Somebody call the sheriff!


Town halls could be used as courts to raise council funds and increase the speed of justice, councils have said. It was the Local Government Association (LGA) who made the suggestion for a government consultation on closing scores of courts across England and Wales.

Must we site some venues of our justice system in what ordinary people will rightly consider to be a political arena? Where are we these days, in the Wild West? Is there no ‘Ryanair-style’ cost cutting measure to which this coalition government will not stoop? Somebody call the sheriff!

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The Pope says ‘sorry’


Pope Benedict XVI has expressed his “deep sorrow” for the “unspeakable crimes” of child abuse within the Catholic Church.

What the Pope fails to understand is that most people do not want his apologies for the abuse. The best way of showing the sincerity of his “deep sorrow” would be for the Vatican to hand all of the files about each case of child abuse to the police in the dioceses where the offences have taken place. Nothing less than this will suffice: Not bringing those priests to justice means that his apology is hollow and serves as a thinly disguised device to let the Church of Rome off the hook.

Papal visit: Cardinal Newman’s ‘miracle’ cure


Part of the Pope’s visit will see the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman because of a ‘miracle’ cure on the spine of Deacon Jack Sullivan after he prayed to the late Cardinal to help him.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the Pope prayed to ask the Cardinal to grown new limbs on all those who have lost them? Surely they are as deserving as the good deacon and his spinal condition? Or are illnesses such as cancer higher on the list than a lost limb or limbs?