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National Theatre ignores pleas of murdered prostitute’s mother

A play about how the Ipswich community responded to the murder of five prostitutes gets its world premiere at the National Theatre on Thursday. While many Suffolk folk whose lives have been interwoven into the storyline of London Road, may be audience, the families of the murdered women most certainly will not. After the East Anglian Daily Times published a glowing review by reporter Lynne...
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How our government could help women find happiness

I have always considered the Netherlands a progressive nation, impressed at how multi-lingual its citizens are (I remember meeting one 11-year-old boy in Amsterdam who could speak four languages), and they have achieved impressive household recycling solutions we can only dream about here (including an ingenious kerbside collection of soiled disposable nappies for dissemination and re-use). Now...
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Lily Cole’s Cambridge theatre debut

Modelling superstar Lily Cole strove to be just another Cambridge student as she made her acting debut at the city’s famous university ADC Theatre in Chekhov’s The Seagull. Yet she knew that would be impossible as her fame would attract much attention, that all eyes would fall on her. Yes, she was nervous and stilted at times in the first half, but she also had one particular...
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Danish TV wants to speak to Chandlers re Somali kidnap

Danish TV has just called me asking if I could put them in touch with the Chandlers whose kidnap by Somali pirates I wrote about here when I became concerned at the lack of media coverage about their capture and terrifying ordeal. The reporter told me a Danish family had just been kidnapped by pirates and there are naturally great fears for their well being, particularly following the fate of...
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The latest ban for prisoners ….

While the debate rages over whether prisoners should be allowed to vote, my blogging friend Winchester Whisperer has revealed the latest ban for inmates – the use of sanitising hand gel wash regularly used in hospitals and on crusie ships. She explains the reason why: “My prison visiting friend tells me it has been banned from her prison because the inmates were mixing it with rum...
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What would women march for in the UK?

When did thousands of women last hold protest marches in the UK? Is there any issue they feel passionate about which would spur them into this kind of protest? I ask this question following the outraged women of Italy who did just that recently throughout their country. They made their moral stand against Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi by marching through 60 towns and cities.  Smaller protests...
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MP warned she could lose seat over forest sales

An Englishman’s home might be his castle, but he also feels very defensive about his countryside – and forests – as recent outrage has shown following government plans to sell off some of its woodland. As a keen rambler whose walks often include forests, bluebell woods and sheltered glades, I add my voice to those who have expressed concern.  On the one hand ramblers are close...
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The fuel duty stabiliser dilemma

Like everyone else, I have had enough of rising fuel prices, especially as I live in a rural Cambridgeshire village. How to deal with it is a complex issue which the government is currently grasping with. On the one hand, a fuel duty stabiliser might seem an attractive option, but it is a short-term fix as it would work by cutting fuel duty at a time of rising pump prices – as well as...
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Westminster Abbey’s special treasures

I had a couple of hours to spare in Westminster this week and decided to visit the Abbey where Prince William and Kate Middleton will tie the knot this April. Whenever I pass by there are usually long queues outside of tourists from around the globe who are keen to see the many splendours of the final resting place of some of our famous monarchs and poets, including Elizabeth 1 and Chaucer....
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How safe is your street?

Have you checked out your street yet for reported crime on the police website, www.police.uk? The police knocked on my door a few weeks ago and I immediately panicked and feared the worst! The community beat bobby reassured me that all was fine, and told me that a neighbour had had a Mercedes badge stolen from the front of his car and asked if I had seen anything suspicious. Phew! I...
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Living with a monster child

I was appalled to read a shocking court case in my local paper today about a mother who was too frightened to wake her violent teenage son to send him to school; he has only attended 22 out of 175 sessions and she pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to secure his regular attendance at school. The sympathetic magistrates in Ely gave the bullied mother a 12-month conditional discharge and...
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Tackling global food shortages and GM crops

The chances are I might not be around in 40 years time, but my sons will, and their children too. I want to know they are going to have food to eat. I also want to believe that others in the world will be able to eat as well. According to a report by Sir John Beddington, the government’s chief scientist, called “The Future of Food and Farming“, that may not be the case. He has...
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The Court of Protection Deputies

One of my blog posts which still attracts huge interest was about the Court of Protection. Many people have posted comments describing their terrible experiences, but I wondered if it was all bad, if there were some helpful deputies appointed by the court to help families. If so, could they please let me know. This is the most recent comment posted last week from a woman who seems traumatised by...
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Bankers and those bonuses

I admit I am not a financial expert, but what puzzles me about bankers is why they are very well paid to do a job and rewarded with a huge bonus on top of it, sometimes several million pounds. Is it too simplistic to expect them to enjoy their work in which they should strive to succeed, and that they should do it for an agreed salary like the rest of the working population. If the salary needs...
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Blood money for England’s Hepatitis C and HIV victims

It’s too late for some, for those trusting patients who died after being infected by contaminated haemophilia blood products from the NHS during blood transfusions in the 1970s and 80s. But at least some justice is finally being seen to be done. Even if victims and their families have had to wait decades – and 2,000 have tragically died waiting for this moment out of 4,670 people who...
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