Archive for the ‘Justice and Fairplay’ Category


I have always been the patriotic sort, I love my home, my Englishness. I have worn and adorned my motorcycle with the cross of St George, the flag of England. My daughter challenged me, ‘Why have you got a racist flag on your bike?’

I explained patiently that the cross is more than an emblem of English thugishness, that it was the proud declaration of English heritage, Henry V and all that. Empire and two world wars, well maybe these are examples of English Thugishness in themselves. Scientific achievements, Art and great engineering. The flag was something to be proud of. 

I have now succumbed. After the Euro 2016 debacle, the Brexit vote which took all Englishness away from the emblem. Let me explain why.

In about 8000 BC Mesolithic hunter gatherers walked from Europe across the land bridge of Doggerland. The ice continued to melt eventually stranding the continental tribes people in what has become Britain. It seems, so far as has thus been proved via archaeology, that there was no settled population at the time of the severing of physical links with the continent. So, forgetting the evidence that every single one of us come from Africa, more recently we were all sausage eaters, garlic crunchers or whatever other disrespectful epithet comes to mind.


I am also aware of the arrival of the ‘Beaker People’ in these Islands. One, the Amesbury Archer, at least was so well thought of by ‘locals’ that they buried him close to Stonehenge. Another foreigner accepted by these Islands, and respected.
‘The latest tests on the Amesbury Archer, whose grave astonished archaeologists last year with the richness of its contents, show he was originally from the Alps region, probably Switzerland, Austria or Germany. The tests also show that the gold hair tresses found in the grave are the earliest gold objects found in Britain.’ (Wessex Archaeology Online)

In the years around 75 BC it seems that my home county was taken over by the Atrebates, a tribe of Celtic and German stock arriving from the continent.

55BC the first Roman Invasion, which would have undertaken by peoples from across the Roman Empire as soldiers, tradesmen, slaves, families and visitors. At this time the DNA of Britain must have contained traces of every other country in the then known world. 

Just after the end of the first Roman incursion a Celtic tribe, the Regnenses arrived on these shores under the leadership of Commius. His grandson Cogidubnus is probably the person who had the Palace at Fishbourne built and was an ally of Rome and welcomed them for the second ‘Invasion’.


Fishbourne Palace

Following the departure of Rome for the second time, the Picts became a problem, the Angles and Saxons were invited to settle and assist the country. There appears to have been no violent takeover by the Angles and Saxons, more a peaceful co-existence and development of a merging culture.


Then Vikings, Danes and ultimately French Normans (who were Vikings really). 


By 1066 therefore this country could not claim to be made up of one peoples. Truly the British were mongrels. A mix of stock from across Europe, the Mediterranean and beyond.

Further waves of French, Dutch then arrived with others from Europe. The Romani originiating in South Asia arrived in the 16th Century.

Peoples of the Indian sub continent began arriving as a result of the exploitation of the East India Company (founded in 1600). Many of those arriving from India way settled and took local wives. The first London Indian Restaurant was founded in 1810 by Sake Dean Mahomed a captain of the East India Company. His restaurant was called the Hindoostane Coffee House and he is also credited as the person introducing shampoo and therapeutic massage to Britain.


Sake Dean Mohamed

The 18th Century saw the continued migration of peoples to and from the UK. Africans, Indians and others. Following the war of independence 1100 black loyalist soldiers came to Britain, they were badly treated by those they had fought to protect / assist.


‘Thomas Peters: slave, millwright, soldier…and politician. His voyage from slavery to freedom began when he was kidnapped from Africa and sold into slavery; at the onset of the American revolution, he seized the opportunity to reclaim his freedom fighting with British forces. A talented craftsman, he became a leader of men on the fields of battle. The war’s conclusion found him traveling once again, hoping to redeem the British promise of freedom in Nova Scotia. In the 1780s and 1790s, the former sergeant found himself fighting in unfamiliar territory: the world of British politics. From New Brunswick to London, he tirelessly pursued freedom and justice for his community. He would help found the country Sierra Leone.’

The 19th century saw a substantial population of Germans arrive on these shores, then Russian Jews.

I find it strange that a land of mongrels, who in the past have welcomed ‘jonny foreigner’ and provided comfort and succour in times of need, has turned it’s back on the nations of their forefathers. 

So where am I left with my Englishness? I had thought, King Alfred and Wessex, that’s an answer. I will display Alfreds wyvern. I looked on line, the red Dragon is Celtic apparently. There is a discussion in some places as to whether Alfred used a gold or white wyvern. The white wyvern has been taken to the heart of WASPish organisations.


 I am left, I think looking for an emblem used by Commius (was he a red under the bed?) or the flag of Sussex. Of course the golden martletts on a blue field is a relatively new invention having been first used in 1622 by John Speed in his atlas, Theatrum Imperii Maganae Britanniae. 

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My anxiety and sense of loss begins to subside. The one and I are now waiting to see what the future holds for us and our children. Exciting times.

