This is my take on the Line Of Duty Drama series 6 screened on BBC1 which recently came to an end with what has been criticised as a disappointing ending.
Normally I never watch these types of drama series especially if they have already begun and have missed a few episodes. There have been times when the recorder has been set to record a series to watch later but have never got around to watching them.
This time however there had been such a positive recommendation for the series that the recorder had been set to record from episode one but was was later aware that episode 5 had not recorded as set by the timer so had to set the recorder at two thirds into the episode manually, and what I thought was the final episode which seemed to be number 6 was in fact episode number 7.
So this was the first time that I had ever watched In The Line Of Duty and by the second episode I had the strong notion, at the time when Ted Hastings was called into the office at Police HQ to be told about the prospect of his retirement as well as the scaling down of his department, that he in fact was the master manipulator. However when I came to watch this episode again on BBC iPlayer, because I wanted to see episode 5 in full, and discovered that there was an episode missing and did not know in what order it was set, I decided to watch again from the beginning.
The good thing about watching again was that there was a more clear understanding of the interrelationships in the first episode but when it came to the scene in the office of Police HQ in episode 2 I could not see the reason for the inspired thought that Ted Hastings was possibly the Master manipulator. However I continued to watch with this in mind and was expecting it to be revealed at the end, but it seemed to go to the wire with no obvious indication that this was the case.
However with this point of view, it could be taken that Ted’s involvement as a possible manipulator is more sophisticated than is obviously portrayed, whereby there are several circles of intrigue regarding corruption taking place within the series that are made clear and solved, by Ted’s involvement and instigation.
It could be that Ted Hastings resistance to retirement as well as the reduction of the manpower of AC12 is because he must maintain his advantageous overall control that he has enjoyed for years. It is the case that illicit organisations that intend no good are compartmentalised so that those in a particular level or compartment only know what is taking place within their own group and not at levels above or below, and that foot soldiers are expendable in the bigger picture. This would be the same for the organised crime group as well as those going after them if there should be an interrelationship between corrupt officers which is what the series seems to be all about.
Chief Constable Philip Osbourn is shown on TV criticising political meddling at Control Police HQ, and the character personas and acting in the series are so convincing that we are led to instinctively believe that he is up to no good but there was no judgement taken on this by myself. Its an open question and possibly a red herring inserted by the writers of the series.
From the very first episode it was known that a CHIS stands for covert human intelligence source, so therefore I wondered what SNITCH denotes. In the series, to organised crime groups, a CHIS or snitch is a rat and the consequence of being a rat is certain death.
We were led to believe that Marcus Thurwell was the person responsible for directing decisions from Spain but, but as a result of a raid by Spanish police in communication with their
British counterpart it was discovered on camera that he was already dead. The response of Ted Hastings looked like one of introspective anguish, possibly realising what could happen to himself, rather than one of losing a lead. On the other hand it could be that Hastings himself ordered the hit on Thurwell because they were closing in on him, though there may have been a relationship of any convoluted type yet to be revealed.
Another thing is that Steve Arnott is as straight as a die, and when he discovers £50k stashed in the loft of a person he is fond of, Stef Corbett, the wife of a colleague who lost his life while on duty, he mentions the money to Ted Hastings who only at that point discloses that it was he himself who had given the money but we do not know if she really is aware of it, though we are led to believe that she does or whether it had been given to her husband as part of a corrupt relationship. Also it is revealed that the fifty grand was half of the hundred grand that went missing which meant that the other half had originally been dismissed as being part of a known theft. There must have been an investigation in which Ted Hastings must obviously have kept quiet about at the time. Also now it is known,Ted Hastings felt compelled to disclose the reason why Ted Hastings felt remorse as his disclosing the identity of Officer Corbett which then led to his death to Carmichael who had become head of the department but nothing was made of this by the writers of the series, at this stage. There is obviously more to come.
Perhaps if Ted Hastings had been disclosed as the culprit at this stage it may have been a bombshell finish instead of the damp squid that everybody has supposedly complained of due to the circle of intrigue surrounding Ian Huckles being wrapped up and dropped in as the finale.
This is something that I must write today (Monday 3rd December) because it is an experience that I cant explain particularly because I had been reading The Metro while journeying on the top deck of a bus that had totally filthy windows all around and was also steamed up and so had not been fully observant of the progress of the journey.
