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Review: Cosa Nostra – A History Of The Sicilian Mafia – by John Dickie

cosa nostra

  This is a study on the notorious criminal organisation the Sicilian Mafia – Cosa Nostra – Over the years, Cosa Nostra has become an alternative source of political power in Southern Italian island. The reach of this criminal organisation has spread its tentacles across the globe, becoming a feared and respected multinational criminal organisation. From more humble roots in dealing with cattle rustling, the Cosa Nostra moved into more traditional mafia activities such as protection rackets and later made very heavy profits in drug smuggling. The Cosa Nostra is a difficult theme to research due to the clandestine nature of its activities. It is a secret brotherhood and we learn of its hierarchy and organisation plus its almost religious like entry rituals. It can be bloodthirsty and strict and its internal discipline is its means of maintaining its power. It is in effect a tandem organisation to State power in Italy and its members. even on the run – are able to live clandestinely with few problems. The links between Cosa Nostra and the American Mafia was interesting – Joe Bananas a figure that bridged the gap between both worlds. The two mafia wars of the Twentieth century were bloody and Cosa Nostra resorted to terrorism in its fight amongst itself and also with the state. There has been a very damaging emergence of Pentiti who are whistleblowers who reveal to the authorities the crimes of former colleagues in exchange for immunity or freedom. The Cosa Nostra was brought to the brink of destruction by some of these treacherous characters. The Maxi-Trial led by antimafia judges such as Falcone caused much devastation and meant a change in strategy, leadership and tactics. Falcone ended up suffering a gruesome death, a fate shared by very many enemies of Cosa Nostra. It was interesting seeing some of the dirty political dealings that many leading Italian political figures have with Cosa Nostra, including well known long term President Silvio Berlusconi. The research for this book was often second hand, relying on preceding authors and also details could often be fussy due to a lot of the knowledge of structure of the organisation and its activities come from Pentiti who often are less than reliable sources due to their own bias. I felt that it was an interesting and enlightening study although towards the end of the book the author’s clear antimafia stance became…

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Dear Judith

judith paget

JUDITH PAGET – Chief Executive, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board Trust Last summer I was sectioned under the Mental Health Act. After two months or so in hospital I won my appeal against section in the Mental Health Review Tribunal Courts. I now have no psychiatric treatment and am a free man. I used my time in hospital to gather as much documentary evidence as possible and have reproduced in this blog post here my fight for justice. I wrote letters of complaint on an almost daily basis and am still dealing with the matter via the Ombudsman, my MP and Welsh Assembly Member plus the Minister of Health for the Welsh Government. If you are a detained mental patient I suggest that you fight in a similar manner and document your case as the results are apparent. I typed up all the documentation from handwritten letters photocopied in hospital and reproduce them here.I also submitted all my documentation to the Tribunal courts. ENJOY THE LITANY OF COMPLAINTS! (and responses) ————————————————————————————————————————————–                                                                                                                                                                                            18th July 2016 Dear Judith Paget, Chief Executive, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, I am sure that you remember me Judith. I have previously written umpteen complaints to you regarding the abominable health treatment I receive from employees of your Trust. Most of the time these complaints achieve nothing other than generating even more animosity between staff and myself. I am a patient and thus an end user of the service. I expect to be treated like a human being at all times by Aneurin Bevan UHB employees. I have been out of hospital since November, being discharged from section in January. My consultant psychiatrist was changed from Dr Basu to Dr Attwood. I was put under the care of the Abergavenny-based Assertive Outreach team with most of the outreach work being supervised by Freya Crowley….

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