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after she drove along a motorway at speeds lower than 10mph. Stephanie Cole, 58, of Fishponds, Bristol, repeatedly jammed on the brakes as she straddled the hard shoulder and inside lane of the M32. When police caught her there was a sign on the back of her car which read: "I do not drive fast, please overtake." Mrs Cole, who admitted driving without reasonable consideration, was also ordered to take another driving test. When officers stopped Mrs Cole, she told them she had "no confidence" on the motorway. She was travelling from her home to a Staples stationery store when she was arrested by police on 30 August. North Avon Magistrates' Court had previously heard Mrs Cole said her GP had been treating her for "fear of driving" for the past three-and-a-half years. Magistrates said they took into consideration the fact that Mrs Cole has multiple sclerosis.
10mph motorway driver given ban
BBC 04-01-2008 (UK)
Last Updated: Friday, 4 January 2008, 11:53 GMT Scott and Shackleton were great heroes of the age of empire and exploration. But a new book charting shifting attitudes towards them might help tell us how our view of heroes has changed. Once upon a time Robert Falcon Scott was the epitome of a Boy's Own hero. Who could fail to be mesmerised by the diaries of a man who, swept by blizzards and starving, was able to look death in the eye and accept it with equanimity? To take on a death-defying quest was admirable, but to die with dignity on such a quest was the mark of a hero in early 20th Century Britain. Despite Scott's apparent double failure, being pipped to the South Pole by the Norwegian Roald Amundsen and the death of his men, there was something both poignant and glorious about him. But the past decades have not been kind to Scott. There have been vigorous attacks and defence of his competence and planning. Should he have used dogs as his primary method of hauling sleds, should he have done more to stop fuel tanks leaking, should he have opted for fur over manmade clothing? On the other hand, while Scott has had his reputation attacked and defended, Sir Ernest Shackleton has benefited from a new wave of lionisation. Television drama and exhibitions have attested to one of the most extraordinary feats ever achieved by an explorer. New generations have marvelled at Shackleton's reaction to the loss of his ship Endurance in the Antarctic ice. His leading of his men to Elephant Island and his expedition with a small group over the sea to South Georgia to get help is more than ever the stuff of legend. Shackleton was feted at the time, adulated in south and north America and knighted back in Britain, but now his star is in danger of eclipsing Scott's, says Stephanie Barczewski, author of Antarctic Destinies: Scott, Shackleton, and the Changing Face of Heroism. In her new book, Barczewski argues that two strands in modern popular culture in both Britain and America make Shackleton the more popular hero. The first of these, she suggests, is the desire for macho heroes since the 1980s, as a reaction against the economic and political uncertainty of the 1970s and a by-product of the premium on strong leadership. "Scott's image is much more of a tortured angst-ridden Victorian. But Shackleton is seen as a macho physical type. He is seen as a better hero," Barczewski says. The key thing in Shackleton's mythos for the modern adulator is that his men made it back alive. For the post-Victorians, the death of Scott's party also had resonance. This was an era that liked to look for its heroes among splendid chaps like Gordon of Khartoum who often died awful deaths defending the glory of the empire. Culture of death "There was this culture of death. People were much more eager to celebrate heroic death than survival. After World War I so many people were dealing with the death of relatives and friends," says Barczewski. Shackleton on the other hand has been taken up as a heroic man manager for the modern age. His unflappability, ability to gauge the mood of his men, keep morale high and remain receptive to the ideas of his subordinates make him a corporate hero, says Margaret Morrell, author of Shackleton's Way. Morrell cites the account of the men who remained on Elephant Island cheerfully building "snow maidens" despite not knowing whether they were going to live or die as evidence of the extraordinary trust and good spirits Shackleton engendered in his men. "He got through some incredible ordeals so successfully. One thing that resonates for people is they don't want to be surrounded by yes men. Like Shackleton, they want to hear the unvarnished truth. He kept the lines of communication open with his men always asking for their opinions and advice." The second major shift in thinking on Shackleton has been in response to changing perceptions of class, Barczewski says. Put simply, Scott is seen as aloof and posh, a symbol of the empire, whereas Shackleton despite also coming from the well-to-do is seen as more down to earth and adaptable for the modern era. People's heroes
What makes a modern hero?
