Friday, 18 December 2009

Correspondence between Zoompad and the Queen

Who is running the country?

Rage against the machine

These lads have made this anti NWO song, don't be put off by the lyrics, this is a song AGAINST evil.

Even Jesus got angry sometimes, and the wicked things which are happening in this country are enough to make the saints and angels swear. In fact, I would go as far to say that we have a God given duty to feel angry with those who abuse and torture the most vunerable amongst us, as we are indeed our brother's keeper.

Killing in the name of!

Some of those that work forces
are the same that burn crosses.
Some of those that work forces
are the same that burn crosses.
Some of those that work forces
are the same that burn crosses.
Some of those that work forces
are the same that burn crosses. Uggh!

Killing in the name of!
Killing in the name of!

And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya
And now you do what they told ya

Those who died
are justified
for wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
You justify
those that died
by wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
Those who died
are justified
for wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
You justify
those that died
by wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites

Some of those that work forces
are the same that burn crosses.
Some of those that work forces
are the same that burn crosses.
Some of those that work forces
are the same that burn crosses.
Some of those that work forces
are the same that burn crosses.

Killing in the name of!
Killing in the name of!

And now you do what they taught ya
And now you do what they taught ya
And now you do what they taught ya
And now you do what they taught
And now you do what they taught ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they taughtya, now you're under control
And now you do what they taughtya, now you're under control
And now you do what they taught ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they taught ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they taught ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they taught ya, now you're under control
And now you do what they taught ya!!!

Those who died
are justified
for wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
You justify
those that died
by wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
Those who died
are justified
for wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
You justify
those that died
by wearing the badge, they're the chosen whites
Come on!

(Guitar Solo)

Yeah! Come on! Uggh!

(Get louder until 9th by which time shouting)
F*ck you, I won't do what you tell me.
(repeated 14 more times)


Letter to the Queen

I did get a reply, which I will be posting shortly.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

More lovely carols

Moody Blues, What Child is This?

Angels from the realms of Glory by Bill Goyette

Let it snow by Dean Martin

Some lovely carols

It came upon a midnight clear


Carol of the bells

Lord West of Spithead

On 3rd December I sent a letter to Alan Johnson to intercede for Gary Mc Kinnon, the autistic man who is facing extradition to the UK for hacking into the NASA computer system.

I recieved a five page response from Lord West of Spithead, dated 9th December 2009.

I have written the following letter to Lord West of Spithead:


Dear Lord West of Spithead,
Thank you for replying to my letter to Alan Johnson, which I also forwarded to Bill Cash, my MP, of 3rd December 2009, and thank you for the promise of another letter to address the secret family court issue.

I would especially like to thank you for the frankness of your reply. I was not aware of the note which Mr McKinnon had left on the army computer, which read;

“US foreign policy is akin to government sponsored terrorism these days was not a mistake that there was a huge security stand down on September 11 last year ...I am SOLO. I will continue to disrupt at the highest levels”

Baron West, I can easily understand why this rant by Mr McKinnon would be interpreted as malicious wickedness to anyone not familiar with Aspergers Syndrome. Aspergers people are very often extremely intelligent, but, as Dr John Richer, an expert from Oxford who specialises in this condition, explained to me, when he came to my house to examine my son, who also has Aspergers Syndrome, these people are like windowsill seedlings which grow tall and leggy, but flop over very quickly because their root system has not properly developed. The intelligence they display is not properly balanced. This can make these people seem malicious and wicked, where there is no maliciousness and wickedness at all. Aspergers Syndrome people develop obsessions, and their whole life will revolve round the particular obsession that they have. Aspergers people also have a tendency towards depression. My own son was at one time obsessed with Henry 8th and Playmobil pirates, and would talk of very little else but Henry 8th and Playmobil pirates at one time. Now, it is the game console Nintendo, and all he wants to talk about is Mario, Luigi Yoshi and all the other game console characters. My son can appear to be a highly intelligent young man one moment, and then the next he might be sprawling all over the floor, shaking his head and twitching, or screaming like a baby over some slight thing. My nephew, who also has Aspergers, is obsessive about the Radio Times. If Gary McKinnon had become obsessed with something like, for instance, David Icke, then he might have felt that he was saving the world from destruction by hacking into the NATO computer network. It sounds to me that something like this has indeed happened. There are many rumours of flying saucers, humanoid lizards and other strange things on the internet, and it seems that this is what Gary McKinnon has been sucked into.

It does not need a computer hacker to understand that there are some very serious irregularities with the US military agenda – I think the people of the UK can all see for themselves that there is a discrepancy between what we were told in the media and what was going on behind the scenes, now that we are, at last, having some of this aired in the Iraq investigation debate. Speaking personally, I understand very well that there are some very dark forces at work, my own dreadful experiences in the secret family courts -WHY does the UK have secret Kafka style courts if it is purporting to be a modern democracy?- and the horrible Pindown experience I endured, plus the cover up of the two now deceased American paedophile psychologists employed by Eagle Associates, who are the darlings of the secret family torture chamber courts, Richard Gardner and Ralph Underwager, have already shown me, and many other thousands of people who have also endured these secret courts and institutional abuse, that this is so.

Gary McKennon obviously committed a crime when he hacked into the NASA computer network. Hacking into someone’s computer is the same as opening their mail and evesdropping into their private telephone conversations – it is illegal. The point is, at the time when he committed this offence, he appears to have been under the illusion that what he was doing was right. One thing is sure – he will never do it again, he must be absolutely terrified.

Please, Baron West, please do show mercy to this man. He could be tried in this country. To send him to America for trial would be a terrifying ordeal for someone with Aspergers Syndrome, he might as well be sent to the Moon, for it will seem just as alien and frightening to him. He really will not be a threat in any way to the USA. Can you see how the British people have responded to the plight of this man? Can you not see that, for all the terrible problems in this country, that the people’s hearts can still be moved with the plight of this one man they have not even met, is a good sign, that there is still much goodness in the hearts of the people of this nation?

Yours faithfully

Barbara Richards

Letter I have sent to the Archbishop of Canterbury

16th December 2009

Your Grace,

It is almost the day in which we Christian folk celebrate the blessed day of our Saviour’s birth 2000 years ago.
I want to tell you all about a very humble but good man, who has tried to serve the Lord even though he is not a Christian believer, whatever his beliefs are, he is a very kind hearted and very lovely person.
Do you remember the Jersey Haut de la Garenne child abuse inquiry? It was two men who blew the whistle on the dreadful crimes against children that had been committed in Jersey; one man was called Simon Bellwood, a social worker, and the other was Senator Stuart Syvret. It is Senator Syvret that I want to speak about in this letter.

I have been talking to Senator Syvret for two years approximately, on his blog. I met him for the first time on Saturday 12th December 2009. We met at the British Library, at the Magna Carta. Senator Syvret has been trying to help all the people who were abused as children at Haut de la Garenne, because, what happens to institutional abuse victims is that they get re-abused. I did tell you what happened to me, as I am a victim of the Staffordshire Pindown child abuse, and I was treated in a despicable way. I was persecuted to the point that I wanted to commit suicide – I thought that I was going insane, because of the wicked and cruel things that these secret family court people were doing to me. It is because the abusers use CIA psychological torture techniques on abuse survivors. They do it in such a cold and calculated way, to stop people from claiming damage awards in court and to cover their tracks. The ridiculous thing is that most of the people are actually not bothered about getting compensation money; what they REALLY want is simply to find some sort of closure, or healing. What generally happens is that they are re-persecuted, sent to a freemason approved “therapist” subjected to false memory syndrome “therapy” aka cover up brainwashing. What happened to me has happened to a lot of other people. Senator Syvret has done everything that he can to try to help these people.
Senator Syvret has been persecuted for his goodness towards his fellow men and women. He is an incredibly strong man, because he claims to be an atheist (although I personally do not believe him, I think he is very very angry with the church), and yet he has laid down his life for complete strangers! I know that it is wrong to hero worship people, Jesus said so, but I deeply love this man, and Jesus said it was ok to do that – it is not a sin, but a commandment, for Jesus told us to love one another. Senator Syvret is one of the best men that I have ever met, and I do not mean that in any impure way, indeed, I have a fiancée who I love very much, who is also inspired by Senator Syvret. How can we help it, as he really is so kind and good, and is doing all the things that Jesus said that we ought to do, to selflessly lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters – and yet he does not even seem to realise that God loves him so! He wears himself out to a frazzle to help other people who have been abused. He has been moved to tears by their stories. Your Grace, this is such a decent and good man, I have known him for two years and only physically met him once, and then only for two hours. As I said, we all went to see the Magna Carta, the great Charter which sought to ensure that the children of God would not be able to be put into prison without having first a fair trial, eight of us altogether, and had a meal together at the pizza restaurant opposite the British Library.

