The Police Took Care Of The Blues, But What Is The Government Aiming To Do About The Reds?



Died of head injuries two days after being attacked and abused by a gang attempting to steal from his shop. In January 2001, a 16-year-old girl and 20-year-old man were sentenced to five years. Two others were found guilty of affray.


On a night out with his brother, Stephen and friend Gary Belgrave, were attacked by a gang of eight who kicked and punched Glynne to death. In July 2001, Wayne King was jailed for four years after pleading guilty to manslaughter. A 21-year-old was jailed for four years for ABH. The judge said the murder was not racially motivated.


Found with serious head injuries after suspected racial attack, died later in hospital. In August 2001, Matthew Dorrian admitted manslaughter.


This Kosovan asylum seeker was beaten to death by a gang of men following an argument in a pub in Edgware, north London. Fetah suffered eighty injuries, twenty-nine of which were from sharp instruments. In June 2002, Richard Ellis, a Black man, was found guilty of his murder. The judge commented it was unlikely he was ‘solely responsible’. Ellis denied knowing any of the 20-30 strong gang that beat Fetah to death. In April 2007, Ellis was told that he must serve at least 11 years for the racially motivated attack before he could seek parole.



Stabbed to death by a gang of White youth as he returned home from work. In November 2001, a 15-year-old boy was found guilty of murder. Two others were convicted of manslaughter and a 16-year-old was convicted of perverting the course of justice. Police said the murder was ‘purely’ racial.


Tortured and had her throat cut by 26-year-old Scottish man George McMaster. He was jailed for life after admitting her manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility. When arrested he said ‘It was because she was Black’.


A young Turkish-Cypriot died two hours after being stabbed outside his home. In 2002, John Geaney was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. The court was told how Geaney had wanted a fight and had stood outside the home of Frankie Kyriacou goading the young man and his brother. When they emerged from the house, the two were stabbed. Though Geaney had been heard making disparaging comments about Turkish people, the judge ruled that the attack was not racially motivated. In May 2007, Geaney was sentenced to serve at least 12 years.


Died five days after being fatally brain damaged after he was punched to the ground in a racist attack outside a take-away. 26-year-old James Green was charged with manslaughter and racially aggravated grevious bodily harm and threatening behaviour. The trial in June 2003 heard that Green, who was trained in martial arts, had been ‘fired up for a fight’ and had made racist comments. The jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision and Green, who denied the charges and claimed he acted in self-defence, was ordered to face a retrial. In December 2003, Green walked free from court after a second jury failed to agree a verdict.


National Action (UK) (2013)

National Action is a neo-Nazi, British nationalist youth organisation that has been proscribed as a terrorist entity, by the Government of the United Kingdom. The group is secretive, and has rules to prevent members from talking openly about the organisation.The group was proscribed in the UK on 16 December 2016. In March 2017, an undercover investigation by ITV found that its members were still meeting in secret.

Due to the secretive nature of National Action, it is not clear who the leader of the organisation is. Former National Front member Ashley Benn (pseudonym Tommy Johnson) has been referred to as the organisation’s leader, and is thought to be one of a number of activists behind National Action’s founding document.

In an investigation by the Daily Mirror, Benjamin Raymond, age 25 in June 2014, was found to be the leader of National Action. He is a former double-glazing salesman who graduated with a degree in Politics from Essex University in 2013. By 2014, he had written on his blog: “There are non-whites and Jews in my country who all need to be exterminated. As a teenager, Mein Kampf changed my life. I am not ashamed to say I love Hitler.”He has expressed admiration for Anders Breivik, the far-right terrorist, who is “the hero Norway deserves”. Raymond told BBC News in 2015: “The source of all of the conflict in society is all the different racial groups that have been brought here.

National Action self-styles itself as a “revolutionary nationalist” organisation which grew out of a failed offshoot within the youth wing of the British National Party and has made effective, large-scale use of social media and blogging platforms.


National Action also wanted to reintroduce Section 28, which prohibited the “promotion of homosexuality” in schools. On immigration, “Tom” says “With coloured people we’d say big no to them coming over. But with [white people] we’d be a bit more lenient”.

