September 2004

Richard Norton-Taylor

Saturday September 25, 2004

The Guardian,12780,1312489,00.html

Newspaper editors and television producers are to be asked to avoid referring to such visible installations as sewage works and power stations on the grounds they are potential targets for terrorists.

The request has been prompted by growing anxiety in parts of Whitehall, notably the Home Office, concerned not least by a spate of drama documentaries about terrorist attacks.

After intense argument about whether the media should disclose the whereabouts of conspicuous locations – and their vulnerability – new media guidelines are being drawn up by the defence, press and broadcasting advisory committee which operates a system of voluntary self-censorship.

The committee will soon extend the reach of D notice number 4 which now concentrates on nuclear weapons and intelligence facilities, according to emergency planning officers.

It will be amended to cover a much wider range of “sensitive sites”, including what Whitehall calls Britain’s “critical national infrastructure”, or CNI. It covers telecommunications, energy, transport and water.

Two years ago MI5 drew up a list of more than 300 possible terrorist targets, including oil refineries, the country’s 15 nuclear power stations, the main National Grid sites, petrochemical facilities, and the atomic weapons establishment at Aldermaston in Berkshire as well as such obvious high-profile targets as the House of Commons.

This summer MI5 warned businesses that terrorists were increasingly looking at “soft” targets such as social and retail venues, tourist sites and transport networks.

It offered sensible practical advice about precautions that public authorities and private companies should take in light of an increased terrorist threat.

Telling the media what to report – or rather not report – about buildings and locations whose functions are visible to the naked eye or described on maps is quite another matter, some senior officials concede.

One issue raised behind the scenes in Whitehall was whether the media should be dissuaded, not only from describing the locations of sensitive sites but from reporting any vulnerability in their defences.

The Home Office suggested that the media should not be allowed to report security lapses as a series of programmes and articles have recently done.

The argument appears to be that this would only help terrorists. The contrary argu ment is that such stories alert the authorities to gaps in security precisely so that they can make locations less vulnerable.

Those in the latter camp seem to have won the battle, on the grounds that if the media are going to pay any attention to D notice guidelines, then they may as well be as reasonable as possible.

It begs the question whether the D notice system is viable in the first place.

Few would want to put lives at risk, whether or not this was the subject of one of the committee’s guidelines.

However, even the existing D notice No 4 refers to the need to seek official advice before disclosing, for example, “sites associated with the nuclear weapons programme”, or “high security MoD and military sites associated with intelligence and other sensitive activities”.

Such sites are well known and many have been photographed, frequently.

Recently the D notice committee – which consists of senior Whitehall figures and media representatives – agreed that the government would say more about the activities of Britain’s special forces. The agreement has been ignored by the MoD.,12780,1312489,00.html

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For more background on what a D notice is all about, check out the pages at:

DA-Notice Home Page – The official site of the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee

I was here last week, but ran out of daylight, before I got to this area.

Again, starting out from Upper Booth Farm, only this time, heading west, then north along the beginning of the Pennine Way. With a great deal of puff, climbed up the established route of Jacobs Ladder. This got me to the top of the Kinder Scout plateau. Then, all is at about the same height. There is a trig point on the western edge though, cemented on top of a fairly random rock. [included in these piccys].

The reason I’m back here again though, is to navigate to the ‘woolpacks’. This is an area of huge weathered rocks, millions of years of wind an rain, making some very unusual forms. So many of them, remind me of Henry Moore sculptures. { I wonder if he ever came up here, a plagerised some of God’s work 🙂 }

More piccys from this set of Kinder Scout at:

Piccys from last week of Kinder Scout

Map of the area:,386500&st=4&ar=N&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf&dn=639

More piccys at:

Map of the area:,383500&st=4&ar=Y&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf&dn=639

Oh, at last!! Whatever you think of the present Labour Government, Mr Meacher and department have done this. I can now walk on a mountain, BY RIGHT, NOT PERMISSION. I think this important. and I say thank you to them. This is all effective in this area of the country from yesterday the 19th.

