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Monday Matters Motoring edition 04 July 2016

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On the show tonight we have reaction from another day of resignations – as Ukip’s the latest political party looking for a new leader – after Nigel Farage announced he’s standing down. Nigel said last month’s referendum result means he’s achieved what he set out to when he first entered politics.

The music news is after 8am and a survey out today says that one in eight cars on the roads in east London do not have insurance, according to analysis which names the capital as the worst place in Britain for uninsured drivers. Jason chats to Mark Chiappino is from Churchill car insurance.

The featured artist is Bill Withers who is 78 years old today. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005, and in 2007, his song “Lean on Me” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

A report’s been published suggesting replacing T-junctions with mini-roundabouts could reduce the number of crashes involving older people. Ian Crowder’s from the AA joins Jason after 9pm.

Hilda Murrell – Murdered By The British State?

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In 1984 Hilda Murrell, a 78-year-old distinguished rose-grower turned anti-nuclear campaigner, was found brutally murdered outside her home town of Shrewsbury, England. The case became one of the biggest, most bizarre and baffling British murders of the 20th century involving political conspiracies surrounding the nuclear industry and the Falklands War.

After a cold case review, in 2005 Andrew George, who was a 16-year-old petty thief from a foster home, was convicted. In 2011, Hilda’s nephew, former British Navy Commander Robert Green, does not believe Mr George committed the murder – but who did? Robert spoke to Jason on Monday Matters.

Another day – another brutal murder

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Jo’s husband tweet this picture – how he wants his wife to be remembered

Words cannot express the pain and anger that many British people feel at the killing of a UK MP, in broad daylight, on 16 June 2016, on the streets of the small Yorkshire village of Birstall; death snatching the life of one of our most promising Member of Parliament – Jo Cox.

So far all we know is that her attacker was in his 50s, described as a loner who may have mental health issues – but on the latter point we still do not know.

It says a lot about our view of parliament and our politicians that few people outside of her constituency or parliament would have been aware of just how promising and respected Jo was.  She was only in parliament for 18 months – yet managed to punch through not only on political issues but also across the political divide.   Unlike some politicians who would argue over the direction of a worm – just because they couldn’t bear to agree, Jo was different and would work with anyone of whatever persuasion if they shared her views on the various humanitarian causes she championed.

But let’s be clear – Jo wasn’t just an MP – she was a daughter, a wife and mother of two children whom she loved more than anything.  In an emotional yet considered response, after his wife was pronounced dead – Jo’s husband Brendan said: “Today is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. More difficult, more painful, less joyful, less full of love. I and Jo’s friends and family are going to work every moment of our lives to love and nurture our kids and to fight against the hate that killed Jo”.

We still do not know the cause – however, speaking at the scene of her death the leader of the labour party Jeremy Corbyn alluded to a possible answer when he said “She was taken from us in an act of hatred, in a vile act that has killed her.  It’s an attack on democracy, what happened yesterday. It’s the well of hatred that killed her “.  One assumes that the Prime Minister has been given constant updates by those holding the killer and may have passed on some information to Mr Corbyn.

If you want to know who Jo was and the type of platform that she was forging her way on – just listen to her maiden speech in the House of Commons in 2015.

 

I was on facebook when the news of Jo’s shooting started to break – responding to someone who had written a post on the EU referendum and how they only way to regain our country and stop immigration was to vote to leave.  My critical response to this including lamenting the idea that it is the EU that makes us undemocratic – when we have nearly 900 unelected Peers in the House of Lords with the power to change, delay and black legislation and whom cost the taxpayer about £21 million per year and that we should sort out the deckchairs on our own beach before looking over the water and blaming a messy beach abroad for our troubles.

I also touched on how the focus on immigration and EU bureaucrats let our own MPs and parliament off the hook – and was pretty scathing about our MPs.  Then as news started to roll in that not only had Jo been shot, but had succumbed to her injuries, I decided I could not hit the reply button.  It just didn’t feel right to be having a go at politicians when one had just been murdered on a British street in a small British village.  Maybe me and the British public have been too harsh on our MPs – the majority of whom, are not that different to us and who come within the communities we ourselves live.

