Joe McElderry chats to Jason McCrossan on Monday Matters

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Former X Factor contestant and winner of the 2009 final Joe McElderry spoke to Jason McCrossan on Monday Matters on 106.9 SFM www.sfmradio.com about his latest tour – Evolution – which is heading to Maidstone in March 2015.

Since winning the X-factor Joe, has also crowned the winner of the second series of Popstar to Operastar in 2011 and the first series of The Jump in 2014 – won this year by Joey Essex.

For more information: www.jmccrossan.co.uk

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POEM I Do Not Love Thee by Caroline Norton

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Caroline Norton was born in London on 22 March 1808 into a grand but impoverished family. She was the granddaughter of the playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Her father died when she was eight years old, leaving the family with serious financial problems. She found solace from her unhappy to George Norton, who was Tory member of parliament for Guildford, in her writing and the publication of her verses ‘The Sorrows of Rosalie’ (1829) and ‘The Undying One’ (1830) resulted in her appointment as editor of ‘La Belle Assemblée’ and ‘Court Magazine’.

Every Saturday morning on 106.9 SFM (www.sfmradio.com) at around 07:50 it’s tranquil time – where poetry is read out on the radio. Today Gill Fraser Lee reads I Do Not Love Thee by Caroline Norton.

Peter Jukes discusses the Phone Hacking Trial of 2014

Phone Hacking Trial

Allegations that News International journalists were involved in hacking people’s phones for information led to the closure of the 168-year-old News of the World tabloid in 201.

The scandal went to the heart of Downing Street with two of the Prime Minister’s friends in the dock – Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks. Alongside Brooks and Coulson was former managing editor Stuart Kuttner. Five others had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to hack phones before the trial began: private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, news editors James Weatherup and Greg Miskiw and reporters Neville Thurlbeck and Dan Evans.

Andy Coulson was jailed for 18 months – Rebekah Brooks and Stuart Kuttner were found innocent.

One man was there from the very start and ended up covering the whole of the trial – which lasted 138 days and cost up to £100m.

He is the journalist Peter Jukes and he’s written a booked about what was the trial of the century – called Beyond Contempt and he spoke to Jason McCrossan.

POEM The Snow Storm by Edna St Vincent Millay

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Poet and playwright Edna St. Vincent Millay was born in Rockland, Maine in 1892. She received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923, the third woman to win the award for poetry and was also known for her feminist activism and her many love affairs. She used the pseudonym Nancy Boyd for her prose work. The poet Richard Wilbur asserted, “She wrote some of the best sonnets of the century.”

Every Saturday morning on 106.9 SFM Gill Fraser Lee (@Ahappyflower) reads poems in our Tranquil Time feature at around 07:50. Today Gill reads Edna’s The Snow Storm.

Encounters of an Alien Kind – Nick Pope talks UFO’s and Aliens

Alien Encounter

Nick Pope used to run the British government’s UFO project at the Ministry of Defence. It was while working on the MoD’s UFO project Nick also looked into alien abductions, crop circles, animal mutilations, remote viewing and ghosts. He is now recognised as a leading authority on UFOs, the unexplained and conspiracy theories.

In 2007 the MoD released its entire archive of UFO files and Nick was given access to the files. He spoke to Jason about these files as well as the Encounter in Rendlesham Forest – all as he took part in the Conscious Life Expo event Los Angeles.

You can find out more about Nick Pope from his website www.nickpope.net

POEM: The Journey by Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver is an American poet who was born in Maple Heights, Ohio, a semi-rural suburb of Cleveland.

Her first collection of poems, No Voyage and Other Poems, was published in 1963, when she was 28. She has won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. The New York Times described her as “far and away, [America’s] best-selling poet”

Every Saturday morning at around 07:50 on 106.9 SFM – Gill Fraser Lee (@Ahappyflower) reads poems in our Tranquil Time spot. Today’s poem is by Mary Oliver and is called The Journey

Author William Stafford speaks to Jason McCrossan

Seeking inspiration, hack writer Hector Mortlake embarks on a journey across late 19th century Europe. He invites the people he encounters to submit short stories to a contest but soon the travellers find themselves at an isolated hotel and caught up in a series of suspicious deaths. Could there be something to the local myth of the water nymph after all?

William Stafford lives and writes in the Black Country. After working in libraries and teaching Drama in schools and colleges, he now devotes much of his time to his novels, which blend his irrepressible sense of humour with science fiction, historical fantasy, or whodunits.

He speaks to Jason McCrossan on 106.9 SFM www.sfmradio.com about his latest novel Kiss of the Water Nymph: A Hector Mortlake Adventure.

Seeking inspiration, hack writer Hector Mortlake embarks on a journey across late 19th century Europe. He invites the people he encounters to submit short stories to a contest but soon the travellers find themselves at an isolated hotel and caught up in a series of suspicious deaths. Could there be something to the local myth of the water nymph after all?

