Very sorry to hear that Bill Deedes, a giant of British journalism, has died. He reached at the grand old age of 94 so he had a good innings. The Daily Telegraph was a comprehensive obit here. What I admired most about Bill Deedes was that he kept working right up until the very end. That echoes my own approach about just keeping on going! And in example of his solid moral compass, his last report filed but two weeks ago compared the horrors of Darfur to Nazi Germany. It’s a shame the gutless UN lacked the vision shown by Bill Deedes. He will be missed.
Edwin Coglan, 78, paid £40,000 from the sale of his home to pay for a nursing home place for himself. He thought he’d be secure for the rest of his life, but the money has now run out and North Somerset Council has threatened him with eviction. His son, Andrew Coglan, says his father has had three heart attacks, had suffered from dementia and is unable to look after himself. However, North Somerset council said the pensioner was not frail enough to qualify for free care at the Summer Lane nursing home in Weston-super-Mare. Andrew Coglan knows who to blame:
His son said the case was a "damning indictment" of how the elderly were treated by an "uncaring society". He said: "I feel the whole of society has let my father down. Pensioners seem to be the forgotten people. I just hope no one else goes through this. "My dad was forced to sell his home to pay for his nursing home place. Now the cash has run out, the nursing home want to evict him." He said the family had made clear at the time the money was paid that there would be no more.
Whatever the details of the case, which I suspect we aren’t getting, here’s an idea for Andrew Coglan – he could try looking after his own father. How’s about he grows up and gives something back to the man who loves and raised him? His council may well be out of order, but then he wouldn’t be the first to discover out that you should never, ever put your faith in the state. "I feel the whole of society has let my father down", he says. Rubbish. He should stop abdicating his duty, be a man, and take responsibility for his family.
Hi All! I’m in London at the moment with my family so my blogging output is going to be reduced for a few days! Took the kids to see SPAMALOT last night – it was their first time at a "West End" show. My wife and I had already seen it but I was pleased to see that there have been quite a few script re-writes so it seemed different which was good. "Lovingly ripped off" from the Monty Python "Holy Grail" movie, it was a good laugh. Peter Davison is now in the lead role of Arthur, King of the Britain’s. ("Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of Government"!) The Lady of the Lake is a brilliant singer and also an extremingly attractive looking woman! The supporting cast are very good and it was a very good evening, with the audience singing "Always look on the bright side of life"! We rounded off the evening with a pleasant Italian meal and a little Valpolicella Classico! So, today means more shopping (aaargh) and then a meal in the rather wonderful "Cinnamon Club" – a fantastic Indian restaurant in the former House of Commons library!
My grandmother is gravely ill in hospital, having suffered a suspected second major stroke. I am not sad that she will soon be leaving me for she has had a fulfilled life and will be going to a place far better than this. However, it greatly upsets me to see her suffering whilst she is still here. Thus, I want to spend as much time as possible with her over her remaining time. I will be back at ATW when circumstances change.
I find it interesting to see that the juror charged of contempt of court for listening to music on her MP3 player whilst in court on jury duty has been cleared despite two witnesses stating they heard music from under her headscarf.
I find this especially interesting in contrast with the fact that less than a year ago a man in Wales was convicted and punished on the basis of no evidence and no victim.
In the case of the juror, who was cleared, we have this comment from the judge who dismissed her:
Judge Chapple said at the time he had discharged Khanom because: "There was a complaint made by a fellow juror during the course of the luncheon adjournment.
"The juror had seen wires disappearing into the juror in question’s headscarf and heard her music emanating from that juror while we were in court and everyone else listening with close attention to important evidence of the defendant."
"A member of the defence team had also noticed the wires. I said during the course of submissions I thought I heard the characteristic tinny sound of music from headphones fleetingly."
Two witnesses. Two instances of evidence.
However, in the case of the man in Wales, we have this:
McGlynn, 40, was convicted after the only witness to the incident, Lydia Rees saw him shouting abuse at a traditionally-clothed Asian woman in the Hafod area of Swansea on 13 June this year.
Mrs Rees, 43, told magistrates she was shocked to hear him shout "Sieg Heil" and other abuse at the woman through his open car window.
She told the court: "He was shouting. To me it appeared that he was being venomous. His face appeared quite contorted.
She added: "But I could not swear to the words I did hear."