I saved a copy of what I have written and I’m now not sure if I will ever respond to Mr Angry about Immigration – because, actually, I don’t want to get caught up in the tit for tat nasty – blown out of all proportion debate that we have had so far.  I will write something – but maybe I will be that bit more respectful to those who govern us – and maybe we all should.  I note that because the killer is white, with links to the far right – no mention of the words “terrorist’ or ‘terrorism’ has been made- yet, it is hard not to imagine if the killers skin colour had of been different – the headlines and news bulletins would be flooded with words trying to link this to some muslim extremist group either here or abroad – like what happened when the soldier Lee Rigby was murdered by a man who had mental health issues – who happened to be muslim.  Maybe we in the media need to also learn to just watch our language and how we present the news to the public.

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Dailymail headline screaming “yet another lorry load of migrants”

If all the public hear from the news that they consume and by certain political groups that we are “awash” with immigrants and that we are ‘full’ ‘cannot cope’ our shores are ‘flooded’ and our politicians are inept and unable to control the ‘flow of immigration’ – then maybe, just maybe, it lights the torch paper in people making them angry which then leads to some, who do not have the full control of their mental state, to see themselves as champions for Britain.  Whist taking the life of a wife and leaving to children without a mother.

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Dailymail clarification – tucked within the pages of the DailyHate

 

Orlando: Another Mass Shooting – LGBT targeted

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In the early hours of June 12, 2016, a gunman, who I’m not interesting in naming, walked into the gay night club called Pulse in Orlando, Florida and started shooting at a group of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered people – who were doing nothing but being who they were and enjoying themselves.

This was a direct attack on gay people, freedom, humans, love and a different way of life.  As a gay man in love with another man you are always aware that there are people who would hurt, damage or kill people like me – just because of who they love.  Attitudes to gay people have fundamentally changed in the UK since I was born in the late 1970s.  Hostility was very present in the 80s when gay bars started to spring up in cities, albeit usually in discrete and concealed places – until the 90s and 2000s when the gay movement stopped hiding and people like me felt comfortable being open about our sexuality at work and so rather than being some distant object of derision – we become up close and personal with our straight colleagues – who realised – we were just like them.

But we are still not in a world, or country where being gay is still acceptable across the board.  When a bakery can refuse service to customers who wanted a gay themed cake because it is ‘against their belief’ – backed up by Christian groups and media elements.  It demonstrates to gay people that although we have journeyed far – the route back to the dark ages of the 1950s when we were illegal, arrested and in-prisoned – isn’t as far away as we might like to believe.

On my Monday Matters radio show I spoke to gay radio presenter DJ Justice, who presents his show in Orlando and often visited  Pulse and lost people that he knew in the atrocity.

 

 

Untold: The Daniel Morgan Murder – NEW Podcast

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In early March 1987, a private investigator called Daniel Morgan told friends that he’d uncovered evidence of major corruption within the Metropolitan Police, which he planned to share with the media. Days later, he was murdered in a pub car park in Sydenham, south London.

 

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Nearly 30 years on, after five separate police investigations into the killing and some decidedly suspicious goings on behind the scenes, the case remains unsolved – making it one of the murkiest, and most conspiracy-laden, stories in the Met’s long history.

Onto this journalistically fertile ground comes a new 10-part podcast called Untold: The Daniel Morgan Murder.

Podcast 1:  Luckiest Mugging in the World

 

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Court artist’s impression of (left to right) Jonathan Rees, Glen Vian, Sidney Fillery, Garry Vian and James Cook at the opening of the Old Bailey trial. The case subsequently collapsed (PA)

 

Daniel Morgan ran a detective agency called Southern Investigations. The night he was killed he had a 90-minute meeting with his business partner Jonathan Rees at the Golden Lion. At 9pm he left by a back entrance to get to the car park, a Rolex watch on his wrist and £1,100 in his pocket.

He was later found lying on the ground near his car with an axe embedded in the side of his head. The Rolex was missing but the cash remained.

 

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Morgan’s body was found outside the Golden Lion pub in Sydenham, South London

 

 

The following month Rees, his brothers in law Garry and Glenn Vian, and Sid Fillery, one of the Catford police station detectives initially assigned to the case, were arrested, only to be released without charge.

At the inquest in 1988, the bookkeeper at Southern Investigations alleged that Rees and Fillery planned the contract killing. By this time Fillery had retired and joined the agency as Rees’ new partner.

The pair went on to carry out work for a number of tabloid newspapers including the News of the World and are said to have provided the information for exposes of celebrities, politicans and royalty.

