Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Naming Suspects

Recently several people suspected of sexual misconduct, but not charged with any offence, have been named by the police at the time of their arrest.

On the other hand two people arrested after their dog killed someone, and several people arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder, were not named.

I suspect the naming of the suspected sex offenders may have been because the police had it in for them but lacked evidence, and hoped accusers would come forward if encouraged - a very dubious proceeding.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

One-upmanship Frustrated

Since the very beginning of the current debate about gay marriage, I've been puzzled by one argument used by those who oppose it. They claim that allowing people of the same sex to marry would reduce the value of marriages between members of the opposite sex.

How could it do that? A marriage is an alliance of two people to symbolise that they plan to live together united by love and companionship. It is something between the two of them and should not be affected by the relationships other couples may have.  Those who fear their marriages might be devalued are using their marriages as status symbols, to assert their supposed superiority to others who are not married.

The wish to sneer at others is a weak foundation for a lifelong partnership.

Something else has occurred to me. Many marriages end in divorce. Do people who consider their marriages superior to gay marriages also consider their divorces superior to gay divorces ?

Sunday, 19 May 2013

The Varieties of Loon

The Oxford Shorter Oxford dictionary says of 'loon'
1, A rogue, scamp ; an idler. A strumpet, concubine.
2. A man of low condition.
3. A boor, lout , clown
4. A boy, lad, youth

Shakespeare's Macbeth called a frightened servant a 'cream faced loon', which suggests 3 or 4, but I'm puzzled by the contemporary  'swivel eyed loon'.

Is 'swivel eyed' meant to assert that the eyes can moved, rather than being fixed in one particular basilisk stare, or does it mean they are constrained to move with only one degree of freedom as opposed to ranging freely over the landscape, and which of senses 1 to 4 best fits Conservative activists ?

Friday, 17 May 2013

Neglected pence

Twice in the last few weeks, the self service machines in Sainsbury's have given me an extra penny change.

I think that's unlikely to be mechanical benevolence and suspect that the previous user didn't bother to collect a penny change.

Perhaps children are no longer taught to look after the pence so that the pounds may look after themselves.