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MP Bob Russell has tabled a Commons motion criticising the BBC over a drama which showed bullying among UK troops in Afghanistan


An MP has tabled a Commons motion attacking the BBC for broadcasting a TV drama which he claimed denigrated the bravery and professionalism of servicemen and women at a time when thousands are deployed in Afghanistan.

Bob Russell, Liberal Democrat MP for the garrison town of Colchester, Essex, accused the BBC of "a deplorable lack of judgment" in showing the play, Accused, by writer Jimmy McGovern, which depicts bullying by British troops in Afghanistan.

He criticised BBC director-general Mark Thompson for failing to agree to a formal request not to broadcast the programme by chief of the defence staff General Sir Peter Wall.

Sir Peter described it as being "deeply offensive" and "distasteful" to those serving in Afghanistan. He added that the drama was "misleading and inaccurate".

Mr Russell, who has twice visited British troops serving in Helmand Province, called on the Government "to lodge a formal protest with the BBC for its denigration of the bravery and professionalism of members of HM armed forces, particularly at a time when thousands of them are deployed on active service in Afghanistan".

The BBC has defended the programme, which was broadcast on Monday evening.

A spokeswoman said: "It has been made clear that Accused is a work of fiction. It is in no way an attempt to denigrate the servicemen and women of the British Army."

McGovern has also stood by his script, saying he had "the greatest respect" for British troops and it was not his intention to slur British soldiers.



Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2010, All Rights Reserved.





More than 60 eco vehicles – some not seen on UK roads before – completed the first RAC Brighton to London Future Car Challenge this weekend (Saturday, November 6).

A reverse of the traditional veteran car run from London to the seaside town, the inaugural event, organised by the motoring group, was a glimpse into the motoring future for spectators and participants alike. 

The entrants started in the morning from Madeira Drive, Brighton, in the presence of Richard Farleigh, former Dragons’ Den panelist. Many of those who take part are well-known motoring celebrities – such as Quentin Willson (TV presenter), Nick Mason (Pink Floyd Drummer and avid car collector), Don Wales (UK Electric Land Speed Record holder) and Paddy Hopkirk and David Richards (rally drivers). Cars entered into the fuel efficiency challenge included UK debutant, the Toyota Highlander FCHV fuel cell car, the electric Nemesis sports car, Proton Exora hybrid, Toyota Auris hybrid, Gordon Murray Designs’ T.25 City electric car, Volkswagen’s Golf Blue-e-Motion electric, Mercedes-Benz’s Vito Taxi electric, Honda’s hybrid CR-Z and the range-extended Vauxhall Ampera.

The event, which judged entrants not on speed but on how low their energy use was over the course was split into three categories – Electric, Hybrid and Internal Combustion Engine. Within each category, entries were measured in various modes for the energy used during the drive to the finish line at Pall Mall, London. The winners were then selected according to their energy use, with the Volkswagen Blue-e-Motion, drive by Jim Holder of What Car? magazine selected as the overall winner .

Each of the 17 category winners received an engraved Royal Automobile Club trophy and the overall winner received the coveted Royal Automobile Club Gold Medal. There was also an award for the best private entry and each classified finisher received a Club medal and certificate.

Overall winner, Jim Holder said: "It’s been a fantastic event. Volkswagen UK is delighted and a little surprised to have won overall, as am I. This car does not go into production for another two years so it was wonderful to win on its UK debut. I think the whole event shows just what the motoring industry can achieve."



Liverpool is emerging as a premier European destination with a rich and diverse heritage - and an exciting future. The city has a passion for music, sport, live entertainment and nightlife with a multitude of fascinating places to visit offering you a lively and unforgettable stay.

Among the finest galleries and collections are those housed in the National Museums Liverpool. These include the Walker, the national gallery of the north, recently refurbished to the acclaim of international critics, and the Museum of Liverpool Life, tracing the growth of the city and its people.

Also on the world-famous waterfront are the Merseyside Maritime Museum and Tate Liverpool, set in the stunningly refurbished Albert Dock complex. These beautifully restored dockside warehouses are now home to a dazzling collection of bars, cafes, restaurants, shops and other unique visitor attractions including The Beatles Story museum. "Its a skyline dominated by the citys two magnificent Cathedrals and other examples of Liverpools wonderful architecture"

Some of the best views of Liverpools striking Pier Head waterfront are to be seen from the deck of a famous Mersey Ferry, sailing from the nearby Landing Stage. Its a skyline dominated by the citys two magnificent Cathedrals and other examples of Liverpools wonderful architecture. Liverpool's cultural and architectural treasures go far beyond the city centre boundary. Croxteth Hall and Country Park, together with Knowsley Hall and its Safari Park each lie just a few miles from the bustling city centre. But the contrast could not be more stark. Its the same too at the National Trust's historic Speke Hall, a magnificent half-timbered house dating back to 1490 and set in beautifully maintained gardens.

