Sunday, 28 February 2010
Saturday, 27 February 2010
The case came to court last spring and its outcome was reported on the front page of the Bradford Telegraph & Argus under the headline:
A senior judge has branded an 83-year-old Bradford man who attempted to overturn the election result in Manningham a “persistent minor public irritant” who shouted “anything, however offensive, insulting, threatening, racist, homophobic, sexist, or downright barmy”.
Richard Mawrey QC told Norman Scarth (pictured above), a candidate in May’s local election for his own Anti-Crime Party, he was a “crazed old man” who subjected voters as well as primary school children and their parents to “manic abuse” on the day of the election in May last year.
Mr Scarth had persisted with an election petition to the High Court in a bid to declare the results void after polling just 66 votes, while the winning candidate, Councillor Mohammad Amin, gained 2,319.
A special court session was held at Bradford’s City Hall and on the morning of the second day, election Judge Mawrey dismissed the petition describing it as “wholly misconceived”.
Mr Scarth left the chamber mid-judgment declaring the judge a “liar”.
The legal costs, which Mr Scarth must now pay, are expected to run into thousands of pounds, and Mr Scarth himself admitted it was likely to bankrupt him.
Judge Mawrey described Mr Scarth as a man convinced he was the victim of a conspiracy, which was tested further upon conviction of wounding in 2001 and served four years in prison, followed by two years in a psychiatric hospital.
He said: “In Mr Scarth’s universe he is the noble fighter for justice and the rule of law who, despite appalling levels of official persecution, has refused to be silenced and continues the struggle, bloody but unbowed.
“In the real world, inhabited by the rest of us, Mr Scarth is a disturbed, clearly paranoid and occasionally violent old man who is a persistent minor public irritant.”
Mr Scarth’s version of events was dismissed by the judge, who chose to believe evidence from a number of witnesses, including three police officers and Green Lane Primary School head teacher Kevin Holland instead.
The police were called to the school after complaints that Mr Scarth was causing a disturbance as he attempted to campaign outside the polling station using a loudhailer. He shouted abuse at Mr Holland when he tried to move Mr Scarth on and more insults were flung at the police as they tried to arrest him for a breach of the peace.
His petition claimed he was unlawfully arrested and that he was again intimidated and threatened with arrest on the day of the count.
Judge Mawrey concluded: “Far from being the victim of a governmental conspiracy to silence him and to prevent his election as a councillor by wrongfully arresting him and detaining him on polling day, he has been shown to be a sordid public nuisance whose disgraceful and demeaning behaviour in the public streets of Bradford on May 1, 2008 inevitably led to his arrest for a short period of detention.
“In my judgement he was very fortunate not to be charged with public order offences which shows that the officers concerned, far from being the sinister Gestapo of Mr Scarth’s imagination acting on the orders of central government, with good Yorkshire common sense and humanity displayed considerable tolerance of Mr Scarth’s disreputable antics and let him go without charge once his potential for disrupting the election had passed.
“In my judgement West Yorkshire police were not, as Mr Scarth believes, attempting to subvert democracy in the interest of a police state but were upholding democracy in trying to ensure that citizens of Bradford exercising their lawful right to vote were not subjected to manic abuse by a crazed old man.”
Friday, 26 February 2010
- (Referring to Dutch legend Raymond van Barneveld) "BARNEY LOVES WEE ULSTER"
- "FINE! YOURSELF?"
- And the best one (which included an arrow pointing at another man standing beside the sign) "BIG SPENCE IS ON THE DLA."
Norn Iron humour at its unique best and it made me very proud.
I've since read a Belfast Telegraph report of the frivolities which revealed that, "around 35,000 pints of beer were consumed by the crowd during the raucous three-hour tournament."
Given that there were only 7,500 people in the room, that really is some kind of drinking.
And, whilst it might not reflect well on me, I now feel even prouder.
Thursday, 25 February 2010
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
On a much lighter note, you’ll be delighted to know that, shortly after I wrote that post, Jamie was sick all over on me.
But it gets worse.
Not sure what to do next, I called for urgent assistance from Vanessa, who burst into the spare room to be greeted by the sight of me covered from neck to waist in vomit whilst holding my son out at arms length in front of me.
Jamie took one look at her, another look at me and a little smile broke out across his face.
And then he uttered two words I’ll not forget, ever:
I was absolutely mortified. I mean, how could he say such a thing? Had I taught him nothing?
Because I was covered, not in shit, but in sick. And, whilst the two words might sound similar to the inexperienced ear, they really are two completely different substances.
He really will have to learn.
And I really will have to stop swearing in front of him.
