Death After Life In Police State Britain VIII

January 2nd 2024

In August 2010, the naked body of an MI6 code breaker, Gareth Williams, was found zipped inside a sports bag in the bath of his Pimlico flat. The shower curtain was drawn, the light was off, the bathroom door was shut and the heating in the flat was turned up to full, even though it was summer.

Welsh codebreaker may have been killed by rogue state …Wales Online › … › BBC

27 Nov 2023 — Welsh codebreaker may have been killed by rogue state, says wife of Litvinenko … Former intelligence officers, a journalist and the wife of a …


The baffling death of a talented mathematician

How did a Welsh codebreaker’s body end up inside a bag in his bath in 2010?

  • Attribution

Miss Adventure by R J Cook

Comment This is open season on Russia as Anglo U.S led NATO quakes at the prospect of losing in Ukraine. Every opportunity to ramp up the fear must be exploited for the New Western World Order. Litvinenko was a traitor and his widow is bitter. There are a number of curioisities about Gareth Williams private life and sexual practices. The U.K Police State is capable of the most despicable crimes against humanity and by today’s standards the much loved war leader Sir Winston Churchill was a hideous war criminal. The dark world of the British Secret Sevice could have had its own reasons for killing Gareth Williams. His was a peculiarly elaborate death reminiscent of Stephen Milligan who was Parliamentary Private Secretary to disgraced perjurer Jonathan Aitken, Minister of State for Defence, and was regarded as a “rising star” of the Conservative Party.

Death of a Codebreaker

Milligan, 45-year-old MP was dressed in stockings and suspenders when he was found at his home in Hammersmith, west London, yesterday afternoon.

As a post-mortem examination was under way m police had refused to comment on unconfirmed reports that the MP Milligan had been bound and gagged. He was gagged with a bound orange injected with amyl nitrate nitrate. Amyl nitrite is related to the nitrate medicines and is used by inhalation to relieve the pain of angina attacks. It works by relaxing blood vessels and increasing the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart while reducing its workload. Combined with cocaaine it eases and prolongs erections – and orgasms .Recreationally, it’s inhaled directly from the bottle and used to enhance sexual experiences or to experience a general sense of pleasure.

Milligan had been increaasingly critical of the Tory Government. I am aware of the stockings and suspenders trick for discrediting a person unpopular with the state because it has happened to me. By way of explanation I am republishing an interesting picture of myself below.

Miss Adventure AKA R J Cook

Only two other people had access to this late 2016 image of me, shortly after I was accepted by the GIC as transgendered and so ended my relationship with a woman who admitted police officers were regular callers at her home offering warnings and informing her that, in her words, “They told me you are transgender.” So there should have been no prizes for guessing who sent malicious communication, including typed letters bearing the name ‘Oliver Lazar’, a picture of a stranger woman in lingerie, labelled ‘My Wife’, an alleged video that turned out not to exist and the one of me published above.

However, Acting Detective Constable Bellamy et al of Thames Valley Police ( TVP ) after admitting watching my home for 5 months concluded that I had sent the material to all of my ex in laws, their employers including senior police officers on December 12th 2017, apparently posted in Northampton where my friend and phptopgrapher of the above lived. I was not shown the postmarker envelopes or any supporting evidence that should have preceded my arrest, detention, house search and property confiscation.

My friend Oliver Lasio, myself and ex partner were the only ones who had the image of myself laying on Oliver’s bed. This had followed a social meeting and no sexual activity took place. When I told Bellamy that I was HGV driving hundreds of miles away,with a co driver at the time of the alleged malicious communcation posting, and could prove it. He replied : “It must have been a different day.” The malicious communication typed letters bore the name Oliver Lazar. My affronted dropped ex partner has admitted having access to my e mail account, obviously downloading it for malicious intent. Bellamy refused to investigate her as the source. They had an urgent agenda to prosecute me following my May 2016 acquital and their being fined.

The typed letters were written in the style of a well wisher who felt that police and my former in laws should know that ‘Robert Cook is working as a ‘gay escort’ in an agency ( code for brothel ) for his aspergic son and his associates.’ TVP used this, with no justification or evidence other than a senior police officer alleged that he had always thought me odd and one other stating that I “had been mentally ill for several years but refused treatment.” So when 7 officers raided my home on February 5th 2018, Bellamy said that he knew I had committed the offences because I was mentally ill, seeking revenge on my son.” It was a pack of lies and vindictive.

They had no evidence. So when I lost my temper after 3 months of suspense. Bellamy’s arrest record descibed the above picture as of ‘Robert Cook wearing stockings and suspenders.’ This choice of words had the clear purpose of smearing me as a perverted transvestite. I was, as you can see, fully clothed. I am wearing a short lace and satin cocktail dress which had ridden up showing my stocking tops and suspenders. Malice was the only possible reason for my false arrest and malicious prosecution in 2018.

Bellamy needed to show me in a perverted light, copying his malice to my GP, with instructions to pass it on to Whiteleaf and the GIC as fact. It was and still is vital for police to discredit me as transsexual. The Medical opinion in the United Kingdom is no match for police malice. They must defer to the police on pain of career damage or ruin and because govenments have empowered them to do so.

Therefore , with this in mind, asylum seeker Litvinenko’s biased embittered widow has no right to an opinion on a secret elite ruling culture that advertises itself as defender of democracy worldwide. Its machinations and crimes are far more secretive and sophisticated than Russia’s because the rich have a lot to defend. Their conduct is received, edited, presented and interpreted by State Broadcaster and related elite operated media with absurd slogans like ‘BBC Verified’ and ‘Unspun.’ It is significant that these organisations and ‘diverse’ presenters have nothing to say about Julian Assange because he has been an obvious enemy of ‘western style democracy.’

I was taken to Crown Court and given a 6 month conditional discharge which police have passed off as something much worse. I was on my fortnightly HGV rest day at the time of my false arrest. They used the incident to ramp up their drunken violent lunatic allegations, getting me dropped by the Gender identity Clinic, where I had been accepted in 2016, when the photograph was taken. They also managed to get me fired from my HGV job costing me thousands to date.

So we are unlikely to know why and how Gareth Williams was murdered. It may have been sex related,or as with the State Sponsored Murder of Hilda Murrell, it may have been made to look like a sex crime. Where sexually deviant practices are involved, black mail is an eager parasite. We will never know the key details of Gareth Williams’ social life and what he was working on. He had no female partner which supports the homosexual intepretation, with or without female clothes. We know he shaved is legs and wore lycra as a keen cyclist, but other interpreation were offered at the time of his death. He may have gotten too involved with a high powered lover who would use his influence and resoures to dispose of the evidence.

As with the strange death of Princess Dianna, we will never know the truth. But right now, fear is power. We have two major and related wars. The BBC are working over time to talk up and sanitise the Palestinian cause, but Islamophobia is illegal in Britain. So the Jews are expected to ‘turn the other cheek.’

Equally the Ukrainian and NATO cause is sacrosanct. So that leaves only Russia to take the blame for everything, including the previously forgotten and now curiously resurrected Gareth Williams cause. The West provoked the NATO proxy war on Ukraine and are determined to make the most of it. The masses , without quesstion have neither the intellect or mechanisms for questioning this or any other manifestation of Deep State Power.

Two weeks after my car passed its MOT, costing me for two new tyres and exhaust, en route to conduct book research in 2020, my brakes failed on the approach to a busy cross roads. Luckily I learned a few tricks on the road as an HGV driver. When I returned it to the local garage, I was told that the car was in such a dangerous condition they refused to work on it. The previous year, responding to third party confidential police input, Dr Christopher R Ramsay concluded in his 2019 report, on the apparent basis of a one hour surprise meeting following a long HGV shift, that I am a paranoid bi polar delusional violent alcoholic schizophrenic more likely to die by Misadventure than Suicide.

R J Cook, 74, entertaining, January 1st 2024. Thames Valley Police raided her home and falsely arrested on February 5th 2018 and detained her for ‘allegedly,’ working as a prostitute in a home based brothel for her son and ‘his associates.’

They had no evidence or reason other than police malice and vindictiveness She was fully employed as an HGV Driver at the time. She was proseecuted for leaving angry and ultimately rude messages after 3 months in anxious suspense , the arresting officer having gone to ground.

Police used their lies to have her labelled as a perverted clinically insane paranoid delusional schizophrenic transvestite, getting her sacked and then dropped by the Gender Identity Clinic when she was overdue for sex change surgery in February 2019. They had previously advised her GP to inform the GIC that I was a long time alcoholic with a diseased liver that would not tolerate hormone treatment. Given the stress of her 16 years police harassment and, alleged severe alcoholism destroying her liver, it is a miracle she has lived so long .

R J Cook.

December 31st 2023

Happy New Year To All My Readers – Especially My Dedicated Team Of Police Special Branch Watchers – R J Cook

Keeping ( Rich ) people safe.
Anglo U.S War Crimes Whistle Blower Julian Assange being cared for ( sic ) by international law loving British Democracy. Over here in the U.K we are supposed to agonise about Russian traitor and western puppet Navelny who has understandably been exiled to Siberia in these most difficult times for Russian independence from western elite run hypocritical sanctimonious fake democracy.
R J Cook.

December 27th 2023

U.K Liberal Elite & Big Business Floating The Migrant Boat With RNLI LifeBoats Never Busier.

Looking back at 2023

In last year‘s end-of-year newsletter, we dubbed 2022 a year of broken records and broken promises. At that point, legal migration for the year ending June 2022 had set a new record of 504,000. This was much as we predicted would happen in light of the scandalously loose points-based system that was introduced at the start of 2021. Meanwhile, illegal immigration by small boat rocketed to 45,000. Again, much as we forecast would happen if firm action was not taken.

We proposed a number of measures that we believed were necessary if immigration was to be reduced; as the public had been calling for, and indeed been promised, in successive elections.

We hoped that flights to Rwanda would finally get off the ground and illegal Channel crossings begin to be tackled in earnest – we should add here that while we always believed that removal to a safe third country would help, it would not be the complete answer. We should say, we are not convinced that flights to Rwanda will ever get off the ground in any meaningful way before the election.

As for an overall reduction in legal migration, we said that for this to happen, employers needed to wean themselves off cheap, lower-skill, foreign labour and make greater effort to up-skill the British workforce.

We went on to say that in Suella Braverman, “we finally have a Home Secretary who seems to get it and mean it”. Indeed, for all the records that had been broken last year, we could at least hope that with a new Home Secretary and a Prime Minister seemingly determined to ‘stop the boats’, there would be tangible progress made towards reducing both legal and illegal immigration.

So, what happened?

In May, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed yet another, mammoth rise in net migration. The previous year’s figure of net 504,000 was smashed. It had risen to an astonishing net 606,000 for the whole of 2022. This was in fact some 120,000 lower than the figure we at MW had been expecting. As it turned out, by the time the ONS issued its November bulletin the net migration for the whole of 2022 had risen to an astonishing 745,000. Our estimate had been within 3.5% of the eventual figure while the ONS was nearly 20% adrift.

Following what we thought was in itself a mind-blowing figure of over 600,000, we published our own projections of what it would mean for population growth should net migration continue at such levels. By 2046 we could expect our population to increase by some 16 million people – the size of about 15 cities the size of Birmingham over less than 25 years.

In light of these breath-taking levels of immigration – illegal and legal – as well as repeated polls showing that around 60% of the public have consistently felt that immigration over the past decade has been too high, we launched our ‘cut immigration campaign’. We invited people to sign our petition calling on the government to reduce annual net migration to less than 100,000. You did so in your tens of thousands. Thank you! We will shortly end the campaign but do go on and sign the petition if you haven’t already done so. There are only a few days left to do it.

Despite the clear views of the public on runaway immigration and the chaos of our asylum and illegal immigration systems, the government seems intent on coming up with yet more ways of allowing more people to come, be it as workers, students or refugees.

On refugees, today we have published a paper explaining why we believe new proposals, to which the government committed in order to ease the passage of the Illegal Immigration Act 2023 (yes, another Act), would make matters worse and likely increase the numbers coming illegally. The proposal is to allow an unspecified number of people to come to the UK via humanitarian routes. We believe this will not only add to the present chaos but also lead to more people making their way here to claim asylum.

The paper calls for the government to abandon the proposed new scheme. Notwithstanding claims that we don’t take in sufficient numbers of refugees, we point in the paper to the hundreds of thousands of refugees we have accepted since 2005 – nearly a half million in the last three years – via a variety of schemes.  We should of course continue to take, in a properly managed way, those in genuine need. The proposed scheme was not properly thought through and should not see the light of day.

There’s no escaping the fact that 2023 has been disastrous for immigration control. In No 10, we have a PM who doesn’t appear to get it on immigration and who, until very recently, believed that people only cared about illegal immigration and were relaxed on legal migration, however high. He sacked a Home Secretary whose views were at odds with his ill-conceived understanding of the public’s concerns on immigration, replacing her with someone whose thinking is clearly closer to his. Meanwhile, the excellent immigration minister, Robert Jenrick, could take it no longer and resigned rather than take through Parliament yet more legislation that he believed would, once again, prove inadequate and be destined to fail.

The harsh reality is that in 2024 there will be little progress made on tackling either illegal or the (much more important) scale of legal migration. There simply won’t be sufficient time for any new measures or fresh legislation to have a significant impact. And should Labour find themselves in office post-election, as polls now strongly suggest will happen, we can expect the situation to become even worse than it is now, on both illegal and legal migration.

We will keep up the pressure and do our utmost to influence the government in the right direction.

For now, we send you our warmest wishes for a happy, healthy 2024. Thank you for your strong and generous support of our work, which we could not do without the backing of millions of our fellow citizens up and down the land.
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From F.S ,West Country Correspondent.

U.K Injustice System, Corrupt Police & Dishonest CPS.

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December 28th 2023

Diversity Hires Diversity Fires – From F.S

One despairing City boss I spoke to said of one newly-graduated lad: “Alex is personable, articulate, highly numerate, literate with a great degree and he’s white. He is literally at the bottom of the list of people my firm would hire right now.”

So-called “diversity hires” were causing chaos in his business, the man told me, because their written English was so poor the firm’s clients thought they were getting spoof emails from a Nigerian prince.

December 22nd 2023

The Definitive Story of Trans Hatred In Fake UK Diverse Democracy – by R J Cook.

I should have found this Mail Newspaper buck passing incredible, but it is par for the course in the world of western democracy and diversity.

We transsexuals have much to fear from the morons who have the real identity issues, which is why they must kill us. Where better than in diversely insane elite ruled Britain. ? Celebrations are planned for a year of Charles III rule. Don’t that make you feel good ?

Rather than face up to the reality and twisted motives driving and proliferating transsexual hate crimes: the ruling elite, feminists, religious bigots who believe they know exactly what God wants, coupled to mainstream media – as with this Mail front page – use the despicable vile barbaric murder of an innocent young transsexual to find another excuse to vilify the internet and social media. They have a vested interest in enhancing police state Britain.

According to mainstream media the boy and girl killers came from stable homes, but what exactly does that mean in contemporary feral Britain ? The idea of pushing this line is to shift the blame away from bad parenting and the likes of breast and vagina obsessed TERF feminists like J.K Rowling. She uses her international author status to tell the world that transsexuals choose their path in order to penetrate ladies safe spaces and toilets in order to penetrate them. Rishi Sunak and female Parliamentarians seem to agree en masse.

This is highly provocative hate speech far more relatable to this hideous crime than social media which elite mainstream media and mainstream politicians have to deny. But there is a far bigger problem. Children may very well come from stable homes with parents struggling to survive such crises as the ‘cost of war crisis’ and doing their best. Those parents are products of an appalling education system which is even worse for their children. Simple old fashioned male female identity is problem enough in a world where girls are told they can be anything and boys must be what they are told that they are. Where female dominated broken homes are increasingly normalised, the problems are amplified way beyond the average mother’s ability to cope. Mainstream politicians are proven liars with sex abusers prominent in their history and number. So many are lying hypocrites making it up as they go along, others represent the vested interests of feminism and Islam so are unfit to judge. But they make the laws that feral police abuse.

For all of Britain’s claims to diversity and democracy, transsexuals do not fit with their favourite victims, namely : feminists, woman kind, Muslims and African cheap labour economic migrants who risk leaving safe countries in Europe to cross the Channel in all weathers – safe in the knowledge that the Border Farce and RNLI will rescue them if they encounter difficulties.

No one would dare call Islam a cult or a contested belief. But that is what recent media reports have called transsexuals. The Department of Education’s latest directive on teaching transgender is to present the phenomenon as a ‘contested belief.’ For me Islam, which is aggressive when challenged, is a contested belief system. This was implied in Rushdie’s classic work ‘The Satanic Verses’ which was also a comment on the greed and evil of Thatcher’s Governments. Feminists and media acolytes venerate Thatcher simply because she was the first woman to wield so much destructive power in a so called western style democracy. She turned the U.K into a cess pit which has festered and spewed ever since. The internet underpinned her vile support for the terrible capitalist God of Globalisation. Mass unemployment and spiralling crime ever more empowered corrupt police and their own dark police state internet, aka the PNC or PND depending on the time frame. It is paradise for corrupt police officers, especially of high rank, to abuse and pervert the course of justice as I have found to my very personal cost. Only yesterday another cop was jailed for deleting entries that did not benefit corrupt officer cronies.

Happier days for Brianna, but as I predicted at the close of my published novel ‘Man,Maid.Woman’,there was always going to be someone to come along and destroy the happiness that comes from being allowed to be oneself. The moron herds,like the Terf feminists and cretin NAZI failures just don’t want that to happen.

When I studied physics at school, social science at the University of East Anglia and Postgraduate psychology at the University of London, many years ago, before all the world and his wife degraded the academic world, I was taught the difference between causality and correlation. Causality by internet had nothing to do with Brianna Ghey’s vile murder, which police refused to treat as a hate crime. It was just a matter of two hate filled weird kids, led by the girl while feeding off of each other’s twisted minds. I don’t even accept a correlation because their plotting, action and deceit clearly had no connection with what these feral teenagers conspired to do. This type of murder predates the internet as we saw with the James Bulger case.Mary Flora Bell (born 26 May 1957)as a juvenile, killed two preschool-age boys in Scotswood, an inner suburb of Newcastle Upon Tynes in 1968. She committed her first killing when she was ten years old. In both instances, Bell informed her victim that he had a sore throat, which she would massage before proceeding to strangle them. Bell was the product of a broken home, licentious and feral mother.

How pathetic that modern day sicko weirdos,including vagiana obesessed TERF femininist militant heterosexual man haters can’t leave poor little trans girls like Brianna pictured here, alone. Transphobes are allied to religious Dark Ages Islam. They are the cult open to very serious psychological and psychiatric examination. R J Cook

There is far more logic in arguing that Brianna’s tragedy has far more obvious connection with the cess pit of the U.K in general than anything in particular. There is no attention to the masculinisation of women with their aggressive male demeaning footballing feminism, their prevalence in child abuse, child murders and increasing mental health issues. Because these terrifying phenomena coupled with delusions that they are automatically good parents heading stable homes, feed a modern factory school that politically correct teachers struggle to manage – however incompetent the headteachers and wider school staff.

I was a teacher for 18 years and have seen all sorts of problems compounded by the types of head teachers who are terrified of school inspections. I was also a school governor with special needs and health and safety briefs in a role derived from my role as a senior member of my local council. The U.K and its schools are breeding grounds for tragedies like young Brianna Ghey, with worse to come.

R J Cook

December 21st 2023

Satanic Verses by R.J Cook

Significantly, although the male of Brianna’s Killer couple made repeated references to Brianna’s gender status with comments such as : “Is it a tranny or a fem boy. I want to see how big its dick is.” The police excuse was that they found other written material including plans to attack and kill fellow pupils who were not trans. That is the quality of the latest police ‘thinking’ in the age of an increasingly untouchable unaccountable ‘graduate profession’ ( sic ).

J K Rowling aka Robert Galbraith

If, as the kind of feminist and their male supporters, quoted in the following comments, are correct in denying that transsexualism is real, then they must accept other causes for such an explosion in demand for treatment and surgery. Either way, the likes of the high profile J K Rowling and her preoccupation with her bourgeois self obsessed womanhood was and still is an enabler for Brianna Ghey’s cruel perverted and sadistic killers.

I predicted this sort of outcome in my draft novel ‘The Woman Within’. The book was called ‘The Woman Within.’ I failed to deliver it complete to my agent due to highly disturbing police harassment in October 2008 – where I was criminalised on the word of a very senior police officer, his police officer wife, his boss, a Sergeant et al for offences I could not possibly have committed because I produced hard evidence of my eldest son and I being hundreds of miles away over the weekend of October 4th / 5th 2008. My accusers were well known to me socially.

A draft of ‘The Woman Within’ along with computers and other property was removed from my home following one of several police raids on February 5th 2018. The object of that exercise was to fit me up for allegedly sending incriminating typed letters bearing the name Oliver Lazar, along with pictures and video of my ex wife, of a personal and private nature to police chiefs and my ex in laws.

Moreover, according to the letters I had allegedly sent, I had informed these restricted parties that I was working as a ‘gay escort’ for my eldest son and his associates in a home based brothel. The police had their malign motives for this, having previously advised my GP doctor that I was a long term alcoholic and severely mentally ill. I saw the documentation from Thames Valley Police which led to my GP advising that my female hormone treatment should be stopped because I had a history of mental illness and alcohol abuse, but refused treatment.

I was an experienced long distant truck driver at the time. Thames Valley Police quickly informed my GP Doctor of the February 5th 2018 false arrest and detention as fact. This had an even more devastating effect on my life than the October 4th / 5th 2008 violent stalking lies with intent to harm young females, leading to vile still secret records used to get me a PNC Criminal Vehicle Marker on October9th 2008 to deny me the freedom of the road – with frequent police chases, personal and vehicle searches.

