Bobby Roberts Elephant beaten with steel pitch fork and kicked

Welcome to the the Bobby Roberts Super Circus .........

Clearly Bobby Roberts is unfit to own, let alone 'train' animals. Roberts proprietor of the sadly misnamed 'Bobby Roberts Super Circus' should have his animal licence immediately revoked, torn up and this sorry excuse for a run down beaten up circus and animal torture freak show closed down.

Local authorities who rent out space, have the power to prevent the circus from ever coming to any town. His animal rental contracts with Film and TV companies should also be curtailed and all his back contracts examined and film crews questioned as to how the animals on set were transported and cared for. The resident Vet on such films should also be questioned.

There is no excuse in the 21st Century for this disfunctional throwback of a tacky display, Roberts it is reported, only paid the thugs around £8,000 a year for them to systematically and violently abuse an intelligent, gentle 58 year old elephant.

As Roberts says she has been in his charge for 55 years although he has only been training animals for 50 years, he claims in his statement. What he really means is that the creature has been shackled to a stake for 55 years, as he lived high on the hog on the back of unspeakable cruelty, in his luxury trailer but just too busy to walk a few yards and spend time with 58 year old Anne the Elephant, just too conditioned by cruelty, to notice any change in her condition, the deep empty look in her eyes, all thoughts of an easier life beaten out of her over the yearsbehind closed doors and who is to say it hasn't been going on for many years? Roberts clearly too grand and didn't bother to mix, train or communicate with the mindless thugs he interviewed, risk assessed and entrusted to care for her in her twilight years..

What would it have cost to put his own video monitor in to keep an electronic recorded eye on the animals and his employees 'when he was away?' If Roberts is the caring animal trainer he makes out to be, why was the animal not retired years ago? Simply because the poor old girl was still making him money!

The statement below issued by the Roberts family has clearly been written by a lawyer trying to offload blame, certainly it is not the work of Mr Roberts. I'm also not too certain if Roberts actually saw the images I witnessed repeatedly on televsion and on the internet.

The statement strangely omits to mention the kicking with steel toed boots (?) and the repeated hitting with sticks and if the film ie video was taped over several weeks as Roberts suggests then why was the poor beast not moved at any time and exercised and through that period no vet on site for routine medical checks? Bobby roberts admits the camera was in place for three weeks, so why as he must know his premises inch by inch didn't spot the new addition. Perhaps Mr Roberts didn't appear for the whole three weeks? The owners of the camera an outfit called Animal Defenders might just have more tape to answer this very question. For what it is worth here is the statement put out by Mr Roberts and it seems his if Mr roberts was away where was the family?

A Statement

"The Bobby Roberts family have viewed the footage taken by Animal Defenders at their premises and share the outrage at what appears to have taken place in their absence. The camera was in place for nearly three weeks and the incidents recorded appear to be isolated and at times when Bobby Roberts was away for short periods.

The film shows an employee hitting our elephant Anne with the back of a pitchfork in order to make her move to one side while her stabling was being cleaned out. This is not acceptable nor is it necessary.

Anne has been with us for 55 years, not just as a performing animal but as a family pet. She has been trained through kindness and reward to willingly obey gentle, spoken commands. She is now an elderly lady and the incidents appear to have been driven by a lack of patience in our employee. We believe the film was taken on the occasional days that Bobby Roberts was absent from our farm and the employee was left on his own. The actions of the employee, had they been known, would not have been tolerated and had they taken place in Bobby Roberts' presence they would have led to an instant dismissal.

Bobby Roberts has had an unblemished career as a respected animal trainer for over fifty years. The film does not suggest that he was involved in any of theses incidents or that they took place in his presence. He is deeply saddened that Anne, for whom he has deep affection, and who clearly loves Bobby, should have, in any way suffered.

Bobby was completely unaware of what was happening and had the employee not disappeared he would have been sacked immediately. Whilst we are grateful to Animal Defenders for bringing to our attention the completely unacceptable behaviour of our employee, we are strongly critical of the fact that it has taken them several weeks to report the matter and did not, in the interests of animal welfare, take immediate steps to inform us of the problem. The Bobby Roberts Family.

Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5

Why the TUC demo in London is a mistake..

