The Police Commissioner

It is May 6th 2021, a day of elections. Most of the parishes lie uncontested (except the neighbouring village of Pewsey which has 30 candidates! Democracy!) due to their being less people willing to be councillors (me one of them) than seats.

There’s also the district and the police commissioner. The latter was last on my list of importance; my first concern was finding out who was standing for Wiltshire County. That is, until my other half said that Mike Rees, a former copper, was standing as an independent and, not only that, wanted to reopen the case into other potential victims of Christopher Halliwell.

Halliwell is the killer of Becky Godden-Edwards and Sian O’Callaghan. He was caught simply because he mistook his final victim, Sian, for a prostitute. Sian, however, was a woman with a regular routine and a boyfriend and was missed straightaway after she didn’t return after a night out in her home town of Swindon. A decent bit of policing led by DS Steve Fulcher caught Halliwell and a bit of rule breaking by the DS and an out-of-oath confession led to Becky who’d been missing for eight years.

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Another week another fallen hero

I first knew Noel Clarke from the first series of the reincarnated (regenerated?) Doctor Who. Since then Noel has produced and acted in much lauded films and has become a bit of a Brit made good.

But, yesterday, turns out he’s Brit made bad. Twenty or so women (such as Jing Lusi, pictured) have come out in a national newspaper detailing their not so great experiences with him ranging from bullying to straight up sexual harassment.

I’m freshly raw from the revelations that my director/writing hero, Joss Whedon (him of Buffy the Vampire Slayer) acts like a bully on set, not to mention all those caught out by Operation Yewtree, and Johnny Depp. The more I think, the more I remember.

Is it misogyny? Doesn’t misogyny mean hatred of women? Looking it up…”dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women” (Wikipedia): These don’t really fit. The #MeToo-ishness of Noel Clarke could be someone who is obsessed by women, albeit a massively fucked up version of love. Someone who’s desperate to be noticed by them, possess them, touch them. I can just see that in his mind he is worshipping them. There’s a sad lack of esteem running through this story. There’s a beautiful girl he must have or he will be worthless. He doesn’t have the confidence to woo her in a healthy way that’s fun for both: there’s too much at stake to risk rejection. So he must ensure it by a thrilling exercise of power.

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Yvonne – murdered over chips?

Reading the results of a court case this week, I was saddened (again) by how far we still have to come in equality between the sexes.

Yvonne McCann was strangled by her husband in 2020, and her body cut up and disposed of in a skip.

Yvonne McCann

This in itself is dreadful but you can see the root of this in the reporting itself, in the way the courtcase panned out – a line from this to the Yvonne’s murder and of all the other women killed each year.

Some history first. I grew up in Westbury, Wiltshire, in the 70s and 80s. Around 1986, this ‘sleepy’ market town with a couple of schools, a park, a railway station, a few shops, one Chinese takeaway and chipshop, one supermarket and an industrial estate-based nightclub, overlooked by a white horse on the scarp slope of Salisbury Plan, became the murder capital of Britain.

First it began with a teenage friend of mine from church, in my O Level year. Her mother, Jeanne Sutcliffe and Heidi, her baby sister, was killed at their home by an apparently jealous female teacher, a collegue of her father’s (the police ‘knew’ it was a woman because the murder scene had been cleaned and tidied up…)

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Thinking is dead

Remember this front page from The Sun last week?

“This is the pig’s ear Ed made of a helpless bacon sarnie. In 48 hours he could be doing this to Britain.”

What has a bacon sandwich – even a helpless one – to say about a politician’s competence to govern a country?

This cover story merely showed a flair for a clever turn of phrase, a picture that would normally be deleted by a discerning photographer and perhaps a lack of hand eye coordination.
This is not information, not news and a planet away from thinking.

This is vituperation. Continue reading

I live in a world of promise

I live in a world of promise.

When I was hungry someone gave me food, and I promised something in return.
I made him a coat.
But, I said, it took me much longer to make your coat than it did for you to make my food.
So he promised me two days food.
I made another coat.
Two people wanted it. One offered me two days of food. The other offered me a plate.
I took the plate.
Hearing how warm, dry and happy my coat made these two people, three more people wanted my coat.
The first offered food. The second offered a plate. The third offered a chair and all the food he had.
I took his chair and his food. Continue reading