"I have long argued that the giving of offence, and even hate speech, should be a moral matter but not a matter for the criminal law. That is as true on the football pitch as on the streets. We should always challenge racism. We should also always challenge attacks on liberties in the guise of faux antiracism." Kenan Malik

Drugs

Connexions Protest, Norfolk County Hall, Martineau Lane, Norwich, Monday 26th July 2010, 9am.


Supporters and users of the careers and counselling service for young people Connexions are being asked to head for County Hall on Monday, by unions, teachers and activists to give weight to the fight to save the service from cuts.

Sixty-five jobs are facing the axe which will lead to an already struggling organisation having to half it’s service to young people in our area. The proposed reduction of the service is part of a £10m package of savings that will be decided by full council on Monday.

It’s likely to be a very busy time in the coming months fighting against attacks on essential local services, but it’s imperative that wherever the attacks on these services occur, we put our full weight behind the fightback, especially where services for some of the most vulnerable in the community are going to be affected.

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Diss mum’s anguish over lack of support for new help centre


A heartbroken mother spoke of her disappointment after an appeal to establish a new drug and alcohol support centre in Norfolk failed to receive a single donation.

Jackie Talbot launched a campaign last month to give more support to addicts after her youngest son died of a suspected heroin overdose last year.

Talented amateur boxer and father-of-two Michael Talbot, 26, was found dead at his parents’ home in Diss on February 7, a day after being released from a six-week prison sentence.

But a month after the Michael James Talbot Memorial Trust was launched to raise £150,000 for a centre in the town for drug and alcohol addicts, the good cause’s bank account remains at zero.

Mrs Talbot said she was “stunned” that nobody had financially supported the trust. However, she said she would not give up and her first aim was to reach £5,000 to get charity status.

“It is unbelievable. We have received absolutely nothing.”

“It is something that begins at home and we all want to make the world a better place, and when it is something happening on our doorstep it is up to the community to do something about it,” she said.

The 56-year-old said the idea of a drug and alcohol support centre in Diss had been backed by the Trust Alcohol and Drugs Service in Norwich and she had received letters of support from other families affected by drugs in Norfolk and Suffolk.

She added that preparations were under way to organise a kickboxing event in Diss and a bands night in Harleston to raise funds for the trust.

Mrs Talbot, whose son’s inquest is set to take place next month , said she would be grateful for other fundraising ideas to help the appeal get off the ground.

“It is an issue that tends to be swept under the carpet and people do not want to come to terms with. But we are living in the 21st century and it has to be brought into the public eye. Although there are procedures and clinics in place, there is not enough help for addicts out there,” she said.

Contact the Michael James Talbot Memorial Trust on 01379 643157 or write to 3A Uplands Way, Diss, IP22 4DE.

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