Postal workers in British dependency refuse to deliver Bible recordings because the CDs are ‘offensive’
Postal workers refused to deliver CDs of Bible readings after deciding they were ‘offensive material’. Several churches had paid for discs with recordings of St Mark’s Gospel to be produced to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.
They were due to be delivered to all households on the Channel Island of Jersey, but church leaders were stunned when they were told postal workers would not handle the 45,000 CDs.
Rev Liz Hunter of St Helier Methodist Centre said: ‘Initially Jersey Post seemed quite positive about helping us deliver the CDs. ‘But then a couple of weeks ago somebody from their marketing department phoned to say they would be unable to deliver them on the grounds that they could be deemed offensive.
‘They said there were guidelines about mass material that is sent out across the island and that religious recordings could offend people.
'This is not openly aggressive evangelism it was just a nice idea to give everyone a CD which they can chose to listen to if they wish.'
Church groups around the island united on the project, with the goal of delivering 45,000 recordings of St Mark's Gospel to every house in Jersey.
Reverend Hunter added: 'The impact has been somewhat lost now. 'We launched the Switch On scheme last Monday and we wanted every house to have their CD at the same time this week. 'Now we are relying on volunteers to drop them off to individual houses so it will probably take most of September.'
Jersey Post apologised for the incident, saying staff had misinterpreted guidelines. Chief Executive Kevin Keen, said: 'I understand that one of my colleagues did say the material was offensive.
'This decision was made on the basis of our terms and conditions which states that we have the right to refuse to distribute something that falls under the category of 'promotional material which could cause offence'.
'Clearly this was interpreted in the wrong way. I have spoken to the person involved and have written to all of my colleagues asking that they come to me if there is any doubt in their mind in the future.' The CDs are now being delivered by volunteers.
Where my wife comes from, they SHOOT squatters: Doctor whose £1m home was taken over by spongers hits out at the law
As more families fall victim to organised gangs of squatters, a blood-boiling interview with the couple forced out of their £1m home who are leading the fightback...
Dr Oliver Cockerell is, by his own admission, an unlikely champion for a popular cause. But for nearly two weeks, the Harley Street doctor has fought a very public battle to evict 14 squatters who broke into, and took occupation of, his £1million dream home.
It has been a struggle that has put him on a collision course with the Government, as the 49‑year-old neurologist argued for a ‘common-sense’ change to the law which governs squatting.
Above all, he believes the gangs of anarchists and Eastern Europeans who are increasingly taking over people’s homes so shamelessly must be treated as criminals, rather than dealt with in civil courts.
Although he has taken the crusade on reluctantly, he is well aware that his case will inspire other victims to fight back.
His story started when squatters took over the five-bedroom Edwardian home he and his heavily pregnant wife planned to move into in time for the birth of their first child.
The raggle-taggle group of foreigners and drop-outs ignored his repeated pleas to leave the West London property despite telling them that his 35-year-old wife Kaltun was being put under emotional strain and the ordeal was placing their unborn baby at risk.
He said: ‘These people think that because I’m a Harley Street doctor I’ve got lots of money, and so this doesn’t matter. 'But I’m not very rich. Like so many people, I have a 90 per cent mortgage and I have to work more than 60 hours a week to pay that off.’
His anger is, in part, borne out of his own struggles to succeed. The son of a Hammersmith businessman, he was sent to private school courtesy of a bursary for gifted children. Next, he funded his studies at King’s College Medical School in Camberwell by taking two jobs — one as a security guard and another at McDonald’s — while living in a council flat.
Speaking at his desk at The London Clinic, he asks: ‘Do these squatters’ families know what they are doing and the effect they are having on people?’
Across London and other cities around the country, gangs of squatters have been occupying people’s homes, sometimes forcing their way in after the owner has gone out for only a few hours.
Quickly, the squatters barricade themselves in by changing the locks, nailing windows shut and then putting up posters which state that the property is ‘vacant’ and is being squatted in.
Alternatively, they create bogus tenancy agreements which they give to police when questioned in order to try to prove they are legally renting the place.
An estimated 20,000 squatters in the UK are exploiting lax laws. Although it is illegal for squatters to stay if the property owner demands they leave, police will usually intervene only after the despairing householder has spent thousands of pounds obtaining a court eviction order.
The squatters’ ultimate goal — which, thankfully, is rarely realised — is to squat in a property for ten years, at which point they become the new legal owner.
In one area of East London, squatting is so rife that residents have set up a local ‘home guard’ to monitor the activities of gangs of Eastern Europeans who have seized — and gone on to ransack — a number of homes in the area.