I have told you already about the secret family courts and the wicked child stealers, who falsely accuse innocent parents of child abuse – they use a syndrome (SIN drome more like) called Munchausens Syndrome By Proxy (MSBP) to falsely accuse innocent and good parents of child abuse, and then they take the children into “care”. I told you my experience of this “care”, and it was dreadful – they were inviting paedophiles into the “home” where they placed me. The Lord gave me a very vibrant and cheerful spirit, and I did survive the ordeal. I do know that many of the others who were there did not – many committed suicide. There is so much that I want to tell you about this, but Senator Syvret would tell you all, and as he has heard so many of the child abuse survivors stories, he would do this far better than I could.
Your Grace, I think that you are a good man – I remember that you have spoken out against secret societies in the past - I am sure that you are a very honourable and good person. I do beg you, please, will you speak to Senator Syvret? He is easy enough to reach – you could speak to him anonymously, via his blogsite, Senator Stuart Syvret’s Blog. Please, speak to him, and see for yourself what kind of man he is. I know that any decent and good man will be moved by what this man has done and said, for the spirit of the Lord surely rests upon him, even though he seems to be completly unaware of it – all he seems to care about is helping the people who have been treated in a despicable and appalling way.
I am sure that you are a good and decent man. Please help these people – not Stuart Syvret, surely God will bless him, but the vulnerable child abuse survivors. I know what I am asking of you, and I know that it is a lot. But I know that Jesus is with you – I am quite sure that you are a decent and upright man – you are the only Archbishop of Canterbury that I am aware of who has spoken out strongly against secret societies that I am aware of. God bless you, your Grace, you dear, blessed, honest man, and may you continue strongly with the Lord Jesus who said:
“Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life”.
With Jesus’s love to you, brother in Christ,

Barbara Richards – survivor of Staffordshire Pindown child abuse and the Secret family court abuse.


This is the letter that I sent to the man who raped me 13 years ago and molested me for years afterwards, and used the secret family court as a weapon to bully me, because I had refused to have sex with him. This is the man whom the Warwick Freemasons have protected.

This vile creature had the gall to take his wife along to the court to try to make out that I was a consenting party to being his concubine. She has refused to sleep with him for years, a psychologist who visited their house told the court that there is a padlock on her bedroom door to prevent him getting in. So she wanted him to have sex with me, the pair of them plotted to make me into this man's sexual slave, like an unpaid prostitute, knowing full well that I was emotionally very vunerable. What this wicked pair did was absolutly disgusting.

I sent this letter to him, thinking that this man perhaps did have a concience that I might appeal to. I was wrong. He tried to accuse me of writing a malicious poison pen letter. So I asked him to read out this so called malicious letter in court, for everyone to hear. To give him credit, the judge refused to have this letter read out in court. The judge knew perfectly well that this is NOT malicious at all, it is just a letter from a woman who has been persecuted to hell and back, pleading and appealing to the concience (if he had one) of her persecutor.

If anyone still thinks that freemasonry is benign, please, just read this letter. What is benign, what is just about protecting the so called rights of a member who can, with the full consent and support of his wicked wife, persecute a victim of child abuse in this calculated and callous manner for years and years?

If any Freemasons are reading this, I tell you straight, you ought to be thoroughly ashamed of yourselves. What you did was really really wicked. What you did was on a par with how Jesus Christ was treated, when they stoned him and put thorns on his head and spat on him. What you did was incredibly cruel and very very wicked, and may God have mercy on your souls for it.


Dear ***** *******,

I have often wondered why God, has allowed me to be persecuted by you, using the secret Family Courts, for all these years. I have cried out to God again and again and again, on my knees, with tears, begging Him to have mercy on me and my family, to keep us safe from you, a man who has done nothing but hurt to me and to my children.

There have been times when I have felt that God has deserted me. All I have ever wanted to do was to be a good mother to my children, and to be as good a person as ever I can be. All my whole life I have always wanted to be a good person, to be kind, honest and good. I have been so sad to feel that God has allowed me to be persecuted by this secret Family Court, by a man who cruelly violated my father’s trust, and treated me with absolute contempt and callousness.

Today is Easter Sunday. It is the day that our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Lord Jesus, who was cruelly betrayed by another false friend, 2000 years ago. Lord Jesus Christ, who was paraded round the streets of Jerusalem to be tortured, mocked and whipped. Lord Jesus Christ, murdered for no reason at all!

This is the same Lord Jesus who I talk to every day, just as Johnny Cash, just as Billy Graham does, just as billions of other people do. I have prostrated myself on my knees before Him, and wept before him, begging Him to help me to be free of this dreadful persecution. And I thought that He was not listening to me, because I did not want to hear the answer that He gave me. Just like Jonah, I did not want to hear the message that Jesus wanted me to convey. And just like Jonah, I have found that God is very insistent. When God makes up His mind on something, He will do it for sure!

You have dragged me through these secret Family Courts for all these years to fight over *******. You say that you want to see your son. What do you want to see him for? When you were seeing him, you were using him to get to me, to get me, against my will, to masturbate you. You lied to everyone, and told them that I had stopped you from seeing *******, when what I had actually done is stop you from molesting me. But you didn’t just lie to people – you lied to God too!

You have pursued me as a dog chases a rabbit. You have violated my father’s friendship. You molested my teenage daughter in such a shameless way, even openly declaring to me that she was in love with you, so little was your respect for our family! You had such a low opinion of me, because of my mental illness, and you mocked me and made me feel very small. You used me as an unpaid prostitute, because of my low mental state, my weak mind, caused by years of abuse. A real friend would have felt pity; if you had been a real friend to my father you would have cautioned my father and mother to take good care of me. Instead, you used a broken reed to satisfy your own lust.

You are a man without remorse and pity. Yet, because our country has strayed so far from righteousness, you have the UK law on your side! The law should punish evildoers and protect the oppressed. But at the moment, in Britain, the evildoers are rewarded and the oppressed are punished! This is precisely why there are so many law and order problems in Britain.
God has given me the grace to write these things to you. God has re-assured me that not a hair of my head, or my children, will be hurt, because we are all children of God. We are a Christian family, and we pray together, and try to live our lives as closely as we can to His will. The only plans that I have these days are whatever God has in store for me.

Now I know what Jesus wanted me to do. He wanted me to write this letter to you, to remind you of His presence, and to tell you that His will shall be done. I did not want to write to you, ***** *******, because of the hurt you have done to me and my family. But God loves you, just as He loves all of His creation. God sees every single person in the world as a baby, then grow to men or women, and never forgets that they were all innocent little children once, even men we would want to hate, even Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein. And so I am writing this letter, in order that you might see what you have done in the eyes of God, and be saved. And it is to God’s glory that he has chosen the person who has been hurt the most of all to be the instrument of conveying this very message. I would urge you to stop lying and to start being honest. You are an old man now, and nearer to the time that you must inevitably meet your Maker. I would urge you, not for my sake, but for your own, to make your peace with God and beg forgiveness for the great wrongs that you have done, and all the pain that you have caused.

B. Richards

Wednesday, 16 December 2009


I had a visitor last night, a man, who told me a horrific story of how he had been abused, bullied and persecuted by the freemasons.

I felt dreadful listening to this man's story. The man was clearly very frightened and traumatised. He told me how his phone and computer had been eavesdropped, and I told him more or less, welcome to the club.

What is it with the freemasons? Why can't they understand that what they do to people is wrong? Do they have no conciences?

I was talking to a lady in Stafford today, at the Station. We were both having a grumble about the new Permit to Travel scheme that are all over our railway network. It isn't the idea of having to buy a platform ticket from these machines that we were grumbling about - it is the threats which always accompany these schemes. It isn't just the trains, it's everywhere, threat threat threat. We are all bullied so much these days, and treated like criminals all the time, but when I was young it was never like this. If you forgot to pay your electric bill, you got a reminder, not a threatening letter telling you that the Baillifs would come round your house and take all your stuff if you didn't cough up. In short, we treated each other with far more respect.

What happened to good manners and patience? I think when Britain threw the Holy Bible away, she also threw away everything that is good and true. The virtues, patience, peace, love, hope, faith, gentleness, self control, honesty, joy, they are not cultivated and desired any more.

Oh dear Jesus, please please help the people of this country to desire goodness once more.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

SAFELINE Registered Charity Number 1070854

Blimy, there's not many people posting there these days!

I wonder why that is?

Wonder if other people have also been banned, for telling the truth about how the Freemasons of Warwick are involved in that organisation which is SUPPOSED to help the victims of child abuse?


Monday, 14 December 2009

CIA Psychological Torture in the UK

If anyone is deluded enough to think that people, ORDINARY people (not terrorists or suspected terrorists) are not being tortured in the UK I advise you to go to one of the secret family court sessions anywhere in the UK, but especially at places like Liverpool, Stafford, Plymouth and Essex, and look out for women in floods of tears.

Torture is being used every day in the UK, it has become the norm. It's jusr that most people tend to try to look the other way when they see anything unpleasant, they do not want to get involved.

To those people I would say, watch out, as it may be your turn next. This is of concern to everyone who lives in this country. Do you really want to live in a country that practices sadistic CIA psychological torture on innocent people?

Friday, 11 December 2009

Police checks on parents who help out in schools

Is anyone fooled by this latest bit of NWO Nu Nazi nonsense?

Lets put it this way - The freemason Thomas Hamilton was checked and approved by the police, but he committed the bloodiest classroom massacre that we have ever had in this country, on a group of tiny little kiddies. Dunblaine, and yes, as per usual, the investigation has been covered up.

Cynical old me tends to think that with less parents going into the schools will ensure that any wierd masonic nastiness will go unchecked. The nation's children will be in even more danger.