The group has distributed its material on at least 12 university campuses. In an interview with The National Student, an anonymous organiser for National Action explained why they target universities: “very soon they are going to find out just how hard the system has screwed them – if they knew what we know now we would have an army.

In November 2016, The Sunday Times reported that National Action was supporting Thomas Mair, the murderer of the Batley and Spen Labour MP Jo Cox, posting “only 649 MPs to go!” on social media. National Action also supported Mair personally, saying “don’t let this man’s sacrifice go in vain” and altered its listing on Google to state: “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain!”, a slogan Mair had said to a court when asked to give his name following Cox’s murder. The organisation also supported the Orlando gun homicide and has called for graphic and violent attacks on police officers in the UK. Mair, however, appeared to have little involvement with National Action or any other white nationalist groups within the UK.



A South African taxi-driver working in the Isle of Wight was attacked and stamped to death by a passenger. Paul was a South African who arrived in the UK in 1951 and moved to the Isle of Wight in 1996 or 1997. The court was told that passenger Arnold punched Paul twelve times with ‘severe force’ before stealing his cash bag containing £300. Wendy Nolan, a friend of Arnold’s, told the court that Arnold told her: ‘I think I have killed the bloke. I only did it because he is Black. He looked dead. I think he’s dead. I kicked him.’ She, in turn, was so disturbed by what she had been told that she drove to where Arnold told her the attack took place and found Paul’s body. Paramedics were called and battled for 20 minutes to save him before he was declared dead. In May 2004, Arnold was sentenced to life for his murder and ordered that he serve a minimum of 11 years and 341 days. Det. Insp. Jason Hogg commented: ‘We are very pleased with the verdict. We feel justice has been done. This was a dreadful attack, made particularly horrible by the fact that there was a racist element.’ In April 2005, after an appeal, Arnold’s minimum tariff was reduced to just under 10 years.


Johnny, who was from a Traveller family, was found with serious head injuries in a field and later died in hospital. In November 2003, the trial began at Chester Crown Court of two 16-year old boys charged with murder. One of the boys was allegedly heard to say that Johnny deserved it because ‘he was only a f**king Gypsy’. The two boys, who tried to blame one another, were found not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter. The Judge, Mr Justice Richards, told the court he did not believe the attack was racially motivated. However, the police said after the verdict that the murder had been investigated as racially motivated because of the use of racist language. Johnny’s father, Patrick Delaney, commented, ‘There is no justice here. They were kicking my son like a football. Are they going to let this happen to another Gypsy?.. As far as we’re concerned it was a racist attack.’


This father of three was attacked by two White men on the busy Walthamstow High Street and later died. He allegedly confronted the men after they made racist comments. They then knocked him down and kicked him as he lay on the ground. Police were treating the attack as racially motivated.


An Indian restaurant owner died nearly a month after suffering head injuries in a racist attack outside his restaurant in Eastcote Village near Ruislip, west London. In September 2004, 19-year-old Daniel Palmer was jailed for life for Quadir’s murder. The court was told that Palmer and his gang had been throwing eggs at the Zhai restaurant on Halloween night and Quadir and his brother came out to remonstrate with the gang. Palmer attacked him with an estate agent’s ‘for sale’ sign. The gang were heard mimicking Asian accents and Palmer ran off laughing, boasting that he had broken Quadir’s nose. Palmer was sentenced to a minimum of twelve years.



An elderly Pakistani man was attacked at the White Hart roundabout subway in Northolt, west London, and taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. Police said they were treating the attack as racially motivated. Two youths were arrested and one was later charged with his murder. Michael Evans, 17, and James Carney, 20, were convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to ten years each.


A Sri Lankan-born restaurant worker died two weeks after being racially attacked in Ashford, Kent. Bapishankar suffered serious head injuries after he and a friend were racially attacked on a footbridge in Victoria Road on 22 April 2001. Two men, James Rossiter, 22, and Tony Pile, 18, were charged with murder and remanded into custody. In July 2004, the men were convicted and sentenced to a minimum of 25 years. In October 2005, the Court of Appeal reduced the sentences from 25 years to 21 years, saying that the trial judges failed to take into account the men’s ages and that the reduction did not diminish the ‘horrific’ crime.