A far better way to get your kicks and not a kettle in sight! Extreme Gap Director Oliver Bray is just waiting to show you....

Families and young children should not be anywhere in Central London on Saturday as the march billed by the TUC as the demo of all time is just ripe for a mass hijacking. Every loony protest group is just waiting to use the cover of a mass influx of a legitimate protest to indulge in a little vandalism, criminal damage and for some just plain wickedness.
Instead why not use the internet, put together a petition, protest website, but just stay out of Central London? Sign up for an extreme Gap holiday even .... Those demented spartists wishing to cause trouble will also bank on the fact that the Oxford /Cambridge Boat Race is on this weekend and may just head down to the River to carry on the "protest." No, anywhere but London, for one day only, is the best advice you'll get this weekend!
But if you are still not convinced, click on the link above and download an advance copy of the 8 page leaflet from police to be handed out on the day. If you do witness something that needs reporting and don't want to get involved with police, remember CRIMESTOPPERS on 0800 555 111, they'll take your information, but won't trace your call or ever ask for your name....

Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

Budget details held back by Treasury press office

Budget details held back by Treasury press office

The Budget 2011 speech RED BOOK link

Some of the gems from the UK Budget Speech 2011, but to read the full RED BOOK follow this link :

As ever, the Duckhouse salutes Guido Fawkes ( ) who has given his particular view on the Budget Winners and Losers.

* Job providing corporations.
* Internet Service Providers.
* Business start-ups in northern cities.
* The people of Sheffield with the "Nick Clegg Memorial Enterprise Zone".
* Drinkers.
* Motorists.
* Scientists.
* Local councillors and their £100m to spend on potholes.
* Charities - 10% death tax cut if money is given away.

* Smokers.
* Private jet users.
* Tax avoiders.
* Councils and their frozen tax.
* Nondoms.
* Tree huggers - green belt planning permission up for auction.
* Sleepy Ken Clarke.
* George Osborne's throat.
* Whoever came up with last years growth figures.
* Ed Miliband's press team who sent the speech out before Red Ed had floundered through it with whole sections changed.

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The Chancellor George Osborne MP:

It has been known for Chancellors in recent years to rattle these off at great speed in the hope that no one will keep up. I will not do that.

Although average quarterly growth this year is set to be higher than was previously forecast, the annual forecast for 2011 has been revised to 1.7%. This the OBR attributes specifically to the weaker than expected final quarter of last year, the rise in world commodity prices and the higher-than-expected inflation in the UK.

However, the OBR point out that the effect, in their words, "creates scope for slightly stronger growth in later years" than previously forecast. So while they expect real GDP growth of 2.5% next year, they forecast it will then rise:

To 2.9% in 2013; To 2.9% in 2014; Followed by 2.8% in 2015.

The European Commission has also this month published its growth forecasts. These show that the UK is forecast to grow more strongly in the coming year than Spain, Italy, France, the average for the Eurozone and the average for the EU.

All countries have to steer a course between two central risks. The risk of a European sovereign debt crisis on the one hand and on the other the risk that comes from rising global commodity prices. Food prices around the world have increased by nearly 50% since the beginning of last year.

Oil has risen 35% rise in just 5 months. That is why the OBR expect inflation to remain between 4 and 5% for most of this year, before dropping to 2.5% next year and then to 2% in two years time.

I have today written to the Governor of the Bank of England to confirm that the inflation target for the Monetary Policy Committee will remain at 2%, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index. I can also confirm that the Asset Purchase Facility set up by my predecessor will remain in place.

Once cause of current instability is the conflict inside Libya. The whole House will praise the courage and professionalism of our armed forces, who are trying to bring that conflict to an end and save lives. And I can confirm that the additional cost of military operations will be met entirely from the Treasury reserve.

The House will also know that last week I authorised for the UK to take part in a co-ordinated G7 currency intervention in support of the Japanese Yen. Our hearts go out to the Japanese people - and this is one way we can help. It is still too early to say what lasting impacts the earthquake and tsunami will have on the world economy.

