Saturday, September 22, 2007

More New Crimes Created By Labour

NuLab's obsession with health is becoming a danger to liberty, if this headline is anything to go by :

Gordon's 'Consultation'

Here. Sit down before reading.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Craig Murray

One of the symptoms of British cultural decline seems to be that Britannia can't get the servants any more. Maybe it was ever thus, but I can't recall cases in times past (OK, one - Harold Smith) like David Shayler, the not-very Secret Service man, Katharine Gun, who obviously hadn't read the job description when she applied to GCHQ, or Craig Murray, sent to lie abroad in Uzbekistan for the good of his country, but who found that task not to his taste, becoming "determined not to let the regime's abuses be drowned out by the country's newfound strategic importance".

Now there's no doubt that the Uzbek regime was and is highly unpleasant. We gave up boiling dissidents to death years ago. But the job of an Ambassador is primarily to act in the interests of your country, not as a human rights ambassador to wherever you're posted. As a human Mr Murray was rightly outraged and horrified. As an ambassador ? Makes you wonder how we maintained ambassadors in Moscow and Berlin all through the 1930s.

But that's by the by. Mr Murray, unsurprisingly, is no longer an ambassador (the UK government paid him off with six years salary as redundancy - can I have a job please ?) and since then he seems to have morphed into a fairly bog-standard Guardianista critic of America, Israel, WOT, Guantanamera etc (you see, it's all our fault there's torture in Uzbekistan) with one major difference - privileged access to a lot of information, so there's a fair chance that when he utters fact rather than opinion he knows whereof he speaks. (I would still be wary of naming an Iraqi churchman as an alcoholic MI6 informant, though - do you want him to turn up in a ditch somewhere ? With less knowledge than Mr Murray has, I'd have thought that's putting at risk the life of someone who's done you no harm.)

You may have noticed over the last few years the odd ex-Soviet oligarch shifting themselves and the former, now-privatised State assets over to a country where Mr Putin's long arm is less likely to reach, unless you like sushi that is. The latest is one Alisher Usmanov, who's transforming some of the former property of the Soviets into chunks of Arsenal football club. Mr Usmanov is from Uzbekistan, and Craig Murray posted about him on his website bluntly accusing him of not being a very nice chap. Mr Usmanov's lawyers, the wonderfully named Schillings - more like 50 groschen if you ask me - sent what I believe used to be called a 'blue frightener' to Mr Murray's web host, Fasthosts of Gloucester, who promptly pulled the plug - taking out the blogs of Boris, Tim Ireland and Bob Piper to boot. Great viral marketing, guys.

Chicken Yog has the details and if you want to know what the allegations are, you'll have to go to a site maintained by those nasty Americans that Craig has so little time for. Try searching for "Craig Murray" here, or enter "Craig Murray Usmanov" into Google. Or try here, where Mr Murray's ghost stalks the corridors. Or here.

Btw, say ArseNews, if you find any IP addresses from the range -
in your logs, they’re Schillings. Just thought you’d like to know that.

Police - "a minor assault that went wrong"

Someone needs to have a word with Detective Inspector Simon Crisp.

Det Insp Simon Crisp said: "The reasons surrounding why Dean was assaulted remain a mystery and there is no clear motive.

"It is quite possible that this was a minor assault that went wrong and the offender did not intend to end Dean's life."

Perhaps he's like to give his definition of a successful minor assault.

PCSOs "not trained" to help drowning child

Police chiefs have defended two community support officers (PCSOs) who stood by as a 10-year-old boy drowned in a pond. Jordon Lyon leapt into the water in Wigan, Greater Manchester, after his eight-year-old stepsister Bethany got into difficulties on 3 May.

Two anglers jumped in and saved Bethany but Jordon became submerged. The inquest into his death heard the PCSOs did not rescue him as they were not trained to deal with the incident.

No comment.

UPDATE - via the Dumb One, Bishop Hill has a relevant quote - I think from Ayn Rand.

"You have destroyed all that which you held to be evil and achieved all that which you held to be good. Why, then, do you shrink in honor from the sight of the world around you? That world is not the product of your sins, it is the product and the image of your virtues. It is your moral ideal brought into reality in its full and final perfection."