Two shop workers were injured in a racist firebomb attack on their shop in Kennington, south London. Khizar Hyat died after being trapped in his shop. His colleague died in hospital nearly a month later from injuries sustained during the arson attack. On 4 May 2006, 32-year-old Robert Torto appeared before Greenwich magistrates charged with murder. In July 2007, a judge ordered that he be detained at Broadmoor Hospital indefinitely after he pleaded guilty to three counts of arson with intent to endanger life on the grounds of diminished responsibility. He also pleaded guilty to a further count of arson at a Tulse Hill newsagent. Judge Peter Beaumont ordered Torto be detained for an indefinite period. Police officers found a handwritten note detailing different bombs and targets, including gay clubs, hospitals carrying out sex changes and non-Christian religious institutions.


Changez was found stabbed to death in an alleyway near his home in Cheetham Hill, Manchester. Police ruled out racial motivation saying the attack was a revenge attack. In January 2007, Michael Skeffington, 19, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommendation that he serve 15 years for stabbing Changez five times in revenge after losing a fight. The case was only allowed to be reported in July 2007 after Skeffington pleaded guilty to another assault along with his twin brother David following an attack on another Asian – again involving a knife. In September 2003, Skeffington had been given a two-year ASBO by Manchester magistrates after being accused of racist behaviour which banned him from entering an area of Cheetham Hill.


Combat 18 (1992)

Combat 18 (C18) is a neo-Nazi cartel associated with the Blood and Honour organisation, based on the principles of “leaderless resistance”, a strategy that was adopted and mentioned in the Combat 18 manifest, based on “The Turner Diaries”, written by William Luther Pierce under the pseudonym Andrew Macdonald. It originated in the United Kingdom, with ties to movements in the United States and has since spread to other countries. Combat 18 members have been suspected in numerous deaths of immigrants, non-whites, and other C18 members. The 18 in its name is derived from the initials of Adolf Hitler: A and H are the first and eighth letters of the Latin alphabet. Members in the United Kingdom are barred from joining the British Prison Service and police.

Between 1998 and 2000, dozens of Combat 18 members in the UK were arrested on various charges during dawn raids by the police. These raids were part of several operations conducted by Scotland Yard in co-operation with MI5. Those arrested included Steve and Bill Sargent (brothers of Charlie Sargent), David Myatt and two serving British soldiers, Darren Theron (Parachute Regiment) and Carl Wilson.



Tarsen Nahar, (aka ‘Cookie’), was found dead in Hayes on 19 May 2007. Daryl O’Connor, 18, was found guilty of murder and of aggravated bodily harm. The court was told in an unprovoked attack, O’Connor and his friends had been heard to say ‘We don’t like n*****s in our park’. O’Connor, who was 17 at the time of the murder, is said to have beaten Tarsen to the ground and then kicked him in the head, as the gang stole his phone and wallet. Tarsen was able to make his way to a friend’s house where he collapsed. Local police said the murder was investigated as racially motivated and that O’Connor was initially charged with racially aggravated ABH (as well as murder), however the ‘racially aggravated’ rider was dropped. In July 2008 O’Connor was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 13 years. (Read an IRR News story: ‘Convictions in three Black murder cases’)


A grandmother and her granddaughter died in an arson attack when a wheelie bin was set alight outside a house in Bolton. Saima Mian, who was visiting her parents in the UK from Australia, was seriously injured in the fire, suffering burns to her face and stomach. Fire fighters suggested the fire was deliberately set. A reconstruction on BBC Crimewatch, in January 2010 where police officers suggested the motive was racist, resulted in new leads.


A young Sri Lankan student was stabbed to death following an altercation in a Croydon street with 31-year-old Steven Braithwaite. Nilanthan, a little drunk after celebrating the birthday of a friend in Croydon, started arguments with passers-by. Brathwaite passed by in a taxi and was heard to racially abuse the group, calling out ‘P**is’, Nilanthan, upset by the abuse attempted (but failed) to pull Braithwaite from his cab. Twenty minutes later, Braithwaite returned and resumed the argument with Nilanthan, stabbing him in the neck. Nilanthan died at the scene. In June 2009, Braithwaite was found guilty and sentenced to life for murder and ordered to serve a minimum of 19 years.