So it all began when I had made my way to the bus stop very close to my home and there I have the choice of taking the same number bus but in either direction because the stops are almost opposite each other and I can take the first one that comes along. My final destination requires taking two buses anyway, just by different configuration of routes.
I had crossed the road to take the bus that goes directly into town via the train station and on passing the stop on the other side, called out to a young lady standing there with her child in a buggy to ask if a bus had already recently passed by and she replied yes ten minutes ago. So I decided to wait, expecting one to arrive soon. So standing out in the rain with an umbrella to keep dry because the council has the knack of placing bus shelters where a post or shrubbery block the view of oncoming buses.it is necessary to request that they stop. By continually looking in both directions I saw a bus approaching on the other side of the road so made a mad dash to cross and run to the required stop in time to catch it. The time was 09:20. se it was going in the opposite direction but that was OK because then I would take a bus from the terminal which is the final destination of said bus where it returns and eventually takes the rout directly into town which is in the direction that I had originally intended to take.
This bus however would journey to a smaller shopping Centre and then continue onwards to the bus terminal and much larger shopping Mall.
So this is where it became both interesting and confusing because I had been consumed in reading the Metro newspaper and when I first looked out of the very dirty window I saw that we had arrived at the first shopping centre and noticed the fenced off area used for selling Christmas trees. However the second time that I had peered through the window I couldn’t fathom where we were but eventually realised that we were at the train station which was on the route directly into town which was on the rout that I had originally decided to take but changed my mind when I saw the bus going the other way as already explained. The thing about this was that it was 09:50 by this time which was just 30 minutes from first getting on the bus and it takes that long to arrive at the bus terminal at the Mall so if it had continued and returned it would have been about one hour later. Another thing is that this bus arrived exactly on time at just before 10:30 which would be the case for a bus leaving from my originally intended bus stop and on getting off I had intended to ask the driver if he had journeyed to the Mall after all but he had already left the bus in exchange for a new driver at the previous stop so I will never know what happened and it will always be a mystery.
The experience seemed so surrealistic.
My reply to a comment several days later:
This was something that I had considered but it is not something that I can make a claim to because I was unaware of and did not see what actually happened. The confusion came about because we had arrived at the train station in the same time that it takes to travel to the Mall. The train station is only about four stops away from my home in the opposite direction towards the centre of the city.
The journey to the small shopping centre only takes in the region of 8 minutes from my bus stop and then a further 25 minutes to reach the Mall. Only a few people got off there and there was no mention that the bus would not be continuing on to its final destination at the Mall. Also usually on arrival at the Mall the bus is always emptied, being the last stop, and more often than not the driver takes a short break before making the return journey which goes all the way to the centre of the city.
One thing that I did not mention in the original post because it was an extra strand which I felt a bit lazy to get into was that I was totally engrossed in reading the news item on the Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder boxing match. It was of interest because my Grand Father’s brother was a bare fist fighter or pugilist who had a reputation in Bristol and who used to go into Irish pubs to upturn tables to goad them into challenging for a fight. He was also a wrestler and fought for a title but was beaten by a Scotsman, so Dad mentioned.
My father had told of this and a Foreman at Rolls Royce Engine Division had asked me if I was related to Jack Hole because of certain circumstances and for some reason I had replied no. However I was interested to know about this and while selling 10p church booklets outside of the main Post Office in Wells in 1977 I saw a man go in who looked like he had a battered face and so when he came out asked if he ever heard of Jack Hole. He replied that he did and that he was known as the Turk.
So I tend to tie this in with my total absorption into the newspaper but the other point is that the subject is not a very heavenly one and this was made clear by an aunt who knew him and who said plainly in just as many words that he was a horrible man. A second aunt passed on the remains of his birth certificate to me when inquiries were made to her about what she knew of the family which turned out to be very little.
Sometime back in the 1990’s I became aware of the wide spread problem of cretinism of children in India and it was stated that the cheap and simple solution to this problem, which was leaving children mentally deficient, was to add iodine to cooking salt. On hearing this, I remembered seeing ‘with added iodine’ underneath the Saxa brand name of containers of table salt so on putting two and two together, made the decision to intentionally buy only table salt containing iodine and on searching for a suitable brand discovered Cerebos Iodised Table Salt.
