Monday, June 20, 2011
Outrage as British postwoman faces being fired for jumping on her van to stop a thief getting away
A village postwoman who clung to the bonnet of her van in a ‘courageous’ bid to stop a thief driving off with the mail has been threatened with the sack.
Julie Roberts, 51, held on to the moving vehicle for a mile as it weaved through narrow country lanes in a desperate effort to thwart the crook from stealing her deliveries.
Eventually, the thief halted the vehicle and ran off with only a handful of letters.
But far from thanking Miss Roberts’ for her brave actions, her bosses at Royal Mail have launched a disciplinary inquiry and suspended her.
She fears managers will blame her for the opportunistic theft, after she left the keys in the ignition while she stepped out to retrieve a pen that had fallen a few feet away during a delivery.
Outraged MPs, led by the leader of the House of Commons, Sir George Young, have called for her to be reinstated immediately, rather than punished.
And hundreds of people have written to both Royal Mail and Miss Roberts demanding she returns to her round in South Staffordshire, where she has delivered the post for the past 13 years.
Speaking from her home in Wombourne, near Wolverhampton, Miss Roberts, who has worked for Royal Mail for 21 years, said: ‘Being a postie is not just a job, you’re part of the community. 'I see all the same people every day, say hello and have a chat and get to know about their lives. ‘They’re the same with me, know all about my ups and downs and they are more like friends. ‘So when I saw someone trying to steal the mail of people I care about there was no way I was going to let them.’
After spotting she had dropped her pen while making deliveries in April, she jumped out of her van to retrieve it, only to see a thief had jumped into the driving seat and locked the doors.
‘It was just instinct I jumped on the bonnet and held on for dear life. All the time he was driving I was shouting at him to stop the van,’ she said. ‘I wasn’t really frightened, just determined to hang on.’
But her determination paid off, and the driver finally abandoned the vehicle. A 30-year-old man was later arrested and bailed for aggravated vehicle taking and theft.
‘After he had gone villagers ran up to me to check I was all right. It was a few days later that the whole thing hit me. It was just a bit of delayed shock, but I’ve been struggling a bit since then,’ she said.
‘Colleagues have been brilliant and kept in touch. And I’ve had loads of support from customers. I have had 130 letters and I know people have written to Royal Mail on my behalf. I just want this to be over with so I can move on.’
Unmarried Miss Roberts has no children, risks losing her house if she is sacked by Royal Mail, as she will struggle to keep up the mortgage payments.
Friend Phillipa Day said: ‘It was a snap decision. She dropped her pen and she quickly picked it up and then someone was trying to get in her van. ‘I am quite glad she left the key in the ignition otherwise she would have got beaten up for it.
‘She stopped a robbery and she is being punished for it. Royal Mail have not mentioned her heroism. She has rheumatoid arthritis in her hands, so you would not expect her to hang on to a bonnet like that for that long.
‘All Royal Mail are asking her about is why she left her keys in the van. What they are doing to her is not fair. She deserves better.’
Her views are echoed by Sir George, who said she deserves an award for her bravery, rather than the loss of her job. ‘Julie sounds a courageous lady who was doing her best to defend Royal Mail property,’ he said, adding he would speak to the chairman of Royal Mail to ‘make sure that this lady is recognised as appropriate, rather than penalised’.
South Staffordshire MP Gavin Williamson said: ‘People in South Staffordshire want her back in work and they want Royal Mail to show some common sense and some common decency.’
A Royal Mail spokesman said: ‘We cannot discuss individuals but Royal Mail takes very seriously the security of its customers’ mail and the wellbeing of our employees.'
Workers Punished After Disabled homosexuals Are Told to Leave Public Pool for ‘Excessive’ Affection
It seems to be rather common for homosexuals to do in public what others would normally reserve for the bedroom so I can imagine what might have offended the workers concerned. It's a sad day when upholding moral standards is punished
Officials in a small city in eastern Kentucky are disciplining a couple of workers after two disabled gay men were told to leave a public pool.
The city of Hazard said Saturday one worker had been suspended for a week without pay. The employee, Kim Haynes, told investigators the couple was engaged in an excessive display of affection while at the pool with the social service group Mending Hearts.
Haynes also acknowledged referencing the Bible in an argument with the leader of the Mending Hearts group, saying the affection wasn’t tolerated.
The manager of the Hazard Pavilion also was reprimanded for unbecoming conduct, The Courier-Journal reported.
The city manager says new anti-discrimination signs will be posted at the pool, as well as signs warning against excessive public displays of affection.
Thought crimes a bolt through the heart of modern democracy
By Paul Howes (The national secretary of the Australian Workers Union)
IN most public libraries you can read the most controversial things and no one bats an eyelid. In fact you don't even have to visit a library to access the most evil of tracts, such as Mein Kampf or The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Just jump on to Google and you'll be able to download the entire texts.