UPDATE2 - Telegraph Poor young Jordan Lyon, who drowned saving his step-sister, seems to have been a lot braver than the organs of the state.

They receive four weeks training before starting their role. This training includes "race and diversity" and "health, safety and welfare", according to the Metropolitan Police website.

UPDATE3 - The Health and Safety Executive certainly has a few smears of blood on its hands.

In 1999 Paul Metcalfe, a Bury firefighter, died after trying to retrieve a drowning teenager from a pond. Untrained in water rescues and ill-equipped, he went into the water with a line but succumbed to hypothermia. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) later decided to prosecute the Manchester fire authority.

But while Manchester fire and rescue services are now better equipped at water rescuing than some other brigades, the general reaction across the country appears to have been to tell firefighters to take no chances, and that attitude has spread to the police.

In July this year, the Metropolitan police were fined £75,000 and ordered to pay £50,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching health and safety laws after two 14-year-old boys, Gameli Akuklu and William Kadama, died at a children’s event in 2002 in the swimming pool at the force’s training college in Hendon, north London.

Brian Paddick, who retired from the Met in May as a deputy assistant commissioner, said: “At that time all recruits were trained to swim and, when they could, they were trained in lifesaving.

As a result of this incident, the then commissioner, John Stevens, ordered the pool to be filled in. Since then, officers have not been trained in swimming or lifesaving.”

Paddick, now running as the Liberal Democrat candidate for London mayor, said the approach of the police nationally to health and safety had also been shaken by the death of Kulwant Sidhu, an officer who fell to his death while chasing a suspect across a roof.

The HSE brought a prosecution which, although it failed, cost £3m and saw Stevens and his predecessor, Lord Condon, brought before the Old Bailey.

“They were prosecuted because they had not instructed officers not to risk their lives operating at height,” said Paddick. “That now extends to forces telling police community support officers not to get involved in emergencies or in violent situations. They are told to withdraw and call the police.”

Paddick said that officers in the Met were supposed to call for back-up from the fire brigade or a lifeboat if they encountered someone drowning, but he said most had the “self-confidence” to ignore the rules if a life was in danger.”

He added: “Community support officers do not have that self-confidence, and standing on the shore watching is just one example of that.”

More Council Elections

6th Sept - via John Hemming, whose work on the Family Courts and child protection is becoming a must-read.

Bromley LBC, Crystal Palace
LD Tom Papworth 1051 (49.7; +2.5), Lab 537 (25.4; +1.5), Con 398 (18.8;
+3.5), Green 129 (6.1; -7.5).
Majority 514. Turnout 24.7%. LD hold. Last fought 2006.

City of York UA, Heworth Without
LD Nigel Ayre 914 (46.7; +11.0), Con 703 (35.9; -1.8), Lab 219 (11.2; -5.8),
BNP 63 (3.2; +3.2), Green 58 (3.0; -1.4), [Liberal (0.0; -5.2)].
Majority 211. Turnout 61.8%. LD gain from Con. Last fought 2007.

13th Sept - via John Hemming.

Brent LBC, Stonebridge
Lab 1432 (51.9 -1.6), LD S Wiltshire 864 (31.3 +16.2), Respect 237 (8.6
+8.6), Con 177 (6.4 -13.3), Green 51 (1.8 -5.2), [Ind (0.0 -4.7)]. Majority
568. Turnout 24.03. Lab hold. Last fought 2006.

Chelmsford BC, Broomfield and The Walthams
LD M Taylor 1198 (56.3 +38.1), Con 742 (34.9 -20.8), Lab 76 (3.6 -4.2), UKIP
57 (2.7 -5.7), Green 53 (2.5 -7.4). Majority 456. Turnout 35. LD gain Con.
Last fought 2007.

Conwy UA, Mochdre
Lab 303 (45.7 -6.2), PC 166 (25.0 -23.1), Con 159 (24.0 +24.0), BNP 35 (5.3
+5.3). Majority 137. Lab hold. Last fought 2004.