The brand name itself alludes to the purpose I was seeking, and a the description on the side of the container says that ‘2 grams of Cerebos Iodised Table Salt provides at least 15% of the daily Reference Intake of Iodine’. However the ingredients section panel describes the Potassium Iodate, which is the source of the added iodine, as an Anti-caking Agent and it is this panel which the eye is drawn to first and this is further bolstered elsewhere by the description of the free running quality of the product.
Last week on coming across a TV program called Trust me Im a Doctor mention was made that the population of the UK is deficient in iodine and that milk which is a source is drunk less and less nowadays. A few other sources was mentioned but no mention was made of salt and in this respect the brand that used to include it during the 50’s and 60’s no longer does. There had been times when Cerebos was not available where I shopped and would choose sea salt as an alternative but even on the Saxa brand there is no mention of iodine but hopefully there is. Once when I mistakenly bought a bag of salt and discovered no mention of being iodised it got relegated to the garage as slug salt for garden use and the thought of it not having iodine relegates it to a poison in my mind.
Thoughts about writing about the scarcity of iodine in the British diet in relation to what had been taking place in India for some days but this morning it kept nagging me to do so. The first lines were already being composed in my mind and so turned on the computer to begin writing. It was only after completion that the thought to check who now owns the Saxa brand came to mind, and although it is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is described as a UK food manufacturing company a further search reveals that Premier Foods had been bought out by an American venture Capitalist company based in Dallas Texas in 1999.
[Quote] Worth its salt: Cerebos
RHM sold its 70 percent stake in Cerebos Pacific to Suntory of Japan for £186 million in 1990.
460 people were employed at the Middlewich site, which produced Bisto, as well as salt, in 1991.
It was bought by the American private equity company Hicks, Muse, Tate and Furst based in Dallas Texas in1999. In 2002, it bought Nestlé’s ambient foods business. It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2004.
The Greatham factory was closed with the loss of 180 jobs in 2001. The 18 acre site had latterly concentrated on the production of Sharwood’s sauces and chutneys and Atora suet.
RHM was acquired by Premier Foods for £1.2 billion in 2007.
Premier regards Bisto and Sharwood’s among its “power brands” as of 2014, and Saxa, Paxo and Atora among its “support brands”. Saxa, Bisto, Sharwood, Paxo and Atora all lead their respective categories in Britain.[Unquote]
Proof that American Venture Capitalist owned or still owns Premier Foods
Breakinviews from Reuters:
5 July 2004 By Bill McIntosh
Also: A bid for a second UK company
This is a comment on our visit to Tewkesbury related to the Battle Trail and more importantly about information that adds weight to the likelihood that we had in fact skirted the location of the Lancastrian Battle formation when we had left lower Lode Lane to enter the path through the bushes and trees.
Although this content can be regarded as historical, political and perhaps a little spiritual, as Peter had kindly described my interests, I had already determined that this must be put in the Rhetorical blog of Polemical because the information available to us from historical writers is so at odds with each other, so different that it is difficult to establish a definitive version of events as far as location goes.
Having located a visual of the Battle trail, as walked, by looking at Google Earth and maps, the next stage was to search for contemporary reports from the period and also old maps.
While gathering this information together, it became apparent that there was no definitive location for the battle formations which were to stand facing each other in formation of three ‘battles’ for each side, but lots of variations with even one account being at 90 degrees to all other reports.
[Quote from the most recent document found]: ”Location and Description of the Battlefield
The battle took place in an area immediately south of Tewkesbury and bounded in the west by the Rivers Severn and Avon and in the east by the River Swilgate. Within that broad arena the initial deployment of the armies has been moved north or south depending upon the views of the historian and his interpretation of the available sources.” [unquote]
(Even within this statement the information isn’t absolutely correct but was inserted to illustrate the variance of historical opinion).
The breakthrough came quite early when I came across an ordinance survey map having two lots of locations depicted on it, and the location speculated by Smurthwait (1993) had put it right at the point where I had had the feelings of despair, terror and mourning and it could have been this fact that had provided a context for my experience and in turn seemed to provide a validation of that location. Also it makes sense of my immediate action of surveying the terrain left and right. However I felt it necessary to find a written report which would give a better insight into events.