I am slightly surprised that Jeremy Corbin has not stood down following the recent furore in the press and parliament.  But then again, he appears to have attracted about 100,000 new members, predominantly young people. Perhaps Jez is banking on a new wave of socially aware members to reform the Labour Party. Perhaps he wants to step left, away from Neil Kinnocks ‘New Labour’ and return to more socialist values. He would, perhaps, be able to form a proper Labour Opposition unlike the Labory party of Brown, Blair and Milliband.

A new socialism could sweep the country with the interests of the nation put to the fore rather than the interests of those in power. I can live in hope.

The other lot are arguing among themselves, should it be May or Leadsom. Now as an incumbent of the Sty I have no love for Mrs May. She may be a ‘local lass’ in that she was born where I now live, but she has not be fulsome in her support for my colleagues and I.

On the other hand Leadsom is a paid up member of the grab the money and run club for bankers. May is equally tainted with scandal so the choice for the Tories is bad or worse effectively.

Our friends in UKIP make the Lib Dems look irrelevant at the moment. However I understand that we are safe.  Whilst at this time there is no leader (bit of a theme, it must be the holidays) it has been announced to the public that UKIP will monitor negotiations to make sure we get what they want. Unfortunately it is not entirely clear what it is that they bring to the table.

So it is exciting times. There is no precedent for what is about to happen. Will the Tories elect the self confessed Thatcher mark 2 or the current Home Secretary. Will Labour keep Corbin or shuffle back to the right for more Tory nonsense. Will UKIP ever have anything positive to bring to the table or just shout about the evil immigrants. Will anyone come up with a plan, who will negotiate with Europe and what will the country look like in 10 years time. I hope I will not be too senile to comprehend.

I have a thought. It has been said that whatever happens there will not be enough time for the PM to run the country and negotiate our exit. If that is true perhaps a Brexiteer could be nominated to negotiate (Boris anyone?) while the PM deals with the country and navigating it and its citizens through this difficult time, ensuring there is no breakdown in law and order. By this I mean attacks on our current migrant population. The business of ensuring economic stability in the transition period and establishing closer ties with our Commonwealth friends, if we have any.

Overall my excitement is tarnished only by my own unease in leaving important decisions about my life and the countries future in the hands of people who have amply proved themselves, time and time again, to be dishonest, untrustworthy and corrupt.

I hope I am wrong.


It has been proposed that the UK should have a cross party commission to plan for proper infrastructure investment and implementation. The idea seems to be to have an overall plan to ensure the renewal and improvement of infrastructure. In addition plans would be considered for new technology to be used for the benefit of the population and to ensure that the countries infrastructure does not wear out.

It seems that the Victorians were the last people to seriously plan in this way. What a sensible idea one might think. If the countries infrastructure is overseen by a cross party commission general elections would have no effect on the continuity of thinking. No need to start from scratch every four years or so. There will be implications from every election of course but the strategic overview would be in the hands of people who are involved for the long haul. People who could leave a lasting legacy to the future generations.

This sounds too good to be true. That’s because it is. Instead of seeing the grander picture the Tories immediately tried to score petty political points by blaming labour for the current state of the country. Now that may or may not be true, who knows. But is it not better to look forward rather than harking back to Mr Brown, or whoever. What is done is done. Parliament should be able to rise above squabbling about the past and plan to resolve the problems of tomorrow. Mistakes have been made on both sides of the house, they continue to be made on both sides of the house. Is it not better to try and resolve the big issues together?

Children will always want to chant ‘My team is better than yours’ but can this not be saved for the little arguments, not matters that effect the entire population? Of course, such common sense is unlikely to bear fruit. Infrastructure is not sexy, no names to be made just the quiet satisfaction of serving ones country. The Victorians would see this as reward enough but today the only desire appears to be for fame, publicity and as much money as can be garnered in a lifetime.

Put aside petty politics all you servants of the people in Westminster, actually come together and serve the country rather than your own self interest. There is no real difference between your parties just varying shades of grey. Accept this and work for a brighter future for this nation, not the US or any other part of the planet. When this broken land is restored to health then can we hold our head up and help those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

I am not a religious man, but our leaders purport to be. They feel the need to be seen at church and supporting the Christian myth. They should remember the actions of Jesus in the Temple when he confronted the traders and moneylenders. His attitude to wealth would be a lesson for our leaders. They should not forget that charity begins at home.


The silence weeps oozing into the days
Stretching out into weeks and months
The frackers come, smug, oily hands rub
The expectation of profit flows from there very pores
The nature recoils, trees sigh with sadness
The earth made to heave itself skywards
In shafts of despair

A yellow flowering on the trees and fences
A splash of joy and hope unleashed
Strange people garbed in hues both bright and somber
A gathering of ordinary minds joined as one
One purpose many minds power exponentially multiplied
The pawns of the state used to suppress freedom
A bad law misapplied a legacy of Thatcher

A week or two pass our masters gaze distracted
The people remain with their black clad chaperone
Cameron is diverted he smells oil in the air
Petty politics rises with votes to beat him
His cabinet wail at lost trips oe’er the pond
They have no clue of plebeian muses
Mutterings in corners not seen by the great

The drones are restless things fall apart
Money is worthless life beyond our means
The devil strides the world disguised corporate
Gekko the model, greed is the king
You fanfare destruction our green earth is dying
Small steps derided economy ignored
The way forward is spend buy and store.


