Plymouth, Politics and a Television Adventurer

Plymouth was in the news this week for all the wrong reasons A local ‘nutcase’ ran amok with a shotgun, killing his mother first then four totally innocent strangers. It was sad to see the pictures of the dad and his adopted three-year-old daughter who were murdered by Jake Davison, the gunman but why on earth was this man allowed a gun licence when his crazed, daily online activities were well known?

It is many decades since I pounded Gloucestershire pavements, but in those days – the early sixties – stringent background checks were carried out on all applicants for firearm certificates. These days it seems that coppers are too busy prosecuting people for misgendering someone on the dreaded Twatter.

Comments made last night by Shaun Sawyer – Devon and Cornwall’s chief constable – that sifting through the videos would infringe on the killer’s rights have sparked fresh calls from MPs for more rigorous background checks before guns are returned. Stable doors and bolting horses immediately spring to mind.

Mr Sawyer told the Sun newspaper: ‘We take and return firearms on a not irregular basis when people have emotional crises or we receive reports from family members, then they can be returned.

‘What we don’t do, because firearms licencing is a lawful thing, is trawl the internet looking at people’s lives. That’s an invasion of privacy.’ 

What mealy-mouthed hypocrisy from a senior police officer!  Social media is a matter of public record. Those posting their rubbish on it – and some of Davison’s clips were quite scary and obviously put out by a bitter and twisted young man – want their stuff to be read or watched. It is a misunderstanding of the concept or an attempt to evade responsibility for this high ranking turnip to suggest that background checks would be invading anybody’s privacy.

Besides, Davison’s mother had already asked both the police and the social services for help but nothing had been done.

Yes, I know that an independent – ish enquiry is to be held and I hope that heads including Mr Sawyer’s will roll but I am not holding my breath. Modern Britain is not like that.

Take last Wednesday for example. Yet another deportation flight to Jamaica was hampered by last-minute legal challenges. Of the fifty criminals and persistent offenders on board, forty three were reprieved and taken off the flight at Stansted airport.

Among their number were at least one murderer and one rapist, while collectively the offenders had been sentenced to two hundred and forty five years in prison.

The Home Office said that all those on board were convicted criminals with no legal right to remain in the UK, while lawyers argued that that many had a claim to British citizenship.

The whole fiasco was no doubt funded by Legal Aid, paid for by you and me. In addition, the charter flight cost three hundred thousand pounds, also funded by the long-suffering British taxpayer. That works out at over forty thousand pounds for each villain actually deported while the others are allowed to continue with that lives of criminality.

Instead of ‘fuming’, why doesn’t Home Secretary Pritstick Patel close the loophole that allows these last-minute appeals? Because it seems to me that those who break the law are then saved by the law. We can’t get rid of foreign-born offenders who commit crimes on British soil and we can’t stop foreigners entering the country illegally.

Can you imagine this happening in America or anywhere else for that matter? It is surely time that Bunter J and his pathetic desk jockeys got a grip. What a joke they have so rapidly become.

I have to admit that I enjoyed reading the transcript of Gavin Williamson’s interview with LBC’s Nick Ferrari on the day that students received their A-level results. A glorious moment, surely, for any Education Secretary to take to the airwaves!

What could possibly go wrong? Absolutely everything I am afraid. Williamson was as always, a disaster waiting to happen and matters turned farcical when Ferrari innocently asked the Education Secretary about his own A-level results. What grades did he receive?

Gavin waxed lyrical about his ‘dreams of doing social science at Bradford University’. He remembered ‘getting the envelope, opening up the envelope and feeling absolute delight’ – but would not reveal his grades.

‘Why won’t you tell me, is it a state secret?’ asked the bemused host.

Apparently, Williamson ‘forgot’ his grades. Balderdash. Nobody forgets their major exam results – not even me and mine were handed out sixty years ago.

Still, whatever his grades, Williamson remains an inspiration for schoolchildren everywhere. He is living proof that you can be a complete numbskull and still attain high office – provided you have a terrified twit in charge.

I am not a great follower of television adventurers, among whom Bear (is that really his name I wonder?) Grylls is the foremost modern example. Yet even in this ever so precious age, I was horrified by the shocked outcry among his followers when he shared a video of his eighteen year old son BASE jumping off an Italian cliff.

Grylls posted a clip of his eldest son’s adventures on his Instagram page earlier this week, which showed the teenager throwing himself from an enormous cliff and into the air. Nothing wrong with that surely? The boy was having fun.

But many of his fans were left stunned by the clip, with one writing: ‘I would be horrified if my son did that, you are truly a braver man than I.’

I think you should try getting out a bit more Sir. 

Yes, BASE jumping is a dangerous recreational sport that involves parachuting from a stationary point. ‘BASE’ is apparently an acronym that stands for categories one can jump from – building, antenna, span, and earth. 

Sharing the post online, Bear wrote:  ‘Jesse is now 18 and his own man, ready for life.’ And long may he live it to the full Mr Grylls.

When our ‘revered leader’ travelled up to Scotland a week or two ago, the police up there named a mission to guard him as Operation Bunter, but later scrapped the name over fears it would offend him.

What rubbish: the man is a rotund, untruthful buffoon, exactly like the original, Billy Bunter and I will certainly continue calling him by that name.

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