Although, I would point out that I am most certainly not a "Tory blogger" and, in his eagerness to do down the nasty Conservatives, I am surprised that Recess Monkey forgot to point out that I am also an Etonian. Missed opportunity there, methinks!
The other issue is that, in the name of god, I had only gone to the loo! And my bag was not unattended (otherwise I would, obviously, have taken it with me for fear of the light-fingered): it was sitting on the seat beside where I had been sitting, and where my drinking compatriot was also still sitting. He just didn't know that it was mine (even though I had been wearing it around my neck as we walked to the pub after the ASI Next Generation event).
Actually, the police were, as I remember, not too bad: it was the manager who berated me most because she had been clearing out the customers. Of course, waiting until I came back from the loo to identify my bag was, of course, not an option.
Still, it was an experience.
UPDATE: Recess Monkey points out that I was discussing race hate laws. Drunkenly.
Quite by chance, I bumped into a prestigiously lashed Tory Blogger, Devil’s Kitchen who launched into some diatribe about how the British legal system unjustly values more highly “the life of a black man over that of a white man” for reasons based on a spurious misunderstanding of race hate laws.
Katy Newton has commented as follows.
Yes and no. DK may well not have expressed himself with his customary elegance, but - to put the example slightly differently - the British government clearly does think that an old lady who gets punched in the face and called a “white bitch” is more hard done by than an old lady who gets punched in the face and called a “bitch”, or they wouldn’t have bunged an extra few years on the sentence just for the racially aggravated element. Difficult to justify that to the second lady, really, isn’t it?
A racial element has always been an aggravating factor in sentencing and I think that is right, but I for one don’t think that turning a racially aggravated ABH into a different and more serious offence altogether is the way forward. Personally.
I highlighted the same idea, with actual cases, in this post.
If you are a group of Asian men, and you spend a day abusing people of a number of different colours and then kick an innocent white guy to death, after which you shout ""We have killed the white man. That will teach an Englishman to interfere in Paki business" then you have definitely not committed a racially motivated crime. Because, you see, you abused more than one racial group.
If, however, you are a group of white men and you stab both a white man and a black man, killing the latter, then then you have committed a racially motivated crime, OK?
The ludicrous "racial motivation" laws should never, ever have been brought in. It is difficult to determine the true motivation for a murder, but the sentencing should not relect what colour the victim's skin was. All that this does is to increase racial divides: you are, essentially, saying that one person's life is worth more than another.
If you are found guilty of a racially aggravated crime, the maximum sentence is doubled. And, since it is generally the case that only white people get accused of racially-aggravated offences, the justice system is effectively saying that the life of a black or Asian person is worth more than that of a white person. My view doesn't seem very controversial to me (obviously); I'd say that the law, and its application, is though.
But, of course, Recess Monkey has an agenda and that is why he called me a Tory, despite the fact that he should know that I am a libertarian and member of UKIP (i have never actually been a member of the Tories). He is attempting to point out that all Tories are incompetent racists.
But—hey!—it made me laugh.
UPDATE: Hoby is great and should be much feted...
Just to illustrate...