A second inquiry by Hampshire Police began on 24 June 1988 following a complaint by the Morgan family to Home Secretary Douglas Hurd. Rees was again arrested, but the charges were dropped.

For more on the corrupt practices of the met police – there was an informative article written in the DailyMail by Richard Pendlebury and Stephen Wright.

 

 

JILL DANDO: UNSOLVED MURDER OF A CELEBRITY

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Jill Dando was a BBC journalist and presenter who for 14 years worked on successful programmes such as the flagship BBC Breakfast Time, Breakfast News, the BBC One O’Clock News, the Six O’Clock News, the travel programme Holiday, and the crime appeal series Crimewatch (from 1995 until her death). She was named BBC Personality of the Year in 1997.

On the morning of 26 April 1999, Jill was fatally shot outside her home in Fulham, London. No one has ever been successful found guilty of her murder. Local loner Barry George was jailed for her murder in 2001, but his conviction was overturned in 2008 following the emergence of new evidence. No one else has been charged. Her killer still remains at large.

Jason McCrossan spoke to Criminologist Dr James Treadwell from Birmingham City University about this peculiar and extremely sad case.

Free Guide to Internet Security published

internet-security-identity-theft-prevention.jpgAs the debate about Apple’s stance on encryption and privacy continues, many people are left wondering how they can do more to protect their data and communication from being viewed by governments, law enforcement agencies and other public organisations. Apple is currently locked in a long running and increasingly high profile feud with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over access to information contained on a mobile phone.

imgresThere are understandably polarized views on whether or not such personal information should be accessible by the authorities, but for those keen to retain their privacy away from prying eyes, there are ways and means of doing more to secure their online identity and Internet activity. BestVPN has produced The Ultimate Privacy Guide that provides advice and guidance for those preferring greater privacy.

“Apple’s refusal to bow to the FBI’s demands to unlock an encrypted phone has heightened awareness of the privacy debate and many people just don’t know where they stand on the matter, if indeed they are aware at all of the issues involved,” says Peter Zaborszky, founder of BestVPN. “Over recent weeks we have seen increased interest from individuals who are concerned about their personal privacy and have decided to use a Virtual Private Network.”
Wormhole-viruses.jpgA Virtual Private Network (VPN) offers individuals an effective means of protecting a person’s identity when online. Essentially a VPN is a server somewhere that an individual can connect to and route their Internet usage through. This not only hides a person’s identity, but also makes it appear as though they are in the country where the server is situated.

“VPNs were originally servers inside companies that employees could connect to so they could easily work from home,” explains Zaborszky.

“Now, they are more commonly used as an effective way to protect your identity online, which has become especially important in recent times amid snooping revelations and the potential for surveillance laws to be relaxed.”

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In the UK this week, the Investigatory Powers Bill (or ‘Snoopers Charter’ as it is often colloquially referred to) was passed in Parliament and allows the government and other authorities, such as the police, to view users web browsing histories and hack mobile phones. As with the Apple versus FBI battle, the Bill has polarized opinions and has come under intense criticism from some quarters for being both unclear and over the top.

The BestVPN Ultimate Privacy Guide is free to view on the BestVPN website where other useful information about privacy and keeping safe online can also be found in its news section.

UK’s capital tops car theft list

 

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The latest stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) figures for 2015 from TRACKER reveal that London continues to top the list of regions where cars were most stolen and recovered. Year-on-year TRACKER saw a 12% increase in the number of stolen vehicles recovered across the UK in 2015, equating to nearly £12.5 million worth of vehicles being returned to their owners.

Londoners love Land Rover. Three Range Rover models dominated SVR figures within London – the Sport, Vogue and Autobiography – but they also appear in TRACKER’s ‘UK top 10 most stolen and recovered’ table demonstrating the popularity of the brand with thieves across the UK. The highly desirable Range Rover Sport was the UK’s most stolen and recovered vehicle in 2015.

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Greater Manchester held the second highest number of stolen and recovered cars in 2015 after the capital, knocking Essex off the number 2 spot that it held in 2014. Models from the Mercedes-Benz range of vehicles were the most commonly stolen and recovered in Greater Manchester. The Mercedes Benz C220 and the Mercedes Benz C63 both feature in the UK’s top 10 most stolen and recovered’ table. The Mercedes Benz C63 climbs six places to number four, having entered the top 10 last year.