Interesting. It seems, according to the BBC that Julian Assange is no longer at risk of arrest for rape as there is no evidence, according to the Swedish prosecutor. So, there is no evidence, there is evidence, there is no evidence!

A couple of questions, how dumb is the Swedish prosecutors office? A senior prosecutor said that the allegation was not strong enough for Assange to be arrested. That initial decision was overruled by the boss. Okay, these things happen, top paid lawyers in senior quasi government positions do get things wrong, their teams of assistants have input into decisions made which can be wrong. However, having made such a fuss, issuing the warrant and then watching as the whole political asylum fiasco played out, it seems incredible that the chief prosecutor now agrees with the first prosecutor.

Perhaps the conspiracists are right, perhaps Uncle Sam was applying pressure in order to achieve its own shady ends.

So, where does this leave Asange?

Even more peculiar is the information contained in the report further into the article, that no-one knows the current whereabouts of Mr Assange, surely he is still holed up in the embassy in London? Oh no, it is thought that he was in Sweden last week!

Deals and double deals among governments are being played out in secret, why not just be transparent about the whole thing. Answer, because those governments allowed the situation to get out of hand enraging hard line fundamentalists on the one hand, not Islamic, much much worse, the hawkish right wing American ‘my country right even when it’s wrong’ types.

Had there been openness, had Sweden been honest about the weight of evidence against Assange, had they told the US that they were not a poodle state like the UK, would any of this happened?

The US ignores the facts, Sweden now appears to be an incompetent, corrupt state, the UK looks stupid for laying siege to a foreign diplomatic mission in London, human rights activists and supporters of the freedom of speech appear to be vindicated. Hardly the result the US was looking for.

Some things need to remain secret, launch codes and such like, details of a rape allegation, at least in the UK are known to the defence at the point a suspect is interviewed, transparency is key to justice and fair play.

Now I am being stupid if I expect governments to play by the rules of justice and fair play.

Nights

Posted: September 6, 2012 in crime, Justice and Fairplay, Poem, Police, sun
Tags: , , ,

The dark depressing hours pass,

The screen flickers burning the back of my eyes,

The dross of society keeps me busy,

Damaging our society.

The victim, lost, confused and scared,

Lays blame where they can,

You should have prevented this

Where the hell were you?

Dawn filters through the mist,

The light grows bright and strong

Words burn on the screen tumbling

From my fingers.

Reports all done time for home,

The engine roar brings sanity.

Few cars abroad on the twisty

Cold dawn air to waken me


There was a time, I seem to recall, when playing by the rules was really important. In many ways it summed up being British.  I have of course posted about this attitude elsewhere with my tongue planted in my cheek. One example alone, PC Yvonne Fletcher. Murdered in central London by a Libyan ‘diplomat’ who shot her from inside the embassy. The principle of diplomatic immunity was clear. No effort was made to enter and search, no threat of any kind.

Fast forward to a more modern, dare I say corrupt, time.  Julian Assange is wanted by the US because he excercisd a form of freedom of speech frowned upon by that ‘democratic’ nation. The history of the saga is well documented. It is postulated that the Swedish charges of sexual misconduct are trumped up. A ruse in order for the US to get it’s Pilate hands on Mr Assange. His real crime it seems is the ability to have others, disgruntled souls not Politically motivated in the main, tell the truth about goings on that governments would rather keep out of the public eye.

The latest seems to be that the UK, who wouldn’t extradite Assange to the US because he would risk the death penalty, want to extradite him to Sweden, who will send him to the US, where he will run the risk of the death penalty. In order to achieve it’s goal the UK have apparently threatened to storm the Ecuadorean embassy. What happened to diplomatic immunity?

A country so concerned about fairness that it struggles to extradite alleged terrorists, a haven for people claiming political asylum on what appear to be relatively weak grounds in order to be fair, seems to lose all sense of fair play when it comes to the bidding of it’s favourite uncle.

If Mr Assange committed the crime alleged in Sweden he could be tried in the UK. The Sexual Offences Act 2003 states (I paraphrase) if a sexual offence is committed any where in the world by a person who meets the nationality or residence condition at that time he can be tried in the UK for that offence. Frankly I don’t know what chicanery may or may not be employed, but the last time I checked Australians are allowed to live in the UK, Mr Assange is an Australian a member of the commonwealth.

If the role was reversed. Say a Libyan civil rights activist was holed up in the UK embassy in Tripoli and the Libyan government threatened to storm the building to carry out a search and arrest, can you imagine the outcry!

It is high time we, in this green and sceptered land learned to be consistent, perhaps as a nation we need to be prepared to show the world that Right is Might and that bullying, from whoever, will not pay off. Mr Churchill showed the size of his cahunas when necessary. It is time for the government to stand up and say we believe in fair play by the rules. If Ecuador wish to provide a safe haven for Mr Assange what right has any other government got to interfere.