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2007: Jan-March

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26th March   Ore Inspiring Injustice ...

Old Bailey
Operation Ore class action clear to begin

From Inquistion21

At last, the money required to commence the Operation Ore class action has been raised. It has been a long and arduous process and at times lonely and dangerous, but the British courts will now decide if the lives of thousands of citizens can be somewhat restored and if justice can prevail.

This is a simple announcement to mark the point where the Operation Ore class action can begin. It will be enacted mainly in Great Britain where Operation Ore ruined so many lives, but should have a knock-on affect in Ireland, Canada and Australia, and back in the US where it all began.

The process of raising the money to begin has been very difficult as most of the class action Orees were ruined and bankrupted by police and prosecution actions carried out in the name of Operation Ore. Many of those ruined were cleared by the police or courts but ruined nonetheless, not that police, courts or media cared.


20th March   Golly !. ..

Golly badgeGolly rag dolls seized by police

From This Is London

The Police raided a shop and seized a pair of golly rag dolls.

The alleged crime was that they were designed in the style of a golliwog, and a visitor to the shop where they were on sale had complained to police.

As a result shopkeeper Gavin Alexander faced a £1,000 fine after being accused of a public order offence.

Police have since returned the dolls and said charges were not being pressed. But Alexander attacked the decision to take the complaint seriously in the first place: Surely the police have got more important things to do? It's cases like this that cause racism.

His shop, In Touch in the village of Wrightington, Lancashire, sells soft toys, curiosities, furniture and other products. The £4.50 "golly rag dolls" and matching key-rings were on display with African statues and Buddha figures.

The Commission for Racial Equality said the question of whether golliwogs were considered racist depended on the context in which they were displayed.

Last night Lancashire Police said: This incident was reported to us by a member of the public. No offences have been committed and it is no longer a police matter."

The golliwog first appeared in a children's story by American writer Florence Kate Upton in the 19th century and was popularised in Britain when jam manufacturer James Robertson & Sons adopted it as a symbol for its products in 1910. By the 1980s, however, it was increasingly seen as offensive and Robertson's dropped the golly in 2001.


19th March   Fears Prevail . ..

The Friends of Voltaire

The Modern World

I disapprove of what you say,
but I will defend to the death
your right to say it.
I defend your
right to say it
... BUT ...

Leeds University cancels talk about islam

From The Telegraph

Leeds university has been accused of "selling out" academic freedom of speech by scrapping a talk on links between the Nazis and Islamic anti-semitism after allegedly receiving emails from Muslims protesting about the event.

Matthias Kntzel, a German author and political scientist who specialises in the threat of Islamic fundamentalism, was told that a talk and a two-day workshop, on Hitler's Legacy: Islamic Anti-semitism in the Middle East, had been cancelled because of supposed security fears.

In a statement yesterday, two academics in the Leeds German department, which had organised the event, claimed the university had bowed "to Muslim protests". Dr Kntzel said he had given similar addresses around the world and there had been no problems: ' I know this is sometimes a controversial topic but I am accustomed to that and I have the ability to calm people down. It's not a problem for me at all. My impression was that they wanted to avoid the issue in order to keep the situation calm. My feeling is that this is a kind of censorship.'

He has given the talk at Yale and in universities in Jerusalem and Vienna. Dr Kntzel said the contents of emails described to him did not overtly threaten violence but they were very, very strongly worded'.


17th February   PC Plod . ..

Willy 4 Fanny cardPuerile police action over jokey Valentines cards

From The Sun

A florist was ticked off by 5 cops for having the words ‘Willy’ and ‘Fanny’ in his Valentine’s window display.

Mark Nicholas had cards saying Willy 4 Fanny and Who will you give one to this Valentine’s?

But four officers told him to take them down after complaints — and a fifth went to his home to issue a warning. Mark of Hayle, Cornwall, said: It seems ridiculous.

Police said: The words were not appropriate.


2nd February   Stupid Stunt ...

Jackass 2 DVD cover
Accident leads to inevitable call to ban Jackass

From The Scotsman

A man has described the horror of seeing his son turn into a human fireball after copying a stunt from a film.

Stuart Harrison, 11, was rushed to hospital with severe burns following an incident at his home in Inverclyde. Stuart is still being treated on hospital.

It is understood he was engulfed by flames after copying scenes from Jackass: The Movie by spraying himself with deodorant and setting himself alight.

Stuart's father and his mother, Pearl, want the Jackass TV series and the 18-rated films banned following the incident. The film, which stars Johnny Knoxville, originated from the MTV series Jackass. It has the tagline "Do not attempt this at home" and contains a number of pranks and stunts that did not get past the television censor.

It was reported the boy watched the film in his bedroom with his twin brother and best friend before acting the scene out.


20th January   No Complaints ...

Press Complaints Commission
UK newspapers agree to extend PCC regulation to their internet video

From the BBC

UK newspaper and magazine publishers have agreed to allow the Press Complaints Commission to regulate audio-visual material on their websites.

The PCC already regulates print and still photo material on newspaper and magazine websites, but will now extend its remit to audio and video clips, including podcasts.

Sir Christopher Meyer, the chairman of the PCC, said that the move is an extension of the PCC's remit to regulate the electronic version of newspapers and exactly the same rules would apply.

The full details of the extension to the PCC's online content remit are expected to be announced in the next few weeks.

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