Ched Evans just won’t go away/”sorry” is the hardest word…..

Really interesting blog on the BBC today (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-30697264), Jon Kelly has taken the time to investigate a lot of the myths and stories surrounding Ched Evans and he raises and provide answers to some interesting questions.  The main thrust of the piece is whether or not the general public would have had more sympathy for the man if he had apologised for his actions.  This is something I picked up on when I first blogged on the subject. Apologies go a long way in this world, sometimes apologising for things you don’t think are wrong, but those offended do.

As Jon Kelly says in his piece, Ched Evans obviously believes himself innocent, but what he did was morally wrong.  To argue the toss about whether or not he committed a rape, rather ignores the fact that your moral compass must be severely out of whack if you believe it acceptable to have sex with someone so drunk that they cannot even stand up.  The law doesn’t deal in morals though, only facts.  What you do may be morally wrong (or indeed right) but our laws are not in place to guide us through that morass.  And one persons opinion of what is morally correct will always differs from another’s.

So the argument rages on over whether he should or shouldn’t be employed.  It’s still a bag of snakes whichever way it goes and it still reflects supremely badly on the multitude of people with convictions who have accepted what they did was wrong, have paid the price (in jail time or not) and are trying to move on with their lives.  It serves to keep the discussion alive I suppose, but to use a good old football analogy, not the game of two halves, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to be given the opportunity to work, earn money and look after yourself.  Or do we want all our people with convictions just to survive off the state?

Yarn is on the way….

Rowan woolRowan Yarns wool in Charcoal Heather

Haven’t knitted in a while, although winter is half way through, still time to knock out a woolly pully! Discovered http://www.Ravelry.com and shall be knitting an “England Avenue” cardy, very appropriately named, by Megan Goodacre.  This time next year it might be wearable.  I’ve also, via Ravelry, discovered a second pattern and decided that after I’ve flummoxed this one, I’ll move onto http://www.skdyarns.net and knit up the gorgeous thing currently called “cable knit jumper in alfa”.  Very nice man sent me a Paypal link super fast and if I purchase the yarn from them (which I will as it is very reasonably priced for 85% Wool, 15% Mohair) then I get the pattern foc – super offer.  And that’s me occupied until 2017 I reckon.

I was in prison and you saw the chance for a cheap story

A blogger after my own heart – lovely piece James Christie, highlighting more sloppy journalism from the Dundee Courier.

James Christie's personal blog

I was disappointed, but not at all surprised, by in the Dundee Courier on 16th December 2014. We were invited to be shocked at the lavish fare on offer to prisoners in local jails. The headline and first sentence set the tone.

“Christmas feast for prisoners doing porridge”

Criminals doing porridge in prisons across Tayside will be treated to lavish Christmas meals with all the trimmings.”

Feast? Lavish? All the trimmings? That is not reporting. It is a verdict, that the prisoners are receiving high quality meals, by implication meals of the standard one would expect in a good restaurant and certainly of a higher standard than they deserve. The article is opinion masquerading as reporting.

The choice of the first word of the article is interesting. Criminals. Yes, prisoners have, by definition, committed a crime. But when should we use that word? While they are engaged in a criminal…

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Bun in the oven

So the bread maker broke - back to the old ways.
So the bread maker broke – back to the old ways.

I do have a bread maker, but last loaf I made ended up as a battered piece of dough, baked in the corner of the bread bucket.  Think something has gone horribly wrong.  Anyway, no worries, in my new world of shedding stuff, I’d be pleased to see the back of it – it takes up too much space in my galley kitchen and if I can make a loaf with just the big mixer, why not.  So it’s in my vicious oven now, getting roasted to within an inch of it’s life.

New Year, New Blog

Or is it a facelift?  I might be saying farewell to a few of my readers (oh, I do make myself laugh), but I’m changing my blog topic.  It’s having a revamp. Instead of berating the world of criminal justice (and it’s still a topic close to my heart), I going to please myself and show to the internet world, what I do in my spare time. I’m only sorry I didn’t start this years ago and could have shown you my attempts at:

  • cricket ball mozzarella cheese – in taste and consistency
  • homemade lingerie you wouldn’t want your enemy to have to wear
  • exploding strawberry wine (however, what remained in the bottle was delicious)
  • the pig carcass wherein I discovered the long lost delicacy of pork chop with kidney attached
  • the cow carcass wherein I discovered the true size of the meaty beast and the necessity of a chest freezer
  • sausage making
  • pig ear boiling
  • air dried ham (fine once I poured boiling water on it to kill the bluebottle lava)
  • the corset making (hmmm let’s not go there)
  • sock making
  • bag making
  • leather glove making (yes, I gave up on that one)
  • small child, embarrassment causing items of clothing (still working on those)
  • bee keeping
  • pasta making
  • chicken losing
  • willow weaving

You name it, if I think “hang on, I could make that”, then plunge in I do.  Anyway, must go now as my breadmaker seems to have broken down so I am mid loaf making.  Might show you a picture as it seems the more piccies the better.

Hope you enjoy and encourage the kids to HAVE A GO!

