There are two simple reasons for being confident about the false nature of dyslexia. International comparisons and the fact that so called dyslexic children have no more trouble learning to read than other children, if the appropriate teaching methods are used.
If dyslexia really existed then countries as diverse as Nicaragua and South Korea would not have been able to achieve literacy rates of nearly 100%.
There can be no rational reason why this ‘brain disorder’ is of epidemic proportions in Britain but does not appear in South Korea or Nicaragua (it is also pretty damning that according to Professor Julian Elliot there are 28 different definitions of dyslexia).
My father, Joe, was a miner all his working life and died because of the silicosis (coal dust on his lungs). When he died, at 77, following over 10 years of illness, he left no possessions, no house, no car, and no savings. Nothing.
To read your article (Lawyers made millions from sick miners, 12 December) only surprises me in the amount of money these lawyers took from this government fund. Our mam, Katie, now aged 93, struggled financially after our dad died. It was therefore good news when it seemed that some of this fund would be coming her way. We were initially hopeful at the number of phone calls we received from legal firms, but at the end our mam had to settle for a few hundred pounds. That was disappointing. But to learn that James Beresford took £16m from this fund and his firm removed a total of £115m beggars belief.
I read that the solicitors Beresford and Smith are to be struck off. Good. Pity it wasn't done some time ago. Clearly men such as these have no moral conscience. They cannot possibly understand how men like my father worked for 40 years underground, digging out the coal which kept the nation warm and fuelled, for a pittance. I bet my dad didn't earn in a lifetime what Beresford took in an hour.
Even in death my dad, and thousands of other miners, are still being stuffed by the fat cats. I am assuming that this money will be paid back into the fund and used for what it was intended.
May he burn in hell, the *******.
tragic loss... not.
Hands up who gives a monkeys?
I cannot condone murder but I wont weep.
It's clearly suicide. CASE CLOSED.
Got to agree looks like suicide.
I seem to find myself more concerned with which part of my gravel drive I will polish first.
Well, from a professional perspective, and looking at the evidence...
1) found in remote woodland
3) covered up with panelling
yep, that is definitly suicide. CASE CLOSED
You lot are sick saying the case should should be closed. The murderer ought to be hunted down and caught.
He ought to face justice himself...
...A medal and a reward would do nicely!
Its a bit of a shame the police have to investigate this, but we can't have people going around executing people, no matter if you think he deserved it or not.
Mac, your right, but if the person or persons who did this get away with it, what would they do next, murder some-one before they are convicted? It's dodgy taking the law into your own hands.
I don't like murder but I cannot say I feel sad for the chap. He wrecked those young girls lifes forever.
I hate to admit it but I think there might be a lot more of this going on in years to come because of our totally inadequate justice system. I think folk are starting to tire of all the injustices and I cannot say I blame them either
It was the Turkey that was responsible officer, I am sure.
I do however feel sorry for this mans family
How long until a paediatrician gets killed?
October 1, 2008
Censorship and Freedom of Speech
This is the key section from my new book which the publisher is unwilling to publish due to legal threats from Schillings libel lawyers, acting on behalf of the mercenary commander Tim Spicer:
"Peter Penfold was back in the UK. He was interviewed separately. Both Penfold and Spicer were interviewed under caution, as suspects for having broken the arms embargo.
Then, suddenly, Tony Blair intervened. On 11 May 1998, without consulting the FCO, he gave a statement to journalists. Penfold, Blair declared, was "a hero". A dictatorship had been successfully overthrown and democracy restored. Penfold had "Done a superb job in trying to deal with the consequences of the military coup." All this stuff about Security Council Resolutions and sanctions was "an overblown hoo-ha".
I believe this episode is extremely important. In 1998 the country was still starry-eyed about Blair, but with the benefit of hindsight, this intervention points the way towards the disasters of his later years in office. It is extraordinarily wrong for a Prime Minister to declare that a man is a hero, when Customs had questioned him two days earlier under caution over the very matter the Prime Minister is praising. It shows Blair's belief that his judgement stood above the law of the land, something that was to occur again on a much bigger scale when he halted the Serious Fraud Office investigation into British Aerospace's foreign bribes. But of course Blair's contempt for UN security council resolutions on the arms embargo, and the belief that installing democracy by invasion could trump the trivia of international law, prefigures precisely the disaster of Iraq. As with Iraq, Blair was also conveniently ignoring the fact that Sierra Leone was left a mess, with Kabbah in charge of little more than Freetown.