On Police advice to my doctor and local mental health secure hospital, this led to me being ‘diagnosed’ as a paranoid schizophrenic, bi polar and delusional, whose sex change treatment had to be stopped unless I accepted powerful anti psychotic drugs. These drugs would have destroyed my sense of balance, memory, bowel and bladder control. I refused , observing that if I took those drugs I would not know whether I was a mouse or a monkey let alone a woman. There was and still is no evidence to link me with the gay prostitute malicious communication or violent stalking. According to the CPS, the files are marked sensitive and cannot be disclosed.

There is also no evidence that it was ever investigated. The video turned out to be non existent and the picture of my so called ex wife was of a complete stranger. This didn’t stop Thames Valley Police prosecuting me for using bad language in a few phone messages because to the arresting officer who refused , after 3 months, to tell me what he was doing and when I could have my computers, mobile phones , key driving and bank documents back.

Due to current legal proceedings I am limited in explaining the police malice. Suffice it to say that their malice halted my medication, got me fired from truck driving, causing me more serious financial, social and health damage. My purpose here is to illustrate that there are more than one way to murder a transsexual.

Before focusing on the absolutely terrible and horrific murder of Brianna Ghay, I must offer a brief account of how I came to identify as transsexual. I will make no hard and fast judgements of this condition or question its reality because I am not a wealthy and powerful female like Rowling so without her protection from charges of hate crime. However, I want to explore the neuroses, psychosis, female insecurity, female narcissism, fake equality, fake diversity, misandry, lies, and feminism that feeds transphobia to cause hate crime such as Brianna’s horrific death. The very least one can say about Rowling is that she is a rabble rouser. There are sick weirdos quoted below whose only concern seems to be refusal to accept that Brianna was a girl. In my view this vile unrelenting hatred of transsexuals tells all intelligent people need to know about UK’s fake diverse democracy.

After four years of struggle and more court appearances, West Midlands CPS passed me 1500 pages of Thames Valley Police monitoring me for the police force where I allegedly committed, along with my eldest son, the October 2008 alleged and secretly recorded offences explaining why I was being subject to frequent 24/7 monitoring across U.K stops and searches. Other documents were clear evidence of perjury, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and misconduct in public office. Immediately, I asked for Thames Valley to investigate.

They chose to prosecute me instead, feeding other malicious records concerning never before mentioned non existent domestic violence. Called to account for themselves, the CPS withdrew and I was acquitted in May 2016, exhausted, near bankrupt and humiliated. When I asked Thames Valley Police to investigate, they threatened further prosecution, stepping up their harassment to discredit me as a drunken perverted transvestite. Struggling with my work as an HGV driver and fearful for my sons lives – whose ruin facilitated by the same police is a story I am not allowed to tell for legal reasons – I took time off in December 2016 and took a massive overdose of temazepam, washed down with wine, on December 19th and was rushed to hospital.

My near death experience and regret at abandoning my eldest son, I reconsidered a survival strategy first considered when I was writing my transgender novel – alongside four other commissioned books written before police criminal lies destroyed my professional reputation forcing me to work as a truck driver, which I had previously done as a weekend hobby for extra money. It was all I had left and for which I had earned a good reputation. This survival strategy was to consult my GP to consider me for transgender treatment. I had lost my father, a soldier and truck driver, when I was 11.

There had always been a third person in my marriage, my ex mother in law. She told my wife to divorce me in 1978 when I decided to take post graduate opportunities at London University for teacher training and to study educational psychology, thus creating two career options. We were living in South London at the time but on holiday with my in laws who had retired to Cornwall. My mother in law warned my wife, in front of the family, that I was irresponsible to give up my City of London job for teaching. According to her, I was not a patch on her then 16 year old son. Many more horrible things happened gradually destroying my self esteem, independence and Identity. My ex wife admitted to police having hit me on four occasions that she could remember.

During my post graduate period, I had been indoctrinated into believing that men were the problem and that my job as a teacher was to raise consciousness by fighting sexism and racism. I accepted this earlier version of political correctness. Having had such a brief life with my World War Two veteran soldier NCO, witnessing his sad and painful death when he was 42, along with my mother and sister’s struggles for happiness in deprived circumstances, I was a willing disciple. So,without going into the forbidden details of my divorce, just now, my dominant wife gradually led me to believing myself transsexual.

Bearing in mind that among other things, I had legally changed my name and was living openly as a woman since January 2017. At this stage, I cannot say more about my legal struggles over the last 16 years, but along the way I encountered a police briefed psychiatrist in May 2022. for court purposes. Intent on rubbishing my transsexual status, this man asked if I got Sexual Gratification from wearing female clothing. He also asked : “Do you feel comfortable wearing female clothing. A judge had also been forced to gain a court order to stop police perpetuating this hate crime which had led to them having me labelled a paranoid delusional schizophrenic long term alcoholic in February 2019. As I have said, this police and medical misconduct got me sacked from driving immediately because my driving licence was invalidated.

However, looking at the wider picture of transsexualism, the police and health officials gross misconduct, is revealing of an underlying and pervasive attitude and prejudice in public services, permeating at highest levels. I don’t recall the term transsexual being common during the 1950s and 1960s, though the term sex change was coined. In those early post war years, ladies like actress cum Bond Girl April Ashley and travel journalist just wanted to simply blend in. She would not have wanted to be a target in what many see as the LGBTQI freak show where the likes of Rowling, Greer and their narrow vaginally obsessed acolytes, look, sneer and patronise. The same wish to blend in was true of another Bond Girl Tula in the 1980s.

Transformation founder and hotelier, the late Stephanie Anne Lloyd was already a distinguished top business executive, as Keith Hull. As with my former mother in law – whose last words to me in 2008, were: “You’re sick and in need of help.”- his wife ostracised him, bent on his social destruction. But as my late father in law told me, back in 1976 : “You can’t keep a good man down.” In spite of her ex wife’s best efforts to deny Stephanie contact with her sons, they were reunited. It showed her coping with the day-to-day problems of managing six hotels in North Wales during the recession.

The BBC promoted the show as “a candid and often hilarious insight into Stephanie’s world, revealing how she deals with daily disasters and management calamities as well as staying one step ahead of her competitors.”

Stephanie, who changed her name to Stephanie Anne Lloyd, founded the Albany Clinic which gives specialist medical advice and guidance to transsexuals.

Stephanie Anne Lloyd

She and her husband went into the catering business and owned four hotels in North Wales. Her example is important and there are many more quiet success stories. Sadly, this intrepid entrepreneur who overcame the prejudices of her day, died in a tractor accident on her and her husbands farm. She should be a beacon of hope and ambition for any young to middle aged transsexual. She was already herself before she transitioned. The danger with so many young male to female transsexuals from broken homes like sad Brianna, they may not be themselves when they make a serious and potentially dangerous choice. Moronic U.K Police and their ilk, may not know the difference between being a transvestite and a transsexual, but I do

However, in this awful post feminist age where cis women can never have enough power at men’s expense and every woman deserves the Victoria Cross for the miseries and indignation of their daily fight for survival inside a female body. The sight, sound and words of a transsexual female is a red rag to the feminist bull.

The incredible explosion of male to female sex change, or gender reassignment, should inspire a little better effort at research than the sort of rancid Rowling, Greer and young Terf feminist offerings. Those ghastly people – though I am aware that Greer is not quite so obsessed – with the lying their fantasy that sex changers go all the way to get into female toilets and safe spaces to rape all the irresistible women on the toilet. Of course this sex fantasy depends on finding a suitable public toilet.

Ultimately, the trans issue is about power. Power in socio economic terms is about controlling people abusively as individuals and in groups – psychologically or with force. One of the key reasons males, especially young impressionable fatherless ones, want sex change is because they fall victim to the myth that all women are soft, loving comforting innocent harmless people wearing pretty clothes, perfume, make up and nice hair. This assumed innocence of women is amplified by school, the legal system and most importantly the elite mass media.

My experience of the London Gender Identity Clinic ( GIC ) and living as a woman on the receiving end of police, my late sister’s family and ex in law hatred has been interesting. So also has been going out and about, hair done, make up checked, wearing obviously female clothes etc. – something most modern working class females do not do. Middle class women also tend increasingly toward snobbishness. I tend to the view that females and related guiding feminism denotes their widespread masculinisation. When a GIC psychiatrist asked me why I wanted to be a woman, I said you are asking me the wrong question. You should ask me why I don’t want to be a man.

Biological males see this and sense more. Laws are not applied equally, with male victims of domestic violence called liars, sissies or just asking for it. Female child abusers are subtle and usually get sympathy along the lines that there must be a man to blame. Two female child killers were accounted on the news while I was writing this. Men can be convicted of rape decades after the alleged offence, only on the word of the alleged victim. Raising one’s voice in argument nowadays counts as domestic abuse. Custody of children rarely goes to the father. Mothers are this free to abuse and are never held to account when their adult captive sons shoot them, the most famous one being Michael Ryan whose bottled up rage extended to innocent members of his Hungerford home town.

So it is no wonder so many men are under pressure to take Viagra so that their wives can legally rape them because their men are afraid of sex and its potential criminal consequences, and just a kiss can be turned into a rape years later. No wonder the rape statistics are heaven high. Young men have seen it all with their parents, their parents lovers, heard the rows, seen the tears, been brainwashed at school, having the drug addiction, alcoholism, jealousy, resentment, suicides, homelessness and mental illness to show for it.

Against this background, the imbeciles offer strong repulsive opinions concerning poor late innocent ever hopeful Brianna Ghey, one moron defending her own rancid version of femininity by insisting on calling dear departed Brianna an effeminate boy. The following writer, comparing threats against popular fiction writer Rowling with the fatwa against serious writer Salman Rushdie is an insult to good serious literature.

This attitude denotes the writer’s ignorance of Rushdie bravely and honestly tackling very dangerous issues. The success of Harry Potter and Rowling’s trans named Robert Galbraith efforts informs us how dumbed down the readers are who buy her politically correct work. She also insults the brave and genuine trans females who her sort patronise and provoke.

Unlike Rushdie’s terrible predicament, the outrage against Rowling is not against her version of literature, it is against her helping the hate wagon along the way because she fantasises about trans ladies out to rape hideously desirable feminist harridans. She is the type to insult the vulnerable from her pompous position of power, then scream out for the law when she gets as good as she gives. She is one of a type rampant in feminism. Brianna was just too beautiful to be friends with and allowed to live with the feral girl slob who egged a dopey boy on to kill her.

Transphobes thrive on TERF feminist poison and have no logical defence. To argue that transsexualism is a cult is vile. The following pusilaminous writer would never dare call Islam a cult or its men potential rapists. Nor would J K Rowling. They are cowards attacking en masse in a media and literary world riddled with ‘sensitivity readers’ and acceptable prejudice demanding ever more laws to protect their self important repressive precious selves.

One last comment on the following writer who venerates Rowling, neither her nor Rowling would dare condemn the Muslims and their reasons for that fatwa h against Salman Rushdie for writing his brilliant ‘Satanic Verses.’

R J Cook

December 20th 2023

Don’t blame J.K. Rowling for Brianna Ghey’s death
Trans activists are holding the author responsible for the teenager’s killing

UnHerd Live

J.K. Rowling has once again been the target of violent threats online. Credit: Getty.

Cults need enemies. Nothing else can explain the irrational level of hatred directed against the novelist J.K. Rowling in recent years. Her lawyers have taken on the worst offenders, prompting reluctant apologies, but the latest development is a terrifying example of where the forces of malice and unreason have been heading. In tweets that are too vile and defamatory to quote, trans activists are now accusing Rowling of being responsible for the death of a teenager in Warrington at the weekend. 

And not just Rowling, although she is the principal target; gender critical feminists have also been accused of having ‘blood on their hands’ in a series of crowing tweets. Obviously there is no connection between Rowling and the fatal stabbing of a transgender girl, which has left a family shocked and grieving. But there is a live police investigation, which means that strict rules exist about what can be reported. Anyone with an ounce of decency would respect those rules, for fear of obstructing a trial or causing further distress to the family. But this awful event is being shamelessly exploited by trans activists, who are using it to attack women who have spent their careers campaigning against various forms of violence.

It is clear that abuse of Rowling has shown an alarming escalation in the last few days. Last week gender extremists denounced a new video game, Hogwarts Legacy, because it is based on her Harry Potter novels, accusing it of being a ‘genocide simulator’. People who throw around words like ‘genocide’ have already robbed language of all meaning, but the latest attack on Rowling reaches new levels of spite. She has claimed in a podcast, The Witch Trials of JK Rowling, to be released next week that her critics “could not have misunderstood me more profoundly.” The idea that these people are merely showing a lack of understanding is perhaps charitable. 

The near-fatal attack on Salman Rushdie last August was a horrible reminder of the dangers attached to turning authors into hate figures. The assault happened 34 years after Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against Rushdie, demonstrating that the risk created by demonising someone never goes away. Rowling has become the target of a savage campaign that seeks to deny her humanity, a horribly familiar step which threatens to remove the usual restraints that protect us from one another. 

Pointing out that she has not said anything ‘transphobic’ long ago ceased to have any impact, because a wildly distorted version of the novelist exists in the minds of trans activists. Prominent people who should have robustly defended her have remained silent or offered support to her critics, refusing to listen to warnings about the violent, intimidating behaviour many feminists have witnessed.

Instead, ordinary people have faced demands from political parties and employers to express support for what amounts to the beliefs of a cult. It’s just been reported that the Scottish Government spent £33,000 on ‘trans-inclusive’ badges for NHS staff to wear at work. Doctors and nurses are not expected to wear badges expressing support for a particular religion, so it’s hard to see why they should be expected to show support for a contested ideology. As it happens, almost half the badges have gone unused. 

For too long, politicians and other public figures have failed to examine the ideology to which they’ve signed up. Feminists have been slandered, doxxed and threatened with sexual violence while Labour, the SNP, the Lib Dems and the Greens fall over themselves to be ‘trans allies’. Now one of the country’s most famous authors, who is also a generous philanthropist, is being smeared in a way that shames everyone who remains silent. Will they finally speak up — or are they too afraid of losing their shiny pink-and-blue badges?

Caroline Watson

10 months ago

If this poor boy was murdered for being ‘gender’ non-conforming and possibly gay, that is not the fault of traditional feminists who support everyone’s right to be those things.
f blood is on anyone’s hands, it is on those of people who rigidly support ‘gender’ stereotypes and would rather a boy pretended to be a girl, and was medicated and mutilated accordingly, rather than accepting him as a gay and probably effeminate boy.
Pretending to be a girl didn’t save him and it won’t others.
Teaching children that ‘gender’ is nonsense, and that everyone can be themselves as the sex that they are, just might.

A Novel By R J Cook . Whilst appearng to have a happy ending, reading between the lines predicts otherwise. My Unpublished novel, ‘The Woman Within’ deals with a middle class trans woman being murdered on a dogging site. As a well qualified social scientist I saw something like this coming. Thanks to the kind of comments and thoughts, publsihed here, I expect more. R J Cook

Comment I will make full comment on this tragedy in due course. For the moment I will comment on the above comment from ferminist Caroline Watson et al which is the usual Rowling style TERF feminist transphobic hate speech – which is at the root of this terrible story. Watson just had to call tragic Brianna a boy. Rowling’s sort are the life blood of the hate and vile allegations that transsexuals are rapists in waiting. Here is some more of their vile hate speech. But it is OK because it all suits the feninist agenda. Try writing and saying the same things about Muslims who in my opinion, woship a non existent God, created by a political schism from the equally delusional Roman Catholic Church, in Medieval Times.



7 months ago

Reply to  Richard Craven

She was a girl.



Rebecca Bartleet

Rebecca Bartleet

10 months ago

The extreme trans activists so openly and actively advocate violent retribution against those who are gender critical, they cannot be surprised if their opponents opt to use it against innocent trans youngsters. Maybe that’s what they want, so they can boost their victim status.



Alison Wren

Alison Wren

10 months ago

Reply to  Rebecca Bartleet

Are you honestly suggesting that people (mostly women)who reject the lies of the trans cult bear ANY responsibility for this poor child’s death?? I look forward to the truth being told about this young man and his killers when the case comes to court. He was, shall we say, a deeply troubled individual. Parallels with George Floyd come to mind. Vile threats and accusations on social media are of course unpleasant but I hope they don’t translate into actual violence.



Richard Craven

Richard Craven

10 months ago

“Doctors and nurses are not expected to wear badges expressing support for a particular religion, so it’s hard to see why they should be expected to show support for a contested ideology.”
I have a GP appointment this coming Monday. I think I will wear my “I stand with J.K.Rowling” t shirt.



R Wright

R Wright

10 months ago

“A wildly distorted version of the novelist exists in the minds of trans activists”
More like the activists live in a wildly distorted version of existence. There’s no point trying to reason with the delusional.

What absolutely dreadful moronic people of which there are far too many – absolutely incapable of joined up thinking as this country’s brain washing education system I worked in that appalling system for 18 years and then another four as a school governor. .

R J Cook

Brianna Ghey in the time of J.K. Rowling

The importance of protecting trans lives

By Zach Leach, Assistant Op/Ed Editor

March 1, 2023

On Feb. 11, 2023, the body of a young girl was found in the woods in a small English town called Warrington. She was identified as Brianna Ghey, a 16-year-old transgender girl. Two 15-year-olds have already been charged with her murder and are set to stand trial in July. Authorities have stated that they are unsure if the murder was a hate crime based on Brianna’s transgender identity. Regardless, her death sparked a huge conversation surrounding the topics of transgender people and transphobia.

This heinous crime occurred at a time when public transphobia is at an all-time high. Certain internet celebrities and elected officials have created an atmosphere where transphobic content, statements and mindsets are not only accepted, but frequently encouraged. This phenomenon created a pipeline, targeting young people with bigoted content in order to ensure this outdated mindset continues within future generations.

Some of this online rhetoric has come from unexpected sources. Author of the popular children’s series, “Harry Potter,” J.K. Rowling’s name has become virtually synonymous with a growing group of people known as TERFs. TERF stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist, or someone who does not see transgender women as women. J.K. Rowling’s fame serves to normalize the transphobic content she regularly posts online. On her personal blog, she wrote a lengthy piece outlining her views on transgender people, stating: “When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman – and, as I’ve said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones – then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside.”

Transphobic rhetoric has not been isolated to online discourse. Several laws are being introduced across the country which target transgender people on the basis of their identities. Introduced in November 2022, the Tennessee state legislature is working to pass a bill (HB 1) that would ban hormone treatment or any procedure that “is for the purpose of enabling a minor to identify with, or live as, a purported identity inconsistent with the minor’s sex.”

A similar bill in Florida (HB 991) is attempting to rewrite the state’s defamation laws. If enacted, it will protect those who make bigoted remarks from people who call them out on them. Essentially, someone can say something transphobic, and if you call them a transphobe, they can sue you for $35,000. The bill goes so far as to state, “A defendant cannot prove the truth of an allegation of discrimination with respect to sexual orientation or gender identity by citing a plaintiff’s constitutionally protected religious expression or beliefs.” Apart from being a terrible law that protects bigots, the bill has also been criticized for upending decades of defamation-related precedent.

With attacks on them being insistent and unending, it is no surprise that most transgender people are fearful for their lives and concerned about their futures. According to a study in the National Library of Medicine, 82 percent of transgender people have considered suicide, while 40 percent have attempted it. These staggeringly high numbers are a result of living a life that society rejects. It is hard enough to be a transgender person without the constant hate and bigotry that is constantly spewed upon them, and it’s despicable that there are people who tirelessly work to make transgender people’s lives even worse.

The death of Brianna Ghey is shaking the world, and vigils are being held for her across Great Britain. Unfortunately, many people are using this tragic time to continue spreading their bigoted rhetoric. A vigil held in her memory in Manchester was interrupted by a group of masked people shouting, “F**k LGBT.” Online, a number of Twitter users have shared posts misgendering Ghey, with some even creating a fake deadname­, or the name that a transgender person uses before transitioning.

In a statement, Brianna Ghey’s family said she “was a much-loved daughter, granddaughter and baby sister” who “was strong, fearless and one of a kind.” Her death rocked transgender and queer communities across the world, and she will not be forgotten. Brianna Ghey deserves to rest in peace and be remembered as the beacon of light that she was. She, along with every other transgender individual, deserves the same basic rights: to be respected, remembered, understood and loved.

Zach Leach can be reached at and followed on Twitter at @ZachLeach12.

Two teens found guilty of Brianna’s murder

with you as two teenagers have been found guilty of the “frenzied” stabbing attack on Brianna Ghey.

Following a four-week trial at Manchester Crown Court, a jury of seven men and five women deliberated for approximately four hours and 40 minutes before finding them both guilty of murder.

Sixteen-year-old Brianna, who was transgender, was stabbed 28 times in broad daylight in Culcheth Linear Park in Cheshire on the afternoon of 11 February.

Neither defendant, sitting next to a social worker each and surrounded by six security staff filling the dock, showed any emotion as the verdicts were delivered.

The knife used to kill Brianna

On the day of her death, Brianna was lured to the park before being attacked with a hunting knife in broad daylight, suffering stab wounds to her head, neck, chest and back.

Cheshire Police have released this image of the knife used.

During the trial, the jury was told the knife was brought to the park by boy Y.

The blade, blood stained clothing and trainers were found at his home after he was arrested

Brianna ‘fearless to be whoever she wanted to be’ – mum

Katie Barnfield

BBC North West Tonight


The heartbroken mother of Brianna Ghey has said she will never get over the death of her “fearless” daughter, which has left a hole in her heart.

“She was fearless to be whoever she wanted to be,” she said.

“She wanted to identify as a female, and she wanted to wear girls’ school uniform. She just did it – it wasn’t a hurdle at all for her.”

The days and weeks after her daughter’s death are a blur.

“The only way I can describe it is, there’s a hole in my heart,” she says.

“I know for a fact I will never get over this.”Read more about these links.

Extremely distressing case

If you’re affected by the issues in this live page, you can find support from BBC Action Line.

The headteacher of murdered Brianna Ghey says the teenager “didn’t live her life as a victim”.

Emma Mills told the BBC: “There was never any evidence of Brianna being bullied within school or out of school.

“Brianna was very much able to give as good as she got in that way.”

