Right of Reply

In my blog post SICK PRIORITIES – I made reference to the compensation Charlotte Church received (alleged to be upto £600,000) and compared it to compensation given to victims of accidents or soldiers injured in battle.

Natasha commented:

I agree that’s an obscene amount of money Charlotte Church was awarded and she’ll probably donate it to charity

I have no idea what Charlotte Church will do with the money, and I do not criticise her for accepting such a sum. There is no reason why she should give money aware. There is no obligation, in my view upon her to do so.

My post was criticising the legal syatem. These cases ( accident and phone hacking) were civil cases and the award of compensation was not meant to punish the defendant, but to compensate the claimant. Although Charlotte Church’s case was settled outside court, it would have been at a level near that which the courts would have awarded. It is the court’s approach to compensation that I feel is sick in awarding 10-100 times ore compensation for having someone listen to your phonecalls than for lifelong injury



In my blog post  How to Win friends & Influence People I posted about cyclists who manage to upset others and turn people’s opinion against cyclists in general.

ANONYMOUS commented:

Any campaign is a good campaign that encourages the UK roads to be a better place to cycle

I agree entirely with this. My post was explaining why campaigns waging war on other road users will not make the UK roads a better place to cycle

February 29th!!!!!


I’ve been asked by so many people today if anything happened yesterday

So we were out for a drink in my local when my girlfriend went down on one knee in front of me.

It was the best kidney punch I’ve ever thrown

I am of course not telling the truth. As some of you know, if I tried that to Michelle, I’d come off the worst.

Nothing so exiting for me yesterday. I spent the day at work sitting through a series of meetings, including one 3.5 hour meeting.  No opportunity for romance when talking about fraud bribery and corruption. I suppose I could have tried bribing Michelle to fraudulently pretend she wanted to marry me. But that would be corrupt.

The meetings formed part of the planning of a major piece of work we have coming up. It is actually quite exciting as the report on this piece of work will definitely hit the headlines in the national media. It is a very political job and one with lots of very nervous people fearing what the report may say. Sadly, at present I cannot reveal any details about the work.

Relief of a form came yesterday, no not because I avoided a marriage proposal [ Michelle, you know what the answer would be if you had asked], but because I received my new passport from the Passport Office. Why relief? Well I am off to the USA in May for the Police Unity Tour (PUT). My old passport expired last December. I disposed of the old expired passport without realising it had to be sent to Passport Office with my application for a new passport.

I therefore had to fill in a lost passport form as well as my new passport application. These were posted off on 21st February,  some 10-11 weeks before I am due to leave for the USA. I was worried I may have to make a personal application for an expedited passport. Yet on 28th February, the passport office issued a new passport and I received this yesterday. I immediately applied for and obtained my ESTA clearance to get into the USA.

This was a relief to have this all sorted. I also received a couple of emails from fellow riders from the USA about the Police Unity Tour. All seemed to be heading smoothly in preparation for the PUT. However, this morning I woke up to the sad news about the suicide of PC Rathband in Blyth. A sad reminder that it is not just in the USA that officers put their lives on the line serving their communities.

This weekend sees the biggest football match of the season in the North East, and I’m pleased to be able to say that I will be there. The tensions are rising. Internet message boards are full of taunts and bragging about the game. Come kick off time, its 90 minutes of battling to see who gets the bragging rights for the rest of the season. Here’s hoping Spennymoor Town can win at Whitley Bay in the top http://www.northernleague.org/ game

of the season. Oh and then on Sunday I’m off to watch the Newcastle v S*nderland derby at St James’ Park.

What is even better this weekend is that I get to see Michelle.