This retired man died a week after being attacked by a Black gang outside his local mosque after evening prayers. He suffered head injuries in the attack (which is thought to have been racist).His 3-year-old granddaughter who was with him at the time of the attack was unharmed. Three young people aged 14 and 15 have been charged with GBH with intent and murder. And a 12-year-old has been charged with conspiracy to commit GBH and two counts of assault. The attack followed other assaults on elderly Asians near the mosque.



A Polish teenager died after being stabbed outside Finsbury park tube station. His attacker, Alphonse Kruizinga, was said to be racist towards Polish people in particular and blamed Poland for the Second World War. He was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years.


A bus driver, who was found burned to death under railway arches at Palmers Green underground station. An initial Metropolitan police investigation recorded the death as suicide. However David’s family believes that he may have been murdered because he was a police informer. The family also had concerns that the police failed to conduct a proper investigation because he was black. A first internal police report found ‘a failing in duty’ by the police and found a vast array of errors in the original investigation. David’s family further complained that no disciplinary action was taken against the police officers found to be at fault.


Singh, of Indian origin, was stabbed to death on Christmas morning by BNP supporter, David Folley. Singh had mistakenly knocked on Folley’s door while looking for a friend’s address and was stabbed to death on the landing. David Folley, 35, was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was also found guilty of ABH for assaulting another man in prison while awaiting trial.


This Italian man had been in the UK about a week when he was killed. The attack happened in a flat above a restaurant where Joele was working. According to an Italian mayor, ’informed sources’ said that the attackers had ‘broken down the door of their room’, yelling, ‘you’re stealing our jobs’. The police later denied any racial motivation. In January 2014, four Lithuanian men charged with murder pleaded not guilty.


BNP Greenwich

The British National Party (BNP) (1982)

is a far-right political party in the United Kingdom. It is headquartered in Wigton, Cumbria, and its current leader is Adam Walker. It currently has one councillor in UK local government. During its heyday in the 2000s, it had over fifty seats in local government, two seats on the London Assembly, and two Members of the European Parliament.

Ideologically positioned on the extreme or far-right of British politics, the BNP has been characterised as fascist or neo-fascist by political scientists. Under Tyndall’s leadership, it was more specifically regarded as Neo-Nazi. The party is ethnic nationalist, and espouses the view that only white people should be citizens of the United Kingdom. It calls for an end to non-white migration into the UK and the removal of settled non-white populations from the country. Initially, it called for the compulsory expulsion of non-whites, although it has since advocated voluntary removals with financial incentives. It promotes biological racism and the white genocide conspiracy theory, calling for global racial separatism and condemning mixed race relationships. Under Tyndall, the BNP emphasised anti-semitism and Holocaust denial, although Griffin switched the party’s focus on to Islamophobia. It promotes economic protectionism, Euroscepticism, and a transformation away from liberal democracy, while its social policies oppose feminism, LGBT rights, and societal permissiveness.

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Tony Blair admits he is baffled by rise of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn

Tony Blair has said he is struggling to understand the appeal of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn because both are hampered by “the question of electability”.

The former British prime minister, a supporter of Hillary Clinton, admitted that he is finding it hard to grasp popular movements in both Britain and the USfavouring mavericks who will “rattle the cage” and which reflect a loss of faith in the progressive centre.

In a joint interview with the Guardian and the Financial Times in Washington, he emphasised that Americans must make their own decision but made clear his scepticism about Sanders, the leftwing senator whose challenge to wealthy eliteshas energised young supporters.

“It’s very similar to the pitch of Jeremy Corbyn,” Blair said. “Free tuition fees: well, that’s great, but someone’s going to have pay for it. An end to war, but there are wars.” But not wars with quite the ramifications of the Iraq war eh Tony?