Lewisham LBC, Whitefoot
LD P Pattisson 986 (37.1 -3.0), Lab 901 (33.9 +7.2), Con 536 (20.2 +2.5),
Ind 95 (3.6 +3.6), UKIP 89, (3.3 -5.1), Green 52 (2.0 -5.2). Majority 85.
Turnout 28.2. LD hold. Last fought 2006.

Liverpool City MBC, Warbreck
Lab 1796 (55.2 +10.9), LD R Roberts 1024 (31.4 -13.8), BNP 136 (4.2 +4.2),
Ind 131 (4.0 +4.0), UKIP 52 (1.6 +1.6), Green 45 (1.4 +1.4), Con 40
(1.2 -3.2), Liverpool Lab Community Party 32 (1.0 +1.0), Liberal [0.0 -6.1].
Majority 772. Turnout 29.41. Lab gain LD. Last fought 2006.

Mendip DC, Glastonbury St Edmunds
Con 432 (55.4 +10.8), LD A Gloak 348 (44.6 -10.8). Majority 84. Con gain LD.
Last fought 2007.

Rossendale BC, Goodshaw
Lab 634 (59.5 +6.5), Con 300 (28.1 -18.9), BNP 80 (7.5 +7.5), LD 52 (4.9
+4.9). Majority 334. Turnout 33.77. Lab gain Con. Last fought 2006.

Rossendale BC, Irwell
Lab 379 (37.2 +5.2), Con 312 (30.6 -1.6), BNP 281 (27.5 +1.2), LD J Pilling
48 (4.7 -4.9). Majority 67. Turnout 27.04. Lab gain Con. Last fought 2007.

Rossendale BC, Whitewell
LD T Nuttall 606 (48.6 +11.9), Lab 399 (32.0 -5.7), Con 152 (12.2 -135),
BNP 91 (7.3 +7.3). Majority 207. Turnout 28.83. LD gain Con.

Tunbridge Wells DC, Pantiles & St Marks
Con 788 (59.8 -4.3), LD J Johnson 364 (27.6 +0.5), Lab 94 (7.1 +7.1), UKIP
71 (5.4 -3.4). Majority 424. Turnout 27.3. Con hold.

Wootton Bassett TC, North
LD J Stratton 433 (62.7), Ind 258 (37.3). Majority 175. Turnout 19.6. LD
gain Con.

None of the above could be seen as tremendous news for the Tories, to put it mildly.

19th Sept

There were a fair few contests last night - full update later. Those I know :

Worcester St Clements :
Labour 604; Conservative 478; BNP 166; Green 52; UKIP 122

Nuneaton Abbey :
Labour 807, BNP 457, Lib Dem 409, Conservatives 329, Green 115, Independent 10

Birmingham Brandwood, where'er that may be :
Labour 1998, Conservatives 1663, BNP 290; Lib Dem 285, Green 193, New Nationalist Party 25, Independent 157, UKIP 64

Copeland - (don't ask me - up Whitehaven way. Not a White Haven for the BNP anyway).
Jeanette Williams Labour 463
Brigid Whiteside Conservative 337
Bill Pugh BNP 245

Winner Jeanette Williams seems a little off message on that front :

Mrs Williams said afterwards: "I am delighted, and I look forward to serving the people who have elected me to the best of my ability. I didn't see the BNP as a threat, nor the Tories for that matter, their candidates were just ordinary people like me. I've spent time with both Brigid and Bill and I think they are perfectly nice people, I'm just glad that the public have had chance to vote and that the majority have voted for me. I'd also like to place on record my thanks to Copeland Council's staff, who have ensured that the evening has gone well and have worked hard all day."

The result was confirmed shortly before midnight and BNP candidate Bill Pugh said that, despite coming third, he was delighted with the result.

"I think I have been beaten by a worthy opponent in Councillor Williams, and I am more then happy with the result, especially considering that this was the first time the party has ever fought an election campaign in this borough. We had a figure in mind of about 100, and we have more then doubled that, largely through hard work and canvassing, so how can I not be pleased? I am just glad that the local people and the local press have given us a fair crack of the whip and not just been biased against us, and that we have been allowed to go through the democratic process. I'd like to thank The Whitehaven News for giving me a chance to have my say in a fair and balanced way."

