Sunday, 1 May 2016

Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner Election

Some people would say that electing Police and Crime Commissioners, who need to stump up a deposit of £5,000 in order to stand at all, is needlessly politicising the police service. The post is paid between £70 -100,000 p.a. and we may well ask what these commissioners do to justify the cost.

If they siphon some of that generous salary back into the party that got them elected, then this relatively new system could be a very convenient way of getting more funds into the coffers of the older political parties.

 There are four candidates for the post of Police and Crime Commissioner in Thames Valley.
I sent the same question to all four of them i.e, what are they going to do to address the appalling situation with organised sex-grooming gangs targetting young, underage girls often from the most vulnerable social backgrounds? And how would they reassure us there would be no more cover-ups?

Only two of the candidates replied at all. Laetisia Carter (Labour) sent no response. Nor, so far, has Lea Trainer, the UKIP candidate.
John Howson, the Liberal Democrat candidate, sent a very prompt reply. viz.

Dear Julia,

There are 2 issues here for the PCC and Thames Valley police as a force. These are, dealing with historical sex abuse cases and preventing it happening now, both within families and with strangers. Oxfordshire County Council and TVP have established the Kingfisher Unit to handle current complaints and to ensure that there is training of police, social workers, teachers and NHS staff to detect, refer and in the case of the police take action to investigate cases where there may be sexual exploitation. This is more than many local authorities have achieved, but I am sure there is more that can be done. i think this is an issue all 4 candidates for PCC are concerned about. By way of history, I cannot recall it ever arising during the 2012 PCC election campaign as an issue.

As there is a current trial being held, it is more challenging to comment on historical sex abuse at this time, but lessons have been learnt: most notably that children are children however they present themselves and are not adults and thus should have greater protection under the law.

Oxfordshire's placing of school nurses in all secondary schools and close monitoring of missing persons episodes including during the school day with return interviews afterwards being a routine feature both also help to detect and deter further crimes and provide possible avenues for reporting by young people. But, we do need to be continually vigilant and unlike perhaps sometimes in the past young people must be believed.

I would want to see the same standards employed in Oxfordshire used across the Thames Valley.

John Howson
Liberal Democrat Candidate for
Thames Valley
Police & Crime Commissioner

Twitter; @John4PCC
Facebook: jh4pcc

Printed by TalkTalk Ltd and published and promoted by Neil Fawcett on behalf of John Howson the Liberal Democrat Candidate both of 27 Park End Street Oxford

More tardily I got this reply from Anthony Stansfeld, who is the current PCC for Thames Valley and the Conservative candidate

Dear Julia,

The individuals are alleged to have committed these crimes well before I became PCC. We are dealing with cases that goes back many years, and I am delighted that during my time as PCC past cases are now being brought to court.

The setting up of Multi Agency Safeguarding Hubs (MASH) during my time as PCC has addressed this problem that goes back many years. Also a considerable number of extra officers have been moved to counter this problem since I became PCC. Bringing people to court for these cases should be a cause for satisfaction, not criticism. It is giving the victims of these crimes the justice they deserve.

With best wishes,


Diary of a Nobody: Alexander Masters

The tediously leftie-queer-trannie-obsessed Guardian newspaper has published this long article about how a biographer called Alexander Masters pieced together the life of an unknown person who had discarded 148 diaries in a skip.
I only read this article because someone sent me a link to it, for some reason.
The diaries are so boring he might as well have left them in the skip. Seems the person who wrote them was a woman called Laura who for 25 years had a relationship with a person called "E.". Masters was surprised to find that this relationship was deeply abusive, damaging and cruel, and even more surprised to find that "E" was also a woman.

Laura, writer of the diaries found in a skip by Alexander Masters' friends, watches her biography being printed

The exciting "gay" lifestyle

What is so surprising about lesbians treating each other badly, suffering and enduring long-term misery? Nothing, but it's ironic considering they spend so much time denouncing the "oppressive" relationships women endure at the hands of men.
Mr Masters started out assuming, in politically-correct fashion, that a cruel, abusive lover MUST be a man.

I discovered “I”’s first name from her lover, whom she calls “E” in the diaries. He first crops up when “I” is 19 and has a temporary job at Cambridge public library, but their first meeting occurred five years earlier. He was her private piano teacher: kind, supportive, good enough (he said) to be a concert pianist, and grotesquely irresponsible. He allowed a young girl’s adulation to get out of hand. He is also spiteful, petty-minded and a prig. “I” reports hundreds of his sayings: “E said I am a silly ass”; “E said I am stupid”; “E said I am 14 years old [this written when she was 20]. I am not ripe enough yet”; “E said I was weak in every way.” Over the 25 years of their intense, abusive relationship, he demolished her confidence and ruined her ambitions. In the midst of his relentless attacks, he also gave away her name. “E said I look dreadful”; “E asked (moving a little from me), ‘Are you insane?’” “E said the epitaph on my grave stone will be: ‘Here lies Laura, who did nothing, went nowhere, was loved by nobody.’”