"Shackleton is this everyman, he is seen as a much more democratic and accessible figure," says Barczewski. The modern public look for people's heroes. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. And they think they find what they are looking for more in Shackleton than Scott, Barczewski suggests. We have come a long way since the notion of heroism that prevailed at the tail end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. Then heroes were easy to define. They were people like Gordon, upper class men with stiff, and usually moustachioed, upper lips. George MacDonald Fraser, in the Flashman books, parodied this love of the upper class, well mannered, death defying hero. In those days hero was a simple label, the adventure magazines of schoolboys would have resounded with tales of men like Gordon, Livingstone, and Scott. But by 2007 there is a feeling of change. As well as our re-evaluation of long dead heroes like Shackleton and Scott by modern standards, a different category of person is now feted. Baggage handler John Smeaton, who tackled a would-be bomber at Glasgow Airport is more to the modern taste. And 2007 was supposed to be the year of the people's hero. Gordon Brown published the book Everyday Heroes in July, his take on how to get society to respect volunteering and thereby volunteer more. The honours system should not just be about the great and the good, he said, but about the "ordinary" men and women who underpin the voluntary sector. Now awards have gone to "ordinary" people. Edward Wilson was made MBE for three decades as a street sweeper in London's West End. Anne Milner earned the same honour for her work as a traffic warden in Cornwall. Dinner lady and school cleaner Dorothy Winner, a head teacher who had turned around a failing school, was knighted. It's not quite adulation to the level of making it on to a stamp or into a television drama, but it's certainly recognition.
21ST CENTURY HEROES Workplace sociologist Cary Cooper says today's trend for honouring of 'ordinary' people is a reaction against celebrity culture 'We are in a celebrity age still. We feel guilty that we don't really recognise heroes, recognising ordinary folk is a guilt response' In 2007 carers were also elevated to hero status as ITV and the Sunday Times launched campaigns to help young carers But its not a label that sits easily, says Alex Fox, of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers 'A lot would be very sceptical about being made into a hero - they see themselves as doing something that is an obligation¿ for someone in their family they love'
Crime scene clean up bill 'crazy'
Last Updated: Friday, 4 January 2008, 02:25 GMT The families of murder victims should not have to pay for the crime scene to be cleaned up, an MSP has said. Lib Dem justice spokeswoman Margaret Smith said it could cost thousands of pounds to have a home cleaned after the police investigation had ended. She said the expense seemed "crazy" as it added to the agony of grieving relatives and called for a government fund to be set up to meet the cost. One woman had to wash her dead father's blood off his kitchen walls. The Scottish Government said it was examining how to improve the The blood was wallservice. to-wall, ceiling to floor. About 20 to 30 families a year are currently left to pay for cleaning up There wasn't an inch of their home after a murder. The bill can include removing the dried blood of the wall that wasn't victims from furnishings, with costs ranging from £200 to £3,000. covered in bloody Among them was the family of a man beaten to death in his own kitchen handprints who were forced to wash his blood off the walls themselves because they Carla McIntyre could not afford to hire a professional cleaner. Former policeman Michael Mosey, 57, from Lanark was bludgeoned to death with his own truncheon by John Mackie, 33, in August 2006. Mr Mosey's daughter Carla McIntyre, 29, said she and her relatives soon realised they were on their own. Ms McIntyre said: "The blood was wall-to-wall, ceiling to floor. There wasn't an inch of the wall that wasn't covered in bloody handprints. "The smell was indescribable. It would catch you at the back of the throat. "When I went down to scrub the floor I was crying. We were covered from head to toe. This wasn't just any blood. This was my dad." Ms Smith said the relatively small sums of money involved in setting up a government fund would be an "affordable gesture that would make a huge difference to bereaved families at a difficult time". The MSP added: "As well as coming to terms with their loss and attending to funeral arrangements, the families of murder victims have the added ordeal of a court case and, quite often, media attention. "It seems crazy to add to this burden by forcing families to pay for the cost of cleaning up the murder scene if it occurs in their own home. "I want the Scottish Government to consider my proposal to introduce a fund that would cover the cost of cleaning up homes after murder." The figures for families involved were supplied by Victim Support Scotland. A spokesman for the voluntary organisation said the creation of a fund to cover "reasonable expenses" of victims of crime who were not called to give evidence in court was at the heart of its Manifesto for Change 2007-2011.
He added: "It is encouraging to see that a political party is recognising there's a problem here for victims of very serious crime." 'Additional pressure' The organisation said it knew of examples where parts of homes were sealed off as a crime scene in the aftermath of murders. But when families were allowed to return "evidence of the murder in form of blood, etc" was still obvious. The spokesman added: "It creates a very serious additional pressure for victims. "We would hope that the government would recognise that there's something that can be done here at not a great capital cost." A Scottish Government spokesman said it was providing about £41.5m this year to address a "range of issues" affecting victims of crime. He added: "We continue to examine how best to improve the services made available. "A working group, established by the then Scottish Executive in 2003, to review support for families bereaved by homicide, found that local authorities can recommend professional cleaning services, but would only meet the cost where they own the property. "The group recommended, however, that local authorities be encouraged, through Cosla, to revise their current practice in relation to cleaning houses where a homicide had been committed."
