Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Riposte to R.I.P Response

I find myself in the slightly odd position of not quite agreeing with people who agreed with my post. Terry Hamblin has now taken down his post, but I visited before he did, and found more to agree with in his posts than I did those who had responded. I also think it entirely inappropriate to blog as if an 8 year old boy is reading about his mother, if he is, that would be unfortunate and would be distressing for him, but it is not the role of society to stand beside the pain of one individual.

I appreciated the response, but have to own that I wrote what I felt, which was not based on any medical or legal information. The reality is that we don’t actually know if Sally was guilty of anything or not, rather we do know that an incorrect statistical assumption has brought to light the difficulties of jury trials hearing expert witnesses. It appears that this evidence played little part in either the original conviction or the first appeal; in the second appeal, it came under criticism on legal rather than medical grounds.

I do think that Sally shouldn't have been imprisoned, but I don’t think prison is the right place for a lot of people, particularly not for a mother who might need therapeutic support, and Sally would have needed that in either circumstance. I would also agree with the European Court’s ruling that the boys who killed James Bulger had an unfair trial, which prevented them from accessing the therapeutic support they needed, fed them through the adversarial system inappropriately, as well as a trial process which delayed the psychological process of coming to terms with what they had done. I would take the same approach with any number of perpetrators who can also be read as victims.

It was also wrong to scapegoat Meadows; the world of child protection is not one where proof can withstand rigorous scientific testing, but most children are murdered by their parents. This case reminds me of Cleveland where the paediatrician and social worker involved were scapegoated for their excessive zeal, and there were some flaws in the casework, but I suspect there were also some children who were returned to homes where they had been abused.

Meadow has experienced a personal humiliation, but I think the case against him was wrong because some children will still be murdered by their parents, and it would be wrong to leave unchallenged any misanthropic assumptions of the child protection system.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Coleen as Art Answers

David Hockney’s Mr and Mrs Clark And Percy.

Manet painted Un Bar Aux Folies-Bergere in 1882.

In Botticelli's Birth Of Venus, the goddess is naked as she rises from the sea, Coleen wasn't quite so daring.

John Singer Sargents's 1883-84 portrait Madame X.

Vermeer's Girl With A Pearl Earring from 1660-65.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Tragedy is an over-used word, but one I immediately sprang to use when I heard about the death of Sally Clark. I won't jumpt to conclusions, but it isn't hard to see a broken woman in the images we have witnessed of Sally since her release.

I also won't focuss on the details of her case, because that has been covered so well elsewhere, except to say that a trial is a major barrier to accessing the kind of theraputic support which might be appropriate after the loss of 2 children.

When her first appeal failed, the tough prison officer in the dock with Sally called over the investigative journalist in the call to say that no-one in the prison thought that Sally had done it, including the governer. This law enforcer, who must hear so many protest their innocence, despatched the scribe to prove it using the tools of his trade. This was achieved when the statistical evidence used to convict, was found to be flawed, and the expert witness not the sure thing the jury held it to be.

It wasn't a victory party on Sally's release, you just have to look at the change in her appearance to see that, and sometimes pain just is too great to live with. May she now rest peacefully and may that be a comfort to those who are close to her. Even me, whilst not being of any kind of litigious nature, would now want to sue someone for the damage they have wreeked on this woman's life, and that of her family.

Sally Clark - victim of a miscarriage of justice "It is with the very greatest sadness that Sally Clark's family announces that Sally was found dead at her home this morning, having passed away during the night. The matter is in the hands of the coroner and it is too early to provide any further information. Sally's family very much hopes that the media will refrain from making any enquiries or attempts to contact them at this painful time. Sally, aged 42, was released in 2003 having been wrongfully imprisoned for more than 3 years, falsely accused of the murder of her two sons. Sadly, she never fully recovered from the effects of this appalling miscarriage of justice. Sally, a qualified solicitor, was a loving and talented wife, mother, daughter and friend. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her."

