UK news

Solicitor vows to continue BBC Middle East bias battle

By Simon Rocker, October 8, 2009

London solicitor Steven Sugar, despite a legal setback, has vowed to continue his five-year-long campaign to force the BBC to release the Balen Report on its Middle East coverage.

In the High Court last week, Mr Justice Irwin ruled that the BBC was exempt from having to disclose the report under the Freedom of Information Act.

But Mr Sugar said: “Obviously I’m disappointed but we are contemplating an appeal to the Court of Appeal and it is likely that we will do so.”

He added that he was determined to fight for the principle of public accessibility to BBC material.

More..

Collins apologises for Hitler-birthday diary

By Leon Symons, October 8, 2009

The maker of one of the country’s most popular diaries has pledged that it will never again use Hitler’s birthday as an “interesting fact of the day”.

The April 20 entry in the Collins Debden 2009 diary was spotted by central London art gallery owner Helly Nahmad. But his initial complaint to the company went unanswered so this week he wrote again. The second time the company responded and has now said that the reference was not in next year’s diary and would not appear again.

More..

How Golders Green got the X Factor... and Stacey Solomon

By Robyn Rosen, October 8, 2009

A music teacher at King Solomon High School has spoken of the “big impression” made on her by X Factor finalist, Stacey Solomon, who this week moved into Golders Green.

Rachel Dickson, who taught Stacey during her music GCSE three years ago, said she was delighted to see Stacey sing one of her exam performance pieces — Somewhere Over the Rainbow — in last week’s programme.

“My first impression of Stacey Solomon was of a chatty, lively girl with a powerful voice and a huge personality,” she said.

More..

Equality watchdog in JFS fight

By Simon Rocker, October 8, 2009

Britain’s equality watchdog has entered the legal battle over the admissions policy of Jewish schools.

The Supreme Court this week granted the Equalities and Human Rights Commission the right to be an intervener in the forthcoming appeal case, which will enable it to make submissions to the court.

JFS, the country’s largest Jewish school, is trying to reverse a decision by the Court of Appeal in June that it is unlawful to offer places on the basis of whether a child’s parent is Jewish.

More..

Tory calls for government to blacklist neo-Nazi group

By Leon Symons, October 8, 2009

Shadow Security Minister Baroness Neville-Jones has called on Home Secretary Alan Johnson to proscribe the extreme right-wing group Blood & Honour.

Last week the group was reported to the police for distributing racially offensive CDs which spread hatred against Jews, Asians and blacks. The Home Office confirmed that its status would be re-assessed.

Baroness Neville-Jones said: “This is a flagrant example of the kind of hate speech that should be dealt with. There is a danger that this is growing in extent and goes unchecked.

More..

Baddiels use film to tackle football hate

By Robyn Rosen, October 8, 2009

Comedian David Baddiel and his writer brother, Ivor, are making a short film in a bid to curb antisemitism in football.

The Y Word is a two-minute film which will feature Premiership footballers and highlight the use of the word “Yid” in football chants.

The brothers, both keen Chelsea fans, are now rounding up footballers to feature in the film, which has the backing of the FA, the Professional Footballers’ Association, the Premier League and campaigners Kick Racism out of Football. The plan is to screen it before matches with a likely completion early next year.

More..

War veterans kept silent for 30 years over code-breaking role

By Robyn Rosen, October 8, 2009

It took Sidney Goldberg more than 30 years to tell his wife, family and friends what he did during the war.

It was only in 1974, when Frederick Winterbotham wrote The Ultra Secret, the first account of decryption operations during the war, that Mr Goldberg and the other 25,000 code-breakers began to reveal their experiences.

Mr Goldberg, now 86 and living in Kenton, north London, is one of 35 veterans to attend a special ceremony at Bletchley Park today to receive a new award for services to the Government Codes and Cipher School (GC&CS).

More..

Revealed: MI5's Jewish terrorism fear

By Simon Rocker, October 8, 2009

MI5 for many years avoided recruiting Jews as spies out of concern about their potential loyalty to Israel, according to a new book published this week.

Its policy stemmed from the years of Israel’s struggle for independence when the security services feared terrorist attacks on Britain by militant Zionist groups.

The revelation comes in The Defence of the Realm, an authorised history of M15 based on its archives, by Chistopher Andrew.

More..

Michal Kaminski: the debate rages

October 8, 2009

The controversy surrounding the Conservative Party's European pact with the rightwing Polish party of Michal Kaminski has been the talk of the Conservative Party Conference this week.

More..

Ed Miliband's radio reunion with lost aunt

By Robyn Rosen, October 8, 2009

Ed Miliband, energy minister and brother of foreign secretary, David, was reunited with a long-lost relative during a live phone-in while appearing on a Russian radio station.

Mr Miliband appeared on the Ekho Moskvy programme on Monday to answer questions on climate negotiations and global warming, when an elderly woman phoned in.

Live on air, she said: “My name is Sophia Davidovna Miliband. I am the only remaining relative. I would like to tell him about all his relatives.”

More..