THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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October 2006

September 2006

BBC NEWS | Talk about Newsnight | Comment on What's the point of the Green Party?

Link: BBC NEWS | Talk about Newsnight | Comment on What's the point of the Green Party?.

Newsnight's website has a forum discussion under the heading "What is the point of the Greens?". It remains to be seen if they will publish my contribution (below), but why don't you head over there and tell it like it is?

Continue reading "BBC NEWS | Talk about Newsnight | Comment on What's the point of the Green Party?" »


BBC facing a double inquiry into Top Gear presenter's jet-car crash - Law - Times Online

Link: BBC facing a double inquiry into Top Gear presenter's jet-car crash - Law - Times Online.

Modern Britain is a strange country. Richard Hammond was a grown man and an experienced driver. He chose to attempt the British land speed record in a drag car. This is an intrinsically dangerous activity (but one that any man I know would jump at the chance to try). Sadly, it went wrong and every petrolhead in the country is hoping he will make a full recovery. How can that be of any legitimate interest to the police? Richard is a free man who made a free choice. Of course, given the Nanny State "Health & Safety at Work" legislation, it is inevitable that an inspector will call on the BBC to investigate if they provided Richard with "a safe system of work." But the police? Have they nothing better to do?


Police deny De Menezes safety charge | Top News | Reuters.co.uk

Link: Police deny De Menezes safety charge | Top News | Reuters.co.uk.

The Metropolitan Police is unwise to defend the stupid "health & safety" charges in relation to the death of Jean-Charles de Menezes. Better to kill the story quickly and accept a fine and a slap on the wrist than to drag it out for weeks or months.

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BBC blames US for Iranian Air Crashes - Again

Link: Drinking From Home: BBC blames US for Iranian Air Crashes - Again

Drinking from home is doing good work in identifying particular examples of BBC bias, in this case the BBC’s Tehran correspondent, Frances Harrison, trying to blame an aviation accident in Iran on US sanctions. It's as ludicrous a claim as one can imagine. Iran is an oil-rich nation capable of running a nuclear weapons power programme. If it wants to maintain its planes properly, it clearly can.

The BBC pulled the offending article from its website, but is now repeating the claim elsewhere. I find it hard to answer the all-important question cui bono? It's easy to denounce the BBC as biased, or as a tool of the Government which collects the special tax to fund it. But how does it benefit the BBC or any of its correspondents to be biased, not just against a particular political viewpoint, but against Western civilisation itself? Any theories?


SocietyGuardian.co.uk | Society | Ministers move to stop 'safe' convictions of criminals being quashed on appeal

Link: SocietyGuardian.co.uk | Society | Ministers move to stop 'safe' convictions of criminals being quashed on appeal.

Once again, John Reid talks of "rebalancing in favour of the victim". Yet, like it or not, the "victim" is not part of the trial process. It is vile spin to identify the prosecution with the victim. The prosecution is there efficiently and ethically to present the evidence against an accused, just as the defence is there to present the evidence for. This dishonest phrase, so beloved by Blair, Blunkett and Reid, is code for "favouring the prosecution."

The idea of preventing an appeal court quashing a conviction "on a technicality" appeals to the man in the street. However, when he finds himself under arrest (and with one new crime a day being created, it is when not if) he might be glad to have the police work in the knowledge that, if they don't follow the proper procedures, they may be wasting their time.

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CNN.com - Blair wife quizzed on pretend slap - Sep 17, 2006

Link: CNN.com - Blair wife quizzed on pretend slap - Sep 17, 2006.

A shopkeeper makes a citizen's arrest of a thief on a Saturday afternoon. She calls the police and they say the earliest they can attend to take a statement is next Wednesday. "What shall I do with him?" she asks. "You must let him go" says the policeman on the phone. True story, as told to my wife by the shopkeeper in our home city, a Labour stronghold in the North.

A social worker calls the police in Scotland and several officers high tail it across town to interview Cherie Blair. It would be funny that she should have fallen victim to the busybody culture that is at the heart of New Labour, were it not for the fact that had it been you or me, it would not have been so easily laughed off.