Blimey. Let peace and love flow like a river.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tonight's Early Release Murderers

A crack addict burglar who targetted pensioners to feed his habit was jailed for life for savagely kicking an 83-year-old man to death in his own home. Jobless James Stace, 37, punched, kicked and stamped on the face and head of widower Ferozur Rahman after kicking in the door of the pensioner's east London flat. Stace, who has committed more than 150 crimes including robbery and burglary, routinely attacked the elderly in their own homes to steal from them.

Mr Rahman was left incapacitated with a fractured jaw, ruptured windpipe broken ribs and fatal brain damage and lay badly bleeding for 24 hours before his grandson discovered him. Despite brain surgery father of seven Rahman, who was originally from Bangladesh, was pronounced dead a day later and his life support machines was switched off.

Here we go again :

James Stace's criminal career of theft and burglary stretching back to when he was 17 and in 1993 was caged for 30 months for assault and robbery. In 1998 at Newcastle Upon Tyne Crown Court he was jailed for eight years after admitting 12 offences of robbery and burglary and asked for another 140 offences to be taken into consideration. Many were elderly whom he pushed about, threatened, stamped on or tied up. Mr Ellison said: "He was a man that demonstrated a clear propensity to target vulnerable occupants according to their age in their homes and readiness to exact quite serious violence upon them in order to advance his aim of burglary."

He was jailed for a further 18 months in January 2003 for robbery, another three years for attempted burglary at in June 2005 and 18 months for burglary in July 2005.
He last appeared before the courts three months before the murder when he admitted criminal damage at Thames Magistrates Court.

He murdered Mr Rahman on 29 December 2006. He'd been given three years in June 2005. Chalk up another one to our wonderful Probation "Service".

Let's move on to Christopher Toussant-Collins :

A robber on parole who took part in the gangland execution of a rival in front of his two young children was jailed for life. Jason Greene, 30, was shot in cold blood as he sat in his car with his eight-year-old son in the passenger seat and his four-year-old boy on the back seat. His eldest son was splattered with his father's blood. He was about to take them to school when the callous gunman struck in a busy street at 8.20am as horrified passers-by, many of them children, looked on or cowered behind dustbins for cover.

Mr Greene was suspected of involvement in an earlier murder. Just an everyday tale of Northwest London life.

In February 2005 Greene's brother Gavin Greene was shot in Harrow. It was rumoured that 24-year-old Shaun Stanislas was responsible for the attack. The following month Shaun Stanislas himself was murdered on the notorious Stonebridge Estate. Both Gavin and Jason Greene were suspected of involvement, but were released without charge by police due to insufficient evidence.

Where were we ?

Christopher Toussant-Collins, 19, was not the gunman that carried out the pre-planned execution but was convicted of murder for his part in the killing. He was jailed for a minimum of 25 years behind bars at the Old Bailey today (Mon). At the time of the murder, Toussant-Collins was on licence after serving part of a 30 month sentence for assault and robbery. He had been released from a young offenders prison just two months before the murder.

Hmm. Prison certainly worked for him - as long as he was in it. Ker-ching ! Another one !


When you read something like this, you just despair at what Roy Jenkins 'civilised society' has come to :

A neglected boy who raped his stepbrothers and sister repeatedly after he was exposed to hard core pornography, has been locked up indefinitely. The 14-year-old was also accused of having sex with two animals.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard he threatened his three younger siblings and warned them not to tell anyone after forcing them into a bedroom or bathroom to assault them at the family's homes in Dagenham and Beckton. The children have been left so traumatised they refuse to sleep in their own beds and they wrap themselves tightly in their duvets.

When the boy's mother was told, she disowned him and dumped all his belongings, the court heard. The court heard the boy, who lived with his mother and stepfather, was seen "without his shoes and without his coat wandering around in circles crying".

The children - aged between five and 10 - told police how they had been assaulted lots of times. The boy admitted nine charges of rape between 31 December 2004 - when he was aged 12 - and 9 January 2007. Charges of bestiality were not proceeded with.

Valerie Charbit, defending, told the court the boy was also a victim and had suffered abuse. He was put on the "at risk'"register, and was neglected at home, often being left alone for long periods of time, she said. She said: "He was the subject of domestic violence. He experienced serious and persistent violence in the family home and believed that he was partially responsible for the violence. "He also had access to pornographic videos at a young age."