Hire a car in Liverpool, England from as the first step toward an ideal holiday. Our exceptional customer service and Beat Rate Guarantee assure the best savings and quality of service on your car hire Liverpool.


If there were sticks and objects that could be hurtled along, then there was 'golf.' No one knows for certain who started golf. But everybody knows who plays it now - everyone does.

The origin of the name 'golf' is believed to be the Dutch word of 'colf,' which means 'club.' In the medieval ages, golf was also known as "spel metten colve,' which literally meant 'game with clubs.'

Nearly every area around the world has some claim to the origination of golf. Scotland, of course, has its claim. But so do China, Rome, England, France, Holland, Belgium, even Laos. Every country has a game consisting of sticks and balls, and every country is correct in its assumption that it invented the game. But there is no one country where 'golf' actually began.

Still, Scotland is widely considered to be birthplace of golf. And it began haphazardly, a way of hitting a pebble or other roundish object into a hole by means of a stick or club.

Edinburgh, Scotland, claimed the first golfing society. The Gentlemen Golfers - later known as the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers and today in residence at Muirfield - claim their club was already under way in 1744.

The first inter-Scotland club matches were played in 1857. The world would wait until 1860 for the first British Open to be played.

The British Open was being played 35 years before the U.S. Open. It has been called "The World Open." Players from around the globe participate, as they have for a century or more. The British Open is all-inclusive. The U.S. Open has been moving in that direction for the last decade. But the British Open has been accepting a cast from around the world since the turn of the century.

It is not known for certain when golf came to America - only that when it got a toehold in the 20th century, America became the world leader in great players. By 1900, the explosion of the game in America was complete. Proof was that, at the turn of the century, there were more golf clubs in the United States than there were in Britain.

Tiger Woods came upon the scene in 1996. He won eight times in 1999, nine times in 2000, and won the four major championships in succession in 2000-2001, starting with the U.S. Open in 2000. Should his career be as successful in his 30s and 40s as it has been in his 20s, he will assume the mantle of "best player ever."

Women have played a very large part in the history of golf, even before the last half of the 20th century when they finally achieved equality with men. Records of ladies playing golf exist all the way back to the time of Mary Queen of Scots.


In the UK around 7 million people spend around £3 billion a year on medical insurance. One in seven policies are taken out by individuals with the balance being put in place by their employers. The problem is that Medical Insurance is complex and few policyholders take the time to really study the details of their cover. As a result, many misunderstand what will be covered. If you expect medical insurance to pay every health claim, you're mistaken.

Medical Insurance is designed to provide protection for curable, short-term health problems and allow policyholders to jump the NHS queues to see consultants, be diagnosed, receive surgery or be treated. That sounds fine, but before you buy you need to appreciate the treatments and situations that fall outside the scope of the cover.

But first a word of warning. This article does not relate to any specific policy and the terms and conditions issued by individual insurers do vary. So please ensure you also check your policy documents. After reading this article, you'll know what to look out for!

Sorry - it's a chronic condition

If a condition can be cured and is not a long-term problem, your insurance company will classify it as acute and should meet the cost. If your problem is incurable or it's a problem that, despite appropriate treatment, will be with you for a long time, then your insurance company will classify it as chronic - and no, you won't be covered.

But deciding whether a condition is acute or chronic is fraught with problems. It's rarely a black and white decision and this can lead to a major area of conflict between policyholder and insurer.

It's clear that asthma and diabetes are chronic conditions as you're almost certain to suffer from them for the rest of your life. So those categories of illness are not covered.

Problems arise when Doctors initially consider a patients' condition to be curable, but the condition later deteriorates and the medical team changes its' mind, it's now become incurable. This can sometimes happen, especially in the treatment of certain types of cancer.

In these circumstances, the condition is initially defined as acute and is therefore insured, but deteriorates and becomes chronic - and outside the terms of cover. This is possible as insurers retain the right to reclassify a condition from acute to chronic during treatment.

