Monday, December 01, 2008

Iain Dale: Toes Long and Corny as Pikestaffs (Titter Ye Not)

Apparently Iain Dale has knocked off (calm down), rattled off (oops), and generally coaxed into being (oo-er), a neat little column (stop it) for the ever present (behave) lifetime companion (give over) that is Comment is Free. This concerns Damian Green's "justifiable rage" (sic) at being referred to as "grooming" his source.

Sigh! Oh for goodness sake Iain, and you Damian, DO GROW UP! Just because "an internet dictionary" (unspecified) has one definition of "grooming" that relates to predatory paedophiliac activity does not mean the word is otherwise lost to the language. that would be so, so bloody conservative for words.


Nouns, and that:
1. Certain officers of Royal Household
2. Carer for horses
3. Man in middle usually of wedding picture
4. -'sman e.g. Best Man

Verb, transitive
5. Curry, tend etc of horse
6. Give neat appearance to
7. Prepare as political candidate
8. Prepare for career

From: Middle English meaning "boy"

These are glossed from a trusty 1976 Concise Oxford. Very old hat and charming. In which for example homosexual is only one of four definitions of "Gay", described as "euphem". And ditto just one of eleven for "Queen".

"Grooming" was yet to find its one true meaning at that point in time. Before the dratted Tories took power. And now it's diversifying too. Grooming is the new black. It's everywhere.

But there are EIGHT count 'em reasons NOT to be offended by the use of the word "groom" or "grooming" in connection with the act or the action of encouragement or preparation of a horse or person for their activity.

Seems a bloody excellent word for what Mr Green is supposedly guilty of. Is Iain Dale one of those every-nine-seconds men who can think of nothing but sex? Or sex and smears? Someone whose toes are so bloody long, as the Dutch say, that they are disproportionately easily trodden on?

Hopefully his CiF piece which actually begins "According to an internet dictionary ..." - how can the Guardian let that through? - has some kind of sense of proportion and wasn't overly dramatic and highly strung?

"Male grooming" will never be the same again. It's NOT just sucking up to The Dily Mail.

And the grooming lads at Newmarket are of course spitting feathers. And not from practising biting pillows as their "riders" (sounds a bit naughty) bear down (ditto) on their chargers (ditto) mind.

PS At least there are no broken links in this one.

PHOTOGRAPH: "Bridal Wave TV report how Rebel Rebel are encouraging grooms to stick unusual objects in their tired little buttonholes for increased pre-nuptial fun."

UPDATE 15:26: A fellow commenter at Comment is Free asserts with some corroboration that IT WAS THE TORIES that gave the term "grooming" to the Media, attributed to the police naturally. What a carry on!

UPDATE Tue 00:40: I am SO surprised that Iain's people supressed my comment at CiF. When this whole business is about freedom of information. How very dare they? This is presumably what we must expect from the Tories when they run things? Complete "Stalinism"?


Evan Price said...

When describing an offence, it is necessary to use legal definitions. This is to ensure certainty of understanding as well as certainty of definition - and before you tell me off, I understand that there is overlap between the two.

So far as I can see, 'grooming' someone for another offence is not known as an offence at common law - the only circumstance in which I have been able to find it used is the statutory definition contained in Schedule 15 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 and the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (as amended). It carries certain definition involving communication on at least two occaions and then an intentional meeting and an intended meeting for purposes connencted with sexual offences.

To use the word 'grooming' in relation to other offences (whether statutory or otherwise) may be informative in a journalistic sense, but legally it appears to me to be nonsense!

Everybody Hates Chris said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chris Paul said...

Yes Evan to all that. And amen.

But apart from Iain's rather feeble IMO bleating - itself drawing attention to the supposed offence (as in upset, not law!!) - there is also the content of my update 15:26 and where this must inevitably lead our debate.

That is that the people who reported the word grooming used against Mr Green's name were ... himself and the Tories.

Talk about "going to the danger"! Which I understand as a non-lawyer is a concept that tends to mitigate or annul any damage if the potential plaintiff has in a sense brought things on themselves.

For example a resident in a busy urban area who takes a tenancy over a noisy and late night bar knowingly would have more limited grounds than someone whose moved in before a noise nuisance began.

And there is "voluntae" (sp?) for taking part in dangerous activities even team sports.

Back to the point in hand.

There is some hearsay that police (unidentified) may have used this to Mr Green in who knows what context or word order or at what seniority or with what purpose.

But this is not in any police report or statement or press release or briefing or Q and A that I can find. have you found its use?

Mr Green directly or indirectly, or other Tories reported this usage which would otherwise have remained private and hence subject to a private rebuke perhaps or a complaint maybe or even, for non toddlers, a shrug and a never mind.

It is widely used for a sex offence as you state; it is also widely used whether it is in the legal lexicon or not, in relation to grooming hotheads for terror; and there is no getting away from all the other meanings the words have.

Grooming a leaker, procuring a leak, proactively seeking a supply of leaks, whatever. the suspended civil servant is neither a minor nor a potential islamist terrorist. there really can be no room for thinking anyone was suggesting Green was a sex offender.

This idea of grooming and the false indignation about it were it seems put in the public domain by Green. And now magnified by Dale's self-righteous twaddle.

In a similar way the Green Family seem to have told the Mail that officers looked at Love Letters. Obviously they did. Or they wouldn't be able to discount them. But it is the Greens that have put this out, not the police.

Chris Paul said...

Obviously EHC is now being toasted without reading. Sorry to anyone who enjoys their ramblings. Perhaps they will get their own blog and delight us there?

jailhouselawyer said...

Chris: I note that your comment over at Comment is free (sic) has been removed by a moderator.

Chris Paul said...

Now that's a shame. Why would they do that? Has the boy Iain Dale been indulging in censorship. Is that it?

jailhouselawyer said...

Chris: He deleted one of my comments on his blog, claiming it was an inaccurate interpretation of the Galley/lawyer news conference and potentially libellous. So I did a post saying the same thing and posted the link on another of his posts, this he allowed...

Chris Paul said...

This is why Iain Dale is the Labour Party's Favourite Tory Blogger - LPFTB.

And why the likes of the School of Journalism at University of Luton do well to pay him stupid o'mounts to show off the fact he cannot post a complex blog post of unerring stating the obvious without at least 10 (we say possibly 16) of 31 links, er, broken, er, due to complete and utter incompetence.

And for your information Iain Dale - someone I much admire for marketing success and so on, all those blog readers and all - there is no point in approaching the moderator of this blog to have my comments removed.

For I am that moderator.

How can you be so cowardly Ian Dale, mate?

Did you say my comment or the link was homophobic Iain Dale, matey? You utter unconscionably cowardly twat. Is that it?

If so, that would be libel now wouldn't it, Iain Dale, mate? You would be libelling me, wouldn't you?

FOOTNOTE: Someone please persuade me that my comment was not removed though blogging expert Iain Dale trying to protect his reputation as a blogging expert. For commercial reasons.