But this is an opportunity for me to report that we had already decided to rebuild the UK's foreign currency reserves, which are at a historically low level. We will purchase a range of high-quality assets - though unfortunately, with the price of gold now at record highs, we will not be able to replenish the gold reserves sold at record lows. I turn now to the fiscal forecasts for our debt and deficit.

Borrowing to fund the deficit this year is now set to come in at stg 146 billion, below target. Then fall to stg122 billion next year.

Then stg 101 billion the year after. Then stg 70 billion in 2013-14. Then 46 billion. And stg 29 billion by 2015-16.

Inflation has had its impact but crucially the OBR assess that next year's structural deficit remains the same as forecast last November. In other words, the size of the task of repairing Britain's finances is unchanged.

Our national debt, as a share of our national income, is forecast to be 60% this year, before peaking at 71%, and then starting to fall reaching 69% by the end of the period. This leads me to one of the central tasks of the OBR.

That of assessing the Government's performance against its stated budget goals - in an open and independent way, so that we avoid repeating the disastrous experience of the so-called golden rule. Our fiscal mandate is to achieve a cyclically-adjusted current balance by the end of the rolling five year forecast period which is currently 2015-16.

We have supplemented that with a fixed target for debt: so that debt should be falling as a proportion of GDP by the year 2015-16 as well. I can report to the House that the OBR confirm that on their central forecast we will meet both these objectives - a balanced structural current budget and falling national debt by the end of the Parliament.

Indeed, the forecast remains that we will meet both these objectives one year earlier. But, Mr Deputy Speaker, I said at the start that stability and fiscal responsibility was not enough.

Our country has to compete if we are going to create growth and jobs. Britain has fallen behind many others in the world in the last decade. We've dropped from 4th to 12th place in the global competitiveness league.

And growth in our country has been so unbalanced. Consider this staggering truth during the boom years before the bust, private sector employment actually fell in a region as important as the West Midlands. So today's Budget is an urgent call to action for Britain.

Private sector growth must take the place of government deficits. Prosperity must be shared across all parts of the UK. Yes, we want the City of London to remain the world's leading centre for financial services, but we should resolve that the rest of the country becomes a world leader in advanced manufacturing, life sciences, creative industries, business services, green energy and so much more.

This is our vision for growth. Difficult decisions and major reforms are needed to make it happen. But the alternative is to accept Britains economic decline and a continuing fall in living standards for our population.

And that is not an alternative anyone in this House should be prepared to accept. This Budget sets for Britain these four economic ambitions. That Britain should:

Have the most competitive tax system in the G20; - Be the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business; - Be a more balanced economy, by encouraging exports and investment; - And have a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Let me set out the measures now that will achieve these ambitions. First, taxation. Heres the truth - Britain used to have the 3rd lowest corporate tax rate in Europe. It now has the sixth highest.

At the same time, our tax code has become so complex that it recently overtook India to become the longest in the world. Adam Smith first set out the principles of good taxation.

This Government declares these principles again today for the modern age.

Our taxes should be efficient and support growth. They should be certain and predictable. They should be simple to understand and easy to comply with.

And our tax system should be fair, reward work, support aspiration and ask the most from those who can most afford it. In July last year, we set up the Office of Tax Simplification to provide independent advice on how to reduce the complexity of the existing system.

I want to thank Michael Jack and John Whiting for the work they have done. Following their recommendations, I can announce today that this Budget abolishes no fewer than 43 complex reliefs. This includes the millennium gift aid system' - which we won't need for another 989 years.

I have decided not to follow their advice to abolish the Community Investment Tax Relief and instead I encourage people to take it up. But this Budget at a stroke removes over 100 pages from our tax code and begins the work of simplification.

In the last Budget, I announced that from next month welfare payments and public service pensions would be up-rated in line with the Consumer Prices Index. I said at the time we should also consider up-rating the tax system in the same way. /continued

The Duckhouse comments: The full measures add up to a broadly neutral budget, but herald a very tough regime in the UK for the next five years .

Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

Arab League suddenly worried about paying for the bombs?

Col. Gaddafi suggests all the tribes gather together for a sing song ....

