I was going to have a rant about the hypcrisy of the media, slavering over the fact that a "poor, defenceless old lady" has been sent to prison for not paying her council tax in full - when that same media has whipped up such a "Laura Norder" frenzy that people have been prevented from going out at night just because they're NOT old ladies.
I'm not quite sure who, exactly, the media is blaming for this situation. The government, for not repealing council tax for over-65s/60s/55s/Daily-Mail-Readers? The council in question for daring to ask for their money? The courts, for upholding the law?
However, Bystander has summed up the situation for more eloquently than I ever could.
So, let's talk about IRA weapons decommissioning instead.
First off - don't get me wrong - I'm no fan of the IRA. I lived in London in the 1980s and early 90s. I'm glad I got out before the current loonies started using suicide bombers. Much harder to spot than a discarded satchel or a semtex-laden rucksack in a litter bin.
Anyway, the IRA have announced that they have decommissioned all their weapons. This has been verified by an independent panel: a Canadian general, a catholic priest and a protestant minister. But the Unionists say they want to see "photographic evidence that all arms have been destroyed".
These unionist politicians seem to have no grasp of the illogicality of what they are asking. How would photographs of some destroyed weapons prove that all the weapons were destroyed? Of course, they wouldn't. And I suspect that if there was some "photographic evidence" the unionists still would not be happy.
Unless someone has a record of the IRA's exact weapons inventory (and I very much doubt that even the IRA knew exactly what it 'owned'), then it is logically and physically impossible to prove that all the weapons have been decommissioned.
I think it's sour grapes. The unionists haven't got what they wanted (a separate Northern Ireland, with no catholics) and they are peeved that Sinn Fein and the IRA have brokered a peace deal with the Irish and UK governments more or less on their own.
It smacks of the same mentality that's happened in Iraq and Iran: "Let's send out an independent body to find out if there are weapons of mass destruction in the bogeyman's country. What? They aren't any? Well, I don't believe you. Let's start a fight anyway!"
When I was at school we had bullies who stole our lunch money. Nowadays they've all grown up and they run countries...