The boy was detained for the public protection after the judge ruled there was a serious risk of him committing similar offences.

In totally unrelated news, in Radio Four's exciting and transgressive series "The Sex Lives Of Us", Kaye Wellings' program this morning featured a description of an encounter between two nine year old boys.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

More Immigration, More Immigration, More Immigration

A chief constable has said her force needs more staff and resources to cope with the pressures caused by a sudden influx of migrant workers. Julie Spence of Cambridgeshire Police says a dramatic change in the make-up of the population in the county is giving her officers new challenges.

New challenges ? But why ? Isn't greater diversity a good thing ?

Police officers were now dealing with close to 100 languages without having the right skills - a situation, which had landed the force with a translation bill of at least £800,000.

Are you suggesting these people commit crime ?

The force had also seen rises in some crimes which could be directly associated with migration. These included drink-driving involving foreign nationals and the emergence of an "international dimension" to crimes including cannabis production, human trafficking and credit card skimming.

But ... but ... no less a person than David Aaronovitch has said that "there is no greater propensity among immigrants towards crime, pros titution and anti-social behaviour than among the population at large". Me no understand.

The force's report warned that officers had seen increases in "critical incidents" and tensions within some communities fuelled by local resentment towards newcomers.

Yes, well - that just means the natives are Daily Mail-reading, nazi bigots, surely. That's why we're replacing them - the sooner they all push off elsewhere the better. It's the locals that need locking up, not the newcomers.

Research into migrant workers has shown they are playing an increasingly pivotal role in some regions where employers say they struggle to recruit. The food industry is one of these key sectors, with major farming-related employers in Cambridgeshire and neighbouring counties actively seeking Eastern European workers to cover labour shortages.

For "struggle to recruit" read "struggle to recruit people to work for £5.35 an hour while living 12 to a two-bed maisonette and sharing a van".

The Chief Constable's full report is here (pdf).

It's interesting to see that it's the police who are kicking up. Would have been unthinkable only five or ten years back. It appears that lots of Somalis, Afghans, Kurds, Kosovans - no crime problem there. Poles ? They're white enough for us to tell the truth and not worry we'll be called racist.

Of course for the real impact of Polish immigration on crime we'll have to wait twenty or thirty years.

The fact that these new Brits are polite and hard-working, do not do crack or firearms, nor are they likely to blow up Tube trains, is a function of the culture they have arrived with. It tells us nothing about what their first and second generation descendents will be like after twenty years exposure to the cultural vacuum of the UK.

Back on Fantasy Island, the Lib Dems are making themselves feel all warm and cosy.

The Liberal Democrats insisted immigration was "not too high" as they outlined radical plans to offer an amnesty to thousands of people living in the UK illegally. Home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg said anyone who tried to set a limit on inflow to Britain was "deluded" - blaming Government incompetence for intense public concern on the issue.

Mr Clegg was speaking as the Lib Dems sought to shift the focus on to policy after the first half of their conference was blighted by sniping at Sir Menzies Campbell's leadership. Delegates also backed controversial tax proposals designed to "hammer" the richest 10% and punish those whose lifestyles damage the environment.

Official figures indicate that more than 560,000 people have been arriving in the UK with the intention of staying more than a year - many from countries which have recently joined the EU, such as Poland. They are offset by around 380,000 departing these shores. However, an estimated 600,000 are also living here illegally.

Asked during a briefing for journalists whether there was too much immigration into Britain, Mr Clegg replied: "In our view it's not too high. In our view the whole debate on immigration is placed on the wrong footing if you try to delude yourself or the public into thinking there is a kind of ideal number."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Swirling About In A Cess-Pool Of His Own Making

Don't ask me what this is all about. A secret communion service that's all over the media ? I suppose they're interpreting the word 'secret' in the light of recent scholarship and much prayerful reflection, or something. Maybe they're listening with open hearts to the experiences of those who think it means 'reported in the Times'.

It looks as if once again Rasputin is managing brilliantly to offend everyone. It's what he does, in the immortal words of Tom Butler.

Get Religion has an entertaining take on the whole sorry saga.