Strange reaction from the Arab League over the #Libya bombings following the passing of UN Security Resolution 1973. They seem to be saying that the Arab League didn't OK the bombing! (writes Julian Bray), Not only a case of sitting on the fence, but one suspects the Arabs are now worried about being sent a bill by the #USA for the cost of the bombs dropped so far! At Stg. £400,000 upwards a bang, any prolonged involvement will impact on the domestic budgets of the UN coalition nations.

The UK has only lobbed in 2 so far, but that will change with the majority of bombing runs completed during the night, expect them to carry out repeat bombings of targets just to ensure that runways are still out of use and not patched up!

Expect the bombings to concentrate on Gaddafi's compound, finishing off the partial bombing carried out by the US in 1981. UK planes moving to bases in south Italy just a 30 min. flight to the dropping zone, rather than the 6,000 mile round trip from Norfolk, UK. Some concern over #libyan civilians being injured, best advice for the locals stay well away from all potential targets, despite what Col. Gaddafi says.

The same goes for Media teams. Leave the cameras with your local bureau staffers and depart. You can still pull the story together and don't really need to be an integral part of the dropping zone! One enterprising hack has I am told, set several web cameras on broadband streaming, doing remote v/o's and the office has yet to rumble it... he's been in ITALY for a whole month now!!!

Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

New Dawn for Libya or power gridlock?

Contrary to the esteemed pundits on Radio and TV, Resolution 1973 does not absolutely rule out the deployment of ground forces in Libya, (writes Julian Bray), we can rescue our flyers if they bail out over land and can protect the assets in theatre as well, it just needs one Libya missle to hit say a frigate or a 'rubbernecking' cruise ship or even a Grimaldi ferry .

Ground forces can also be 'invited' in... so it could well be that the Arab League sports some ground forces to back up what is very much a 'western' led operation. Emirates have a well equipped air force for example, with pilots trained in the UK by the RAF. Questions also have to be asked why the Egyptians (again very well equipped) have held back so far.

It is really important that the Arabs now ''step up to the plate if only to foil the increasingly nutty but dangerous Gaddafi branding the UN mandated operations as a 'Crusader Army.'

We now also need something that will look good on TV news worldwide, my suggestion is that the old 1981 bombed palace beloved of Gaddafi and used for his TV rants from time to time is now completely flattened and that the fist statue clutching an aircraft is properly shattered.

Expect a series of targeted night time bombing raids over the next few weeks and daytime drones photographing damage done. The TV/radio stations to be taken out next, before moving in on the power stations and water systems. The whole operation has to be tied up before the Summer as a bill of some £15 million a week is currently being run up. The good thing is that we get to use up all our old stock of cruise and other missiles and in the process give many newish pilots and crews actual combat experience

Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

So what is about to happen in Libya?

So what is about to happen in Libya? Aviation Expert Julian Bray writes:

There is little to be gained by a daylight attack and the news that Italian Airbases and Corsica will be uses as forward posts means that a night attack is at the top of the list and not reliant on aircraft carriers being in place at this early stage. They say, humans are at their lowest ebb at 3-4am in the morning, so that would be the time to move in.

Expect high level bombing , unmanned drones,and a certain amount of tactical missile shoots to initially take out ground air defences and troops with the skill of a surgeon.

Also expect the despot to draft in bus loads of rebel human shields and to also draft his 'supporters' and (not so willingly on past experience) the foreign media brigade into areas likely to be hit by the UN backed alliance. So a rapid exit for aliens, media, is very good practical advice for today.

A multiple target night attack, when all good Libyans should be at home in bed and well away from the designated locked - on targets should give them all a clue that acting as a human shield is not a good long term career prospect.

Every one of the targets was mapped years ago and the data has been kept right up to date. Canadian fighter jets and support moved through Glasgow Prestwick Airport earlier today which supports the night attack timetable (Incidentially Elvis Presley briefly touched down at Prestwick, on his way to West Germany as a GI, the only time he ever landed on British soil!).

Once the attack does begin, expect the initial burst to be heavy and to last some 4 hours, then a brief respite, the objective to hit the main world television news outlets. The respite will enable ambulance teams to take out the casualties and they are expected to be high.

In addition to securing Libya, the whole exercise is desiged to send a not so coded message to all other despots that the UN is effectively under new management and now open for some active business.