Parents are the best people to protect children, NOT the police, as for the government, well, they are bleeding useless at it!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

One Hundred Bugle Calls

You cannot hear the bugle call the last post
You cannot see the bright colours draped
You cannot feel the warmth of the twelve strong arms
You cannot smell the polished leather of the hearse
You cannot taste the tears of those who cry "Fare thee well, brother"

Wootten Basset stands in sorrowing silence as you pass by
The church bell sobs and the tears fall like rain
The faithful are gathered once more
The old, the young, the ones you never knew, the ones you never met,
The mother, the smiling child who called you "Daddy",
And, as you pass, my prayer for you
Is not for you, but for those you left behind,
To do what we can to serve our fellow men,
Wether they be young, old, friend or stranger,
As God did tell us who was thy neighbour,
For that is the correct and proper manner to honour a fallen warrior.

Rest in peace Sergeant John Amer

Thursday, 3 December 2009


Once a person is a target of the Adult Protective Service (APS) the 'system' holds on for dear life, with or without the consent of the ones they are calling 'in need'. In fact, there are many cases on YOU-Tube of just this and guardianship abuse.
Evelyn had her own doctor evaluation, did great, and now they keep coming at her. He first wrote a hand written form, all was fine. Then when the wanna be guardian sent him an "expert Evaluation" form, it was ambiguous, and he then corrected it with another hand written letter stating all Evelyn "simply needed to do was keep her currant living arrangements, and she needed no guardian".

If anyone has any horror stories or ideas to make them back away, please post or leave your email - we are working at stopping this assault on a 93 yr old woman, Evelyn in Cleveland Ohio. There is no consent, yet the court sets an appointment for an UN-needed second evaluation (2 hrs long), what happened to peace in one's own home, having righteous courts need to prove jurisdiction and consent? She is innocent and they put her out to make her prove she is guilty?:( Of being incompetent as they think all older people are.)

Since going down this road to assist Evelyn we have found many nice sites and links, --copy--National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse. NASGA is a public benefit civil rights organization formed by victims and for victims of guardianship and conservator-ship abuse. Offers videos and a blog. is one. If you know of others, please let us know. They are taking donations and For the latest news about guardianship and conservator-ship, visit NASGA's blog @

Evelyn isn't in the 'system' yet - but they think they are on third base, and have made her a ward, unreal, and had a guardianship hearing, and over our objections, now the magistrate orders the DEC 3rd appt. with a Judge. Look up these type of nightmares on you-tube that have happened. Maybe some need APS and Probate, and guardians, but the ones who don't - whew, the 'system' fights dirty, tooth and nail to make it happen.

"Isolate, medicate, steal the estate" is a phrase commonly associated with the perpetration of Involuntary Redistribution of Assets (IRA) and the courts don't keep up with it, and they have a hand in permitting it to happen sometimes too. To do this to a woman who has no need, not wishing their involvement and insistent on making them go away, we now find her story is much like many others.

Read the press release here

and see one way to get involved here "Except for the Grace of God" reason enough to join the County Grand Jury

Introduction; help needed for an older woman, Evelyn, in helping her stand her ground in not consenting to involvement from Adult Protection Agency. A solution; a Grand Jury of 25 people to hear this.

Starting to help here, might someday help you or your family in the future.

Also, visit to educate yourself more.

But for now, please let us know what experiences or ideas, or help you might offer.

See video two on caregiver options of Evelyns

Thanks to Ohwidow Youtube channel for this information.

Friday, 13 November 2009

The continuing persecution of Maurice Kirk

3 October 2009
The Office for Judicial Complaints 10th Floor Tower, 10.52 102 Petty France, London,
Re: Cardiff Crown Court
Your ref: 6563/2009
Dear Sir
On 01 October Judge N Cooke refused me bail. Since 25 June I have been denied the right to apply for bail as I appear to be under the control of MAPPA (Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangement) without being notified for what reason.
Am I considered dangerous, despite FTAC (Fixated Threat Assessment Centre) clearance in January?
The Judge, after indicating I may be released, first asked if I would co-operate with further examinations at the clinic. I deferred my reply to establish just what was causing my having been locked up all summer and who instigated it?
The Judge then produced a single page extracted from my website, out of context, following the South Wales Police refusing to indentify any of the police officers at the 43 incidents listed with police authority ‘occurrence numbers' stored on the Police National Computer for easy reference.
The Chief Constable's 25 February 2009 erroneous sworn affidavit refers to this matter - see website downloads
Both the Chief Constable and Adrian Oliver of Dolmans solicitors, Cardiff, are the subject before the Barry Magistrates Court on 23 October in a private criminal prosecution and other related alleged offences originating from 1993 covert police surveillance by South Wales Police on my veterinary surgeries and home and which is ongoing.
The Judge indicated I would offend again and sent me down to attend court on 26 October.
The page he referred to identified my £10,000 reward for the home addresses of retired Police Officers and Crown Prosecution personnel.
In order to serve a witness summons private investigators have explained the only method left open to me as the police refuse to even answer my letters.
Welsh MAPPA meetings regularly include police, members of Caswell Clinic personnel and agents for the Judiciary, including the CPS.
Legislation allows me to express myself in the manner as portrayed on my website.
Judge Cooke knows the relationship between the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, South Wales Police and the HM Attorney General as co-defendants he having sat on one of my cases, only to witness the Jury catch the police ‘red handed' signalling to the PC on cross examination. They even put it in writing to Judge Cooke, but the Judge let the culprits get away ‘scot free'.
Judge Cooke already knows I have been subjected to intrusive techniques, including SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) and the refusal by the HM clinic to disclose any of my medical records.
Judge Cooke knows there is no right of appeal to this 3rd 28 day consecutive court order when well over 35 hours of intense interrogation has already taken place with doctors alone.
Psychiatrists from both Cardiff and Swansea University, with funding from the USA in their research, have played a major part.
For him to refuse me the right to hear the 03 September court hearing tape (transcript omitting both my request for a bail application and allegation that the clinic had ‘put something in my tea' is but ‘small beer' to his ignoring my need for analgesia due to a splitting headache.
Not the court fraternity, custodial staff of the cells, nor even the numerous psychiatric nursing staff, that it needed to get me there, would supply anything to alleviate the acute pain.
Judge Cooke will know that on 26 October Dr Tegwyn Williams will reiterate his previous suggestion that I may now be subjected to anti psychotic drugs, possibly by force and further sectioned to remain in custody indefinitely purely at the discretion of the Ministry of Justice.
Judge Cooke again refused to take a pleading saying I was not fit, despite the 29 September psychiatric report clearly stating to the contrary!
It was Judge Cooke with two other barristers on 16 July who all discussed a submission that it was not about who was holding the parcel when the music stopped.
Judge Cooke reused to seize exhibit AJR/1, the antique weapon following my written request to prevent the police from furthering tampering with it. Now, I wonder why?
Judge Cooke is just another in a string of court cases where successive judges have refused to establish just who instigated my arrest in the first place, who appointed the Caswell Clinic and who instigated a Section 35.
Maurice Kirk

Friday, 16 October 2009

Barbara's Story, from Notbornyesterday website

Barbara's Story

In and out of the UK's Care System all her life, Barbara Richards' story is a tragic and terrible indictment of a society turning to cruelty and abuse.

You can find various amateur home videos made by Barbara Richards and her friends on Youtube. Although many things have been taken away from Barbara's life, a scholarshop to RADA isn't one of them. On the videos, this woman looks what she is: a little desperate, very naive, poor, stressed and worn out.

Since she was a young girl, Barbara Richards has been treated like a nutter - with all the indiginity that goes with such a term. But defying the odds, she has turned herself into a nuisance: a one-woman printing press of letters to everyone from Jack Straw to the Archbishop of Canterbury. For come what may, Barbara will find little tranquility until the system that nearly destroyed her is rebuilt from the ground up - and all the memories therein thus expunged.

She first came to my attention when nby broke the story of suspicions in relation to Gordon Brown's health. Typically, she agreed with my diagnosis that he is 'a sick man', but begged me to persuade him that packing in the job would be good for both him and his family. I pointed out that I had zero influence among his ilk, but Barbara bombarded me with emails anyway. At the time, to be honest, it was the last thing I needed.

But right at the start of our correspondence, she had typed one terse sentence that brought me up short: 'I am a survivor of the pindown scandal and the secret family courts'. I had a vague idea what pindown was about: but when had it been - five years ago? Twenty? The memory plays tricks about such things. As for 'secret family courts', I'd never heard of them: it sounded like classic paranoia. So as the emails continued to arrive in my inbox - and the allegations got wilder - I put them to one side to focus on what I knew was going to be a rough ride from New Labour's denial machine.

Eventually, I emailed some questions to Barbara, and asked her to stop sending for a while until I'd digested the anwers. This she did - along with profuse apologies - and so I began to check out her version of events. To my surprise, virtually everything she alleged turned out to be a matter of record. And so this is Barbara's story.

As a pre-pubescent child, Barbara Richards suffered sexual abuse at the hands of her brother. "I didn't know what it was except I didn't want him to do it" she says, "And I felt I couldn't tell my father". After passing for her local Grammar School and demonstrating a talent for music, the traumas of her childhood helped bring on a total breakdown at the age of thirteen. There was an obvious dysfunction in her parental situation, although Barbara finds it hard to talk about or explain this. But her parents could no longer cope, and so at age 14, she was placed in a children's home: the infamous Chadswell centre in Staffordshire - later closed down because of the appalling level of child abuse (both sexual and physical) taking place there.