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Mercedes Benz C63

West Midlands retains 3rd position for the second year in a row, where BMWs were the most stolen and recovered. The BMW X5 had held the number one most stolen and recovered spot across the UK for the last 6 years, until the Range Rover Sport knocked it off poll position. The BMW 3 and 5 series make a re-appearance in the league table after a number of years’ absence, last listed in 2013 and 2009 respectively.
Regions in the south east of England dominated the list including Essex, Kent, Surrey and Hertfordshire, where BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover were favoured in equal measure by thieves.

West Yorkshire and Merseyside represent the north of England; Merseyside reappears in the league table for the first time in a couple of years where Audi was most recorded as stolen and recovered; The Audi Q7 also makes its first appearance in the nationwide league table, coming in 10th. In joint tenth place for regional hot spots were Lancashire and Leicestershire; Leicestershire replaces Lanarkshire which disappears from the top ten list in 2015.

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The Audi Q7

Comments Andy Barrs, Head of Police Liaison at TRACKER. “Our analysis highlights some interesting consumer manufacturer preferences by region, as well as an overall shift in the most desirable makes and models that thieves are stealing to order, with 4x4s dominating our top ten.”

“However, whilst it’s common for car thieves to target premium marques, we should not underestimate the massive appetite for Ford, Vauxhall, and VW models which are stolen in even greater numbers, but which most owners do not protect by fit tracking devices.” Concludes Andy Barrs; “A Home Office Report published in January this year suggests that fitting a tracking device could be the best solution against criminals succeeding in selling on stolen vehicles.”

By using its unique VHF technology, TRACKER stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) units can overcome potential theft recovery hurdles such as concealment in underground garages or shipping containers. Crucially, the use of GPS/GSM technology also means it can beat signal jamming, a common tactic employed by professional criminals.

TRACKER’S TOP TEN MOST STOLEN AND RECOVEREDrange-rover-sport-cutout.jpg

Top ten cars by make and model most frequently stolen and recovered:

2014                                                                2015

1. BMW X5                                                    1. Range Rover Sport
2. Mercedes C Class                                  2. BMW X5
3. Range Rover Sport                                3. Range Rover Vogue
4. Mercedes Benz E Class                       4. Mercedes Benz C220
5. Land Rover Discovery                         5. BMW 3 Series
6. BMW M3                                                  6. Mercedes Benz C63
7. Range Rover Vogue                             7. BMW 5 Series
8. Audi RS4                                                  8. Audi RS4
9. Mercedes Benz ML                              9. Range Rover Autobiography
10. Mercedes Benz C63                          10. Audi Q7

TRACKER’S TOP TEN REGIONS WHERE CARS ARE STOLEN AND RECOVERED

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Greater London and surrounding regions

2015
1. Greater London
2. Greater Manchester
3. West Midlands
4. Essex
5. Kent
6. Surrey
7. West Yorkshire
8. Hertfordshire
9. Merseyside
10. Lancashire/Leicestershire

British Transport Police referred to IPCC

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A video has been doing the rounds which shows an arrest made British Transport Police in St Pancras in March.

On the face of it the video makes uncomfortable viewing. The man being arrested repeatedly asks “why” he is being arrested and gets no response other than to get repeatedly shouted at and hit with a stick by the policeman, who actually sounds a bit out of control and appears to be using riot squad techniques on this single man. The man also is heard to say “I’m not a criminal” which result in him being shouted at and beaten by a stick by the policeman who seems determined to get the man to lie on the floor.

The other police officer in the video appears to be more stand off-ish and not as aggressive and then more officers arrive and take the man to the side – all in full view of the public and, as it happens in St Pancras, foreign visitors to our country.

 

In 2016 I find it incredible that a any man can be hit by a stick by police.  It wouldn’t of made it less painful viewing had he been a white man – but one wonders if this is the treatment that we hear about from the black community who often feel they are unfairly singled out and hit upon (in this case literally) by the police.  No matter what the colour of the person, it cannot be acceptable to be treated like this by the police.

When contacted their press office a spokesman for British Transport Police (BTP) said: “We continue to investigate the incident involving BTP officers detaining a man at St Pancras station on Tuesday, 8 March.

“Our Professional Standards Department (PSD) has been informed and the matter has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).”