September 2003

if only this was true …..

If like me, you wake up every morning and check to see what delights the postman has left, and are then heartbroken to discover that all you got was a shitty Capital One offer, something from Egg and some Nectar or Vodafone crap, I suggest, like me, you take the following advice I found left by an anonymous user online.

1. Save every Free Credit Card Offer you get, Put it in pile A

2. Save every Free Coupon You get, put that in pile B

3. Now open the credit card mail from pile A and find the Freepost Reply Mail Envelope.

4. Take the coupons from pile B and stuff them in the envelope you hold in your hand.

5. Drop the stuffed to the brim envelopes in the postbox and walk away whistling.

I feel, just that bit better, knowing im wasting their time, like they’re trying to waste mine …..

That’ll learn the bastards.

Prof Laurie Taylor, Thinking Allowed BBC Radio 4

Laurie Taylor dives into an intoxicating past when he meets two historians who’ve been delving into the whys and wherefores of early anti-drug policies.

Jessica Warner has written about the moral panic surrounding Gin, who could and couldn’t drink it, in eighteenth century London whilst James Mills has been exploring the processes which led up to the first instances of cannabis regulation in the 1920s.

Their histories comprise a heady mixture of vested interest and realpolitik which continued to influence penal policies almost down to the present day.

Listen again [for the next 7 days]

Liberty’s high court legal challenge of police searches at DSEI will take place on 2 October, 2003. Were you searched in London by police using Section 44 powers (Anti-terror search powers) during/before the week of September 6th-12 “DSEI week”? Liberty needs information from you, ASAP!

If you were searched by police using anti-terror search powers, Liberty needs a copy of your police search record(s) right away!! Your anonymity will be guaranteed, but the some of the information from the record will be used on THURSDAY the 2nd of OCTOBER at the High Court Hearing (see below).

Send a copy of your police search record(s) would be sent via fax to 0207 407 5354 or delivered by hand to Liberty at 21 Tabard Street, SE1 4LA (Borough Tube).

If you have questions, please ring Mona Arshi (the LIBERTY lawyer handling the case) at 0207 378 3653. If you have any difficulties reaching Mona, contact the Liberty volunteer involved in this case – Jesse at 0781 4587 361.

NOTE: All information will be held in accordance with you right to privacy under the data protection act 1998).

A short explanation of Liberty’s high court challenge of police tactics at DSEI.

The Metropolitan police used anti-terror searches to intimidate, disrupt and deter protest at DSEI.

Liberty will challenge these police tactics in the high court judicial review on the 2nd of October, 2003.

To show support, arrive at 9am outside the Royal Courts of Justice on The Strand.

For more details, visit,3605,1046964,00.html

Home secretary presses cabinet sceptics to agree to include paving legislation for introduction of national scheme in Queen’s speech

Alan Travis Home affairs editor

The Guardian. Monday September 22, 2003

The home secretary, David Blunkett, said yesterday that he was still hopeful that legislation paving the way for a national identity card scheme would be introduced in the Queen’s speech this autumn, despite opposition in the cabinet.

He confirmed for the first time that he wants to see a compulsory scheme, and that those who do not qualify for the card will not be able to work or get access to healthcare, education and other public services.

That confirms the fears of civil liberties campaigners that in reality it will prove to be a “disentitlement card” scheme.

Several leading cabinet ministers, including Charles Clarke, Peter Hain and Patricia Hewitt, are sceptical and known to have strong reservations about the introduction of identity cards.

The cabinet’s domestic affairs committee was given the task 10 days ago of making further feasibility studies before a final decision whether to go ahead with the scheme is taken this year.

Mr Blunkett candidly admitted yesterday that there was “a vigorous debate” in the cabi net on compulsion, the cost of the scheme, the technology involved, and the timing of the necessary legislation.

He appealed strongly to cabinet sceptics to back the need for paving legislation this autumn.

And he argued that without a national identity card scheme it would never be possible to establish how many illegal immigrants were living in Britain.

Asked on BBC TV’s Breakfast with Frost yesterday to estimate how many unregistered migrants there are in the country, the home secretary replied: “I haven’t got a clue… The reason we haven’t is, of course, because we don’t have a rigorous and enforceable identification system linked to a register of all those who are in the country.

“That is, of course, what we are debating in cabinet at the moment.