Sorry - it's too long term
The insurance company will not pay out for long term treatment. But you need to check your policy documents to see how they define "long-term". You can find the situation where a course of drugs extends for say 12 months, but the insurer will only pay for ten months.

Sorry - it's preventative
Your insurance is designed to pay for the treatment and cure of conditions when they arise. It is not designed to pay for treatments that are used to prevent an illness.

Again, the problem of definition arises. Sometimes it is arguable whether a treatment is preventative or a cure. Take the drug Herceptin for example. This drug can be used in the early stages of breast cancer. Research shows that Herceptin can halve the incidence of cancer returning for women who have a particularly virulent form of the cancer known as HER2. In this situation, is Herceptin offering a cure or is it a preventative?

Insurance companies are split on the debate. Norwich Union, WPA, BUPA and Standard Life Healthcare will pay for Herceptin for HER2 patients whereas Legal and General and Axa PPP will not.

Sorry - the drug is not approved
Two of the main attractions for taking out medical insurance are: to jump the queues at the NHS, and to get the latest treatments and drugs. But there's a rider.

The Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence exists to approve the use of new drugs by the NHS in England and Wales. Until that body has approved the drug your insurer is unlikely to pay for its use. The problem is that the Institute's brief is to perform a cost/benefit analysis to ensure that the financial benefits to the nation from using the drug, outweigh the costs of using it in the NHS. A difficult brief and it has placed the Institute under scrutiny for the extended delays in drug approval.

The compromise hit on by the Financial Ombudsman is that if your medical policy won't pay for the use of experimental treatments, then it should meet the cost of an approved conventional treatment with the policyholder footing the bill for the balance if the experimental treatment is more expensive.

Sorry - it's a pre-existing condition
The basic principle is that if you are already suffering from a condition when you start a policy, then that condition "pre-exists" the policy and any claims for its treatment are invalid.

For this reason, insurance companies insist you complete an exhaustive questionnaire before they agree to insure you. After all they need a clear picture of your medical condition before they quote. For many applications, the insurer will, with your approval, also write to your GP for specific details of your medical history. They like to have a complete picture.

So lets say some years ago you twisted your knee playing tennis. It appeared to recover but now it turns out that you have a torn cruciate ligament and it needs to be operated on. Your medical insurance company could argue that the ligament damage was a pre-existing condition and you have to pay for the operation.

Some insurers try to accommodate these grey areas with a moratorium provision within your policy. These provisions typically say that so long as you have been symptom free for two years relating to any condition you've suffered from within the last 5 years, they will pay for subsequent treatment. Not all policies have these moratorium provisions and the time periods do vary between insurers. You should carefully read your policy.

Sorry - its not covered
Medical Insurance is an annual contract - just like your car insurance. So when it comes to renewal, your insurer is at liberty to review not only your premium but also change the conditions on which your cover is provided.

Therefore, if your policy comes up for renewal mid way through a course of treatment, it's possible to find that your new policy no longer covers that particular treatment. This means that you will have to foot the bill for the balance of the treatment.

Furthermore, with ongoing advances in medical research, more and more conditions are becoming treatable. This progress has the effect of shifting back the dividing line between chronic and acute conditions.

This hits the insurers' pocket in two ways. With more conditions being reclassified as acute, the number of claims is increasing. And there's also a trend for new treatments to cost more - Herceptin being a good example. The net result is that the insurers are finding themselves having to pay out far more. This is inevitably passed back to you through increased renewal premiums. And in an attempt to reduce their risk exposure, insurers have a tendency to adjust their definitions and exclusions. This means that you must read your renewal notice closely before you decide to renew.

So if you're tempted to buy Medical Insurance, be aware that everything is not always black and white. If you've got insurance and need treatment, you're well advised to contact your insurer without delay and get them to confirm that they will meet the cost of your proposed treatment.

Author Bio
Michael writes for Brokers Online Life Insurance

Draycott Hotel: Drawing Room

Celebrity Spotting in Britain has become a national pastime. Each year thousands of visitors gather on the streets of London, clutching Timeout magazines; hoping to make some sense from the many pages of where to go and what to do in the City.

Say, you're a celeb spotter! You've come to London for some serious celebrity action. Where would you go to spot the Stars?
Here are some Celebrity Hotspots: some are relatively easy to get in to; but you need to book at least 6 months in advance. Others are membership only, so to land a seat at the bar will require some serious networking on your part.

