Sunday, October 13, 2013
Multiculturalism getting very strong in Britain
Drug dealers inspired by gangster movies kept student slave and repeatedly tortured him with hot iron, blowtorch and boiling water
Two drug dealers who were obsessed with watching gangster movies have been jailed for a combined total of 33 years after they enslaved a graphic design student and repeatedly and ruthlessly tortured him to force him to carry out tasks for them.
Roy Sawyers and Carlos Wilmot, both 23, poured boiling water on to Nathaniel Smith’s body and groin, scalded him with a hot iron and used a blowtorch on his neck during a series of attacks on the 21-year-old student who played the piano for his church.
The defendants were obsessed by gangster films and were inspired by the violence used in them, according to police.
Wilmot and Sawyers, originally from London, pleaded guilty to a series of offences including false imprisonment and causing grievous bodily harm and actual bodily harm as well as supplying class A and B drugs.
They also attacked a second student, Sean McGrath, who they also bullied into working for them.
Judge Ian Pearson sentenced Wilmot at Portsmouth Crown Court to 16 years’ imprisonment with an extended period of four years because he deemed him a dangerous offender at risk of re-offending.
Sawyers was jailed for 13 years.
Sentencing them, Judge Pearson said: 'You exploited and bullied two relatively young, inoffensive, timid students. 'That bullying and intimidation continued with a course of conduct that can only be described as torture.' He continued: 'This was a gratuitous degradation, there is absolutely no reason for you to continue assaulting him in the way you did.'
Rob Welling, prosecuting, said that Mr Smith was a 'family man' who had come from London to study at the University of Portsmouth when he became coerced into acting for Wilmot as well as Sawyers, who was studying for a human resources degree at the time of the attacks.
Mr Welling described how Wilmot had moved into Mr Smith’s room in a university hall of residence and refused to leave unless he did his bidding and act as a drugs runner for the two defendants.
He added that if Mr Smith did anything to displease the two men then he would be 'ruthlessly' attacked. He said: 'Nathaniel Smith had effectively become enslaved by both Mr Sawyers and Mr Wilmot, drawn into dealing their class A drugs for them. 'He was beaten ruthlessly for any perceived slights on his behalf to them.'
Mr Welling said that on one occasion Mr Smith was choked with a belt until he blacked out and was regularly whipped with industrial wires which the defendants described as their 'everyday weapon'.
On another occasion, Mr Smith was hit on the shins with golf clubs until they broke and he also had his jaw broken and his eyelid torn when he was kicked and had his head stamped on.
The defendants also prevented Mr Smith from returning to his family for his birthday as part of their bid to control him 'socially and financially', according to Mr Welling.
Mr Smith was most savagely attacked on July 4, 2012, when he failed to beat up another man, Mr McGrath, at the request of the defendants. The court heard that the defendants stripped Mr Smith, poured boiling hot water on his groin before putting an iron to his arm at which point Mr Smith passed out.
He was found half-naked in the front garden of a neighbouring house in such a bad state that the woman who found him thought that he had had petrol poured on him and set alight.
Mr Smith was taken to a specialist burns unit at Salisbury District Hospital.
Mr Welling said that Mr Smith suffered post traumatic amnesia after the final incident and lost his memory of an entire week.
He added: 'This has had a continuing and and lasting effect on Nathaniel Smith. 'He still has a number of physical scars, he feels self-conscious about having his hair short because of the scars on the back. 'He still has issues with memory, still lacks confidence, he is too scared to go out socially.'
He added that Mr Smith was now restarting his degree at a university closer to his London home.
Newspapers warn of deep reservations over Press regulation deal
Plans to regulate the Press are a political stitch-up that is neither ‘voluntary nor independent’, critics warned last night.
The three main parties finally agreed the detail of a royal charter setting up a system of newspaper regulation in the wake of the Leveson Inquiry.
But the newspaper industry last night warned there were major problems with the deal – holding out the prospect that papers may boycott the deal and press ahead with plans to set up their own regulator.
In a statement, the industry steering group, representing national, regional and local newspapers, made clear that while it would consider the proposals it had deep reservations.
‘This remains a charter written by politicians, imposed by politicians and controlled by politicians,’ it said. ‘It has not been approved by any of the newspapers or magazines it seeks to regulate.
'Meanwhile the industry’s charter was rejected by eight politicians, meeting in secret, and chaired by the same politician who is promoting the politicians’ charter.
‘Lord Justice Leveson called for “voluntary, independent self-regulation” of the Press.
'It is impossible to see how a regulator operating under rules imposed by politicians and enforced by draconian and discriminatory provisions for damages and costs in civil cases, could be said to be either voluntary or independent.’
Culture Secretary Maria Miller insisted she had worked hard to wring concessions from Labour and the Lib Dems.
The changes include provision for a fee for use of a new arbitration service, intended to deter speculative claims, with the option for regional and local newspapers to opt out altogether in some circumstances.
They also agreed that serving editors can be involved in drawing up a code of conduct for the Press, to be approved by the independent regulator. But the views of editors will not be ‘decisive’.
The deal was struck at talks between Mrs Miller, Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman and Lib Dem peer Lord Wallace of Tankerness and will now go forward to the Privy Council for final agreement on October 30.
Mrs Miller said: ‘We have made really important changes which I think will make this charter work much better, safeguarding the freedom of the Press and also importantly helping safeguard the future of our local Press which so many of us value so much. We want to make sure that this works for the long-term.’
Chris Blackhurst, content director of The Independent, said there were concerns within the industry that it did not provide sufficient protection against future interference by politicians.
Hacked Off, which has campaigned for tighter regulation, said that with the latest concessions there was no longer a reason for newspapers not to sign up.
For generations, radical Leftists fought for press freedom. Why have they abandoned it now?
By Brendan O'Neill
If you get into an argument about press regulation this week, as the Privy Council unilaterally decides on the fate of the British press, I guarantee you this: it will be the Lefties among your acquaintances who will most vociferously champion state intrusion into the press, while the voices criticising such intrusion are far more likely to come from your Right-leaning mates.
It’s been like this since the Leveson Inquiry was first set up in 2011. The Left not only cheered this modern-day Star Chamber stuffed with the great and the good dictating to the press what its “culture and ethics” should be; they actually worked for it and on it. In his role as Hacked Off’s chief propagandist, Brian Cathcart, former New Statesman man, pretty much ghost-wrote Leveson’s 2,000-page screed against the wicked press. Lib Dem MP turned roving campaigner for censorship Evan Harris is another Leftie begging the state to rap the red-tops’ knuckles. Shami Chakrabarti, heroine of every Leftie with a conscience, actually sat on Leveson’s press-judging panel. The Guardian is, like a turkey marching for more Christmases, in favour of state meddling in the press. Radical Leftists, meanwhile, clog up Twitter with shrill demands that evil Uncle Rupert and his foul newspapers be taken down a peg or two by state officials.
Why are Leftists so spectacularly hostile to the principle of press freedom, which, very simply put, means having no state interference in the press? It wasn’t always like this. The radical folk that the modern Left claims to be descended from – from the Levellers to Karl Marx to the intellectual Leftists of the 20th century – were so in favour of press freedom that they were willing to sacrifice their lives for it.
The Levellers, the most radical political movement of the English Civil War, who demanded greater suffrage and religious tolerance, were implacably opposed to state licensing of the press. Only full press freedom would allow ordinary people to exercise their sovereign power against “Tyrannie”, these brilliant rabble-rousers declared. They argued that liberty of the press is “so essential unto freedom, as that without it, it’s impossible to preserve any nation from being liable to the worst of bondage”. Those words should ring in the ears of every Leftist currently giving an enthusiastic nod to the medieval Privy Council’s deliberations on the press’s freedoms.
Later, Thomas Paine, my personal hero, the corset-maker turned revolutionary pamphleteer who did so much to stir up the tradition-trampling revolutions in both America and France in the late 18th century, also argued for complete press freedom. He said state interference in the press was always more a “sentence on the public [than] the author”, because it effectively tells the public “they shall not think, they shall not read”. It’s the same today, where snooty officials’ desire to rein in red-top papers in particular is really about preventing the readers of those papers from seeing saucy or offensive things – Page 3 girls, anti-immigrant stories, so-called “Islamophobia” – and potentially acting on them. Paine knew very well how tyrannical state meddling in the freedom to press one’s ideas could be: in the 1790s an English court sentenced him to death in absentia for the “crime” of writing Rights of Man.
Later still, in the 19th century, a young Prussian journalist by the name of Karl Marx was unapologetic in his insistence that the press should be utterly free of external meddling. He said of press freedom: “I feel that its existence is essential, that it is something which I need, without which my nature can have no full, satisfied, complete existence.” He described a free press as “the ubiquitous vigilant eye of a people’s soul… the spiritual mirror in which a people can see itself, and self-examination is the first condition of wisdom”. How sad that modern Leftists are willing to let the press go from being a “vigilant eye” on the world to the plaything of officialdom.
In the 20th century, too, Leftists clung to the ideal of press freedom. Not official Labour Leftists, who have never been in favour of liberty of the press, but certainly more intellectual Leftists. George Orwell decried the fact that “anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness”, and said freedom of the press is essential if one is to “criticise and oppose”. Leftists of all people, who are surely in the business of criticising and opposing, should know better than to let politicians decide the moral parameters to the activities and arguments of the press.
The modern Left’s casual abandonment of the ideal of press freedom is an about-face of epic proportions. It represents a two-finger salute to the greatest traditions of the Left and to those radicals who fought long and hard for the right to think, write and publish whatever they wanted without needing the approval of state licensers, the moral majority or anyone else. Why is the Left today taking a flamethrower to this key ideal that its political forebears so passionately supported? Some of them will say that sections of the press are now far scummier and dangerous than they were in earlier eras and therefore it’s legit to ask the state to clean them up. Not so. In Marx’s time, too, there were some extremely dodgy press outlets, yet in his wise words, “You cannot enjoy the advantages of a free press without putting up with its inconveniences”. Other Leftists will say that because so much of the press today is owned by super-wealthy oligarchs, it is not truly free and thus the state must get involved and even out the playing field. Nonsense. In Orwell’s time there were big press barons, and he recognised that some of those barons were “enemies of freedom of thought”, but a far bigger problem was “the weakening of the desire for liberty among the intellectuals themselves”, he said.
The truth is that it isn’t the press that has changed; it’s the Left. Fundamentally, the Left today, unlike the radicals of the past, has no faith whatsoever in ordinary people, in humanity itself, and thus it constantly turns to the state and asks it to fix the alleged problems blighting society or giving Leftists a headache. The reason modern Leftists want state interference in the press is because they don’t trust the people, the rabble, the little folk, to be able to read and see things and rationally make up their minds about what is good and bad, right and wrong. In the words of Brian Cathcart, “public interest journalism” is “obviously not the same thing as what interests the public… [because] that would legitimise all kinds of gratuitous cruelty and dishonesty, reviving the morality that permitted bear-baiting and public executions”. That is what modern Leftists think of the masses – that they’re cruel, dishonest, immoral, violent, and apparently these tendencies must be tamed by depriving the oiks of their daily fix of tabloid titillation. This is the true story behind the modern Left’s enthusiasm for more state interference in the world of ideas and news: the Left once believed in people; now it despises them.
So which is the REAL sin: to criticise the Marxist views of Red Ed's father or to help terrorists and put British lives at risk?
PAUL DACRE, Editor of the Mail, answers the paper's critics. Dacre has never been a shrinking violet so the claim that he was afraid to defend his paper personally was always a laugh
Out in the real world, it was a pretty serious week for news.
The U.S. was on the brink of budget default, a British court heard how for two years social workers failed to detect the mummified body of a four-year-old starved to death by his mother, and it was claimed that the then Labour Health Secretary had covered up unnecessary deaths in an NHS hospital six months before the election.
In contrast, the phoney world of Twitter, the London chatterati and Left-wing media was gripped ten days ago by collective hysteria as it became obsessed round-the-clock by one story — a five-word headline on page 16 in the Daily Mail.
The screech of axe-grinding was deafening as the paper’s enemies gleefully leapt to settle scores.
Leading the charge, inevitably, was the Mail’s bête noire, the BBC. Fair-minded readers will decide themselves whether the hundreds of hours of airtime it devoted to that headline reveal a disturbing lack of journalistic proportionality and impartiality — but certainly the one-sided tone in their reporting allowed Labour to misrepresent Geoffrey Levy’s article on Ralph Miliband.
The genesis of that piece lay in Ed Miliband’s conference speech. The Mail was deeply concerned that in 2013, after all the failures of Socialism in the 20th century, the leader of the Labour Party was announcing its return, complete with land seizures and price fixing.
Surely, we reasoned, the public had the right to know what influence the Labour Leader’s Marxist father, to whom he constantly referred in his speeches, had on his thinking.
So it was that Levy’s article examined the views held by Miliband senior over his lifetime, not just as a 17-year-old youth as has been alleged by our critics.
The picture that emerged was of a man who gave unqualified support to Russian totalitarianism until the mid-Fifties, who loathed the market economy, was in favour of a workers’ revolution, denigrated British traditions and institutions, such as the Royal Family, the Church and the Army, and was overtly dismissive of Western democracy.
Levy’s article argued that the Marxism that inspired Ralph Miliband had provided the philosophical underpinning of one of history’s most appalling regimes — a regime, incidentally, that totally crushed freedom of expression.
Nowhere did the Mail suggest that Ralph Miliband was evil — only that the political beliefs he espoused had resulted in evil. As for the headline ‘The Man Who Hated Britain’, our point was simply this: Ralph Miliband was, as a Marxist, committed to smashing the institutions that make Britain distinctively British — and, with them, the liberties and democracy those institutions have fostered.
Yes, the Mail is happy to accept that in his personal life, Ralph Miliband was, as described by his son, a decent and kindly man — although we won’t withdraw our view that he supported an ideology that caused untold misery in the world.
Yes, we accept that he cherished this country’s traditions of tolerance and freedom — while, in a troubling paradox typical of the Left, detesting the very institutions and political system that made those traditions possible.
And yes, the headline was controversial — but popular newspapers have a long tradition of using provocative headlines to grab readers’ attention. In isolation, that headline may indeed seem over the top, but read in conjunction with the article we believed it was justifiable.
Despite this we acceded to Mr Miliband’s demand — and by golly, he did demand — that we publish his 1,000-word article defending his father.
So it was that, in a virtually unprecedented move, we published his words at the top of our Op Ed pages. They were accompanied by an abridged version of the original Levy article and a leader explaining why the Mail wasn’t apologising for the points it made.
The hysteria that followed is symptomatic of the post-Leveson age in which any newspaper which dares to take on the Left in the interests of its readers risks being howled down by the Twitter mob whom the BBC absurdly thinks represent the views of real Britain.
As the week progressed and the hysteria increased, it became clear that this was no longer a story about an article on Mr Miliband’s Marxist father but a full-scale war by the BBC and the Left against the paper that is their most vocal critic.
Orchestrating this bile was an ever more rabid Alastair Campbell. Again, fair-minded readers will wonder why a man who helped drive Dr David Kelly to his death, was behind the dodgy Iraq war dossier and has done more to poison the well of public discourse than anyone in Britain is given so much air-time by the BBC.
But the BBC’s bloodlust was certainly up. Impartiality flew out of the window. Ancient feuds were settled. Not to put too fine a point on things, we were right royally turned over.
Fair enough, if you dish it out, you take it. But my worry is that there was a more disturbing agenda to last week’s events.
Mr Miliband, of course, exults in being the man who destroyed Murdoch in this country. Is it fanciful to believe that his real purpose in triggering last week’s row — so assiduously supported by the liberal media which sneers at the popular press — was an attempt to neutralise Associated, the Mail’s publishers and one of Britain’s most robustly independent and successful newspaper groups.
Let it be said loud and clear that the Mail, unlike News International, did NOT hack people’s phones or pay the police for stories. I have sworn that on oath.
No, our crime is more heinous than that.
It is that the Mail constantly dares to stand up to the liberal-Left consensus that dominates so many areas of British life, and instead represents the views of the ordinary people who are our readers and who don’t have a voice in today’s political landscape — and are too often ignored by today’s ruling elite.