Barbara Richards describes her time there:

"I was punched by the man in charge for crying in the night, and put into a cell

I was left in the cell day and night with the lights on all the time so that I became confused. I believe that is a psychological torture technique that has been used by the CIA.

I was left alone in that cell, and no-one made any attempt at all to find out why I had been crying, they were just dead cruel to me.

When they let me out of the cell, I went straight up to the bathroom and jumped out the window on the 1st floor to escape."

As readers may have spotted back here in 2009, there's been rather a lot of jumping out of windows going on at the Scottish Good Shepherd centre: so far this year alone, 232 girls have run away from the place....and of course, two girls died when they committed suicide rather than go back.

"I ran down the road and the man came running after me and got two road workmen to catch me. They threw me onto the pavement then the man twisted my arms behind my back and got me back to the home.

I had read a suicide letter which another girl had written and she said in the letter that they were letting people come into the "home" to have sex with her against her will. I just thought that if I smeared snot and shit all over the place they would keep out. That's why they got St Georges Psychiatric Hospital to take me away."

So in July 1972, at the age of fourteen - already a veteran of sexual and physical abuse - Barbara was placed in St George's Psychiatric hospital in Stafford .

"One of the male nurses repeatedly tried to have sex with me....the psychiatrist told me there was nothing the matter with me and that I was only there as a "place of safety". It's a funny place to keep a young girl safe though, isn't it, on an adult mixed sex ward where there are drug addicts, sex offenders and people with serious mental health issues.

I recieved no schooling for a year at least. They would not let me go to school, and the school did not send me any homework. No-one from the school came to visit me, and as far as I am aware, no-one from the LEA did either"

After a year in St George's, Barbara changed schools twice to avoid 'you're a nutter' bullying - yet still passed five O-levels. But circumstances at home were tricky: her father suffered from Asperger's Syndrome, and the family was financially desperate. So despite wanting to take A-levels,

"... I had to get a job. I got a job at an agricultural firm, Burgesses. I hated it, it was rubbish pay as well. I felt like rubbish most of the time, and although I applied for other jobs, no-one wanted to take me on, because of me being in St Georges."

It is one of the many scandals in contemporary Britain that employment prejudice based on mental health remains rife - and does not represent a criminal offence in the way that sexism, ageism and racism do.

Around this time Barbara Richards began to receive unwanted attention from a family friend, freemason and one-time Labour deputy Mayor of Stone, David Haswell. Still mentally fragile and with a decade of abuse behind her, she was suffering from appallingly low self-esteem. Haswell persisted and eventually raped her.

"My son was concieved as a result of the rape. I didn't report the rape at the time, because I didn't realise that I had been raped at that point - I had been abused so many times that I didn't know what the definition of rape was, I thought a rapist had to have a gun or a knife or something, and I didn't realise that just saying "no" and "please don't" counted. Neither did I know anything about predatory grooming. I was being treated for mental illness at the time of the rape, because I was always crying, and people were calling me a "nutter" because of that, but I was crying because I was suffering from PTSD*, because of all the things which had happened. David Haswell was fully aware of my mental state, he knew I was ill, he pretended to help me, in the capacity of a family friend, and then he raped me. I didn't go to the police, but when I found out that my son had Aspergers Syndrome, the North Staffs clinic who diagnosed my son with this disorder sent a community nurse to my house to help support me..."

* Post-traumatic stress disorder

Thus, after a lifetime of endless mental, physical and sexual abuse, the first time Barbara Richards received any form of positive treatment at the hands of the State was after being raped and then giving birth to an Aspergers child. (This was a genetic inheritance from her father). It wasn't to continue. After several years of relatively normal life, she eventually managed to put into mature perspective what had happened to her. This was the start off her persistent campaign to reveal the widespread abuse apparent in most forms of social and mental care.

"I didn't want revenge, because I'm a Christian. I just wanted justice, and I still do. I just felt the truth had to come out"

But Barbara Richards discovered very quickly that there were many who didn't want the truth to come out. She wrote to everyone from the Queen to Jack Straw and downwards. Her MP Bill Cash was, she feels, less than helpful. And she wasn't the only one to notice this - for by now she'd enlisted the help and support of Lord Ramsbotham.

"Bill Cash did eventually tell me that he had been involved in the Pindown investigation, but he told me that there had been no conspiracy, and as a persecuted survivor I'm sure that is simply not true. Lord Ramsbotham told me that Bill Cash was not answering the letters that he wrote to him concerning me, when he very kindly offered to help me...he wrote to say he couldn't understand the silence from Cash."

Although the eventual Pindown Report was damning, events in the intervening years demonstrated all too tragically how little or nothing had changed. Bear in mind that Barbara's ordeal began thirty-seven years ago. When 11-year old care child Gareth Myatt died as a result of pindown-style abuse in 2004, once more there was a report. This Hansard extract sums up the continuing dereliction of our Parliamentary representatives: Northampton MP Sally (now Baroness) Keeble spoke as follows two years after Myatt's death:

'Ms Keeble: I ask four things of my right hon. Friend the Minister. First, there should be a public inquiry into the use of restraint in secure training centres. I say “public” because there was a review in 2004, at the time of Gareth’s death. A 113-page report was produced, which I have with me. It was rewritten several times and was finally reduced to a one-page summary, which was posted on the Youth Justice Board website. That is completely inadequate. Internal reviews have not dealt with the issues, which only emerged into the public domain as a result of Gareth’s death and inquest. They would not have emerged if it had not been for the work done by an organisation called Inquest.' (My highlighting)

We have skipped forward here because what Ms Keeble saw in 2006 was an attempt to paper over an enormous and very unpleasant settlement crack in the edifice known as the UK Care System. This has - if Barbara Richards' testimony is to be believed - taken the form of persecution by the authorities (especially those engaged in social work) in order to stop the victims revealing the extent of the problem. Richards again on what has happened to her since as a mother clashing with the infamous system of Secret Family Courts:

"They came up with this trumped up charge that I was abusing my son and I had this PAS [parental alienation syndrome]....which is absolute rubbish, it was just an excuse to stick me somewhere quiet. PAS is a totally discredited diagnosis used by paedophiles in the US to separate struggling parents from their young children".

This is a serious charge - but the evidence fully supports her view.

Dr. Paul J. Fink, a past President of the APA and President of the Leadership Council on Mental Health, Justice, and the Media, states categorically that

“PAS as a scientific theory has been excoriated by legitimate researchers across the nation. Judged solely on its merits, Dr. Gardner [the original 'inventor' of PAS] should be a pathetic footnote of psychiatry, or an example of poor scientific standards.... Gardner and his bogus theory have done untold damage to sexually and physically abused children and their protective parents."

This is because paedophiles can position themselves as 'safe alternatives' to mothers diagnosed with PAS. US attorney Richard Ducote goes further:

"Parental Alienation Syndrome is a bogus, pro-paedophiliac fraud concocted by Richard Gardner".

But Barbara Richards - and others at Mothers For Justice - allege that PAS has been used to shut up the whistleblowers here in the UK. Incensed by the way in which former pindown victims were being apparently persecuted, from 1998 onwards Stoke solicitor Richard Wise began to both 'spring' and then represent women being treated in this way - including Barbara. Partly as a result of this, he was voted Human Rights Lawyer of the Year. Profiled by both the Guardian and Independent newspapers around this time, he was, it seems, the man who could hear about a case at breakfast and get the victim out of jail in time for tea. Barbara needed his help badly, as by now her life experiences at the hands of our 'caring' society had become too much for her:

'I was picked up by Stafford police round about 1999, following a failed suicide attempt, and I had been taken to Stafford Hospital and discharged myself, because when I woke up in the hospital I was frightened that they were going to shout at me and make me serve the patients their tea, as had happened when I had been taken to hospital when I was 16 in Devon, after a suicide attempt.'

Without question, Wise sensed something rotten behind the Family Courts persecution. Barbara again:

"Richard Wise was a good man. His brother Ian works at Doughty Street Chambers to this day. Richard was so angry with Stoke MP Mark Fisher for not caring about this issue, he stood against him at the 2001 election. But then he got liver cancer and died. It was so sad. Everyone admired him and he had helped so many people."

Seven years on, she is still fighting the appalling injustices faced by her and the hundreds of others both let down and terrorised by the care system itself, and - Richards continues to allege - those in it who want all these events to be seen as the one-off, the small minority, the lone rotten apple that's in every barrel. But in recent years, the mainstream media have latched on to the appallingly controlling behaviour of care staff, social workers and Court solicitors when it comes to cases like hers.

The two senior Government ministers technically responsible for this area are Harriet Harman and Ed Balls. In 2006, following Baroness Keeble's somewhat abruptly demanding question, Harman replied:

'"The idea that people are sent to prison without any reports of the proceedings makes even more important the work that we are undertaking with the family courts, and with the important intervention of the Constitutional Affairs Committee, to open them up so that they act in the public interest while maintaining personal privacy."