Inequality is now killing middle America


This week, Angus Deaton will receive the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics “for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare.” Deservedly so. Indeed, soon after the award was announced in October, Deaton published some startling work with Ann Case in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences – research that is at least as newsworthy as the Nobel ceremony.

Analysing a vast amount of data about health and deaths among Americans, Case and Deaton showed declining life expectancy and health for middle-aged white Americans, especially those with a high school education or less. Among the causes were suicide, drugs, and alcoholism.


America prides itself on being one of the world’s most prosperous countries, and can boast that in every recent year except one (2009) per capita GDP has increased. And a sign of prosperity is supposed to be good health and longevity. But, while the US spends more money per capita on medical care than almost any other country (and more as a percentage of GDP), it is far from topping the world in life expectancy. France, for example, spends less than 12% of its GDP on medical care, compared to 17% in the US. Yet Americans can expect to live three full years less than the French.

For years, many Americans explained away this gap. The US is a more heterogeneous society, they argued, and the gap supposedly reflected the huge difference in average life expectancy between African Americans and white Americans.

The racial gap in health is, of course, all too real. According to a study published in 2014, life expectancy for African Americans is some four years lower for women and more than five years lower for men, relative to whites. This disparity, however, is hardly just an innocuous result of a more heterogeneous society. It is a symptom of America’s disgrace: pervasive discrimination against African Americans, reflected in median household income that is less than 60% that of white households. The effects of lower income are exacerbated by the fact that the US is the only advanced country not to recognise access to health care as a basic right.


Some white Americans, however, have attempted to shift the blame for dying younger to African Americans themselves, citing their “lifestyles”. It is perhaps true that unhealthy habits are more concentrated among poor Americans, a disproportionate number of whom are black. But these habits themselves are a consequence of economic conditions, not to mention the stresses of racism.

The Case-Deaton results show that such theories will no longer do. America is becoming a more divided society – divided not only between whites and African Americans, but also between the 1% and the rest, and between the highly educated and the less educated, regardless of race. And the gap can now be measured not just in wages, but also in early deaths. White Americans, too, are dying earlier as their incomes decline.

This evidence is hardly a shock to those of us studying inequality in America. The median income of a full-time male employee is lower than it was 40 years ago. Wages of male high school graduates have plummeted by some 19% in the period studied by Case and Deaton.


To stay above water, many Americans borrowed from banks at usurious interest rates. In 2005, President George W. Bush’s administration made it far more difficult for households to declare bankruptcy and write off debt. Then came the financial crisis, which cost millions of Americans their jobs and homes. When unemployment insurance, designed for short-term bouts of joblessness in a full-employment world, ran out, they were left to fend for themselves, with no safety net (beyond food stamps), while the government bailed out the banks that had caused the crisis.

The basic perquisites of a middle-class life were increasingly beyond the reach of a growing share of Americans. The Great Recession had shown their vulnerability. Those who had invested in the stock market saw much of their wealth wiped out; those who had put their money in safe government bonds saw retirement income diminish to near zero, as the Fed relentlessly drove down both short- and long-term interest rates. With college tuition soaring, the only way their children could get the education that would provide a modicum of hope was to borrow; but, with education loans virtually never dischargeable, student debt seemed even worse than other forms of debt.

There was no way that this mounting financial pressure could not have placed middle-class Americans and their families under greater stress. And it is not surprising that this has been reflected in higher rates of drug abuse, alcoholism, and suicide.


I was chief economist of the World Bank in the late 1990s, when we began to receive similarly depressing news from Russia. Our data showed that GDP had fallen some 30% since the collapse of the Soviet Union. But we weren’t confident in our measurements. Data showing that male life expectancy was declining, even as it was increasing in the rest of the world, confirmed the impression that things were not going very well in Russia, especially outside of the major cities.

The international Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress, which I co-chaired and on which Deaton served, had earlieremphasised that GDP often is not a good measure of a society’s wellbeing. These new data on white Americans’ declining health status confirms this conclusion.

