Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘innocent

Was Tony Blair A Force For Good?

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My Non-Appearance On Sunday Morning Live

Since Wednesday the BBC had been in touch every day.  This morning they started calling me and testing my webcam and sound from 8.30am.  They had me sitting at my desk from 9.45am, 15 minutes before the programme started.   I was warned I could be in shot at anytime.  I drank too much coffee.  I did get a little nervous and jittery.  I was desperate for a cigarette even though I gave up six months ago!

Who was that suave, debonair, good looking chap in the crisp white shirt on the background screens?  Yours truly of course, waiting patiently for my big moment, trying not to sneer or laugh too raucously at the ridiculous first discussion on animals.

I had my notes blu-tacked to the window frame right behind my webcam, adjusted so that viewers would never lose deep, seductive eye contact with me.

“We’re coming to you now Peter”

“Stand by”

I fancy I can see Susanna Reid flushing slightly in anticipation of introducing me…

“Uh, sorry Peter, we’re not going to be able to come to you.  Out of time I’m afraid.”

Such are the trials and tribulations of my life!  Suddenly the programme was over.

You'll Get Your Chance, Gorgeous

Turning to far more important things, the dogs and I set off for the hills.  My mobile rang and it was Anna from the BBC, apologising and promising me dinner and a hot night with Susanna all at the corporation’s expense.  “No, sorry, I can’t be bought off.  Call me tomorrow. I’m too busy now.”

On the panel in the studio had been Mary Whitehouse’s successor, frumpy Anne Atkins and the utter jerk, Francis Beckett.   What a prat?  Why would anyone want to listen to his obnoxious, ill considered views, delivered with all the grace of a blind, three legged rhino?

Was Tony Blair a force for good?  This was the question I was supposed to be answering.  The BBC had come to me as a result of this article.  I had, of course, considered my response and this is what I intended to say.

Was Tony Blair A Force For Good?

I do not count myself as a Tony Blair supporter.  I never voted for him.  In fact, at all those elections I deliberately spoiled my ballot papers writing “no suitable candidate” across them.  I am an admirer though.

I think you have to give him credit for a number of things.  He rescued Labour from its madness and turned it into a credible and electable political party.  That was good for democracy.  He finished off the good work that Margaret Thatcher had done on the unions.  He was her true successor.  Now the only nutters that we have left are Tweedledum and Twitterdee from Unite and the mad and bad Bob Crowe from the railways.

You have to give him huge credit for Northern Ireland, for Kosovo and Sierra Leone.  I think he was also responsible for a fundamental change in British politics in that he reconciled caring with competition.  For the first time it was accepted that you could have a social conscience but still believe in business and the free market.

On Iraq, clearly it is a good thing that we got rid of Saddam Hussein although, personally, I think we should have assassinated him.  If there was a moral justification for war,  for shock and awe, then there was for assassination.  Even if we had lost thousands of special forces that would have been better than hundreds of thousands of innocents.  I do think that Blair became carried away with George Bush and that was a mistake.  Bush will be forgotten long before Blair.  He was not of the same calibre.  All he had to offer was the might and power of America.

Fundamentally, what you have to ask is did Tony Blair act in good faith?  I believe he did.  I believe he is an honourable man.  Look backwards from Blair to Thatcher and there’s noone else until Churchill and then Lloyd George.  That is the company in which Tony Blair will be remembered.  He is a great man.

I Was There For You Tone!

The one thing I really don’t understand in this man of vision and intelligence is his conversion to Catholicism.  I can just about accept his Christianity although why a man with his intellect needs organised religion I don’t know.  I really can’t understand why he wants to be allied to the institution that has been responsible for more evil over the last 2000 years than any other.  I think it demeans him.  He has far, far more to offer the world than that stupid old bigot the Pope, for instance.  It seems to me the Catholic Church will benefit far more from him than he will from it.   That’s his business though.

What Happened To The British Police?

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Another disgraceful example of the way the British police are going to the dogs.  So many of them, like these two, seem to be violent psychopaths. As a Welshman this incident makes me particularly ashamed.  Here’s two more coppers that deserve at least five years in jail.

In my local news, the island of Portland has been abandoned by Dorset police.  See here.   They’ve failed to respond to residents’ concerns about anti-social behaviour.  When a public meeting was held the police flatly refused to attend.  Now the residents are talking about setting up their own vigilante groups.  That, of course, will suit the police perfectly. They’ll be able to get their batons out and beat up more innocent citizens, confident that even if they’re caught on camera they’ll get away with it.

When I was driving onto Portland the other day I saw something which just sums up perfectly the state of policing in Britain today.  Four fancy BMW SUVs and a motorbike tearing across Chesil Beach, high drama, high speed, jack-the-lads, all of them.  Guaranteed no reason for it.  Try getting them to come out to a genuine emergency.

Theresa May!  You should be calling in Chief Constable Mick Giannasi of Gwent and Chief Constable Martin Baker of Dorset.  Both have some serious explaining to do.

Moat’s Last Moments. Are All Our Policemen Wonderful?

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Almost Over

On Friday night they had Raoul Moat cornered at last.  It was the culmination of something more akin to a military invasion than a reasonable response to just one deranged nutter.   Northumbria Police had already made fools of themselves but we were all biting our lips,  not yet protesting, hoping against hope that there would be no further casualties.

The first photographs from the stand-off were released and they clearly showed police pointing tasers.  On BBC News the ex-police firearms expert was interviewed and asked why a taser couldn’t be used to disable Moat.  He answered quite unequivocally that using a taser when a man has a gun pointed at his head was more than likely to result in him firing the weapon involuntarily.

