Op-Ed: Former Tory Minister David Mellor has apologised after his snotty rant at a taxi driver was recorded and quickly went viral.
Mellor, a QC, called a black-cab driver, an unnamed 38-year-old from South London, a “sweaty, stupid little shit” during an argument about the route he wanted to travel.
He reminded the cab-driver just what a big man he, Mellor, was and how much of a no-mark, in his opinion, the driver was.
Thanks heavens his vitriolic attack was recorded. It shows how clever Mellor is that he did not realise the cabbie had gone so very quiet and why. Didn't he suss that he was being recorded?
Kudos to the cabbie and black-marks for another Tory Toff.
He has vowed it will not happen again and that he will make a hefty contribution to the cab drivers' Christmas children's appeal but words once said cannot be taken back. Mud sticks and Mellor's filthy verbal attack will certainly stick to him.
Earlier Mellor said “This man seriously provoked me and ruined a wonderful day,” he said. “Once I had lost my temper, which I regret, he then secretly recorded me. I will leave the public to judge his actions.” Presumably it was for the Cabbie's safety?
But how will the public judge Mellor who can be heard plainly telling the driver to 'fuck off'?
"In response to the recording journalist, Piers Morgan tweeted: “This tape is outrageous. David Mellor, you’re a loathsome snob. I hope London’s black-cab drivers now boycott David Mellor. Looks like he could do with a few walks anyway.”
"Mick Cash, the general secretary of transport union the RMT, said: “Driving a taxi in London is hard enough without having some pumped-up, pompous former Tory minister telling you how to do your job. “If you want an example of the political elite’s sheer contempt for the working class then this incident has it in shedloads.”"
Mellors said he would name the cabbie and discuss the incident on his radio show.
BBC News reports Mr Mellor told listeners: "Well, there's no denying it is there, what a week, I mean really torrid - but probably no worse than I deserved. I can't think what possessed me to lose it with that cabbie the way I did. OK, I had a case but I threw it away by the way I spoke and I'm really, really sorry about that.
"And I especially want to apologise to you, our listeners, for trying your patience and risking my own credibility with you by speaking like I did. Anyway, it's water for me at the next celebratory lunch, I've definitely made that decision."
In a week when another Tory Toff, Andrew Mitchell, lost his libel case against the Sun, in the Plebgate affair, it has not been a good week for the Conservatives.
Friday it was reported that Mitchell may face costs of around £2million but fear not, as reported in the mainstream media later, he will not have to sell his London home.
Surely that says it all about British politics.
Mellor is no stranger to controversy. Remember 'big-toe-gate' when an extra marital affair rocked the Tory Party?
"He resigned from his Cabinet office in September 1992 after an inconclusive libel action over a newspaper report claiming that the daughter of a PLO official had paid for him and his wife to go on holiday. Earlier, newspapers had printed details of his affair with the actress Antonia de Sancha." Independent
Antonia de Sancha's "revelations that Tory government minister David Mellor made love to her in his [football] club strip kept the nation amused for months. Never mind that her infamous claim, along with the toe-sucking and spanking, were made up. The damage was done and Mr Mellor eventually quit the Cabinet." Daily Mail.
Mellor has a high opinion of himself, but I doubt the public will agree.
When David Cameron formed the UK Tory led coalition government in 2010 he promised to reduce immigration. Figures released this week show that rather than cut immigration to the UK the numbers have increased dramatically in particular in 2014--260,000.
Friday Cameron delivered a keynote speech on immigration aimed at reassuring the people but in particular voters.
In the speech he pledged reforms which would impose certain restrictions on migrants entering the UK. Some of his proposals were ripped straight from the policies of Labour and Ukip.
Whether Cameron can deliver is debatable.
According to UKIP leader Nigel Farage, before Cameron's speech, "New figures show a "total failure" by David Cameron to reach his target of cutting migration to less than 100,000. He told the BBC it had "never been a genuine pledge" because the UK's EU membership meant "we have a total open door to nearly half a billion people".
Speaking after the speech Labour leader Ed Miliband said Cameron has no credibility on immigration. The Guardian quotes Miliband as saying "David Cameron has absolutely no credibility on immigration.
This is somebody who made a promise at the last general election. He said ‘No ifs, no buts, we will get net migration down’ and it’s gone up. He actually said ‘Kick us out in five years if we don’t deliver’. Well, I certainly agree with that. Honestly, David Cameron has no credibility on immigration and, frankly, people aren’t going to believe his new promises when he has broken his old promises."
And, on the subject of “no ifs, no buts”, the Sunday Times’s Tim Shipman has a good stat; he tweeted "Amusingly, Cameron's speech contains 35 ifs and 44 buts."
The problem for the UK is yes we have needed migrant workers in the past and still do but we are a small country that is over populated.
Cameron claims that UK immigration from non EU member states is more difficult and falling. That may be the case but the EU remains a huge problem.
With so many European countries experiencing austerity, unemployment and an uncertain future can you blame them for wanting to move to another country?
But most people in the UK will agree that how we deal with welfare and in work benefits for new migrants is crucial.
The UK is far from a land of honey but to residents of the broken EU it can look attractive. Why else would they travel through other EU member states to make sure the UK is their final destination?
