I hate the surrounding area where I live. In fact I'm beginning to hate Birmingham.
Tonight Jack (14) came home, scared witless. A group of a dozen thugs aged 16 - 18 told him and his 13 year old mates to get out of 'their' park or they'd be 'banged'. They then began throwing stones and bricks at Jack and his friends, young kids - including some girls. Jack was terrified.
Just a few months ago some other thugs had set about Jack - one had hit him around the head with a baseball bat after another had punched him in his head (from behind). Jack is a lovely quiet kid who wouldn't say boo to a goose. He's at that vtal stage where he's learning the lessons of life and making the transition from a boy to a man. He doesn't need this.
A year or so ago, Chris and his friends were set on by some druggy tossers in their 20's, punched to the floor and kicked. One of the lads, Jake; 15, a small thin lad was kicked unconscious, these 'men' continued kicking him in to his face and teeth then stealing the phone he had for his birthday.
On Jack's return, I just wasn't having it and decided to sort this out. I just saw red and knew instinctively that I had to do something. This is not the first time vile filth have bullied my son and I wasn't simply going to cower away while tossers like the one pictured above bully their way through life thinking they're untouchable.
Fortunately, on the way to the park I bumped into the copper in the picture - a former marine. He was on a bike. I told him I was going to sort the lads out and wisely he told me to cool off in case I clouted one of them. I'm glad he did to be honest because tempers flared and the crowd of lads turned really nasty.
After a few minutes I could see that there were around 10 lads crowding around the policeman. I went to his aid and I'm glad I did. The imbecile in the picture reeked of cannabis and a fight nearly broke out while the copper attempted to search him and the idiot refused to let him. If you're thinking at this stage why do I have a picture, it's because I took it on my phone, advising the thugs that I was keeping a record. It was a bizarre situation, and luckily on of the lads was trying to stop his mates kicking off while the thick idiot you see pictured turn really nasty. If you're liberally minded enough to think I might need this knob-ends permission for his picture on my blog - sue me. I want everyone to see him, and I would be delighted if you would link to this post, pass it on - email it or do whatever you would like with it. I'd love the picture to go viral so this idiot could be shunned. Sue me, I'll sue you back you bullying vile filth, and I'll act for the copper you assaulted if he would like me to, pro bono (that's free of charge in Latin in case the kid pictured can actually read).
As he began to resist arrest, assault the officer and commit public order offences, the attitude of this young lad staggered me. He was rude, insolent, violent, aggressive and had a foul mouth. Every trade mark of a bully. He was soon put down though and made himself look an absolute and utter knob.
His mates started to join in, until I gave them a running commentary about the offences they were committing while all the time thinking I was going to have to defend myself and this officer. Luckily they listened or things could have turned sour. I seriously thought I was going to have to physically defend this officer and in the process take a kicking, but in all honesty I didn't care. I'm sick of bullies and I will always take a stand against them. But honestly, what is the world coming to, the downright arrogance of these kids, particularly while under arrest was just breathtakingly arrogant.
Despite calling for back up, no one came. The worst thing? Grown men were standing 10 feet away with their kids pretending nothing was happening. They simply closed their eyes to the disgraceful violent thuggery that was being played out. I found that utterly depressing and when I asked them why they weren't helping, they simply turned their faces. Cowards. Society in general just seems to cower in the corner while thugs think they have carte blanche to do whatever they please.
I absolutely cannot stand by with bullying. I hate bullies - no I absolutely despise bullying from the pit of my soul. How anyone can adopt the attitude that you can't intervene because it's dangerous has to be the biggest cowardly cop out. To stand by and ignore what went on is slightly less shameful than an 18 year old and his mates threatening a 13 year old girl and her mates. These animals don't deserve anything less than chokey for an extended period without privileges.
You read stories of folks who've been injured or even killed when standing up to criminals. What should you do then? Crawl under a rock? I'd rather suffer injury than not stand up for my kids. As you read this, I seriously hope you would do the same. To think society in general might act like the cowardly dads at that park in pretending nothing was happening mortifies me.
What should I have done? Patted Jack on his head and told him to stay away? Of course I have told him to stay away, but I wanted him to know he has a dad who cares enough about him to stick up for him. I would do the same again, and again, and again.
The officer, who was a really decent bloke, and did everything in his power to diffuse the situation, receiving a barage of vile language and insults, told me after everything had died down that he was apparently emigrating to Oz in 6 weeks, and desperate to get away from here. Can you blame him?
David Spak - Shotgun The States - The Architect Oka Onubale - Who are you Marilyn Scott - Do you know the way to San Jose Rebecca Haviland - I found you Hollow Horse - I think I made you up inside my head
All music from PMN - the podsafe music network save Hollow Horse which was sourced direct from HH - cheers Ken. I still sing along!
I'm a few months into using my macbook now and thought I'd pen a line as to how I was getting on with it.
It's not rocket science, and, as the strapline goes: 'it just works'.
It does work, and works really well. The email functionality is something I really like. I love the ability to keep your RSS feeds and mail in one place. I'm sure you can do the same on Windows, but this just seems perfect for me because it really is so simple.
When I see a site I like, I immediately subscribe to it by copying the RSS feed and pasting it into the 'file' 'add RSS feeds' tabs. It's dead easy and I love it.
The only bugbear for me is next having to sign into gmail and manually reading the 'unread' mail (currently around 160) over thelast few days / week. Does anyone know if there's a function on gmail to simply say that you can mark all mail as unread?
The mac is great but falls down for me on word procesing. The 'pages' tool is pretty thin and I find that the formatting goes to pot when you export to Word. I'm disappointed in that function.
The ability to manipulate film through imovie is exceptional and I love GarageBand too. Browsing is near identical as I use firefox - I've not made my mind up about Safari.
Apart from that - I've been neglecting the blog recently, which of course is unforgivable! I still use Twitter a lot and love updating that. If you don't use it, try it out. If you do use it, feel free to follow me at www.twitter.com/paulnicholls
I'm working from home today and have set myself a ridiculous mound of work to do. Thank goodness it's Friday. I'm so looking forward to the weekend - and to watching Dr Who with a very excited Harry on my lap!
Watch out for a podcast. I've some exceptional music to play.
Practicing law is a great thing, in fact, you could say it's a vocation, or at least you could have said that.
Working within the parameters of law to further your client's interests can be a very satisfying pursuit, particularly if the stakes are high and the subject matter is interesting.
I love the people contact, meeting them face to face, working through the problem, looking at the angles. I particularly enjoy advocacy.
Today I dealt with an unusual matter where the stakes were high, it involved the cross examination of witnesses and really keeping on my toes.
The sad fact of life is that advocacy doesn't figure to highly in my job. I'm generally sat at my desk, dictating letters, dozens and dozens of them. It's a massive paper chase and the little advocacy there is is usually spoilt by the Case management Conference or Application being held by telephone.
It's a sad fact that today's lawyer's don't get to traipse up to the local county court to bump into all and sundry and have to sit nervously across the desk from the 'learned' District Judge.
Law sadly seems to be more about administration than justice these days.
So, how do I get my fill of advocacy? Yet more exams to convert to the Bar? Hmmmppph.