The left and Manchester: Some good news
2 hours ago
"Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold" - W.B. Yeats. "We're doomed !" - Private Frazer. "Like scrolling through a decade's worth of Daily Mail editorials in 20 minutes" - TheLoonyFromCatford
I think of tears, I think of rain on shingles
I think of rain, I think of roses blue
I think of Rose, my heart begins to tremble
To see the place she's lately gotten to
She's got into mysterious devotions
She's got into the zodiac and Zen
She's gotten into tarot cards and potions
She's laying her religion on her friends ...
The mother of a teenage girl who died from a drugs overdose after taking refuge at the home of a self-styled white witch today blasted sentences given to two people in connection with the death. Sue Strickson spoke out after Sally Corkhill, 41, and her lover Lee Harrison, 31, appeared at Preston Crown Court following the death of her daughter Melissa, 13, in October last year.
Corkill, of Sudell Road, Darwen, pleaded guilty to four abduction charges and two of administering a controlled drug and received a total of two years. Harrison received nine months but was released immediately after serving eight months on remand. Melissa, of Tythebarn Street, Darwen, died after taking a huge dose of co-proxamol. Hours earlier she had watched two of her three friends take half a tablet each after watching Corkhill slip five crushed tablets into Harrison's beer. The three had run away from home and sought refuge at Corkhill's house.
The four girls, three of who cannot be named for legal reasons, turned up at Corkhill's house on October 8 last year and were allowed to stay overnight. Both the police and the Melissa's mother visited the house the night before the teenager's death, but Corkhill denied they were there.
Judge Openshaw said: "I accept that when you invited the girls in there was never any sinister intention but no attempt was made to contact the police or the parents of the girls. Your own undisciplined and use of drink and drugs within your lifestyle attracted them. Strangers have no right to interfere in family matters by harbouring children and you even lied about not knowing where they were. It is right to say that Melissa helped herself to huge quantities of pill but they were in an unlocked cupboard and the girls had seen you get them. Melissa's death is tragic and had she not stayed at your house she may well be alive now. To Melissa's family and friends, no sentence will ever be sufficient for their loss."
Outside court, Mrs Strickson led protests against the sentence, saying: "We need a public inquiry. A lot has gone wrong. If the police were so suspicious that the girls were hiding at Corkhill's house, why didn't they go back again. If they had, my daughter might well still be alive.
Chief Inspector Neil Smith, who was in court to hear the verdict, said it was inappropriate to comment.
... the hooly Bishop takynge tea
Whilste watching himselfe on BBC.
Heere was a hooly manne of peace
Withe bearyd of snow and wyld brows of fleece
Whilhom stoode athwart the Bush crusades
Withe peace march papier-mache paraydes.
Sayeth the pilgryms to Bishop Rowan,
"Father, we do not like howe thynges are goin'.
You know we are as Lefte as thee,
But of layte have beyn chaunced to see
From Edinburgh to London-towne
The Musslemans in burnoose gowne
Who beat theyr ownselfs with theyr knyves
Than goon home and beat theyr wyves
And slaye theyr daughtyrs in honour killlynge
Howe do we stoppe the bloode fromme spillynge?"
The Bishop sipped upon hys tea
And sayed, "an open mind must we
Keep, for know thee well the Mussel-man
Has hys own laws for hys own clan
So question not hys Muslim reason
And presaerve ye well social cohesion."
Britain is experiencing the worst "brain drain" of any country as highly qualified professionals settle abroad, an authoritative international study showed yesterday. Record numbers of Britons are leaving - many of them doctors, teachers and engineers - in the biggest exodus for almost 50 years.
There are now 3.247 million British-born people living abroad, of whom more than 1.1 million are highly-skilled university graduates, say the researchers. More than three quarters of these professionals have settled abroad for more than 10 years, according to the study by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
No other nation is losing so many qualified people, it points out. Britain has now lost more than one in 10 of its most skilled citizens, while overall only Mexico has had more people emigrate. Britain's exodus is far higher than any of the OECD's other 29 members. Germany has lost only 860,000 highly-skilled workers, America 410,000 and France 370,000. The OECD found that 27.3 per cent of those emigrating had health or education qualifications, 37.7 per cent had humanities or social science degrees and 28.5 per cent were scientists or engineers.
"Britain has been lucky - although it has lost substantial numbers of people, it has attracted more than a million skilled immigrants to replace them"
Prof David Coleman, of St John's, Oxford, said the brain drain was "to do with quality of life, laws and bureaucracy, tax and all the rest of it".
Another hate attack reported by Searchlight also has an internet connection, apparently. In the early hours of June 9 a fire gutted the offices of Positive East, a charity helping people affected by HIV and Aids. It is being treated as arson.