(An extract from The Guardian Newspaper 2015)

‘Without it, I would have given up’: three women on how Kids Company helped them


It’s been a noisy couple of weeks for Kids Company. Since it was reported that the Cabinet Office was withholding £3m from the once-feted charity unless its chief executive, Camila Batmanghelidjh, stepped down, celebrities, including designers Bella Freud and Stella McCartney have rushed to her defence. The organisation, specialising in therapeutic support for troubled children, has maintained support from a number of prominent backers who have donated millions in the past. Batmanghelidjh, 52, vociferously denies claims of mismanagement and insists that she won’t be pushed out but had always planned to leave the role next year. “Ugly games” are being played in an effort to silence her “uncomfortable” message that vulnerable children are going unprotected, she says.

Kids Company has expanded rapidly in recent years: the result, it says, of a huge rise in demand from young people who have been turned away from mainstream services. Now Batmanghelidjh warns that the charity is likely to halve in size, with the loss of hundreds of staff, as it attempts to ward off a serious financial crisis. But, with 650 staff and an income reported at £23m in 2013, what does its work look like on the ground? Three young people who have been through Kids Company’s doors tell us what the charity’s intervention meant for them.

d2ee4416-1a74-4ea2-b2d9-d7c4e38ca045-2060x1236My mental health issues would have crippled me by now’

Eniola Akinlabi, 22, graduated from the University of Essex with a first in psychology a last year. She blogs about lifestyle, fashion and mental health, and attends Kids Company’s School of Confidence, funded by hairdresser John Frieda.

My problems started when I was 14. I lived alone with my mum and she was trying her best to support us, but it was a very distressing, confusing time for me. I felt very hopeless, like there was nothing out there for me. I had very bad mood swings, I was angry all the time, and began using alcohol as a coping mechanism. I’d been an A-grade student, but at school I became completely uncooperative. I would come in as I pleased, stay for an hour and then disappear. In lessons I was disruptive and confrontational; no one could tell me anything.

I talked to the school counsellor, but it got progressively worse. Eventually I was told by child and adolescent mental health services (Camhs) that I had clinical depression and anxiety. At 17, I was referred to Kids Company by a teacher, and started seeing a key worker once a week. We mostly met in coffee shops, just to have a chat. Sometimes we’d have dinner. It took a while, but gradually she became my emotional rock. I’m still seeing her, five years later.

Some people say Kids Company should have stricter boundaries in its work. I think that’s absolute bullshit. Social services get really uptight about boundaries because they’re scared, but the most important thing when you work with children is being able to demonstrate that you love and care for them. With Kids Company, it was different from the school counsellor, or Camhs. It’s sort of like they bring you up. It was a lot more relaxed, which made it more comfortable to talk. I used to hate going to Camhs, where I just felt like someone was judging and assessing everything I said. I would go in for an hour and just stare at them; it was excruciating.


Kids Company deals with a lot of tough children; they get tested a bit. My key worker said at the beginning: “There’s nothing you can do – you can swear at me, you can tell me to go away – that’s going to make me like you or care about you any less.”

Through Kids Company, I got a mentor when I was at school, and did maths classes at its Urban Academy. I carried on seeing my key worker, though less often, when I went to university. I don’t think I would have got through it without her. She wrote to them about my mental health problems, so I got the emotional support I needed. These days I’m having therapy with Kids Company. I have an amazing mentor through the School of Confidence, and do workshops there, too.

The thought that Kids Company might close down is scary for me, because without them I wouldn’t be where I am right now. I would have been a completely different person; I think my mental health issues would have crippled me by now. Maybe I would have given up.


‘It helped me through some of my lowest moments’

Claudine Adeyemi, 25, is a solicitor working in property litigation for a large London law firm. Last year she founded the Student Development Co, a non-profit organisation providing careers support to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

I left home when I was in the sixth form. Although we get on really well now, I didn’t have a very good relationship with my dad at the time and it just got too much. At first I was in a B&B – it was filthy and had bed bugs. Then I moved into a girls’ hostel, which was better, but a lot of the girls had their own issues. There would always be late-night parties, people taking drugs, all the issues you’d expect. I’d struggle to sleep, and would often feel low and think: “What’s the point?”