“Should we have a register of all those in the country and should we have an identifica tion system that relates to it?”

The Home Office has never made an estimate of how people are living illegally in Britain, on the grounds that it is impossible to know.

Mr Blunkett said yesterday that it was clear from the number of people using public services that it was wrong to claim the figure was as high as one million.

“I have to get people’s trust on asylum and immigration,” he said.

“And one of the trusts that we need is that we know who’s here, we know who they are, that we can track them, that people don’t work if they are not entitled to work, they don’t draw on services which are free in this country, including health, unless they are entitled to, and that when we find people we can identify quickly that they are not entitled and get them out.

“Now all of that, in my view, is dependent firstly on improving the whole system… you build on what is already there, 44m passports, 38m driving licences, we can build on that, and ensure that everyone has a verifiable card.”

He said the ID cards would not be compulsory in the sense that everyone would have to carry one in the street.

But the card would have to be produced when it was required, and that would mean that those without it would be denied access to work and public services.

“My own view is that the minimum is that you can’t actually work, or draw on services, register for services unless you have that card.”

Asked whether he wanted to see the necessary legislation in this autumn’s Queen’s speech, Mr Blunkett said: “It is my hope that we will do that.

“We are debating the Queen’s speech at the moment, let’s see if we can get that through.”

The home secretary also confirmed that it was his intention to introduce legislation for a single right of appeal for asylum seekers whose cases were turned down.

He will learn the outcome this week of his appeal against the high court ruling that the decision to deny welfare benefits to those who do not claim asylum as soon as they arrive in the country was illegal.,3605,1046964,00.html

Legal Action Group is running a one-day course, Recent Developments in Traveller Law, which highlights developments in the law affecting Travelling People. It is designed for legal aid practitioners, Travelleradvice and liaison workers and voluntary sector workers with a basic knowledge of Traveller issues. Local government housing, planning and education departments responsible for Gypsy and Traveller matters will also find this course particularly useful.

The course is run by lawyers, who are experts in this field of law, and it is essential to attend if you want to know about Travellers’ rights on a wide range of issues ranging from eviction to education and health.

Topics include:

 Eviction

 case law update

 the Human Rights Act and its impact on public authorities

 police, local authorities, government departments and others

 homelessness in the light of R (Margaret Price) v Carmarthenshire County Council

 security of tenure on official sites

 new government changes to law and guidance

 Town and country planning

 update on case law and planning policy

 consequences of Chapman v UK and South Bucks v Porter

 development plans, development control and enforcement

 the Planning and Compensation Bill

 Human rights

 positive theoretical UK judgments

 negative practical UK judgments

 ECHR accommodation judgments

 ECHR environmental and health judgments

 update of ECHR Roma judgments

 Race relations

 The Race Relations (Amendment) Act and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

 race equalities schemes

 Education and health

 the duty to provide health care services

 education issues affecting Travellers’ children

Details: 9.30am – 5.15pm, Thursday 25 September 2003 at 6 Avonmouth Street, London SE1 6NX, £259 + VAT.

For more information, email Legal Action Group’s Training Team at or call 020 7833 7434.

Interesting item on Radio 4 program, ‘The Message’

e-democracy :: Our politicians want a greater use of the internet to engage the public in democracy. Campaigners love it, the “Nimbys” embrace it, but what about the rest of us? We look at the power of the internet.

Program website:

You can listen to the show again [for the next 7 days] at:

At last, a ‘good news’ story about travellers …..

Cornish Guardian – 18 September 2003

A small group of men and women in Penwith have spent the last 18 months turning a former council dump into productive land where they are growing vegetables and sunflowers.

They have also enhanced the wildlife habitat at the site and now boast a host of wild visitors including the spectacular hummingbird moth, rare butterflies and numerous species of bird.

But these budding young environmentalists are not part of a local clean-up group, but are “travellers” who have set up home at the former county council storage yard near Tredavoe.

And at the end of the month they are holding an open day in the hope that local people will take the opportunity to meet them and dispel any fears or stereotypes they have about them.

“It looks very much like we are going to be evicted from the site within the next month or so,” said Izzi, who at 41 is the oldest of the group.

“We have to go to court at the end of the month, but don’t hold out much hope of being allowed to stay because our vans do not have planning permission.”

Izzi said that the group, which consists of individuals and couples, each with their own camper van or minibus, changes size as people come and go.