In the FCO we were astonished by Blair's intervention, and deeply puzzled. Where had it come from? It differed completely from Robin Cook's views. Who was drafting this stuff for Blair to the effect that the UN and the law were unimportant? For most of us, this was the very first indication we had of how deep a hold neo-con thinking and military interests had on the Blair circle. It was also my first encounter with the phenomenon of foreign policy being dictated by Alistair Campbell, the Prime Minister's Press Secretary, The military lobby, of course, was working hard to defend Spicer, one of their own.
A few days later Customs and Excise concluded their investigations. A thick dossier, including documentation from the FCO, from the raid on Sandline's offices, and from elsewhere, was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service. The Customs and Excise team who had interviewed us told me that the recommendation was that both Spicer and Penfold be prosecuted for breach of the embargo. The dossier was returned to Customs and Excise from the Crown Prosecution Service the very same day it was sent. It was marked, in effect, for no further action. There would be no prosecution. A customs officer told me bitterly that, given the time between the dossier leaving their offices and the time it was returned, allowing time for both deliveries, it could not have been in the CPS more than half an hour. It was a thick dossier. They could not even have read it before turning it down.
I felt sick to my stomach at the decision not to prosecute Spicer and Penfold. So were the customs officers investigating the case; at least two of them called me to commiserate. They had believed they had put together an extremely strong case, and they told me that their submission to the Crown Prosecution Service said so.
The decision not to prosecute in the Sandline case was the first major instance of the corruption of the legal process that was to be a hallmark of the Blair years. Customs and Excise were stunned by it. There is no doubt whatsoever that Spicer and Penfold had worked together to ship weapons to Sierra Leone in breach of UK law. Security Council 1132 had been given effect in British law by an Order in Council. I had never found in the least credible their assertions that they did not know about it. I had personally told Spicer that it would be illegal to ship arms to Sierra Leone, to any side in the conflict. Penfold's claim never to have seen an absolutely key Security Council Resolution about a country to which he was High Commissioner is truly extraordinary.
But even if they did not know, ignorance of the law is famously no defence in England. Who knows what a jury would have made of this sorry tale of greed, hired killers and blood diamonds. But I have no doubt at all - and more importantly nor did the customs officers investigating the case - that there was enough there for a viable prosecution.
The head of the Crown Prosecution Service when it decided not to prosecute was Barbara Mills. Barbara Mills is a very well-connected woman in New Labour circles. She is married to John Mills, a former Labour councillor in Camden. That makes her sister-in-law to Tessa Jowell, the New Labour cabinet minister with a penchant for taking out repeated mortgages on her home, and then paying them off with cash widely alleged to have come from Silvio Berlusconi, the friend and business colleague of her husband David Mills, who according to a BBC documentary by the estimable John Sweeney has created offshore companies for known Camorra and Mafia interests. Tessa Jowell and David Mills were also both Camden Labour Councillors, and are close to Tony Blair. Blair is also a great friend of Berlusconi, despite the numerous criminal allegations against Berlusconi and his long history of political alliances with open fascists. Just to complete the cosy New Labour picture, another brother-in-law of Barbara Mills and Tessa Jowell is Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian.
Did any of those relationships of Barbara Mills, the Director of Public Prosecutions, affect the Crown Prosecution Service's decision not to proceed with the case, and to take that decision in less time than it would have taken them to read the dossier Customs and Excise sent them?
Barbara Mills was to resign as Director of Public Prosecutions later that year after being personally criticised in his judgement by a High Court judge who ruled against the Crown Prosecution Service for continually failing to prosecute over deaths in police custody. That has not stopped the extremely well connected Dame Barbara from being appointed to a string of highly paid public positions since then."
It is infuriating that, Maxwell-style, Spicer (who has made millions from the war in Iraq) is using the prohibitive costs of defending a libel case to intimidate my publisher. The result is that important information I received at first hand, and an account of events to which I am eye-witness, is being repressed, as is an important independent critique of early Blair foreign policy.
I am not currently confident the book will get published at all - I am not prepared to put out anodyne pap, which hides the truth, under my name.
I am not currently confident the book will get published at all - I am not prepared to put out anodyne pap, which hides the truth, under my name.
This scottish dictatorship is intent on flooding our once great country with surly,criminal minded,foreign spongers.Wake up Joe Public and lets get rid of Gordon Macbrown and his bunch of incompetent arseholes before the immeasurable damage already done becomes terminal.I dont want to live in a multi cultural society surrounded by blockheads and spear chuckers.They dont like us and I sure as hell dont like them.
