Our village in the news

We drove through Long Ashton yesterday morning at 7.15, to find six or seven police cars in the main road, and a fire engine. We didn’t have time to stop, and there was nothing on the radio news about it.

We drove back through at about 2.30 p.m. Still lots of police cars, two outside broadcast units, and a huge police incident unit in the Co-op car park.

Very sad case – man set fire to his house, then hanged himself, , 6 year old child died 🙁 I know it’s a cliché. but I just wouldn’t expect it to happen *here*.

More details from BBC news, and from The Times here.

a good day for free speech

from the Independent:

Environmental campaigners seeking to stage a protest at Heathrow airport this summer claimed a huge and symbolic victory yesterday after a High Court judge massively scaled back the terms of an injunction sought against them.


Meanwhile, in a separate victory for free speech, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips, dismissed an appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions that could have seen the Parliament Square anti-war protester Brian Haw restricted in his right to protest.

This doesn’t happen nearly often enough, of course, but we can celebrate it nonetheless.

just move it

I’m amused by a letter to the Times today, in response to the Grosvenor Safety Group. Apparently, this GSG consists of about 100 people who think that they are being sacrificed as “collateral damage” because they live so close to the US Embassy, and the police and government should close off the local roads.

this letter to the Times (from M S Crawley) makes the succinct – and laudatory – suggestion that the Embassy should be relocated.

to the Dome.

good plan, I thought.

natural disasters in a civilised nation

the more I read about the appalling situation in New Orleans, the more depressed I become. This article from The Guardian gives some background into the lack of funding, and what seems to be deliberate and reckless disregard for the views of experts in the field.

it’s all been said before, and probably better, but this is the richest nation in the world, FFS – they failed to protect their citizens before the hurricane, and they are failing them still. People who survived the hurricane and floods are now dying from dehydration and disease. Bodies are lying in the streets, in the water. People are being shot for trying to get drinking water.

it seems that the police are joining the looters. There is no command and control. From the other side, ambulances and rescue helicopters and hospital supply lorries are being shot at and prevented from doing their job. Rape and murder seem to be happening all over. The rescue services are too scared to deliver what is needed.

my heart goes out to those trapped in the city, but the descent into anarchy has been frighteningly swift.

I don’t remember reading any tales of similar behaviour in December when the tsunami hit South East Asia …