Discovery was an interesting journey because relevant information does not all come in one go but over many searches, as the mood takes me, that is why it is over a period of time
Therefore it was only at a time closer to this Christmas that I finally decided to find the actual entrance point that Mathew and myself took because it certainly wasn’t the official signposted one with the widish gravel path which can be seen from the photographs posted at the location on Google Earth and maps.
I finally did find the location of our entrance by using street view and it is apparent that its location is a good distance before the official route and that we had in fact entered at the location of the extreme corner of the Lancastrians right flank, according to Smurthwaite. This also meant that we were approaching Bloody Meadow from the lane at an angle rather than at 90 degrees, which we could not see because of the vegetation that enclosed us and it is for this reason that we had what seemed to be a slightly downward path because we had been traversing along part of what can only be described as section of the earthwork or embankment that made up the site of Holm Castle.
Holm castle is also a site that has been given differing locations and it was something which drew my attention to because one diagram depicted it right at the site close to Bloody Meadow and Lower Lode lane and because the typical construction of a castle is made in stone then this would exclude this area being used for the formation of the three Battles, the three block like groups of combatants. ( Much later after publishing this post I discovered the tourist map provided for the walk of the Battle Trail and it states that the A38 did not exist at the time of the Battle, and this explains why when I looked at the entrance to the Council offices, on Google Maps, the gradation of the road into it from the A38 is very shallow compared with the steep sides surrounding the edge of the rest of the Holm Castle site.)
The existence of Holm Castle then, was something that I had discovered at this late stage and it possibly explains the reason for the steep bank that I tried to run up. Also by taking a look at the terrain as much as is possible on Google Earth, it apparent that the site has a bank on three sides with the fourth side blending in naturally with the surrounding countryside, from what we can see from present day photographs.
”Here is a comment found today, 19th December, related to Holm Castle. This was sought because the castle is shown positioned on the Lancastrian staging post so would lend weight to the idea that the battle was fought away from this position but a report states that it was originally a Saxon construction of wood and that any subsequent more substantial rebuild was destroyed in the early 13th Century.
[Quote]”The castle was sited between the town and a large deer park, which was later the site of the battle of Tewkesbury (1471). Blyth argued the ruins of the castle were used in 1471 by the Lancastrian forces as a strongpoint, although this is contested. (see English Heritage Battlefield Report: Tewkesbury 1471. The original siting of the castle on a hill top probably had more to do with giving views to and from the park and town than any ‘defensive’ consideration and this castle, as is true of many castles, was a domestic high status house with pleasure pursuits as a principle rasion d’être. However, such a primary use does not exclude fortification and garrisoning in times of insecurity.”[unquote]
The English Heritage Battlefield Report: Tewksbury 1471 has been removed but the Battle of Barnet remains and this was also published in 1995 ”
Holm Castle is reported to have been Saxon in origin and constructed of wood and that any subsequent rebuild in more substantial material had been removed during the early 13th Century.
The feature about Saxon society is that rivers served as ‘their’ version of our present day motorways so the position of Holm Castle would not only provide for defense with a commanding view overlooking the river but also provide a location high enough to avoid flooding which is also the reason why the old town of Tewkesbury is located where it is, and as modern engineering improved, more usable land could be used for development, north east of the old town.
It is interesting to note also that where we made our entrance from Lower Lode Lane into the trail with compacted soil is also at a point directly opposite to where the River Avon curves in closest to the site and may in fact be remnants of an ancient path the Saxons used for access.
This path can be discerned from an aerial photograph taken in 1945 but this photograph is sightly displaced from all other satellite images. It also shows that the whole area across from the edge which aligns with the Bloody Meadow across to the Gloucester Road is open space, also with signs of what may be archaeological exploration. Later views of the site shows the development of Council Offices on the site and, at an even later date, along side it, what I had initially thought was a vegetable garden, but as it matured over the years, can be seen that they are actually trees. The formation pattern and area that these newly planted trees make is identical to that shown on a line drawn map from the 1850s , and which also shows trees lining the three sides which we see today. This was very interesting to me considering the general obfuscation of historical locations as already mentioned. This time however it was to replace trees that had been previously removed seemingly to return the site to it’s original state so that it appears, with reference to the 1850s map, that they had never been removed.