The problem was highlighted last month when Julia High, a 55-year-old immigration officer, returned from a concert at The Proms to discover that a group of Romanian gipsies had broken into her home in Leytonstone, east London, and barricaded themselves inside. To add insult to injury, the Romanian women put on Miss High’s clothes. When challenged by neighbours, they said she was dead, before uncorking some of her wine.
Miss High spent two weeks cleaning up the mess after finally managing to get them evicted.
Similarly, this week, sisters Amelita and Lilia Olasa (both retired nurses) fell victim to another family of Romanian squatters.
They wept as they surveyed the damage done to the £500,000 North London home where they have lived for 27 years. Furniture, kitchen appliances and personal possessions were taken, and makeshift ashtrays overflowing with cigarette butts were littered throughout the three-bedroom house.
The gang had struck when the sisters went away on holiday. After breaking in, the squatters produced a bogus six-month ‘contract’ claiming they were paying a ‘landlord’ £1,200 rent.
Wiping tears from her eyes, Lilia asked: ‘How are people allowed to do this?’
It is that very same question to which Dr Cockerell and the ever-increasing number of other victims of squatting are determined to get an answer. He says: ‘These are organised groups who use the internet for a support network. It is remarkable.’
He went on to criticise judge Fiona Henderson, who this week caused outrage when she said that ‘squatting is not a crime’. Incredibly, this is the truth — squatting is merely a civil offence.
Judge Henderson also went on to order that a list of empty homes in north London should be made public to the Advisory Service for Squatters, an east London-based organisation known as the ‘estate agency for squatters’.
While Judge Henderson acknowledged that publication of the list could have ‘a negative impact’ on crime prevention and might be of use to organised criminals looking to burgle and gut empty homes, she insisted: ‘The tribunal does not consider that any perceived social disadvantage of living next door to squatters, or the costs of eviction of squatters, are matters that the tribunal is entitled to take into consideration since squatting is not illegal.’
There is a whole industry which supports the activities of squatters. An 83-page Squatters Handbook (now in its 13 edition since its initial publication in 1976) lists the tricks that home-wreckers can use.
The Advisory Service will even post information abroad to help anyone thinking of coming to England to become squatters and exploit the fact that they are not criminals and are dealt with only in the civil courts.
‘Politicians have got to change these laws,’ Dr Cockerell argues. ‘It’s simply wrong that stealing a car is a criminal offence but moving into someone else’s home falls under civil law.’ His wife, a NatWest financial adviser, who fled Somalia 20 years ago when civil war broke out, is astonished that British law is so feeble.
She says that property-ownership is sacrosanct in her home country and that ‘if someone takes it over, you shoot them’. She is furious that English law allows feckless people to use others’ electricity, gas and water without paying for it.
Her husband says he was so upset that he considered exacting a more immediate revenge on the squatters: ‘I was angry at the injustice of it all. If I was not a consultant, I could well have lashed out — got ten heavy friends together and done what most people would do in such circumstances.’
Of course, such action would have risked him getting a criminal record which would bar him from practising medicine. So, instead, he hired a barrister and began the legal eviction process.
The procedure took nearly two weeks and was almost derailed due to a ‘technicality’. For the squatters — who included an American, Australians and Italians — set up a ‘textbook’ squat. While the advice manual warns squatters not to commit ‘criminal damage’, it tacitly encourages such action by saying that police can prosecute only ‘if there were witnesses’. Not surprisingly, no neighbours witnessed them break into Dr Cockerell’s home.
The manual also advises squatters to ‘control entry’ by changing locks (three new ones were fitted at Dr Cockerell’s place).
If, and when, the police arrive, it suggests a ‘polite but firm’ manner when insisting that no law has been broken. To make sure there is proof that the squatters live there legally, it even suggests posting a letter to members of the squat!
Dr Cockerell recalls standing on his doorstep, pleading with them to leave. When he failed, he hoped hard cash would succeed and offered them £500 to leave. But this was rejected as ‘paltry’. ‘It was blatant extortion,’ he says.
Meanwhile, after the case hit the headlines and reporters visited the address, they were met with a barrage of abuse from the squatters, as well as complaints that an impromptu band practice in one room was being interrupted.
One complained that the ‘peace and quiet’ was being shattered and a meditation session in another of the three reception rooms would have to be postponed.
On Wednesday, nearly two weeks after they arrived, the eviction order was finally executed and the gang made a hasty retreat, with a few glib apologies to Mrs Cockerell.
But, like so many other squatters, they simply moved on to another empty address in the area which they had scouted out.
One squatter explained his actions, saying that as a struggling musician, he needs the solitary lifestyle of squatting as it lets his creative juices flow.
