The Independent Police Complaints Commission has published its report today on a road traffic incident involving Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes.
It was in September 2014, that Mrs Barnes was involved in a road traffic incident (RTI) with another car in Princes Road, Dartford. A check on her insurance details revealed that the car was insured and registered in her husband’s name, that she was a named driver, and the policy related to social, domestic and pleasure use only.
At the time Mrs Barnes reported that she had just visited the Kent Police Safety Shop at Bluewater shopping centre and was on her way to a meeting at Dartford Borough Council.
The IPCC report noted that Mrs Barnes’ insurance policy “only covered her for social domestic and pleasure purposes including commuting to and from a permanent place of business. There was considerable confusion as to whether Mrs Barnes was covered; either to the extent of third party risks or under a commuting clause”.
Today’s report follows the CPS ruling in February that it had not been provided with sufficient evidence which would be fundamental to considering the matter in terms of alleged criminality stating “Although some further investigation might assist in determining whether there would be sufficient evidence to prosecute this matter, we are not advising that any further enquiries take place as in any event we consider that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute.”
The IPPC also noted that “she may have driven the Mercedes for business purposes without adequate insurance on multiple occasions”, but that the “investigation has not been able to obtain evidence from any other source to identify which vehicle she was driving on any specific occasion other than on the day of the incident”.
The report concluded that “there is evidence upon which the IPCC Commissioner could determine that an offence of using motor vehicle without insurance on 16 September 2014, contrary to The Road Traffic Act 1998, may have been committed by Mrs Barnes”
In her response to the report Mrs Barnes said “This issue was dealt with last February when the CPS, having reviewed the evidence supplied by the IPCC, took the independent decision not to charge me”. She concluded “I have fully co-operated with the IPCC’s lengthy investigation, and I am pleased that the matter has finally been resolved.”
On Monday Matters Jason bring the usual features including: The World Tonight and Not in the news. Jason talks to former British Secret Intelligence Service agent Matthew Dunn. Matthew left Mi6 and has turned his attention to writing espionage novels – “The Spy House” – is out soon.
The featured group tonight is Erasure – we’ve got 4 no stop pop songs just after 8 – all from Is Andy Bell & Vince Clarke.
In our Night-Time News Report – Britain’s last remaining lion tamer has said he’s determined to keep touring the UK – despite increasing opposition from animal rights campaigners, politicians and celebrities. Thomas Chipperfield’s travelling circus summer tour of Wales has been dogged by issues, with protesters picketing almost every venue and using “intimidation tactics” to stop the performances.
Kyra brings us news from the X-Factor about a possible new song from Adele.
And MC Jezza Fellows returns with our Downton Abbey update.
Nothing bristle’s the hairs on the back of my neck to stiffen quicker than an oppressive dictatorship demanding the people within a democracy shut up and stop questioning the way they torture and execute their people.
That is exactly what Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Kingdom indicated in an article published in the Daily Telegraph today.
He said “The Kingdom has always had to deal with a lack of understanding and misconceptions” – and I don’t doubt that for one moment. Maybe it is our lack of understanding about how a teenage boy could be found guilty of taking part in a demonstration that resulted in him being sentenced to death by beheading – followed by the very 21st century punishment of crucifixion??? Or, an elderly man being thrown in prison for more than 12 months – with the prospect of being lashed – just for having wine in his car? (I understand the punishment wouldn’t of been carried out – but only at the whim of the Saudi Royal family – if they had decided otherwise the punishment would have been given).
So, go on Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz – correct my ‘mis-understanding’. Re-adjust my ‘misconception’ of the dictatorship you speak for – by explaining how in just these two cases – you can claim a reasonable sentence and a just outcome. And if Sharia Law is from God – how can the Saudi King grant pardons and stay of executions? Is he above God? Is he equal to God? Does the Saudi Royal family have the power to tell God that – ‘actually, we disagree with you on this one God – maybe next time you’ll get it right’?
To be fair on the Saudi Ambassador – he does try and explain things a little when he says “Our justice system is based on Sharia law and implemented by our independent judiciary”. But the truth is, his claim to divine inspiration for this system of ‘justice’ – is a mask which allows the Saudi’s full control over the laws which are imposed on their people.
Why, for example – do they deny women the right to drive? And, if this is an explicit rule from God – why doesn’t every country insist on this? If there is only one God – why must he enforce this law in Saudi Arabia – but not even consider it an issue worth discussion in countries such as Pakistan, Turkey or America? Is He a ‘lazy’ God? Maybe the people of Saudi Arabia are just so bad under the rule of the Royal family, God doesn’t have time to check the rest of the world to see if they are also stopping their women from driving or even worse – mixing with men? Oh yes, I forget – this must be the “lack of understanding and misconceptions” Mohammed bin Abdulaziz speaks of.