“And I think what was really hard was that she was portrayed in the media as a victim and she didn’t live her life as a victim.”

“She was someone that was loud and proud and confident in who she was,” she added.

Read more about these links.

More footage of Brianna’s last movements

The jury was also shown footage of Brianna getting on to a bus that would take her to the park where she was stabbed 28 times.

The 16-year-old was seen boarding a bus to Culcheth to meet girl X.

The jury heard while on the bus Brianna, who suffered from anxiety and did not go out on her own, sent her mother, Esther Ghey, a text which said: “I’m on the bus by myself, I’m scared”.

The trial heard her mother replied: “That’s well good”.

She added: “I was really proud of her.”

Brianna’s death sparked outpouring of grief

There was an outpouring of moving tributes to Brianna in the aftermath of the frenzied stabbing attack.

Thousands of people attended candlelit vigils held across the UK and Ireland in memory of the teenager, who was transgender, including one in Culcheth village green, near to where she was killed.

Tributes to Brianna also flooded social media, in particular TikTok, where she had a huge following.

Read more about these links.

Teen killers will get life sentences – judge

The judge told the court a sentencing hearing will take place in the new year.

Mrs Justice Yip told the two defendants: “I will have to impose a life sentence.

“What I have to decide is the minimum amount of time you will be required to serve before you might be considered for release.”

“I’m not going to do that this week. I’m going to ask for some reports in relation to each of you.”

Read more about these links.

Doorbell footage shown to jury of Brianna leaving home

Doorbell footage of Brianna leaving her home for the last time on the day she died was shown to the jury during the trial.

The footage showed the schoolgirl looking at her mobile phone as she checked the door was locked before walking down the path and out of the gate to head to Culcheth Linear Park totally unaware of her tragic fate.

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December 19th 2023

Ofgem warning after Sir Grayson Perry energy bill saga

Grayson Perry looking at the camera wearing a hat in front of an artwork, taken in 2020

Energy regulator Ofgem says suppliers must be accurate with bills and deal quickly with mistakes, following a saga involving artist Sir Grayson Perry.

The Turner Prize-winning artist criticised EDF after receiving a stack of bills that added up to £39,000.

The company said that problems with bills could happen occasionally, but there were no fundamental, broader issues with how its system was working.

Ofgem said it would not hesitate to act if any suppliers were breaking rules.

Regular direct debit payments must be based on “the best and most current information available”, according to suppliers’ licence conditions.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Sir Grayson said that he had “out of the blue” received about 15 bills from EDF and was told they would deduct the money by direct debit for all of those bills on the same day.

“I just thought it was so bizarre. I spent about three hours at least trying to get some sense out of a call centre, but you’re talking to a computer really, so it was very frustrating,” he said.

“They just would sort of say, ‘well it says £39,000 – that’s how much we’re going to take.'”

He said the saga was an “interesting fable of the technological age”, with a smart meter being installed at his country studio several years ago despite him warning there was no phone signal at the address.


EDF said “unusual” direct debit changes could occur when incorrect meter readings were recorded on its system.

On average, it answers customer service calls within four minutes, and the company said that there was no wider, systematic problem.

“We know problems can sometimes occur for a variety of reasons and we apologise to customers who experience difficulties,” a company spokesman said.

“When this happens, we look to put things right as quickly as possible. There is no broader issue with our systems and our direct debit processes continue to work as normal.”

The company, which has 3.5 million customers, said it was in the process of moving residential and small business customers to a new customer service system, which was operating well.

Some customers reacted to Sir Grayson’s situation by outlining their own issues on social media.

Other companies have suffered similar problems in the past. In May, Ovo apologised for “shortfalls in service” after customers were hit with bills of up to £116,000 for a month’s energy.

Customers said their energy usage had been miscalculated after transferring to Ovo or after having a smart meter installed.

An Ofgem spokesman said the regulator had taken action on inaccurate direct debits.

“We have strengthened the rules around direct debits and earlier this year, we told suppliers to look at processes around them, which resulted in 900,000 customers having their payments reviewed and adjustments made for miscalculations,” he said.

In recent years, millions of people have struggled to pay actual, correctly calculated bills owing to rising prices. Charities say that many have been forced to borrow money to pay essential bills.

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NHS dentistry on the ‘brink of collapse’ warns former dentist

Retired dentist Dr Tim Coates said it’s not ‘greedy dentists’ who are responsible for the lack of NHS dentists.

A retired dentist from North Somerset has spoken out about the dental crisis which has seen dentists opting out of the NHS and setting up private practice. This has left many people who cannot afford private care, without access to basic dental services which are crucial to overall health.

But Dr Tim Coates from Churchill, who worked as a dentist for many years in Weston-super-Mare before retiring in 2021, said there’s much more to it than ‘greedy dentists’ wanting to cash in. He has just released his book ‘I Hate The Dentist’ which is ‘A Patient’s Guide to Dental Care and Dentistry in the UK’.

He said: “There is a knowledge gap between patients and the dental profession,” adding that the book delves into the importance of regular dental check-ups and to have a genuine understanding of the position of NHS dentists.

Read next: ‘Steady fall’ in Bristol patients able to access an NHS dentist

Channel crossing: One dead and another critical after boat carrying migrants sinks

The casualties were among at least 66 people on the inflatable dinghy which got into difficulty about five miles off the French coast.Friday 15 December 2023 12:52, UK

One person has died and another is in a critical condition in hospital after a boat carrying migrants sank in the English Channel.

They were among at least 66 people on the inflatable dinghy which got into difficulty about fives miles (8km) off the northern French coast, according to the coastguard.

The survivors have been taken to Calais while a search is continuing by air and sea.

Rescuers reached the craft at about 1am local time and found one of the boat’s tubes was deflated and people were in the water.

Two of the migrants were found unconscious.

One in a life-threatening condition was airlifted to hospital by helicopter, while a second person could not be revived.

The rescue happened off the coast near Grand-Fort Philippe, 12 miles (20km) east of Calais.

Government minister Andrew Griffith said the latest tragedy underlined why the crossing was “not a safe route” and why Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was “cracking down on the terrible trade of people traffickers”.

Reacting to the incident on Sky News, Mr Griffith said: “All of these are tragic stories.


“It shows once again the importance of cracking down on the terrible trade of people traffickers in the Channel.

“It is not a safe route, it is not a safe crossing. People shouldn’t need to do that.

“It is why it is really important that the government is taking action… to absolutely remove the incentive, break the economic model of people smugglers, so that we can stop this terrible trade.”

Read more from Sky News:
Less than 1% of small boat arrivals returned home since 2020
How did your MP vote on Rwanda plan?
What next after Sunak survives crunch vote?

Labour chairwoman Anneliese Dodds said: “It is obviously absolutely awful, heartbreaking news.

“One can barely imagine what it must have been like in the middle of the night with freezing cold water and the terror and fear for people on that vessel.

“And I think yet again this underlines really that the criminal people-smuggling gangs are putting individuals in absolutely appalling danger.

“They are profiting from this really disgracefully, and there needs to be far more done to break up those criminal people-smuggling gangs.”

Enver Solomon, chief executive officer of the Refugee Council, said: “This is yet another terrible and avoidable tragedy.

“These appalling deaths are becoming too common and there is an urgent need to put in place safe routes so people don’t have to take dangerous journeys across the world’s busiest shipping lane.

“People flee persecution and violence out of desperation, to find safety and protect their families.

“The government must take action now and respond in a compassionate way to prevent future tragedies and protect human life.”

Mr Sunak has made tackling small boat crossings a key priority.

The Conservative leader won a critical vote this week at Westminster for emergency legislation aimed at reviving his controversial £290m plan to deport those entering the country illegally to Rwanda.

But he faces further opposition from hardliners on the Tory right, who want the draft law strengthened, while this will be resisted by party centrists, who have warned against breaking international law.

Mr Sunak has refused to say how soon flights to Kigali will take off if he gets the bill through the Commons and Lords, where it is also expected to face a rough ride.

At least 29,090 people have crossed to the UK aboard small boats so far this year, according to government data compiled and analysed by Sky News.

This is 35% lower than the same time in 2022, when 42,206 people had succeeded in making the dangerous journey.

Despite overall numbers of people making the life-threatening trip in 2023 being lower than last year, the number of people being packed aboard each boat has increased.

An average of almost 49 people have been found on board each boat that made it to the UK so far this year, up from 41 last year.

In a sign that smugglers are seeking to make more and more profit – at the expense of people’s safety – that number has rocketed in recent years, up from just 13 in 2020.

Migrant crisis: ‘Unsustainable’ pressure on RNLI to rescue people crossing Channel

The issue of how to deal with small boats continues to divide communities on Kent’s coastline – as “unprecedented rescue demand” puts pressure on the lifeboat charity.

A former RNLI crew member in Kent has described the pressure on lifeboat volunteers called out to rescue migrants crossing the channel as “unsustainable”.

Referring to the rise over the summer in arrivals of asylum seekers from Albania, David Wimble said: “Albania is, I think, probably the straw that’s broken the camel’s back.”

The issue of how to deal with the arrival of small boats continues to divide some in Kent’s coastal communities.

The charity Care4Calais meets migrants at Dungeness with food, water and flipflops – they say they want to counter hostility towards migrants on the beach.

The RNLI crews are almost all volunteers. Their remit is to save lives at sea and they rely on donations.

David Wimble was on the lifeboat crew at Littlestone in Kent for 18 years. He is also a local councillor and works for a local newspaper.

He says he is in touch with RNLI crew members from different stations along the coast.

Mr Wimble, who left the RNLI as crew in 2011, told Sky News: “It’s interfering with normal work the stations would do and the training exercises.

“But more importantly it’s getting harder for crews to actually give up the time to go and do this because most of them have full time jobs and their employers – who are normally very, very understanding – let them drop everything as soon as the pagers go off to go on a job.

“More and more crew members are saying that something is going to have to be done sooner rather than later because it’s not sustainable to keep doing this.”

Simon Ling, RNLI Head of Lifeboats told Sky News his crews are facing pressure from "unprecedented rescue demand"
Image: Simon Ling said his crews are facing pressure from ‘unprecedented rescue demand’

‘Unprecedented rescue demand’

The RNLI told Sky News the welfare of its volunteers and staff is “a top priority”.

Simon Ling, RNLI head of lifeboats, said: “The very most important thing that I can do in this role is understand the pressures that this type of unprecedented rescue demand is placing upon our people. I’m confident we’re doing that now.

“We are coming up with a whole range of interventions which are specifically aimed at looking after our people, improving our training and improving our equipment.

“The whole concept of volunteers waking up in the middle of the night and leaving their families to go to sea to rescue strangers is a very powerful one and one that we’re very keen to protect.”

Katie Sweetingham, the emergency response team leader in Kent for Care4Calais, tries to meet asylum seekers on the beach at Dungeness if they are brought ashore there by the RNLI.

But this has prompted criticism that the actions of the charity, which also operates in northern France, could in some way encourage or facilitate crossings – which it denies.

Katie Sweetingham, emergency response team leader in Kent for the charity Care4Calais
Image: Katie Sweetingham, emergency response team leader in Kent for the charity Care4Calais

Hostility ‘directed in wrong place’

Ms Sweetingham said: “Yes we’re friendly and welcoming but nobody leaves their home and makes such a dangerous journey to get to the UK because somebody is smiling and offering them some dry clothes when they get to the beach.

“To think that that might be the case you don’t fully understand the journeys that people have made to get to the UK. They’re coming to the UK largely because they have family ties to the UK or some connection to the UK with culture or language.

“It’s a difficult issue because lots of the facts are obscured. I think the hostility is being directed in the wrong place.”

Along the coast there are plenty of people with opinions on the small boats situation – but there is also a reluctance to speak out publicly.

Kent resident Tina Goodyer believes people crossing the Channel shouldn't be 'Britain's problem'
Image: Kent resident Tina Goodyer believes people crossing the Channel shouldn’t be ‘Britain’s problem’

However, we arranged to meet up with Lydd resident Tina Goodyer who has lived in Kent for 21 years.

Ms Goodyer – like others we have been in touch with – supports the government’s efforts to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

She told Sky News she’s lost friends over the issue but said resolutely: “I’ve been called nasty names but it’s like water off a duck’s back, I don’t care. I’m entitled to my opinion and I will have my opinion.

“If they get here they should be sent to Rwanda – wherever – but not here. It shouldn’t be our problem. We’ve got enough problems in this country.”

Read more:
Archbishop slams Rwanda asylum scheme as ‘ungodly
Rwanda explained: How the UK’s plan mirrors policies in Australia, Israel and Denmark

Referring to asylum seekers being provided with food and accommodation while they wait for their claims to be processed, Ms Goodyer said: “It makes me very angry because we’ve got a lot of elderly people in this country who will have real problems this winter.”

And that’s a sentiment that is creeping into this debate as Britain finds itself in the middle of a cost of living crisis.

Kent resident butcher Andy Lawrence
Image: Andy Lawrence said that like the migrants he would do anything to keep his children safe

Another Kent resident, Andy Lawrence, a butcher, said: “I think more people will start to look at it from that way and it will cast more of a negative light over the issue.”

But he added: “As a father of three myself if I was in their position would I do the same of course.”

Related Topics

Lisa Holland.

December 18th 2023

Broken Britain by F.S West Country Correspondent

What a state! A Police State.

Today’s police story. A fellow on the Prom playing a piano – very well. He’s towing the instrument on a trolley from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise awareness of mental health issues, having set off in 2021. The police arrested him and impounded the piano (£150 to get it back) because they say the trolley is a vehicle – so he needs insurance and L plates. This is a trolley he pulls along by hand and which, even with electrical assistance, can only travel at walking pace. But six penalty points on his licence. A court case is pending. I can think of few printable words for the scum who would do this. Perhaps not scum. Morons? Idiots? Jobs-worths? Surely the brain-dead should be weeded out during recruitment? Or perhaps that’s a prerequisite these days. And then the judiciary… Annoyed? Me?

This in Cheltenham Waterstones:

Looks worth reading. I got about a chapter in before I had to leave…

Story here:

Any thoughts on the rumour/theory going round that the young male unemployables currently being housed at our expense having arrived on small boats are being held ready in waiting as a potentially trainable taskforce that will be able to quell and control rebellious natives if it all kicks off? A theory too far?

Editor’s Comment

Back in December 2020 I was delivering to a warehouse construction site in Berkshre. It was much  needed air conditioning equipment. .The black security guard was missing from his cabin and wasting my time because I had so much else to do. When Ifound him on his moblie talking to his friend in what sounded like Swahili. 

He was rude and ignored me so I went to the engineer’s cabin. When I complained, I got his PC lecture on me being racist. Tescos Buckingham security guards are always black and make a point of searching me and other older white males , when no alarm has gone off. One blatantly followed  me around the shop. So wedon’t go in there anymore.

Migrants wouid make a  great social control army because,as with women and sex, race is their go to weapon. You can’t argue with it unless you are a police officer that the senior officers want to sack. Howvever, I have no evidence that the rumour is true, but it is definitely plausible.

The orders are coming from the increcibly rich and powerful with their police and police state media, liberal lackeys and methods. In my experience, black serurity guards are super NAZI, grovellng to a system that has fed and excused them since the days of empire’s end.

There are plenty of white Nazi style security guards, but liberal wisdom informs us that black people cannot be racist. That also applies to all Muslims now that their religion has been granted liberal endorsement as a race, have similar potentially devastating power.

Former drug addict pulls piano from John O’Groats to Land’s End to show how music helped save his life

By Lauren Taylor

April 28 2021, 5.14pm

A busker who used his love of music to beat drugs has embarked on a huge charity challenge.

James Tofalli is pulling his beloved Kemble piano from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise awareness of mental health issues.

The 28-year-old – known as Piano James – was today in Ullapool, where he played for several hours ahead of the next leg of his trek.

Music plays a huge part of Mr Tofalli’s life and helps boost his mental health while giving him a way to express himself.

He hopes to raise thousands to buy musical instruments and run online workshops for those with mental health difficulties and autism.

Sir Grayson Perry anger over £39,000 EDF energy bill error

  • Published
  • 4 hours ago
Sir Grayson Perry
Image caption, Sir Grayson Perry accepted a knighthood as his female alter-ego, Claire

Turner Prize-winning artist Sir Grayson Perry has hit out at EDF, saying the energy firm tried to raise his monthly electricity bill from £300 to £39,000.

Sir Grayson said the company had tried to take the inflated amount as a direct debit from his account, according to a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Other customers, including journalist Jon Sopel, reacted with similar stories.

But the company said there was no wider issue with its billing system.

Energy suppliers have been taken to task by the regulator Ofgem for the way they set direct debits. But EDF said it was given a relatively clean bill of health by the watchdog for the way it manages its direct debit calculations.

Essex-born artist Sir Grayson, known for his tapestries and ceramic works, was furious with his bill and with the response from the company’s call centre.

Former BBC journalist Sopel, who now presents The News Agents podcast, responded with his own story, about how he was notified that his bill was going up from £152 a month to £18,000.

“Ridiculous,” he wrote. “We’ve now sorted.”

However, he questioned how the situation occurred – a view taken up by various other former or current customers on social media.

A spokesman for EDF said the company could not discuss the specifics of Sopel’s and Sir Grayson’s cases, but said they were unrelated.

“Customers do not need to worry – these are not related to a wider issue with our billing system and we’ve not made any changes to how we process direct debit changes for customers,” he said.

“Unusual changes to direct debit amounts can sometimes occur when there is an erroneous meter reading recorded on the system.”

He said that the company had “robust interventions” in place to ensure any large increases in customers’ direct debits were verified through a human check.

“In almost all such cases, system errors are rectified and prevented, without customers being impacted,” he said.

For the most part, errors on energy bills do not affect customers’ finances, but they can be time consuming and inconvenient. Anyone who is unhappy with a response can take a case to an ombudsman.

Concerns about direct debits have been heightened given bills have soared, particularly since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Millions of people have struggled to pay actual, correctly calculated bills with charities warning that many have been forced to borrow money to pay essential bills.

On Friday, Ofgem said customers who could not or would not pay owed suppliers a total of £2.9bn. It is proposing lifting the energy price cap by £16 for a household using a typical amount of energy between April next year and March 2025 to give suppliers the funds to offer payment plans or write off some of this debt.

Michelle Mone hits back at Rishi Sunak over PPE scandal

Michelle Mone: “I’m sorry for not saying straight out: Yes, I am involved”

By Becky Morton

BBC political reporter

Baroness Michelle Mone has hit back at Rishi Sunak, saying she was “honest” with the government over contracts for personal protective equipment (PPE).

The peer has admitted lying to the media about her links to a company that supplied millions of pounds worth of personal protective equipment to the government during the Covid pandemic.

But she insisted the government knew about her involvement.

The prime minister said he was taking the issue “incredibly seriously”.

In an interview with the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme, Baroness Mone conceded she stands to benefit from the profits made by PPE Medpro, which is led by her husband.

Asked about her admission she did not tell the truth about her links to the company, Mr Sunak said: “The government takes these things incredibly seriously, which is why we’re pursuing legal action against the company concerned in these matters.”

“But it is also subject to an ongoing criminal investigation. And because of that, there’s not much further that I can add,” he told reporters on a visit to Scotland.

Responding to Mr Sunak’s comments on X, Baroness Mone said: “What is @RishiSunak talking about?

“I was honest with the Cabinet Office, the government and the NHS in my dealings with them.

“They all knew about my involvement from the very beginning.”

However, Lord Bethell – who was a minister in the Department of Health during the pandemic – disputed her account, saying she “wasn’t ‘honest’ about her financial interest to me”.

“She didn’t explain ‘from the very beginning’ about her financial ‘involvement’,” he wrote on X, adding that Mr Sunak was right to take the matter seriously.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said Baroness Mone should not be a member of the House of Lords, describing the scandal as a “shocking disgrace from top to bottom”.

He said the government had “serious questions” to answer, including who started the conversations with Baroness Mone in the first place.

The Liberal Democrats called for “an urgent independent inquiry into what happened at the Cabinet Office over these contracts”.

“The more this scandal unfolds the more serious the questions for Michael Gove and other ministers to answer,” the party’s Cabinet Office spokeswoman Christine Jardine said.

“What did ministers know when, and what exactly did they say to Michelle Mone or anyone else involved?”

In her interview on Sunday, Baroness Mone said she contacted Michael Gove – then Cabinet Office minister – at the start of the pandemic to offer help.

The Scottish lingerie tycoon was made a Conservative peer by David Cameron but is no longer in the parliamentary party.

She is currently on a leave of absence from Parliament, which she previously said was to “clear her name”, and is being investigated by the House of Lords for not declaring her interest in PPE Medpro.

The company is also being investigated by the National Crime Agency (NCA).

Earlier, Energy Efficiency Minister Lord Callanan said he hoped Baroness Mone would “see sense” and “would not be coming back to the House of Lords”.

“I think she should have declared her involvement in that in the House of Lords register, and there is guidance available for that,” he told Sky News.

The peer, in an exclusive interview on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, says she stands to benefit from £60m PPE profit.

Watch the full interview on BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer

PPE Medpro was awarded government contracts worth more than £200m to supply PPE to the NHS during the pandemic through a so-called “VIP lane”, introduced to help the government choose between huge numbers of supplier offers.

In November 2021, the government revealed that Baroness Mone was the “source of referral” for PPE Medpro getting a place in the VIP lane.

Millions of gowns the company supplied were never used but the couple say these were supplied in accordance with the contract.

PPE Medpro is being sued by the UK government for £122m plus costs for “breach of contract and unjust enrichment”. The company is defending the legal action.

In their interview with the BBC, Baroness Mone and her husband Doug Barrowman apologised for denying their role in the deal for more than three years.

Love Actually at 20: Are we still in love with the controversial Christmas classic?

  • Published
  • 20 hours ago
Bill Nighy and singers
Image caption, Bill Nighy plays an ageing rock star hoping for a comeback with his festive new song, Christmas Is All Around

By Yasmin Rufo

Entertainment reporter

As washed-up rock star Billy Mack, played by Bill Nighy, finally nails the lyrics to the festive version of Love is All Around (aptly renamed Christmas is All Around), he realises how awful the song is. His manager, grinning, agrees that it is rubbish – “solid-gold” rubbish.

