the Scots lived up to their reputation.  So is this just a case of you-can-prove-anything-buy-surveys?  Well actually, no.  The surveys contained a lot of useful information once you actually looked at their methodology.

The first survey - in which the Scots came out on top - looked at how much people spent on Christmas presents.  The Scots led the country at £401 (this was quite a few years ago) whereas our friends from Yorkshire averaged a mere £80.  But in the second survey, the basis of comparison was how much they gave to charity.  And here the roles were reversed, with the Yorkshire people showing as the most generous and the Scots coming out as misers.

But this all serves to illustrate a very good point made many years ago by James (the amazing) Randi when he dismissed palmists, astrologers, dowsers, tea leaf readers and phrenologists et al over their alleged ability to discern human traits from unscientific and obviously irrelevant "evidence."  He pointed out that it is meaningless to say that some one is "generous" not only because it was most people want to hear, but also because people can be generous in some respects and mean in others.  The same can be said of intelligent, friendly, courageous, introvert, extrovert or any other human characteristic.

But to return to generosity and Christmas, I would venture to suggest that it is a time when lonely people yearn not for others to be generous, but for the kind of human company that would enable them to be generous - i.e. some one to buy Christmas presents for and some one to go Christmas shopping with.  Of course one can treat oneself to an iPad, iPod or iPhone or an amazon Kindle or any one of the countless gadgets or celebrity books or cookbooks that flood the shops at this time of year.  or even go on a holiday abroad.  But it's not the same as having some one to share it with.

At least if your a Scotsman.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The junkie, the drug-dealer and the innocent man

This is a story about the murder of an innocent, vulnerable man called Kevin Tripp (right), by a heroin-addicted, professional shoplifter and slag called Antoinette Richardson and her career-criminal boyfriend Tony Virasami (below), who has criminal convictions stretching over thirty years for robbery, shoplifting, criminal damage, handling stolen goods, drug dealing and driving offences.

The facts of the case are that on the 10th of June 2008, the slag Antoinette Richardson tried to push in front of a young man called Adam Prendergast and his eight-year-old stepdaughter in a branch of Sainsbury’s. Prendergast chided Richardson for her rude behaviour and she responded like the foul-mouthed slag that she is, calling him a “little tramp.” At this point Prendergast lost his temper and told Richardson to “f*** off out of my face.”

Because Richardson was unused to some one standing up to her, and desperate for revenge against the young man who had not allowed her to get away with her pathetic attempts at bullying and intimidation, she phoned her jungle-savage, junkie boyfriend, Tony Virasami, summoning him to the scene.

When he arrived, she incited him to assault Prendergast. Unfortunately because the drug-addicted Richardson slag had difficulty communicating, the scum-bag Tony Virasami – who has not yet mastered such basic skills as understanding human speech – went up to another man, Kevin Tripp, and struck a vicious, murderous blow to his face, killing him.

After the ugly jungle savage had struck the blow, and while Kevin Tripp lay dying on the ground before her eyes, what did the evil, murderous Antoinette Richardson do? Did she make some effort to give first aid to the man whom she knew to be dying as a result of her malicious incitement? Did she summon help for him. Did she show any remorse or regret? Not a bit of it!

Instead, the cheap little junkie slag called out to her boyfriend that he had got the wrong man and said “We need to find the right guy.” Then, like the spineless backstabbing bitch that she is, she fled the scene, leaving Virasami to face the music for the murder that she had incited. So in addition to being ill-mannered, arrogant and vicious, she is also cowardly and treacherous. Fortunately, she was later arrested by police at her home in Sedgehill Road, Catford.

If you’re thinking that she’s a cheap slag who has forfeited the moral right to life, you’re right.

The victim, Mr Tripp was a good man who left behind him a loving partner and a five year old child.

Now when a person assaults another with the intention of either killing or causing grievous bodily harm and thereby causes death, that person is guilty of murder, not manslaughter. And from the force of the blow it is clear that Virasami INTENDED to cause grievous bodily harm. Therefore Virasami was guilty of murder. Richardson must have known Virasami's strength and by inciting him she was knowingly encouraging him to commit grievous bodily harm. therefore she too is guilty of murder.

Yet for some reason the Crown Prosecution Service allowed Virasami to plead guilty to manslaughter. Worse still, the Richardson slag tried to perjure her way out of it altogether, despite video and witness evidence showing her urging the jungle savage to hit Prendergast. In the event she too was found guilty – but again only of manslaughter.