But then, the more I think about this subject the more I get confused. If all of these laws from God must be enforced in Saudi Arabia – why does the Saudi Royal family not stay away from countries like America or the UK – and all our un-godly laws – which treat women equally and allow them the freedom to decide whether they wish to drive? Where woman mix freely with men and decide whether or not to use public transport and be seen out alone?
Why would anyone from the Saudi Royal family want to visit London? Why frequent the fashionable hotels, restaurants and jewelry shops – where alcohol is served and drunk in large quantities; women mix freely with men – men who can marry other men if they choose? Why do Saudi Princes snap up expensive London apartments and drive their luxury cars around our ungodly streets? Is it because they too enjoy getting out of the Kingdom and enjoying the freedoms that living in a democracy provides. Some in the Saudi Royal family even take it to extremes, as was demonstrated recently in America when the Saudi Prince Majed Abdulaziz al-Saud was arrested on suspicion of ‘forced oral copulation of an adult’ and was later accused of snorting cocaine, getting drunk, enjoying gay sex and arranging for escorts to come to his home. Even us ‘ungodly westerners’ were shocked by many of the revelations that emerged and we wouldn’t dream of doing half the stuff that this Saudi Prince indulged in.
It turns out he was only arrested when his behavior become so abusive – that those who worked for him fled in fear of their lives and reported him to the police. Luckily for this Prince – the long arm of the Western law – doesn’t lead to a shortening of his.
And that brings me back to this article in the Daily Telegraph by Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz. Our democracy isn’t perfect by any means and we don’t demand that the Saudi’s adopt our laws or change thier God. What we say is you should respect the rights of human life – men AND WOMEN; do not use your wealth and power to subdue those under your care and STOP the barbaric and hideous tortures, lashings and executions – that you do in the name of religion. Men , women and children deserve BETTER.
And finally – do not think to tell the people who live in an open democracy – NOT to criticise you or your regime – because you spend lots of money on us. You have been lucky enough to live above oil reserves – which has made you and a small group of your extended family very, very very rich.
Just because you are wealthy and have people fawning all over you – desperate to get a share of it – doesn’t make YOU right and therefore exempt from discourse and comment. You may STAMP it out in Saudi Arabia – but you won’t STAMP out discourse and freedom of expression here. Oh, and if I ever see you in London drinking or smoking or indulging in vices that you would deny to those in your home country – I will take a picture and happily spread it around. Because, no one is free from all vices. No one. And and also – because here I’m free to take pictures, talk openly and marry a bloke – if I so chose.
2015 has been a year for anniversaries. As the World War One centenary commemorations continue, we’ve already had the bi-centenary of the Battle of Waterloo and the 800th Anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta. The latest historic event reaching a significant birthday is the Battle of Agincourt, which sees its 600th Anniversary on the 25th October.
The battle was fought on a muddy field near Azincourt in northern France.
Jason McCrossan spoke to the author Dr. Ian Mortimer about his groundbreaking and ambitious book 1415 Henry V’s Year of Glory – which records the dramatic events of 1415 on a day-by-day basis, culminated in the battle of Agincourt: a slaughter ground designed not to advance Henry’s interests directly but to demonstrate God’s approval of Henry’s royal authority on both sides of the Channel.
A remake of the classic 60s/70s comedy Dad’s army hits the big screen in 2016. It will be the first time since 1977 that the characters have been brought to life and 1971 since they were on the silver screen.
However, and there is a bit BUT coming…
Who exactly is this film aimed at? For my generation (in their 30s) and above – the characters played by Arthur Lowe, Clive Dunn and John Laurie are etched into our psyche through the endless re-runs – and because their characterisations were just so brilliant.
Having watched the trailer – the humour is definitely aimed at 40s and above – maybe even 60s. I’m tempted to suggest it’s the kind of humour my gran would appreciate – but as she is now in her 90s, in an old folks home nurturing a Annabell doll like its the real thing – she has actually out grown this kind of comedy. And so – the danger for this film is that the target audience – simply won’t be able to live with these imposters who are impersonating their beloved Walmington characters – reading out lines which are tired and obvious.
Private Fraser got it right when he cried “DOOMED, we’re ALL Dooooooomed” – because I can’t see this film going any other way.
What are those behind this film hoping to achieve? Was the original not funny enough? Was there a new storyline that desperately needed to be told? The original series itself comprised of 80 episodes. A new audience? Doubt anyone under 50 will find it funny – and those over 50 will struggle to get past the fact that Arthur Lowe and Ian Lavender played their characters so much better.
No, I can’t think of any reason why anyone would want to bring this back – other than as a vanity project to a group of people who hope to make some fast cash off the back of what was one of the best written and acted sit coms of the 20th century.
They won’t be getting my cash. Whoever signed over the rights – should hold their head in shame.