In April 2009, the Government did indeed allow some media ‘access’ to the Secret Courts – but effectively neutered it by insisting that ‘In the interests of children, for the safety and protection of parties or witnesses (or persons connected with them), for the orderly conduct of proceedings, or where justice would otherwise be prejudiced, the court will have the power to restrict the attendance of the media’. (My emphasis)

This is merely gesture government. A further Ministerial statement added that freer media access will be given "when time allows". Why couldn't it have been given this year? Or in 2007?

Everything proceeds pretty much as before. These were Ed Balls’ exact words following the recent Rocking Horse Nursery abuse trial:

"This is a deeply distressing and disturbing case. It is vital we find out how an adult could abuse their position of trust in such an evil way, and we must do everything we can to prevent this kind of abuse happening in the future".

There’s that ‘everything we can’ mantra again. But on the ground, the reality (in the case of Barbara and those like her) is nothing. But if Mr Balls cares to read this piece (and stop slandering me as 'an extreme right-wing blogger) he'd know a fair bit more about precisely how it happens - and why it will happen again and again and again....until such time as whatever cancer at the heart of social care is detected and clinically removed.

Next in the series: the iceberg lying underneath Plymouth's Rocking Horse Nursery

Thursday, 8 October 2009


I'm posting this because:

1) This is the school I attended

2) Carol Ann Duffy, the Poet Laureate also attended this school while I was there

3) Stafford does not seem very proud of this school, and I find that puzzling. It was an excellent school, so why does Stafford not want to laud its merits? Anyone would think they were hiding something!

Winning linesAt 14, Carol Ann Duffy was determined to be a poet. Today, she is a literary star who has been compared to Larkin. Despite her success, Peter Forbes finds that, with her taste for caravanning and her passion for gambling, she remains resolutely down-to-earth
Buzz up!
Digg it
Peter Forbes
The Guardian, Saturday 31 August 2002 Article historyAs Carol Ann Duffy makes coffee to accompany the rather rare experience of being interviewed, The Marriage of Figaro is playing in the room. She has just finished a libretto for The Magic Flute for Opera North, due to be premiered next April. It's a cut above the average poet's commission and Duffy says: "It's just the most marvellous work I've ever been asked to do. I'd like to do them all now" - the Mozart operas, she means. Her appetite for work is legendary and she keeps raising her game. So why not? After the success of The World's Wife (1999), her book that brought a huge new audience, a friend was rash enough to suggest that perhaps she'd earned a break, a bit of resting on the laurels. He was severely reproved, perhaps in a tone learned from her strict convent-then-grammar-school education: "I'm busier than ever - it is a vocation, you know."

Duffy is a Scot brought up in the Midlands, politically left-wing, in a gay relationship, and with a wonderful feel for idiom and contemporary culture, especially low-life, she has been able in her work to unite timeless themes to a sense of life as it is lived now. The poet laureate, Andrew Motion, who has known her since before she achieved success, says, "I have a particular fondness for her early books; poems like 'Adultery' and 'Warming her Pearls'. There was a mixture of direct address and something slightly surreal, fanciful, tender-hearted and whimsical."

She has been on the school syllabus since 1994, which means that for once a poet is being taught whilst the language of the street is still fresh in her lines. Not surprisingly, she is popular in schools, something that wasn't always the case. In "Head of English", from her first book Standing Female Nude ( Anvil, 1985), she recorded a gruesome encounter at the chalkface where educational Eng. Lit. and new writers meet and often don't understand each other: "Today we have a poet in the class. / A real live poet with a published book. / Notice the ink-stained fingers girls. Perhaps / we're going to witness verse hot from the press".

Her ventriloquism has been remarkable throughout her career. She has been a tourist tout in "Translating the English, 1989" ("For two hundred quids we are talking Les Miserables, / nods being as good as winks. Don't eat the eggs . . ."); an old-style macho man in "You Jane" ("She's borne me two in eight years, knows /when to button it. Although she's run a bit to fat / she still bends over of a weekend in suspenders." In "Fraud" she brought Robert Maxwell gruesomely back to life. What we have of these male voices may be all we're going to get. Her recent voices have been women and she says: "I now probably wouldn't write a poem like 'You Jane', because although it was based on a real person it might come across as a stereotype. I doubt I would now write a poem in the male voice."

The name Larkin often comes up when Duffy is discussed. She is, of course, in many ways Larkin's antithesis, but they do occupy the same niche in their respective eras. Duffy is the poet of the multicultural noughties as Larkin was the bicycle-clipped representative of the dowdy, repressed fifties. The critic Justin Quinn has noted how many of Duffy's poems echo themes of Larkin's - you can pair them off: "Larkin's 'Posterity', Duffy's 'Biographer'; 'Ambulances', 'November'; 'Mr Bleaney', 'Room', etc". The Larkin/Duffy story has taken a surprising turn recently. Duffy's new book has a long poem set in her girls' school of the 1960s, "The Laughter of Stafford Girls' High", an allegory of the rise of feminism, sweeping away dowdy post-war austerity and buttoned-up emotional sterility. And here is a fat new Larkin book, recently published, Trouble at Willow Gables, girls' fiction written for private entertainment. Duffy's last word on Larkin: "As anyone who has the slightest knowledge of my work knows, I have little in common with Larkin, who was tall, taciturn and thin-on-top, and unlike him I laugh, nay, sneer, in the face of death. I will concede one point: we are both lesbian poets."

Standing Female Nude was quickly followed by Selling Manhattan (Anvil, 1987). What instantly attracted attention here were the brilliant monologues, giving voice to characters such as the "Psychopath": "When I zip up the leather, I'm in a new skin, I touch it / and love myself, sighing Some little lady's going to get lucky / tonight." Her technique is absolutely distinctive and has been much copied. Using lashings of slang ("dough", "stash", "readies") and a buttonholing style ("squire"), it grabs the attention.

As her books came out through the 80s and 90s, although this voice was always present, there was a steady move towards the elegiac, the more personal. Duffy's third book, The Other Country (Anvil, 1990), is dominated by nostalgia and sense of rootlessness: "Now, Where do you come from? / strangers ask. Originally? And I hesitate". "The Darling Letters" demonstrates her universality: these are the love letters that are kept "in shoeboxes away from the light": "Once in a while, alone, / we take them out to read again, the heart thudding / like a spade on buried bones."

Mean Time (Anvil, 1994) continued in this nostalgic vein with the addition of poems about broken and budding relationships. It contains what are perhaps her finest short lyric poems. The title poem, "Prayer" ("Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer / utters itself") is a sonnet and a prayer for faithless times. Does she think that in a secular society poetry to some extent takes the place of religion? "It does for me: I don't believe in God." Then came The World's Wife (1999), with her new publisher, Picador.

Duffy's rise rather wrong-footed the Oxbridge poetry establishment. The first issue of the Oxford little magazine Thumbscrew (Winter 1994/5) carried a critical essay by Simon Brittain. He concludes: "By employing simplistic language and overstated imagery, Duffy is perfect for those no longer accustomed nor inclined to close reading". But according to her supporters, he comes to this conclusion by ignoring her best poems.

In person, Duffy's mild, sympathetic manner belies the ferocious, fire-eating tone of many of her poems. There is no trace of Scots (she left Glasgow at six) in her voice, rather a Midlands-cum-Liverpool intonation but minus the classic Scouse twang. Modest personally but exceptionally confident in her writing, she has an infectious sense of fun and can talk dirty with the best of them; she has the best repertoire of street slang in poetry. She is very loyal to longstanding colleagues in the art and has helped many younger poets through teaching on Arvon courses, editing the anthology Anvil New Poets 2 (1995), and generally tipping editors in the direction of new talent. Colette Bryce, Kate Clanchy and Alice Oswald are among those who have received her support and encouragement. This is not a case of the poet admiring her own reflection in the pupil. There are poets who write in Duffyesque but the ones she has supported are originals, none more so than Alice Oswald, whose poems offer a defiantly rural counterpoint to Duffy's city muse.

Carol Ann Duffy was born in the Gorbals of Glasgow in 1955. Her mother's parents and her father's grandparents were Irish. She has four brothers (to whom her new book is dedicated) and she is the eldest child. Her father worked as a fitter with English Electric (later GEC, and now Marconi). The family moved to Stafford when she was six. Her father was a dedicated trade unionist and became a local councillor and Labour parliamentary candidate in 1983. He also managed Stafford FC in his spare time. The relative anonymity of Stafford suited her: standard middle England. "Market town, church, football team, River Sow, great indoor market, Cannock Chase for picnics, Izaak Walton's cottage, piano lessons every Saturday morning with Mrs Bear, Brownies, Cubs. I stopped being a Glasgow girl."

She has turned most circumstances of her life to good use in her poetry. At her convent school, she says: "They did nothing but lists, relieved only by the Latin Mass. We had one 'poet' who came once - a local eccentric who recited 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' by heart, holding a daffodil, and fainted in the middle." Her poems abound in lists, if not always the ones she was taught at school ("... I've seen my fair share of ding-a-ling, member and jock, / of todger and nudger and percy and cock, of tackle, / of three-for-a-bob, of willy and winky; in fact, / you could say, I'm as au fait with Hunt-the-Salami / as Ms M Lewinsky."