And so the scene is set for Love Actually, a two-hour whirlwind of improbable, questionable and downright daft scenes of love, propped up by a star-studded cast.

The world may have moved on from dial-up internet, Apple’s iPod and low-rise jeans – but two decades on, Richard Curtis’s 2003 festive drama remains a Christmas classic, albeit a controversial one.

The interlinked romantic tales of middle-class characters professing their love at Christmas gets an annual grilling from critics, viewers and even some of those involved in the film, who point out the unrealistic portrayals of love, questionable character decisions and outdated jokes.

Read More

December 16th 2023

More than 60 charities have demanded the immediate closure of the Bibby Stockholm barge used to accommodate asylum seekers after a man died following a suspected suicide there on Tuesday. The call comes in a letter published in the Guardian signed by 65 charities and three Labour MPs.

Bibby Stockholm barge must be closed immediately

The barge is no place to accommodate people who have fled violence, persecution and torture, say campaigners and MPsFri 15 Dec 2023 14.35 GMT.

Following the suspected suicide of a person seeking asylum on the Bibby Stockholm on Tuesday, we are calling for the immediate closure of the barge.

For those on board, the Bibby Stockholm feels like a prison. It is cramped, restrictive and segregated. The barge is no place to accommodate people who have fled violence, persecution and torture, many of whom are traumatised and isolated. They are unable to get the help and specialist support they need. Their mental health has deteriorated and some have felt suicidal.

While people on board pay an appalling price, the government is paying £22.5m to operate the barge. These funds should be spent on providing people seeking asylum with safe housing in the community.

It is also vital that the government launches an independent inquiry into the death so that lessons are learned and those responsible are held accountable.

This country must never again house those who come to our shores seeking safety in such an inappropriate and inhumane place.

Nicola David One Life to Live, Enver Solomon Chief executive, Refugee Council, Tim Naor Hilton Refugee Action, Sabir Zazai CEO, Scottish Refugee Council, Bridget Young NACCOM – The No Accommodation Network, Aria Danaparamita Advocacy director, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Nadia Whittome MP, Kim Johnson MP, Olivia Blake MP and 59 others

Comment As a truck driver for 12 years, I have driven and delivered all over the U.K, as far north as Aberdeen, east to Norwich, Ipswich and Cambridge, South Wales and South West to Cornwall. I have covered London and the Midlands with lots of city centre night deliveries in all weathers. One cold January morning at 3 am., in Peterborough’s Cathedral Square, I noticed a pile of cardboard sheets and boxes blocking my way to the passage door at Wagamama. As I drew nearer with my heavily laden sackbarrow, the pile exploded upward and outward. It all happened in an instant. There in front of me was what turned out to be a bearded and curly headed young Turk, pleading: “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

Most people, who don’t have the kind of cushy public sector job with gold plated pension that I used to have, would find the above letter from some of the great and good, nauseating. I know why. The majority if not all boat people, are economic migrants admitting they are here for ‘a better life.’

The liberal elite welcomes them to their wonderrful rainbow world of diversity. So these, mainly young Muslim males, do not have to assimilate. It is very good of these nice Guardian reading people to take the ‘asylum seekers’ part. These people, in my experience as an income tax adviser to the London Accountant ‘Jones, Ross, Howell, do their best to ‘avoid’ tax. The bottom 20% of U.K taxapayers account for 40% of all taxes. They take the bulk of the migrant tax burden, inflated living costs and deflated wages. They are the ones the white liberal elite condemn as racist if they say anything about mass immigration, especially from the boat people.

Accommodating asylum seekers in comfortable hotels costs £8 million per day. Returning to my truck driving days, I saw and spoke to so many homeless young white natives while on my travels. They were all victims of our appalling state education system, rampant home breaking bourgeoise and feral society. None of these self congratulating conceited Guardian influencers signing the above letter to their favourite newspaper, care about them – especially if they are ‘privileged white males.’

R J Cook Truck Driver 2016, Bristol. Image R J Cook / Appledene Photographics.

R J Cook

Primary schools given advice on children who want to change gender (supposedly now agreed)

4 replies

IwantToRetire · Today 18:21

The government had been planning to introduce an outright ban on social transitioning, under which children can change their names, pronouns and uniforms.
However, Victoria Prentis, the attorney-general, said that an outright ban would be unlawful under the Equality Act and would require new legislation.

The guidance will instead urge schools to proceed with caution and allow pupils to identify as the opposite sex only in limited circumstances.

Schools will be urged to take particular care with younger children amid concerns that social transitioning could have a more significant impact.

The guidance will also ensure that nearly all parents are informed if their children tell staff that they want to change their gender identity, except for children with safeguarding issues. Campaigners have raised concerns that many parents are being kept in the dark.

Ministers had weighed up putting the legislation on a statutory footing. However, Prentis said that a blanket ban would be unlawful because the Equalities Act states that gender reassignment is a “protected characteristic”, regardless of age. She gave the same advice when ministers asked whether there could be a ban on social transitioning for primary school children.

Also at

Primary schools given advice on children who want to change genderInternal party rows have delayed guidance on how to treat transgender children at school · Today 18:42

Is anyone here a lawyer and able to explain this advice? I get that children, despite not qualifying for a grc, can have the PC of gender reassignment, and therefore enjoy protection from discrimination on that basis, but in that case the comparator (for judging discrimination) is another child of the same sex. None of the children are allowed to identify out of their sex, so there is no discrimination.

I also get that it goes against personal autonomy to block transition. But we stop children doing stuff all the time, and in any case what does the EA have to do with it?

December 15th 2023

Police officer sacked after abusive ex-boyfriend found never to have existed

Pc Nadia Thurley made 14 allegations against her ‘fictional’ former partner.
Pc Nadia Thurley repeatedly reported her imaginary ex-boyfriend for assault Credit: SOLENT NEWS & PHOTO AGENCY

Pc Nadia Thurley repeatedly reported her imaginary ex-boyfriend for assault Credit: SOLENT NEWS & PHOTO AGENCY

A police officer has been sacked after repeatedly reporting her former boyfriend for assault – only for detectives to find he did not exist…

The secret life of gender clinicians
They are trained to practise ‘heavenly deception’
BY Eliza Mondegreen

Unmentionable Facts Of U.K Migration.

Image R J Cook / Appledene Photographics. Oxford October 2023. Mainstream media mocks the Government’s Rwanda Plan on grounds of cost and Rwanda not being a wonderful egalitarian democracy. Here the £8million per day cost of housiing so called asylum seekers, who only want to come to the United Kingdom, nowhere because nowhere else is so welcoming- is never questioned. There are now calls to shut down the Bibby Stockholm because an inhabitant committed suicide. The role of medieval religion ,post iimperial dictatorships, rampant non white overpopulation resultant ignorance,disease which U.K is importing, misery, tribal warfare and global capitalism is never mentioned.
Self righteous white bourgeoise liberal virtue signalling self styled liberals pump out patronising propaganda to enure matters get worse – with the white working classes and the likes of Tommy Robinson taking the blame. R J Cook

Small boat returns almost non-existent, Home Office admits

The recent focus on the Channel crisis has revealed a striking statistic: only one percent of small boat arrivals since 2020 have been sent back to their home country.

We knew that the number of enforced returns had dropped to a paltry level (see the chart below), but this recent revelation vividly highlights the Home Office’s struggle to deport illegal immigrants.

The information came to light through written evidence submitted to the Home Affairs committee. In this evidence, the Home Office acknowledged that out of 111,833 illegal migrants who entered the UK by small boat, only 1,182 were removed or sent to their home country. More concerning is that, despite the government’s year-old agreement with Albania to boost returns, only five per cent of Albanian arrivals since 2020 have been sent back.

This whole debacle is intricately tied to the colossal backlog of asylum cases that the government seems utterly incapable of sorting out. The hope of resolving 92,000 legacy cases by the end of the year is now nothing more than a dream.

Instead of efficiently dealing with cases more likely to face rejection (such as Albanian nationals), the government’s absurd response was to fast-track those cases with a higher chance of getting asylum. To make matters worse, our human rights laws and international agreements are woefully outdated, making it exceedingly challenging to deport illegal immigrants.

It’s a topsy-turvy system that has left the least deserving asylum seekers lounging indefinitely in taxpayer-funded hotels, all while the government fumbles its way through. For the gritty details, check out the Times report here.
Over in Westminster, the government presented its emergency Rwanda legislation for a second reading. While a notable group of Conservative MPs had hinted at voting against the bill, they eventually chose to abstain, opting to advocate for amendments at a later stage of the Bill’s passage. Specifically, they aim to eliminate the possibility for asylum seekers to appeal against being relocated to Rwanda.

This situation puts the Prime Minister on the horns of a dilemma. Any modifications to the legislation risk losing the backing of Conservatives from the liberal ‘One Nation’ group, led by former immigration minister Damien Green, who adamantly opposes additional amendments. Both factions, however, are wary of witnessing a decline in the Prime Minister’s authority, especially as we near the next general election.
All we would add to this sorry tale, which has generated more heat than light, is to take note of what Robert Jenrick had to say when he stepped down from the frontbench last Wednesday. Maintaining that the Rwanda bill is too weak, Jenrick warned it would just keep feeding a never-ending cycle of legal challenges from migrants. And we agree with him, for so long as the Bill allows for individuals to appeal against their removal, cases will get mired in the courts.

Will any flights take off for Rwanda before the election with meaningful numbers on them? We very much doubt it.

Meanwhile, legal migration continues unabated and in substantial numbers. Net migration was a record-breaking 745,00 in 2022, followed by a staggering 672,000 in 2023. Legal migration far surpasses the numbers of illegal Channel crossers, yet the government opts not to reduce those numbers, despite possessing the tools to do so. Perhaps that is why the government seeks to divert our attention to the Channel?
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) released its annual report on Wednesday. You can read the Daily Mail’s summary here. For the key points are: Introducing a cap on numbers is the only practical way to control legal migration. Housing and rental costs have gone up, partly due to the impact of immigration. The scarcity of British-born care workers is connected to inadequate wages and working conditions. Bringing in low-skilled migrants to fill these positions poses various long-term challenges for both the Treasury and the quality of care. Growth in international postgraduate students has been strongest in the less prestigious universities. Partners and children of students, who are considered ‘dependants’, enjoy taxpayer-funded services like healthcare and education. Migration Watch UK has been making these arguments for years. That the MAC recognises and accepts these facts is to be welcomed. The full 59-page report can be found here.

Finally, this week we have updated our Channel Migrant Map with all the latest data, you can access that here.
Migration Watch relies entirely on the generosity of our supporters who fund our work. If you would like to help us with our efforts, please click here to donate.
Matt Goodwin, ConservativeHome – My polling suggests that immigration could be a powerful springboard for a Farage comeback

‘When told that if net migration remains at its current rate Britain’s population will likely increase from 67 million people today to around 85 million people by the year 2046, two-thirds of British people, including 90 per cent of 2019 Conservatives, say they feel “concerned” about the direction of travel. When asked whether immigration is making Britain a nicer place to live, a worse place to live, or makes no real difference, a plurality of people, 42 per cent, including more than two-thirds of 2019 Conservative voters, said it is making Britain a “worse place to live”, while just one in ten of all voters think immigration is making Britain a better place to live.’

Other articles well worth a read include:

Ed West, The Spectator – The Tories aren’t being honest about foreign marriages

Robert Jenrick, The Telegraph – Politicians must listen to the people on immigration – or face their red-hot fury
This week, we have been referenced twice by the Daily Mail. In this first article, the tabloid reveals that smuggling gangs are offering a festive discount for Channel crossings.
‘Alp Mehmet, the head of Migration Watch, said: ‘The criminal gangs are only too ready to exploit the shameful chaos on immigration inside Government to get their foot soldiers here as well as bogus asylum seekers.”

Read the full article here.

In another Mail article, our Executive Director Mike Jones was also quoted: ‘Last night, think-tank Migration Watch UK said that the Rwandans have already built up ‘a lot of leverage’ over Britain when it comes to the deal. Executive director Dr Mike Jones added that one problem was that the UK might not even know the full truth about an asylum seeker they ask Rwanda to accept. The majority destroy their identity papers before arrival making their true past, criminal, terror-related or otherwise, impossible to ascertain by the Home Office. Dr Jones said that the Rwanda veto meant Britain might be left to cope with a problem group of migrants which the African country refused to take.’ Here is the full article. Mike was also invited onto GB News’ Good Afternoon Britain show to discuss the Rwanda Bill. Watch the interview below.
Alp was also quoted by the Daily Express, in an article about the Rwanda Plan:

 Alp Mehmet of Migration Watch was not optimistic and predicted the Bill will be “mauled” when it goes to the House of Lords. He said: “The Bill, as it stands, allows for individuals to appeal against removal both to our courts and the ECHR. “Activist immigration lawyers will be champing at the bit to get appealing.“‘

Read on here.

Mike also spoke to Richard Tice on GB News, about the loopholes in the student immigration system enabling mass migration. Watch the interview below.
Our ever dependable Channel Tracker has also proven useful this week, having been used by the German newspaper Deutsche Well, InfoMigrants, Free Malaysia Today and the Daily Telegraph.

We were also quoted by The European Conservative in reaction to the low levels of returned small boat migrants. ‘Migration Watch UK Chairman Alp Mehmet told The European Conservative:” I doubt [this] will have much impact even if flights start before the general election, and there’s no guarantee that they will.“‘ You can read the article here.
The shockingly low numbers of returns are nothing less than a travesty. If you’re as appalled as we are, take a stand by reaching out to your Member of Parliament and demand they speak up about the government’s abysmal track record. Click here to find out how you can make your voice heard.
We wouldn’t be able to continue this work without the help of our supporters. If you would like to donate, please click the button below.
Alternatively, we use an alternative payment provider, Stripe, which can be used to make donations via our Cut Immigration campaign website here. We are hoping to introduce this to the main Migration Watch website in the future.

Our supporters are all as concerned about the future of our country as we are. Some have been kind enough to remember us in their will. If you wish to consider leaving a bequest to Migration Watch UK, or wish to discuss anything else, do please get in touch. Our email is:

December 14th 2023

Who Cares About Migrants ?

Tell us what you really think Prime Minister. Does the Government even know what it wants from its immigration policy? In the wake of last week’s shocking net migration statistics and immigration levels, the Westminster village and attendant commentariat has completely flipped. Not only was last year’s net migration of 606,000, announced in May, surpassed with the year to June reaching 672,000, but the number for 2022 was revised upwards to an astonishing 745,000. As Migration Watch UK founder Lord Green said in the House of Lords this week, over the past two years net migration has added up to about the population of Birmingham.
Until this point, the government (with a few exceptions, like Suella Braverman, Robert Jenrick and Kemi Badenoch) had bizarrely been deluding itself with the notion that the public were unconcerned about the scale of legal migration. Can they really be so out of touch? Another explanation could be that they are only too aware of how people feel but don’t give a damn.

Indeed, this could be said of the bulk of the political class. Mr Sunak and most of his cabinet clearly thought they could pull the wool over the public’s eye again on legal immigration if they could claim progress on efforts to Stop the Boats.  As we have written time and again in this newsletter, thinking their efforts to stop the illegal crossings would fool people into believing legal immigration would also be tackled was utter poppycock. Can the bombshell net migration numbers really have taken the Government by surprise? Migration Watch UK warned again and again that it would happen. And yet, all we got from No 10 was contradictory messages.

Take, for instance, the PM’s reaction to the numbers last Friday, when he was saying net migration was too high and should come down. By Monday, at an investment summit arranged at his behest, he was extolling the virtues of immigration routes that he himself had introduced. This strikes us as Pushmi-Pullyu immigration policy.  Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Robert Jenrick, the immigration minister, said he had prepared a plan to cut immigration which could have been presented to Parliament over a year ago. This, of course, did not happen. But why? Because, it seems, the Prime Minister and most ministers around the cabinet table did not believe lower immigration was necessary and that the public would accept it. How wrong he was.  Mr Jenrick went on to outline how immigration could have been reduced. But why weren’t the rule changes he described put in place? We can only assume that Mr Jenrick was not allowed to introduce them. The minister went on to say, “Net migration at 672,000] places untold pressure on housing supply and public services and makes successful integration virtually impossible.” This of course is precisely what MW has been saying for years.  The difference between the clear comments of Mr Jenrick and the obfuscation of his boss, James Cleverly, could not be starker. According to our new Home Secretary, the Rwanda Plan is not the “be all and end all”. In other words, it wasn’t the only club in the bag even if there wasn’t a replacement plan for it in the pipeline. Days later, Sir Matthew Rycroft, the Permanent Secretary at the Home Office, appeared to confirm this in saying there was no Plan B [to the Rwanda plan] when giving evidence to MPs. Both could have been clearer as to what exactly was meant.

Sir Matthew’s deputy made matters worse by admitting that they had no idea what had happened to 17,000 people who had withdrawn their asylum claims. Nor did they know how many rejected asylum claimants had been returned to their home country in recent years, foreign national offenders and Albanians aside. This clip (embedded below) from the session is worth watching.
As ever, it has been a busy week for MW.  On Friday, we published polling that included a number of eye-popping figures: 66% of people are concerned with the possibility that the UK’s population could rise to 85 million by 2046 if net migration remains at current levels. 53% of people back a five-year halt on all further immigration into the UK. 42% of people think that immigration is detrimentally affecting the quality of life in Britain, with only 10% thinking it is making their lives better.  On Thursday, we launched a new migration statistics page on the website. Similar to the Channel Tracker, we’ll update this page each time new migration statistics are published. Our aim is to keep you informed with up-to-date data. Take a look here.
Migration Watch relies entirely on the generosity of our supporters who fund our work. If you would like to help us with our efforts, please click here to donate.
Brilliant as ever, Lionel Shriver has written a very goodarticle for The Spectator making quite clear that the government could tackle high migration levels if they really want to.

‘Yet according to newly released ONS data, net legal immigration is hitting record levels – revised upwards to 745,000 from 606,000 for 2022 and 672,000 for this year (not yet revised upwards). That ‘net’ gambit, too, is an intentional obfuscation of Britain’s fast-forward ethnic make-over. Of the roughly 500,000 emigrants who left Britain last year, only about 200,000 were neither British nor EU citizens. Of the 1.2 million immigrants who settled here last year, then, roughly a million were non-EU arrivals, who on average extract more than they contribute to the state.
If reducing immigration would be such a crowd-pleaser, why have politicians kept the flood gates open? One contingent of those commenters believes the dilution of native populations is a conspiracy. Me, I blame fecklessness. When confronting millions and perhaps in time billions of people fiercely determined to seek a ‘better life’, deterring them from doing so is hard. Withdrawal from obstructive and outdated ‘human rights’ agreements would look mean-spirited. The UK’s Home Office is a fifth column, but you can’t simply sack all those wet civil servants, can you? Fashionable idolisation of ‘diversity’ – anything but a strength – conveniently justifies passivity.’

The Spectator – The government could tackle immigration – if it really wanted to

We also enjoyed this excellent article by Juliet Samuel for The Times.
Our Executive Director, Mike Jones, was interviewed by Talk TV late last week. You can watch the interview below.
Breitbart UK featured our polling report which found over half of Brits support a five year pause in immigration. ‘A majority of Britons are concerned the nation’s population is soaring because of mass migration and, astonishingly, a majority even support a “five-year halt on all further immigration into the UK”. Reducing migration to zero, never mind for five whole years, is a position on border control so strident there is no political party in Britain that voters could even support to deliver such a policy. ‘The figures, which come from research by British Polling Council member People Polling in response to this week’s record net migration figures, shows a strong majoirty are concerned about migration having an impact on the population of the United Kingdom. Per a statement by Migration Watch, who commissioned the polling seen by Breitbart London 66 per cent of Britons said they are concerned about projections based on the present rate of migrant arrivals which suggest the UK population would reach 85 million by 2046 if nothing changes.’

Read on here. The polling was also cited by The Times here.

Our Chairman, Alp Mehmet, was also quoted by the Sun on Sunday. ‘Think tank Migration Watch slammed the rise as “inevitable” and demanded answers from Rishi Sunak’s government. Chairman Alp Mehmet said: “Given the opportunity to come here, to do any job, why wouldn’t dependants from much poorer countries come here? “The Government was either being naive or had deliberately set out to bring cheaper workers here. We are owed an explanation.”’

Read the article in full here.
Writing to your MP can be a thankless task, but right now it is as important as ever to let them know how strongly you feel about such high migration. Click here to find out how.
We wouldn’t be able to continue this work without the help of our supporters. If you would like to donate, please click the button below.
Alternatively, we use an alternative payment provider, Stripe, which can be used to make donations via our Cut Immigration campaign website here. We are hoping to introduce this to the main Migration Watch website in the future.

Our supporters are all as concerned about the future of our country as we are. Some have been kind enough to remember us in their will. If you wish to consider leaving a bequest to Migration Watch UK, or wish to discuss anything else, do please get in touch. Our email is:

December 11th 2023

Mum slams Cornwall school for confiscating ‘unhealthy snacks’

And the mum says that many of the items on the school menu are just as bad, if not worse for the children

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Chris Matthews

A parent of two children at a primary school in Cornwall has described the school’s policy of confiscating what they deem as ‘unhealthy snacks’ as “bonkers”. St Columb Major Academy’s school meal plan contains some items that are more unhealthy than some of the food confiscated, it has been claimed.

However, the academy says that only on occasions have pupils been asked to take home unhealthy snacks, and that when this has happened the snack has been replaced with a healthier alternative. It added that it is proud of its strong relationship with parents.

Angry parent Aimee Annear said: “My children attend a school in Cornwall (St Columb Major Academy) who go through a child’s lunch box and confiscate what they class as ‘unhealthy snacks’

“They replace the parent packed snack with crackers and butter which actually have a lot more calories in the day than a packet of quavers. It’s infuriating as parents are struggling to feed their children and this school is taking away perfectly good food.