John Cleese famously said that he would love to do a final “Fawlty Towers” – but feared that to bring it back may tarnish the greatly love series because the idea and execution may not be strong enough. Obviously, no such worries for Dad’s army who can’t care about its history and preserving its authenticity. Just want to indulge themselves into thinking that they can still “pull it off”. Well you can’t. It fitted into a time and a place – which has gone now. Get over it.
I know you shouldn’t just write something off without seeing it. Well, I’ve seen the trailer – and if that 2min & 30s is some of the best bits – I can imagine what the rest will be like.
Also, I get annoyed because there are so many great film projects that struggle to get the cash and fail – and then along comes this fat walrus of a production – to eat all the fish. Frankly it annoys me.
But you can decide for yourself.
It is 1944 and World War II is reaching its climax. The Allies are poised to invade France and finally defeat the German army. But in Walmington-on-Sea morale amongst the Home Guard is low. Their new mission then – to patrol the Dover army base – is a great chance to revive spirits and reputation, that is until glamorous journalist Rose Winters arrives to write about their exploits, setting the pulses racing and putting the local women on red alert. MI5 then discover a radio signal sent direct to Berlin from Walmington-on-Sea. There’s a spy on the loose! The outcome of the war is suddenly at stake, and it falls to our unlikely heroes to stand up and be counted.
Starring Bill Nighy, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Toby Jones, Tom Courtenay, Michael Gambon, Blake Harrison, Daniel Mays, Bill Paterson.
Directed by Oliver Parker
Written by Hamish McColl
Produced by Damian Jones
When American Edward Snowden released thousands of pages of highly classified government documents in 2013 – he also released the full fury of the American government and in varying degrees the American people.
Edward fled and ended up in Russia. James Bamford, author, journalist, and former Navy intelligence analyst is one of the few who have met Edward face to face and talks about that encounter and the theory that Ed Snowden is NOT the only NSA leaker.
I came across this great Michael Aspel interview from 1988 with the understated George Harrison & the off his face Ringo..some really great one liners and the frankness is something which feels quite refreshing.
Every year thousands of people swim in hotel, leisure centre and private pools without realising there may be a danger in the pool. When a child dies in a pool, the accident is most often attributed to ‘drowning’ without revealing that a child could have been trapped by the single main drain in that pool. Pools need two main drains to avoid the very serious risk of entrapment.
Another child dies because of entrapment: The most recent publicised case of entrapment happened in July when an 11 year old was drowned in a public pool at Terrasson-Lavilledieu whilst holidaying in the Dordogne, France. The boy drowned when his leg became trapped in the powerful suction of the pool’s only main drain.
Entrapment is preventable: In the case outlined above the pool had recently undergone refurbishment, yet was not fitted with a second main drain which would have prevented the child’s death. Alternatively, an anti-vacuum device could have been fitted; it would have released the child instantly.
How entrapment occurs: The primary reason is the lack of two main drains in the bottom of the pool. When a bather gets too close to a single main drain they are pulled onto the drain and become trapped by tremendous pump suction and it is almost impossible to break free. An experiment showed that it took 225kgs of weight to release an object trapped on a single drain. Adoption of relatively inexpensive measures would ensure that pools are safer.
Entrapment Incident records: The 2012 US Consumer Product Safety Commission report records 106 entrapment accidents between 1999 and 2011. This includes 12 fatalities and 89 people who suffered hospitalisation. The majority of these cases involved under 18 year olds. Tragic stories are easy to find, for example, 6 year old Zachery Chon died after being trapped by the arm, 33 year old John Van Hoy was trapped in a spa at Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort in Nassau, a 14 year old girl died in Tunisia after jumping into the pool. The last recorded UK incident occurred in Runnymede when a young girl was disembowelled.
Industry inertia: Many operators of pools in hotels, holiday parks and leisure centres shy away from closing a pool for remedial work because it is a major undertaking involving closing and draining the pool, installing the second outlet, refilling the pool, chemical treatment and re-heating the water.
Pool safety standards: Newly introduced UK and European standards exist to ensure pools are equipped with two main drains, but many operators sidestep this requirement. In the UK, modern pools should be built to comply with BSEN 15288 and SPATA standards take into account the need for two drains and where necessary an anti-vacuum system fitted. This responds within a millisecond to any increase in filter pump suction, releasing a trapped bather from life-threatening suction.
Eliminating the risk: Installing an anti-vacuum system on a private pool should cost no more than £1,600. This involves modification to the pipework of the main circulation pump, which takes a few hours. A commercial installation would possibly cost more due to the increased size of the discharge pipework and would normally involve more than one main circulation pump. Estimated cost is around £3,000 depending on site conditions. This action will prevent the risk of being trapped in a drain and make swimming pools safer.