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John Burns' Blog

Tin Tin; bank bonuses; wasting police time; films

Published: Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tin Tin
My wife gave me a haircut last night. When I came into the office this morning Ingrid called to me “You look just like Tintin.” Bang goes her bonus. It could have been worse – she could have said I look like Rin Tin Tin.

Just before New Year a woman in south London was mauled to death by a dog. The council and police had been warned previously that this dog was dangerous but, according to a spokesperson, “had no legal grounds to intervene”. I’ve found this here in Kidwelly too when I complained about potentially dangerous dogs. Someone has to be injured before any action is taken.

Bank Bonuses
This morning’s headline is that after months of wrangling, Government Ministers aren’t going to intervene on bankers’ bonuses. What a surprise! As The Independent pointed out, the public own 83% of RBS; don’t the shareholders have control of the business?
The Government is also planning to reduce the bank Bonus Tax introduced by Labour because “an extension of the bonus tax would be self-defeating because bankers would become more skilled at avoiding the tax”. That’s a good one – you could say that about all taxation.

Wasting Police Time
David Cameron has said that the Coalition government is going to make big savings on waste. Easier said than done but what about this for starters? A trial of peace protesters has collapsed because an undercover police officer “went native” and took an active part in the protests. Aside from the civil rights implications of the police spying on peaceful and legal protesters the estimated cost of the police operation was a cool half million a year and it went on for nine years. John Alderson, former Chief Constable of Devon and Somerset actually refused to arrest protesters against a proposed nuclear power station site. His view was that they were peaceful protesters and he wanted to foster and maintain a harmonious relationship between the police and the public.

Last night I just caught the tail end of Newsnight which showed a clip from the film Bullitt. I was mystified until I saw in this morning’s paper that the director Peter Yates had died. He also made a film called The Friends of Eddie Coyle which I had been telling a friend about a few days ago. Another lesser known work was Breaking Away, a coming of age film set in Indiana. I urge you to see it; it’s great fun, I’ve watched it many times and I never tire of it.

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