Monday, 22 February 2010
Sunday, 21 February 2010
Saturday, 20 February 2010
Friday, 19 February 2010
The railway underpass (pictured above) has been known as Tickle Cock bridge to generations of courting couples in Castleford, West Yorkshire.
In an attempt to spare blushes, a council official suggested it was called Tittle Cott bridge and a plaque bearing the sanitised name was erected.
Thursday, 18 February 2010
Wednesday, 17 February 2010
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
Monday, 15 February 2010
It was my own fault, really. I was trying to be posh and it just didn’t work.
Like last year (I tend not to be very original), I offered to make Vanessa a flash meal and, for 2010, chose lobster and venison as my weapons of choice.
I actually bought the lobsters from Asda weeks ago when they had an offer on (yes, every expense spared). But it was only yesterday that I realised I had absolutely no idea how to open them to get the meat for my lobster and noodle surprise. And when I downloaded some pictures from t’Internet to show me how to do it, I quickly realised that you’re supposed to use a nutcracker - and we don’t have one.
I therefore had little option but to improvise by way of the butt of a kitchen knife and my hands – and promptly lacerated my right thumb in two places. (You’ll be impressed / relieved to learn that, being an old-fashioned gent, I did wash my blood off the few bits of fish I managed to dig out before feeding them to the wife).
So I’ll not be buying lobster again.
And neither shall I be purchasing any more venison.
Why? Because it just tastes like liver. Maybe it was my untrained palate or, just possibly, it was because I overcooked it. But I wasn’t impressed. So no more deer for me, dear.
I hope your Valentine’s Day activities were more successful than mine.
Sunday, 14 February 2010
Saturday, 13 February 2010
Friday, 12 February 2010
I’m not going to get into the details of his case here – except for one which is very close to home. Or, more precisely, happens in our home.
Because one of the forms of torture apparently used on this individual was, to quote the official document the British Government wanted to cover up, “continuous sleep deprivation.”
And this, of course, is the principal form of punishment Jamie has been practising on Vanessa and me for getting on to 20 months. (To illustrate, he was up at just after 5am today and refused to go back down).
I’ve done a little research and, in addition to the obvious negative effects such as yawning, headaches and irritability, other impacts of sleep deprivation include aching muscles, dizziness/nausea, hand tremors, increased blood pressure, increased risk for diabetes/fibromyalgia (whatever that is), memory loss, rapid involuntary rhythmic eye movement (my personal favourite) and obesity (i.e. another excuse for fatties to claim it’s not the pies).
Clearly none of these are good news and Vanessa and I would obviously like it if Jamie refrained from practising his evil brand of cruelty on us, particularly as my research has also revealed that it is in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights.
Should he choose not to do so, I fear I may have no option but to inform the United Nations itself with a request that the Security Council meets to pass a resolution threatening to use the traditional “all available means” to make him stop.
Should he choose not to do so, we could begin by cutting his chocolate rations and after that, well, air strikes would not be ruled out.
At least he couldn't claim he hadn't been warned.
Thursday, 11 February 2010
I say “self-service” because she’s not very good – hence why it’s not difficult to get an appointment at short-notice – and, through experience, I’ve found the best way to get anything done is to use self-diagnosis and self-prescription. She certainly never examines you (or me, for that matter) and I genuinely doubt if she even owns a stethoscope.
To illustrate, yesterday’s visit went something like this.
Barry: “Good afternoon doctor, and how are you?”
Doctor: “I’m fine, and how are you?”
Barry: “Well doctor, I’ve got sinusitis. In fact, I’ve been to see you twice about this previously. I think a course of amoxicillin should do the trick – five days, not seven, as things normally begin to improve after about 36 hours. However, given that I have had this problem before, I think it might be sensible for you to refer me. I was actually referred by another GP 10 years ago when I lived in London, and was sent for surgery. But when I went along for the operation – I had my slippers and pyjamas and everything with me in my little bag – the consultant decided against it. I never found it why. So perhaps it’s time for someone else to have a look. Entirely up to you, of course, doctor.”
Doctor: “OK, here’s your prescription for a five-day course of amoxicillin. And, after retrieving the notes from your previous GP, I’ll refer you. You won’t have to come back here – you’ll just get a phone call.”
Barry: “Thank you doctor, much appreciated.”
My mum always wanted me to be a doctor.
Wednesday, 10 February 2010
Tuesday, 9 February 2010
...Jamie had a couple of early morning visitors...
...before trying out his new wee chair bought for him (predictably enough) by Wee John...
...then Auntie Vicky rightly reminded us it was actually someone else's weekend...