You can wander into many bookshops and find weirdo ideas from groups ranging from the Moonies to the Mormons, or the early novels of L. Ron Hubbard. Or listen to preachers such as the Reverend Fred Nile, who tells us homosexuals will burn for a billion years in hell.Or take in the words of Danny Nalliah of the Catch the Fire Ministries and his ranting about Muslims and atheists.
So you can say a lot of things in our democracy and you can watch a lot of things - violence, pornography, cattle being clumsily slaughtered - and you can read.
Well almost anything. Increasingly it seems the "well almost anything" may involve two names, Andrew and Bolt.
Now as you might suspect, I actually disagree with many, if not most, things [conservative commentator] Andrew Bolt says and writes. But I am concerned that people in some of the circles in which I mix, on my side of politics, increasingly seem to think they should write, or invoke or resurrect, laws that will shut Bolt up.
A democracy is, at the very least, a free marketplace of ideas, and a free marketplace of arguments against those ideas. But it is never, ever a stifling or suffocation of ideas. Ideas will out, they cannot be contained. They are our better, or our worse, angels and they will be heard.
Now I do vehemently disagree with what Bolt says, and often says, about certain people being insufficiently black. There really is a silly idea here, of how black or white applicants should be for certain prizes and scholarships. Andrew grabs an idea and often follows his logic to wherever it may lead him; God help those who stand in his way!
Now while I really can't accept some of this stuff I will - unsurprisingly - defend to the death his right to run a hot-headed, half-cocked argument where he says he is now putting into his crosshairs all sorts of political, academic and media grandees. It is the Voltaire in me that says I don't like what you're saying - or about to say - but sure as hell I reckon you have the right, in our democracy, to run that argument.
Sometimes I hear about Bolt's latest outrageous challenge to orthodoxy and groan and wonder if he truly believes the words he has written. Or whether he merely loves the controversy and headlines it creates.
But despite all the bombs he regularly throws over the parapet at some of my mates in Canberra, I have to own up to liking Bolt. I have done media battle with him plenty of times and I know there is a real decency there, to which I would be proud to attest in any court.
So I am sorry to see him now dragged through the courts for possibly breaching - if he did - a law that, probably, should not be there, stretching out its fingers into the realm of what Orwell might have called a Thought Crime; because he impertinently asked the wrong questions, when all the right answers have been handed down from above - in tablets of stone - long ago.
This is not a cast of mind that I applaud. It smacks of the 16th century when William Tyndale was strangled to death while tied at a stake and his body then burned, all for translating the Bible into English. Or the 17th century, when Galileo was put in danger of the same fate for saying the Earth moved around the sun.
And the 20th century, when books were burned in the public square for being not quite the way a dictator preferred a book to be.
In each case a Thought Crime is said to have been committed, the accusation comes from an elite keen to assert its casting vote on what is reality, and who should decide what ideas are allowed and in what circumstances they can be promoted.
So we need to be very, very careful when we define vilification and what, by contrast, dissent is, or what can or cannot be accepted as a contrarian view.
I sometimes feel we are getting a bit too vigilant over words and ideas when many really vile deeds go unpunished.
I suspect I will always disagree with Bolt. On most things.
I will always fear his persuasive powers as an advocate of ideas that I will never agree with; but I will always be ready to meet him in vigorous debate over things that shape our country's future.
And I will always defend his democratic right, as a member of a free society, to say what he will, to exercise that privilege of dissent that has defined, since Federation, the Australia we all belong to, and all, with varying shades of caveat, believe in and remain proud of, a free Australia.
Our freedom of speech should remain unmitigated by this new quavering cowardice that some would impose.
Christian group fears Australian Federal government could back homosexual "marriage"
A CHRISTIAN lobby group fears the Federal Government could join the Queensland Labor Party and back same-sex marriage. The state conference of the ALP's Queensland branch yesterday passed a motion calling on both federal Labor and the ALP national conference to support same-sex marriage.
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) is worried federal Labor could follow Queensland's lead when it meets for its national conference in December. "We have appreciated Prime Minister (Julia) Gillard's resolve to honour Labor's commitment but we are worried about elements of the party who are seemingly dismissive of the party's election promise and are following the Greens' lead on redefining marriage," the lobby group's chief of staff Lyle Shelton said.
"ACL urges delegates to the federal conference in December not to break Australia's bi-partisan support for marriage being between one man and one woman."
Ms Gillard last week reaffirmed in Parliament the Labor Party's commitment not to support gay marriage.
Federal Labor MP Shayne Nuemann, who represents the Queensland electorate of Blair, today backed Ms Gillard's comments, saying he did not support same-sex marriage. "But that's a matter for national conference (and) federal caucus at some stage in the future and I'll have my say there," he said.
Mr Shelton said the changing of federal laws in 2008 to give gay couples the same rights as de-facto heterosexual couples meant issues of equality had been dealt with under the law. "But equality under the law does not mean that marriage should be redefined," he said. "This debate would be understandable if there were issues of substantial inequality but there are none."
Mr Shelton said the Queensland Labor Party risked alienating mainstream voters by fixating on a small, activist component of the population instead of dealing with the issues most Australians were concerned about.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.