What a lovely surprise

I’ve been completely taken by surprise today and have been nominated for a “One Lovely Blog Award”.  My fellow, but more regular blogger, Susan Grossey, who is the author of several books on financial crime and money laundering, kindly nominated me.  Susan thought of me after she received a nomination for her historical fiction site http://susangrossey.wordpress.com.  I must admit, that I became aware of Susan’s brilliant blog www.ihatemoneylaundering.wordpress.com when I felt it was my place to leap to the defence of some (I emphasize some) white collar criminals!  Susan graciously accepted my comment and I’ve followed her ever since!

As Susan rightly points out, my blogs are not so regular now – I find it difficult to find the time now I’m no longer at home alone after work, but that is a good thing.  I’ll try to change that, but for now, just a big thank you to Susan and, to abide by the rules of the nomination, I have some tasks to do:

I must:

  • Post the award logo on your blog – when Susan sends me the link and I discover how to do so.
  • Share seven interesting facts about yourself – oh dear, I’ll do my best.
  • Pass the award on by nominating other bloggers.

I’m going to put my nominations first, in the hope that you won’t bother scrolling down to ready my interesting facts (cunning….).

I would like to nominate:

https://christopherstacey.wordpress.com – Christopher shares his views and news about criminal records, social inclusion and the voluntary sector on his blog.  He has more interesting things to say than me given his work for Unlock.

I’d also nominate Frances Crook at  http://www.howardleague.org/francescrookblog for an award, but am not sure if this link is only reserved for WordPress blogs!  And I’m afraid to admit I can’t think of any other blogs that I regularly follow.

However, my interesting facts are:

  1. I’m learning Argentine Tango (but I hate Strictly Come…..)
  2. I know that a full bladder can fill a large coffee jar.
  3. I cheated in the egg and spoon race at Junior School
  4. My inside leg measurement used to be the same as my hip size.
  5. I have a fear of spontaneous combustion – not me, but talking to someone, seeing a blinding light and only a leg and shoe remains.
  6. I don’t like lifts – when the doors open I expect to see a corpse inside.
  7. I never, ever believe what I read. And you shouldn’t either.

Can an offender ever be allowed to rehabilitate?

I’ve been thinking again about rehabilitation of offenders, especially in light of the furore surrounding Ched Evens.  This is a really difficult subject and other commentators have pointed out the lack of “rehabilitation” following Evens’ release.  It highlights a familiar aspect of having a criminal record – that you are punished once by the law, then a second time by society who will shun your reintegration.  So what then is the point of sending someone to prison?  At the outset I should say that I think Ched Evens does himself no favours by showing either no remorse, or, if he feels that it is not appropriate to his case, no sensitivity to the victims of rape – which surely any decent person would do.  But I do question some of the comments I have read surrounding the case.

If you serve a prison sentence, part of the time you spend inside is supposed to be devoted to your rehabilitation.  If you rehabilitate, are you still branded a criminal on your release?  On your release, why can’t you not return to your chosen profession?  If you cannot return to your chosen profession, how are you going to make ends meet?  Is it a requirement of an ex-offender to forever eat humble pie and don sackcloth and ashes?  It may be unpalatable to society, but if you want to treat ex-offenders as pariahs, then save the tax-payer money (housing benefit, job-seekers allowance etc) and bring back capital punishment – for all offences.

Is it the crime Ched Evens committed or is it his lack of remorse (and I chose my words carefully as I read the facts surrounding the case on https://www.crimeline.info/case/r-v-ched-evans-chedwyn-evans).  I read on the BBC web site that “Jessica Ennis-Hill wants her name to be removed from a stand named after her by Sheffield United if the club offers convicted rapist Ched Evans a contract”.  She is quoted as saying “Those in positions of influence should respect the role they play in young people’s lives and set a good example. If Evans was to be re-signed by the club it would completely contradict these beliefs.”  But what would her opinion be if he had served his time, had been released and had demonstrated total remorse for his actions?  He could use his status as a person of “influence” to urge others not to make the same gross errors of judgement that have been attributed to him.  Would that be enough to allow a young man to continue in what is, by comparison, a very short career.  Does it hurt society so much to see an ex-offender earn money?

I also question Ms Ennis-Hill’s idea that sports people should set a good example – sport like every walk of life, is sprinkled with wife beaters, tax evaders, motoring offenders, thieves and thugs.  It would be a lovely world if we all, sports people included, set a good example.  But if we do commit an offence and serve our time, I would like society to act with the same vigour and allow offenders to be punished and then to rehabilitate and ultimately to re-join society.

And you might find the following facts pertinent.  Some 25 years ago, I got myself into a situation where a guy played on a really, really bad day I’d had at the office and plied me with alcohol for the sole reason of getting me drunk so he could sleep with me.  It worked, I awoke from a drunken stupor to find him on top of me in my bed.  He felt it was a conquest, I felt mortified that I’d allowed myself to get into that situation.  No-one apart from my sister knew about the event and I had to move on as going to the police in those days just wasn’t an option.  So I find myself in the invidious position of seeing both sides of the argument.