“This year’s occupants have built raised beds for the planting of vegetables, growing their own beetroot, beans, tomatoes, carrots, onions, broccoli, lettuce, cabbages and herbs,” she said.

“We draw drinking water from a fresh water spring and have built an ecologically friendly loo, where we use sawdust and chippings to reduce smells and deter vermin.”

Penzance chef, Nathan and his girlfriend, Cath, are about to have their first baby.

Nathan said: “Some of us have jobs and pay taxes.

“Cath and I would like to be able to rent a flat, but have only been offered B &B accommodation by the council. If we accepted it would mean we would be thrown out onto the streets each day with the baby, so at the moment our own van seems preferable.”

Another member of the group is Martin – a volunteer at the Penzance Bat Hospital and an expert naturalist who arranges nature walks through the Penwith countryside.

Barnaby also lives on the site. He has been working for the charity, Mencap, but dreams of his own organic farm.

“We hope that by inviting people here to an open day, that we can show local folk that we are not drug addicts, thieves or layabouts,” he said.

“Some of us have chosen to live in vans and travel around the countryside, others have no choice because of the housing situation.

“We are not a threat to anyone and it is a pity that there is no room in society for people to have an alternative lifestyle. If we are evicted, all our work will be destroyed and the site returned to rubble and rubbish.”

The group – which currently consists of Izzi, Nemo, Nathan, Martin, Barnaby, Cath, Simba, Alan, Snow, Anya and Kev – hope that local people will attend the open day on Sunday September 21 from noon to 4pm.

P800 Specification:

I showed some screengrabs from the phone at to give a ‘feel’ for the device. Here are few descriptive shots, to show the device and the FM radio set.

I go off about this, because most of the pictures on FotoPages:

blog, are taken with it. It makes a pleasent change to shoot in a ‘diary’ style, rather than my more serious work with 35mm Nikon kit.

Here is a selection, describing the P800 and kit

Have prepared this set, to give a general idea of what it looks like to operate. Some of the snaps look quite snazzy also, when used in this format.

direct link to photos here:

All pictures on FotoPages:

A video documentary on the impact which new technology has on the role of the International newsgatherer. The film argues that coverage of world events by CNN and the BBC is flawed, citing the media reaction to the events of 11th September 2001 and the use of expressions such as “The War on Terrorism”. With increasing dissatisfaction with global media, the documentary asks if growing use of the camcorder can offer the public a more accurate view of world events. The documentary shows how media workers world-wide have set up their own independent channels of distribution, and campaigners have found that the Internet enables them to directly distribute their messages and images. Examples are drawn from independent coverage of the World Trade Summit (Seattle) and the G8 Summit (Genoa), together with footage of the brutal reaction of local police. See for further information. The video lasts for 20 minutes and 59 seconds.

Special Interest: These trials will consider the legality of the war on Iraq.

Special Event: Vigil to mark resumption of Hearings, & to mark 6 months on from the invasion of Iraq.

Place: Gloucester Crown Court. Friday 19th September 2003 @ 9:15am.

(Please see the notes section for more information.)

For Immediate Release.


On 19th Sept Judge Jamie Tabor, sitting in Gloucester Crown Court, will decide on procedures by which the ‘Fairford’ jury trials will be heard.

Alldefendants in these 4 cases – Paul Milling, Margaret Jones, Phil Pritchard,Toby Olditch, Josh Richards, Kate Holcombe, Geoffrey Cornock – will invoke ‘lawful excuse’ for disabling, or attempting to disable, planes & support equipment at Fairford Air Force base (Cotswolds, Gloucestershire) in the weeks prior to the invasion of Iraq. All of them acted on the grounds that the war on Iraq was illegal making their actions, or attempted actions, legal. In the case of Kate Holcolme, she denies the charge of criminal damage to a perimeter gate.


DATE: Friday 19th September. TIME: 9:15am onwards.

PLACE: Gloucester Crown Court. Kimbrose Way. Along the A430 off the A38. On the junction of Commercial Rd & Southgate St.


This Hearing coincides with 6 months on from the invasion of Iraq. Vigils will be held across the country to mark this date. There will also be a Vigil outside Gloucester Crown. To get there please follow the directions above, or if you live in Bristol or the surrounding area, please contact: 0117 9466885 or 07711 214168


Fairford is in the Cotswolds, UK. RAF/USAF Fairford is one of only 3 forward bases (outside the US) for B2 Stealth bombers. The others are in Guam and Diego Garcia. In tests the B2 has released B61 and B83 mini-nuclear weapons, the first of a new generation.