Also it has been mentioned that there has been no archaeological evidence of fighting having taken place in the vicinity of Margaret’s Camp, an area which has since been developed for housing.
Additionally information previously provided by an English Heritage Battle Report: Tewkesbury 1471 has also been removed while the Battle of Barnet which is set out in the identical format and has the same date of publication remains.
None of this would have been discovered had it not been for that spiritual experience that I had in a location I was unaware of but had it taken place at the official, signposted entrance into Bloody Meadow then I may have put it down to anticipation and expectation from within my self and quite likely that would have been the end of it with no curious investigation.
It is interesting that this emotion still effects me now whenever I think about it especially because of the fear and panic that reportedly raged within the Lancastrians but this was something that I could not understand because my allegiance is more towards Richard 111 or the Duke of Gloucester as he was then.
It was only a day or so ago that on awaking it dawned on me that there may be a connection ancestrally, realising that the Lancastrian supporters marched from Weymouth north to eventually stop at Bristol Castle to pick up provisions. We can’t really know if there is a connection or not but another experience that I had also came about when I had driven Mathew to a Building Society in order to transfer his account into his own name when he had become of age or rather during the following summer. When that process had been completed Mathew went on his way by bus and I made my way to the village car park to continue my journey to work which was nearby. When I arrived at the car I decided to visit the Church graveyard immediately next door to locate a possible ancestor which had been something that had kept coming to me to do for years but had never acted upon it. Of course I did not know of anyone except that as mentioned,for many years it kept coming to mind, beckoning me that I should take a look. So immediately into the Church grounds I looked down the far side to discover that it was just a single level office squeezed in, attached to the side of the main building. I then walked back to go down the right hand side of the Church building taking note of how weather worn the elongated slabs that had been set into the grass immediately between the path and the side wall. On the right hand side were a few small memorial stones dedicated to past vicars and beyond that in the great expanse of the grounds ran wows upon rows of headstones set at 90 degrees to the path and as I continued walking wondered to myself how I would ever find anybody related. However when I arrived at the far end of the Church building, I looked across to the path which ran parallel with the back of the church and my eyes were immediately set on a vertical headstone that was in silhouette and so made a beeline for it without looking at any of the others. To my great astonishment the inscription was for Elizabeth Hole who had been in service to one family for 27 years and must have been buried by that family. I did try to find out more information by visiting again and while there asked a grounds man who took me to the office to look up the records but it was simply a book recording the location of each headstone and nothing more. The headstone had been in silhouette because it had been leaning slightly forward, with the sun high in the sky, which in turn protected the inscription from weathering.
More to come,possibly, its in the bag already
This is the first draft of the description of a visit to Tewkesbury on the 22nd of August 2014 where the main purpose was to watch a performance of the Kast Off Kinks, a cover of the original Kinks Pop Band, at the Roses Theatre in the evening.
This however is an account about our experience while following the Battle Trail. This account begins from knowing nothing of the detail of the events of the Battle and had to rely on pure memory and consultation of Google Earth and maps to retrace the rout taken to serve as a memory jogger of our own experience.
Over time, as a result of research, the detail, as it built up, becomes fragmented and out of position in its presentation and not being an editor and able to condense things down into one piece of work, it will be presented as if a journey of discovery which in itself was enjoyable. The next post will be a version of this but with more information added.
As such, things have been added to subsequent versions of this original text but I had also removed the comment about the experience in Manchester which I felt was relevant at the time but not later. However I have changed my mind and retained it on posting this first draft because it may serve to illustrate the point that we may be open and sensitive to certain things and then closed off, spiritually, to others. This also illustrates that we ourselves, in the main, have no control over when we are to be ”’enlightened”.
The Battle of Tewkesbury. 1
This is something that I must write while in the ‘mode’. ( 23rd September 2017)
The sight of the bird sitting on the back of a horse was something that Mathew had spotted while making our way out from the Battle field site in Tewksbury, a battle which took place during the War of the Roses in 1471. This photograph had been uploaded to my Facebook page so that it could be sent on to his Facebook account via messenger but every time I see this picture it always beckoned a description of our walk along the Battle trail but which I had kept putting off. However last night I felt pushed to seek some location information as a basis for writing, inputting a search request for Long Field which I discovered does not exist and by taking a look at Google maps to refresh my memory of the location since I had followed Mathew and he had possession of the guide at all times.