However, the worst was yet to come. Because the criminal-friendly judge – who could have handed down sentences for life-imprisonment even for manslaughter – sentenced Virasami to only four years and Richardson to only eighteen months. These are the kind of sentence one would give if one were a friend of the criminals. Indeed because of time already served and remission, they were soon out on the streets again. No honest judge could think that such sentences are adequate for the crimes they committed.

It is almost inevitable that such sentences will inevitably encourage similar scum to commit similar crimes. Moreover Richardson and Virasami will be emboldened by these sentences. Indeed those scumbags probably think they have a monopoly on deadly violence. But what goes around comes around. They will soon find out that they don’t.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Richard Silverstein exploits Haitian earthquake victims

Once in a while I like to slum it by reading Richard Silverstein’s attempts to demonize the Jewish state in which he uses the kind of unscrupulous methods that all decent people would rightly find repugnant.  I’ve just fallen into the cesspool of his belief  system yet again, reading an article he wrote on Israel’s prompt and effective disaster relief in Haiti after the earthquake there – relief which apparently bothers Silverstein immensely.  In an article called “The Zionization of Disaster Relief” he subjects his hapless readers to the anti-Zionization of Disaster relief.  That is, he uses an article that is ostensibly about disaster relief in Haiti as a peg on which to hang his anti-Israel beliefs.

Not content with limiting himself to the dishonest accusation that the Jewish state gave this assistance for purely publicity reasons (an accusation that is false but wholly in character for Silverstein) it seems that Silverstein has now set himself up as an expert on aid and has decided for others what is best way to help them – even as he sits on his toochas not actually lifting a finger to help them himself.  Specifically he claimed that in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, portable toilets and digging equipment were needed more urgently than a field hospital and doctors.

The one thing he omitted was evidence to support this assertion.  He also didn’t mention that these other things were also available from other sources more locally based.  Nor did he take into account that the Israeli medical team was dispatched before the situation on the ground was clear.  Under those circumstances, it was only natural that medical aid was deemed to be the highest priority.

Now Silverstein’s defense would no doubt be that he was actually quoting an article by Yoel Donchin, a former Israeli relief worker who by then worked as Director of Patient Safety at Hadassah hospital.

But Silverstein made no effort to interview or read anyone other than this one disgruntled former employee of the Israel army to get anything like a balanced picture.  He simply seized upon words that he knew lent themselves to the demonization of the Jewish state, quoted them freely and looked no further – thereby showing his low regard for the truth and his determination to advance his anti-Israel agenda.

Some facts contained in the article are in fact pro-Israel in their import, but they are so cleverly camouflaged as to effectively negate their pro-Israel connotations.  And of course Silverstein makes sure to avoid pointing this out, although he editorializes freely before and after quoting the article to stir up negative feelings towards the Jewish state.  Take for example the following passage:
“I understood the purpose perfectly when the head of one of the delegations to a disaster zone was asked whether oxygen tanks and a number of doctors could be removed to make room for another TV network’s representatives with their equipment. (With unusual courage, the delegation head refused!)”
So the Israeli head of the delegation refused.  In other words he placed the treatment of the injured above the wishes of the press or any public relations considerations.   But that cuts no ice in the biased eyes of Silverstein or his equally mendacious source.  Because it was “unusual courage.”  So there we have it.  When Israel does good it’s all for the wrong reason and when their behaviour doesn’t confirm the anti-Israel propaganda it’s “unusual.”

And Silverstein doesn’t stop there.  He publishes a comment from a woman claiming that the Israel medical team didn’t even stay a week.  He replies that they stayed 11 days, but does not take her to task for her dishonesty.  He then claims, without offering any evidence, that they would have had to stay longer to make a difference – conveniently ignoring the fact that by then, many others had come.  Next he publishes a comment from another woman claiming that “Zionists have control over the news media.”  This woman is a well-known supportive contributor to Silverstein’s blog noted for her rudeness.  On another occasion she described a Jewish contributor  as having “reptilian skin” without public comment or warning from Silverstein.  In contrast he is quick to warn or ban supporters of the Jewish state who use language that he claims to be impolite, as indeed he did a short while later in the thread about Israeli aid to Haiti.

Finally he allows an off-topic posting accusing Israel of selling arms to the Duvaliers in Haiti (going back a bit).  Why this historical alleged information is any more relevant than weapons sales to other dictators by Arabs or Communists, he doesn’t say.  But let’s not forget that this is the Jewish state and so it suddenly assumes a great relevance to a posting about recent earthquake relief.

And let’s not forget that Silverstein started it off by criticizing Israel for giving medical aid to Haiti.  You can draw the appropriate conclusions about his ethics from that.