California Employees to Employers: Please Move!

How bad are California’s employment and quality-of-life indicators? Let’s consider a few illustrations of failure.

The Associated Press reported the recent unemployment numbers: March jobless rate dips to 12 percent in Calif. Yep, a disastrous 12 percent unemployed is an improvement here in the post-Golden State, where the official jobless number has been 12 percent or above since June 2009 except for one month. (See the Sacramento Bee’s interactive map since January 2008.)

The national unemployment rate for March is 9.2 percent according to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics.

One reason for the miserable rate of employment is the state’s anti-business climate. The Orange County Register reported the exit stampede of dozens of firms just this year: 69 more firms move jobs, facilities out of California.

Another problem of course is legal immigrants and illegal aliens taking American jobs. If the eight million jobs held by illegals (according to Pew Hispanic) were liberated by universal E-verify, then those positions would open up to citizens and a substantial portion of the jobs crisis would be solved. But liberal Sacramexico would never go there.

A bi-partisan group from Sacramento visited Texas last week to learn the secrets of job creation (less regulation, illegal immigration and taxation, perhaps?), as reported by AP, Texas governor, Calif. lt. gov. tout job creation. No wonder the pols wanted some hints, since Texas has added 165,000 jobs during the past three years while California has lost 1.2 million jobs, according to the group’s leader, Assembly Member Dan Logue.

Have the politicians never asked business owners why they are leaving? Many have voiced their complaints but Sacramento hasn’t seemed interested. In 2009, Gov. Schwarzenegger reluctantly released a state report showing the enormous regulatory burden in California (nearly half a trillion dollars annually), but Sacramento’s liberal leadership snoozed through that warning sign as well. (Listen to John and Ken’s program on the headache-inducing study about state regulation.)

A long-time observer of California’s propensity to chase out job creators is Joseph Vranich, the Business Relocation Coach. He was interviewed by the John and Ken radio show on Friday about a recent article describing how employees now ask their bosses to leave the state. Diversity is not mentioned, although one person wanted to avoid the Los Angeles school system.

Employees Now Asking Companies to Leave California
, Fox and Hounds Daily, April 14th, 2011

If I hadn’t heard it from clients I wouldn’t have believed it – Californians are asking their companies to leave the state.

Some time ago a decision-maker told me he had evaluated the benefits of moving his department out of Los Angeles. He said: “When I discovered how substantial the savings would be, I quipped in front of my staff, ‘We should move to Texas.’ I was surprised by what happened next – people approached me one by one, came in my office, closed the door, and asked that we move to Texas. Once I saw the employee reactions, I’d like for the relocation to occur.”

Businesses relocate generally for cost factors (taxes, the burdens of excessive regulations, high rents) but people move for life-style reasons. Here is a sampling of employee motivations:

  • “I lived in Texas before and I’d like to go back - fewer traffic jams and I can afford to buy a house there.”
  • “When the owner told me about the move to Nevada I jumped at the chance to go. The company can grow better there and I’ll have more opportunity to stay in this field and move up.”
  • “One reason the owner liked Colorado was because of the better schools. I thought, well, we’re going to have kids and we don’t want them in the Los Angeles school system.”
  • “My company is fabulous. I will move wherever it decides to go. If it’s someplace that’s cold, I’ll get used to it!”

What is the “staying power” for Californians in new places? I don’t know. But a manager and his wife who grew up in Huntington Beach moved to Pennsylvania and love it so much that she said, “We’ll never go back.”

I’ve heard “I’ll never go back” from a number of people.

The message isn’t getting through in Sacramento. For example, this week the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), will issue a report about why the state fares poorly in many published state-level business climate rankings or “indexes.” The organization doesn’t like it that California often ranks at or near the bottom of just about such rankings. One of PPIC’s arguments is that “California’s poor ranking among the business climate indexes focusing on taxes and costs is offset by natural advantages (in particular, good weather), and these favorable factors enable California’s economy to perform reasonably well.”

Yes, California has good weather.

For those of you who plan to read the new PPIC report, print out this list – Why do Companies Leave California? Here Are Ten Reasons (Updated) – put the documents side-by-side, and decide for yourself which is more relevant to the state’s future.