About a week earlier, before the visit, Mathew had put out an invitation on his Facebook page for friends to accompany him to see the Kast Off Kinks at the Roses Theatre but there were no takers so I offered to go and take him there. (22nd August 2014)
We had set off early in the day because we wanted to have a good look around this ancient town and this was of particular interest to Mathew who also expressed an interest in following the route of the Severn Way in the future. We enjoyed looking at the architecture of the old timbered buildings as well as inside of the Abbey and also a walk along the river, crossing at the Mill Weir which took us along the river on the other side until we could cross back again for the return.
The most notable experience though for myself was the walk along the trail of the Battle and Mathew took custody of the guide for the route so I could just tag along, taking in the scenery unhindered as we walked.
As we progressed along the trail that ran parallel with the Abbey I could see that the original roof had been replaced, indicated by the evidence of the original roof flashings still embedded in the side wall of the tower which indicated a roof of a higher ridge and steeper pitch than what is there now and so could not help wondering what event in history had caused this to be.
So we continued across the field until we met a road which we had to cross and then continue along a leafy lane until Mathew said that we have to turn in here. Because Mathew had possession of the map, I had no clues whatsoever as to where we were but we found ourselves making our way along a narrow path of compacted mud that briefly cut through the hedge, trees and undergrowth and it was along this very short distance that sloped gently downwards that I could feel a very strong emotion of sadness, despair and sense of mourning which I took to be an indication that we were approaching the site of the battle. Mathew may remember my comment about this at the time. That particular feeling only lasted for the very short duration of passing through and once into the open field it was gone and found myself back to normal and at no other time did any such emotion recur from the time of entering the ‘Bloody Meadow to when we left the whole designated battle area to enter onto the A38 road.
As soon as we found ourselves in a long narrow stretch of field (Bloody Meadow) I immediately put my tactical hat on and looked around at the surrounding area and speculate on possible tactics. Immediately we began walking ahead through the narrow strip of field, I looked directly over my right hand shoulder at the gently sloping ground upwards that also seemed to sway away to the right in the distance of what I could see through random trees and hedgerows which seemed to frame the viewpoint and thought to myself that that would be a good place to approach from for an attack on horseback.. Also immediately on our left hand side I checked out land lying to our left, running up it a little for a better view for it was a very steep gradient for a very short distance before it began to flatten out but could not see very much to draw any conclusion and although the intention was to check it out, I dismissed it as a possibility. Mathew may also remember my comment on the sloping field to the right and the sight of my attempt to run up the steep slope on our left hand side.
The view looking back to where we entered the Bloody Meadow. It was an afterthought after we continued walking and would have liked to have been much closer so a telephoto shot was taken as well.
Thinking about it now, I am curious to know what may have taken place in that bushy area that connects the lane to the battle site. What could be the source of the emotion? Could it have been a place where towns folk concealed themselves to observe what had been taking place and were so shocked at what they saw? The reason I think this may be a possibility is because at no other time within the whole battle area did I feel anything else in that context and this also reminds me of an occasion back in early 1980 in Manchester when we moved from Liverpool to change location and on knocking on the door to be allowed in for the first time at a house in Demesne Road, I could feel something about the place which left me thinking to myself: ‘Why does it feel like this?, it’s a Church Centre’
As it turned out, I learned from a person about five years later who had also lived there at a different time to myself that the house had previously been used for prostitution and that there had been two attempts to exorcise the bad spirits there but that it failed and the entities kept returning. I can say that during the time I was there people were reporting of having bad dreams like being chased by monsters and one particular person said of being pursued by one with lips like protruding suckers trying to kiss him. Some people were so badly affected that they elected to sleep elsewhere in a van, like Manchester Airport to escape as it was also effecting their day in a detrimental way. I felt none of this while there but did experience one occasion when a group of us were sat on a sofa discussing spiritual things which brought a bright and vibrant atmosphere and a person who had got up with a mug in his hand to go to the kitchen turned around at the open door to continue listening to the conversation when the cup suddenly exploded into tiny pieces with a bang. So from this it suggests that although I may be sensitive at times, I also seem to be protected from the worst elements.