Then finally he stumbles on reality. The mental torture that ruined Laura's life and reduced her to a permanent depressive was done by another woman:

She writes long letters to “E”, and gets terse, pompous replies: “E said I am a weakling. E said there is no place for them in life, they ought to be hung up”; “E said she’s glad she’s not my parents.”
She’s glad? “E” is a woman? It turns out that E stands for Elsa.

To me, unsurprising.

However, Mr Masters seems to have learnt nothing from this long-drawn out exercise in pre-conceptions. Left-wing ideology has demonized men and heterosexuals so successfully that his brain is incapable of questioning it.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Now Will You Believe Me, Andrew?

I wrote to Andrew Smith, my Labour MP, several years ago warning him about the prospect of the NHS being privatised under EU competition laws. He dismissed what I said. I told him EU policy was to insist on a so-called free market (which usually means purchase by massive powerful multi-national corporations) and they intended to enforce this for the provision of all goods and services, which included health services.
He didn't believe me.
I told him there had been a legal case relating to this, and he still didn't believe me.  I think I have still got the letter somewhere where he denied it.
Now Lord Owen, formerly Dr David Owen of the Labour and SDP parties. has spoken out of the same subject. Perhaps Andrew Smith will finally believe it when he hears it from a former member of his own party, who is now a member of the fanatically pro-EU LibDem party, and who is also a medical doctor and a former UK Minister for Health. And guess what, it is even published in the rich lefties' garbage rag The Guardian

It would be too much to hope for an apology from Andrew Smith.

David Owen

 Lord Owen: ‘The legal opinion is very clear that there are a myriad of dangers if health comes under the current TTIP system.’ Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Brexit is necessary to protect NHS from TTIP, says David Owen

Former health secretary claims proposed trade deal between the US and the European Union could make any privatisation irreversible

The NHS will be at risk of further privatisation if Britain stays in the EU because of the major trade deal being negotiated with the US, David Owen will say on Wednesday.
Lord Owen, who was health secretary for Labour in the mid-1970s before co-founding the SDP, said it would be impossible to take the NHS back to its original purpose unless the UK votes to leave in the June referendum.
Speaking to the Guardian, Owen said the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the US could put the NHS in “serious danger” unless there are more special protections to exclude the health service from the terms of the deal.
Under the clause of TTIP that most worries campaigners, US companies will be able to sue governments for pursuing policies that harm their business. A legal opinion commissioned by Unite argues the deal would mean privatisation of elements of the NHS could become irreversible for future governments that want to restore services to public ownership.
“The legal opinion is very clear that there are a myriad of dangers if health comes under the current TTIP system,” Owen said.
“The government could apply for an exclusion but even if we do that we are still left with the problem that the EU has gone more and more into the health service, because as more marketisation comes in there it becomes a greater justification for not treating it as an exception ... such as the insistence on putting more and more out to contract.”
His alarm at the idea of privatisation in the NHS is unlikely to be shared by some of his Vote Leave colleagues on the right. The remain campaign has claimed many leading Brexiteers “spent their political lives championing policies which would destroy the NHS as we know it”.
But in his speech, Owen is due to say: “We are agreed in Vote Leave that, whatever our political views on the present marketisation of the NHS, decisions on the NHS should for the future be for the UK parliament and devolved administrations to take. It should not be for the European commission nor the European parliament.”
He said leaving the EU was the only way to regain control over the NHS and the referendum was now wide open.
“We went through a market, insurance-based health system in the 1920s and 30s. I spent my childhood being told by my father what that was like and why he voted for the NHS in 1948,” Owen said. “All I am saying is I want to be able to vote for the essence of the NHS to come back if we have a government that is not a Conservative one and I would say even that could possibly happen in 2020 although it is obviously more likely to be a longer period.
“We have got no chance whatever of going back unless we get out. Barbara Castle and I disagreed in 1975. I thought the common market would leave the NHS alone but she turned out to be more perceptive than me.”
The Remain campaign replied that "independent experts" had shown Lord Owen to be wrong, but they did not name these "independent experts" or provide any links to their evidence.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Screwtape's Last Letter

