Travellers (again)

Proposals to create what would be the UK’s longest coastal path have been jeopardised because a group of travellers are objecting to the route of the path passing close to their site, thereby invading their privacy.

A small part of the 1,400km route would pass close to the Rover Way Camp, on the Cardiff stretch of the footpath. “You don’t know what type of person could use it; there could be drug dealers or paedophiles” said Richard Probert, who lives there with his wife and family. Officials from the local authority have rejected  the proposal to build a 5m screen around the camp because “it would be like a prison” and have demanded that the path be removed.

The fact that most people have a public road and a footpath outside ther houses seems to have escaped the travellers and – without wishing to cause offence – why are travellers living in what appears to be a fixed abode when they claim their lifestyle is a nomadic one. How long will it be before hordes of indignant, ordinary Brits demand the same privileges that Travellers now enjoy. Put another way round, does this mean that the hundreds of thousands of old folk that live in retirement caravan parks are actually now classed as Travellers?


Tory at any price?

The Consergvatives have again exposed themselves as ‘little Englanders’. In the vote calling for a referendum about Britain’s membership of the EU,  81 Tory MPs defied the whips, whilst two others actively abstained by voting both ways and a further 12 are known not to have voted.

It has to be said that if the Tory grass roots are so unhappy with our continuing membership of the EU, why don’t they jump ship and vote for UKIP? It is quite ridiculous that they are so wedded to the Conservative ethos that they cannot even vote for the party that has the clearest mandate on the issue.

Whilst Eurosceptics would rather see us completely independent of the EU at any cost, many people wonder how secure their livelihoods will be if we do cut abandon the EU and try to go it alone.

Like a rat from a drain …

Where the rat was found ...

Muammar Qaddafi`s death takes the Arab Spring one crucial stage further on it`s path: This is the first Arab despot to uprooted by force and killed in this wave of uprisings. We can only hope that Libya will now move to democracy without further bloodshed as this pan-continental rebellion is about nothing if it is not about the people giving a mandate by electing a government.

The former ruler of Libya met his end in his home town of Sirte, killed, the National Transitional Council say, with a single bullet to the head, mown down by crossfire after his capture. Few Libyans can have believed the events of the past few months possible.

Reaction has been near-universal – though some may query the circumstances of his death, and many more believe it would have been better had he been tried, few are mourning his grisly end – least of all those who suffered under his regime, victims whose voices we should hear above all others.

The former ruler of Libya met his end in his home town of Sirte, killed, the National Transitional Council say, with a single bullet to the head, mown down by crossfire after his capture.

This war has been different. It is no longer orchestrated by the United States, but has risen from the Libyan people themselves, whilst assisted by the forces of NATO. Considering Qaddafi`s armaments it was wholly justified that the international community should try to prevent the previous regime from committing wholesale slaughter on the people of Libya.

This victory for the ordinary Libyan will spur on the population of Syria and Yemen, who must by now be aware  that their efforts are likely not in vain. Qaddafi is but the first in a line of tyrants that persihed becquse of his own stubborn stupidity. He had the chance to leave his country and he arrogantly rejected the notion.

Confusion surrounds the fate of other members of Gaddafi’s family and inner circle. An NTC representative said up to 17 senior members of the Gaddafi regime have been apprehended or killed. His son Mutassim has been killed but reports say Saif al-Islam has fled.

The irony lies in the fact that he referred to the rebels as `rats` but it is Qaddafi who has been mercilessly slaughtered in a drain under a highway. God, if he exists, certainly works in mysterious ways.

Quote for today

Globe artichokes (Cynara scolymus) are large, architectural perennial plants, which are grown for their large edible flower buds. They are part of the thistle family.

“These things are just plain annoying. After all the trouble you go to, you get about as much actual ‘food’ out of eating an artichoke as you would from licking thirty or forty postage stamps. Have the shrimp cocktail instead.”  MISS PIGGY



A whitewash?


Is this the beginning of the cover up?

Liam Fox has possibly taken the right decision, but for what reason? If he quit because he genuinely feels he did not live up to his own standards, then that is probably the right course of action.