On 3rd and 4th March 2003, fourteen B52 bombers from USAF 23rd Bomb Squadron ‘Barons’ arrived at RAF/USAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, UK, to prepare for the aerial bombing of Iraq, which began on the 20th March 2003. On April 24th 2003, after 142 flights and 54 days, they left.

Stuart Millar – The Guardian

Saturday September 13, 2003,3605,1041164,00.html

Ministers are to press ahead with plans to ensure that communications companies retain the records of every telephone, internet and email user, in the face of determined opposition from industry and civil liberties groups.

The Home Office announced yesterday that phone companies and internet service providers will be asked to stockpile customer records for up to 12 months so that they can be accessed by law enforcement and other public bodies.

The data includes names and addresses of subscribers, calls made and received, internet sites visited, sources and destinations of emails, and mobile phone data which can pinpoint the user’s whereabouts to within a few hundred metres.

The voluntary code of practice published yesterday has been delayed for more than 18 months because the communications industry sees it as unworkable and has consistently refused to sign up to it. But yesterday the government made clear that if the voluntary approach did not work, it would force the companies to store the data.

The Home Office also unveiled a new list of public bodies that would be given access to the data.

Six agencies – each judged to have a serious crime-fighting role – will be given automatic access to the full range of customer records. They are the UK atomic energy constabulary, the Scottish drugs enforcement agency, the maritime and coastguard agency, the financial services authority, the office for the police ombudsman in Northern Ireland, and the radiocommunications agency. Ambulance services and fire brigades will also have automatic access for the investigation of hoax calls.

A second list of public bodies, including specific departments of all 468 local councils in the UK, will be allowed to access subscriber data only, and only with the prior approval of the interception of the communications commissioner, Sir Swinton Thomas.

Only the police, the intelligence services and the Inland Revenue were given the power to demand communications records without a warrant by the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, passed in 2000.

Last summer, David Blunkett, the home secretary, faced a huge backlash after the Guardian revealed plans to extend the list to include seven Whitehall departments, all local authorities, NHS authorities in Northern Ireland and Scotland, and 11 quangos ranging from the postal services commission to the food standards agency.

But the Home Office minister Caroline Flint said yesterday: “We have consulted widely and listened carefully. The result is a framework that addresses the legitimate concerns of the public over issues of privacy while at the same time recognising the importance of access to communications data in terms of public protection and the investigation of crime.”

Despite these concessions, ministers are certain to face a big political battle on the issue.

Currently, records are only kept for as long as the company needs them for legitimate business purposes, such as billing and marketing. The only exception – under anti-terrorism legislation brought in after the September 11 attacks – is data that can be retained for longer because it is to be used in terrorism-related investigations.

Ian Brown, the director of the foundation for information policy research, said: “If sensitive data is stored for anti-terrorism purposes, it should not be available to a wide range of officials such as tax inspectors.”

Last night, the Home Office said this “disparity” was being addressed.

Shami Chakrabati, the director of the civil rights group Liberty, said: “After the original ‘snoopers’ charter’ was published last year, the government was forced to retreat … we hope the same happens again.”,3605,1041164,00.html

Have just climbed up from road out of Hathersage. A drink and cheese sandwich, having just reached the trig point here. OS REF SK229853

Walked a large circle, from High Neb along Stanage Edge, and then to Stanage Pole. About 12miles around. It’s lovely to be here and such a nice day.

I took photos, of course, and added a set to me CAMphone blog at:

High Neb, Stanage Edge map

Johnny Cash, a towering figure in American music spanning country, rock and folk, has died of complications from diabetes, hospital officials in Nashville, Tennessee said today. He was 71.

Born in Arkansas, “The Man in Black” originally auditioned as a gospel singer at Memphis’s Sun Studios before shifting to country music with his 1957 debut album Johnny Cash and his Hot and Blue Guitar.

My favorite, I think was ‘Ring of Fire’. Apparently, The Voices, told him to include the Mexican Trumpets. Wotta move! You can listen here is you like:

His obituary in the Guardian. Quite a life,12723,1040832,00.html

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