First thing on Saturday morning and it was no surprise to learn that Moat was dead.  What was utterly shocking was to learn that two tasers had been fired and the recording broadcast by the BBC revealed the shouting before the sound of the shotgun blast.  The unavoidable conclusion is that exactly what the firearms expert had predicted was what happened.

I don’t have any sympathy for Moat.  As far as I’m concerned a good case could have been made for him being shot on sight but I am very, very unhappy with the way the police handled the affair.

All Over Now

It may be that the denouement itself was handled properly.  We will never know what really happened however many inquiries we have.  What I am certain of is that overall the police should have done much better.  Those far, far better qualified to judge than me have already said as much.  I speak only as a concerned citizen.

I really worry about our police service.  While I believe there are many brave, honourable coppers, some of whom are highly skilled,  there are too many worrying indications that our police service is not up to the job.

There’s thuggery and the rank-closing covering-up and justification of it.  There’s the appalling canteen culture which is at the root of all the institutionalised racism, thuggery and freemasonry.  There’s the amateurish approach of senior officers who seem barely competent at times.  There is inevitably some corruption but also a long-running deception that the decision to prosecute is at arms length.  The police decide who to investigate in the first place. The CPS and the police eat in the same canteen

Look at the brutality of the police, the TSG in particular, at the Gaza and G20 protests and how they’ve got away with it.  Look at the Inspector Gadget police website for an insight into the disgusting attitude of many officers.   Look at the management of situations like the Cumbrian shootings and the Raoul Moat affair and the use of ludicrous, self-evidently bad ideas like the “kettling” at the Gaza and G20 protests.  Look at the income generation from speed cameras promoted by some chief constables.  Look at the absurd, intrusive, wildly excessive use of CCTV.  Look at the ridiculous administration routines that many chief constables have imposed.  Look at the insistence on retaining the DNA of innocent people.

The police are now very well paid.  A starting police officer gets about twice as much as a starting soldier.   They have wonderful pension arrangements.  They’re also excused, let off and get away with behaviour that should never be allowed.  Look at the thug, Sergeant Delroy Smellie , who repeatedly beat Nicola Fisher at the G20 protest and got away with it, or the officer who assaulted Ian Tomlinson, who later died, and who has still not been charged over a year later.

All the brave, honourable coppers are let down by those bad apples which myopic “support” of the police allows to rot and infect the rest.

The British police service needs a shake up.  It is complacent and inefficient.  Excellent work is done in anti-terrorism and organised crime but the truth is not all our policemen are wonderful.  We need to face up to that truth and make some changes.  Perhaps locally elected police chiefs are a way forward.

My Deep, Dark Secret

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I have a deep, dark secret.  It’s something I keep to myself.  I haven’t told anyone, not my friends, my parents, certainly not my sons.

Every Saturday, early evening, for about the past six or seven weeks I’ve been indulging myself in something that I’m little ashamed of.  I don’t know why (well, I do), as on the face of it it’s wholesome and innocent but, the truth is, they all drag thoughts and feelings out of me that are far from wholesome, far from innocent.  All of them.

They all care about it so much.  It means so much to each one of them.  Each of them puts every last part of their heart and soul into doing the very best they can.  I sit through the whole show weeping gently at their sincerity, their effort, their charm, how pretty they are.

Quattro Formaggi

Yes it’s true, it’s truly pathetic.  I am besotted.  Each one of them is truly delightful, one minute ingenue, next minute vamp, all so very, very talented.

They are the girls of “Over The Rainbow”, Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s latest audition show to find Dorothy for The Wizard of Oz.

They are all gorgeous and I think I must be a dirty old man!

Barack & Hillary – You’re Out Of Line!

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America’s interference  in the Scottish Justice Minister’s decision on the fate of the so-called Lockerbie Bomber, is uncalled for, inappropriate, tactless, rude, arrogant and just plain wrong.

Whatever your views on the value of mercy towards a man who has only a matter of days or weeks to live and who is very probably innocent of the crime he was convicted of, it is no business of the United States to be interfering like this.

We already kowtow to the Americans far too much.  Our blind obedience into Iraq and Afghanistan.  Our willingness to bow to their demands for the extradition of Gary Mckinnon, a harmless, mentally abnormal individual who is being bullied and persecuted by a country for who the title “the Great Satan” seems increasingly justified.

You, who are responsible for so much state-sanctioned terrorism and bullying, have no business meddling like this in the affairs of Scotland or the UK.

An Alternative Strategy For Israel

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Instead of committing genocide, instead of murdering hundreds of innocent women and children, instead of your ridiculous, inane, self-defeating behaviour, instead of condemning your nation to everlasting shame and ignominy, why not try this?

Your much vaunted special forces and Mossad take the responsibility themselves.  No tanks, no F16s, no naval bombardment.  No more cowardice. I am sure that Britain and the US will provide support.  One SAS squadron sacrificing itself  in the name of humanity can achieve infinitely more than you very small, very pathetic, very evil little men can even conceive.  Send in dozens, perhaps hundreds of special forces to take out the rocket launchers and the Hamas leaders.  They probably suffer dozens, perhaps hundreds of casualties but as trained soldiers that is their purpose.  It is not the purpose of women and children to die for your perverse, thuggish political ends.

I truly believe that Israel has now gone beyond redemption.  Nothing can forgive what you have done.  I can deal with you as individuals, many of whom will be against what has been done in your name but as a nation you are now pariahs, outcasts and  monsters.  “Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord” and it is coming to you Israel, sooner or later, it is coming.    Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barak, you will get what you deserve.

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