My Dear Wormwood,
       Since my retirement it has often seemed to me, looking back on my long career, that the mistake my generation made was to assume that humans were much more intelligent than they actually are. The world is now such a corrupt place that you young devils have got an easy time.
       I went along today to eavesdrop on the Sunday morning service at a church where our arch-enemy, C.S. Lewis, used to attend  - yes, the same man who stole and illegally published our correspondence. (There really should be stricter laws protecting us from such outrage.) The church is called Holy Trinity, Headington Quarry.
       There was an inordinately long sermon by a female vicar named the Reverend Heather Carter. Sermon? Do I call it a sermon? It was not a sermon by any known Christian standards. It was a rambling, self-indulgent boast about how terribly well she is doing in the role of vicar of a nearby parish. She started out by casting aspersions on the behaviour of her predecessor in the job, and having raised a few laughs at his expense, went on to expatiate on how she is doing infinitely better.


She told us a lot of intimate details about members of her congregation, their relationships, their diseases, their history of drug-addiction and so on  - specifiying each of them by name. How wonderfully candid! She found time, between detailed accounts of the rehearsals for her musical shows, and graphic descriptions of her building plans, to tell us that at neighbouring churches babies born to single mothers are "not allowed" to be baptized, a claim I do not believe for a moment.  I wonder how many people in the congregation did believe it. Humans are far less intelligent than we used to imagine.
       Woefully unintelligent too, was her bracketing of "race" (meaning different-looking types of human originating in different parts of the creation) with "sexuality or orientation" so that acceptance of people regardless of skin colour was confused with acceptance of all behaviours. Sin and skin were casually muddled and nobody in the congregation was alert enough to shout out "Fraud!" Along with this sloppy thinking she indulged a prolix self-congratulation for being so confused.
       Have you seen this woman's Twitter account? It proves she is a useful idiot, enlisted on Our Side. She is proclaiming to people that morality is "hate" and must be abolished in favour of every sort of gross immorality as soon as possible. Never assume humans are clever.
       In the prayers at Holy Trinity, the Rev. James Stickings gave ample sign of how far downhill the Church of England has gone since Professor Lewis sat in that pew. His prayers were largely pre-occupied with "climate change", and said nothing at all about the victims of Christian genocide by our loyal followers in Syria and adjacent lands. He did not pray for Christians persecuted in Iran, the USA and countless other countries around the world, nor did he mention victims of terrorist attacks, grooming gangs, natural disasters such as the earthquake in Nepal, epidemics, caste systems, torture, trachoma, guinea worm, or oppressive communist regimes that can bulldoze your house overnight. Instead he prayed for God's wrath on car companies that falsfy their emissions data, and God's help for the degenerate and corrupt, those who are according to him "persecuted for their sexuality". He literally stood up there and prayed to Sod Almighty instead of God Almighty.
       When the Church of England is so wholly won over to Our Side, your lot have certainly got an easy time of it. You might as well retire and join me here. I do advise you however to bring your own laptop as the queues for using this darn machine can be irritatingly long, quite hellish in fact.
                                           Your affectionate uncle,

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Happy Birthday Your Majesty, You're Not a Thief.

Happy Ninetieth Birthday to the Queen. And congratulations on getting such a wonderful present from the Indian government.

The Kohinoor diamond, set in the Maltese Cross at the front of the Queen Mother's crown, on her coffin in Westminster Hall

At last they have admitted that there is no truth in the accusation that the British stole the Koh-i-Noor diamond, the biggest and most impressive jewel in the Queen's Crown.

Britain 'did not steal most famous diamond in Crown Jewels from India'

Andrew Marszal, new delhi 18 APRIL 2016 • 4:43PM

Britain did not steal the most famous diamond in the Crown Jewels from India and should be allowed to keep it, the Indian government said for the first time yesterday.

The 105-carat Kohinoor diamond, which sits in the Tower of London, has been at the heart of a bitter row between India and Britain ever since it was taken from the Punjab and presented to Queen Victoria in 1849, with India consistently pressing for its return.

But India’s solicitor-general appeared to drop his country’s long-standing objection to British ownership yesterday, telling a judge that, in the opinion of the culture ministry, the diamond had not been “forcibly taken” and was a gift.

"Kohinoor cannot be said to be forcibly taken or stolen as it was given by the successors of Maharaja Ranjit Singh to East India Company in 1849 as compensation for helping them in the Sikh wars," said Ranjit Kumar.

The jewel was in the possession of the rulers of Punjab's Sikh Empire when the Anglo-Sikh wars broke out in the late 1840s.

The 105-carat Kohinoor diamond

The East India Company, acting for the British Crown, emerged victorious and had the 10-year-old Maharaja present the jewel to Queen Victoria under the Treaty of Lahore.