Monday, March 12, 2007

Colleen on Canvas

Very tired today so just sharing Colleen as art, name the original & there won't be a special prize, but at least I will know that some of my traffic has stopped to comment! :-)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Trio on a Trip

& this gratuitous use of celebrity papping is just because... usually when celebrities say they want family time/real time/their family is the most important thing to them... well sometimes there just isn't any evidence.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Don't Eat Chocolate?!

One form of trafficking is the use of children to harvest the cocoa beans on farms in Cote D'Ivoire. These children are likely to be working to make your chocolate. Nearly half the world's chocolate is made from cocoa grown in the Cote D'Ivoire, in Africa and 12,000 children have been trafficked into cocoa farms in Cote D'Ivoire. When we buy chocolate we are being forced to be oppressors ourselves as we have no guarantee that the chocolate we eat is 'traffik free'. STOP THE TRAFFIK wants all chocolate companies to be able to stamp onto their chocolate wrappers a guarantee that the cocoa beans have not been harvested by trafficked labour. We can then all choose to eat chocolate with a Traffik Free Guarantee.
STOP THE TRAFFIK is calling for people everywhere of all ages to force the chocolate companies to give a guarantee that their chocolate is Traffik Free. Will they commit to print a 'Traffik Free Guarantee' on chocolate bars so we can choose to buy chocolate that is not made through trafficked labour?
Everyone can still enjoy chocolate, but you can choose to only eat chocolate that is guaranteed to be 'Traffik Free' which includes Divine, Green & Black Maya Gold and those listed on the STOP THE TRAFFIK Good Chocolate Guide. The only way chocolate companies will take action is if they see their expected branded chocolate sales drop.

Monday, March 05, 2007

It's All a Bit of a Blur!

Once I dreamed of being on Paddy's team, then I thought I blew it, & now I can't remember what the question was but BH is still on the case!In a message dated 01/03/2007 13:32:32 GMT Standard Time, broadcasting.house@bbc.co.uk writes:


Fear not. It didn't come up, but I am getting an answer for you!

Paddy O'Connell Presenter, Broadcasting House

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Dreamy Spires

As such things do, my delightful week came to me courtesy of a friend at De Montford University after I had developed my literary crush on Nagra, & she told me he would be talking there this year. It turns out that Cultural Exchanges has been running since about 2000, but it has really taken off this year, and what a programme it was. I had to end my run on Wednesday, due to that dissertation thingy I should have been writing, so missed Andy Hamilton & Paul Defour, but did have the opportunity to listen to Darcus Howe, Claire Fox & Hardeep Singh discuss multiculturalism. Maybe more of that another time, because there are things to say & audiences to discuss, as well as transculturalism...
Sometimes a girl really does have to pinch herself though, when she finds herself listening to Iain Sinclair, whose son I waitressed with in London BTW (& I would have liked to ask how Will got on at film school!), or having a chat with Claire Tomalin about Thomas Hardy in the 'green room'. Luckily for you, my bubble will be bursting next week as I strain myself to complete my dissertation, but it is all enough sustenance to sustain me! Found out after I got home, that Claire is married to Michael Frayn, which I am kind of glad I didn't know when I met her; Copenhagen was a bit too clever for me!

Wonderful Willard

Some weeks a girl could just pinch herself, having just seen Willard White do his tribute to Paul Robeson at WAC, I thought the bar had closed, but spotted one open on another level. Sitting there with my glass of red, the musicians entered and I loitered till I decided I really did want to know how the musical director put something like that together. Had a lovely chat with him & the drummer, who is doing a PhD, shook hands with Willard & said something fairly sensible, said something silly to Rose his partner, then had a lovely chat with her anyway. Rose & I share a love of Paul Smith which really got us off to a good start.
What a treat, & just a great thing to do on your own, so you don't have to worry about taking care of your competitive girlfriend or her deliberately trying to outsmart you. Well that's just a beef about one friend, but because I could never afford to see him at Covent Garden, it was also amazing to hear his voice. Think of dark wood, treacle, whisky & definitely no cigars! Just phenomenal. Apparently people stop & look when he is in a bar talking, or says something to Rose in a restaurant, his voice is so striking & it was a bit of a worry when his voice broke & he suddenly had this powerful instrument. I bet Julliard didn't know what had hit them.