Besides the list-making nuns, she did have two inspiring English teachers at her secondary schools: June Scriven at St Joseph's Convent School and Jim Walker at Stafford Girls' High School. Duffy kept in touch with Scriven until her death this year and regrets that her foremer teacher was not able to read the "school" poem, "The Laughter at Stafford Girls' High", in the new book. At school Duffy absorbed the English canon but her teachers' knowledge stopped at Dylan Thomas. Duffy wanted the contemporary. She found it in the local bookshop, where on one shelf she could browse and buy (with the proceeds of a Saturday job) the Penguin Modern Poets series. These writers - Neruda, Prévert, Aimé Césaire - had a stronger influence on her writing than the English poets she studied at school.

At 14 she decided she was going to be a poet and gambled everything on this. When she began to publish, her parents would ask "Yes, but what's your real job going to be?" And it wasn't the critical acclaim that eventually reconciled them to the poetry job but "a medal from the Queen" (she was awarded the OBE for services to Literature in 1995 and the CBE in this year's New Year Honours).

Duffy's strong sense of direction and vocation has always impressed. Andrew Motion says: "She is extraordinarily well balanced, in her work and in her life. She knew what she needed and where to find it". When Duffy was 15, June Scriven typed up a manuscript of her poems and sent it to Outposts, a well-known publisher of pamphlets. A copy found its way to Bernard Stone, the maverick poetry bookseller and publisher, who became a good friend and published several of her poetry pamphlets over the years. The next year in Stafford she met Adrian Henri at a gig by his band, the Grimms, and decided she wanted to be where he was. She applied to Liverpool University to read philosophy and went up in 1974. Liverpool was then a city of painters and playwrights rather than poets and she became friends with Willy Russell and Alan Bleasdale, had two plays performed at the Liverpool Playhouse, and wrote a pamphlet, Fifth Last Song, in collaboration with six painters, who provided illustrations.

She lived with Henri until 1982, gave readings, and published two pamphlets. Henri said of her that she "seemed to arrive fully formed. She was obviously talented, and was always going to make it as soon as she found the right direction". Liverpool made a deep impression on her and she still supports the football team. The Liverpudlian novelist Beryl Bainbridge has said: "Although she has only 'lived' in Liverpool as opposed to being born and bred in that city, it seems to me that her verse beats to a rhythm that I recognise."

The publisher of her first four books, Peter Jay, of Anvil Press, believes that despite her forays into drama she never really wanted to do anything other than poetry. In this she resembles Tony Harrison, another northern poet from a working-class background. For one who began so young, her mature style was slow to develop. In the pamphlet written whilst still at school the poems are romantic, tinged with surrealism, and there are slight traces of the Liverpool poets. Her rise to literary celebrity began in the early 80s when, living in London, she became a writer in residence in east London schools, was awarded a C Day Lewis Fellowship and, most significantly, won the Poetry Society's National Poetry Competition with "Whoever She Was" in 1983. That year, Jay was a judge of the Greenwich Poetry Competition, which Duffy won with "Words of Absolution", a poem about her grandmother. Jay then heard her read and invited her to send a collection. Standing Female Nude was published in 1985. For Roger McGough, who had known her from her early days with Adrian Henri, it was a revelation: "She was a strong person, funny and sharp but we'd assumed she was under Adrian's influence; Standing Female Nude showed that she was more formed than we had thought, a poet all along." From this time on she was regarded as a star in the small, tight, contentious world in which poetry reputations are made.

Through the late 80s and early 90s Duffy was one of the busiest poets on the circuit. She took residencies, gave readings, visited schools, encouraged younger poets on Arvon Foundation courses, was the Guardian's poetry critic 1988-9, and every three years or so came a new book, always stronger than the last. She looks back on that paying of dues with something of a shudder: "As Larkin put it, 'the readings pretending to be yourself; pretending that the poems you've read countless times are being read for the first time or the last; the dinners afterwards.'"

In 1995, after 15 years on the London poetry scene, she decided to become pregnant and to raise a child without the involvement of a father. In 1996 she moved to Manchester where she lives in the leafy suburb of West Didsbury with the poet and novelist Jackie Kay in a house with a largeish, child-centred garden. Her daughter Ella has had a huge effect on Duffy's life and the move to Manchester was partly with her upbringing in mind. Duffy loves the north of England and says, "I measure the north/south divide every day to see if it's getting wider." She and Kay have recently acquired a caravan to make it easier to explore their beloved Lake District. Scotland and Ireland are also on the holiday circuit.

Duffy is a keen gambler and the wager appears often in her poetry: from "Poker in the Falklands with Henry and Jim" (1985) - "We three play poker while outside the real world shrinks to a joker" - to "Mrs Beast" in The World's Wife (1999) - "I watched those wonderful women shuffle and deal - / Five and Seven Card Stud, Sidewinder, Hold 'Em, Draw". In a recent pamphlet, A Woman's Guide to Gambling, she outlines a poetic strategy for betting on horses: "I go for the sound of the words, the beauty they hold / in the movement they make on the air."

She is a romantic who is currently obsessed with Mozart, a believer in high art who loves the tang of the street. She has an exalted sense of the nobility of the poet's calling but becomes uneasy when poets put on purple robes: "I don't like poets to be like priests, as though you were hearing the Mass: I know where that's coming from because I went to Mass as a child." In this context, she once said: "I'm not interested, as a poet, in words like 'plash' - Seamus Heaney words, interesting words. I like to use simple words but in a complicated way."

A strain of nostalgia for childhood and the mysteriousness of its contours runs through her poetry (she once quoted André Breton with approval: "childhood is the only reality"), and this has been brought into a new focus through her daughter, for whom she has written many poems. "Childhood is like a long greenhouse where everything is growing, it's lush and steamy. It's where poems come from," she says. She believes that "having a child turns you into an echo - the child is the real living voice". She articulates this feeling in the title poem of her second children's collection The Oldest Girl in the World (2000): "Truly, believe, me I could all the time see / every insect that crawled in a bush, every bird that hid in a tree, /... Can't see a sniff of it now". These days the sharpness of Ella's perceptions feeds back into Duffy's poems. So, unlike those writers for whom children and writing are the great incompatibles, motherhood is a boon. She says: "The pram in the hall, Connolly's Enemy of Promise - I think for a woman writer a pram in the hall is not the death of art."

She doesn't feel that artists living together necessarily have to be a bomb waiting to go off in the manner of Plath and Hughes. She has lived long stretches of her life with poets and is very down-to-earth about poets and relationships. "I think it's just what your job is. You meet people at work, and I'm more likely to come across people in poetry and literature." She and Kay met on an Arvon course, the poetry world's prime dating agency. Christina Patterson, director of the Poetry Society says: "They're both exceptional. As a partnership it seems a very enviable one: it's a household bursting with intense literary activity, happiness, and pleasure of all kinds; they're both exceptionally warm and kind and natural people."

Most poets probably start from a feeling that their life isn't on a par with their imagination. The force of their work comes from realising their imagination in a concrete form. But isn't there a danger that if you succeed in art and life, life seems the more important? "It is," says Duffy, emphatically. "I think Larkin minded when the muse went away but I couldn't care less if it did. I don't think in my case it would abandon me because it's part of how I see things."

The World's Wife (1999) was the watershed in her career. She widened her audience and perhaps slightly bemused some of those who'd followed her until then. The harrowing personal note of The Other Country and Mean Time was replaced by a roistering, wickedly spiced burlesque. As Peter Jay says: "She wrote The World's Wife to entertain herself and to entertain others, and it succeeds." The book is thematic, every poem being in the voice of the wife of a great man of history, fiction or mythology: Mrs Aesop, Mrs Midas, Queen Herod, Anne Hathaway and so on. It caught the imagination of readers and has sold more than 35,000 copies, making her one of poetry's biggest sellers. For Motion it was "a very brave thing to do. There's always a danger that a book with an overriding idea runs the risk of being the servant of that idea, that you overrun the idea to get the book, but in The World's Wife there's enough petrol in the engine to keep it running." A few men think the poems are a bit too anti-men but Motion says: "There is a sense that as a member of the gender one is under attack but I didn't feel her face was turned against me."

It is hard for anyone, male or female, to resist the book's best jokes. For instance "The Kray Sisters" sets up a sisterly version of the revisionist attitude towards the Krays - they were kind to grannies, didn't touch little girls, kept the district orderly. Then, there is a scene from their prime, when "we'd leant on Sinatra to sing for free". Of course, the reader is thinking: Sinatra with his mob connections; then it hits you that this is Nancy Sinatra, singing the feminist anthem "These Boots are Made for Walking".

In her new book, Feminine Gospels, Duffy hasn't tried to write the daughter of The World's Wife. She says, "When you've finished a book, you're standing in a different place; the landscape has changed". The narratives in the first part of Feminine Gospels play on ideas of gospel truth and tall stories. The element of exaggeration in the idea of tall stories is taken literally (one is even called "Tall"): the poems start with a simple idea and extrapolate it to extremes that tell us something about the times we live in. She is also writing in her own voice again. "The Map Woman" takes up the strain of the "identity" poems from The Other Country, and marries it with the more expansive style of The World's Wife poems. "White Writing" turns Montherlant's aphorism "Happiness writes white" (often quoted by Larkin as a justification for the gloom of his poetry) on its head; "No prayers written to bless you, / I write them white."

