Birmingham Mail : 2020-09-25

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28 @birmingham_live BIRMINGHAM MAIL FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2020 ON THIS Talkback GET IN TOUCH – TELL US WHAT YOU THINK... DAY Using law when it suits them 1066: Harold of England defeated the Norwegians under Harold Hardrada at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, Yorkshire, unaware that William of Normandy was preparing to invade the south coast. 1660: Samuel Pepys drank his first cuppa, after reading that tea made the body active and lusty. 1818: The first blood transfusio­n using human blood, as opposed to earlier attempts with animal blood, took place at Guy’s Hospital in London. 1872: Sir Charles Cochran, English impresario dubbed Britain’s Greatest Showman, was born. 1897: Britain’s first motor bus service started in Bradford. 1933: More than 25,000 queued to see the Shroud of Turin when it went on show to the public for the first time in 400 years at Turin Cathedral. 1962: Sonny Liston won the world heavyweigh­t boxing title, knocking out Floyd Patterson in the first round in Chicago. ON Wednesday, September 16, you printed a letter from me under the heading of “Snitch smacks of Nazi rule” in which I expressed my concerns regarding the calls for people to start snitching on their neighbours, if they see them apparently breaching the confusing and ever changing Covid-19 restrictio­ns. I find it totally unsurprisi­ng to now read reports in your paper that our equally inadequate and confusing Police Commission­er has now made calls for the police to be given even more draconian powers by allowing them to enter anyone’s home (almost on a whim) should they suspect that Covid rules are not being followed. Both the Police Commission­er and the Chief Constable use the age-old practice of covering up their own inadequaci­es by claiming that they do not have enough power to correctly, honestly and openly perform their duties. This ruse is brought into play every time those inadequaci­es hit the headlines. Look at their response to the apparent increase in knife crime or the abortive attempts to introduce facial recognitio­n cameras where innocent people were given on-thespot fines for covering their faces in areas where these cameras were being trialled even though there was no actual legislatio­n that made this action legal. The police do not have a good record on the way they use (or abuse) any new powers they have been given. They tend to use the letter of the law when it suits their own agenda and the spirit of the law when it doesn’t. This can be evidenced from their inconsiste­nt and disproport­ionate applicatio­n of such powers as ‘stop and search’ or the anti-terrorist legislatio­n of the 1960s and 70s. In the UK we are already one of the most legislated against people in the world, we do not need even more legislatio­n, designed, not for the purpose of protecting society but more for the purpose of covering up the failings of our police force and politician­s. History has proved time and time again that evolution is far more effective than revolution and if you PIC OF THE DAY Sonny Liston Royal Collection Trust Curator Caroline de Guitut looks at Princess Beatrice’s wedding dress which has gone on public display at Windsor Castle STAR lead to us being complacent and going about our business without worry. This government certainly doesn’t want that. It wants to keep us all in fear. When I was a kid and someone caught an illness, us kids were all sent to play with the ill one so that we all had the illness at the same time. I wonder if everyone just went back to work, school, etc, so that everybody had the virus at the same time, perhaps there wouldn’t be a second or third round of it. wish to enchain a free nation it is easier to do it bit by bit rather than all at one time. That way the nation doesn’t even notice what is happening until it is too late. If the Police Commission­er is successful in his calls for extra powers, how long will it be before we start reading reports showing that police are entering the homes of black people more often than white people? Ever since the days of Magna Carta we have lived in the belief that an Englishman’s home is his castle and that no free man can be arrested and held without charge – another of the liberties that, just a few years ago the police attempted to have removed. Our current liberties have been hard won and fought for throughout the ages, we should not allow ourselves to sleepwalk into allowing them to be eroded. BIRTHDAYS Chris (Taz) Jones, Brierley Hill Why can’t GPs be in charge of testing? Michael Douglas, actor, 76, and his wife Catherine Zeta Jones, actress, 51; Felicity Kendal, actress, 74; Mark Hamill, actor, 69; Michael Madsen, actor, 62; Heather Locklear, actress, 62; Ronnie Whelan, former footballer and manager, 59; Will Smith, actor, 52; Olivier Dacourt, former footballer, 46; Declan Donnelly, presenter, 45. I WOULD have thought it would have been better for Covid testing to be done via GPs. They have everyone’s records and could have predicted who would need one. After all, they are pretty insistent on the flu jab. I really wish though that someone would tell us the truth on all these deaths. For example, how many people have actually died from the virus alone, without underlying health problems? But of course, that would Pat Allen, Pype Hayes The small print: Letters will not be included unless you include your name, full postal address and daytime telephone number (we prefer to use names of letter writers but you can ask for your name not to be published if you have a good reason). The Editor reserves the right to edit all letters. 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