Disclosure: I’ve written before about how PPIC’s work on the state’s business environment is poor – see New Think Tank Report on California’s Business Exodus: Useless.

While Sacramento remains fuzzy-headed about California’s hostile business climate, the state is experiencing the fastest rate of company out-of-state and out-of-country relocations since I put a specialized trackingsystem into place two years ago. Activity from Jan. 1 through April 12 of this year shows that 69 California company disinvestment events have occurred, an average of 4.7 per week – greater than the 3.9 average per week last year. See more at Calif. ‘Disinvestment Events’ Reach New High As Companies Opt for Other States, Nations posted yesterday.

By the way, the number one location for California companies to relocate to, or to divert capital for facilities that in the past used to be built here, is Texas with 14 such events.

My list doesn’t overstate the case (we probably learn about only one out of every five company departures), but others understate the problem. One state agency employee in meeting with a moving company CEO said, “Claims of businesses leaving are exaggerated. All we lost last year were seven companies – here’s the list.” The executive read the list and said, “Do you realize you don’t have written down here even one of the companies that we moved out of the state last year?”

This week, when PPIC issues its report, something more important will be happening.

At any time during this week that I want to feel optimistic about California ending it’s business-hostile ways, I won’t think of the PPIC event on Wednesday. Instead, I’ll focus on the activities on Thursday and Friday when Dan Logue, a member of the state Assembly, and his colleagues meet with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and also conduct a hearing on business issues.

He and some of his colleagues are taking the self-financed trip to Texas to learn what California is doing wrong and what Texas is doing right. The Orange County Register did a nice job explaining what the trip is all about in California politicians to check out Texas business.

The fact-finding delegation will probably get an earful from former California business owners who fled the state’s excessive regulations and high taxes. But I wouldn’t be surprised if some rank-and-file employees also showed up to say why they volunteered to leave California – or even encouraged it.

Your Tax Dollars at Work: Latino Obesity Division

Say, isn’t the federal government $14 trillion in the hole? An easy target for financial pruning would be this boondoggle: a multi-million-dollar educational program to cut obesity among a certain tribal group.

Why does this bunch need a big infusion of ethno-specific funding? Don’t kids still learn about the basic food pyramid in grade school?

Cal State Long Beach gets $3.75M federal grant to combat obesity in Latino community, Van Nuys Daily News, April 4, 2011

LONG BEACH – A health research center at Cal State Long Beach was awarded a $3.75 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop classes and programs aimed at combating obesity in the Latino community, the university announced Monday.

The grant was awarded to the National Council of La Raza-Cal State Long Beach Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training.

“Within the five-year grant time frame, we will be able to develop and integrate a graduate certificate in Latino nutrition, chronic disease and childhood obesity to our university’s larger curricular fabric,” principal investigator Britt Rios-Ellis said.

Each year, seven research fellowships and full-tuition scholarships will be provided to graduate students who will be trained to conduct community- based research on childhood obesity prevention within the Latino community, according to the center.

As a result, project officials hope to bolster the number of Latino graduate students with masters degrees in nutrition and public health.

“Our health science and nutrition graduates will join a legion of new leaders to improve the well-being of our Latino population,” according to Gail Frank, CSULB nutrition professor. “It is such a privilege to be recognized for our approach and to obtain strong federal funding from USDA to continue our programs.”

Afghanistan: Women Are Commonly Bought and Sold

For the diversity file: in Afghanistan (which Washington wants to improve) women and girls are sold just like animals. Islam says that oppressing females is the right of men, so nothing is changing on that front.

California Is Running on Fumes

As a fifth-generation California farmer who is also a classicist and military historian, Victor Davis Hanson is one of the most astute observers of the state’s dystopic diversity. Last December he started biking around for a ground-level view of his farm-country environs and characterized what he saw as Two Californias.

Now he is back, fearing the place is on a “razor’s edge with disaster.”

Victor Davis Hanson: California lives on fumes of the past, Orange County Register, April 12, 2011

We calibrate California’s decline by its myriad of paradoxes. The nation’s highest bundle of gas, sales, and income taxes cannot close the nation’s largest annual deficit at $25 billion. Test scores are at the country’s near bottom; teachers’ salaries at the very top. Scores of the affluent are leaving each week; scores of the indigent are arriving. The nation’s most richly endowed state is also the most regulated; the most liberal of our residents are also the most ready to practice apartheid in their Bel Air or Palo Alto enclaves.