The ISIS chain of terror

An image grab taken from a propaganda video uploaded on June 11, 2014 by jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) allegedly shows ISIL militants gathering at an undisclosed location in Iraq's Nineveh province. Militants took control of the Iraqi city of Tikrit and freed hundreds of prisoners today, police said, the second provincial capital to fall in two days. AFP PHOTO / HO / ISIL
An image grab taken from a propaganda video uploaded on June 11, 2014 by jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) allegedly shows ISIL militants gathering at an undisclosed location in Iraq’s Nineveh province. Militants took control of the Iraqi city of Tikrit and freed hundreds of prisoners today, police said, the second provincial capital to fall in two days. AFP PHOTO / HO / ISIL

The medieval way in which terrorist organisation ISIS dispatched Muadh al-Kasasbeh, a Jordanian pilot, to his death in January 2015 was something that caused nausea to anyone who cherishes life and believes in human dignity.  Of course, not everyone gasped a breath of repulsion with news reports circulating that Isil broadcast the murder on giant public screens to crowds that included young children cheering and chanting in Raqqa, the de facto capital of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Of course, I say medieval – however, one does not need to look back to the middle ages to find tales of atrocious behaviour carried out by man kind up man kind.  As is pointed out in the blog “We Are Respectable Negroes

For almost a century, the United States practiced a unique cultural ritual that was as least as gruesome as the “Medieval” punishments meted out by ISIS against its foes.

What is now known as “spectacular lynching” involved the ceremonial torture, murder–and yes, burning alive–of black Americans by whites.

In fact, the burned to death images of the black body were one of the most popular types of mass culture in 19th and 20th century America.

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And who can forget the many atrocities carried out by German’s under the NAZI flag including beastly experiments with victims coerced into participating; they did not willingly volunteer and there was never informed consent. Typically, the experiments resulted in death, disfigurement or permanent disability, and as such are considered as examples of medical torture.

A Jewish child is forced to show the scar left after SS physicians removed his lymph nodes. This child was one of 20 Jewish children injected with tuberculosis germs as part of a medical experiment. All were murdered on April 20, 1945. Neuengamme concentration camp, Germany, between December 1944 and February 1945. — Guenther Schwarberg
A Jewish child is forced to show the scar left after SS physicians removed his lymph nodes. This child was one of 20 Jewish children injected with tuberculosis germs as part of a medical experiment. All were murdered on April 20, 1945. Neuengamme concentration camp, Germany, between December 1944 and February 1945.
— Guenther Schwarberg

The terror and brutality that is being carried out by ISIS is not new – the speed and method of the delivery of the images is. I’m grateful to have been brought up in the West – in a country where religion is a private matter and the freedom to live life is not dictated by the passages of a religious text or by the gun or knife or a brutal regime that won’t accept dissent.  People in Britain must be free to choose to have a religion or not – but it must be a choice and as  writes in the telegraph:

Yesterday came a damning official report by Louise Casey saying that Labour’s Rotherham borough council was “in complete denial” and had failed to respond properly to last year’s scathing report by Prof Alexis Jay. Men of Pakistani origin had been allowed to abuse white girls in part because of “misplaced political correctness”: council staff were terrified of being labelled racist. Cowards and fools, they “decided such issues should be dealt with by people from the Pakistani community”. Good thinking, chaps!

In Rotherham, Casey also found that police had failed to pursue Pakistani perpetrators for fear of “offending the community”.

What community? Not yours and mine, that’s for sure. So desperate is the situation that Whitehall-appointed commissioners are to move in and take over the council. In Rotherham, we see with terrible clarity how the whole edifice of multiculturalism is as rotten as a Tudor monarch’s mouth.

What Allison fails to note is that the kind of abuse that happened in Rotherham isn’t just limited to a particular ethnic group – white men will take just as much advantage of girls as any other race – the worrying element is if the report is true and staff failed to act out of a fear of being racist.  And this is why I am strongly against religious schools where children are divided along lines of cultural and often racial background and never mix with anyone who is not of their belief nor race.  This cannot be good for our future.

If we are to learn anything from the atrocities committed by ISIS – is that we must integrate the different cultures and backgrounds that exist within Britain better than we are doing at the moment.  What makes a teenage boy or girl think that their life is only valuable when it has a bomb attached to it and they are kill themselves and as many people as they can?

How did we let this situation happen? The Prime Minister David Cameron has jumped in feet first to tackle what they would term welfare scroungers – but what about extremists and extremism? It is lazy to think of this as a muslim probably – any more than suggesting that when the IRA was active on British shores they were a catholic problem.

One of the reasons we elect politicians is to make us safe – so far, they have failed us.  But if UKIP is the answer – we’re most definitely asking the wrong questions.