I don’t think the Third World traditionalists are going to compromise. And I don’t think the American left is going to compromise now on issues of the sexual revolution. They are not going to be willing to offend the New York Times editorial board and other sources of doctrinal power and authority. So at some point, England is going to have to figure out which way it wants to go. And the Church of England is just as divided as the American church on these issues.

(Mitre-tip - Sam Tarran)

The End Of The Beginning

Weekly Worker reports on the SWP/Respect tensions, which mark the end of the communalist/left honeymoon and the beginning of the inevitable breakup, which may last a decade but which will end in the emergence of a Muslim political party.

FWIW, I think Galloway's analysis is pretty much correct. Great electoral prizes are there for the taking, with more to come - check out the demography. But quite how they relate to the SWPs vision of socialism I'm unsure. The scales appear to be falling from the eyes of some SWP people.

What a dilemma confronts the SWP. They can forget their principles and continue to do the donkey-work for Respect, getting nothing in return but the joy of stuffing Labour (as in Shadwell), or leave, say goodbye to all those lovely votes, and go back to standing outside factories selling the paper. Only the factories have all closed.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Your Early Release Murderer Tonight - Stephen Browning

Stephen Browning, who had just been released from prison, left Susan Grundy, 51, for dead just yards from her home as she walked home from an evening out with friends. Browning, 31, who had taken a cocktail of prescription drugs and alcohol, punched, kicked and stamped on the former Bradford College lecturer more than 20 times when she wouldn't give him a cigarette. Mrs Grundy, who had moved to Bridlington, East Yorkshire, in search of "the good life" was then stripped naked, sexually assaulted and left for dead behind bushes near her home.

Browning, who was a cannabis user with a history of violence had had just been bailed by police for an assault on a police officer at the time of the sickening attack on January 23. Browning, who had a string of convictions, for assault and burglary had been jailed for four months for an assault on Wendy Cording his girlfriend in November 2006, who went into a women's refuge. He was released on January 9 this year. He went to his sisters and got drunk and was arrested by police for a breach of the peace and obstructing a police officer. He was then bailed and was free to kill Mrs Grundy.

Jailed for four months in November 2006. Released in January 2007 after half the sentence. Murdered Susan Grundy the same month. Chalk up another death to the Probation "Service".

But there's a double betrayal here. Surely obstruction and breach of the peace are breaches of his license conditions ? He should have been remanded.

I Didn't Say He Was All Bad ...

The trial also heard how the 21-year-old made a series of extremist claims to students, including how he would "blow up Glasgow".

You Get A Smarter Investor ...

Getting out of the Alliance and Leicester ...

"However the massive price fall was not thought to reflect big withdrawals from the bank's deposits, BBC business editor Robert Peston said."

Mr Peston's quite right. The withdrawals will follow the share fall !

Who's next for the money-go-round ? Is that you, Mr Bradford ?

(It's probably coincidence, but I saw billboards for Britannia today, pointing out the advantages of having no shareholders. Good timing.)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Tibetan Rhubarb Route

I have a Hamlyn book, edited by Esmond Wright and called 'The Mediaeval and Renaissance World', containing the following immortal paragraph (discussing trade during the Mongol Empire):

The Samarkand market offered rhubarb and silk, and the best silk and galangal came from Peking. The Tibetan rhubarb route was probably more important at this stage than the famous silk road. Very little Chinese silk was in fact imported to the West (where there had been excellent silk factories in Constantinople and Sicily for centuries). Powdered rhubarb was the most drastic purgative known in late medieval Italy and figures among the most expensive items known in household accounts.

The Tibetan Rhubarb Route ! The very name conjures up romance ! Does it end in the infamous Rhubarb Triangle ? I've just got to know more ... but there's little on the web.

Rhubarbinfo has some history, but thinks Rheum Palmatum is the kosher stuff. So does h2g2, BBC's wiki clone and this online herbal. But the species Rheum officinale is known as both Chinese and Tibetan rhubarb. It's the root that was powdered, not the stem.

We know where it came from, but where did it go ?
What route did the Rhubarb Route follow ?
Was it carried in packs, or transported by yak ?
Do you snort powdered rhubarb or swallow ?

