Letters - September 18, 2012

Have your say

I WAS saddened to read in The Gazette that two-year-old Amy Wolstenholme battled meningitis as a baby.

Everyone at Meningitis UK was touched to read that St Annes charity Ray Of Sunshine paid for the youngster, her brother Connor and mum Jade to go on a surprise holiday to Spain for a week.

Meningitis can strike with incredible speed and symptoms are notoriously difficult to detect, often being confused with flu.

For these reasons, we believe preventative measures are the best solution.

Our sole focus is to fund the vaccines and other methods of preventing this devastating disease.

Our Search 4 A Vaccine Campaign aims to raise £7m to fund life-saving research into stamping out all forms of meningitis.

In the absence of a vaccine, we also distribute a wide range of material to raise awareness of the common symptoms and the need to act quickly, which can mean the difference between life and death.

If any of your readers would like a symptoms information pack, including wallet-sized symptoms cards, or to find out more about supporting our Search 4 a Vaccine Campaign, call Meningitis UK on 0117 947 6320 or visit www.meningitisUK.org.


Chief executive

Meningitis UK

LANCASHIRE Hedgehog Care is in desperate need of newspapers for use in cages and incubators.

Hedgehogs are not very houseproud and so the newspaper needs changing quite a few times a day.

Anybody who can help please get in touch via www.hedgehogcare.co.uk or email info@hedgehogcare.co.uk. It is becoming a desperate situation.


Caernarfon Close


MANY years ago, the great American Justice Wendell Holmes said: “A country can never face a greater crisis than discovering it has a corrupt police force.”

We are facing such a crisis. We have long believed the British police to be incorruptible.

It has been one institution that has proudly stood comparison with the best in the world.

This view has now been shattered by the Hillsborough Independent Panel Report, a report that reveals shocking details about police cover-ups, deliberate alterations to 164 police statements and numerous attempts to impugn the reputations of the deceased.

In 1972, Robert Mark, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police was tasked with cleaning up the bad apples at Scotland Yard. He defined a good police force as “one that catches more crooks than it employs”. He was only half-joking.

His investigations revealed a culture of impunity that was endemic throughout the police force. That impunity has never gone away. Over the years, several scandals such as the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell Tube Station; the wrongful conviction of the Guildford Four, who were released after it was discovered police had colluded on the wording of statements; the Birmingham Six, wrongly convicted as a result of massive miscarriage of justice; and recently the case of Ian Tomlinson who the police claimed was a threat when film proved he was an innocent bystander, have all amply demonstrated that police corruption has become widespread up to and including the highest levels.

It has taken 23 years for police lies in connection with the Hillsborough disaster to be exposed.

During that time only, Jimmy McGovern’s TV drama documentary in 1996 exposed the truth of the cause of the tragedy.

Inquiry after inquiry, plus an inquest, failed to nail the senior police officers who had deliberately supressed the truth in order to save their jobs and reputations.

So ingrained was the belief that our police were impartial and incorruptible that powerful evidence to the contrary was ignored. At last the truth is out. It shames our police to the core.

The ancient Greeks asked the question: “Who guards the guardians?” Never has that question been more urgent or timely.


Fieldfare Close