Got that? "I could not swear to the words…" And the victim? Nowhere to be found. Nowhere. Yet Mr McGlynn was convicted and Taha Idris of the Swansea Bay Racial (in)Equality Council said:
"I would congratulate this woman for being strong and coming forward. She’s seen it as her duty as a citizen.
"I would ask other people to do the same – without witnesses cases like this fall apart."
So now we know. It is your duty as a citizen to persecute and have charged and convicted men you suspect may have said words of which you disapprove. (Which is for some reason a crime, why is this by the way?)
A pity it’s no-one’s duty as a citizen to take jury duty seriously enough to turn up on time and pay attention to the trial. I mean come on, it’s not impossible to remove earplugs without removing a headscarf, surely?
So the question is, what on earth is going on with the legal and judicial systems in this country?
I like the media-coined expression "the Chuckle Brothers" to describe the relationship between self-confessed IRA terrorist Martin McGuinness and DUP Leader Ian Paisley. Yesterday marked the first 100 days of the power-sharing with terrorists Executive and it was celebrations all around. The only thing that I noticed was that despite all the bonhomie and general back-slapping, there was precious little to show for this 100 day period. No tough decision, no nothing other than carefully orchestrated press releases and photo-op’s to make us all feel real good. Well, 100 days in, I see this as continued moral depravity and an affront to the victims of terrorism in Northern Ireland. I am not surprised that the media celebrate it, they lack any moral centre. But I wonder just how many people around the Province can point to tangible achievements? The only big achievement I detect is that the DUP and the IRA’s frontmen get along just fine. Is that something to have a good laugh about – Chuckle Brothers?
The very concept of "inheritance tax" is wicked. WHY should the State presume to take an extra slice of the estate that passes from one generation to the next? Glad to see that John Redwood has come out and called for the abolition of inheritance tax, and I presume that shadow of a Shadow Chancellor, George Osbourne might even decide to make this an electoral pledge. It’s not enough reason to vote Conservative, not by a lon chalk, but it is nice to see a little bit of authentic conservative values being asserted, even if it is probably just for show. Mind you, it’s not just Inheritance Tax that should be removed. Under Labour the burden on tax has grown massively – especially on those who are not part of the Welfare State – and we need tax cuts all round if we are to see better domestic economic growth.
An elderly Iraqi woman shows two bullets which she says hit her house following an early coalition forces raid in the predominantly Shiite Baghdad suburb of Sadr City. At least 175 people were slaughtered on Tuesday and more than 200 wounded when four suicide truck bombs targeted people from an ancient religious sect in northern Iraq, officials said. (AFP/Wissam al-Okaili)
First things first. Today is a very important day for a lot of 17 and 18 year old kids in the UK. They have been getting their "AS" and "A" level results and I wanted to offer my own congratulations to them all on their achievements. My own son got his "AS" results earlier this morning and his Mum and I are naturally very pleased with the outcome. (He got an "A" in politics, now THERE is a surprise!) I’m not so old that I can still remember the angst involved in getting my "A" levels and all students will have gone through a lot to obtain whatever was revealed to them this morning.
THAT SAID – and this is no reflection on the school children – it’s all a grotesque con. More than one in four UK A-level entries were awarded the top A grade this year, results now show. Figures from the exam boards showed 25.3% of entries were graded A, up from 24.1% last year. The improvement in A grades in independent and grammar schools over the past five years has been double that in state comprehensives. The national pass rate rose for the 25th year in a row, with 96.9% graded A to E, up from 96.6% last year.
We’re on our way to having "A" levels that everyone passes! How long before everyone gets an "A" grade? The reality is that the ideologues that infest academia are well on their way to ensuring that "A" level grades mean NOTHING. Universities are already seeking the actual MARK received as one way of discerning what lies beneath this mass of degraded grades.
Just to say that I have been kindly invited by Pajamas Media to contribute to their site from time to time and I was more than pleased to accept. Pajamas Media was founded by Roger L. Simon and Charles Johnson (both of whom I am sure many of our conservative minded American readers will be familiar) and has a great range of contributors, including two of my favourites in the form of Victor Davis Hanson and Michael Leeden. I hope to make my own mark on this truly global site and will ensure that ATW readers are made aware of any specific material I post over at Pajamas! Please be assured that this will in no way deflect me in my mission to ensure ATW is both essential and entertaining reading for you!