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January 11 - 17 2012
μWorld News PAGES 14-17
μComment PAGES 18-21
μObituaries PAGES 22-23
μExpat Life PAGES 30-32
Two die in storms Wind and rain cause havoc and disruption all over Britain
More misery for rail travellers Passengers face threat of two further price rises this year
Spending in London The power of the Peking pound is taking over the capital
Theatre prices go sky high A stalls seat in the West End? That’ll be £1 a minute, thank you
26 9 28 30 42 43 8 14 15 17 20 47
Bonus Ball 2
Bonus Ball 38
There was one winner of Saturday’s £6.8m jackpot but no one won Wednesday’s £2.3m prize
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By Patrick Hennessy and Matthew d’Ancona DAVID CAMERON issued an apology last Saturday night after describing Ed Balls’ behaviour in the Commons as like “someone with Tourette’s”.
The Prime Minister made the remark during an interview with The Sunday Telegraph in which he set out his visions of a “fairer” Britain.
When asked about the Opposition, he said Ed Miliband had his “sympathy” because it was a “miserable job”, but criticised the shadow chancellor.
“He just annoys me,” Mr Cameron said of Mr Balls — whose gestures and comments aimed at the Prime Minister have become a wellknown feature at question time sessions.
“But I’m very bad, in the House of Commons, at not getting distracted, and the endless, ceaseless banter, it’s like having someone with Tourette’s permanently sitting opposite you.”
When the comments appeared on the Telegraph website, they provoked condemnation online and on the radio from campaigners who criticised Mr Cameron.
Tourette’s syndrome is a neurological disorder characterised by tics — involuntary, rapid, sudden movements that occur repeatedly.
Nicky Clark, whose daughter has Tourette’s syndrome, told BBC Radio 5 Live that the comments showed “a lack of understanding”.
Downing Street later put out an apology saying the remark was made “off the cuff”. A spokesman said: “The Prime Minister would not have meant to offend anyone. He
David Cameron: ‘off the cuff’
apologises if any offence has been caused.”
The row threatened to divert attention away from Mr Cameron’s main messages in the interview, in which he outlined plans for reforms that he said would make hardworking people feel that their “graft” was being rewarded.
The plans are in response to Mr Miliband, the Labour leader, whose direct appeal to the “squeezed middle” has been identified by the Conservatives as a threat to their electoral prospects.
Mr Cameron said he would use 2012 to convince people that he had a “vision at the end of this, of a fairer, better economy, a fairer, better society, where if you work hard and do the right thing you get rewarded”.
His agenda covers the City, personal taxation, Europe, concerns over human rights — and also includes his most significant intervention against any moves towards Scottish independence.
In the interview, Mr Cameron outlined: ŠA major reform of executive pay that would rein in what he called “crony capitalism”, where underperforming executives were seen to “fill their boots”. Shareholders would have to approve salary packages and, crucially, payoffs, instead of simply having advisory votes as at present. ŠA clear intention to keep, for now at least, the 50p income tax rate for people earning more than £150,000, despite criticisms that it punished enterprise, because “you’ve got to take the country with you”. ŠA personal commitment to water down the power of European human-rights judges who have been at the centre of controversies with rulings that seemed at odds with public opinion. ŠAn attempt to create a stronger and fairer Britain as part of the strategy to keep it united in the face of the threat from the Scottish National Party to break up the Union.
The Prime Minister’s “fairness” agenda represents a significant response to Mr Miliband. Despite growing concerns in his own ranks, the Labour leader’s appeal to the “squeezed middle” has concerned Tory strategists.
Mr Miliband emphasised his commitment to “responsible capitalism”, saying: “If one of the battlegrounds of British politics is going to be who is really going to take action on executive pay, I say, ‘Bring it on’. ”
But Mr Cameron signalled his hunger for a battle on the issue by spelling out changes to executive pay. He said: “The market for top people isn’t working, it needs to be sorted out. Let’s empower the shareholders by having a straight, shareholder vote on top pay packages.”
Mr Cameron also signalled that he would fight to keep Britain united despite the SNP government planning a referendum after 2014 on independence.
Mr Cameron, a “passionate believer in the United Kingdom”, argued that Scotland’s economy was being damaged by “uncertainty”.
Matthew d’Ancona: Page 20
POLICE were given more time to question Victorino Chua, a 46-year-old male nurse suspected of murdering three patients at Stepping Hill hospital.
Detectives are investigating the poisoning of patients at the hospital last summer. Mr Chua was arrested last Thursday on suspicion of tampering with medical records at the hospital in Stockport, Cheshire.
Last Saturday night, Greater Manchester Police said the nurse was being questioned on suspicion of three counts of murder and 18 counts of grievous bodily harm. On Sunday they were given another 24 hours to question him.
Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney said: “I must stress that we have not established the degree to which deliberate contamination of products may have contributed to the death of four patients.
“We have taken the decision to arrest this man on suspicion of murder in close consultation with the CPS and it is important that no one jumps to any conclusions because of these steps or second-guesses where our investigations will take us.
“This specific inquiry, and the investigation as a whole, is a difficult and complex piece of work that requires very detailed forensic and medical analysis.”
The suspect is being questioned over the contamination of saline drips in June and July last year, causing patients’ blood sugar to fall in “hypoglycaemic episodes”.
Tracey Arden, Arnold Lancaster and Derek Weaver died shortly after experiencing such episodes.
Officers are also looking into a fourth death.
Continued from page 1
public prosecution. Stephen’s family mounted a private prosecution in 1994, but that too was abandoned two years later.
The inquest into Stephen’s death found that he had been murdered in an “unprovoked racist attack by five white youths” as he waited at a bus stop with his friend Duwayne Brooks. The furore over the failure to solve the case led to a public inquiry. In 1999, the resulting Macpherson report labelled the Metropolitan Police “institutionally racist”.
Despite the Lawrence family’s relentless campaigning, it appeared at times that no one would ever be convicted of the murder,
especially when, in 1996, Dobson, Neil Acourt and Luke Knight were acquitted at the private prosecution. The law at that time meant that they could never be charged again. But in 2005, the ancient double jeopardy rule was abolished, meaning that the men could be retried.
In 2006, following advances in DNA testing, the police began to look again at the exhibits in the case, leading to new charges being brought against Dobson and Norris. A tiny drop of Stephen’s blood was found on a jacket belonging to Dobson. Two strands of his hair were found on jeans belonging to Norris.
The defence argued that the evidence had been contaminated over the years. But the jury, who had seen a surveillance video of the men bragging about committing violence against “blacks” and “Pakis”, were not convinced and found both men guilty.
They did so despite not being told about the criminal past of the two. Members of a violent gang in their youth, they were linked to a number of attacks in the early 1990s. Dobson is in prison for drugs offences, while Norris has a conviction for racism.
Mrs Lawrence gave the briefest of smiles as the foreman delivered the verdict, before weeping. Mr Lawrence wiped a tear from his eye.
Their dignity was in stark contrast to Dobson and his family. As he was taken down, he told the jury: “You have just condemned an innocent man. I hope you can live with yourselves.” His mother shouted from the gallery: “He is innocent. He did not kill that man.”
The Government has since said the killers could have their sentences increased. Because they were juveniles at the time of the murder, their tariffs were half what they would have been had they been adults. The Attorney General has 28 days from sentencing to submit an application to the Court of Appeal.
Reports: Pages 6 & 7 Editorial Comment: Page 19