Live blog at the Guardian
BBC - Cameron accused of 'total failure' on immigration
New Statesman - Net migration to UK hits 260,000 - smashing David Cameron's promise to cut it to "tens of thousands"
Op-Ed: British Home Secretary Theresa May is set to announce more powers for police in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill.
The bill, popularly called the 'snooper's charter' was stopped in its tracks previously but the Tories always threatened it would be resurrected in time.
Now with the terrorist threat in the UK at severe, meaning an attack is imminent, May will try to push through bits of the old snooper's charter hoping to add more restrictions in time.
If the Tories win in 2015 with a majority the full snoopers charter will be pushed through.
But whichever political party wins the UK 2015 General Election they may need to act.
May will make her announcement in parliament this week but she pre-empted that when she appeared on the Andrew Marr show Sunday.
The head of British police Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe was an early guest on Sunday's Marr show and he was quick to point out that it was parliament who had to decide on the balance between security and privacy and for the police to act within government policies.
The emphasis Sunday was on terrorism. The word and phrase national security was also bandied about while snooping and intrusion were played down.
So what is May likely to announce this week?
"Police and intelligence agencies will be given new powers to track down jihadists who plot terrorist attacks over the internet, under government plans."
Rights groups will be concerned who is classed as a "jihadist" and how far the powers will go.
The reforms in the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill show May's commitment to introducing the so-called “snoopers’ charter”. In the past the government was defeated on this bill, in part because of Liberal Democrat opposition.
According to the Telegraph "The move follows concerns from the security services that technology firms are obstructing the efforts of security services to combat the increasingly sophisticated use of the internet by terrorist groups such as Isil. Mrs May’s plans focus on reforming the legal rules governing the way internet companies work. In future, technology firms providing internet services to households and businesses will be forced by law to keep detailed records which will help police trace online activities back to individual computers and mobile phones."
But as the Telegraph explains "All internet users are given an internet protocol (IP) address – a code that enables online material to be sent to the correct destination. But these IP addresses are usually shared between many different people using the internet in the same location, instead of being allocated to individual devices or customers."
People of the UK want to feel safe and be safe but will a snooper’s charter improve our safety?
Such a charter should make the work of police and security agencies that bit easier. However criminals and terrorists will simply find another way to operate if the Internet becomes restricted.
But the freedoms that will have been surrendered for homeland security will never be returned.
We need to ask ourselves how far reform should go.
Would any of the proposals prevented the slaughter of Lee Rigby on a London Street or the beheading of 82-year-old Palmira Silva in her London garden?
Sunday mainstream media are reporting "Lee Rigby murder: MI5 to be cleared of serious failings". The yearlong investigation by Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee decided the attack was random and largely unpreventable. The government report will be published Tuesday.
Lee Rigby's killers however were both known to MI5 and people will draw their own conclusions from the report when it is pblished.
Before allegations of sex abuse by the late Jimmy Saville became news, victims of historical child and sex abuse in the U.K. searching for justice were ignored. For many justice was and is a long time coming and the scandal continues to unfold showing the terrible extent of abuse.
Allegations that a sex abuse ring with links to high-office in the U.K. operated for some years are finally under investigation.
Friday there are reports that the case may involve at least one homicide.
The high-profile accused abusers are from the military, the police and the political establishment. The accusations date back many years but suspicions about whether such abuse ever really ended will need investigating and questions must be answered.
Friday mainstream media has shown an interview with one man, Nick, who alleges that after his father had abused him during childhood he was 'handed over' to the ring of paedophiles. Nick was aged nine at the time.
'Nick's' voice was taken by an actor and his image was silhouetted but the story of abuse has more than a ring of truth to it.
It made for sickening listening but as one news service added, the most grim details had been omitted.
Nick, now 40, is speaking out in the hope that other 'survivors' of abuse do the same. Now has to be the time to do so. At least now allegations will be investigated.
He spoke of abuse that involved intense pain; pain which appeared to satisfy and please his abusers.
"In a statement Scotland Yard said inquiries were at an early stage. A key witness who has spoken to police has told the BBC that he was abused for nine years as a boy. He has appealed for others who may have evidence to come forward. The Metropolitan Police said detectives were made aware of allegations regarding possible homicide during the last month."
There are now many police operations investigation different areas of child and sex abuse allegations, many began after Jimmy Saville's death and allegations against him.
Operation Midland is investigating these latest claims under the umbrella of Operation Fairbank, which is looking into claims that there was a paedophile ring with links to government.
Victims were let down by the authorities for years and in many cases police simply refused to investigate an allegation against a famous person. Is this what happened in the case of a high-profile paedophile ring or were the police more directly involved?
Hints and allegations have gathered momentum and this will not be simply swept under the carpet and it should not be. After so many years victims deserve justice.
The U.K. is in danger of becoming Sleazy Britain unless abusers are held to account.
Two-days ago BBC News reported "Three police forces face an inquiry over alleged failures to act on tip offs about potential paedophiles."
That added to Friday's news about a possible homicide puts the establishment deep in this cess-pit of abuse.
The latest allegations date back to the 70's and 80's.
The BBC has agreed to withold the names of the accused while investigations are underway and supporting evidence is gathered--but that has not stopped them previously when they named and shamed people such as Paul Gambaccini who was cleared of all charges.
Is it more about who it is then, than any sense of fair play?