The "tall story" poems were under way before September 11, when its shadow "fell across the process". Many writers have agonised about the ability of fiction and poetry to cope with the enormity of the attacks. Duffy's technique is up to it. In "Loud" a woman hearing the news from Afghanistan howls with rage and the howl is heard all round the world. In "Work" a woman doing her ordinary chores becomes the whole weight of work in the world. And perhaps most tellingly of all, in "Tall", a woman outgrows the earth's atmosphere but is still able to reach down to the surface to intervene in the course of the disaster:

She looked back and howled.

She stooped low
and caught their souls in her hands
as they fell
from the burning towers.

Life at a glance:

Carol Ann Duffy

Born: December 23 1955.

Education: 1962-'67 St Austin RC Primary School, Stafford; '67-70 St Joseph's Convent School; '70 -74 Stafford Girls' High School; '74 -77 University of Liverpool (BA hons philosophy).

Partner: Jackie Kay.

Children: One daughter, Ella, 1995.

Awards: 1988 Somerset Maugham Award; '89 Dylan Thomas Award; '93 Forward Prize; Whitbread Prize for Poetry; '95 Lannan Literary Award ; '99 Signal Children's Poetry Prize; 2001 NESTA Award.

Poetry: 1985 Standing Female Nude; '87 Selling Manhattan; '88 Home and Away (ed); '90 The Other Country; '92 I Wouldn't Thank You for a Valentine (ed); '93 Mean Time; '95 Selected Poems; Anvil New Poems (ed); '99 The World's Wife; 2002 Feminine Gospels.

Plays: 1982 Take My Husband; '84 Cavern of Dreams; '86 Little Women, Big Boys; Loss (radio).

For children: 1999 Meeting Midnight; Rumpelstilskin and other Grimm Tales; 2000 The Oldest Girl in the World.

Honours: 1995 OBE, 2002 CBE.

· Feminine Gospels is published by Picador on September 6, price £12.99.


With cyanide.

Fears over river cyanide effects
BBC News - ‎45 minutes ago‎
Environmental groups have said they are worried about the long-term effects a cyanide leak into the River Trent in Staffordshire will have on wildlife. ...
Metalworks suspected of Trent cyanide leak
Deadly cyanide leak wipes out river wildlife
Hunt is on for source of cyanide that poisoned River Trent Times Online
Independent - Reuters UK
all 216 news articles »


From The Times October 8, 2009

Hunt is on for source of cyanide that poisoned River Trent
Valerie Elliott, Countryside Editor Recommend? Thousands of fish have been killed after 30 miles of the River Trent were polluted by cyanide and sewage. Industrial premises in Stoke-on-Trent are being investigated.

There is no risk to the public from contaminated drinking water because supplies are not taken from the river or its main tributaries. People are advised, however, to keep away as a precaution.

The Environment Agency has made clear that it intends to prosecute those responsible for the pollution, which could cause lasting damage to the eco-system. There are also fears that the contaminated water will leach into adjacent farmland.

Agency officials are checking local companies that have permits allowing the limited release of substances such as cyanide. It is used in metal-plating, agriculture and mineral extraction and by pharmaceutical companies.

Anglers said that they would sue for compensation in the civil courts for disruption to fishing rights. Cyanide levels had fallen last night. The agency has been pumping oxygen into the river since Monday night.

The Severn Trent water company reported problems at its Strongford sewage treatment works in Stoke on Sunday night, when partially treated waste began to enter the river. The cyanide contamination was confirmed on Tuesday evening after analysis of water samples. Experts realised that it was the presence of cyanide, a colourless, soluble toxin, that had disrupted the sewage treatment by destroying the organisms used to treat waste.

The toll on fish species and other wildlife along the river between Stoke and Yoxall is not known. Fisheries officials are unable to conduct an audit because of health concerns.

From bridges and the river banks, however, officials have observed thousands of dead fish, among them species such as stickleback, barbel, chub, perch, dace, pike and brown trout.Thousands more may be on the river bed. There are concerns for the effects on birds, such as kingfisher, which feed on these fish species, and for otters, which have made a comeback along the Trent. Seagulls were seen feeding on the fish carcasses yesterday, but conservationists said that these birds were unlikely to be killed by secondary poisoning.

David Lowe, the agency’s environment manager in Staffordshire, said that levels of cyanide in the water were low — only one part per million — but this was enough to affect aquatic species. The Severn Trent water company said that it was not linked to the release of the pollutant.

The Environment Agency has the power to prosecute under the Water Resources Act, which makes it an offence to allow poisonous, noxious or polluting matter to enter rivers. The biggest fine under the law was imposed five years ago, when Sevalco, a chemical company in Avonmouth, paid £240,000 for deliberately discharging cyanide into the Severn Estuary.

• Clean-up operation Contamination with cyanide, which cannot be detected in water by the naked eye, was identified by laboratory tests on the Trent only on Tuesday evening. By then, some 200 million litres (44 million gallons) of toxic fluid had entered the eco-system The method used to cleanse the water is to introduce oxygen into it to break up the solid matter. This is achieved by use of aerators or oxyjets — a system of pumps on a trailer — which take in river water and inject it with hydrogen peroxide before the water is then sprayed back into the river Two aerators, each manned by a team of three or four agency staff, are being operated around the clock

Saturday, 3 October 2009


From the excellent blog spot "Notbornyesterday", reposted here in the interests of preventing more institutional child abuse in the form of state legalised human trafficking via the secret (illegal) family kangaroo courts


In the wake of another horrific sexual abuse scandal, top Ministers are 'too busy' to stop it happening again.

Harman (l) and Balls: did nothing for three years

Following the guilty verdict in the Vanessa George trial earlier this week, Ed Balls told the BBC that ‘this kind of abuse’ represented ‘a deeply distressing and disturbing case’.

But ‘this kind of abuse’ is not only more widespread and endemic than he appears to understand… is also only one (paedophiliac) form of it.

Children from problem homes - and their mothers – have been abused in various ways for years by the secret Family Courts system designed to help with their problems. Since 2001, the system has been the responsibility of Cafcass, a quango answerable directly to…….Minister for Children Ed Balls.

Abuse No 1: their human rights. Mothers entering the system now (themselves previously victims of care-home sexual abuse as children) find themselves diagnosed with ‘syndromes’ which have little or no psychiatric validity, and are sent for ‘remedial treatment’ – with little or no form of redress or appeal. The Minister for Women is….Harriet Harman.

In 2006 she told the Commons, “The idea that people are sent to prison without any reports of the proceedings makes even more important the work that we are undertaking with the family courts, and with the important intervention of the Constitutional Affairs Committee, to open them up so that they act in the public interest while maintaining personal privacy."

In April 2009, the Government allowed media ‘access’ to the Secret Courts – but effectively neutered it by insisting that ‘In the interests of children, for the safety and protection of parties or witnesses (or persons connected with them), for the orderly conduct of proceedings, or where justice would otherwise be prejudiced, the court will have the power to restrict the attendance of the media’. (Our emphasis)

This is merely gesture government. The campaign MothersforJustice is linked to nby and waits impatiently for this cancer at the very heart of our legal system to be removed....without anything tangible three long years on.

Abuse No 2: sexual abuse. Both the problem mothers and their children have been put into separate ‘care’ centres, and then abused sexually following their ‘diagnosis’ with psychiatric illnesses.

M4J and the various victim support organisations in the UK are snowed under dealing with the many cases involved. One such is Barbara Richards – herself a victim of the pin-down scandal many years ago (See below) . On the basis of what many now believe to be a bogus theory, Barbara Richards was placed against her will in an institution where she had already been sexually abused as a child. The ‘theory’ concerned is Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). Ms Richards told us:

“PAS is a trumped-up excuse, the brainchild of a long-discredited US psychiatrist”.

She appears to have a point. Dr. Paul J. Fink, a past President of the APA and President of the Leadership Council on Mental Health, Justice, and the Media, states categorically that “PAS as a scientific theory has been excoriated by legitimate researchers across the nation. Judged solely on its merits, Dr. Gardner should be a pathetic footnote of psychiatry, or an example of poor scientific standards.... Gardner and his bogus theory have done untold damage to sexually and physically abused children and their protective parents."

This is because paedophiles can position themselves as 'safe alternatives' to mothers diagnosed with PAS. US attorney Richard Ducote goes further: "Parental Alienation Syndrome is a bogus, pro-paedophiliac fraud concocted by Richard Gardner".

Abuse No 3: physical abuse. Despite the appalling Staffordshire ‘pin-down’ scandal of seven years ago (as a result of which 11 year-old Gareth Myatt died) casual and gratuitous physical restraint continues. After the tragic Myatt case, in 2006 popular Labour MP Sally Keeble made a Parliamentary fuss about it, pointing out how Court secrecy underpins and protects the abusers.

Three years on, the Government says it will further

“….revise the law on reporting restrictions as soon as parliamentary time allows”.

The two Ministers responsible for making this happen are…..Harriet Harman and Ed Balls.

These were Mr Balls’ exact words following this weeks Nursery abuse trial:

"This is a deeply distressing and disturbing case. It is vital we find out how an adult could abuse their position of trust in such an evil way, and we must do everything we can to prevent this kind of abuse happening in the future".

There’s that ‘everything we can’ mantra again. But on the ground, the reality in this case is ‘nothing’.