Read more: Cornwall fisherman aged just 12 to supply his catch to restaurants

Read more: ‘Truly special’ nurse struck by tragedy after daughter’s devastating stillbirth

“I’m and also a personal trainer so it’s not a case of me not knowing what I’m talking about, I actually know a lot about nutrition. It is honestly insane and bonkers. They say no sugar doughnuts yet it’s on the menu for lunch.”

St Columb Major Academy's Hungry Hub menu
St Columb Major Academy’s Hungry Hub menu

Confiscated snacks are then handed back at the end of the day. A copy of the academy’s Hungry Hub menu shows what many deem as healthy meals, but also doughnuts, garlic bread, chips, ice cream, fudge cake, jam and cream scones and sticky toffee pudding.

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Aimee added: “There’s no sense to it whatsoever. I’ve tried speaking to the head but was just ignored. Crisps are taken off of them, as are biscuits and chocolate but they’re allowed dry fruit which is high in sugar. The parents just don’t get it. There’s no need.”

A St Columb Major Academy spokesman said: “Our school is committed to helping our pupils to live healthy lives both in and out of school. We encourage all pupils to bring healthy snacks with them into school for their morning break and have supported families by providing information about choosing healthy foods.

“On occasions where a pupil has not brought a healthy snack into school, we have encouraged them to pop it back into their bag to take home and have provided them with a healthier option, guided by information from the NHS and the Healthy Cornwall website.

“We are proud of our strong relationships with families and we are always happy to talk to parents who would like to discuss any aspect of life at our school.”

December 10th 2023

Cleethorpes Working Men’s club could ditch ‘men’ to stay relevant

Cleethorpes Working Men's Club
Image caption, Cleethorpes Working Men’s Club faces an uncertain future amid a dwindling membership

By Kevin Shoesmith

BBC News

Britain’s working men’s clubs have been a bastion of the entertainment scene for decades, providing cheap beer for their members and a stage for emerging acts. With the number of venues represented by the Club & Institute Union in sharp decline, BBC News visited one club where the management is considering a major change in its fight to remain open.

The plaque fixed onto an Anaglypta-papered wall denotes the late Mick Steer’s “spot”, right next to the fire escape.

The door has been left ajar, funnelling an icy breeze into the bar where a small group of members sup pints. From the message on the plaque, Mick – a former president of this club – would not have been impressed.

A brass plaque to the late Mick Steer
Image caption, A plaque to remember the late Mick Steer hangs on a wall at Cleethorpes Working Men’s Club

“Uncle Mick was known for telling people to ‘shut that door’, so it’s on his plaque,” laughs Luke Steer, 37, one of two nephews working to keep the club open.

“He was not a man to mess around.”

Cleethorpes Working Men’s Club started life as a Royal British Legion club in the 1950s, before morphing into a working men’s club in the 1990s. But, like many others, this traditional club is facing extinction.

The presence of “big characters” like Mick, now lost to time, is keenly felt.

It also partly serves to explain why times are so tough, with Luke’s brother Tom Steer, 34, the club’s vice president, telling me eight regulars had died in the past few years.

He adds: “Clubs like this are a dying breed.”

Members enjoying a catch-up
Image caption, Luke Steer, left, with members Chris Leach and Garry “Bulldog” Spencer

Luke adds: “This club has lost some big-hitters. Guys would tend to stay here all day, enjoying a few drinks.

“Nowadays, people have their man caves. They buy their beer cheaply from supermarkets.”

Outside, a sign promotes alcohol deals and a weekly “curry and pint” night. A local band is booked for the weekend. But the brothers know they can’t compete with the supermarkets on prices.

Mandy Allison, the secretary and bar manager, tells me takings had dropped between 60-70% in the past year alone.

“I’ve been here eight years and never known it this bad,” she tells me.

However, nobody on the committee is prepared to throw in the towel just yet.

A recent online fundraising appeal which was set up to buy the committee some extra time, mustered nearly £4,000 in just a few days.

“Without that, we’d have closed by Christmas,” says Tom. “People ask us, ‘Is it really that bad?’ We’re doing all we can, but they need to come down and support the club.”

Woman serving at bar
Image caption, Members say the club in Cleethorpes is “welcoming”, but the management say more custom is desperately needed

In the entrance hall, a money box and a signing-in register gathers dust. I see there are few recent entries.

“We used to ask members to pop £1 in the tin when they signed guests in,” says Tom.

“Now, I’ll be honest with you, we’re just grateful to get people through the door.”

Statistics show the scene in Cleethorpes is replicated in towns and cities across the region.

During their heyday in the 1970s, the Club & Institute Union (CIU) represented about 4,500 such venues. Now, that number is down to 1,200.

The number of licensed clubs – which includes working men’s clubs, social clubs and nightclubs – across Yorkshire and the Humber has fallen by a quarter in the past decade.

There were 755 clubs as of March 2023, a fall of 25% from March 2013 when there were 1,005, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Vice president Tom Steer at the signing in desk at Cleethorpes Working Men's Club
Image caption, Club vice president Tom Steer thinks the club may need to change to stay afloat

The Steer brothers – along with their 70-year-old father Pat, the current president – concede it may be time for change.

The club is currently full of blokeish humour. On a wall outside, in the smoking area, is a joke involving toilet seats and barmaids, while a sign on the bar warns unattended children “will be given a Red Bull, Skittles and taught how to swear”.

Luke thinks the club may require rebranding.

“The place doesn’t have windows, just the door at the front and the door at the back,” he says.

“People often call it ‘the bunker’. Maybe we could call it The Bunker?”

Photo of Chris Leach sat in Working Men's Club, with pints of lager on the table in front of him
Image caption, Chris Leach recalls when Friday nights at Cleethorpes Working Men’s Club were “absolutely bouncing”

But Tom thinks the committee may have to go further, redressing the obvious gender imbalance in the name.

“The whole ‘working men’s’ thing might be putting some women off,” he admits.

Ken Green, general secretary of the Club & Institute Union, says members voted in April to remove reference to “working men” from the title of its conference.

He says: “Only about 40% of our members still call themselves working men’s clubs. I can see why it could be off-putting to women.”

Mr Green believes the Covid pandemic served as the final nail in the coffin for many clubs.

“A lot of members got used to staying at home and not socialising,” he says.

“I also think the younger element now go out once a week, on a Friday night, and blow £100. In my younger years, I was at the club five times a week.”

A humorous sign on the bar warning unattended children will be "given a Red Bull and Skittles and taught how to swear"
Image caption, A tongue-in-cheek sign awaits patrons at the bar
The club's smoking area
Image caption, The club’s smoking area was constructed by a member

Despite dwindling numbers, members in Cleethorpes still talk fondly of their club’s “friendly atmosphere”.

On a nearby table, Garry “Bulldog” Spencer, 60, chats with a group of his friends. He tells me he’s been coming here “30, maybe 40 years”.

“It’s the camaraderie that has kept me here,” he says. “It’s good, working class people having a drink together.”

Garry’s friend, Chris Leach, 46, a scaffolder originally from Middlesbrough, says he met his wife here 21 years ago when he was working in the town.

“Families all know each other,” he adds.

Men playing cards at Buff's Working Men's Club, Middlesbrough, in March 1968
Image caption, A scene from a 1960s working men’s club

But the men lament the past – a time when the place was, to quote Chris Leach, “absolutely bouncing”.

“On a Friday night, you’d struggle to get a seat,” he adds.

Looking towards his Uncle Mick’s plaque, Luke tells me “there’s not a chance” they will give up on the club.

“We will fight to the bitter end,” he adds.

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December 9th 2023

Havant Time

No Romance For Me In Havant Today.

Havant, Hampshire, 8 miles north of Portsmouth, has a special place in my memory. I first visited at the invitation of the girl I should have married. Her name was Helen. We met at a Midsummer night disco at the University of East Anglia when I was an undergraduate. That was just before the days when Thatcher turned almost every public toilet into a university to disguise the rampant unemployment her government was causing.

Poverty is redolent on the streets of Havant, December 7th 2023. Note the rough sleeper in the shop entrance, right. Image R J Cook Appledene Photographics.

I come from a mix or Buckinghamshire upper middle class trade and property owners on my mother’s side and North London working class on my father’s – though even his family were mixed with the bourgeois. My parents began married life in North London, but my pretty blonde blue eyed mother was raped 9 months before my sister was born in November 1947. So my parents cancelled plans to emigrate to Canada, returning to live in one of her Uncle Tom’s many houses in Winslow Buckinghamshire, where I was born at home in December 6th 1950.

By this time, my sister had achieved domestic domination as the first female child in the Cook family’s living memory. According to my mother when invited into the marital bedroom where infant me was being cuddled by my mother, Dr Murphy and Nurse Rolfe on hand having delivered me, my sister’s response to seeing me was “ I don’t want it, take it back.”

I never took the 11 plus, choosing to stay home sitting at the foot of my dying father’s bed, by the electric fire,while he told me about his real life experience in World War II, following his childhood struggles for survival on the streets of 1920s and 30s London.

I was at the hospital in October 1962 when he died. Listening to his death rattle as I lay sobbing on the grass outside the open doors of a prefabricated hospital ward. From that moment all of my life history to date died with him.

Shortly after my father’s death, I was befriended by a cool boy from my new Secondary Modern School. His name was Michael Hills. We were invited to join Southgate Harriers. We also worked on a farm together.

So after gaining 8 O levels and 4 A Level GCE examinations, I gained a place at snobbish University of East Anglia where ,with my background and no father, I had no idea who I was. So I spent my first 2 undergraduate years absorbed in cross country running and athletic competitions.

So meeting Helen T at the end of my final year was very testing because who was I going to be for her. The first thing this beautiful woman said to me when we were alone in my Suffolk Terrace university residence room was “You are very insecure.”

This is Havant Park, the Inspiration for my poem ‘Rain’ as I looked down from Havant Tax Office recalling my lost hopes, aspirations and dreams. Image R J Cook Appledene Photographics.

This poor posh girl was way too good for me. Months later she told me she was doing a typing course so she could type my books. She said she knew I was going to be a writer. Years later, as my 31 year unhappy marriage was coming to an end, I wrote the non politically correct novel about a young man who has failed to impress, in his own mind, a beautiful girlfriend, destroying their relationship with his class consciousness obsessed doubts, that he will find peace with sex change treatment to become just like her. The book was entitled ‘Man, Maid, Woman.’

Mousetrap or Mantrap, or ,maybe there is no difference ?, Havant North Street’s wedding parlour. Image R J Cook Appledene Photographics.
The baby boomers are dying. So ,27 years ago when I produced My book Havant & Hayling Island, this was a toyshop. Now its is funeral parlour.. Image R J Cook / Appldene Photographics.
Once there was a toy shop. Image R J Cook / Appledene Photogrphics.
Havant Bus Station and the service ready to go back to Leigh Park,- where I lived for a year -, the large post war Portsmouth overspill estate, Image R J Cook / lPhotographics.
Meridian Shopping Centre, Havant, the centre’s Wilko mainstay has now gone. Image R J Cook / Appledene Photographics.
Havant Railway Station, where my young lover Helen met me coming down on the London train.
Image Appledene Photographics / R J Cook
Havant’s old heart still looks very English. Image R J Cook / Appledene Photographics.
A Bulgarian Beggar, on rain soaked West Street Havant, December 7th 2023. She told me that she was pregnant.
Image R J Cook / Appledene Photographics.
KB Models in behind the shutter doors of 41-43 Market Parade. These premises were Russells Bookshop where I signed copies of my book in 1996, still hoping to be an acclaimed writer.
During my first week living in Havant, where I had taken a position with HM Inspector of Taxes, I popped in to a pleasant little pub. Here the boss of Havant Garage was buying a round of drinks. When he asked me what I wanted. I said : “You can’t buy me a drink. I am a stranger.” The bespectacled fellow, dressed like Arthur Dailey, boomed out :”A pint of the best for the stranger.”
Image R J Cook / Appledene Photographics.
A novel about a young man who turns himself into his lost love because he believes he has failed as a man and will never find romantic love. WOMEN’S GROUPS, led by the likes of J K Rowling,explain the transsexual phenomenon in terms of their own egos. Men become ersatz women to invade women’s safe spaces to abuse them. They are always right, thanks to Feminazis, so cannot accept that their increasingly domineering, masculine, self righteous behaviour has anything to do with it. The violent hideous female led murder of innocent young Brianna Ghey has nothing to do with them.

However, that book never got close to how my lost love haunts me. So when I visit Havant, I always recall the beautiful song Raglan Road, I see her walking out, away from me so hurriedly, my reason must allow.’

Raglan Road – My Lament To Losing Helen Th—–n.

On Raglan Road of an autumn day I saw her first and knew
That her dark hair would weave a snare that I might one day rue
I saw the danger, and I passed along the enchanted way
And I said, let grief be a fallen leaf at the dawning of the day

On Grafton Street in November we tripped lightly along the ledge
Of the deep ravine where can be seen the worth of passion’s pledge
The Queen of Hearts still making tarts and I not making hay
Oh, I loved too much and by such by such is happiness thrown away

I gave her gifts of the mind, I gave her the secret sign
That’s known to the artists who have known the true gods of sound and stone
And word and tint without stint for I gave her poems to say
With her own name there and her own dark hair like clouds over fields of May

On a quiet street where old ghosts meet, I see her walking now
Away from me so hurriedly, my reason must allow
That I had loved not as I should a creature made of clay
When the angel woos the play, he’d lose his wings at the dawning of the day.

Written by Patrick Kavanagh

We remember how Patrick Kavanagh and Dubliners frontman Luke Kelly came together to create one of Ireland’s most beloved ballads, ‘On Raglan Road.’

It’s Bailey Pub, Dublin. The year is 1966. The place is packed with people sitting at the bar and at small tables. Loud raucous banter, laughter and the slow drone of conversations fill the air. A thick fog of pipe and cigarette smoke merges with low electric lighting to create a muggy, stifling atmosphere.

Luke Kelly, the lead singer of The Dubliners, has just finished his set and returns to his table. Appreciative nods, compliments, and pats on the back follow him through the crowd. He needs some refreshment, and his friends have kindly procured for him: two pints of porter and a shot of whiskey. He takes a substantial gulp out of his wide-rimmed pint and turns his head as a hand is gently placed on his shoulder. He looks up to see the poet, Patrick Kavanagh, a man Kelly knows well from the pub and literary scene. They greet each other and Kavanagh takes a seat.

Slightly disheveled and maudlin, Kavanagh compliments Kelly on his set, and then, he surprises him by asking him if he will sing one of his famous poems, ‘Raglan Road’. He asks Kelly if he thinks that he can adapt it as a song?

Kelly knows it well. And, he knows what it’s about – Kavanagh’s unrequited love for a beautiful young woman. He’s heard rumors.

He says that he’ll give it a go. 


Well, that’s more or less what happened, via my imaginings of how “Raglan Road” came to be sung.

Patrick Kavanagh met beautiful, dark-haired Hilda Moriarty in 1944. Originally from Dingle, she was only in Dublin a few months, when she became one of the most celebrated beauties of time. She was a trainee doctor; she was also a fan of poetry and literature, which is how they met.

Unfortunately, there was too much of an age gap, she was twenty-two and he was forty, so she ended the relationship and married a younger man soon after.

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In 1946, “Raglan Road” was published under the name, “Dark Haired Miriam Ran Away.”

But everyone who knew Kavanagh knew that it was about Hilda.

Luke Kelly couldn’t have interpreted it better. He chose 17th-century air “Fáinne Geal an Lae” (‘Dawning of Day’), as the basis of the song. The accompaniment by The Dubliners never overpowers poetry, with gentle strumming banjo-infused with small flourishes of guitar and tin whistle.

Luke Kelly center playing with The Dubliners.


Luke Kelly center playing with The Dubliners.

Either through empathy for Kavanagh’s (still evidently resonant) plight, or from respect for the poem as a brilliant literary work, Luke Kelly immortalized it; his powerful tenor voice reciting it poignantly, and with great dignity. I attach a link below to a live performance and a recorded version. Though not perfect, I tend to prefer live performances, because they catch the moment.

On Raglan Road on an autumn day, I met her first and knew.

That her dark hair would weave a snare that I might one day rue;
I saw the danger, yet I walked along the enchanted way.
And I said, let grief be a fallen leaf at the dawning of the day.

Luke Kelly singing ‘Raglan Road’

Do you have a favorite piece from Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh? Share in the comments.

* Originally published in 2018. Updated in September 2023. 

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Related: Dublin, Music

‘I couldn’t handle the shame’: Teachers’ dread at Ofsted reports

Ruth Perry
Image caption, Ruth Perry was the head at Caversham Primary School in Reading

By Branwen Jeffreys & Sallie George

Education editor

It’s a moment dreaded by head teachers – when the phone rings to tell you government inspectors are on the way to assess your school. For Ruth Perry that call came in November 2022. While waiting for Ofsted to publish their report and fearing losing her job, Mrs Perry killed herself.

Here other head teachers talk frankly about the mental health impact Ofsted inspections have had on them. Some of their accounts are upsetting.

Short presentational grey line

When the call came, head teacher Claire had just ten minutes to get ready. Ofsted inspectors – responding to a complaint – had arrived unannounced. They were already in the school car park.

“I knew this was going to be a hard experience,” she says. “What I didn’t realise was just how brutal it would be.”

Claire’s inner city school had many challenges, she says, and the needs of the students were more complex post-Covid.

“We knew things were tough,” she says, “but we also believed we had the right ingredients to keep things moving in the right direction.”

Claire had more than 20 years’ experience as a teacher and head teacher and she was passionate about her work, but that two-day long Ofsted visit completely changed her life.

When the “inadequate” judgement came, Claire says it felt like a public humiliation, despite having the support of her colleagues.

“I wanted to run away from my life, because I couldn’t handle the shame of this report,” she says. “The shame of this was something I’d never experienced before.”

Claire began having frequent and debilitating panic attacks and developed chronic stress rashes. With both her career and health in tatters, she decided she would have to leave her job.

“As a family, we decided that I should get out as soon as I could,” Claire says, “so I could concentrate on getting better.”

The government’s own figures show how hard it is to retain head teachers.

If you look at people who became head teachers in 2015 and were aged under 50, a quarter of those in primary schools had left within five years, and more than a third of those in secondary schools.

Even allowing for the fact some may have been promoted within academy trusts, this raises questions about why people might leave a job they have worked so hard towards.


For most head teachers, the Ofsted call comes the day before an inspection begins.

Tim had been a head for six years – something he had worked towards since first coming into teaching. He knew his school was overdue an inspection, but as he waited for the call he found himself consumed by dread.

“That year broke me because of the fear,” says Tim, who was prescribed antidepressants.

After the inspection, Tim’s school was downgraded to “requires improvement” and the school’s governors held a closed meeting to discuss his future.

Driving somewhere, he pulled over and sat alone in his car feeling “desperate”.

His thoughts turned to killing himself. He credits a phone call to a colleague – who stayed on the line while urging Tim to drive to his GP – as having saved his life. caption,

Ruth Perry’s sister reacts after inquest returns verdict into her death

Within an hour of a mental health team being called to Tim’s house, he received news announcing his school would likely become an academy.

Facing losing both his job and his livelihood, Tim says nobody asked how he was, or gave him any information about how to seek help.

Both Tim and Claire told the BBC they signed non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) as part of the financial deal with their redundancy packages. This was explained to Claire as being a common HR procedure, and at the time, she didn’t question it. Like Tim she felt she had no choice – losing her job meant a loss of income, and she needed to support her family.

These confidentiality agreements make it hard to know how many head teachers have left like this, but Tim knows several other people who have – and believes there are many more.

“I think they are extremely common,” Tim says. “It’s a dirty little secret, it’s sordid.”


Like many head teachers, Rachel dreaded the call announcing that Ofsted would be coming to inspect her school.

“Your cortisol level is through the roof for most of the week,” she says. “When your office phone rings you get that sick, sinking feeling until you know who it is on the other end.”

When Ofsted did come she says inspectors were rude, and didn’t take into account the challenges her school had faced since the pandemic – something Rachel says had contributed to an “overwhelming” feeling for her as head teacher.

“I am not making excuses or saying that we were better than we were,” she says. “But we had been ambitious and tirelessly working to make improvements.

“Many mornings I seriously thought about doing something to seriously harm myself – so I had an excuse not to be in work.”

It was the afternoon of Wednesday 14 November when the call came for Ruth Perry – whose school had previously been judged “outstanding”. Speaking on the phone to the Ofsted inspector she told him: “We are ready, and keen to get started.”

Ruth worked late with other members of staff getting prepared, and although she was apprehensive the following morning her husband Jon said she left the house “happy as usual”.

But the visit didn’t go well, and over the coming weeks, as she waited for Ofsted to publish its report, the thought of losing both her job and standing in the community contributed to her unravelling mental health.

Fifty-four days after the inspection at her school, Ruth Perry took her life, on 8 January 2023.

On 21 March 2023, Ofsted published its inspection report, rating Caversham Primary “inadequate”.

On Thursday an inquest ruled that the Ofsted inspection had “contributed” to Ruth Perry’s death. The inspection “lacked fairness, respect and sensitivity” and was at times “rude and intimidating”, senior coroner Heidi Connor said.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said in a statement: “Ofsted is fundamental to making sure children are safe and receive the education they deserve.

“Together we will look closely at the coroner’s recommendations to consider further changes to make sure we have an inspection system that supports schools and teachers, and ultimately secure Ruth’s legacy.”

A teacher reads through a book
Image caption, Some teachers and heads find themselves consumed by dread when the call from Ofsted comes

Many thousands of Ofsted inspections are carried out every year without incident, there are 22,000 schools in England.

The system is there to make sure that children – who get just one chance at education – don’t spend years in schools that are underperforming.

When a school like Caversham Primary – where Ruth Perry was head – is judged to be ineffective on safeguarding grounds, of whatever kind, the leadership is automatically judged as “inadequate”. Head teachers’ names appear on Ofsted’s published report, which, heads say, can feel personal, and some have told us of their feelings of shame and public humiliation.

