Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Bombers Near Pendle

TWO Lancashire men, one of them a former British National Party(BNP) candidate have been remanded in custody and are due to appear at Burnley Crown Court on October 23, after police found what they say was a record haul of chemicals used in bomb-making at a house in Colne.

Robert Cottage (49), of Talbot Street, Colne, and David Bolus Jackson (62), of Trent Road, Nelson, made separate appearances before magistrates last week. They were charged under the Explosive Substances Act(1883) with being in possession of an explosive substance for an unlawful purpose.

Cottage was arrested at his home on Thursday, September 28, while retired dentist Jackson was arrested in the Lancaster area on the Friday, the same day as he left a dental practice in Grange-over-Sands.

It is reported that the 22 chemical components recovered by police were possibly the largest haul ever found at a house in this country.

Cottage is an ex-BNP member who stood as a candidate in the Pendle Council elections in May. Mrs Christiana Buchanan, who appeared for the prosecution in Jackson's case, alleged the pair had "some kind of masterplan". She said a search of Jackson's home had uncovered rocket launchers, chemicals, BNP literature and a nuclear biological suit.

Police raided Cottage's Talbot Street home last week. The house was taped off while forensics officers searched the premises. Neighbours were told to stay in their homes for their own safety. Cottage's car was also taken away for examination. Officers also made a thorough examination of Jackson's Trent Road home and, again, officers were on duty outside the house. Forensics officers examined the property.

This information comes from a local news source, http://www.pendletoday.co.uk, brought to our attention by someone from that area. The case was also covered by the Lancashire Telegraph, the same paper which broke the story of Jack Straw's aversion to veils.

For some reason I can't remember seeing anything about this case in the national media. I may have missed it. Or ...Could it be that a) Reporters and TV camera crew who gave us nightly coverage of a house in Forest Gate where a man was shot but no bombs or dangerous chemicals were discovered find it hard to obtain travel expenses to cover stories in north-east Lancashire?
or b) The media don't feel obliged to cover cases where the alleged bomb-makers don't sound like Muslims?
or c) some kind of D-notice has been imposed because one of the men charged has been connected with the British National Party? Don't want to publish anything that dispels the far-Right party's law n'order image.

And now, here's some good news to record on a couple of very different cases:

PoW wins case against government discrimination

Diana Elias, who was deemed "not British enough" to be compensated for spending four years as a Japanese prisoner of war has won her case against the government. Mrs. Elias, 83, is entitled to a £10,000 award plus nearly £4,000 for injury to her feelings, the Court of Appeal ruled on Tuesday. The government had denied Mrs Elias from Colindale, north London, compensation as she had no "blood link" to the UK. In his judgment, Lord Justice Mummery criticised the handling of the scheme.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) had appealed against a High Court ruling in July last year which found that the blood link rule - that a parent or grandparent must have been born in the UK - was unlawful discrimination on grounds of race.
Hopefully others who failed to get compensation over their detention will now be able to claim. And someone should ask why, apart from the meanness for which the MoD is notorious (except when paying big business contractors) was the government so determined to fight this case?

A slap for hysteria

As has been reported everywhere, London mayor Ken Livingstone has had his suspension from office for insulting an Evening Standard reporter squashed.
And quite right too. One does not have to be one of Livingstone's dwindling fan club to see that the Standard had no business sending its reporter doorstepping the mayor as he left a party (for gay MP Chris Smith) unless it was after a wind-up. Nor to recognise that his outburst was aimed at that right-wing newspaper group, with its nasty (and Nazi) past, and not at the reporter who happened to be Jewish.
As for bodies like the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre, which launched an anti-Livingstone campaign tagging the mayor as "antisemitic" from afar, relying on the ignorance of its American public, I hope it will take this judgement as a slap in the face. It deserves one.



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