An independent review of Lancashire Police’s handling of Nicola Bulley’s disappearance has been published. And it reveals massive failures by the police , as well as the media.
Nicola Bulley, a 45 year old woman, disappeared in January of this year while walking her dog. The police then revealed very personal but wholly irrelevant allegations about her medical history. They said Bulley had been struggling with the menopause and alcohol issues. It was “avoidable and unnecessary”, the review concluded.
And it came soon after Lancashire Police said Bulley had “specific vulnerabilities” that made her a “high risk” missing person, but did not specify what those were. The police’s release of such information led to feverish speculation about how Bulley had died.
Bulley’s tragic death was confirmed when her body was found three weeks later. The coroner’s verdict was that she fell into a river accidentally.
Dr Iian Raphael, who led the review, said policing must “recognise the impact social media has”. Everyone is now trying to move on and say that all the lessons have been learned.
National Police Chiefs’ Council chair Gavin Stephens said he welcomed the findings. He added, “Police chiefs will now work closely with the College of Policing to address the recommendations and ensure that the improvements needed are made across policing.”
Lancashire Police deputy chief constable Sacha Hatchett said “with the benefit of hindsight, there are undoubtedly things we would do differently in the future”. But that does nothing to change people’s complete distrust in the police and their ability to “serve” or “protect” members of the public.
Silence on Gaza is not an option
Actor Melissa Barrera has been fired from Scream 7 following her posts on social media in support of Palestine.
A Spyglass Media spokesperson told Variety magazine, “We have zero tolerance for antisemitism. including false references to genocide, ethnic cleansing, Holocaust distortion or anything that flagrantly crosses the line into hate speech.”
The demonisation of the growing movement for Palestine as antisemitic has been happening for weeks in the mainstream media. But it’s not new. The IHRA definition and examples of antisemitism were widely adopted, including by the Labour Party in Britain.
This conflates anti-zionism with antisemitism, and many criticisms of the Israeli state are wrongly seen as antisemitic.
Yet the actor from Stranger Things, Noah Schnapp, who shared videos featuring stickers that read “Zionism is Sexy” faces no backlash at all. He won’t lose roles or face “cancellation”.
Actress Susan Sarandon has also been dropped by her agents for comments at a pro-Palestine rally last weekend.
Sarandon said, “There are a lot of people that are afraid, afraid of being Jewish at this time, and are getting a taste of what it feels like to be a Muslim in this country, so often subjected to violence.” We must not allow the media to silence our support for Palestine.
Elisa Rowland, East London
Let’s get the racist Nigel Farage right out of here
Seeing Nigel Farage on the I’m a Celebrity TV programme has been so infuriating that people have rightly started to boycott the show.
Farage is in the “jungle” trying to make the public forget his past as leader of the racist Ukip party. He was also leader of the Brexit party that pushed racist anti-refugee arguments before the referendum.
It’s ridiculous if he thinks people have that short a memory.
A famous YouTuber on the show, Nella Rose, has received huge amounts of vile racist comments online. We should call out this racism and show solidarity with Nella Rose and all those facing racism.
We have had to oppose the racism that figures like Farage have whipped up across Britain. And we need to organise to be ready to stamp out racism wherever it’s pushed.
Naima, East London
No replacement for collective action
Sam Altman returned to lead OpenAI (the owner of ChatGPT) less than five days after he was pushed out of one of the world’s most valuable startups.
The saga has set off a shock back-and-forth drama that transfixed the Silicon Valley and the global AI industry.
Behind the scenes, Altman seemed to have clashed with members of his board mainly over how quickly to develop generative AI and how to commercialise the products.
Alongside rifts over strategy, board members also contended with Altman’s personal ambitions and his intent to raise billions of dollars from venture capital funds not amenable to all members of the board.
But the real twist of the drama was the threat to the future of OpenAI itself.
In fact, the decisive factor of Altman’s return was the letter signed by more than 700 of its 770 employees saying they were going to leave if the ousted CEO was not reinstated. It’s another example of united workers’ power.
And there’s an obvious truth. The alleged ability of ChatGPT to replace humans has been proven wrong. Funny how clear that it is of course the other way around!
Geraldine M, East London
Back trans rights now
It’s Not just Rishi Sunak who is attacking trans rights. Javier Milei, Donald Trump and even opposition leader Pierre Poilievre in Canada have joined in. Tories all over the world are attacking trans rights. Reinforcing oppression is central to conservative ideology.
ChrisOx via Twitter
Tory scum—say it loud
The High Court has recently ruled it was “reasonable” for protesters to call Iain Duncan Smith “Tory scum”.
I’d say it’s not only “reasonable”, it should be mandatory.
Sasha Simic, East London
Three little Tory words
Get Brexit Done got him the job. Stop The Boats was his desperate attempt to keep hold of it and his fall will be Let Them Die.
Rest in Peace Rishi 2022-2024
Tunnels have many uses
The article about the history of the use of tunnels during war time (Socialist Worker, 22 November) was fascinating.
The station platforms of the London underground rail were also used as air raid shelters during the Second World War.
At the height of the London Blitz, 180,000 people found shelter in the underground every night for months on end.
Phil Knight, Neath, South Wales
Spread strike in Coventry
It was so good seeing huge pickets at the Amazon warehouse in Coventry on Black Friday. The strike will dent how much goes out from that warehouse.
But it’ll take more warehouses coming out on strike to really impact Jeff Bezos’ profits.