So many questions, so few answers. Anyone know ?

I'd Walk A Million Miles For One Of Your Pills

A mum died just hours after taking Ecstasy at a family barbecue attended by her two children. Dawn Rennie, 37, suffered massive heart failure after taking the Class A drug at a party hosted by her sister. She had attended the gathering with her husband Graham and their children, aged 12 and eight.

Mrs Rennie was taken ill in the early hours of the following day at her home in Woodlands, Bursledon, and died at Southampton General Hospital. An inquest heard that the couple had taken Ecstasy before but not often since their children were born.

Pathologist Dr Bruce Addis said toxicology tests carried out during a post-mortem examination showed potentially lethal levels of amphetamine and Ecstasy in her system, as well as cannabis.

'a police operation which went horribly wrong'

When armed police shoot dead two bank robbers in your constituency as they hold a security guard hostage, you might think the local MP would praise them for protecting her constituents.

At the very least, considering that it may well turn out to be a tragic misunderstanding, and that the deceased may be harmless electricians, who found the gun in the street and were showing it to the security guard to ask if it was his - when they were cruelly done to death without warning - then you might expect silence until the (statutory) IPCC inquiry reports.

Not if the MP is Sandra Gidley, Lib Dem member for Romsey.

She's called for "an open inquiry" into the police operation. But that's not all. She was quoted on an interview (Realplayer) on BBC South TV as saying that "it appeared to be a police operation that went badly wrong, and that there may need to be a public inquiry unless the IPCC can answer he questions about whether loss of life could have been avoided."

The Chief Constable of Hampshire has responded in terms which seem to imply that the press release linked to above has undergone some heavy editing. Has anyone got the original ?

"My attention has been drawn to a press statement issued by Mrs Sandra Gidley MP. The incident which took place at Chandlers Ford HSBC Bank yesterday morning is the subject of a full investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission [IPCC], the body mandated by Parliament to investigate such matters.

Hampshire Constabulary is restricted in what it can say at this stage to ensure that we do not undermine the independent investigation. I know the IPCC will make their findings public in due course. I deprecate comments by anyone not in possession of all the facts, particularly those which refer to the police operation in pejorative terms."

I'm presuming the original press release is the source for the following Policeman's Blog comment :

It is nice to see that the local MP - Sandra Gidley, knows all about it and has conducted her own thorough investigation, calling the robbery a 'police operation which went horribly wrong'. This just about sums up the support that the police are getting from the press and politicians at the moment.

Correspondents to the Hampshire Daily Echo aren't too chuffed either :

Posted by: Barry, Romsey on Today
This incident provoked the usual airy fairy claptrap from the idiotic Sarah Gidley - So,in her world we should send more unarmed police police to their deaths as they try to talk armed robbers out of it, eh Sarah, in true Dixon of Dock Green fashion? And anyway, you can always eulogise about our wonderful police to the media after another one of them gets killed eh, you stupid, idiotic woman?

Posted by: Disgruntled Lib-Dem Voter, Chandlers Ford on Today
The police should take what ever action is best to maintain public safety in this sort of situation. By going armed, these robbers wouldn't have given a **** for the lives of others. You've lost my vote next time Sandra.

Posted by: Realist Voter, West Wellow on Today
Like her or not, overall Sandra Gidley has been an excellent MP. for Romsey but many more wacky politically correct, ill considered comments like this will see her out in the wilderness and allow her weak opponents to replace her.

Posted by: Steve, Chandlers Ford on Today
Sandra Gidleys comments are disgraceful, describing this as a police operation which went horribly wrong. How about calling it an armed robbery which went horribly wrong? The robbers made plenty of choices yesterday morning which led to the deaths of two of them. They could have stopped this at any time, holding a loaded gun to the head of an innocent member of the public ( as reported by witnesses) is not the way though.IF this is what happened then the officers are heroes and should be treated as such ... I for one will be remembering her comments for a long time yet and certainly will recall them at election time. It is the lack of support for the police from the press and public figures which has led to the overall public mis-trust and lack of confidence in the police service. At a time when police are dealing with terrorism, floods, foot and mouth, prison officer strikes and rising violent crime why are they having to fight government for a pay rise in line with inflation, perhaps that has more to do with the reasons behind Gidleys comments, I notice that police pay has failed to make the headlines in such a dramatic way as the opinions of one ill-informed MP.