"Now we know where we are. Under UK law, a supposedly independent prosecutor can do nothing to resist a threat made by someone abroad if the UK government claims that the threat endangers national security."The unscrupulous who have friends in high places overseas willing to make such threats now have a 'Get Out of Jail Free' card -- and there is nothing the public can do to hold the government to account if it abuses its national security powers. Parliament needs urgently to plug this gaping hole in the law and in the constitutional checks and balances dealing with national security."With the law as it is, a government can simply invoke 'national security' to drive a coach and horses through international anti-bribery legislation, as the UK government has done, to stop corruption investigations.""BAE and the government will be quickly disappointed if they think that this ruling will bring an end to public criticism. Throughout this case we have been overwhelmed with support from people in all walks of life. There has been a sharp rise in opposition to BAE's influence in the corridors of power. Fewer people are now taken in by exaggerated claims about British jobs dependent on Saudi arms deals. The government has been judged in the court of public opinion. The public know that Britain will be a better place when BAE is no longer calling the shots."
Celebrities Peter André and Jordan mixed up their mothers - Thea and Amy - to come up with Princess Tiáamii for their daughter, achieving a neat feminist counterbalance to patrilineal surnaming (though they may not put it that way).
or using pay-as-you-go mobile phones, discarded after a short spell of use; or cars with false number plates; or sending e-mails from internet cafes or by 'stealing' someone else's unsecured broadband access; or any other easy ruse that would avoid the criminals' being caught by this pointless, repellent scheme.The only ones getting caught out will, as always, be the incompetent and the law-abiding.
So get a VOIP phone (a base model Cisco 79xx series goes for about $50 on eBay), a BSD or Linux server and the same again for the other end. Set up a VPN (any PFY worth his salt can do this). Now you can talk in private and there is not a damn thing your ISP or the fuzz can do about it, short of banning end-to-end encryption. With a bit of jiggery pokery there's no way they can even tell if you're making a call, as all you need is a little daemon to send data back and forth when the VOIP connection is idle. All cats (encrypted packets) look grey in the dark, so it stuffs their traffic analysis up.
We received another unpleasant parcel in the post today. Nasty web sites set up, email account and post bag bombarded, people crawling all over my expenses, which they are entitled and I am very very happy for them to do...
Scary, threatening angry and downright nasty phone calls. A message smeared on my window.
This is all meant to destabilise or distract me.
I have a very clear message to those who are attempting to do this – back off. You will not stop me, you will not undermine me, you do not scare me. In fact, you make me much more determined than I ever was before. You give me strength.
Dari Taylor, a Labour MP, made a moving speech in favour, describing how it might have meant she could have had the baby she yearned for. The effect was, I fear, slightly spoiled by Ann Widdecombe and Nadine Dorries - both vocal opponents - talking loudly on the Tory frontbench while she spoke.
"I think this report insults the intelligence of the public and MPs alike. No improvement in neonatal care in 12 years? Really? So where has all the money that has been pumped into neonatal services gone then?" She called the study "the most desperate piece of tosh produced by the pro-choice lobby."
A role model for ordinary women? No, Miss England finalist is fat, lazy and a poster girl for ill health
Chloe Marshall has caused a storm by becoming the first size 16 beauty queen to reach the finals of the Miss England contest.
Feted and fawned over for her courage in daring to break the mould, Chloe boasts she wants to be an "ambassador for curves".
Who on earth does she think she's kidding? What she's demonstrating isn't bravery but a shocking lack of self-control.
Instead of flaunting her figure, Chloe ought to own up to the truth. She is fat and she got that way by over-eating.
Teenage girls aren't in danger of falling victim to an epidemic of anorexia - but of obesity.
The much-vaunted size zero of catwalk models is actually a UK size four. How many girls do you know that size?
The number of women in this country who are seriously underweight is minute around one in 70.
She talks about the "skinny minnies" she'll be competing against. "All I wanted to do by entering this pageant was to send a message out to young girls that it is fine NOT to be a size zero."
My reply to Mudarris Jughrafiya is that we haven’t killed the innocents, not in Baghdad, nor in Morocco, nor in Algeria, nor anywhere else. And if there is any innocent who was killed in the Mujahideen’s operations, then it was either an unintentional error, or out of necessity as in cases of al-Tatarrus [taking of human shields by the enemy].