We now see highway patrolmen and city police, in the manner of South American law enforcement, out in force. Everywhere they are monitoring, watching, ticketing — no warnings, no margins of error — desperate to earn traffic fines that might feed the state that feeds them. I could go on. But you get the picture that we are living on the fumes of a rich state that our forefathers brilliantly exploited, and now there is not much energy left in the fading exhaust to keep us going.

I see California in terms now of the razor’s edge with disaster not far in either direction. A postmodern affluent lifestyle hangs in the balance here without a margin of error. Let me give some examples.

I drive a lot on the 99 Freeway both northward and southward. (What follows would apply to the 101 as well, or, in fact, to most state “freeways.”) In vast stretches of the 99 it is unchanged from the two lanes when I first began driving in 1969, but now with worse pavement, larger potholes, and treacherous shoulders. Yet the state then had about 20, not 37 million people, and around 12 million licensed drivers, not well over 25 million (and who knows how many unlicensed drivers?). Nonetheless, our ancestors were brilliant sorts, and left us a well-engineered and planned grid that can still handle all sorts of the minor challenges. So on a day of perfect weather, with good drivers, at low traffic hours between 9 and 2, and without ongoing road maintenance or construction, I can make the 190 miles to either Sacramento or Los Angeles in three hours — just as I used to in far older, less reliable cars of 30 years past.

But that is rare these days. You see, there are too many proverbial ifs now. Tamper with just one variable — leave too early or return too late; have some rain or fog; have one of the two lanes shut down for anything from tree trimming to pothole filling; experience one idiot whose lawn-mower or paint sprayer fell out of his open flatbed truck — and the fragile system shuts completely down, creating paralysis for thousands of backed-up drivers. For our generation’s grid to work as it should, we would need three lanes, in good condition, perhaps four — and a pool of drivers who were all trained, licensed, registered, and insured. But you see, we had other priorities and values the last twenty years and so we took for granted the freeways we inherited. So we indulged and as the proverbially obese clogged our arteries. Continue reading this article

Britain: PM Cameron Promises a Decrease in Immigration

In a major upcoming speech, Prime Minister David Cameron is promising battered Britain a respite from years of immigration overload by a particularly hostile bunch of diverse foreigners. He says he will decrease legal immigration by a substantial number: “we would aim to reduce net migration to the levels we saw in the 1980s and 1990s” according to the text of the speech.

If Britain actually were to do such a thing, it would be revolutionary, something that would make unhappy citizens around the world demand similar restrictions from their own governments.

Of course, words are cheap, particularly from politicians. We will watch to see what really happens.

David Cameron: migration threatens our way of life, Daily Telegraph, April 13, 2011

In his most forthright speech on the issue since he became Prime Minister, he will say that mass immigration has led to “discomfort and disjointedness” in neighbourhoods because some migrants have been unwilling to integrate or learn English.

Pledging to cut the numbers entering Britain to tens of thousands, rather than hundreds of thousands, Mr Cameron will say that “for too long, immigration has been too high”.

He will also promise to “stamp out” forced marriages, saying that “cultural sensitivity” cannot be allowed to stop the Government from acting.

In the speech to party members in Hampshire, the Prime Minister will attack Labour for claiming it was racist to talk about immigration, saying it is “untruthful and unfair” not to speak about the issue, however uncomfortable.

The Prime Minister will also blame the welfare state for creating a generation of workshy Britons, leaving the jobs market open for migrants. Figures show that of the 2.5 million extra people in employment since 1997, three quarters were foreign-born workers. Continue reading this article

Donald Trump Speaks on the Muslim Problem

Donald Trump has been getting a lot of attention for his possible run for the Presidency and positive results in polling. The press likes to emphasize his curiosity about Obama’s birth certificate (a tail-chaser, IMHO), but the public’s appreciation for the hotel magnate probably has more to do with his straight-talk style of expressing his views.