Ofsted has admitted it could do more to minimise the stress on head teachers, and has now promised more training.

After the inquest it also said it would provide a phone number for schools to call if they had concerns about an inspection, and would make it clearer when an inspection can be paused.

Two key sources of stress for Ruth Perry, according to the evidence, were the long wait for the report to be published, and the strict confidentiality warning that came with the draft report.

Mrs Perry didn’t feel she could tell those closest to her, but Ofsted has now promised it will make it clear to head teachers, “they can share inspection outcomes with colleagues, family, medical advisers and their wider support group, before they are shared with parents”.

School inspections have been in place for a century in England’s schools, and for the last 30 years Ofsted has been in charge of them.

But over the past decade, Ofsted’s budget has fallen and inspections have become much shorter – for a primary school usually just two days.

The government has argued school inspections and one word judgements are important to give parents the information they need. Heidi Connor, the coroner, said: “Transparency and ease of message to parents is not currently weighed against teacher welfare. The benefits are focused on without taking account of the risks.”

Suicide is very rare, but Ruth Perry’s death has prompted many other head teachers to open up about the mental stresses of the job and the impact of school inspection.

“What Ofsted did to me was break me during a time I was already struggling,” says former head teacher Rachel. “I left work that day and never went back – I deserved better and my family deserved me.”

All names have been changed.

If you’re affected by the issues in this report, you can find support from BBC Action Line.

Additions from R J Cook

In the 1970s, linguistic, cultural and ethnic diversity became the central, if not the defining, feature
of urban schools in England. Such schools were places where teachers and children from many
heritages and backgrounds came together and interacted for the first time. These were sites of
cultural exchange as well as places of tension and conflict, where wider, pressing social realities
were sometimes uncomfortably present. Looking back, the surprising thing is that English teachers
took it as their professional responsibility to get to grips with it all.
Diversity forced English teachers to reconsider what English was for.


(Top) History


Michaela Community School


Coordinates: 51°33′45″N 0°16′44″W

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Michaela Community School
Wikimedia | © OpenStreetMap
North End Road
Wembley, Greater London, HA9 0UU
Coordinates51°33′45″N 0°16′44″W
Other namesMCSMichaela
TypeFree school
MottoesKnowledge is powerWork hard, be kind[1]
EstablishedSeptember 2014
Local authorityBrent London Borough Council
TrustMichaela Community School
Department for Education URN140862 Tables
HeadmistressKatharine Birbalsingh
Age range11–18
Enrollment709 (2022)[2]

Michaela Community School (referred to as simply MCS or Michaela) is an 11–18 mixed, free secondary school and sixth form in Wembley, Greater London, England. It was established in September 2014 with Katharine Birbalsingh as headmistress and Suella Braverman as the first chair of governors. It has been described as the “strictest school in Britain”,[3][4][5][6][7][8] and achieved among the best GCSE results in the nation among its first cohort of students.[9] In both 2022 and 2023 the value-added (progress) score at GCSE was the highest for any school in England.[10][11][12][13]


Michaela Community School was established in 2014 in a converted office block.[14][15][16] It opened with 120 Year 7 pupils.[14] It was named after Birbalsingh’s former colleague Michaela Emanus,[7] a West Indian teacher from Saint Lucia, who died of cancer in 2011.[17]

The school was rated as “outstanding” in all categories by Ofsted in 2017.[6] In 2018, it applied to the Department for Education to open a second free school in Stevenage, with a planned opening in 2023.[18][19] It was approved in 2019,[8][20] and plans were submitted in 2022.[21] A documentary about the school[17] was broadcast in 2022.[22][23][24]

The school has been called “contentious” and received significant media attention. It has been described as having an ethos generally associated with pre-1960s or Private schools and for a time marketed itself as “Private School Ethos—No Fees”. One commentator described the school as an example of a discipline-focused method of teaching children becoming increasingly popular in the UK.[25]

The school was inspected by Ofsted again in 2023 and was once again rated as “outstanding” in all categories.[26][27]

December 8th 2023

Something Odd About Blair -Winter Oak

winter oak Tony Blair and the Rothschilds winter oak Nov 14 by Paul Cudenec There is something very odd about the way that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has never quite left the centre of the political stage. He is so widely loathed by the British public – as a hypocritical war criminal who used the Labour Party to advance a cruel neoliberal agenda – that when he was given a knighthood by the British state in 2022, more than a million people signed a petition demanding the honour be rescinded. And yet “Tony Bliar”, as he is often known, just won’t do us all a favour and disappear into the political wings for good. He is constantly hinting at a return to British politics and popping up in the corporate media to offer his advice on how the world should be run, whether calling for the UK’s Brexit from the EU to be reversed, accusing Jeremy Corbyn of “antisemitism“, or demanding the imposition of vaccine passports and digital ID. The latest nauseating news is that the 70-year-old warmonger, once suggested as full-time “president of Europe” by the then French president Nicolas Sarkozy, is now being “touted by Israel as peacekeeper in Middle East”, to quote The Daily Telegraph’s headline from November 13, 2023. The report explains that “serving as the envoy for the Middle East Quartet from 2007 to 2015”, Blair was handed the task of helping develop the Palestinian economy, with his role overlapping with Netanyahu’s second term. It adds that Blair, who has an office in Israel, “was also a member of Labour Friends of Israel for decades when in Parliament”. Indeed, his refusal to call for a ceasefire in the 2006 conflict between Israel and Lebanon, together of course with his ongoing unpopularity due to the invasion of Iraq and the so-called “War on Terror”, is regarded as the main reason why he was forced to resign as PM in 2007. In 2009, Blair was awarded Israel’s Dan David Prize for “exceptional leadership and steadfast determination in helping to engineer agreements and forge lasting solutions to areas in conflict”, just five years after the $1 million annual hand-out went to WEF boss Klaus Schwab. So how is it that Blair remains such a key global figure more than 16 years after he left public office in the UK? A fascinating article by researcher Ben Rubin, which has just come my way, provides an important clue. Rubin was looking into the UK charity My Life My Say, which collaborates closely with the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change and seems to be trying to build a remote-controlled “youth movement”, similar to the WEF’s Global Shapers, to shape politics in the UK. In 2019 a group of young people were lucky enough to be addressed by Blair via a large TV screen, as he “clarified” what My Life My Say described as “his on going support” for the organisation. And in June 2022 Blair was the main speaker at a conference on the “Future of Britain” organised with My Life My Say and hosted by the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College, London. In investigating the background of My Life My Say’s trustees, Rubin discovered something that he describes as a “biggie”, adding: “To be honest, I almost fell off my chair when I saw it”. He writes, accurately, that My Life My Say trustee Glen Manning is a senior banker with Rothschild & Co. I also note that he has enjoyed a long career with known Rothschild entities like J.P. Morgan. In 2021 Manning became Portfolio Advisor to R&Co4Generations, a Rothschild “philanthropic” fund which is explicitly involved in the new form of public-private digital slavery known as impact investment and in the promotion of the closely-related United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It claims its mission is all about “empowering the next generations” and chair Alexandre de Rothschild​​ writes of a desire to “create lasting and positive change”. There is perfect synergy there with the title of Blair’s global institute and indeed with all the fake-left impact-based organisations that talk incessantly about “social change”. The important thing to realise is that they don’t mean change for the better! The aim of both the Rothschilds and Blair is to wipe out what is left of traditional human life and freedom in order to impose their new world order of artifice, surveillance and control, in which the 99.9% are confined in smart-city gulags, eating insects, while the criminal ultra-rich are free to treat the rest of the world as a privatised party-zone and safari park. The money-based entity plotting to carry this out is deeply entwined with British and indeed global institutions, in a worldwide version of the state-corporate fusion that was at the heart of historical fascism and which I term the criminocracy. The suggestion that Blair has always been working for the Rothschilds’ agenda makes perfect sense to me. By 1997, when he became Prime Minister, their connections to the corrupt Tory regime in the UK were becoming all-too-obvious, with the revolving doors between Rothschild HQ at London’s New Court and the corridors of political power attracting increasing attention, as historian Niall Ferguson has noted. It was time for “change” – but change that wouldn’t threaten the underlying seat of power in contemporary Britain. Tony Blair MP may have been an anagram for “I’m Tory Plan B”, as was pointed out at the time, but maybe he could better have been described as “Rothschild Plan B”. I don’t think that it is a coincidence that Ronald Cohen, notorious as the “banker” for Blair and Brown’s New Labour, went on to found the impact capitalism so favoured by Rothschild & Co. Neither is it irrelevant that Blair has a long history of involvement with the Swiss-based World Economic Forum Back in 2016 he used its website as a platform to call for “a leap forward for developing countries” and in particular a “digital revolution” in Africa. Neo-colonialism in Africa is a long-term Rothschild activity, as I described in Enemies of the People, and it is intertesting that Blair particularly mentions Rwanda, which earlier this year provided me with very useful insights into the nature and reach of the global criminocracy. Such is Blair’s standing in globalist circles that he is even considered a possible successor to Klaus Schwab at Davos! It is very telling that shortly after resigning from British politics, in January 2008, he joined Rothschild-associated business JPMorgan Chase in a “senior advisory capacity”. The bank, which said he offered “unique perspective”, is estimated to have paid him £2.52m per year. The departed PM also quickly signed a lucrative agreement with Zurich Financial Services to advise chief executive officer James Schiro and provide “general guidance on developments and trends in the international political environment”. Schiro (pictured), who died in 2014, was also CEO of PriceWaterhouseCoopers and a director of a number of multinational companies including PepsiCo, Philips and Rothschild-linked Goldman Sachs. He was on the Business Council of the World Economic Forum, was a board member of the United States-China Business Council and, in 1997, received the American Jewish Committee’s National Human Relations Award. Blair told media as he walked in through several revolving corporate doors in 2008: “I have always been interested in commerce and the impact of globalisation. Nowadays, the intersection between politics and the economy in different parts of the world, including the emerging markets, is very strong”. You can say that again! The most cursory of glances at the 2023 “Ideas to Transform the Future of Britain” offered by Blair’s Institute for Global Change will confirm that he is peddling exactly the same plan as the Rothschilds and the WEF. He wants a new 21st-century “strategic state” harnessing artificial intelligence and digital identity to “give and receive information in real time”. Just like Klaus Schwab (funny, that!) Blair chooses the word “agile” to describe this new kind of governance. He wants to see “far deeper state investment in technological and AI-era infrastructure, utilising cloud and modern software”. And “a new treatment of data as a competitive asset, which can, for example, stimulate innovation in health”. That’s about impact investment, by the way. He also, somewhat predictably, calls for “a greater alignment between the government and private sector to mobilise effectively behind clear purposes, such as around climate”. Blair sees the need for “a greater appetite for risk and innovation, with greater expertise from the outside informing direction”. Maybe Rothschild & Co have some suggestions regarding the possible source of such “expertise”? Blair goes on: “The United Kingdom has been at the forefront of many of these breakthroughs and was home to one of humanity’s great leaps: the Industrial Revolution. “Another revolution is now taking place with developments in AI, a technology with a level of impact akin to the internal combustion engine, electricity and the internet, so incrementalism will not be enough”. Great Leap Forward, Great Reset, Impact, Fourth Industrial Revolution – we get the picture. “Growth and prosperity” has long been a catchphrase of the likes of the World Bank and Blair’s vision is, once again, very much in line, with its talk of a “new era of growth and prosperity”. To achieve this, democratic opposition to industrial acceleration has to be crushed by Blair’s fascistic new “agile” state. He wants “reform to build more critical infrastructure faster”, including an expansion of the meaning of that term. Blair complains: “Planning has become the epitome of democracy’s efficacy problem, with a small number of organised voices halting progress, slowing construction and pushing up costs. “Done right, a new model for national infrastructure planning would cut the time it takes to obtain consent by 80 per cent”. Blair also wants to see “modernisation” of public services in the UK, including, of course, the National Health Service. This would facilitate the impact agenda by imposing digital health accounts, with data held centrally in a “new NHS cloud infrastructure” and “used as a collective national asset to help our life-science sector to be world-leading”. For “life-science sector” read the highly profitable Biotech and Big Pharma empires with which the Rothschilds have long been closely linked, as I have previously set out. Just to make sure we get the point, Blair’s report envisages “turning the Genomic Medicine Service into a fully fledged part of the health system, providing whole-genome sequencing to all patients”. Privatisation is very much on the Blair agenda. He want to give his proposed Integrated Care Systems “multi-year budgets so they can redeploy efficiency savings, use private providers freely and allow patient choice across GP practices and hospitals in their region”. Schoolkids are on the Blair radar as well. His proposals for “reforming” education include: “1. Establishing a digital learner ID that would contain all educational
information, enabling a personalised education for every child. “2. Increasing parent choice and access to quality education by giving
schools the freedom to provide hybrid lessons and parents the right to
request online classes delivered by other schools, incentivising schools
to improve performance. “3. Overhauling Ofsted so that accountability is based on real-time insights
and geared towards continuous improvement of standards”. Real-time insights means permanent digital surveillance so that educational “outcomes” can be assessed and traded by the financial parasites of the impact industry. Meanwhile, his solution to the need for “safer communities” is “an expansion of facial recognition technology” and his idea of caring for the environment is to call for “A Decade of Electrification”! Although Blair has publicly accepted the Brexit decision, he would like to see “a better relationship with the EU”, which would involve “deepening the existing security partnership” and establishing a new “strategic pillar” on foreign policy, defence and security within the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. Finally, I have described elsewhere how the Swiss-based Edmond de Rothschild entity, in setting out its support for the whole totalitarian Great Reset agenda, used the slogan: “We are bold builders of the future”. Zurich Financial Services, the Swiss-based business that employed Blair in 2008, declares its desire to “create a brighter future together”. How peculiar that Blair’s propaganda should manage to perfectly combine the two phrases, with its slogan: “Britain deserves a bold agenda for a brighter future”! In truth, of course, the future he is trying to force upon us is anything but bright. It is difficult to disagree with researcher Rubin’s warning that “Tony Blair is coordinating with the Rothschild family to fundamentally reshape British society and implement a global, digital slave state”. [Audio version] Comment Tip icon image You can also reply to this email to leave a comment. Manage your email settings or unsubscribe. Trouble clicking? Copy and paste this URL into your browser:

Dear Friends,

With Julian Assange‘s fate hanging in the balance as we await his final court hearing in the UK, we are entering a crucial phase regarding his possible extradition to the US, where he faces up to 175 years in prison. This week, I will be speaking at the Belmarsh Tribunal in Washington DC to make the case for his immediate release. Your support is vital to help Reporters Without Borders (RSF) continue our relentless fight for the release of the WikiLeaks publisher.

Many of you have asked us for new ways to support our campaign to #FreeAssange, which is why we have decided to introduce a crypto donation button accessible from our website, and at the bottom of our online donation form.

Your generosity enabled us to launch the “Collateral Freedom” campaign in October in partnership with major international media organisations, while continuing our advocacy with governments and international bodies for the immediate release of Julian Assange. We must continue our efforts at this crucial phase, in the interest of global journalism and press freedom.

Thank you for your support.

Rebecca Vincent, Director of campaigns
The government’s miserable migration month continues

For almost a month now Immigration has dominated the headlines. Here’s a recap of what has happened: On 13th November, Home Secretary Suella Braverman was sacked for writing an article in The Times that had not been cleared by Downing Street. She was replaced by James Cleverly, the former Foreign Secretary.  In her resignation letter she didn’t mince her words, accusing the Prime Minister of failing to keep to the agreement they made – in return for which she stepped aside in last year’s leadership contest, allowing him to be selected unopposed. The agreement included tackling runaway legal migration and going further with the ‘stop the boats’ legislation. This latter failure resulted in the Rwanda plan getting mired in the courts. You can read her resignation letter here. On 15th November, the Supreme Court ruled that the Rwanda Plan was unlawful because Rwanda might return rejected asylum seekers to an unsafe country (NB, not that Rwanda itself was unsafe). The government’s response has been to bring to parliament emergency legislation (to be introduced next week) to address points made by the Supreme Court that led to the Rwanda Plan being declared illegal. On 23rd November, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Home Office released the latest immigration data. This included an astonishing revision to the net migration figure for 2022, going from 606,000 to 745,000. An increase of 140,000 or nearly a fifth. That is some revision. Meanwhile, the estimated net migration for the year ending June 2023 was 670,000. Will this figure too see a, nearly 20% upward revision? The Home Office data, additionally, showed that in the first nine months of 2023, the number of work visas issued had increased by 54% and family visas rose 117%. In response, the new Home Secretary said, “This figure is not showing a significant increase from last year’s.”  On 28th November, Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick said he had presented plans to cut immigration the previous year, which had been ignored [by the Prime Minister]. On 4th December, the government announced changes to the immigration rules which, we were told, would cut immigration by around 300,000 per year. We have been unable to work out exactly how this 300,000 reduction will be achieved. We intend to ask for clarification. While some of the proposed toughening of the rules and raising of salary levels, as well as the abandoning of the shortage of occupation list (SOL) is welcome, we doubt that they will lead to a significant reduction in net migration any time soon.  On 5th December, another treaty was signed with Rwanda. This committed Rwanda not to send failed asylum seekers to unsafe countries and the UK to taking back any asylum seekers guilty of committing serious offences in Rwanda.  The Rwandan foreign minister later made clear that his country would withdraw from the deal should the UK breach global conventions – the implication being that Rwanda would pull out of the agreement if the UK withdrew from the ECHR or 1951 Refugee Convention.  On the 6th of December, new legislation was laid before Parliament which would unambiguously rule that Rwanda is a ‘safe country’ and dis-apply parts of the 1998 Human Rights Act, as well as some global rules. However, the Bill falls short of ruling out all possible routes of appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. In response, Robert Jenrick resigned, stating that the proposed legislation would not work.  Mrs Braverman’s view on the proposed legislation was also sceptical. In her resignation statement she said, “The Conservative Party faces electoral oblivion in a matter of months if we introduce yet another Bill destined to fail.” Let’s be clear about what the sacking and resignation of Suella Braverman and Robert Jenrick means. A Home Secretary and her Immigration Minister, who understood the concerns of the British people on a critically important issue, say the Prime Minister and the government (of which they were a part) have failed to deliver. They also make clear that legislation and measures intended to deal with runaway legal and illegal immigration has been flawed or inadequate. Moreover, what is now being proposed is also flawed or inadequate.  What might the epitaph of a government with such a record be? What about: “We knew what the people wanted and they trusted us to deliver. Fools.”
Migration Watch relies entirely on the generosity of our supporters who fund our work. If you would like to help us with our efforts, please click here to donate.
We found it difficult to choose from these three excellent articles this week. There’s a clear message in each of them. Why not get in touch and let us know which one struck you the most.

Lucy Denyer, The Telegraph – The tragic consequences of relying on cheap, foreign care workers are inevitable
Imagine being a Romanian care worker in a home in Somerset who has just discovered an elderly lady with her head trapped under a stairlift, struggling to breathe…And you’re panicking, in this strange foreign country you find yourself in, and so you call your colleague, who’s Indian, to come and help, but she’s panicking too, and neither of you speak English very well, so you can’t really communicate with each other.’

Sam Ashworth-Hayes, The Telegraph – Britain has opened up its welfare state to the world
Much “necessary” immigration – students, care workers, doctors and nurses – is necessary only because government interventions and price controls have so distorted the market that it no longer functions. But tackling these problems is hard, while turning up the flow of immigration is easy.’

Andrew Hunt, The Conservative Post – Sunak has made a start on Immigration but these are the game-changing moves we need to make next… The crux of our immigration problem is not just the sheer number of arrivals. It is that those who come tend to stay. All too often this is the vital piece of the immigration puzzle that is overlooked.’
Writing for The Critic magazine, Connor Tomlinson of the Lotus Eaters podcast referenced our research on the infrastructure needs of continued record migration.

Migration Watch calculated that we need to build six-to-eight-million more homes — eighteen cities the size of Birmingham — by 2046 just to meet imported demand. Additional infrastructure will also be required: including 6,675 new schools, 2,640 GP surgeries, 135 hospitals, 7,785 roads and 2,235 bus lanes.” Read the article in full here.

Our Chairman, Alp Mehmet, was quoted in a Telegraph article (via Yahoo News) about the proliferation of questionable university courses that are facilitating increased student migration.
  [Alp said] ‘the findings were “yet more evidence of how desperate the higher education sector is to attract overseas students to supplement their shrinking budgets. He said: “Such trendy degrees will do little to advance the interests of people struggling in the countries from which students are coming. In which Middle East or South Asia state might it be useful to brandish a degree in ‘Transnational Queer Feminist Politics’? Universities offering these courses need to take a long look in the mirror.”’ Read on.

Our Executive Director, Mike Jones, was interviewed by BBC politics Midlands about record high migration levels.
In the Daily Mail, Alp commented on the news that thousands of legal migrants were coming to the UK only to make asylum claims once they arrived.
  ‘Alp Mehmet of Migration Watch UK, which campaigns for tougher border controls, said: ‘This has long been a scam-ridden area about which the Government has little interest. Matters have been made worse by abandoning face-to-face interviews in countries students come from.  ‘Control has been handed to universities who are happy to offer places but accept no responsibility for students’ departure.” Read the article in full here.

 The Sun reported on the news that an ex-civil servant responsible for inspecting immigration detention centres had gone on to join a ‘leftie human rights charity’.

In response Alp said: “It’s clear that as someone who had the lead role in drafting the rules that apply to the detention and removal of illegal immigrants and immigration offenders, Jade Glenister will know where the loopholes are.” Here is the article.

Breitbart UK published our comment on the government’s new immigration restrictions:

These measures are an admission that Conservative immigration policy has collapsed. If the government’s aim is now to reduce immigration by only 300,000 a year this will simply normalise what, until recently, was record breaking levels of net migration. The result will be a rapidly growing population with all the costs involved.”

Click here to read the full article.

