River Wissey Lovell Fuller


January 2010

Ron once more mounts his soapbox to examine a number of pressing issues.


John Liddle, a former BBC reporter and current columnist in the Spectator, caused something of a storm recently when, following an attempt by two young black men to murder a 15year old pregnant girl by throwing her in a canal, he wrote the following:

"It could be an anomaly, of course, but it isn't. The overwhelming majority of street crime, knife crime, gun crime, robbery and crimes of sexual violence in London is carried out by young men from the Afro-Caribbean community"

There were cries for him to be sacked from the Spectator, and the shout of racist and racism arose in many quarters. Fortunately he was not sacked but his career was threatened. He insists that the statistics support his claim and, if so, he was only speaking the truth. It might have been true if he had included drug dealing in his list. It is probably also true to say that Asian Muslims are more responsible for terrorist acts and that Eastern Europeans are more responsible for human trafficking. Certainly, if one watches "Crimewatch" one gets the impression that ethnic minorities appear on the wanted list in disproportionate numbers. If these things are true they should be spoken about, it is doing no good to try and sweep such truths under the carpet for fear of being accused of racism.

Tony Blair's promotion of 'multi-culturalism' was a huge mistake, it led to colonies of ethnic groups being established in the towns and cities across the country and within those different groups there are discontents because of levels of poverty, or because of attacks on their culture, or because of British foreign policy, and there are some with values and attitudes that are alien to the native British that continue to thrive within their own community. There is more talk now of integration rather than multiculturalism, but it will take a long time to achieve full integration and that will require a sharp reduction in immigration. In the meantime it will do no good to shout down those who speak the truth or to ignore the truth that has to be faced by the ethnic groups as well as by the natives.


Democracy means government of the people for the people by the people, doesn't it?

In practice, of course, it is not easy to accomplish this to its full extent. It is not practical to hold referenda on every contentious issue. Nevertheless it is often quite easy to determine the majority public opinion and the sad fact is that public opinion is ignored just as often. Our politicians either think they know best, or they pursue policies that suit their ideologies or policies that benefit their financial backers.

The matter that has brought this to mind at the time of writing is the schools that two local authorities plan to turn into academies. This decision is strongly opposed by the staff of the schools, the pupils and a significant number of the local population as is evidenced by petitions on the internet, but it appears that the councillors are intending to completely disregard these protests.

This is evidence of what can happen in local government. Another example is the 'pier' at Hunstanton. The local people were very much opposed to the building of that large amusement centre on the Green, there is even some question on the legality of the planning consent, but the council rode rough shod over this opposition.

In the national picture, of course, the Government guessed that, had they held a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty the verdict would have been NO, so they refused to have a referendum and went ahead and ratified the treaty. Furthermore I understand that the last poll showed that 74% of the people favoured the reintroduction of capital punishment. There is no chance that that will happen.

On immigration it has been clear for many years that the majority of people were unhappy with the scale of immigration but this was ignored, only in very recent times has the Government made an effort to get some control over the situation.

It is not that I necessarily disagree with decisions that are counter to what appears to be the wishes of the majority, but it does seem to me that the principle should be that, as far as is practical, those in power in a democracy should take heed of what the people want. Of course our parliamentary and electoral systems are anything but democratic, we have an elected dictator, but this is all the more reason why the voice of the people should be listened to.

Human Trafficking

Recently the police released a photograph taken of a 20year old Lithuanian girl being sold for £3000 for use as a slave in a brothel. The incredible feature of this photograph was that it was taken in broad daylight in Oxford Street. The girl was being guarded by a thug whilst the deal was struck. The men involved were all Albanians. Fortunately, in this instance, the deal was observed by a police surveillance team, the girl was rescued and the men arrested. The three men subsequently received sentences of 14, 18 and 18 years. Whilst those sentences were justifiably severe, because it is thought that each girl will earn their captors £100,000 a year, the traffickers seem to think it is worth the risk of getting caught. Detective Chief Superintendant Richard Martin of the Metropolitan Police Clubs and Vice Unit, who caught these men, said that they released the photograph in order to increase public awareness of this awful trade. He also stated that they had rescued 25 women this year.

I recall writing on this topic some time ago, complaining that there seemed to be little effort being made to clamp down on the people dealing in slavery in this country. It is good to see that there is a police unit actively working in this field but, since it is thought that the number of trafficked women in the country probably runs into thousands, it still seems as though there is too little effort being made. The police believe that there has been an increase in the numbers in London offering sex to construction workers on the Olympic site and they anticipate a further increase in the number of trafficked women when the visitors are here for the Olympics.

It is a national disgrace that we seem unable to adequately combat the traffickers.

Is it fair?

As reported in the EDP, Norfolk's Fire Chief, Richard Elliott, is retiring at the age of 52 after 35 years in the service. Last year he received a pay increase of 15% to bring his salary up to £113,600. His pension is based on his final salary and, after 35 years and with that salary he can look forward to a very nice pension, he can live in comfort for the rest of his life and he is only 52. Of course he has had an important job and given long service so he probably deserves it. My only concern is that he should have had this 15% rise just before retiring. It is difficult to avoid the suspicion that it was given as a deliberate action to boost his pension. At 52 he can reasonably expect to receive this pension for a good many years and that extra 15% will have to be paid out of council tax revenue throughout. Incidentally the ordinary firemen received a 1.25% rise. One law for the rich?

We must be mad!

According to a report in The Sun on November 30, a Somalian family was housed by Westminster Council in a five storey six bedroom house for which the annual rent was £89,000. The house was for the mother and grandmother and five children. As one might expect with that rent, the fittings and conditions inside the house were luxurious. Apparently the husband and father of the children was housed in a flat with their other two children. The report gave no explanation as to why they were not in the same house as the mother except to suggest that the house was not big enough for all of them. None of the adults was employed and all were living on benefits. Westminster Council did not appear to deny the report and explained that they have a duty to house people although the cost is recovered from central government. I realize that this is tabloid sensationalism and that it is no doubt an extreme case but I suspect that there are many other shocking if less extreme examples.

One has to accept that people have to be housed but surely a less expensive solution could be found? Why do they have to be housed in Westminster, one of the most expensive boroughs for housing? Since they were not working they could presumably be housed anywhere. Should not central government put a maximum price that they are prepared to pay so that councils will be more circumspect?

Ron Watts

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