When I was 17, I won an award for student of the year in south London because I’d got four As at AS level, and it was Camila from Kids Company who presented me with it. She pulled me aside at the event, gave me her card and said I could get in touch with her. I got a Kids Company key worker, who I saw every week or couple of weeks. We’d go for a coffee and talk about any issues I had. The support I got was amazing. It was just comforting to know there was someone there that I could talk to, and it helped me through some of my lowest moments. She was always able to pick me up, was always encouraging and supportive and positive at a time when my confidence was low and it was hard to stay focused, living alone at a young age in the hostel.


I think people don’t always understand what Kids Company does, but that’s because they do so much and the support they give is completely on a case-by-case basis. My key worker also helped me get out of the hostel and into my own flat, after about a year. It was completely unfurnished, so she arranged for me to have some furniture that had been donated to Kids Company – a table and some sofas – and found this place where you could get other things really cheaply. She also got me a place on a mentoring programme linking young people with professionals, connecting me with a barrister who gave me an insight into the legal world.

Now I feel I have a kind of duty to provide support to others, which is why I set up the Student Development Co. Our volunteers work with young people aged 16 to 24, targeting those who are from low-income households or ethnic minorities. We’re particularly focused on the soft skills you need in the workplace. I wanted to do law from quite a young age, so I knew I had to get the grades. I ended up with four As, in English literature, history, politics and sociology, and studied law at University College London. I’m not sure how things would have gone if my key worker hadn’t been there. I don’t know if I would have been able to stay focused enough to get those results and get to where I am today.


‘These days I know I can achieve things’
Jane (not her real name), 25, is a full-time mother and has been seeing a Kids Company key worker and therapist for around four years

My father wasn’t around much when I was growing up and my mother was very violent. She used to hit us with whatever she could grab; she’d break antennaes off radios and beat us with them. There were times when she’d strip me naked, throw me into the shower and whip me with a bamboo stick or a belt. Once, when I refused to get ready for church, she locked me outside in my pyjamas – a vest top and shorts – for hours. It was the middle of winter.

When I was 16 I was raped – that’s how my daughter was conceived. I got the police involved but it didn’t go far; they didn’t believe me. I was the smart one, I was an A* student, but I got all Bs, Cs and Ds in my GCSEs and I was so depressed. I started college but I had all that trauma in my head and I didn’t stay.

It was only when I was 21 that I got involved with Kids Company. I’d just broken up with my boyfriend and he’d stolen my debit card and taken all the money from my account. I had nothing to pay my rent, electricity or gas with, no money to feed myself or my daughter. My state of despair must have shown on my face, because as I walked past one of the Kids Company centres, a key worker stopped me and asked if I was OK. I just broke down. Having grown up in a family where emotion wasn’t allowed, being asked if I was OK was a big thing.

They gave us some food and helped me get a budgeting loan. There was a long waiting list but later that year I got a key worker, and was also referred for therapy. I’d seen the state mental health people for depression when I was 18, but it hadn’t helped. As soon as I was discharged I was attempting suicide again. I just felt there was no way out. I thought: “This is what it’s always going to be like – it’s going to be shit, no one’s going to want me, I’m never going to be able to get a job or control anything.”

The therapy has been a lifeline for me. Because of the way I was feeling after my daughter was born, I hadn’t managed to bond with her and wasn’t nurturing her. Therapy has helped me to develop as a mother, and taught me how to show love for my daughter. It had never been shown to me, so how I was supposed to know how to show it? Today we have a really close bond. I did a year at Kids Company’s Urban Academy and managed to complete an arts course, which really built my confidence. Then I did an intermediate apprenticeship in customer service; Kids Company provided two hours of after-school care every day, which was a big weight off my shoulders because you get paid peanuts on apprenticeships, and it meant I didn’t have to worry about whether I’d have enough money for food. Now, I’m looking to go back to college to do an access course and want to study politics and international relations at university after that. These days, I know I can achieve things.

I still suffer from depression, but things are a lot better than they were. It’s really hard to pick up the phone and say: “I want to kill myself.” But knowing that they’re going to be there, that they’re going to help you through it, that’s the most beautiful thing.