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 gives a new right to walk over areas of open countryside and registered common land. Walkers have been campaigning for decades for the opportunity to roam across wide-open spaces.

The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 will give people a new right to walk, responsibly and subject to some common sense restrictions, over areas of open countryside and registered common land in England and Wales.

The Government is introducing these new access rights on a regional basis in England, starting with the South East and Lower North West on the 19 September 2004. In Wales , access becomes a reality in the summer of 2005.

It has not been easy to get this access from the land-owning classes. I attendended the 70th anniversary celebrations of the ‘Kinder Scout Mass Trespass’. In 1932, many were beaten and locked up for walking on mountain and moor, at Kinder Scout. There was a public outcry at the treatment of these young working class lads from Sheffield and Manchester, that eventually, Parliament ‘bought up the rear’ and in 1951, passed an act that created The Peak District’, the first National Park in England.

These guys were heros of mine. Direct Action in 1932, to make my life better now. Thanks guys!

Here are some more piccys I took of the day to celebrate this.

Years later, I can now walk on a mountain, BY RIGHT, NOT PERMISSION. I think this important.

Countryside Agency

Countryside Access

Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000

Peak and Northern Footpaths Society

Starting out from Upper Booth heading north up Crowden Clough, and after a great deal of ‘puff’ end up on to Kinder Scout plataeu. This is the highest point [well area really,] of the Peak District. Splendid views in all directions, reviewing the Vale of Edale.

I started out quite late, so again ran out of daylight before descent. Otherwise, I would have dithered a bit, to photograph the fantastic ‘stone sculptures’ that the wind has cut out of the millions of years there. Will go back again stortly to do these, before the autumn mists mean i can’t find them again ….,387500&st=4&ar=N&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf&dn=634

More piccys at:

More piccys at:

Weather has been splendid up to yesterday. Today, being Wales, it’s started to rain, lots.

Still, rain and low cloud does makes for some atmospheric shots.,355120&st=4&ar=Y&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf&dn=633

More Piccys at:

Thought I would climb back up to the Snowdon Horseshoe, and finish a bit more of the route, I’d started on tuesday but had run out of daylight.

Starting from my bunkhouse in the village of Nant Peris, I climbed up the slope, east from the road until it became quite a scramble. This got me to the route, taken by the Snowdon railway at Clogwyn Station. Then up another 1000 foot to Garnedd Ugain.

After a drink and a cheese sandwich, I descided to have a crack at Crib Goch.

OS ref: SH624552

This is a rock sharp edge, about a mile long with huge verticle drops on both sides. So very scarey!

Some folks do this bit, standing up, balancing with arm outstretched. Me, I did it as a scramble on all-fours.

There is a break in the picture series here, while on concentrated on what I was doing. It was a nice day, with a bit of wind up there. If it’s at all windy, you just don’t go that way!!

The rest of the time, that afternoon, was spent trying to get back down the valley to Pen-y-Pass and then on the Llanberis. Easy, I thought. But I kept coming upon cliffs of shear drops, and then had to climb back up my route to try again a bit further along. Quite tiring, but did it, then back to the bunkhouse for a little lie down.,355500&st=4&ar=Y&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf&dn=633

More piccys at:,355000&st=4&ar=N&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf&dn=633

More piccys at:

Starting from my campsite at Hafod y Llan, past the Gladstone Rock and up the Watkin Path, south to north.

Summit at OS ref: SH610544,353500&st=4&ar=N&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf&dn=633

more piccys at:

Left Nottingham this morning, for a lot of walking, scrambling and climbing about in the Snowdonia National Park, North Wales.

Camping at Hafod Y Llan OS ref: SH628513,352500&st=4&ar=N&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf&dn=633

piccys at:

“Let right be done” Sir Robert Morton

On BBC2 tonight. I ust had to watch this again. Quite simply, next to Ken Loach’s film “Kes”, Terence Rattigan’s “The Winslow Bow” is one of my favourite all-time films. I’m one of Nigel Hawthornes greatest fans. But I had read the book at school, and have always been so impressed by the sentiments expressed. The law standing up for the little man. “Let Right be done!”