The security council by passing resolution 1973 - the most liberal and wide ranging ever ,also signals there is no going back and the countries that traditionally may have blocked or abstained have clearly had enough. A new world order perhaps? We live in very strange times.

Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5

Med. Holidays and Cruises immediately blighted by UN action against Libya

David Camerons not so shocking announcement in the House of Commons at 11am Friday March 18th 2011 that following the passing of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, that we in the UK along with UN partners, 'western' and Arab allies are effectively at economic and physical war short of an occupation with the pariah state of Libya.

The further news that UK Typhoon and Tornado fighter aircraft (this type not being used in Afghanistan) along with refuelling and surveillance support are to be deployed, will have a far reaching and damaging financial effect on Britsh and European holiday plans this Summer.

Holiday firms such as Thomas Cook, Tui and First Choice are not minded to hand out any ticket or hotel refunds until the Foreign & Commonwealth Office issues a firm directive that the destination countries in the Med are officially off limits to UK citizens.

The cruise ship industry in particular will be hoping for an early resolution to the Libya problem as Col. Gaddafi has made it known that he will target all forms of maritime transport and ships in the Med. just at a time when most of the USA owned fleet of mega cruise ships are heading for Europe and due to be based here until the Autumn.

Royal Caribbean alone will have some 17 ships in Europe this Summer. Changing routes and the schedules is not an easy matter as the just in time logistics required to service many thousands of guests have been in place for months.

Julian Bray Travel Expert comments: "The exodus of US based cruise ships from warmer climes to Europe is due to start at the end of this month. Cruise bookings are running at an all time high, as the UK airfare passenger surcharge begins to bite adding £450 to the airfare cost for a family of four. Round trips from Southampton, Dover and Harwich and a host of Spanish, French ports of call will be hit by any cancellations or re-routing of cruise ships and holiday flights. Portugal will also suffer as Lisbon is regarded as a major hub for some cruise lines.

Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

ITV should check Brian True-Mays house for hundreds of cases of Gin!

Had to chuckle at TV series Midsomer Murders head honcho Brian True-May being suspended; seemingly over the lack of ethic faces in the Wallingford, Oxfordshire, based long running TV detective/murder series.

I wonder if this suspended Brian True-May is the very same Brian True-May who was once a location manager in the late 1970's on the very first episode and location production shoot of televisions' long running Grange Hill series?

Answering a frantic call from Mr True-May to provide TV location catering. Brays Wine Bar in the Fulham Road, Chelsea (Prop. Julian Bray) had just a week earlier started an outside catering service and was gearing up to service LWT's twice weekly World of Sport location shoots. The instructions from Mr True-May were very clear. A days film catering for the crew and actors and a case i.e. 12 bottles of Gordon Gin to be included.

Thinking the TV crew were having a celebration to finish the first days location shoot, Brays Location Services ( as the box van kitchen was liveried) loaded up the case of gin and a corresponding number of tonics, glasses, bags of ice and a box of lemons.

On arrival and setting up the location kitchen, the catering crew were greeted by Mr True-May who immediately and earnestly enquired about the case of Gordons Gin. Confirming all the supplies were on board. Our fearless location manager then demanded the immediate production of the case of gin which was promptly locked into the boot True-Mays car never to be seen again.......

The caterers truly left holding the ice, tonics and lemons! Now if the tariff for securing a days shoot is still a case of Gordons Gin, the True-May residence could well have an adjacent warehouse stuffed full to the rafters with Gin!


Ideally a proper industrial radiation detector should be purchased, but in a dire emergency could provide a rough and ready indicator of possible personal contamination.

Sometimes the nucleus of an atom is unstable.

A change will occur in the nucleus to make it more stable.

The change is called a decay.

When a nucleus decays, it will emit (give out) radioactivity.

Radioactive decay is a random process which gives out heat.

There are three types of radioactivity, called a (alpha), b (beta) and g (gamma).

A radioactive nucleus will emit either an alpha particle or a beta particle or a gamma ray.

After an alpha particle or a beta particle has been emitted, the atomic number of the atom will have changed.

The atom will have become a different element.

An alpha or beta emitter might also emit gamma radiation.

Radioactivity can be both harmful and useful.

The rate of decay (half-life) can be used to find out how old things are.