Trump recently remarked that there is a problem with Islam — something the country has largely recognized but which most political leaders ignore out of fear.

But Trump typically dives right in, as he did during a recent interview with CBN:

“Bill O’Reilly asked me, is there a Muslim problem? And I said absolutely, yes,” he said. “In fact I went a step further. I said I didn’t see Swedish people knocking down the World Trade Center.”

“I’m certainly not an expert to put it mildly, but there’s something there that teaches some very negative vibe” Trump said about the Koran.

“There’s a lot of hatred there that’s some place,” he continued. “Now I don’t know if that’s from the Koran, I don’t know if that’s from some place else. But there’s tremendous hatred out there that I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Now if he would only recommend that America end Muslim immigration for national security reasons. . .

Does Obama Plan to Welcome Dangerous Libyan Refugees to America?

Wayne Simmons is a former CIA agent who is warning about the likelihood that Obama will bring thousands of Libyan refugees here. He was interviewed by Judge Andrew Napolitano on the Fox Business network April 11 (Bringing Al-Qaeda to Us).

Simmons certainly knows the problems associated with America’s refugee program, which has welcomed hostile and criminal groups into our midst in the name of national virtue. He remarked, “We have allowed asylum for what has now become the single largest street gang in the world, MS-13.” He also noted that there are now 17 Somali gangs in this country, due to Washington’s misguided do-goodery.

Regarding the Libyans he said, “It will not be long until the C-17s or perhaps commercial airlines will be coming in and out of McGuire Air Force Base and then right across the fence to Fort Dix. . . The big problem, Judge, is we don’t know who these people are. It is virtually impossible for us to run a background check on the majority of these people and that’s how a lot of these terrorists are allowed to slip into the United States.”

Even mainstream media have recognized that Libyan “rebels” include many members of the Muslim Brotherhood, an anti-Western pro-caliphate group.

See also Refugee Resettlement Watch for background on the Libyan refugee issue.

Seattle School Steers Students to Spring Spheres

Kids these days may have fancy digital gizmos, but they miss out on a lot of great experiences from traditional America, because the loony liberal educational establishment wants to stamp out customs with any Christian content. The goal is to make America safe for diversity, where no one believes in anything.

Christmas has been a big target because it is such a meaningful holiday with so many customs attached. But recently Easter has been under the gun as well.

In 2007, Seattle decided to delete Christmas from SEA-TAC Airport by removing traditional trees and installing instead a tasteful magenta homage to Winter, acceptable to multicultural sensibilities.

Now a school in the city is doing a Stalinist edit of Easter to convince little kids that colored Easter eggs are actually safely secular seasonal spheroids.

Here’s the original radio interview that revealed the silly spheroids:

Seattle school renames Easter eggs ‘Spring Spheres’, KIRO Radio, Apr 7, 2011

A sophomore at a local private high school thinks an effort to make Easter politically correct is ridiculous.

Jessica, 16, told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show that a week before spring break, the students commit to a week-long community service project. She decided to volunteer in a third grade class at a public school, which she would like to remain nameless.

“At the end of the week I had an idea to fill little plastic eggs with treats and jelly beans and other candy, but I was kind of unsure how the teacher would feel about that,” Jessica said.

She was concerned how the teacher might react to the eggs after of a meeting earlier in the week where she learned about “their abstract behavior rules.”

“I went to the teacher to get her approval and she wanted to ask the administration to see if it was okay,” Jessica explained. “She said that I could do it as long as I called this treat ’spring spheres.’ I couldn’t call them Easter eggs.”

Rather than question the decision, Jessica opted to “roll with it.” But the third graders had other ideas.

“When I took them out of the bag, the teacher said, ‘Oh look, spring spheres’ and all the kids were like ‘Wow, Easter eggs.’ So they knew,” Jessica said.

The Seattle elementary school isn’t the only government organization using spring over Easter. The city’s parks department has removed Easter from all of its advertised egg hunts.

Rasmussen Poll: Immigration Enforcement Would Decrease Poverty

A growing number of Americans apparently understand that Washington’s open-borders policy imports poverty on a massive scale and directly harms citizens, particularly in a brutal jobs depression.