The Conservative Woman, meanwhile, published our polling data which showed that 67% of people support the idea of advertising jobs in the UK before hiring workers from overseas. Here is the article.
  Do you believe that the government really means it? Do they really want to cut immigration and stop illegal immigration? It seems Suella Braverman and Robert do not think they do. Let your MP know your thoughts by writing to them here.
We wouldn’t be able to continue this work without the help of our supporters. If you would like to donate, please click the button below.
Alternatively, we use an alternative payment provider, Stripe, which can be used to make donations via our Cut Immigration campaign website here. We are hoping to introduce this to the main Migration Watch website in the future.

Our supporters are all as concerned about the future of our country as we are. Some have been kind enough to remember us in their will. If you wish to consider leaving a bequest to Migration Watch UK, or wish to discuss anything else, do please get in touch. Our email is:

December 6th 2023

Boyfriend, 24, who was run over and killed by his girlfriend, 23, had ‘clicked’ with another woman at a charity party, court told 

  • Alice Wood is accused of murdering Ryan Watson outside their home in 2022 

By Dan Woodland

Published: 16:13, 5 December 2023 | Updated: 17:22, 5 December 2023

A man who was run over by his girlfriend had ‘clicked’ with another woman at a charity party hours before his death, a court has heard.

Alice Wood, 23, is accused of murdering her boyfriend Ryan Watson, 24, near the home they shared in Rode Heath, Cheshire, on May 6 last year.

The murder trial heard the evidence of guests who had been with the couple earlier in the evening to celebrate the 60th birthday party for a service user of the Headway brain injury charity, which Mr Watson was a support worker for.

Tiffany Ferriday told Chester Crown Court on Tuesday she had been sat at a table with the couple, along with her mother, who used the charity. She said she and Mr Watson, who she had met a couple of times before, had ‘clicked’ on the night. 

The court heard Miss Ferriday left the party before Mr Watson and Ms Wood but shortly after 11pm received three missed calls from an Instagram account called Ry, which she later learned was Mr Watson’s account.

Alice Wood (pictured), 23, is accused of murdering her boyfriend Ryan Watson, 24, near the home they shared in Rode Heath, Cheshire, on May 6 last year

Alice Wood (pictured), 23, is accused of murdering her boyfriend Ryan Watson, 24, near the home they shared in Rode Heath, Cheshire, on May 6 last year

The prosecution allege Ms Wood 'lost her temper' and killed Mr Watson (pictured), hitting him with her Ford Fiesta and driving 158 metres with him underneath the car

The prosecution allege Ms Wood ‘lost her temper’ and killed Mr Watson (pictured), hitting him with her Ford Fiesta and driving 158 metres with him underneath the car


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Miss Ferriday described Mr Watson as ‘very happy’, ‘jolly’ and ‘bubbly’. She said: ‘Ryan was the light of the table. He was dancing with us all, he was involving everyone. Alice didn’t really seem to get involved.’

She said that at one point, Ms Wood told Mr Watson: ‘Watch what you’re drinking.’

Miss Ferriday said she felt like she was ‘getting stared at’ by Ms Wood, who was ‘pretty much left out’ of conversation.

In cross-examination, Miss Ferriday agreed she thought Wood was staring at her because of the way she and Mr Watson behaved with each other.

Gudrun Young KC, defending, suggested she could ‘perhaps hardly blame her’, but was told by Judge Michael Leeming that that was comment.

The witness, who broke down in tears at points during her evidence, said she tried to ring Mr Watson back after missing his calls but that there was no answer and she sent a message saying ‘who’s this?’

In a statement which was read to the court, the couple’s neighbour Elaine Abbott said that some time after 11pm she heard the footsteps of two people she believed to be Mr Watson and Wood returning to their home on Oak Street.

She said: ‘I heard Ryan shout something like “oh God, not this again”. I then heard footsteps walking away.’

The murder trial heard that Mr Watson (pictured) had 'clicked' with another woman at a charity party hours before his death

The murder trial heard that Mr Watson (pictured) had ‘clicked’ with another woman at a charity party hours before his death

Ms Wood (pictured) is on trial at Chester Crown Court and denies murdering her boyfriend

Ms Wood (pictured) is on trial at Chester Crown Court and denies murdering her boyfriend 

Rebecca Callister, who lives on Sandbach Road, told the court she was woken by the sound of metal crunching at about 11.30pm. 

She said when she looked out of the window, she saw a man arguing with someone inside a car.

She said she saw the car moving forwards towards the man.

She added: ‘It looked like it was designed to intimidate and scare them a little bit.’

The prosecution allege Ms Wood ‘lost her temper’ and killed Mr Watson, hitting him with her Ford Fiesta and driving 158 metres with him underneath the car.

She denies murder.

December 4th 2023

‘These tablets I gave her might be slowly killing her’: Brianna Ghey was found vomiting and ‘screaming in pain’ in same week ‘torture-obsessed teens text about drugging her McDonald’s milkshake with prescription medication’, court hears

  • Listen to the Mail’s new podcast, The Trial, to stay up to date by clicking here 
  • Brianna Ghey‘s mother found her vomiting and ‘screaming in pain’ in the same week two torture-obsessed teens charged with her murder discussed drugging her with prescription pills in a McDonald’s milkshake, a court has heard. 
  • Girl X and Boy Y are accused of luring Brianna to a park in Culcheth, near Warrington, Cheshire on February 11 before putting into place a handwritten plan to kill her.
  • A dog walker found her bloodied body face-down in mud just after 3.10pm and saw a boy and girl running away, the trial has heard.
  • Police and paramedics rushed to the scene but Brianna had been stabbed 28 times in a ‘sustained and violent assault’ and died at the scene, jurors have heard.
  • Her alleged killers – both aged 15 at the time – were ‘preoccupied with violence, torture and death’ and had drawn up a list of five people they wanted to kill, the trial has heard.
  • Girl X and Boy Y, who are both now 16 and cannot be identified for legal reasons, deny her murder

Serial killer obsessed teenage girl watched her ‘favourite film’ Sweeney Todd for the ‘9,000th time’ the night before Brianna Ghey was stabbed, court hears 

The teenage girl accused of killing Brianna Ghey watched her ‘favourite film’, Sweeney Todd, for the ‘9,000th time’ and discussed which knife her co-defendant would use the night before the murder, a court has heard.

Two 16-year-olds, who can only be identified as girl X and boy Y, are charged with the murder of transgender girl Brianna, 16, who was found stabbed in Culcheth Linear Park, near Warrington, on February 11.

On Wednesday, a trial at Manchester Crown Court heard messages exchanged between girl X and boy Y in the run up to the stabbing, in which they discussed killing Brianna.

In messages sent on the evening of February 10, girl X asked boy Y which knife he would bring when they met Brianna.

He said: ‘The hunting knife I showed you in person as well as on the phone.’

The girl asked if it would ‘definitely 100% kill her’ and boy Y replied: ‘Yes.’

She told him: ‘I’ve just put my favourite film on. I’m watching it for like the 9,000th time.’

In the messages read to the court, girl X said the film was Sweeney Todd and told boy Y he should watch it.

She added: ‘He kills people with one of the sharpest blades in the world.’

The court heard they planned to meet Brianna on January 28 but ‘last minute’ she was unable to come.

In earlier messages on January 23, girl X told boy Y she knew a lot about US serial killer Richard Ramirez, known as The Night Stalker, adding ‘I could talk about him for like two hours, including quotes and dates of stuff’.

Notes about Ramirez and fellow serial killers Jeffrey Dahmer and Harold Shipman were also discovered in her bedroom following her arrest.

December 3rd 2023

NewsUKUK Politics

How did chancellor Jeremy Hunt make his money?

Chancellor is one of UK’s richest politicians, having sold off a higher education listings business in multimillion pound deal

Joe Sommerlad,Andy GregoryThursday 23 November 2023 08:30Comments

Jeremy Hunt has unveiled a crackdown on benefits and tax cuts in his first autumn statement as Rishi Sunak’s chancellor.

Insisting that the economy is “back on track” after inflation fell below 5 per cent, Mr Hunt told the Commons on Wednesday he was introducing “110 different measures to help grow the British economy”.

Speaking with an eye on next year’s election, the chancellor extended an £11bn-a-year tax break for businesses and offered a 2 per cent national insurance cut – as he also sought to push people with mobility issues and mental health issues to work from home or face having their benefits cut.

<p>Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt leaves 11 Downing Street to deliver his autumn statement</p>
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt leaves 11 Downing Street to deliver his autumn statement ( Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The chancellor is one of the UK’s wealthiest politicians, and The Independent has taken a look at how he amassed his own personal fortune and his path to No 11.

Mr Hunt stepped down as a director in 2009 prior to his first shadow cabinet appointment but retained, according to Companies House records, a 48 per cent stake in the business, netting him a reported £14.1m, making him one of the UK’s richest politicians.

Newspaper headlines: ‘Starmer praises Thatcher’ and Royals unite

By BBC News


The headline on the front page of the Sunday Mirror reads: "Royals unite on race row"
Image caption, Several of Sunday’s papers have continued to cover the royal race row, after the names of King Charles and Catherine, Princess of Wales, were mistakenly included in the Dutch edition of Omid Scobie’s book, Endgame. The Sunday Mirror however says it is “business as usual” for the “firm”.
The headline on the front page of the Sunday Express reads: "Charles: I'll never give up on Harry"
Image caption, A source described as close to the Royal Family has told the Sunday Express that the King will never give up on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their two children. The paper says he believes he can still mend their “broken relationship”, but adds he is “broken-hearted” by the latest claims. A 2014 picture makes the front page.
The headline on the front page of the Mail on Sunday reads: "Now Harry is excluded from society wedding of the year"
Image caption, The Mail on Sunday reports that Prince Harry and Meghan have not been invited to the “wedding of the year”. It says the omission from the Duke of Westminster’s wedding will be seen as a consequence of the Sussex’s rift with the rest of the Royal Family.
The main headline on the front page of the Sunday Telegraph reads: "Starmer piles praise on Thatcher to woo Right"
Image caption, The Sunday Telegraph’s lead story carries comments from Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who heaps praise on former Tory PM Margaret Thatcher for “setting loose our natural entrepreneurialism”. The Telegraph describes his comments as “his most audacious attempt to woo centre-right support”.
The main headline on the front page of the Sunday Times reads: "Rwanda's extra £15m to seal migration deal"
Image caption, The Sussexes are pictured on the front page of The Sunday Times, which also reports their omission from the Duke of Westminster’s wedding. Its lead story says Rishi Sunak has agreed to release a further £15m to Rwanda to save his failed asylum plan, which was ruled unlawful last month. The extra money will pay for more staff, the paper says.
The main headline on the front page of the Observer reads: "Israel 'using Hamas prisoners to track down terror chiefs'"
Image caption, The Observer reports that Israel is using intelligence gathered from the hundreds of militants it has captured to help them find and kill the leaders of Hamas.
The headline on the front page of the Daily Star reads: "Polar Excess"
Image caption, And the Daily Star claims the UK is facing its “coldest winter for 10 years”, with a -12C (10.4F) icy blast to last until Christmas. “The Polar Excess” is its headline.
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A Tale of 2 Cities, Oxford & Milton Keynes by R J Cook

Oxford City Centre is home to world-renowned Oxford University colleges, such as Christ Church and Magdalen, bordering peaceful parks and meadows. Millions of books are stored in the landmark Bodleian Library. The Ashmolean Museum displays Egyptian mummies and classical sculptures, while weapons, masks, and pottery fill the cabinets at Pitt Rivers Museum. Indie food stalls line the 18th-century Covered Market.

Image R J Cook Appldene Photographics.

Oxford’s history is one of industry. One of Britain’s largest cities in the medieval and early modern
period at a crucial crossing of the River Thames, the city remained a transport hub through the First
Industrial Revolution. As the meeting point of the West Midlands’ canal network and the major river,
Oxford facilitated water transport between the industrial heartlands and the capital. With the advent of the
railways, Oxford’s position as a crossroads solidified. Later, Oxfordshire’s inland position and relatively
flat geography would make it an ideal location for airbases in wartime. Road traffic, first horse-drawn and
later horseless, also passed through Oxford as major roads led to and from the city.
But Oxford is a home to vehicle manufacture not just a transport hub. Oxford is the UK’s motor city. These
days the majority of Formula 1 teams have their headquarters in Oxfordshire, while BMW’s Mini plant is
situated in the Cowley area of Oxford on the site of the old Morris Motors factory.
William Morris founded Morris Motors in Oxford in 1912. Attempting to create a British equivalent to the
Ford Model T, Morris designed an intentionally Oxford branded car. The success of the vehicle relied upon
the reputation of the city; in return, his motor company would transform Oxford’s industrial landscape.
This case study was prepared by David White. Case study editors: Jack Felton and
Prof Christopher McKenna, University of Oxford.
1Creative Commons Copyright: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA

Just Another Busker – image by R J Cook Appledene Photographics.
Toys R Us returms to Oxford. Image R J Cook Appldene Photographics.
All was quiet when we wandered in here yesterday. Image R J Cook Appldene Photographics.
Just Another Homeless Man. Image R J Cook Appldene Photographics.
This African Immigrant hanging outside Waterstones has the answer in his hands – Jesus. Image R J Cook Appldene Photographics.
Image R J Cook Appldene Photographics.
Image R J Cook Appldene Photographics.
Image R J Cook Appldene Photographics.
Image R J Cook Appldene Photographics.
Image R J Cook Appldene Photographics.
People travel vast distances to see Oxford, Here is another bus. Image by R J Cook Appldene Photographics.
The Invisible rman in the doorway. Image by R J Cook Appledene Photographics.

Travel by Arriva buses can be challenging. On driver told me that every day is a bad day with the types managing the company. Referring to my story on here, of the suspension on a speeding overloaded bus, with 30 standing schoolchildren passengers, on which I was travelling, with the driver urged to continue with the vehicle body dragging on the back wheels, the off duty driver said : “That is normal Arriva practice. The Engineering Department has a limited budget and resists using recovery trucks. He said the drivers had to pick up all the schoolchildren however many or they would get sacked.” had renewed hope that the German owners have agreed sale of the company. Deutsche Bahn AG (DB) and I Squared Capital have signed an agreement for the sale of the whole of Arriva Group, including all of its operating businesses across 10 European markets, to I Squared, a leading global infrastructure investment manager.

I hope the driver is right because the X60 from my home town to Aylesbury was late yesterday morning and the 10.00 a.m. bus left early. It was worth the wait. The journey there via Thame is picturesque in parts. It’s good to stop off in Thame, but I was disappointed to discover that Newitt’s Butchers and fine food shop had closed down. The family run business had been a favourite for locals and visitors. I sometimes delivered there for the Bicester quality food supplier ‘Fresh Direct’.

Oxfordshire Live reported : A popular butcher shop in Thame has announced it has closed with “immediate effect”. Newitt’s of Thame has been trading for more than 50 years, but a decrease in customers post-Covid coupled with the cost of living crisis has forced them to shut up shop for good.

Situated at 10 High Street, the store was famed for its award-winning pies, meats and smoked products. In a statement posted to their website and social media accounts yesterday (February 8), the owners said the rising costs of energy and fuel made it “no longer viable” to continue trading.

Newitt’s Thame

The announcement read: “It is with regret that we’ve taken the difficult decision to close the business with immediate effect. The downturn in High Street footfall post-Covid and astronomical increases in energy and fuel costs means that it’s no longer viable for us to continue trading.” Newitts big shop is still vacant, but there are plenty of charity shops and even a toy shop. A few weeks ago I bought a BMW mini there for the bargain price of £1.

My £1 BMW Mini bought in Thame. Image by R J Cook/ Appledene Photographics.

Still the old town retains its historic Oxfordshire Dickensian charm and was a favourite watering hole in the age of stage coaches. ‘The Spread Eagle’ Coaching Inn was made famous by brilliant actor Robert Hardy playing the landlord in a BBC Playhouse production. John Fothergill, aesthete and scholar, becomes the proprietor of the Spread Eagle, in Thame, Oxfordshire, with the intent of turning it into the most celebrated Inn in England, catering to the brightest lights in London’s literati. That production was back in 1981 and I still remember it. Thame Livestock Market is one of very few left in this part of the country as the old English way of life makes way for the new. It is well worth a visit.

The onward journey passes another of my old early morning Fresh Direct stops at Oxford M40 services near Wheatley. Then comes the long morning struggle with traffic jams heading off the dual carriageway onto the big Headington Roundabout. I can’t pass Headington Hall without remembering my old Labour Party MP Robert Maxwell who, along with his long suffering French wife helped me with my first published book in which they featured. I first met this colourful couple during the 1959 General Election Campaign. My maternal grandparents, although prosperous local builders, had run the Labour Party Committee rooms for elections since the 1920s. So Maxwell’s cavalcade of big Ford cars pulled up outside their house which was next to ours because my mother’s Uncle Tom owned half of the street.

At last the bus reaches the High Street and we are in the heart of historic Oxford, a place of religious bigotry, the Oxford Tractarian Movement with the likes of Cardinals Newman and Pusey, diehards for the Holy Mass and Transubstantiation – a concept inexplicable to my 1980s political history students but redolent of rising British Islamification which defies science. Centuries ago the Arabs led the world in maths, then along came Mohammed with a rewrite of the Old Testament, renamed the Koran.

I suspect most people pass by the grand old college buildings from the tyrannical age when Publican’s son, Cardinal and Statesman Thomas Wolseley gained his degree aged 15. Our modern age is every bit as tyrannical though more sophisticated.

So as I wandered around my favourite Oxford City Centre locations, most notably Waterstones, Blackwell’s and second hand bookshops. I added four new volumes to my large library. Including a neat little account of ‘The Holocaust – A Graphic Guide’ by Haim Bresheeth, Stuart Hood & Litza Jansz.

I have known Oxford since I was 5 years old because we had and still have an offshoot of our family there. That came about because my mother’s Uncle George Cripps had passed from railway engine fireman to driver. He was transferred to the Oxford end of our home town 20 miles away. Sadly he did not live long enough to enjoy his new status and income as a driver. He became ill with appendicitis. That led to peritonitis and his untimely death aged 24.

Aged 18, I was offered an unconditional place to study for a BSc in economics at what is now Oxford Brookes University. I declined because I felt that I needed to get away from the places that I thought I knew – and people who thought they knew me. So I continued in odd jobs until I gained a place at the University of East Anglia. Many years later, I was offered a place to work for a PhD in Oral History based on my work for Sutton and Tempus Publishing. My then wife was enraged because she believed that I was only going to do it to get off with young female students. She said the same thing when I was recruited to play lead guitar in a rock band. As for the PhD, my then wife said “I’ll call you Doctor.” Her brother went on to begin a very interesting police career in Oxford, but that is another story.

There are many interesting books on the shelves of Waterstones and Blackwell’s. I daresay some of my meagre offerings are available in the Bodleian. But the best book on Oxford has not and probably will not ever be written. It is being written and rewritten on the streets every say and night. Because the police, for legal reasons I cannot divulge due to ongoing proceedings , destroyed my professional reputation and credibility, I became a commercial driver. One of my ensuing employments was with the Oxford Depot of HSS tool hire, delivering plant and workman’s tools. One delivery point that sticks in my mind was Blackbird Leys, a working class Oxford feral sink estate suburb. That is Oxford and its diversity. After midnight, its diversity crawls out of cardboard boxes, in alleyways and shop doorways. I saw it all while working as a truck driver for West Cornwall Pasty Company. Most of these nocturnal failures drugged out of their minds are what white liberals like to call ‘privileged white males.’

Milton Keynes is, after years of political campaigning, recognised as a city. So we decided to go there, by bus from Oxford High Street. We arrived there at the bus stop at 12.50. Though there is a half hour timetabled service back to Aylesbury, two services did not arrive. So we did not reach Aylesbury until 15.00, well in time for the Arriva 150 Milton service which was cancelled so we chose the X60 via Winslow, Buckingham, Stony Stratford and Milton Keynes. We arrived there at 17.50, just in time for Milton Keynes Waterstones and a wander around the freezing shopping centre shopping centre greenhouse emporium. Waiting for the last bus home to Winslow, the long way round in the cold and dark, I discovered why the shopping centre was so cold. The council is on board with the alleged need to pre empt the rise of another terrible wave of the ageist and sexist COVID virus. So I finished of the remains of my journey’s packed lunch with trembling freezing hands. Then I braved the freezing cold of Milton Keynes Midsummer Boulevard to capture more images of its inherently cold and functional landscape.

Image R J Cook Appldene Photographics.
Image R J Cook Appldene Photographics.
KODAK Digital Still Camera
Image R J Cook Appldene Photographics.
Image R J Cook Appldene Photographics.
Image R J Cook Appldene Photographics.
Image R J Cook Appldene Photographics.
Image R J Cook Appldene Photographics.

R J Cook

Milton Keynes, the Model Town Building Itself Around Self-Driving Cars

The Milton Keynes Council envisions self-driving vehicles easing traffic congestion and eliminating parking spaces

Jeremy Hsu

21 Nov 2018

4 min read

Gif from video showing UK Autodrive autonomous pods

UK Autodrive Oct 2018 demoed a convoy of Aurrigo autonomous pods in Milton Keynes

Gif: UK Autodrive

self drivingautomotiveconnected and autonomous vehiclesautonomous vehiclesUK AutodrivepodsMilton KeynesAurrigosmart carsself-driving cars

In October, the largest self-driving car project backed by the British government wrapped up three years worth of testing aimed at getting autonomous vehicles onto roads by 2021. Many of the autonomous car and pod tests took place in Milton Keynes, a town built for cars that represents one of the fastest-growing city or town economies in the United Kingdom.

Originally founded as a new “model town” in 1967, Milton Keynes is a city in all but name after having grown to 280,000 people in 50 years. But the same economic success means that Milton Keynes—built in a grid layout and suburban style—faces a number of growing pains that it’s looking to ease with the help of autonomous vehicle technology. The recent UK Autodrive tests were designed to test the capabilities of both self-driving cars and smaller autonomous pod vehicles made by Coventry, UK-based Aurrigo, a division of RDM Group, with an eye toward easing traffic congestion and possibly even eliminating the need for cars in the city center.