There’s little sympathy from victims like Dr Cockerell. Describing his two-week ordeal as ‘a nightmare’, he said he remained philosophical because his work has given him perspective on the situation: ‘I have just come from the intensive care unit where I saw a young man who has had a life-threatening stroke. My problems are nothing in comparison to his.’
Nevertheless, Dr Cockerell is keen to continue his campaign against squatters, explaining that his own experience has made him realise the huge emotional importance of our homes. ‘A home is more than merely a possession. It’s something we hold very dear,’ he says. ‘When burgled, people feel it’s the invasion and violation of their home that upsets them far more than the loss of items stolen.’
Tragically, he and his wife no longer see their new house as a dream home. ‘The trouble is that we’ve come to loathe the house now. This cannot be allowed to happen to other people.’
British police tell victim of bike thief ‘you can’t take it back, the crook could sue you’ ... and then let him escape
A cyclist whose bike was stolen was flabbergasted when bungling police stopped him from taking it back - and then let the thief ride off on it. Simon Turner, 48, spotted his bicycle chained up on a busy high street as he shopped with his six-year-old son, Giles.
But after he approached a Police Community Support Officer in his home town of Maidenhead he was told not to break the lock and retrieve his stolen bike. The PCSO told him it was not his property and the crook would be able to sue him if he took it. Mr Turner was told police would monitor the area using CCTV and catch the criminal.
But the next day he heard the thief had slipped through their fingers and had walked off with his bike for a second time.
Two men, who could not be identified, had unlocked the bicycle and taken it away from the high street in Maidenhead, Berkshire.
Mr Turner said: 'I'm absolutely appalled. The worst thing was, when we found the bike, we had to explain to Giles why we had to leave it and let the thief get it. 'He was scared that maybe his bike would be stolen as well.'
Thames Valley Police apologised to Mr Turner for the botched operation after he went to the station on Wednesday to give a statement about the 're-theft'.
The father-of-one's black and burgundy Universal bicycle - which was stolen from his shed in early August - had cost him £55 second hand, and he had made various improvements.
When he saw it chained up outside a McDonald's in the town centre later that month, he even offered the PCSO £5 to pay to replace the lock so that he could get his bike back. But he was advised that the thief could sue for damage.
'The PCSO was taking advice from another officer over the phone and was just as incredulous as I was.'
Mr Turner, who runs a home tuition company, then had to sit back and wait while the police allowed the thief to get away. 'I was tempted to hang around and see who came to take it back but I was with my son and it wouldn't have been practical,' added Mr Turner, who lives with wife Anu in Maidenhead.
A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: 'The PCSO was acting on the advice of a colleague and we've yet to establish exactly what happened. 'However, it does appear the incorrect advice was given to her and there were other steps that could have been taken at the time. 'We'd like to apologise for this mistake and reassure the gentleman concerned that we are doing all we can to track down the person or people who stole his bicycle.'
The Citizens Advice Bureau advises that police can seize goods if they have reasonable grounds for believing they have been obtained illegally, or are evidence in relation to an offence.
Mutual aid in action
I had the honor to help a beautiful family maneuver through the corrupt system in Massachusetts known as The Department of Children and Families. The following is an account of that by the grandmother I worked with from the moment she was sent my way until her granddaughters were back where they belonged, with their mother.
"About year ago, the fight of my life started when DCF (Department of Children and Families) took my two granddaughters from their mom. This event was the saddest and most frustrating time of my life. I was lost, never having dealt with anything like this before. I had no idea what or how to get my babies back home safe....That's when I found a post on Facebook from CopBlock regarding an incident in the area.
"I did not hesitate. I found the guys' names that were involved with this incident. I got in touch with activist Pete Eyre who listened to my story and said he could help me by connecting me with other activists and that is what he did. He directed me to Shaun Lee "our family's angel." Shaun listened to my story and helped me throughout the fight. She always guided me in the right direction to save my grandkids and through the help of Pete, Shaun, and other activists I was able to maintain my sanity. They helped me to fight the fight and not be scared anymore. I was able to stand my ground and always knew I had someone to listen and guide me along the lonely corrupt path of DCF kidnapping my granddaughters. A year later... my grandkids are back with mom and we are living our lives."
The absolute beauty in this situation is that the granddaughters are with mom, and now grandmother is fighting back. She has taken the lead in her town to protest the corrupt DCF organization which victimized her family.
Mutual Aid activates people into the freedom movement. People that are helped see first hand their own victimization, and eventually come to conclude that there are many people like themselves that did not have the support they did. They seek to help others and do what they can to awaken others to their plight.
I have watched Helen organize protests and scour boards to find others in a position similar to hers. I have seen her reach out to these people and help them they way in which she was helped. The full circle of healing, helping, and reaching out I witnessed was nothing short of astounding.
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.