 A massive, colourless diamond, the Kohinoor is thought to have been mined in southern India in the 1300s. Over the following centuries it changed hands several times among Mughal emperors, Afghan warlords and Indian Maharajas. Perhaps because of the bloody fates of its many previous owners Kohinoor, which means Mountain of Light, came to be feared as “cursed” for any man who wears it.

Accordingly, it now adorns the queen consort’s crown. India’s top court was yesterday hearing a public petition calling on New Delhi to spell out its policy on the gem.

Mr Kumar cited a 43-year-old law that does not allow the government to bring back antiquities taken out of the country before independence unless they were illegally exported. The reason for the apparent reversal in position was not immediately clear, although Mr Kumar told the court that if India claimed treasures like Kohinoor from other countries, “every other nation will start claiming their items from us”.

The Kohinoor diamond, set in the Maltese Cross at the front of the Queen Mother's crown CREDIT: ROYAL COLLECTION TRUST

The comments bore a remarkable similarity to those of David Cameron during a visit to India in 2010, when he was asked if Britain would ever return the gem.
"If you say yes to one you suddenly find the British Museum would be empty,” said the Prime Minister then. "I think I'm afraid to say, to disappoint all your viewers, it's going to have to stay put."
Pakistan has also claimed ownership of the diamond, arguing that the area of the Punjab from which the jewel was taken lies in present-day Pakistan. Britain has always maintained that the diamond was "legitimately acquired”, and its ownership "non-negotiable."

The solicitor-general's comments were criticised by many Indian campaigners yesterday. “The Kohinoor is the essence of the country. They should bring back to India, it is the responsibly of the central government” said Anthony Raju of the All India Human Rights & Social Justice Front, an NGO.

He went on whinging that the gift had been "looted" ....but then he would, wouldn't he? People like that always do. Wonder why he doesn't campaign to have it sent back to Iran, or Afghanistan, since it came from there before it arrived in the Punjab. India didn't even exist as a political entity in the days of the Mughals.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Still Desperately Seeking Maddie

Millions and millions of pounds have been spent on police investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The search is still ongoing, nine years later. A huge cost has been borne by the tax payers of Britain and of Portugal.  If that money was spent on parenting classes in schools we might begin to see some improvement instead of the dreadful situation we have got today.

I have no sympathy at all for the McCanns.  It seems to me appalling that a couple who are doctors, that is to say educated, professionals in a job where they are supposed to be responsible for other people's lives on a day to day basis, can be so careless and negligent about their own children.

They went on holiday to a resort where there were free babysitting services provided by the management.  Yet they left a baby and a toddler alone in an apartment so that they could go out to dinner with their friends.
I am very sceptical about their story that someone went back to the flat every half hour to check on the children. It's patently ridiculous, and even if they did it is a pointless thing to do. Half an hour is quite long enough for a child to wake up, feel distressed, feel lonely or injure itself.
When I was on holiday with my children, we always took them with us in the evening, or stayed in. We took them in slings, or in pushchairs  - one of those lightweight folding buggies went with us everywhere. Mediterranean culture is very child-centred and there is nothing unusual about babies and toddlers going along with you to a restaurant. If they fall asleep, that's fine too. It goes without saying that you don't leave them alone.
If you want a night out without them, you get a baby-sitter. In fact I never left my children with strangers. Only my mother or a trusted older family friend was ever good enough.

As soon as they realized that Madeleine had disappeared, the McCanns went to the press and announced that she had been "taken". They were histrionic and sought attention, presenting themselves as victims rather than as lousy parents. It seems to me far more likely that Madeleine, who was clearly not a happy child to judge from what her mother wrote about her in the previous months, woke up and escaped from the apartment. The door was probably not locked. If it was, she could have climbed out of a window or fallen out. If she got out safely, she could have wandered in the dark until she fell into the sea, or been run over by a driver who then concealed the evidence.

Sensible people never leave such small children, aged two and three, alone in the house. It's not illegal because it is just such a stupid thing to do. But in today's society commonsense is rare and getting rarer. That is why I think we should introduce parenting classes in schools. Replace the current nonsense that children are taught about "gender" and "sexuality" with firm teaching about marriage, family, and parental responsibilities.  Of course it would be great if TV, internet and cinema promoted those values too  - but that's dreaming.

Danny Boyle 19 APRIL 2016 • 7:39AM

Madeleine McCann could still be found alive after almost a decade, detectives believe, despite the drastic scaling back of the police investigation into her disappearance.