Celebrity Hotspots
Most people go to The Ivy for the name and the status. You will spend more than the food is worth, but that is to be expected! You're not there for the sumptuous fare, but for the celebrity action... hopefully! Oak panels, soft lighting, and 1920s stained glass windows enhance the idea that it's all terribly snobby. The service and attention to detail are exemplary, the menu is eclectic, mainly British/European with a few far-flung influences. But it caters mainly for people who know what they want. Simple ingredients prepared to perfection have earned The Ivy its coveted reputation of serving delightful 'comfort food'. The cosy dining area almost certainly means if a celebrity is at the next table, you'll be sitting a stones throw away from them.

Celebrities often seen enjoying the famously diverse menu at The Ivy are David Bowie & Iman, Tom Cruize, Elton John and George Michael

San Lorenzo
in Knightsbridge is probably the most infamous restaurant in London, because it was one of Princess Diana's favourite haunts. The place is still very popular with celebrities and is famous for dishes such as "bagna cauda", risotto with cheese and asparagus and polenta with blue cheese.

A Knightsbridge institution for the rich and famous, San Lorenzo is notorious for its glamorous clientele, rather than for the quality of its food and service. Its tinted windows protect the privacy of its well-to-do diners. The Italian food is pretty ordinary but the place is always packed, so it's essential to book.

Stars you could bump into if you decide to visit San Lorenzo are Naomi Campbell, Madonna, Guy Ritchie & Gwyneth Paltrow.

The Groucho Club was established in 1985 and the name was inspired by one of Groucho Marx's quips; he once remarked that "I don't want to join a club that will accept me as a member."

The original membership was drawn from the publishing world but over the years has expanded to include all creative fields of the media and arts. Soho with its bohemian history and working and living population of writers, artists and filmmakers was the natural location. The Groucho is the original modern members club. The infamous membership Committee has long been the fearless arbiters of who is considered a suitable Groucho Club person. Concerts, exhibitions and parties are hosted here and the 19 bedrooms are open to members and their guests. You'll have to make friends with a member just to get into the Bar area.

They say membership to the Groucho Club is more exclusive than the SAS and nearly as tough to get in; more mysterious than the Mason's, with an initiation ceremony that would make a Ninja faint.

Celebrities whom you might see at The Groucho include, Jude Law, Sadie Frost, Kate Moss & Robert Downey Jr.

Author Bio
The Draycott Hotel in Cadogan Gardens is both exclusive and secluded; attributes that are high on any celebrities list. Many celebrities find a home here, and Ali the Head Concierge has become a famous figure in his own right. He has taken care of people like, Michelle Pfeiffer, Pierce Brosnan, John Malkovich, Cheryl Ladd, Gerard Depardieu and Carole Bouquet. Ali comments: "Part of this job includes being followed around by the paparazzi; I make sure I go the extra mile in protecting the privacy of the Draycott's guests".



Live entertainment has been a long standing entertainment tradition and what better city to enjoy these venues than London? A night at the theatre gives spectators a chance to have live interaction with their entertainment. The biggest misconception of theatre is that it is an expensive night out. Considering current family activity trends, such as theme parks and shopping excursions, theatre has actually become one of the less expensive alternatives.



London nights are horror at its best, during the Halloween's night. Do you want to feel the most horrific nights making your flesh creep? You really can not run away the temptation of being at one of the London clubs serving as Halloween's London party venue. Besides planning for your Halloween's club night, you can be at these Halloween Lodon venues, to get sparked up for your Halloween's night about to unroll. Find the most beckoning horrors of London Halloween's at thee Halloween club nights:

Death and Debauchery Masked Ball: This Halloween party venue will be thriving on 30th of October in the George Tavern. This cool London club will be heated up with the souls of the dead. Find the celebration heating up with horrific soundtracks and sinister acts that can give you Goosebumps. The ambience will be amazing with the electronic soundtracks of the soul sisters.

White Mischief: The Haunted Ballroom: What can be better than a haunted ballroom on the ghost's night? With unique music coming curious dance, the things will be set across the stars such as Abandoman and Nina Conti. The art of the room and the scary decor is set in place by the expert directors who have given some memorable movies. You can join in the Halloween party on the 30th of October on the Scala.

Alice Cooper's Halloween Night of Fear: Alice Cooper's Halloween Night of Fear is the perfect Halloween's venue with all the scariest and ghoulish modern freaks and shows playing best Halloween's party on the 31st of October 2010. Its shows will include the bizarre presentation of the Zodiac Mindwarp & The Love Reaction and Jim Rose. Enjoy the winning acts of these Halloween parties.

