There is no right answer.

There has been a court case in America. You may have heard about it. The brief facts are that a man called George Zimmerman shot and killed a teenager called Trayvon Martin. The case is on the internet and in every paper printed and I will not debate the specific detail. I do however have a bit of a problem with what had been said.

I completely understand bias in reporting. The BBC is duty bound to report the news without bias and must be very successful as those on the right complain it is too left-wing and those whose policies lie on the port side naturally enough grumble about starboard bias. The british newspapers have no such problems and are happy to affiliate themselves to whichever side they like. It is with this in mind that I have read over the last few days some of possibly the worst and inflammatory comment pieces I think I have ever read.

One commentator repeatedly calls Trayvon “A child”. The photo they use is of a 14-year-old child. On the night of the incidence Trayvon was 17. Whilst not exactly a full grow adult, he was a six-foot tall teenager. George Zimmerman was repeatedly called a racist and it was suggested that he hunted down and shot Trayvon. Trayvon was repeatedly portrayed as an innocent child who was shot as he walked back from the shops after buying a bag of skittles.

The end result is that the case has erupted in a fury of blame. I believe that the court gave insufficient evidence to convict George Zimmerman and in court you need to be proved guilty. There was sufficient doubts to the jury and they were unconvinced of a guilty verdict.

Many people are using their own agenda to shout their opinions from the rooftops about this case. The race element of the case was brought to the fore as George Zimmerman described Trayvon as “Black”. Well Trayvon was black! The newspapers made a huge amount about this and again all they did was stir the waters as much as they could. One commentator said that from this case it was OK for white people to shoot black people! What nonsense! What piffle!

The case to me was simple. A young man was seen acting suspiciously and the chap who ran his neighbourhood watch got involved. There was at some point a scuffle and a gun was fired. Was it self-defense? there was a court case and it was decided that yes, it was self-defense. Under normal circumstances that should be it. Unfortunately there are people with their own agenda who wish to make political capital out of this.

The end result is the same. A young man has had his life tragically cut short and another man has had his life changed forever. No-one wins and certainly no-one is celebrating.


Sensible People

There are many people in high office. Minister for budget. Minister of foreign office. minister for sports. I have a new minister I would like to propose. Minister of Common Sense.


 At this point, many readers will sigh, look to close their browser with a sad sigh and mutter about “Daily Mail readers”

 Let me explain my motives. I am a bloke. I have hairy armpits and like beer and looking at cars. I also recognise how the world tends to work. I exploded with indignation when I was listening to the radio and a survey conducted by a load of university bods had discovered that the firms that had been given the job of repairing the roads had been exaggerating the time it would take them by as much as 80% to avoid the penalty fines for not finishing on time.

 Really? I mean REALLY! Did it really take a university education to figure that out? No, the person to ask look into that would be a supervisor at a factory. He would ask the question “How long to do the job?” listen to the answer and knock of 50%, make a note and call back then!  The people who had given the original answer would have, very unsurprisingly, given themselves a safety margin. I would. You would. In fact every person who has ever had to do anything to some sort of schedule, ever, would. Rome was not built in a day. The quote was for three days, but it actually took two.

 So, the minister for common sense, what would he do? Well when a case was due in court, he would have a quick look at the case and decide if it was TTP. TTP I hear you say? TTP short for Taking The Urine. Case in point is the 8 years to get rid of  a certain preacher. He arrived in the UK with a false passport, was refused asylum, broke a couple of laws and was found guilty in his absence of a few crimes. Normal people would have cautioned him to be careful that the door did not slam into his bottom on the way out. Not in this case. He was given a house for his family and given benefits to ensure he was a happy chappy. If we had a minister for common sense he would have been given a quick kick on the buttocks and escorted to the closest airport. What actually happened was that the UK taxpayer spent loads of money to ensure that his human rights were not violated.Then the UK taxpayer spent loads of money paying lawyers to take his case to court after court after court. To make sure the whole thing was fair the UK taxpayer paid for the court, the lawyers and the judge. At this point the minister for common sense should have stepped in and apologised to the rich lawyers because the money they could have earned from this case was now not going to be spent and in fact at this point in time, this guy was going to get slung in the direction of “away!”

 So many cases come to the court that should never have seen the light of day. The lawyers love `em! If you are rich, you can afford justice. If you are poor, well the taxpayer will pay for your justice. If you are in the middle, well tough, justice is not for you.

 We need to sort the wheat from the chaff. Perhaps instead of a minister we need a panel made of people who pay tax, can read and perhaps have their feet grounded in real life. That way some of these cases that aggrieve those of us with an ounce of common sense will not enrich lawyers or lead to a million pages of newspaper columns telling us what we already know.