Tag Archives: London

Murder – A Depressing Subject

I’m feeling very right wing today.

The murder rate in London is, I’m told, higher than the murder rate in New York. Of course, that’s just according to some papers; other papers actually looked at the figures.

It seems that the two cities are very close in total murders, with New York actually two ahead. However, it also seems that this is just based on the first few months of this year. This is not, as anyone with half a brain will tell you, statistically significant. So, if you can’t draw any useful conclusions from the figures what can you do?

Well, I suspect you can draw some useful conclusions about journalists and their approach to statistics when pursuing a story.

You can probably also draw some conclusions about a rise in the London murder rate and the necessity to do something about it.

There are plenty of statistics out there if you want them. I could discuss them at length, but if I did I might send people to sleep.

However, you might like to think about a few facts.

 

London is quite a safe city.

New York, after much work from the police, is also quite a safe city.

Teenagers are not the only victims, so talk of better youth facilities, whilst well-meant, won’t solve the problem.There are no easy answers.

Everybody has a choice – they are not forced to pick up a gun or knife before they leave the house.

Punishment doesn’t reduce crime, though hanging clearly prevents re-offending. Assuming you hang the right people.

You can’t believe everything you read in the papers.

You definitely can’t believe anything in this blog, which is just the view of one grumpy old man with firm ideas about personal responsibility and the decline of modern society.

Every murder is a tragedy for someone and, if that person was going to grow up to cure cancer or stop Global Warming, it’s a tragedy for us all. Any man’s death diminishes me, as Donne says.

And finally, a quote from the Office of National Statistics. “Over one-third of adult male victims…were killed by a friend or acquaintance”.

I don’t know about you, but my definition of “friend” tends to exclude the likelihood of murder.

 

Learn one new thing a day

Not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it before, but someone once told me that if you can learn one new thing a day you will become the wisest person in the world. As a result, I try to learn one or more new things a day. Despite this I can’t help feeling that I’m a long way from being the wisest person in the world. Part of the problem is that the more you know, the more you realise how much you don’t know.

I suppose that’s why they say ignorance is bliss.

On that subject, the farmer is currently showing round the people who will be taking over from us. There are seven days in the week but they need to meet on one of the days that we meet. Talk about rubbing it in. But as I said, ignorance is bliss.

As if that isn’t bad enough, they came and parked near the bird feeders and scared everything off. Humph!

However, back to knowledge.

Gemma wanted to know about baked beans and, as we encourage everyone to do, asked me to check it up on the computer. We covered haricot beans, Boston Baked Beans and Heinz Baked Beans, and during this tour of the net I noticed a link from one of the recipe pages.

The link is to the Boston Molasses Disaster. I’d never heard of it, but in 1919 it killed 21 people. From that page I went to the London Beer Flood. I’d never heard of that either, but in 1814 323,000 gallons of beer escaped from burst tanks, destroyed two houses and killed at least 8 people. I won’t spoil the surprise, so if you are intrigued by the names you can click the link.

The Farmer has now been loaded onto Dave’s van (the cardboard farmer, that is, not the breathing one) and he is off to school too. He was just too tall to fit in the car with Connie, and screwed together too tightly to allow us to dismantle the frame easily. That’s what happens when you ask a mixed group of artists and engineers to make a stand for a piece of cardboard.

We filled the rest of the day with making Christmas cards and I am now, reluctantly, going across to the kitchen to make jam. I really don’t like using the kitchen these days, with all the politics and unpleasantness that it now involves, but it needs to be done and I have no choice…

Later: Jam making went well – it’s all set and washed up now. 🙂