Ed Lines

THERE was a time during my wild and carefree California years when Los Angeles police might feasibly have discovered me with – ahem – a young lady’s head ‘resting’ in my lap, in the fashion of Hugh Grant and the aptly named Divine Brown.

Hollywood was an occasional stamping ground in the 80s, although in the highly unlikely event of a Hugh Grant ‘moment’ (and as a proud and tight Tyke money wouldn’t be involved) whatever punishment the law imposed would pale beside the humiliation.

It would be far less shaming for a nobody like me, but significantly so for a superstar like Grant, a key force behind the Hacked Off anti-press lobby group.

The shame of public opprobrium has always been a recognised part of the punitive process.

Media intrusion in Hugh Grant’s affairs went unacceptably beyond that initial prurience, so I can understand his grudge, as I can Formula 1 boss Max Mosley’s ongoing hurt at being revealed as a botty-spanking sado-masochist. Embarrassing doesn’t quite cover it (and having seen the photos, I’m not quite sure what would cover it…)

The answer, clearly, is legislation – but no, not against the press; don’t we in fact need to legalise prostitution?

If Grant/Mosley had done nothing legally wrong or morally questionable, then you could argue that there was no public interest defence for the media.

Personally, I’ve no interest in the private predilections and peccadilloes of the rich and famous, so long as it does not involve the innocent and vulnerable. I don’t buy those newspapers or read those magazines.

Unfortunately, the ‘privacy’ argument of shamed celebrities has got unhealthily mangled up with the self-interest of corrupt politicians and public figures, which brings us to this week’s new press regulation.

What bothers me is not Hugh Grant’s phone – and that won’t happen again – but the extra protection for corrupt organisations, institutions and the individuals within them. I refer to Parliament, to the NHS, the police and to Kirklees Metropolitan Council.

And that’s got very little to do with people keeping their todgers zipped up or their knickers on.

That’s why my humble publications won’t be subscribing to any new statutory regulations. If Nick Clegg and Ed Moribund don’t like it, come and lock me up. In person. Bring a first aid kit.

 

THE phone hacking scandal  was exactly that and journalists will go to prison. Some already have.

But talk about a sledgehammer to crush a peanut! This is like telling Dewsbury Rangers U-11s to install an all-seater stadium because of what happened at Hillsborough or Heysel.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 came into force as a heavily-diluted piece of Labour legislation supposedly allowing me to pursue your interests with public bodies.

I dare say I’m also legally entitled to try scrambling naked through a field of barbed wire and nettles on your behalf too – because that’s kind of what it’s like.

The alleged fraudsters associated with the Savile Town/Taleem Community Centre? Even though it’s the Big Lottery Fund and Kirklees Council they’ve ripped off, those two institutions are the single biggest barriers to letting me uncover the truth.

FoI requests? A joke. Often rejected out of hand and even if you have the time/resource to keep plugging away, what you get is so heavily redacted as to prove mostly worthless.

Why? Because these ‘public’ organisations are complicit – they know what they are doing. By protecting the system abusers they are only protecting themselves. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

I have seen evidence that at least one Kirklees officer appointed to ‘investigate’ the Taleem physically colluded with them in covering up their appropriation of a fortune of YOUR money.

But that’s also the problem: Kirklees doesn’t count it as your money; it is their money to fund their left-wing vision. Meanwhile I am Public Enemy No.1 for KMC chief executive Adrian Lythgo.

Not cheating councillors or deceitful council staff – they’re within his tent of self-interest; I’m the enemy on the outside for trying to expose the kind of organisation Lythgo runs.

The Press wouldn’t take long-lens photos of celebs sunbathing with their threepenny bits out in Wilton Park, even if there were any.

Trying to uncover the simple truth is difficult enough with the mass of government, law enforcement and institutions like the NHS stacked against us.

This week’s piece of spiteful dogma is nothing to do with protecting the privacy of Millie Dowler’s family and the victims of heinous crimes, whom I

wholeheartedly support.

The motivation here is far less noble. It’s about protecting the legal and moral wrongdoing of the rich and powerful.

It’s every bit as much about keeping you in your place, as me in mine.

 

DO YOU have any insurance with the AA – not just car breakdown, but your home, buildings and contents, boiler cover maybe?

Are you on one of those self-repeating debit schemes where they inform you of the best deal they can find? And if you are stupid – yes stupid – enough to trust them, they automatically renew? Well, I think the AA, the Automobile Association, are utter liars and thieves, and you are a fool. You’re in good company, because I’m one too.

I have numerous insurances, on business premises, vehicles and residential properties. I’m a busy bloke –  the kind of stooge the AA love.

On Friday I noticed a renewal reminder and I took time to examine it. It was for buildings only, on our home.

I scratched my head – in two years the premium had risen from £197 to £254 to £280.

We hadn’t had a claim or suddenly been declared in an earthquake zone. So what was up? I rang them.

“Why aye Mr Lockwood,” said a cheery Geordie bird, “ah reckon ah can get that doon to £220 for youse!”

I cancelled there and then and told her to take the auto-renewal off anything else I am thick enough to have with them. I went online and insured on the same terms (a marginally higher excess) for £79.90. A saving of £200.10, just like that.

I then checked the other AA policies – all the same, a stealth increase hoping I don’t notice.

I’ve put a query into the AA press office requesting an explanation. I think I might try to sue them.

In the meantime do yourselves a favour – if you’re with the AA get out and if you’re not, then check that you’re not being victimised the same way.

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