“We recognize the technology is in its infancy,” says Brian Matthews, Head of Transport Innovation for the Milton Keynes Council in the UK. “It’s not fully capable in terms of mimicking what humans could do in driving cars, but it’s very close.”

In the next few decades, the growing town will likely need to accommodate double or triple the amount of cars on its roads today—something that can’t realistically be met by simply “building loads of car parks,” Matthews says. The community’s changing demographics and growing elderly population could also benefit from self-driving vehicles to provide mobility to people who cannot or do not want to drive. So the Milton Keynes Council worked with technologists to develop a set of use cases tailored to the community’s problems that could be demonstrated within a three-year program.

Some UK Autodrive trials tested connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) technologies that could help more cars use the existing highway and roundabout system without increasing congestion or requiring new construction. One intersection collision warning test focused on seeing if a car equipped with CAV technology could merge onto highways more safely than human drivers. Another trial successfully showed how smarter cars could potentially avoid traffic-snarling highway crashes by receiving early warning about braking actions 10 cars ahead in congested lanes.

UK Autodrive texting in Coventry.

October 2018 demo of UK Autodrive, showing a Ford connected vehicle demonstrating Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory (GLOSA) in Coventry.Photo: UK Autodrive

A third trial examined whether CAV technologies could help vehicles operate more closely together when driving around within the more than 130 roundabout intersections of Milton Keynes. The technology was not quite there yet, but could someday increase by 20 percent the number of cars that such roundabouts could handle, Matthews says. Additional testing took place on Coventry’s infamously complex ring road.

Such tests used more autonomous versions of passenger cars from companies such as Jaguar Land Rover, Ford Motor Company and Tata Motors European Technical Centre. But the Autodrive tests in Milton Keynes also included electric-powered pods developed by Aurrigo operating in the more pedestrian-focused areas of the town.

Yet another demonstration showed how such pods could serve as last-mile connection options that carry passengers from a self-driving car drop-off point to the Milton Keynes railway station in the heart of the town. That could someday allow planners to ban cars from operating in the Central Business District and other parts of the city center. And the land area that is currently taken up by more than 20,000 parking spaces in the city center could be repurposed for business, leisure and retail development.

“We might want cars to drop off people at the edge of the city, and then take a pod or walk or cycle,” Matthews says.

City planners enlisted Cambridge University researchers to help update their computer models for projecting the possible impacts of adopting autonomous vehicles within the next 20 to 30 years. That far-out view could help Milton Keynes begin considering the different infrastructure development choices they could make to both take advantage of the benefits from autonomous vehicles and to accommodate their presence.

For example, new electric charging stations and communications infrastructure would likely be required to support both the pods and self-driving cars. Milton Keynes is already upgrading its Urban Traffic Management Center to give it the ability to manage and control large numbers of autonomous vehicles.

But the autonomous vehicle technologies still have a ways to go before they can fully deliver on their promised benefits. One main limitation of the self-driving cars was that their driving behavior remained cautious—not unlike that of a novice driver who has just passed the driving test—something that may cause problems if larger numbers of self-driving cars join human drivers on the roads.

“We know cautious drivers may not mix well with aggressive drivers who have been driving for many years,” Matthews says. “The research we did around the forecasting and modeling suggest that the benefits set to come from CAVs will only be realized when we move their capability from a new driver to an experienced driver.”

The city planners also want to boost the electric pods from their current max speed of 5 miles per hour to about 10 miles per hour, or approximately double the average human walking speed. The pods are currently designed to get out of the way of pedestrians or come to a stop if their way is blocked. They also use a humming noise to help alert pedestrians to their presence.

Milton Keynes and the UK Autodrive planners seem to have gone out of their way to bring local residents and specific stakeholder groups to the table. They consulted with disability groups about possible concerns for people who are visually or hearing impaired and might come into contact with the autonomous pods. General public opinion also seemed to welcome the Autodrive demonstrations given the fact that the tests created relatively little  inconvenience for residents, Matthews says.

“The demonstrations were live, but there were not too many specific things we had to do,” Matthews says. “We didn’t close roads and didn’t stop people from doing what they normally did on the road network.”

The city council has already submitted an application to the UK government for a follow-up project that would operate until the end of 2020 or early 2021. In this next stage, the local government is specifically seeking projects capable of delivering a commercially viable end product that could transport either cargo or people. Milton Keynes expects to hear whether its proposal gets the green light by the end of the calendar year.

Jeremy Hsu

Jeremy Hsu has been working as a science and technology journalist in New York City since 2008. See full bio →

Milton Keynes is a city and the largest settlement in Buckinghamshire, England, about 50 miles north-west of London. At the 2021 Census, the population of its urban area was 264,349

KODAK Digital Still Camera
Image R J Cook Appldene Photographics.
Image R J Cook Appldene Photographics.
Image R J Cook Appldene Photographics.
Image R J Cook Appldene Photographics.
Image R J Cook Appldene Photographics.
Image R J Cook Appldene Photographics.

November 28th 2023


Paedo teacher Jeremy Forrest who preyed on schoolgirl, 15, & fled to France is fired from new job after bosses find out

Predator had tried to reinvent himself after jail release

  • Published: 9:58, 28 Nov 2023
  • Updated: 11:49, 28 Nov 2023

A PAEDO teacher who fled to France with a 15-year-old girl has been sacked from his bakery job after bosses found out about his past.

The Sun revealed how Jeremy Forrest had reinvented himself as an artisan baker in Kent after he was released from jail.

Jeremy Forrest has been sacked from his bakery job
Jeremy Forrest has been sacked from his bakery jobCredit: Splash
The paedo teacher sparked an international manhunt when he abducted a student
The paedo teacher sparked an international manhunt when he abducted a studentCredit: PA:Press Association

But the 40-year-old’s contract has now been terminated with “immediate effect”.

The bakery said his dark past had come “as a shock” to the “close knit team” in a statement on social media.

It added: “Since learning of the sensitive nature of this employee’s history, it was mutually agreed that it was in the best interest of Gilda that his employment was terminated with immediate effect.”

Forrest, who worked a chef while in prison, was spotted leaving his job wearing a white baker’s apron this week.

A bio on the bakery’s website said: “(Jeremy) is proudly a 5th generation baker, learning everything he knows from the experienced bakers that have passed down their tried and tested methods.

“He was promoted to Head Baker, thanks to his extraordinary passion for sourdough, hard work and commitment.

“He never stops learning about the process, care and attention that goes into making the perfect loaf.

“Jeremy loves his dogs and a sing-song — he plays guitar and lead vocals in a band that regularly gigs!”

It’s The Rich What Get’s The Pleasure, It’s The Poor What Gets The Blame by R J Cook

Comment The Sun is very proud of itself because its cocky so called journalists have nailed what they call a paedo predator. Sun reporters calling anyone a predator is pot calling the kettle black. This is a vile lowest common denominator moralising gutter wrag that fed overweight truck drivers with political bigotry, football and young topless ‘models’ maturbation material.

I survived 18 years as a front line teacher, facing some of my first rabid classrom challenges in Vauxhall Girls School, South London where what we used to call pupils needed little if any sex education. Few of the girls were innocent. Those that were suffered bitchy bullying and even knife attacks. Broken homes abusive step fathers and ‘mother’s boyfriends’ were becoming normalised in late 1970s London., I was young then catching the eye and interest of girls looking for father figures and lovers to fill a void.

Feminism wants it any way that fits their dogma. For them females are equal, needing more opportunities to prove themselves. Moralising hypocritical Sun Journalists would not be so interested in senior police officers who have had inappropriate relationships with underage girls. The media made no issue of Rock Star Rolling Stone Bill Wyman having a relationship with the 14 year old blonde he had met when she was all dolled up in a Lodon night club. He was approaching 60 at the time and should have known better. Wyman even married her when she was old enough.

I made the biggest mistake in my life, to date, when I met a Grammar School sixth former in ‘Nero’s ‘a Portsmouth ( Southsea ) night club midsummer in 1976 – midsummer madness. She was the one who asked for a date the following evening at a folk club at what is now Portsmouth’s ‘Holiday Inn’. We saw former ‘Strawbs’ rock star Dave Cousins perform for rather a long time and showing no signs of stopping. He was still playing when we had to leave because she had school next day ! I had just ended a relationship with a 30 year old woman called Barbara, because she was still married and I thought her too old to have another child – her child was not her husband.

I was, as I said, innocent and vulnerable to the illusion of love. I did my sons no favours bringing them into what became a toxic environment effectively run by the mother in law who could not wait to marry her daughter off. because her family were retiring to Cornwall. I had left the Inland Revenue and was working as a progress chaser for a U.S Defence Company on the old Portsmouth Airport. I had four phones on my desk and a female PA. In the run up to my wedding. She said to me : “You don’t want to go through with it, do you ?” I said “No”. “So why do it?” she asked. I responded pathetically: “Because I don’t want to upset my fiance.”

I was not my ex wife’s first boyfriend. He had been a sailor also older than her. She told me that she went home for Christmas to meet and stay with his family. The myth is that men initiate sex. Generally speaking that is not true but suits the romatic vulnerable and pretty unrealistic images of women, so outdated in these ‘enlightened feminist’ times.

When I dropped out of the rat race for postgraduate study in psychology at London University to become a teacher and further intent to become a writer, my mother in law berated and humiliated me in front of her family, telling me I was an irresponsible waster. She suggested her daughter divorce me. We were on holiday at the in laws’s family home. I returned to London the next day. My wife followed me. It was many years later that I realised my mother in law was right for the wrong reasons. The marriage lasted 31 years too long. I was 9 years older than my rather conventional wife who had no idea why writing, studying music, and performing was so important to me. I always knew that was what I wanted, but neither knew or believed in myself. My ex wife never knew me or my eldest son and I never knew her until it was too late.

That is why the Sun’s garbage about a young naive misguided teacher in a loveless marriage was no more than a paedophile predator sickens me. For these ‘elite’ jounalists ( sic ) they have to define a narrow box for the masses while the elite do as they like. So they never condemn the late Queen’s middle son as ‘the paedophile prince.’ From what I have read, incuding Peter Cawthorne’s ‘Prince Andrew, Epstein & The Palace’, Prince Andrew enjoyed his own version of loveless underage sex, paying off his main accuser to th tune of £12 million. His close friend sex offender Jeffrey Epstein procured his young sex slaves for him to have fun with.

Jeremy Forrest’s case was rather different. He fell in love with a schoolgirl who had made eyes at him in the classroom. As a young teacher I had that experience many times. I had never intended to court a school girl, even though my ex wife was not underage when we met. I saw my classroom charges for what they were, just children and that my classroom was not a dating venue. I was also very driven by my equally naive attitude to believing that my job was to help and educate the young not fall in love or reciprocate any affection.

However, I became aware that there were paedophiles on the staff, abusing their power and getting away with it, I can’t comment any further on those people. But the then young Jeremy Forrest’s pattern of behaviour was rather different. There is good reason to believe that he was in love with the girl and that the feeling was mutual. I worked under a department head who married one of his sixth formers. The marriage did not work. His young wife became pregnant by the aptly titled ‘Youth Opportunities’ boss. He was in his 50s. The baby was a few months old and, by which time the boy had been named Gareth after the Welsh Rugby team captain because his presumed father was a proud Welshman.

I am adumbrating a simple feminist obfuscated truth that naturally young women are as driven by sex hormones as men, if not more so because they have a small window of opportunity for reproduction. Feminists do not like this essential truth. Single parent families lack the steadying protective influence of biological fathers. Working class, and even middle class girls struggle with this sterile social environment resulting in rising suicides – which stupidly get blamed on social media – drug abuse and feral behaviour. But feminists are oblivious of all this, dominating the media, education and politics with their opinions literally sold as fact.

Meanwhile the young male population of the so called British Democracy have testosterone to deal with. Where as oestrogen and progesterone tend to make women more brooding and depressed if their natural desires aren’t met because young men are undeerstandly afraid of them – and see no future, prosperity or long term prospects in marriage. That is where the date rape drug viagra comes into the picture.

It is in the context of this New World Disorder that Jeremy Forrest was clutching at straws when he followed his 15 year old schoolgirl amoir’s plan to run away to France with her. The girl made no complaint because she was infatuated with young Jeremy. Romance is not rational, it is just another belief system that grows in our barren dead end ‘diverse ( sic ) culture by repetition and indoctrination unless its massive weaknesses and contradictions are exposed. Young men are seeing this. It is clear to me that Jeremy Forrest was rather different to the esteemed Prince Andrew who must never be called a paedophile and predator. In the words of the old folk song, ‘It’s the rich what gets the pleasure, it’s the poor what gets the blame.’ Jeremy Forrest made a stupid mistake in search of love which does not exist outside of what one should show to our children.

But the Sun Newspaper gets none of this. It is a sick disgusting rabble rousing tabloid, like the worst gangster giving lessons on morality. In this light it seems that they only released Jeremy Forrest so that the likes of these scum bag sewer rats can play cat and mouse, whipping up the masses to ensure he can never restart his life. It is noteworthy that when Jeremy was convicted, his apparent victim mouthed across the court room ” I am sorry.”

R J Cook


The Police – Don’t Stand So Close To Me (Official Music Video) › watch

Policing London’s Diverse World – response from Sir Mark Rowley.

Commissioner calls for reform of police accountability system

News – 24 September 2023 19:25

Commissioner calls for reform of police accountability system

Download as PDF

The Commissioner has called for reform of the way police officers are held to account, particularly when they use force or undertake pursuits in the course of their duties.

Sir Mark Rowley said this area of law and regulation is “long overdue for reform to address a number of imbalances”.

He welcomed the announcement of a review by Home Secretary Suella Braverman in to how the actions of officers are scrutinised.

In an open letter, Sir Mark said the progress being made to deliver change in the Met was “undermined by a system not set up to help officers succeed.”

He called for the policies and practices of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to be addressed, with a focus on the threshold for investigating police use of force and involvement in pursuits.

As part of the review, the Met would welcome consideration of the following changes to regulations or primary legislation:

  • Amendments to ensure the application of the subjective criminal law test for self-defence in police misconduct, not the objective civil test. One simple test will avoid delay, simplify the process and provide better protection for the public.
  • The introduction of the criminal standard of proof for unlawful killing in inquests and inquiries. This will avoid the confusion caused when different conclusions are reached in criminal and coronial cases.
  • Changes to the threshold at which the IOPC can launch criminal or misconduct investigations. Too often investigations are announced when only a minimal interrogation of the facts has taken place, damaging public confidence, only for further enquiries to establish criminality or wrongdoing either wasn’t borne out at the level initially suggested, or at any level at all. The IOPC should not be able to launch such investigations based only on a mere ‘indication’ of an offence or wrongdoing. It would be more sensible for the threshold to be a ‘reasonable suspicion’ as in most other areas of criminal law.

The Met would also welcome the review considering the following issues of policy and practice in organisations handling cases of police complaints or use of force:

  • Investigate how CPS policy can strengthen the legal protection for officers who use force. Officers are entitled to operate with clarity on the decision-making process, and so there is an associated need to rapidly understand the rationale where charges are brought to enable consideration of the potential impact on the training that is currently in place.
  • The introduction of time limits for the IOPC and CPS in order to reduce the punitive impact on officers of lengthy investigatory and legal processes and ensure the public see rapid resolutions where wrongdoing has occurred.
  • Improving the balance in communications and the release of information following an incident to ensure public confidence in policing is emphasised and matters which may cause community tensions are managed more effectively. A presumption of providing more contextual information about the incidents as part of the initial narrative should be introduced.

In the open letter, Sir Mark writes that any case where someone loses their life is clearly devastating for their family, friends, and wider community.

It is right that they are properly investigated in a way which improves confidence but the Met does not believe the current situation delivers this.

Sir Mark says he is particularly concerned about the position our firearms officers are in, where there are genuinely held concerns by those officers who do an incredibly difficult job in some of the most challenging circumstances

The Met typically responds to around 4,000 armed incidents every year and officers discharge firearms on two or less occasions. This equates to 0.05 per cent of armed operations resulting in shots fired by police officers in London.

Hundreds of weapons are seized and dangerous offenders are brought to justice with extreme care and a professional cation that is world-leading.

Sir Mark added: “There is a concern on the part of firearms officers that even if they stick to the tactics and training they have been given, they will face years of protracted legal proceedings which impact on their personal wellbeing and that of their family. While previous reviews have been announced, they have not delivered change.

“Carrying a firearm is voluntary. We rely on officers who are willing to put themselves at risk on a daily basis to protect the public from dangerous criminals including terrorists. Officers need sufficient legal protection to enable them to do their job and keep the public safe, and the confidence that it will be applied consistently and without fear or favour.”

The changes that the Met has called for will deliver improvements for officers across the country. They have the support of the Chief Executive of the College of Policing and the Chair of the National Police Chief’s Council.

The full open letter is attached.



Laurence Fox ‘can’t get mortgage’ after racism allegations, court told

Laurence Fox arriving at Courts of Justice, London, 22/11/23
Image caption, Actor-turned-politician Laurence Fox denies being a racist

By James Gregory

BBC News

Laurence Fox’s life was “destroyed” by allegations of racism, the actor has told the High Court in a libel case.

Mr Fox said he could not get a mortgage after being called a “racist” by drag artist Crystal, ex-Stonewall trustee Simon Blake and actress Nicola Thorp.

Crystal – real name Colin Seymour – and Mr Blake are suing Mr Fox after he called them “paedophiles” in response.

Mr Fox, who denies being a racist, is counter-suing over their initial social media posts.

The dispute followed the actor’s call to boycott Sainsbury’s in October 2020 for its celebration of Black History Month, for which he was called “racist” by the trio on Twitter.

The Reclaim Party leader said he was “horrified” when he saw the tweets, later adding it was a “career-ending word, and a reputation-destroying allegation”.

“It was very hurtful, firstly as it is not true, and secondly because it was baseless: it felt as if the claimants had posted it to try and destroy me,” he said in his written statement.

“I felt that one of the most important things I had in this world was my good name, and they were trying to ruin it.”

The former Lewis star claimed by 2020 he was earning between £500,000 and £600,000 a year from acting, but his “vibrant and busy” professional life had been “irreparably harmed, if not destroyed” following a dramatic drop in his income and loss of his former acting agent Sue Latimer.

“Without the prospect of work from her and the income from it, I couldn’t get a mortgage,” he said.

“The only income I earned at that point was from the Reclaim Party.

“To this day I haven’t bought a house, I only received one mortgage offer very recently, and it was far too high and wouldn’t have been worth my while to take it.

“It’s a source of incredible sadness to me that my skill set, which has been highly trained, used at great length over 23 or 24 years – it’s just been completely put away.”

He said “life was destroyed by what they did”, and that he had become a target.

The court heard that on two occasions after the claim against him was filed, faeces were posted through Mr Fox’s door.

He said his ex-wife Billie Piper was “concerned” that their two children were no longer safe in the house.

Laurence Fox arriving at Courts of Justice, London, 22/11/23
Image caption, Actor-turned-politician Laurence Fox denies being a racist

Earlier in the trial, Lorna Skinner KC, representing Mr Blake, Mr Seymour and Ms Thorp, said the three “honestly believed, and continue honestly to believe, that Mr Fox is a racist”.

In written submissions, the barrister said the 45-year-old “has made a number of highly controversial statements about race”.

She added: “If and to the extent that Mr Fox has been harmed in his reputation, it is his own conduct and not the claimants’ comments on it that caused that harm.”

Ms Skinner highlighted several of Mr Fox’s social media posts, including a June 2022 tweet of four Pride flags arranged in the shape of a swastika.

“Such a disgusting post could only be made by a complete ignoramus or an intelligent racist with an agenda. Mr Fox is the latter,” she said.

In his evidence discussing his call for a boycott of Sainsbury’s, Mr Fox said the supermarket had been “essentially emotionally blackmailing their customers” and that he has not shopped there since.

“I felt that rather than genuinely trying to tackle racism, Sainsbury’s were trying to improve their own image, branding themselves as the anti-racist supermarket,” he said.

In evidence last week, Mr Seymour and Mr Blake told the court about the impact of being called a paedophile.

Mr Seymour said in a written statement that he had faced “overwhelming and distressing” abuse and felt less safe as a drag artist.

“On reading that he had called another gay man, Simon Blake, a paedophile, I felt Mr Fox was attempting to whip up a mob of bigots against us by using lies he knew would incense people,” he added.

Mr Blake told the court the incorrect suggestion that gay men were paedophiles was “a trope as old as the hills”.

Patrick Green KC, for Mr Fox, said on Monday in his written submissions that neither Mr Blake nor Mr Seymour had “suffered any actual, real-world consequences” due to the actor’s tweets.

Instead, Mr Green said readers would have understood that Mr Fox’s posts were a “retort to an allegation of racism” rather than a factual allegation.

The trial before Mrs Justice Collins Rice continues and is due to conclude this week with a decision expected at a later date.

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About the Author

Robert Cook
facebook I went to school in Buckinghamshire, where my interests were music ( I was a violinist ), art ( winning county art competitions ) athletics and cross country ( I was a county team athlete ). My father died as a result of an accident- he was an ex soldier and truck driver- when I was 11. It could be said that I grew up in poverty, but I did not see it like that. As a schoolboy, I had my interests, hobbies and bicycle, worked on a farm, delivered news papers, did a lot of training for my sport, painting, and music. I also made model aeroplanes and was in the Air Training Corps, where we had the opportunity to fly an aeroplane. I had wanted to be a pilot, but university made me anti war. At the University of East Anglia-which I also represented in cross country and athletics- I studied economics, economic history, philosophy and sociology. Over the years, I have worked in a variety of manual, office and driving jobs. My first job after univerity was with the Inland Revenue in Havant, near Portsmouth. I left Hampshire to work for the Nitrate Corporation of Chile, then lecturing, teaching and journalism - then back to driving. I play and teach various styles of guitar and used to be a regular folk club performer. I quit that after being violently assaulted in Milton Keynes pub, after singing a song I wrote about how cop got away with killing Ian Tomlinson at G7, in broad daylight and caught on camera. The police took no action, saying taht my assailant had a good job. The pub in question was, and probably still is, popular with off duty police officers.

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