Popstarz Halloween Monster Ball: Join in the celebration of the Monster Ball on 29th October 2010. Dark soundtracks with beast loved beats and the spooky nights. Little spooks will be welcome here with a ghost train running their way.

Torture Garden: Torture Garden Halloween ball will take place on the 30th of October 2010. An admirable collection of things can be found with the body art feature, Bondage and latex organised in Debut London. This is going to be one of the most happening nights of Halloween's eve. Do not miss it if you want to enter the world of horrors.

Besides attending these parties, you can choose to throw some memorable Halloween parties at finest party venues in London. Find out the great party venues in London to serve as a suitable Halloween party venue.


Shock new figures show the average resident in Greater London spends more than 17 hours on their backsides every day.

A study found the daily commute, a day at the office, and an evening in front of the TV means they spend hardly any time on their feet.

It emerged the typical working adult in the capital spends four hours and 55 minutes at their desk, and a further three hours and two minutes parked in front of the TV.

Once home they will sit down again to use a laptop or home computer for another two hours and 36 minutes.

The statistics also showed that 56 per cent of residents exercised for just a few minutes every day - walking to and from their parked car.

Meal times mean people sit down for a further 23 minutes, while one hour and 22 minutes are dedicated to playing computer games.

Weight Watchers UK, which conducted the poll of 3,000 adults across the UK in conjunction with its get active! campaign, put the results down to the recession and longer working hours.

Company dietician Zoe Hellman said: ''In a recession we have to work harder and for longer hours to make ends meet, so we therefore have less time and money to spend on exercise - but to spend over half our day sitting down is a health bomb waiting to happen.

"Incredibly the average person only does 50 minutes of exercise each week - that's just a quarter of what is recommended for a healthy lifestyle.

"We know that it can seem difficult to find the time to exercise, but there are ways to introduce it into even the busiest lifestyles.

"Walking up the stairs instead of taking the lift, running from the tube instead of walking, parking further from the shops and walking for 30 minutes at lunchtime instead of sitting at the desk are all free and easy ways of keeping fit.''

The research, carried out this week, shows that Londoners spend an hour and 41 minutes on public transport, and a staggering one hour and 57 minutes in the car.

Finally, before settling down to sleep at night, Londoners spend an hour and 25 minutes reading books, magazines or newspapers.

The picture is no brighter elsewhere in the UK.

More than half of people admitted that while they should exercise more, it is difficult to find the time

And 52 per cent of folk freely admit that on most days the only exercise they get is the short stroll between their house and car, nursery and car, or work and car.

Four in 10 people claim their long working hours are to blame for their lack of exercise, while the same number also attribute a lack of energy for the slump.

A third of lazy people simply can't be bothered to exercise more, while a quarter blame the quantity of housework they have to get through.

A fifth of parents say the children take up too much of their time, and over half of us are simply too exhausted by the end of the day to do any exercise.

Finally, whilst 12 per cent reckon they are happy the way they are, more than one in ten of us say the last thing we want to do is to exercise after a long commute.

It follows continued warnings from the Government about obesity levels and the importance of at least 30 minutes' exercise per day.

Zoe Hellman added: "Half an hour's exercise each evening would actually help workers to wind down and de-stress, and could even induce a good night's sleep afterwards.

"Mostly, this lack of exercise and movement is down to habit. People become so used to relaxing in front of the TV at the end of a busy day they choose that over a quick short jog or gym session.

"But exercise also has an important role in helping people to lose weight and for keeping your weight in check, in addition to the long term health benefits of being active."

The poll also shows that 37 per cent of people reckon they would exercise more if they worked shorter hours, and one in 10 would make more of an effort if they lived closer to the gym.

Astonishingly, 20 per cent of those polled say they aren't fit enough to exercise - and 17 per cent feel too fat.

When people do summon up enough energy to do a bit of moderate exercise, the top three choices are walking (43%), jogging (20%) and going to the gym (16%).

Swimming and cycling are also favoured activities for one in five Brits.

And when it comes to keeping fit - men are more likely to exercise to get fit and maintain good health, whereas women are most concerned about losing weight.



Two people have been arrested on suspicion of arson after a Victorian pier was severely damaged by fire, police have said.

The blaze, which was reported at around 1am on Tuesday, destroyed 95% of Hastings pier, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said.