David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cruise to Egypt & The Holy Land

On September 12th I was fortunate enough to fly over to Turkey to embark on the Thomson cruise ship Celebration at Marmaris for a cruise to Egypt, The Holy Land & Cyprus.

Our first port of call was Alexandria where I was able to join an excursion to visit the War Cemetery at El Alamein. Whilst there I managed to locate the grave of a friend's relative and placed a couple of tributes from family members against the headstone.

He was Sergeant Albert John Coombes, affectionately known as Jackie, aged 20, from Plymouth, Devon, UK. He was a rear gunner in a Wellington bomber which was brought down by German anti-aircraft fire. He bailed out but sadly his parachute failed to open. A truly emotional experience considering I was the first person to pay homage on behalf of the family to his grave since the airman was laid to rest on October 6th. 1942 following the ferocious, but successful battle led by Field Marshall Montgomery to repel the Axis forces.

I also visited the War Museum and saw many of the armaments recovered from the desert battle. I must congratulate the British War Graves Commission for maintaining the cemetery in such immaculate condition honouring in perpetuity almost 8,000 Allied service personnel who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of freedom and democracy which we enjoy to this very day.

My next port of call was Port Said from where I travelled down to Cairo and visited the Egyption National Museum where I saw the artefacts from the tomb of King Tutankhamun including the Golden Mask. I also saw the mummified bodies of ancient royals including Ramisees II and other Pharoahs, Kings & Queens. After the museum I visited the pyramids and Sphinx at Giza. A truly memorable experience which has given me the desire to learn much more of this ancient civilisation.

My next port of call was to Ashdod in Israel from where I travelled to Jerusalem and visited many of the Holy sites including the Western (or Wailing) Wall, the garden of Gethsemane, the Mount of Olives,the Dome of The Rock or Temple Mount, the Via Dolorosa and the 14 Stations of the Cross leading up to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at Calvary where Jesus Christ was crucified and three days later resurrected. I also visited the Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem in Palestine where Jesus Christ was born. This was a return visit for me as I had previously undertaken a pilgrimage to The Holy Land in 1996 and it was spiritually very uplifting for me to be back in the birthplace of Christianity, the faith of which I am so proud to profess.

After The Holy Land we sailed to Larnaca in Cyprus and finally to Alanya in Turkey before returning to Marmaris for disembarkation.

A tiring but extremely informative holiday which I would recommend to anyone interested in the history of civilisation as we perceive it today.

Finally, I would like to pay a huge tribute to the officers and crew of the Thomson Celebration. Their service throughout the cruise was fantastic. The cuisine was superb and the nightly Broadway style shows were magnificent. Special thanks to Ruli & Benny, both highly efficient waiters from Indonesia and also to Joel, a very cheerful barman in Horizons Bar, whom I had met on a previous cruise. He hails from the Phillipines. Congratulations and many thanks for a truly wonderful cruise.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Remember 9/11

Never Again May Evil Prevail

Lest We Forget. Tenth Anniversary Commemoration

Monday, September 05, 2011

Commons Select Committee announce inquiry into policing large-scale disorder

The Home Affairs Committee is holding an inquiry into the lessons that may be learned from the wide-scale rioting and looting by predominantly young people in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester and other cities in August 2011.

In particular, the Committee is interested in:

Police relations with the communities where violence took place before the riots, including similarities with and differences from previous public disorder events:
The role of social media in spreading disorder and in the response to it;
The role of organised groups in promoting disorder;
The role of the IPCC, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, and ACPO/NPIA public order guidance;
The techniques used by the police to quell the rioting, including: a) Decisions taken over the deployment of police officers (availability of officers, response times), b) The use of standard techniques: containment, dispersal, specialist public order officers, dogs, horses, c) The deployment of non-standard techniques: armoured police cars, baton rounds, water cannon, curfews
Variations in the responses of different police forces;
Lessons to be learned from the police response to previous public disorder incidents;
Training of officers to deal with riots;
Whether there were any constraints on the police such as limited resources or powers;
Whether there should be any changes to the legislation regulating normal policing processes during times of major disorder;
Whether the age of many of the rioters constrained the police in their use of anti-riot technique;
The application of the Riot (Damages) Act 1886; and
To revisit relevant recommendations made in previous Home Affairs Committee reports into Policing the G20 protests and Knife crime, and other relevant recommendations, to assess if they have been implemented by successive governments.

Call for evidence:-

Organisations and individuals interested in making written submissions are invited to do so by Friday 9 September 2011. Submissions must be no longer than 2,500 words.

Oral evidence sessions will be held: further announcements will be made in due course.

Committee Chairman Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP said:

"The Committee will begin an inquiry with a view to try and find out why these terrible sets of events have occurred and what steps will be taken to prevent this happening again.

Given that these matters are still ongoing it is important to give the police all the resources and powers they need. It is also clear that high police visibility has made a huge difference. The Committee hopes to be able to produce an informed response to enable Parliament to decide what further changes to law it requires. We will be meeting with Acting Commissioner Godwin at Scotland Yard next week".

Guidance on submitting evidence to the Home Affairs Committee Inquiry: Policing large-scale disorder: Lessons from the disturbances of August 2011.

Written evidence should if possible be in Word or rich text format—not PDF format—and sent by e-mail to:-


The use of colour and expensive-to-print material, e.g. photographs, should be avoided. The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

Submissions must address the terms of reference. They should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary.

Image: Courtesy of iStockphoto

Article courtesy of www.parliament.uk (Also my thanks to Steve Bennett of The Thin Blue Line Blog for bringing this to my attention)

Saturday, September 03, 2011

A Very Useful Badge

The other day I needed to go to the local NHS (National Health Service) hospital but not wanting to sit there for 4 hours, I put on my blue jacket and pinned on a plastic ID card that I had made off the Internet onto the front of my jacket..

When I went into the hospital, I noticed that 3/4 of the people got up and left. I guess they decided that they weren't that sick after all. Cut at least 3 hours off my waiting time. Here’s the patch.

Feel free to use it the next time you're in need of quicker emergency service!

It also works at all supermarkets. It saves me hours.

At the Laundry, three minutes after entering, I had my choice of any machine, most still running!

Don't try it at McDonald's though...... The whole staff disappeared and I never got my order !!!!!

Also.......... never wear it while trying to get a taxi !!

My thanks to a former colleague of mine, Jim Doney, for sending me this humorous little gem.