Poole Council staff ‘forced to use food banks to survive’


A POOLE councillor has claimed that council staff are being forced to use food banks and take out pay day loans to survive.

Cllr Phil Eades is calling on colleagues to support a motion urging the council to pay its entire staff at least the living wage. He says recently elected councillors have their first chance to, “make a real difference to Borough employees lives”.

He was among 10 Liberal Democrat members who originally signed a motion calling on Borough of Poole to pay its staff at least £7.85 an hour.

The motion, which has been before the council efficiency and effectiveness overview and scrutiny committee, is due to go back to full council next Tuesday (June 23).

“Bearing in mind that the Borough recently declared a £2.5million surplus for 2014/15 and that it is now sitting on £30million of council taxpayers money in reserves, the sole argument against paying our staff the living wage (that it costs too much money) is a very poor one indeed,” said Cllr Eades.


He said council papers going to members next week assert that it would cost, “only £55,000 per annum, or less than £1 per household in the borough”.

Cllr Eades added: “There is evidence in front of councillors that a number of borough employees have had to use food banks, take out pay day loans and apply to the local union hardship fund.

“The Borough must set the standard by which all large firms in Poole are judged in paying the living wage and should be a leader in this field,” he added.

Anything to add, suggest, advise Mr Robert Syms Mp? No? You’re diary’s full that day? Hardly a surprise…..


(Article courtesy of Bournemouth Echo 2015)

Simply Not Cricket!

         del ik ns 1


The other day travelling back from work, I happened to pop in to my local Pakistani takeaway. This one advertised Peri-Peri chicken and ‘hot’ wings (which I love). Plus the manager loves to talk about nature, and the way in which Allah ordains the times of every living thing, and cares for them. Amazing that, an ordinary grass roots Pakistani/British citizen who inspite of all the corruption his aging eyes have seen still believes in God. It was a miracle I got served, given who was on the television, none other than the Chairman of PTI, Imran Khan. A former Pakistani cricketer making a speech in front of a thousand strong audience in Pakistan about corruption in politics.


PTI calls itself a centrist party advocating for an egalitarian model of an Islamic democratic welfare state. And it is the fastest growing political party in Pakistan; with over 10 million members in Pakistan and abroad. It received the second largest popular vote in the country, with a little over 7.5 million people voting for it on election day.Following massive allegations of rigging in the 2013 general election, Imran Khan‘s political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) demanded a probe into electoral rigging in 4 constituencies as a litmus test for the rest of the election process. Government inaction in this regard led the PTI to organise several jalsas (lit. protest demonstrations) throughout Punjab, which is prime minister Nawaz Sharif‘s political stronghold.


In August 2014, Imran Khan stated that for 14 months, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had tried to bring those who were responsible for rigging to justice, all in a legal manner through state institutions. The PTI produced a 2100-page white paper showing evidence of rigging. Despite this, no action was taken. Imran Khan argued that, normally, in any democracy, the Supreme Court of that nation would have nullified the results and called for fresh elections. Even after the evidence was presented and revelations by Afzal Khan, former additional secretary of the election commission, the Supreme Court also took no action.


The average British citizen might ask what this has to do with British politics; the answer is very, simple. Imran Khan and his party have taken up the anti-corruption cause and the people of Pakistan are flocking to him in their thousands. Because quite simply if the people on top can get away with being very, very, greedy, then the rest of society is travelling to hell in a hand basket.

Witness the likes of the Croydon Conservative Council Leader who quietly applied for a raise to his £100,000 salary, at a time when Croydon Council is being forced to consider cutting 500 jobs for lesser salaried employees. The erstwhile Rotherham PCC who spent fourteen years enjoying one lucrative pay cheque after another (whilst failing to do his job). Now the man is fighting tooth and nail to hold onto a job in which he’s no longer wanted. Would he be fighting quite so hard if the salary were £8,500 and not £85,000?

To take on Nawaz Sharif and his secreted millions and the politically powerful elite he’s part of is a very brave move. But then if the PTI weren’t that brave there’d be little point in believing in a beneficent Allah and the mosques of Pakistan would very likely be empty.