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D I A R Y
The Old Un’s diary All the news that matters. And some that doesn’t
Dr Kelly hearing It was with regret that we heard on 19th December that the High Court had refused a member of the public permission to judicially review the government’s recent decision not to hold a full coroner’s inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly.
With significant financial input from scores of Oldie readers, David Halpin, 71, a retired trauma surgeon from Devon, was the applicant in the case. He was effectively told by Mr Justice Nicol in December that his considerable anxieties about the alleged suicide of Dr Kelly hold no basis in law. He was also ordered to pay £5,568 of the government’s costs – in essence for daring to ask why Dr Kelly, whose body was found in suspicious circumstances in 2003, cannot have a proper inquest to establish finally how, where and when he died.
Journalist Miles Goslett pointed out in our September issue that Dr Kelly is thought to be the only person in modern times to die unnaturally in this country and be denied an inquest. As a result, many of you generously supported Mr Halpin’s campaign to try to secure one. Mr Halpin told The Oldie: ‘I am extremely grateful to your readers for their vital support. Nothing has changed as a result of the High Court judgment: Dr Kelly has still not had an inquest into his unnatural death and in my medical opinion people cannot bleed to death from division of their ulnar artery, which is what was officially found to have happened. The authorities have admitted yet again that they do not want the death of David Kelly to be treated in the normal way. We are left wondering why this should be so. We are going to review what we should do next.’ For updates, see www.inquest4drdk.co.uk
• As we go to press it has been announced that an e-petition has been set up calling for the resignation of Attorney General Dominic Grieve. If 100,000 signatures are collected the matter will have to be debated in parliament. To sign, see https://submissions. epetitions.direct.gov.uk/ petitions/26133
A flash in the can Shock and awe on a rush hour train heading south through Doncaster recently, when a member of the public tried to use his carriage’s lavatory facilities. Upon pressing the ‘open’ button, the door
‘Nothing has changed as a result of the High Court judgment: Dr Kelly has still not had an inquest into his unnatural death’
swished back to reveal none other than the seated form of former Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, trousers around his ankles.
Prezza immediately began bellowing ‘Shut the bloody door!’ The shocked member of the public tried to oblige, pressing the button to close the cubicle door. Unfortunately Prezza responded by jabbing the button from inside the lavatory, so the door slid back and forth, affording flashes of the incandescent politician each time.
The member of the public retreated down the carriage as increasingly bellicose epithets were hurled at him by the former Deputy Prime Minister until one final, and successful, jab of Prezza’s finger finally closed the lavatory door on the whole sorry incident.
‘That’s the grande?’
Virgin on the rocks Another railway tale: the venerable Simon Hoggart runs an impressive campaign in the Guardian against Virgin Trains and its horrors. However, a friend of the Old Un recently had better luck than Mr Hoggart and feels that, in all fairness, the episode should be recorded for posterity.
After lunch with the said Simon in Manchester, our friend boarded a Virgin train and sat down at a table in a
February 2012 – THE OLDIE 7