The three-year-old girl went missing from a holiday apartment while on a family holiday in Portugal in May 2007, just days before her fourth birthday.
The hunt for her has continued ever since and, despite efforts by police in the Algarve and a British investigation launched in 2011, no progress has been made in finding her.
Last year, the Metropolitan Police investigation was scaled down from almost 30 officers to just four.
“There is always a possibility that we will find Madeleine and we hope that we will find her alive”
Det Ch Supt Mick Duthie
However, the head of Scotland Yard's homicide squad has insisted there is "always a possibility" Madeleine will be discovered safe, as he justified the ongoing operation.
Detective Chief Superintendent Mick Duthie insisted that the probe is "ongoing" and officers hope to find her alive.
Mr Duthie, who leads Scotland Yard's Homicide and Major Crime Command, told the Evening Standard: "There is ongoing work. There is always a possibility that we will find Madeleine and we hope that we will find her alive.
"That's what we want and that's what the family and the public want and that is why the Home Office continue to fund it. There is work that needs to be done still."
Earlier this month, the Home Office granted the investigation, called Operation Grange, £95,000 to cover another six months of the inquiry.
Mr Duthie told the newspaper that the team will go to the Home Office and ask for more money if they have not finished their inquiries within six months.
He said: "There is a missing girl and if she has been murdered and if we think we have got justifiable and reasonable lines of inquiry to pursue then they should be dealt with."
Video: In 90 seconds, the Madeleine McCann suspects
In February, Madeleine's mother told how she believes her daughter is still in the Algarve because her kidnapper did not take her "a million miles" from their holiday apartment.
There have been thousands of alleged "sightings" of Madeleine worldwide amid theories that she could have been taken out of Portugal to be sold to a childless couple or criminal gang.
However, her mother has said she believes Madeleine most likely never left the country and that the holiday resort is the place where she "feels closest" to her.
Kate McCann believes her daughter Madeleine was not taken far from Praia da Luz in May 2007 CREDIT: PA
Mrs McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire, vowed she and her husband Gerry would "never give up" hope of finding their daughter after she vanished shortly before her fourth birthday in May 2007.
The 47-year-old, who is an ambassador for charity Missing People, said her research had led her to believe abducted children were not usually taken far from the scene.
"That's where she last was and I don't think she's been taken a million miles from there", Mrs McCann told The Sun.
"I've always said Praia da Luz is the place where I feel closest to her. It's all only speculation, but we've learned that's usually the case."
A Scotland Yard detective works with a sniffer dog at an area in Praia da Luz CREDIT:REUTERS

Operation Grange, which was launched in 2011, will continue but has had the number of full time officers working on the case reduced from 29 to just four.

Detectives have taken 1,338 statements and collected 1,027 exhibits, but a Scotland Yard spokesman previously said: “While there remain lines of inquiry to follow, the vast majority of the work by Operation Grange has been completed.”

During Operation Grange, detectives from the Met regularly travelled to the Algarve to liaise with their Portuguese counterparts and undertook a number of exploratory digs in the Praia da Luz area.
Photo fit images of suspects that might have been hanging around the Algarve around the time Madeleine disappeared

Police said they had also investigated more than 60 persons of interest.

A total of 650 sex offenders have also been considered as well as reports of 8,685 potential sightings of Madeleine around the world.

In 2013, detectives working on Operation Grange announced they were looking into possible links between Madeleine’s disappearance and bogus charity collectors who were knocking on doors in Praia da Luz at the time.

They issued a series of photo-fit images of suspects they said may have been hanging around the Algarve around the time Madeleine disappeared.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Never Had It So Good.

We in Headington are all trying to get used to our new Post Office, which is a counter in the Co-op.

The old Post Office that we took for granted as a feature in the middle of the community has been closed and we miss it severely. We don't complain, but we feel nostalgic. Like amputees, we sometimes still think that it is there. When we remember that it has been closed, we skulk past the building with our eyes averted, trying not to see it.
The new Post Office offers many of the things that the old Post Office used to, including long queues at times, and staff who answer the telephone instead of attending to customers who are there waiting. Some of the personnel are actually the same as those who worked in the old Post Office, and that does provide some slight consolation.
But it is not really the same as the handsome, symmetrical building overlooking Bury Knowle Park, such a quintessential PO it looked like a model you might find in a train set. It had those delightful little stamp machines set into the front wall. To think that in the glory days Headington possessed not only a purpose-built Post Office, but also a sorting office where parcels could be collected!
No, we don't complain, but we might feel rather aggrieved if the building is turned into something wholly unsuitable. It is a strange era when a shop can survive as a business offering nothing but manicures, yet the PO is forced out of its own home and into the corner of a supermarket.