Posted by: A bank employee & customer, Southampton on Today
No innocent people even received as much as a scratch.
I would say that the police operation went VERY, VERY WELL.
Thank you very much Hampshire and Metropolitan Police Forces.

Posted by: Derek, Dibden Purlieu on Today
Sandra Gidley in typical Liberal mode has one speech ready for the death of the raiders but would have had another for the death of unarmed police if required. The Liberals have always sat comfortably on the fence which must be why they've enjoyed minority support for the last one hundred years.

Posted by: Adrian Smith on Today
I heard her on Radio Solent last night and could not believe her position on this event. She would lose my vote instantly - at the next election she is going to regret her comments - she should have just side stepped the issue in the normal political way.
She is way out of touch with the voter on this and the voter will be reminded of this at the next election.
I say it again - the police have done an excellent job.

Posted by: Ian, Turkey on Today
If you were to read the Romsey Advetiser on a regular basis, you will realise what a waste of time Sarah Gidley is.

Posted by: Steve, Chandlers Ford on Today
In quite an unusual move the boss has responded to Gidleys remarks:
Would seem this roughly translates to 'wind your neck in Gidley'

Posted by: Adrian Smith on Today
I like this bit:-
"I will gladly meet with Mrs Gidley at that stage and discuss with her the realities of professional police work and the challenges officers face in protecting society.”

It's like when a company has let you down and the member of staff responsible is to undergo "retraining". I hope she issues a new statement by Monday morning with an apology to the police and bystanders caught up in the event.

I have cc'ed this to her Inbox by the way.
If you read Ms Gidley's weblog you can see where her sympathies lie.

What seemed to have happened was that the police had intercepted an armed robbery (full marks for intelligence) but there had been shooting with one, maybe two, fatalities. The immediate reaction of some was that the criminals had got what they deserved but we do live in a society where we no longer have the death penalty so this reaction made me slightly uneasy.

Well, yes. You can't actually call your voters (Romsey is a Middle England seat if ever there was) punitive Daily Mail-reading fascists, can you ?

Presumably a plan was devised to take the situation under control without use of firearms. Was this followed? Did something unexpected happen? Were there contingency plans and were these followed to the letter?

Well, they asked the guys to surrender and (if press reports are correct - this is where Menezes, "jumping over the barriers in his bulky jacket", hangs like an albatross round off the record police briefings) they responded by putting a gun to the guard's head.

Two men were shot. Dead. Was this the only option? Our marksmen are the best in the world - did they have the option to shoot - but not to kill? If so, why not used ?

Why didn't they use the Magic Fairy Gun, which paralyses a trigger finger while not harming anyone ?

Back to her TV interview.

"Why couldn't the police have intervened earlier ?"

I presume because they were unlikely to have in their pockets documents headed "Chandlers Ford Bank Robbery - Provisional Implementation Plan and Key Milestones". To nail someone for robbery you have to catch them in the act or after the event. Had they intervened earlier one of the robbers might have been charged with possessing a firearm and spent a couple of years inside - before being released less than half way through and resuming a criminal career. As one of the deceased had done.

One of two armed robbers shot dead as they ambushed a security guard carrying a cash box was a hardened criminal who was jailed for seven years for a similar offence. Mark Nunes, 35, was only released from prison two years ago after serving three years and nine months of his sentence for robbing another guard in October 2000 and fleeing in a getaway car. After getting out, the unrepentant offender continued his life of crime, becoming one of the Flying Squad's main targets in its crackdown on the growing number of 'cash in transit' robberies across London and the Home Counties.

Back to Ms Gidley.

"I don't want to live in a society where this sort of thing becomes commonplace"

This is where she really gives herself away. It's obviously not criminals with guns on the streets that she's bothered about, because it's already commonplace. This Home Office paper shows robberies using handguns running at more than 2,500 a year in England and Wales in the mid-1990s, with other guns accounting for another 1,000 or so incidents. That's ten a day !

No, it's armed criminals being shot she's bothered about.