My last posting of 2011 looks at the top stories on my blog, as given by "Google Stats".
Top of the list is "Lionel Logue and the King's Speech" with (according to Google) 1,121 page views! This is my review of the film, and also some of the background that I discovered researching Lionel Logue. I'd recommend the film if you haven't seen it,
Next on the list is "Tweedledum and Tweedledee", a pre-election post summing up the achievements - or as I saw it lack of achievement - of two Jersey politicians who almost always voted the same way on significant matters. Unlike some bloggers, I regard "the power of the blog" as marginal compared to other media, but it was curious that both of them came more or less bottom in the October elections. The reason, of course, isn't really the blog posting, it's the fact that other voters were not oblivious to the near Trappist lifestyle of those States Members.
"There's No Place Like Home", a transcript of James Thurber's brilliant article, which I posted when taking a break from "News from Nowhere" in the summer. It languished off the scale, then about a month ago, shot to the top, and is still getting hits, Word of mouth is clearly getting out. If you haven't read it, it is a look at a traveler's phrase book - well, the English parts. I defy anyone to read it with a straight face. I wish I could be half as funny as Thurber - he set a high standard. Here's a taster:
Trouble really starts in the canto called `In the Customs Shed.' Here we have: `I cannot open my case.' `I have lost my keys.' `Help me to close this case." I did not know that I had to pay." I don't want to pay so much." I cannot find my porter.' `Have you seen porter 153 ?' That last query is a little master stroke of writing, I think, for in those few words we have a graphic picture of a tourist lost in a jumble of thousands of bags and scores of customs men, looking frantically for one of at least a hundred and fifty-three porters. We feel that the tourist will not find porter 153, and the note of frustration has been struck.
From 2010, "Jersey's Sex Offenders Register - Why the Delay?" comes next. This was a proposition launched in 19th August 2009, carried unanimously on 08 October 2009, and still not in place when I was writing in November 2010. Thankfully we now have the law in place, and it would be interesting to know if some of the suggested costs materialised. There seem not to have been any court challenges, for example, by those on the list. Also while Jersey was putting its own law into place, the UK was moving on with pilot schemes on "Sarah's Law" after the murder of Sarah Payne, which allows significantly at risk members of the public such as single parents to check that they are not entering into a relationship with a listed sex offender. This is now being rolled out across the UK. Jersey, as usual, seems to be lagging behind in this area, and something that should be taken up with the new Council of Ministers.
An example: A single mother meets a man who she likes but is worried that she does not know enough about his background to allow him fully into her family's life. She telephones the local police and requests information about the man. "If the mother is given the information, she will be asked to keep it confidential - and could face civil or criminal action if she does not" The police will check the background of the man because the request has come from a mother - someone who is directly responsible for children. Officers will carry out two checks - a priority check within 24 hours, followed by a more thorough risk assessment which takes longer because it will delve into someone's history. If there is a criminal record, the pilot constabularies say they would use special child protection measures, jointly run by police and probation officers, to work out how best to deal with the suspect. If there is a serious risk, police may also pass on some of this information to the mother - but only if they are convinced that it is necessary and proportionate to protect the children. If the mother is given the information, she will be asked to keep it confidential - and could face civil or criminal action if she does not. If the investigation does not find any record of sexual offences, but does find other worrying behaviour, such as a conviction for domestic violence or intelligence of worrying behaviour, the mother may still be given information to help her protect her family.
Note that scenario could not - at present - happen in Jersey. I think it should.
"Independent Advisory Group - A Comment" - again from 2010, this highlights problems with the chronology of complaints made by the group with regard to Haut de La Garenne investigations.
But on a lighter note, "How to Entertain Without A Maid" looks back on some of the advice given in a cookery book which I obtained second hand. No recipes, I'm afraid, but a window into a past that really seems rather amusing in the way it is written!
John Mbiti's "The Concept of God in Africa" features next. There is a general lack of information about African beliefs, and people have all kinds of vague notions about "primitive religion". This attempts to address the balance. It's from 2007, but is still getting hits.
"RIP: Bob Tilling" has some general information, and some personal memories about Bob Tilling as well as more on his music than was given in local obituaries, and a chance to read one of his music reviews.
"Jersey General Election - Results and Comment" - this one speaks for itself.
"Philip Bailhache and the Roger Holland Affair" deals with the mishaps and general ineptitude that led to a paedophile becoming a member of the honorary police, and remaining so - even after evidence of previous convictions had taken place. It is worth reading, as a warning against complacency which I hope will never happen again.
And that's it - the top listed postings by Google Stats. I'll be doing a retrospective of the year next week, but for now, this is my last blog posting of 2011.
Have a happy New Year!
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