Perhaps if Ed spent less time Tweeting, and smearing sites like nby as “the ultra-Right spreading groundless rumours”, he might get around to it. As for Ms Harman – well, as you can read elsewhere, she and her Insignificant Other Jack Dromey are busy building up a war-chest with which to fight for the post-Brown Labour leadership. She may be an active Minister for Women, but she’s not doing one helluvalot for Mothers.

Thursday, 1 October 2009


To defend myself against the accusation I recieved, that I have tried to bully the Prime Minister. I am certainly not a bully, and do not deserve to be accused of being one - I detest bullying and always have, all through my life.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009


Psychiatric abuse is a criminal offence, and it is something which the Nazi's practiced on their political prisoners. Here it is again, in post Millenium Cardiff!

Please please pray for this man, Maurice Kirk.

Monday, 28 September 2009


This is part of a series of interviews concerning the child care system in the UK.

Friday, 25 September 2009


From Notbornyesterday's excellent Political blog, a story which is very very interesting to me personally.



Something a bit Fishy going on in Staffordshire, No 1

Last-remaining Labour Old Etonian and all-round bandwagon-jumper Mark Fisher has been MP for Stoke (Central) for 26 years.

Unquestionably a chap with a high opinion of himself, Mr Fisher stated at the time of the MPs' expenses row:

"I was one of the people at the forefront of Freedom of Information and I believe the public has a right to know what their money is spent on."

Mark Fisher is overstating that just a tad: and while he has voted consistently for transparency, he clearly (as a chap with a background of silver spoons) has ideas a bit out of kilter with the rest of us about what 'reasonable expenses' might be. For instance, in fiscal 2007/8, according to figures published by Parliament, the Stoke Central MP spent a whopping £95,941 employing people to help run his office. That rendered him the sixteenth most expensive employer in the House of Commons.

Overall in fact, based on the evidence available people could argue that he's a one for being in the forefront after most of the shooting is over - a believer, perhaps, in the adage 'I think you're right - and if you are, I'll be right behind you'. Following the death on his patch of delinquent 11 year-old Gareth Myatt in 2004 (a casualty he did little to predict or protect) Mr F declared the subsequent report into the tragedy 'brilliant'. In fact, he thought it so brilliant, locals allege he was in the forefront of the move to reduce it to a one-page summary.

In case you think this mere tittle-tattle, get an eyeful of this Hansard entry relating to the debate on Myatt's entirely avoidable death. To explain, there are first some obsequiously florid words from Fisher, which the Deputy Speaker then irritably condemns, and Baroness Keeble somewhat sarcastically contradicts:

Mr Mark Fisher: I knew Gareth Myatt; he often came to my advice surgery. He was an extremely difficult child, but he was tiny. My hon. Friend has given some statistics, but he was a shrimp of a young man. He was so small that he hardly existed, and he was frenetic. He was like an eel—

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. Even in an Adjournment debate, there is a distinction between a speech and an intervention. The hon. Gentleman’s intervention is turning into a speech in the middle of a speech, and that is out of order. Perhaps he has made his point. He might make another intervention later, but the hon. Member for Northampton, North (Ms Keeble) should be allowed to complete her speech.

Ms Keeble: I ask four things of my right hon. Friend the Minister. First, there should be a public inquiry into the use of restraint in secure training centres. I say “public” because there was a review in 2004, at the time of Gareth’s death. A 113-page report was produced, which I have with me. It was rewritten several times and was finally reduced to a one-page summary, which was posted on the Youth Justice Board website. That is completely inadequate. Internal reviews have not dealt with the issues, which only emerged into the public domain as a result of Gareth’s death and inquest. They would not have emerged if it had not been for the work done by an organisation called Inquest.'

Or - as some might rephrase and summarise that extract, 'We'll have none of your headline carpet-bagging, Fisher....and while we're at it, this has all the hallmarks of an Establishment cover-up'

Not that Marky-Mark sees himself as an Establishment figure: au contraire, he is a man for the Arts, and those who would decry Blairite art-bites as nothing more than empty piffle. Mind you, Mr Fisher only developed this viewpoint after he was summarily fired.....just one year after being appointed Minister for the Arts by, um, Tony Blair. Ah, the taste of sour grapes on the brisk wind of a Stoke morning.

Says fighting MP Mark Fisher on his website: 'Over the past 26 years I have campaigned continuously on local issues'. Well, we can't find any evidence of him campaigning on behalf of the unfortunates condemned to incarceration and separation from their children as a result of the chaotic Family Courts system in Staffordshire. But he is working very hard on two topics as I write: 'Axe the Beer Tax' and 'Campaign to save the Coachmakers' Arms'. Hmm. Mr Fisher may have a background in the peerage, but his foreground seems to be rather more to do with the beerage.

Before and after....the virtues of a good English pint

Defending the general idea of MPs charging for every last fart and broken window as part of their job ('£327 for new window and door locks at my flat after a burglary') Fisher wrote on his site, 'MPs are required to spend Mondays to Thursdays in London attending Parliament with business finishing at 10.30pm on Monday and Tuesday and 7pm on other days, clearly we can't get back to Stoke so have to have somewhere to stay in London: that's what the Second Home Allowance is for'.

Fisherman might have a case had his focus been forever on his constituency during that 25 years of dedication to the survival of local pubs serving cheap ale. But it was not always so: once hired (and after being fired) as Arts Minister, the word in Stoke-on-Trent (Central) was that their MP spent much of the time available among his literati friends in Oxford. A prominent former member of the Stoke Labour Party told nby this week, "While Mark Fisher was off swanning about in Oxford, real Labour Party activists took his surgeries for him year in year out".

One such was the late and much-loved local lawyer Richard Wise. A whirlwind in the cause of justice, The Independent wrote at length ( several times in the 1990s on the subject of Richard's efforts on behalf of those left out and behind in Cool Stokenia.

At the 2001 General Election, Richard Wise felt so strongly about Fisher remaining as the sitting MP, he stood against him as an Independent - thus potentially splitting the vote for the Party he loved. Another colleague from those days has told us, "There wasn't a nasty bone in Richard's body anywhere. To do what he did, you have to feel he thought Fisher wasn't doing his job". And a victim of Staffordshire's appalling record on care-system abuse, Barbara Richards, gave this statement to nby:

'Richard Wise, my own solicitor, died suddenly in 2002. He stood against Mark Fisher in the 2001 election in Stoke on Trent. Richard Wise was a really good man.... He was Human Rights Solicitor of the Year. I suspect Mark Fisher lied to me about Pindown. He said he knew nothing about it - I have his email - but he was on a TV documentary with Virginia Bottomley discussing the evils of the Pindown scandal....'

In such cases, how can we know who is vamping the veritas, and who promoting porkies? Well, a good way is to look at the record and then make one's own mind up.

More on this matter anon.


Dyke's BBC conspiracy theory
Comments (11)
Buzz up!
Digg it
I have just been discovered that the former BBC director general, Greg Dyke, made an extraordinary claim at a Lib Dem conference fringe meeting on Sunday.

The story appeared that evening on the BBC's news website under the headline, Dyke in BBC 'conspiracy' claim. It was also published by The Herald in Scotland here and, supposedly, by the Belfast Telegraph (though I can't locate it).

Several bloggers have picked up on it too. But the national press appears to have ignored it, or missed it altogether. Yet the claim should have generated widespread interest. If true, it requires more probing. If false, it should severely dent Dyke's credibility.
In his speech, about MPs' expenses, he called for a commission to look into the "whole political system", adding: "I fear it will never happen because I fear the political class will stop it."
Then, according to the BBC report, he said that during his tenure as director general (2000-2004) he had wanted to make major changes to the BBC's coverage of politics. However, these were blocked.
Here are the key quotes:

"The evidence that our democracy is failing is overwhelming and yet those with the biggest interest in sustaining the current system - the Westminster village, the media and particularly the political parties, including this one - are the groups most in denial about what is really happening to our democracy...
"I tried and failed to get the problem properly discussed when I was at the BBC and I was stopped, interestingly, by a combination of the politicos on the board of governors, one of whom was married to the man who claimed for cleaning his moat, the cabinet interestingly - the Labour cabinet - who decided to have a meeting, only about what we were trying to discuss, and the political journalists at the BBC.
"Why? Because, collectively, they are all part of the problem. They are part of one Westminster conspiracy. They don't want anything to change. It's not in their interests." [My italics]

The governor in his reference is Baroness (Sarah) Hogg. What is unclear is exactly what she allegedly stopped. A discussion?
To add to the confusion, he spoke after the meeting to the BBC reporter about holding an internal review of the BBC's political coverage.
He is quoted as saying: "There was a lot of pressure from the government of the day not to change anything."
He also denied the BBC had caved in to pressure from the government but added: "A lot of the governors were what I call semi-politicians and they liked the present system and... maybe they were right - it's not the job of the BBC to change the political system and to start questioning the political system.
"I happen to not agree with that but, you know, we didn't get anywhere."
He also denied that his comments were meant as a criticism of BBC journalists and then added: "In the end, political journalists live in the same narrow world as politicians do and they don't see a need to change because they think it's the world. They just don't understand that out there it's very different."
So what was the nature of the so-called conspiracy? Or does it amount to a conspiracy at all in the accepted sense of the term? Baroness Hogg and her former colleagues on the board of governors may wish to know.

Sources: BBC/Herald Hat tip: