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Christmas Trees are coming! Be Prepared this December

Types of Christmas Trees

There are various types of Christmas trees available, and you must choose the one that is perfect for your home during the holiday season. There are various types, as you will see below:

Nordman Fir

The Norman Fir Christmas Tree barely drops its needles, making it the most popular choice in Modern times, due to the safety issues related to children and pets, and the sharp Christmas tree needles. They come in a range of shapes and sizes, and their needles are a lot fleshier.

Norway Spruce

The Norway Spruce Christmas tree, brings the classic smell of childhood to your home. Its needles do drop a lot more than other varieties, but it more than makes up for that with its beautiful smell, and really traditional tall and narrow shape.

Potted Christmas Trees

The Potted Christmas tree is a great choice if you would prefer your tree to last longer than just a few weeks, as potted trees are more likely to live on through the year, and be fine to use again a year later. The come in both varieties, the Nordman or Norway Spruce, and are often a little cheaper.

Where to buy a Christmas Tree

You can normally buy Christmas trees at your local garden centre, or check online for your nearest Christmas tree farm. Sapcote Garden Centre, Leicester, LE94LG, 01455 274049, (http://www.sapcotegc.co.uk/christmas/christmas-trees) has a range of Nordman Fir, and Norway Spruce Christmas trees for sale, and the price is the same as 2012.

Police arrest man over murder of former Continuity IRA leader Tommy Crossan

  • Police arrest 26-year-old man in connection with yesterday’s murder
  • Tommy Crossan killed in grounds of industrial complex in West Belfast
  • Priest attended to pray over victim in area known as republican heartland
  • Crossan was reportedly Continuity IRA’s former leader and was believed to be subject of a death threat from his former allies
  • PSNI seeking information on a red BMW found burned out near the scene

By
James Rush


Published:

20:24 EST, 18 April 2014


|
Updated:

02:58 EST, 20 April 2014

Tommy Crossan was killed in the grounds of an industrial complex in West Belfast, in full view of surrounding houses, a local representative said

Tommy Crossan was killed in the grounds of an industrial complex in West Belfast, in full view of surrounding houses, a local representative said

Police in Belfast have arrested a man in connection with the murder of Republican hard-liner Tommy Crossan.

PSNI officers detained the 26-year-old suspect less than 24 hours after the former Continuity IRA leader was gunned down in broad daylight.

Crossan, 43, was shot in the head and body at close range in a Belfast fuel depot.

A local Catholic priest gave Crossan the last rights moments after the attack. 

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the murder but it is believed that Crossan had been threatened previously by his former comrades in the Continuity IRA. 

PSNI detective superintendent Jonathan Roberts said: ‘At around 4.45pm Mr Crossan was shot a number of times at close range in his upper body area as he sat in the office of the business of a family friend within the Peter Pan complex.

‘The murder of Mr Crossan on the Springfield Road yesterday was a brutal and ruthless attack which has no place in society.

‘Mr Crossan was known to police but no matter what his lifestyle was, absolutely nothing justifies this barbaric action against him.

‘Police are working on a number of lines of inquiry. One line of inquiry centres on individuals or groups who would associate themselves with dissident groupings, however we are keeping an open mind.’

The man arrested over the killing was being questioned today at the serious crime suite in Antrim PSNI station.

Detectives investigating the murder discovered this burned out BMW on the Springfield Road area of West Belfast which is a known dissident republican stronghold

Detectives investigating the murder discovered this burned out BMW on the Springfield Road area of West Belfast which is a known dissident republican stronghold

Shortly after the murder a number of people gathered in a highly emotional scene

Shortly after the murder a number of people gathered in a highly emotional scene

It is understood that Crossan had been expelled by the CIRA and had been the subject of death threats. He had previously been jailed for conspiracy to murder RUC officers in 1998.

Belfast City Mayor Mairtin O Muilleoir of Sinn Fein said condemned the murder.

Sinn Fein's Lord Mayor of Belfast  Mairtin O Muilleoir condemned the attack claiming the killers were 'dinosaurs trapped in the past'

Sinn Fein’s Lord Mayor of Belfast Mairtin O Muilleoir condemned the attack claiming the killers were ‘dinosaurs trapped in the past’

He said: ‘They are dinosaurs trapped in the past and I urge everyone to work with the police to remove them from our streets.’

Nationalist SDLP councillor Colin Keenan said: ‘We have long hoped that the shadow of death had been lifted from West Belfast.

‘Today’s event is a terrible, tragic reminder of the violent conflict of the past.’

Crossan was reportedly the Continuity IRA’s former leader and was believed to be the subject of a death threat from his former allies.

The organisation has opposed the peace process which largely ended three decades of violence and transformed the region.

The attack happened at the Peter Pan Centre in Springfield Road, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said.

The road, one of the main arterial routes, has been closed to traffic.

Family members have arrived and are said to be devastated.

A PSNI spokesman said: ‘Police are investigating a fatal shooting in the Springfield Road area of West Belfast this afternoon.

‘One man has been shot dead in the vicinity of the Peter Pan Centre.’

Police officers secure the area close to where a prominent dissident republican was shot dead in West Belfast on Friday

Police officers secure the area close to where a prominent dissident republican was shot dead in West Belfast on Friday

The largely-nationalist area of Belfast is mainly made up of tightly-packed terraced housing estates and businesses.

Mr Keenan said it was a horrific scene.

The CIRA murdered Police Constable Stephen Carroll in Lurgan in Co Armagh in March 2009. It has since been riven with splits.

Members of the security forces have been on high alert for attacks by various extremist factions who have also killed two soldiers and a prison officer.

In recent weeks they have stepped up efforts to kill police officers, with several attacks on the force in West Belfast.

After the murder of prison officer David Black on the M1 motorway in November 2012, police mounted an unprecedented surveillance operation against various factions as well making significant arrests.

Crossan was reportedly the Continuity IRA's former leader and was believed to be the subject of a death threat from his former allies

Crossan was reportedly the Continuity IRA’s former leader and was believed to be the subject of a death threat from his former allies

Colin Keenan, a nationalist SDLP Belfast City councillor for the area, said: ‘A fatal shooting has taken place on a busy through way. The family have just arrived.’

Tommy Crossan, who was gunned down in Belfast

Tommy Crossan, who was gunned down in Belfast

The attack happened close to a supermarket on an industrial estate.

The largely-nationalist area of Belfast is mainly made up of tightly-packed terraced housing estates and businesses.

Mr Keenan said it was a horrific scene, with the dead man lying in the grounds of the industrial estate and exposed to view from surrounding residents’ windows.

Relatives at the scene are devastated, he added.

A priest attended to pray over the victim.

The councillor added: ‘We have long hoped that the shadow of death had been lifted from West Belfast.

‘Today’s event is a terrible, tragic reminder of the violent conflict of the past.’

PSNI officers have secured a burned out red BMW that they believe was used by the killers.

It was found dumped on the Springfield Road in Belfast which is a dissident republican stronghold.

 

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Xmas Holidays

Calif. customers hit with expensive Del Taco bill

  • A technical glitch caused a Southern California Del Taco restaurant to overcharge customer credit cards
  • About 150 people were charged thousands of dollars for fast food meals
  • A spokesman says all customers will be refunded

By
Associated Press


Published:

14:07 EST, 19 April 2014


|
Updated:

01:59 EST, 20 April 2014

What was supposed to be a cheap bite at Del Taco turned out to be small fortune for some Southern California customers.

About 150 people who ordered this week at the Mexican-style fast food chain in Santa Paula, 65 miles northwest of Los Angeles, were mistakenly charged thousands of dollars for burritos, tacos and soft drinks.

Customer Michael Cole said he was surprised when he was charged $4,050 for one CrunchTada Pizza and two beef tacos. He discovered the error Friday when he tried to withdraw $20 from an ATM and was denied.

Expensive fast food: About 150 customers were charged thousands of dollars on their credit cards for orders of cheap fast food from Del Taco

Expensive fast food: About 150 customers were charged thousands of dollars on their credit cards for orders of cheap fast food from Del Taco

‘I don’t even think I’ve spent that much in the last five years,’ Cole said.

The cause of the technical error was unknown, but it affected ATM and credit-card transactions at one Del Taco restaurant.

‘The processor is aware of the situation and has contacted banks involved,’ Del Taco spokesman Brian Devenny told the Ventura County Star. ‘They are working together to get these charges reversed as quickly as possible.’

Devenny said all charges will be refunded.

Mex hex: A CrunchTada Pizza like this cost one customer several thousand dollars

Mex hex: A CrunchTada Pizza like this cost one customer several thousand dollars

Another customer, Dino DeLaO, said his wife paid $10.20 for a meal and ended up being charged $10,200. DeLaO said the mistake caused his mortgage check to bounce, and he was afraid it would affect other bills.

Austin Dillon said it wasn’t hard to erase the charge. He bought $4.26 worth of food earlier this week that turned out to be $4,260.

‘It’s kind of obvious because it was Del Taco,’ he said.

As for Cole, who was billed $4,050, he still thinks highly of the food and service at his local Del Taco.

‘It’s not going to deter me from coming back,’ he said. ‘I’ll probably use cash from now on.’

Xmas Holidays

I’m Dreaming of a Pink Christmas Winner and Top 3 …….

Happy Easter to you all.  Lynsey here for this week’s winner’s post. Thank you for all your lovely entries into last week’s challenge ‘I’m Dreaming of a Pink christmas’.


Last week’s winner as chosen by Random Org is Number 9 so that is 





And here is the winning entry








Congratulations – please email Deborah  to claim your lovely prize of 3 stamps from
Wild Rose Studio



before the end of the current challenge. 


Please make the subject of your e-mail Winter Wonderland Winner and sponsor name.

Now onto the top three 






Fiona
 



Please take our top three banner to display proudly on your blog.


See below for our current challenge of  Name challenge


Lynsey and the WW Teamies xxx

Christmas 2013

Health warning on juice-only diets as expert warns they can lead to eating disorder

  • Products marketed as a way to lose a few pounds while detoxing body
  • Fashionable ‘juice cleanses’ can lead to eating disorders, expert says

SOPHIE FREEMAN


Published:

19:59 EST, 17 April 2014


|
Updated:

03:55 EST, 19 April 2014

A health expert has warned that juice detox diets may lead to an eating disorder (library image)

A health expert has warned that juice detox diets may lead to an eating disorder (library image)

They are marketed as a way to lose a few pounds while detoxing the body.

But fashionable ‘juice cleanses’ can lead to an eating disorder, an expert has warned.

Sara Shammas, a consultant psychotherapist who specialises in eating disorders, said she has seen a large rise in the number of clients hooked on juicing – a problem dubbed ‘juicerexia’.

She said: ‘Juicing gives people “permission” to avoid meals.

‘People think they’re being healthy when they put spinach and beetroot in their juices, but the problem is they’re knocking out entire food groups.

‘That’s the danger. It’s such a mounting problem, I’m running a specific group for it at my clinic.’

Miss Shammas said that unlike ‘traditional’ eating disorders where a sufferer will lie about their behaviour, ‘juicerexics’ are not secretive as they feel they can justify themselves.

‘It’s about people tricking others, and tricking themselves, that they’re being healthy. It’s actually a code word for starving,’ she added.

Eating disorders charity Beat said fad diets such as juice cleanses can be a trigger for some people and also hinder recovery.

A spokesman said: ‘The way they are advertised as a “healthy” means to “get a body like X celebrity” or “slim down for summer” can fuel a way for someone to continue their eating disorder behaviours, hiding them through an “acceptable” way to restrict intake.’

The expert said unlike ¿traditional¿ eating disorders where a sufferer will lie about their behaviour, ¿juicerexics¿ are not secretive as they feel they can justify themselves (library image)

The expert said unlike ¿traditional¿ eating disorders where a sufferer will lie about their behaviour, ¿juicerexics¿ are not secretive as they feel they can justify themselves (library image)

 

Xmas Holidays

Photographer captures giant rhea bird but only on camera

  • The 6ft bird can run at 40mph to escape the attentions of predators
  • Wildlife experts warn that the rhea could inflict serious injuries if cornered
  • The Daily Mail spent more than an hour trying to catch the bird

By
Louise Eccles


Published:

18:33 EST, 18 April 2014


|
Updated:

03:55 EST, 19 April 2014

The South American rhea on the loose in the Home Counties was captured by the Daily Mail yesterday – but only on camera.

Mail photographer Mark Richards spotted the 6ft tall flightless bird running through fields in Hertfordshire and tracked the six-year-old female for more than an hour.

He said: ‘I was able to follow it for quite a while but, much like the Road Runner, it was too fast for me.’

The giant Rhea ran amok for more than an hour running through Barkway Park Golf Club in Nuthampstead

The giant Rhea ran amok for more than an hour running through Barkway Park Golf Club in Nuthampstead

Robert Hardman of the Daily Mail spent the morning trying to track down the bird

Robert Hardman of the Daily Mail spent the morning trying to track down the bird

The giant bird sped-off at more than 40mph to escape into a field

The giant bird sped-off at more than 40mph to escape into a field

The Giant Rhea  can move at 45mph and is said to be capable of disembowelling a human with its six-inch claws.

The RSPCA has warned against approaching it. But Richards said: ‘It was extremely timid and I was never able to get closer than 250 yards.’ The ostrich-cum-emu – nicknamed Chris after singer

Chris Rea – has previously been seen at the Barkway Park Golf Club in Nuthampstead, next to where it was spotted yesterday.

It escaped a month ago from Jo Clark’s smallholding in Brent Pelham on the Essex and Hertfordshire border.

Miss Clark, 60, who keeps four of the birds, believes it may have become spooked when the local hunt passed nearby.

Xmas Holidays

Scooby-dooed! Dogs found intoxicated on drug believed to be CANNABIS after walks on Hampstead Heath

  • Pets were rushed to a vet’s for treatment after getting intoxicated
  • They all slipped into a drugged-like stupor after being let off the lead
  • Three of the victims were given emergency medication
  • Vets have sent blood samples to experts to try to identify the toxin

By
Leon Watson


Published:

22:24 EST, 17 April 2014


|
Updated:

02:39 EST, 18 April 2014

Drugs dumped on London’s famous Hampstead Heath are feared to have poisoned five dogs.

The stricken pets were rushed to a vet’s for treatment after getting intoxicated.

The animals all slipped into a drugged-like stupor after being let off the lead in the Sandy Heath area of the iconic heath by a professional dog walker.

Test are being carried out on five dogs believed to have been drugged on Hampstead Heath, north London

Test are being carried out on five dogs believed to have been drugged on Hampstead Heath, north London

The seriously ill dogs were rushed to the Village Vet in Belsize Park, north London.

The three most ‘intoxicated’ victims were given emergency medication or they could have died.

Their heart rates and blood pressure had plunged to dangerous levels as they showed symptoms that the vets immediately suspected were triggered by cannabis.

But the practice has now sent blood samples to experts in the U.S. to try to identify the mystery toxin after basic tests did not show up THC, the active ingredient in cannabis.

Head vet Sean McInnes said: ‘They looked completely inebriated. Three of them were extremely quiet, withdrawn and lethargic, almost what we call “stuporous”.

‘To all intents and purposes it was like they had consumed some sort of recreational drug.’

Blood samples have been to experts in the U.S. to try to identify the mystery toxin after basic tests did not show up THC, the active ingredient in cannabis (pictured)

Blood samples have been to experts in the U.S. to try to identify the mystery toxin after basic tests did not show up THC, the active ingredient in cannabis (pictured)

Mr McInnes, a partner at Village Vet, said the dogs began to show symptoms shortly after arriving in Sandy Heath on Tuesday last week.

‘With blood pressure and heart rates that low, if you don’t treat them, they can start to get organ dysfunctions.

‘If they had not been treated, it is very likely they could have developed renal failure and potentially a degree of swelling of the brain,’ he added.

‘It could have been fatal.’

The pets have now recovered from their ordeals and been returned to their relieved owners.

Hampstead Heath Constabulary officers combed Sandy Heath for toxic substances but drew a blank.

The City of London Corporation, which runs the Heath, said: ‘We are investigating reports on this serious matter.

‘No source of poisoning has been found on Hampstead Heath.

‘Until we have information to act on, we ask that all dog walkers remain vigilant and report anything untoward immediately to the Heath Constabulary.’

Xmas Holidays

Human cloning used for the first time to create stem cells from adults that could lead to tissue and organs being regrown

  • Advance is first time
    ‘therapeutic cloning’ of adults has been achieved
  • Technique has sparked controversy since 1997 creation of Dolly the sheep
  • In 2005, the United Nations called on countries to ban it
  • New study was funded by a foundation and the South Korean government

By
Leon Watson


Published:

22:08 EST, 17 April 2014


|
Updated:

02:38 EST, 18 April 2014

Scientists have moved a step closer to the goal of creating stem cells perfectly matched to a patient’s DNA in order to treat diseases, they announced yesterday.

The advance, described online in the journal Cell Stem Cell, is the first time researchers have achieved ‘therapeutic cloning’ of adults.

Technically called somatic-cell nuclear transfer, therapeutic cloning means producing embryonic cells genetically identical to a donor, usually for the purpose of using those cells to treat disease.

Breakthrough: Scientists have announced they have achieved 'therapeutic cloning' of adults

Breakthrough: Scientists have announced they have achieved ‘therapeutic cloning’ of adults

But nuclear transfer is also the first step in reproductive cloning, or producing a genetic duplicate of someone – a technique that has sparked controversy since the 1997 announcement that it was used to create Dolly, the clone of a ewe.

In 2005, the United Nations called on countries to ban it, and the United States prohibits the use of federal funds for either reproductive or therapeutic cloning.

The new study was funded by a foundation and the South Korean government.

If confirmed by other labs, it could
prove significant because many illnesses that might one day be treated
with stem cells, such as heart failure and vision loss, primarily affect
adults.

Patient-specific
stem cells would have to be created from older cells, not infant or
fetal ones. That now looks possible, though far from easy: Out of 39
tries, the scientists created stem cells only once for each donor.

Outside
experts had different views of the study, which was led by Young Gie
Chung of the Research Institute for Stem Cell Research at CHA Health
Systems in Los Angeles.

Cloning has sparked controversy since the 1997 announcement that it was used to create Dolly, the clone of a ewe

Cloning has sparked controversy since the 1997 announcement that it was used to create Dolly, the clone of a ewe

Stem cell biologist George Daley of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute called it ‘an incremental advance’ and ‘not earth-shattering.’

Reproductive biologist Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health and Science University, who developed the technique the CHA team adapted, was more positive.

‘The advance here is showing that (nuclear transfer) looks like it will work with people of all ages,’ he said in an interview.

A year ago, Mitalipov led the team that used nuclear transfer of fetal and infant DNA to produce stem cells, the first time that had been accomplished in humans of any age.

In therapeutic cloning, scientists use a zap of electricity to fuse a grown cell, usually a skin cell, with an ovum whose own DNA has been removed. The egg divides and multiplies, and within five or six days it develops into an embryo shaped like a hollow sphere.

The interior cells are ‘pluripotent’ stem cells, which have the potential to develop into any kind of human cell.

If the embryo were implanted in a uterus, it could develop into a clone of the DNA donor, which is how Dolly was created.

‘Without regulations in place, such embryos could also be used for human reproductive cloning, although this would be unsafe and grossly unethical,’ said Dr Robert Lanza, chief scientist of Massachusetts-based biotech Advanced Cell Technology and a co-author of the new study.

The goal is to grow these embryonic stem cells in lab dishes and coax them to turn into specialized cells for therapeutic use against an illness the DNA donor has, such as Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, multiple sclerosis or type-1 diabetes. Because the cells are genetically identical to the donor’s, they would not be rejected by the immune system.

Despite more than 15 years of trying, scientists’ single success at producing human stem cells through this cloning technique came a year ago.

Mitalipov’s team at Oregon had fused fetal and infant cells with donated eggs whose DNA had been removed and got them to develop into about 150-cell embryos.

One key to Mitalipov’s success was letting the engineered eggs rest for 30 minutes before zapping them to start dividing.

Chung and his colleagues waited two hours before triggering the egg to start dividing, which Lanza believes was a key to their success: ‘It gives you time for the massive amount of genetic reprogramming required’ to turn back the calendar on adult DNA so that it can direct the development of an embryo, he said in an interview.

It worked: They generated two healthy embryos, one from each adult donor, aged 35 and 75.

If each stem-cell line has to be created from scratch for each patient, the low success and expected high costs means that ‘only a few wealthy old men could do it,’ said Lanza.

A big barrier to producing patient-specific stem-cell lines for tens of millions of people this way is that few women want to donate eggs, a sometimes painful process.

But it may not be necessary to make a unique cell line for each patient. Many people have genetically similar immune systems, Lanza said, so just ’100 human embryonic stem cell lines would generate a complete match for over half the (U.S.) population,’ he said.

Xmas Holidays

Little Robin Redbreast

Hello and welcome to another challenge at Winter Wonderland – Miria here.

Thanks so much to those of you that joined in with last weeks challenge. Don’t forget to check back on Sunday for the winner and top 3.

Now onto this week’s challenge -

Little Robin Redbreast 
so we want to see a robin on your creations Please remember christmas projects only 
We have two sponsors this week
and this is the fab prize they offer

who will give a stamp of the winner’s choice.
I’m so sad to announce that this challenge will be the last one for our Icicles coordinator ,  lovely Kate who has given such a great contribution to the team for such a long time. Thank you, Kate! We will miss you so much, we  wish you all the best.

And now let’s put the tissues away to see some inspiration from the DT.  We always appreciate a visit so if you
click the name you can hop over and leave them a comment and also find
out if they have combined their challenge with any others, which could
give you some ideas.

We all hope you are able to join us in our
challenge this week. We look forward to visiting your blogs and seeing
your gorgeous creations. Please be sure to post a link back to the
Winter Wonderland blog in your blog post in order to be eligible for
this weeks prize! Thursday evening (5pm GMT) is the deadline for your creation to qualify for the prizes.

So all that’s left is for you to get creative and leave your entry here with the blue frog so we can come and find you asap.


Have fun and remember you can enter each challenge up to 3 times.
Please don’t forget we are running a DT Call, you can find all details here

Miria and the WW Teamies xxx






Christmas 2013

Sir David Frost and Alan Whicker were both broadcasting greats.

By
Ephraim Hardcastle


PUBLISHED:

20:03 EST, 16 April 2014


|

UPDATED:

03:28 EST, 17 April 2014

Was Sir David Frost a greater broadcaster than Alan Whicker CBE? Both were BBC stars.

The former, who died aged 74 last August, had a memorial service at Westminster Abbey in March.

The BBC made a ‘substantial contribution’ to its cost.

Sir David Frost (pictured) and Alan Whicker CBE were both BBC broadcasting greats
Sir David Frost and Alan Whicker CBE (pictured) were both BBC broadcasting greats

Broadcasting greats: Sir David Frost (left) and Alan Whicker CBE (right) were both BBC broadcasting greats

Whicker, who died aged 91 in July last year, is having one in the less-grand Grosvenor Chapel, Mayfair, next month – with no contribution from the BBC.

It is being organised by Whicker’s widow, Valerie

Both were broadcasting greats, but Frost knew how to cultivate as friends the famous, important people he met.

Distressed: This tearful blonde child, called Anne, was was crying over losing her pet earthworm

Distressed: This tearful blonde child, called Anne, was was crying over losing her pet earthworm

The once-influential Daily Mirror carries a front page picture of a tearful blonde child, purportedly
to highlight the scandal of a million food parcels handed out to hungry Britons.

It turns out the distressed child is an American called Anne with no connection to food hand-outs.

She was crying over losing her pet earthworm called ‘Flower’.

The legendary Mirror boss Hugh Cudlipp must be turning in his grave.

Radio 4’s John Humphrys grilledTesco chief executive Philip Clarke about the retail giant’s 6 per cent drop in profits.

He asked Clarke to explain why, with cheap prices at Aldi and Lidl – and the ‘high quality’ of Waitrose – he would shop at Tesco.

Shouldn’t Humphrys have mentioned that he now writes as a regular for the high quality Waitrose Weekend magazine?

Labour blogger James Bloodworth says he considers it ‘very harsh’ for the party to suspend its St Austell and Torquay candidate, Deborah Hopkins, for accusing the Government of ‘killing the sick’, ‘starving the disabled’ and describing the Empire as ‘genocide’.

He points out that Andy Newman, their candidate for Chippenham, Wiltshire, ‘admires North Korea, Iran, and China’, while praising ‘the significant improvement in working class living standards’ during Stalin’s Great Terror.

Dear me. Is leader Ed Miliband red enough for his prospective rank and file?

Why is the BBC seemingly shy about publicising the unforgivable amnesia of Liberal Democrats about the depravity of their late, 29-stone MP, Cyril Smith?

Because (says my source) it mirrors the failure of the corporation’s ex-Director General, Mark Thompson, to remember hearing anything about their own sex beast, the late DJ, Sir Jimmy Savile.

The BBC is seemingly shy about publicising the amnesia of Liberal Democrats about late MP Cyril Smith
It mirrors the failure of the corporation's ex-Director General to remember anything about Sir Jimmy Savile

The BBC is seemingly shy about publicising the amnesia of Liberal Democrats about late MP Cyril Smith (left). It mirrors the failure of the corporation’s ex-Director General to remember anything about Sir Jimmy Savile (right)

Business Secretary Vince Cable confessed on Radio 2’s show, What Makes Us Human: ‘As a student, I was travelling across Khrushchev’s USSR. We stopped in Kiev and wandered into a park where Soviet youths were dancing sedately.

I spotted an attractive girl,took her on to the floor and launched into a fast, unruly jive.

Then a couple ofheavies frogmarched us away. I was given a stern lecture in broken English on “Western degeneracy” and she narrowly escaped charges of hooliganism.’

Will Vince’s subsequent unruly dance in politics be interrupted by the ‘heavies’, i.e. the electorate?

Xmas Holidays

Food bank charity ‘is misleading the public’

  • Food bank charity accused of ‘emotionally manipulative publicity seeking’
  • Whitehall sources claim Trussell Trust ‘is effectively running a business’
  • Department of Work and Pensions said fewer people in need according to OECD figures
  • Government sources reject claims that 1 million people need food aid

By
Tim Shipman


Published:

19:58 EST, 16 April 2014


|
Updated:

03:28 EST, 17 April 2014

Claims that almost one  million people have had to resort to emergency supplies from food banks in the past year were dismissed as ‘misleading and emotionally manipulative’ yesterday.

The row came after the Trussell Trust, a charity that runs more than 400 of Britain’s food banks, said rising numbers were turning to the charity because their incomes have been ‘squeezed’.

It claimed more than 913,000 people received three days’ emergency food in the past year – almost a threefold rise on the previous 12 months – with over half blaming changes or delays to their benefit payments.

The Trussell Trust who runs more than 400 food banks was accused  of 'misleading the public' on the issue of food poverty

The Trussell Trust who runs more than 400 food banks was accused of ‘misleading the public’ on the issue of food poverty

A letter signed by 36 Anglican bishops and more than 600 church leaders from all major dominations also called for urgent action from ministers to tackle food poverty.

But senior figures in the Government yesterday accused the Trust of ‘publicity seeking’ to benefit its own ‘business’, pointing out that the growing number of food banks inevitably leads to people seeking out free food if it is available.

The Department for Work and Pensions added that a recent report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development actually found that food poverty has gone down under this government.

The proportion of those in the UK who said they are finding it difficult to afford food dropped from 9.8 per cent in 2007 to 8.1 per cent in 2012.

One senior Whitehall source described the food bank issue as 'fairly misleading and emotionally manipulative publicity seeking'

One senior Whitehall source described the food bank issue as ‘fairly misleading and emotionally manipulative publicity seeking’

But the Trussell Trust’s chairman, Chris Mould, said: ‘In the last year we’ve seen things get worse, rather than better, for many people on low incomes.  It’s been extremely tough for a lot of people, with parents not eating properly in order to feed their children and more people than ever experiencing seemingly unfair and harsh benefits sanctions.’

In a highly political intervention, he also called for the Government to drop sanctions against benefit claimants and increase the minimum wage.

But a senior Whitehall source accused Mr Mould of ‘fairly misleading and emotionally manipulative publicity seeking’.

The source added: ‘It’s not entirely surprising given Chris Mould is effectively running a business.’

Another official said: ‘The Trussell Trust have a stated aim to have a food bank in every town in the country, suggesting that they view food banks as a positive feature of a “big society”.

‘It’s slightly confusing to hear them condemning increased use at the same time as aggressively marketing their services.’

The Department of Work and Pensions said fewer people were struggling with their food bills according to a recent OECD report

The Department of Work and Pensions said fewer people were struggling with their food bills according to a recent OECD report

Tory MP Nigel Mills, a member of the work and pensions select committee, criticised the Trust’s views on benefits.

‘For those in genuine need, the benefits system gives people a decent level of help,’ he said. ‘I don’t think any of my constituents are clamouring for us to increase benefits.

‘There are nothing like a million people in this country who can’t afford to put a meal on the table.’

A DWP spokesman said: ‘Even the OECD says there are fewer people struggling with their food bills compared with a few years ago, benefit processing times are improving and the Trussell Trust’s own research recognises the effect their marketing activity has on the growth of their business.’

Xmas Holidays