The metropolitan classes, of course, despise our readers with their dreams (mostly unfulfilled) of a decent education and health service they can trust, their belief in the family, patriotism, self-reliance, and their over-riding suspicion of the State and the People Who Know Best.
These people mock our readers’ scepticism over the European Union and a Human Rights Court that seems to care more about the criminal than the victim. They scoff at our readers who, while tolerant, fret that the country’s schools and hospitals can’t cope with mass immigration.
In other words, these people sneer at the decent working Britons — I’d argue they are the backbone of this country — they constantly profess to be concerned about.
The truth is that there is an unpleasant intellectual snobbery about the Mail in Leftish circles, for whom the word ‘suburban’ is an obscenity. They simply cannot comprehend how a paper that opposes the mindset they hold dear can be so successful and so loved by its millions of readers.
Well, I’m proud that the Mail stands up for those readers. I am proud that our Dignity For The Elderly Campaign has for years stood up for Britain’s most neglected community.
Proud that we have fought for justice for Stephen Lawrence, Gary McKinnon and the relatives of the victims of the Omagh bombing, for those who have seen loved ones suffer because of MRSA and the Liverpool Care Pathway.
I am proud we have led great popular campaigns for the NSPCC and the Alzheimer’s Society, on the dangers of paedophilia and the agonies of dementia. And I’m proud of our war against round-the-clock drinking, casinos, plastic bags, internet pornography and secret courts.
No other newspaper campaigns as vigorously as the Mail and I am proud of the ability of the paper’s 400 journalists (the BBC has 8,000) to continually set the national agenda on a whole host of issues.
I am proud that for years, while most of Fleet Street were in thrall to it, the Mail was the only paper to stand up to the malign propaganda machine of Tony Blair and his appalling henchman, Campbell. (And, my goodness, it’s been pay-back time over the past week!)
Could all these factors also be behind the Left’s tsunami of opprobrium against the Mail last week? I don’t know, but I do know that for a party mired in the corruption exposed by Damian McBride’s book (in which Ed Miliband was a central player) to call for a review of the Mail’s practices and culture is beyond satire.
Certainly, the Mail will not be silenced by a Labour Party that has covered up unnecessary, and often horrific, deaths in NHS hospitals, and suggests instead that it should start looking urgently at its own culture and practices.
Some have argued that last week’s brouhaha shows the need for statutory Press regulation. I would argue the opposite. The febrile heat, hatred, irrationality and prejudice provoked by last week’s row reveals why politicians must not be allowed anywhere near Press regulation.
And while the Mail does not agree with the Guardian over the stolen secret security files it published, I suggest that we can agree that the fury and recrimination the story is provoking reveals again why those who rule us — and who should be held to account by newspapers — cannot be allowed to sit in judgment on the Press.
That is why the Left should be very careful about what it wishes for — especially in the light of this week’s rejection by the politicians of the newspaper industry’s Charter for robust independent self-regulation.
The BBC is controlled, through the licence fee, by the politicians. ITV has to answer to Ofcom, a Government quango.
Newspapers are the only mass media left in Britain free from the control of the State.
The Mail has recognised the hurt Mr Miliband felt over our attack on his father’s beliefs.
We were happy to give him considerable space to describe how his father had fought for Britain (though a man who so smoothly diddled his brother risks laying himself open to charges of cynicism if he makes too much of a fanfare over familial loyalties).
For the record, the Mail received a mere two letters of complaint before Mr Miliband’s intervention and only a few hundred letters and emails since — many in support. A weekend demonstration against the paper attracted just 110 people.
It seems that in the real world, people — most of all our readers — were far more supportive of us than the chatterati would have you believe.
P.S. This week, the head of MI5 — subsequently backed by the PM, the Deputy PM, the Home Secretary and Labour’s elder statesman Jack Straw — effectively accused the Guardian of aiding terrorism by publishing stolen secret security files.
The story — which is of huge significance — was given scant coverage by a BBC which only a week ago had devoted days of wall-to-wall pejorative coverage to the Mail.
Again, I ask fair readers, what is worse: to criticise the views of a Marxist thinker, whose ideology is anathema to most and who had huge influence on the man who could one day control our security forces ..... or to put British lives at risk by helping terrorists?
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.