Were we insane killers of innocents as the questioner claims, it would be possible for us to kill thousands of them in the crowded markets, but we are confronting the enemies of the Muslim Ummah and targeting them, and it may be the case that during this, an innocent might fall unintentionally or unavoidably, and the Mujahideen have warned repeatedly the Muslims in general that they are in a war with the senior criminals – the Americans and Jews and their allies and agents – and that they must keep away from the places where these enemies gather.
3/1: The questioner I’laamiyyah [Informational] says, “1 – Does the doctor have assurance that those who were killed in the Algeria operations were unbelievers? And what is it that makes legitimate the spilling of the blood of even one Muslim?
I think I have responded to the sister I’laamiyyah’s first question previously. But in turn, I ask her: and what is HAMAS’s justification for killing those whose killing is not permitted from the children in the Israeli colonies with the blessed Qassam rockets which don’t differentiate between a child and an adult, and moreover, perhaps [don’t differentiate] between the Jews and the Arabs and Muslims working in those colonies or in the streets and markets of Occupied Palestine, even though the Shari’ah forbids their killing. I request the sister I’laamiyyah to refer to the eight and ninth chapter of the second part of The Exoneration.
Fiona MacKeown, the mother of Scarlett Keeling, the 15-year-old girl who was raped and murdered in Goa, seems less like a grieving mother than an avenging tigress.
With her swishing curtain of grey hair, Fiona is taking on a corrupt local police force which initially denied that her cub had been the victim of foul play.
"If police had taken more interest in previous [suspicious] deaths, then Scarlett might not be dead now," growled Fiona.
Maybe so. But isn't there an even better chance that Scarlett would still be alive if her own mother had not abandoned her for several weeks after an argument and recklessly continued her own holiday?
Instead the blonde teenager, as tempting as a ripe peach, was left in the care of a 25-year-old tour guide - a local man she'd only recently met.
I don't know what they call that in globe-trotting hippy circles. Back here on Planet Parent it's known as dereliction of duty.
Mrs MacKeown is now to be questioned by Goan police for negligence - a tactic she claims is a "disgusting" attempt to "switch the focus" away from their own failings.
If anyone's trying to divert attention away from their own mistakes, I'd say it's Mrs MacKeown.
Scarlett was last seen at 4am in a bar surrounded by several men. Witnesses say she was totally off her head on ecstasy and cocaine.
That kind of behaviour would have made her vulnerable in her home town back in Devon, let alone in a culture where Western girls are all too readily viewed as sexually available.
Forgive me for being a boringly conventional bourgeois mum, but what the hell were Fiona MacKeown and her partner thinking of taking seven kids on a six-month "dream trip" to India - and then leaving one of them to fend for herself? Why wasn't Scarlett in school studying for her GCSEs?
The loss of any child must be a horror beyond imagining. But there is something about Fiona MacKeown that makes me want to scream at the TV.
Not an ounce of doubt or regret seems to weigh on this laid-back woman. She told reporters that she had counted every mark on Scarlett's body.
"There were almost 50 bruises and abrasions. She has clearly been battered and assaulted. I feel vindicated."
Vindicated? For crying out loud! Any normal person would be tearing out their own hair with grief and remorse.
Mrs MacKeown says her one consolation is that she's "got some photographs of [Scarlett] having a fabulous time".
She still doesn't get it, does she? Fiona MacKeown is an unrepentant member of the Me Generation, one of those people who would rather be a best mate than a parent.
It's more fun being a friend to your kids and, quite frankly, a lot less hassle.
You don't have to fight daily battles over bedtimes and body piercings. And if you have a row with your "mate" you can storm off, unlike an old-fashioned authority figure who has to weather the storm and stay put always and forever.
This week, John Dunford, head of the Association of Schools and College Leaders, warned that schools are the only moral framework in many children's lives.
With the erosion of traditional family life, parents are no longer giving their offspring basic social skills or a sense of right and wrong.
It's a bleak picture that brings to mind W.B. Yeats's great poem about a world where the natural order of things has catastrophically broken down: "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;/Mere anarchy is loosed, and everywhere/The ceremony of innocence is drowned."
For parents who are poor and ground down by work, or the lack of it, there may be some excuse. But articulate, middle-class people should know better.
Since Scarlett's brutal killing, Fiona MacKeown has fought for her daughter. Would that she had exercised half that dedication and sense of responsibility while Scarlett was still alive and in need of a mother's care.