The Winslow Boy, Trial of the Century?

This is a richly textured film based on a fifty-year-old play, tells the true story of a high profile lawsuit in England, a cause celebre that captivated public attention in the waning years of the British Empire just after the turn of the century. Reflecting the gentility of the social conventions followed by its aristocratic characters, much of the film’s intrigue lies just below the surface. With rich Edwardian costumes and witty dialogue, The Winslow Boy resembles a Merchant Ivory film more than a courtroom drama.

Through the lens of a sensational case, the film reveals much about society and the issues of the day, and highlights how public perception both influenced and was influenced by the legal battle. As with many high profile trials, the passage of time has faded the importance of the fate of the litigants and their legal issues. In a hundred years, the O.J. Simpson case will likely be valued far more for what it revealed about the racial difference in perception of the fairness of the criminal justice system than as a courtroom drama. In fact, in The Winslow Boy, there are no scenes of the trial. It’s simply not that important. The characters’ efforts in getting the case to a court and its effects on their lives are the essence of the story.

The plot centers on the fourteen-year-old son of an upper class family (Winslow) who is expelled from the Royal Naval Academy for allegedly stealing five schillings from another cadet. The proceedings which resulted in his expulsion were conducted without the knowledge of the boy’s parents and afforded him no legal representation. The family begins an obsessive quest for judicial review, with the boy’s father and older sister ready to sacrifice the family’s assets and her marriage prospects if necessary. The sister, a suffragist, takes on his cause with the same zeal she devotes to her voting rights work. One of their first tasks is to secure representation by an experienced barrister, a King’s Counsel. He is a rather young looking, conservative member of the House of Lords. He eventually shares the family’s passion for its cause and becomes their champion.

A subplot is the barrister’s rejection of the suffragist ideology espoused by the daughter. Their debates on the subject provide a metaphorical tension between the old ways of the recently passed nineteenth century and change promised by the newly entered twentieth. The romantic tension between them provides no small contribution to the appeal of the story.

The film provides many glimpses of public fascination with the case. There are newspaper headlines in “War Declared” size type, and political cartoons, buttons, posters, and even umbrellas proclaiming allegiance with one side or the other. As snippets in the film show, some citizens worried about England’s place in the world following the decline of the Empire. Thus, some viewed the Winslow boy’s claim as an assault on British institutions and an indirect threat to peerage and the monarchy. Others viewed the claim as an overdue call for a re-examination of the fairness of British society and its traditions. The uneasy juxtaposition of nineteenth and twentieth century sensibilities is best illustrated by the cigarette-smoking suffragists who crowd the women’s spectator galleries overlooking the House of Lords, while peers debate the Winslow case in the sanctity of their males-only club.

Many critics of the day warned that the entire affair was drawing national attention away from more important affairs of state. Looming in the background, phrased with contemporary irony as “trouble in the Balkans,” was the growing inevitability of what would later be called “The Great War,” a conflict that would cut down a generation of British men. The foreboding gloom of the Great War also cast a sort of reverse shadow on the machinations surrounding the expulsion of the Winslow boy from the Naval Academy. His expulsion could have the effect of saving him from annihilation in combat. (In fact, George Archer-Shee, the real-life “Winslow boy,” died in World War I.) This future knowledge the audience has, but the characters do not, provides a tragic overtone to the family’s quest for justice at any cost.

In another sense, public absorption in the case of the Winslow boy was a form of mass distraction from concerns about the world’s troubles. It gave people a chance to forget that the old world they knew was crumbling around them, and that cataclysmic events of unimaginable terror were about to overtake them. Thus, the case foreshadowed Court TV and similar programming four score years later: a forum where people can attempt to either grasp or avoid the overwhelming scope of society’s ills by watching the fate of a single person played out before them. Robert L. Waring

Check out the film details on the Sony Film Site at:

This film really contrasts, with one i watched a couple of weeks ago. “Blow Up” check this out. You’ll see I have wide taste.