Wales 'need skills not science'
Last Updated: Friday, 4 January 2008, 07:26 GMT The Welsh Rugby Union has been criticised for appointing a man with no high-level rugby experience to fill a key role within the national set-up. Graeme Maw, a highly-regarded sports scientist, was named as Wales' first elite performance director on Thursday. The 43-year-old says his lack of rugby background is of no consequence. But former Wales wing Adrian Hadley said the role should have been given to a "rugby man" familiar with the needs and demands of international rugby. Interview: Graeme Maw Scrum V on the Radio: live & on demand 606: DEBATE Hadley told BBC Wales Sport: "Do we need a sports scientist? As an Iron Man, Maw "The elite performance director's role, as (WRU group chief executive) will be better equipped Roger Lewis said, was the most important one that he was going to fill, and than most when the knives surely you'd want a rugby man. come out "I don't think it's fitness that's been letting us down in games - it's been Scrum V's Rick O'Shea able to know when to pass, when to kick, when to play field position, when to keep the game tight and when to close games out. "There's no point our players being able to bench-press 200 kilograms and run a mile in two minutes if they can't catch, pass and tackle." Ex-Wales and Lions scrum-half Terry Holmes disagreed, saying that Maw's appointment could prove an "inspired example of thinking outside the box". Former Wales centre John Devereux echoed Hadley's view, saying the lack of quality in regional rugby over the past year points towards the need for raising basic skills rather than fitness levels. "Too many players at the top level are missing the basics," Devereux told BBC Radio Wales' Scrum V programme. "Players are shuffling across the field, they aren't running angles no more and certainly the passing skills could be better. "You would've thought they would be better because these boys are training twice a day most of the week and working with all sort of coaches." Maw arrives in Wales after leaving his position in October last year after five years as the British Triathlon Association's performance director. He was previously the high performance manager for swimming at the Queensland Academy of Sport in Australia. The Englishman will work alongside Nigel Davies, who has been tasked with identifying potential Test talent in his new role as head of rugby development, in supporting national head coach Warren Gatland. And Maw believes his lack of rugby knowledge will have no bearing on his ability to fulfil his task of creating the best possible environment for elite players in Wales. "My background is strongly in performance management and my track record is in performance management," Maw told BBC Radio Wales' Scrum V programme. "Systems and structures is what I'm in place to do. I'm absolutely delighted and fully confident in being part of senior team with Nigel and Warren. "They bring in enormous rugby background to complement my more strategic and scientific skills. I think together we can really make an impact." The WRU announced in March last year their intention to appoint an elite performance director (EPD), the position mirroring that of Rob Andrew at the Rugby Football Union. After the disappointing early exit from World Cup, the WRU said that the job was the most important to be filled in the Welsh game.
Lewis was keen to have the new man in place before a coach was named to replace Gareth Jenkins, who was sacked in September after the failure in France. Former Wales fitness coach Andrew Hore was on the verge of taking the Wales job at the start of October, but negotiations broke down. This was after former Wales coach Kevin Bowring decided against a return to remain as the RFU's head of elite coach development. Hore was surprisingly named EPD at Welsh region the Ospreys last month, and Hadley believes the WRU's handing of whole recruitment process leaves a lot to be desired. "I think the Union has fudged the whole thing," said Hadley. 606: DEBATE "If you can't get the men you wanted for the position, why do you go for Maw sounds a great second best and appoint two people?" appointment. It was Lewis, though, says he is entirely convinced he has secured the right important NOT to employ men for the job and is satisfied they were appointed in the right manner. someone who has grown He also dismissed suggestions that the appointment of two men rather up with Welsh Rugby. than one represented a personal failure in his self-appointed task to find HJ one man to oversee the elite game in Wales. "It became apparent early on after we started our review of the elite game in Wales that we needed this double expertise here," said Lewis. "We needed to sharpen the saw, which Graeme will give us, but we also needed that on-the-groundunderstanding expertise."
If you can't get the men you wanted for the position, why do you go for second best and appoint two people? Former Wales winger Adrian Hadley
CBBC star questioned over death
Last Updated: Friday, 4 January 2008, 12:46 GMT BBC children's presenter Mark Speight has been released on police bail after being arrested in connection with a woman's death at a north London house. Presenter Natasha Collins, believed to be Mr Speight's girlfriend, was reportedly found dead in the bath. Mr Speight, who is the host of CBBC art show SMart, was arrested at the scene on Thursday. Police said a man in his 40s had been bailed to return to a central London police station next month. Officers were called to a house in north-west London at 1320 GMT on 3 January after reports of the sudden death of a woman in her thirties. A post mortem examination will be carried out later, but the death is being treated as "unexplained", a police spokesman said. Religious show According to reports, Mr Speight and Ms Collins shared a house in the St Johns Wood area. The couple appeared together on BBC children's programme See It Saw It. Ms Collins was represented by the HandE casting agency, which paid tribute to the actress and model. "We are shocked and devastated that Natasha has passed away and we offer our support and condolences to her family and friends," it said in a statement. "She was a wonderful, confident young lady and her beauty was inside and out." Mr Speight, who was born and raised in Wolverhampton, has also appeared on the BBC's religious show Heaven and Earth and ITV1's This Morning. A spokesman for the BBC declined to comment on the arrest, while Mr Speight's agent was not available. The BBC has cancelled Saturday morning's repeat edition of SMart on the CBBC channel. A new series of the programme is not due until the end of the year.
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