What worries me most of all are comments like the spokesman from the MOD on Radio 4’s ‘PM’ programme today who said that with the Minister’s resignation, “no one is sure if the Cabinet Secretary’s  report will be published now.”

Such a prospect should ring alarm bells. Did Fox resign so that the cover-up begins? Why would the Cabinet Secretary not publish his report? David Cameron must allow this report to become public knowledge, with all the attendant possibilities of a public enquiry. No less thorough a process should be accepted.

The only Fox in England being hunted by hounds ….

Fixed smile ... terrified gays - sorry gaze!

The discussion boards online were working overtime today because of the Liam Fox affair. The Telegraph had the headline:

Liam Fox: sacking me would make David Cameron look weak

to which one wag had replied “Shouldn’t the headline read  ‘Liam Fox: sucking me would make David Cameron look weak’?”

My own contribution was no less wicked as the web page had a video embedded into it. I commented “In the video above … Fox is seen entering the MOD with a caption quote over that says “I’m focusing on Libya” … well we didn’t think he was focusing on Labia …”.

Others commented that the situation with Werritty sucks and yet another suggested “When Werrity was living in Fox’s flat, and he forgot to pay any money to live there, did Fox ever ask “Where’s the rent, boy?” Another, alluding to ministerial red boxes observed “I’ve heard that his wife’s red box hasn’t been used much recently.”

More amusingly, “Dr Fox today declared he has no intention of standing down – and won’t name the guest he had met for drinks when he was burgled”. So the truth is he went out on a bender …

You can see where the argument is going (I hope) and probably where Dr. Fox is going too. He’s the only Fox left in England that is being hunted by hounds.

Weirdly, I have noticed that the Air Force staff officer next to the Defence Secretary appears to have his arm round him giving him a cuddle!

The alarming ‘offence’ of photographing your own daughter?

We all know the story about a Home Secretary who cited a cat as the reason for an immigrant being allowed to stay in the UK, but have you heard the one about – and it’s along the same you couldn’t make this up’ line – a father that took a photo of his infant daughter in a shopping mall only to find himself being questioned by police on the pretext of anti-terrorism law?

... and they didn't charge her with dangerous driving?

A security guard hurriedly approached Chris White whilst he was in the throes of using his phone to take a photo of his 4-year-old daughter after he had bought her an ice cream at Braehead shopping centre, on the outskirts of Glasgow. Mr White claims that the security officer all but ran towards him and threatened him, stating that the photo he had taken of his own child, Hazel, was “illegal”.

Mr White says that he explained  that his young daughter, who by this time was crying, was the only person featured in the photo, but his understandable protest was ignored. The  police were then summoned to the shopping centre and they quickly threatened to confiscate his phone, citing the Terrorism Act, when he refused to delete the photos he had posted on Facebook only minutes before.

But the Terrorism Act does not give officers the right to delete photos or destroy storage media during such a search unless permitted to do so under a court order. As they were powerless to do anything else and their verbal threats had been met with a rebuttal, the police in attendance allowed him to keep the images and no further action was taken.

Clearly incensed following this incident, Mr White said: “I wonder how many shoplifters got away while they were dealing with my act of ‘terrorism’. Surely thousands of people have taken pictures inside shopping centres.”

Superintendent George Nedley of Strathclyde Police confirmed last week’s incident. “My officers attended and gave advice and no further action was taken by the police officers. I can confirm we have received a complaint regarding this incident and one of my officers has spoken to Mr White regarding this.  “As a result, a full review of the circumstances surrounding the incident and the allegations made is underway.” All the Braehead shopping centre management could say was that they sought to “maintain a safe and enjoyable environment” for shoppers. Not so for Mr. White, apparently, who remains shocked and angered by what appears to be an astonishing overreaction to what must come naturally to any parent.

It is quite absurd to find so many instances of a father not being able to take a photo of his own child in a public place. Shopping centres, swimming pools and schools are but a few places where you may find yourself being confronted or even threatened with the law. Is there really nothing better to occupy the time of police officers than this sort of nonsense?