Searchlight notes that the charity was based in a private house, with no outward sign of its purpose. It also notes that Mark Santos, who runs the charity, was a Labour candidate in Hainault ward, in the London Borough of Redbridge, in May. Julian Leppert of the BNP was elected in Hainault.
As Searchlight points out, the local charity and Mark Santos were the subject of an attack on the blog site run by a mysterious person calling himself "Laban Tall", after a character in Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd.
He objected to the aids charity receiving funding from local taxpayers.
"... for someone who claims to be engaged in agriculture in Puddletown, Dorset, "Laban Tall" obviously keeps a close watch on people and politics in suburban Essex. At least on those who may have upset the BNP. But whoever his eyes and ears are, we can't accuse him of having a hand in anything someone does there, nor of himself having BNP sympathies ..."
21 Dec 2006
AN HIV sufferer who torched an Aids charity centre was told by a judge he should be commended by the court for owning up to his crime. On Friday Judge Inigo Bing told Keir Whittaker, 33, he deserved the "thanks of the public" for giving himself up to police.
Whittaker broke into the Positive East building in Mildmay Road, Ilford - where he had previously had counselling - and set fire to the curtains. The property was gutted in the arson attack which caused tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage - but fortunately no one was killed or injured. Mark Santos, director of Positive East, said: "This was a tragedy on all levels and clearly not the actions of a well man. The building is under repair and we are thinking about reopening it, but the people of Redbridge have not lost out on our services, we are just providing them in a different way."
Snaresbrook Crown Court heard Whittaker had already been locked up twice for arson attacks and he was given three years for his latest offence. Whittaker had been drinking alcohol and taking drugs on June 9 when he felt "impulsive" and broke into Positive East, starting the fire with a cigarette lighter. He handed himself into Ilford police on July 29 and also admitted stealing petty cash from an ex-lover to spend on booze and drugs.
Martin McCarthy, defending, said: "He went to the HIV centre. They were counselling him. After a consumption of drugs or alcohol, there he was, early in the morning. He says, in desperation, acting impulsively and walking around the area, he broke into the property and set light to it."
Judge Bing told Whittaker: "What is remarkable and unusual in this case, for which you receive the commendation of the court and thanks of the public, is that you gave yourself up to the police and confessed to the crime - because without your confession this crime would not have been solved."
Whittaker, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to arson with intent to endanger life. He will have 138 days already spent in custody knocked off his term.
From the top officials who didn't pass on a note from Diana in which she said she feared for her life, to the driver Henri Paul; they were all in the pay of the security services or the "dark forces". The princess's former butler, Paul Burrell, and her sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale were also part of the cover-up, according to Mr Al Fayed. And, as he had maintained for years, Prince Philip and Prince Charles were in charge.
He referred to the royals as the "Dracula family" and called Prince Philip "a Nazi" and "a racist", and even suggested his original surname was something like "Frankenstein". As the list of the co-conspirators expanded to include then-prime minister Tony Blair, the French ambulance service, and the British Ambassador in Paris, the laughs from the public gallery grew longer and louder.
Coun Reg Corns, (Con: Northfield) said problems had arisen across the city after the city council allowed sheltered housing schemes to accommodate vulnerable adults, who have issues with drugs and alcohol, to live alongside ordinary pensioners.
Concerns about Doody included allegations that his guests were drunk, aggressive and abusive, urinated in communal hallways, swore and banged on doors. Doody was issued with an anti-social behaviour order in June 2007. His suspended sentence followed the jailing of one of his guests for four months. He was sent to prison after breaching an anti-social behaviour injunction barring him from visiting Aire Croft and another sheltered housing scheme, Campion House, in Kings Norton.
Doody's neighbour Richard Wilkes, 65, previously told the Sunday Mercury about the problems and said Birmingham City Council had asked him to keep a diary of the troubles. He said: "There's a man in his 80s who lives in the same block as me, and who isn't able to keep diaries like this. He isn't the only one in this position. We have had court injunctions against one man who visits one of the residents, but nothing seems to make any difference. The courts have ordered him not to threaten us, not to enter the block, not to bang on doors or kick windows in, and not to shout or swear, or throw glass bottles."
Fellow Aire Croft resident Rhoda Olsen, 69, said she was sick of the problems caused by Doody and his guests too. "We constantly have to keep the doors of our blocks locked so that they can't get in," she said. "It is the same with the common room. It's only used once a week now for bingo, but we should be able to use it every day to meet with our neighbours and relax."
Stan Andrews, vice chairman of Birmingham Sheltered Housing Liaison Board, said he was aware of similar problems across the city.