The energy released from a nucleus during fission can be used to generate electricity.

Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5 For 2011 New 'Titanic Talks' TV series and Lectures in pre-production.

Oh Guido, Scourge of Bean Counters and Banksters! This had better be fodder for the shredder

We are mightily thankful that Guido Fawkes has published this amusing tale and we do not think we have to Fully Read this by candlelight near the shredder, as we have all contributed to topping up the meter with coins we have had to borrow and will have to give back coin by coin over the next 30 years or so...

Guido Fawkes being a gossip-monger means that sometimes, given the
nature of gossip, you don't have all the pieces of a story or you can't prove

For example when there are only two people in the room, who won't
comment on what they were doing in the room, it would be difficult to establish
with certainty, in front of a judge what they were doing.

Or sometimes a judge prevents you even when you know...So there was
this ****** bloke who worked with another ****** bird began an adulterous affair
not long after the ****ing crisis of 2008.

He went to Court to stop it getting out that he had been banging her.

Because he is the most notorious ****** of his generation he also
banned references to his profession lest he be identified.

Guido would be in contempt of Court if he told you his name or

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Europe more shut than open for Business as Hot Money walks..

Reclaimed land near the port area of Gibraltar where a 2 bed apartment -
without balcony- is on offer at £200,000

Having just returned from a western med. lecture cruise on the Independence of the Seas (diabolical weather on the way down and Lisbon dropped...) it struck me that the only way to enter and leave the Med is to skirt along the top of Northern Africa, with just a 9 km wide passage at one point.

With the whole of Northern Africa in political turmoil at the moment, it would take very little to bring the Med marine trade, tanker, container and cruise ships, to a grinding halt.. a point not lost on the Gibraltar authorities who deployed fast inshore inflatables with a fully armed contingent of soldiers/police to encircle the ship and to keep a number of small craft at a good distance whilst in the freeport of Gibraltar.

A two bed tower block flat in the reclaimed waterfront area is currently worth around £200,000 and the former Safeways is now a Morrisons supermarket. Locals tell me Spain this Summer is virutally booked solid from June to September and that many US lines are sending all available ships to 'Europe' this summer. Royal Caribbean alone will have no less than 17 ships at various ports of call.

The container port at Cadiz last week clearly shows how trade has slowed down, it was the same at Barcelona and Gibraltar. Acres of empty concrete, where in happier times containers should be stacked eight high.

The fact that Italy has seemingly strong marketing and contractual ties with Libya and takes 25% of Libyan oil, didn't seem to make much of an impact on the Italians, who like us in the UK were bemoaning the rapid rise in food prices.

In Naples, a well dressed local advised that a number of Columbian pickpocket gangs were in operation all around the port area which is currently seeing a much needed bout of contruction and general fascade retention schemes being started. For good measure,a full scale political demonstration was in progress with students furiously waving banners and ranks of riot police waiting discreetly in the side streets defending the regional government buildings.

The unfolding drama in Libya, Tunsia, Yemen is however at the top of the news agenda as hoardes of refugees are heading for the Italian mainland and effectively at large in Europe. No evidence whatsoever of the European Community or the UN taking charge, and what is strange instead of running a series of evacuation flights, huge commercial Grimaldi ferries (capacity 2,000 -3,000 passengers) are just left lying at anchor. It cannot be beyond the power of the authorities, UN or Europe to mass charter a fleet of ferries, add a protective marine shield, safely remove thousands of souls from the effective war zone, they could all then be effortlessly transported to a variety of reception centres in France, Spain, Italy and even Portugal.

But all that is too simple, we have one of Gordon Browns grossly overpaid and under talented apointees in charge of European Commission foreign policy who seems more worried about hiring in PR companies, than rapidly taking charge of a dire situation. Meanwhile Crimestoppers have launched a "Nab the Costa Villians" campaign and already according to my Uk criemestopper sources, two of the UK's most wanted have already had their collars felt, and are now safely in custody - just a few thousand more to go...

Contributor: Media, Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Writer & Broadcaster Julian Bray SKYPE: Julian.Bray.UK UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (B'cast ISDN Remote Studio) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound C5


European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland European Commission - Fact Sheet Protocol on Ireland and Northern Irel...