A substantial majority of Americans believe that the lack of immigration enforcement worsens poverty in the country, according to the Rasmussen pollsters.

61% Say Enforcing Immigration Laws Would Cut Poverty, Rasmussen Reports, April 10, 2011

Americans feel more strongly than ever that the lack of immigration law enforcement directly effects poverty in the country.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 61% of Adults say if immigration laws were enforced, there would be less poverty in America.  Only 19% disagree with that assessment, while 20% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

The number of adults who feel there would be less poverty is up 16 points from early July 2007 when only 45% of Americans felt that way.  At that time, 32% disagreed.

Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Republicans and 58% of adults not affiliated with either political party feel there would be less poverty if immigration laws were enforced, a view shared by just 48% of Democrats. [. . .]

Men — by a 67% to 56% margin — are more likely than women to believe enforcing immigration laws would reduce poverty.

Adults under the age of 50 are more inclined to agree that there would be less poverty if immigration laws were enforced than their elders.

Despite the billions of dollars spent on government anti-poverty programs, a majority of Americans nationwide still believe there are more poor people in the country today than there were 10 years ago. In fact, a plurality (45%) of adults thinks the current government anti-poverty programs actually increase poverty in America.

A majority of Likely U.S. Voters feel that the policies and practices of the federal government encourage illegal immigration. Most voters continue to favor strong sanctions on employers who hire illegal immigrants and landlords who rent to them. Voters also feel strongly that police should check the immigration status of drivers during routine traffic stops.

Fifty percent (50%) of adults say it’s too easy to qualify for welfare in the United States. At the same time, 41% of Americans think it’s too easy to get food stamps in this country now.

Forty-eight percent (48%) also still believe it’s possible for anyone in the United States to work their way out of poverty, a finding that has shown little change since January 2010.

France Considers Reducing Legal Immigration

In France, the Interior Minister has made news by calling for the reduction of legal immigration, a suggestion that is described by press pundits as either a gaff or a calculated political move by President Sarkozy’s government to attract voters who might turn to Marine Le Pen for her strong stand on immigration. Sarkozy has already declared multiculturalism (aka Muslim immigration) to be a failure, so he may feel the need to back up his words with action.

It’s curious that the article below doesn’t mention the ongoing crisis of North Africans flooding into Europe, which has certainly focused by French public’s mind on immigration generally.

Controversial French minister wants to reduce legal migrants, AFP. April 7, 2011

President Nicolas Sarkozy’s controversial Interior Minister Claude Gueant wants to reduce the number of legal immigrants entering France, including those coming to work legally or join their families.

Asked by Le Figaro weekly magazine whether he was going to do something to reduce legal migration, Gueant, who has previously stoked controversy with statements on Islam and immigration, said “of course.”

“I’ve asked for the number of people admitted as labour immigrants (around 20,000 per year) to be reduced,” he said in the interview to be published on Friday.

“And we will continue to reduce the number of foreigners coming to France to join their families,” or around 15,000 people a year, he said, adding that he had requested a study of other European countries’ practices vis-a-vis international law.

The UMP party of Sarkozy and Gueant has veered increasingly to the political right ahead of next year’s presidential election.

Critics accuse it of trying to win over voters who would otherwise vote for the anti-immigration far-right National Front party.

“In terms of asylum (around 10,000 people a year), our country is more generous, despite restrictions, than Germany or the United Kingdom, even though we apply the same international conventions,” Gueant said.

“If it emerges that there are anomalies in our practices, changes will be made,” he said.

With regard to illegal immigration, Gueant said that “before 2001, France only sent between 8,000 and 9,000 people back to their countries (while) today it’s around 30,000.”

He said the aim was to expel 28,000 people in 2011 but “Quite frankly, I hope that we can expel more.”

France: Burqa Ban Protested by Sharia Supporters

I’ve long thought the Islamic burqa was not so much about modesty as erasing women’s individuality. Otherwise, the all-inclusive sack would not need to be identical.

Of course, women as non-individual replaceable parts fit particularly well in Islamic societies, which are polygamous and where divorce is easy for men but hard for women.

The video below reflects the individuality issue well:

The burqa is a simmering issue in France, where covering one’s face in public becomes illegal on April 11.

Galliawatch translated part of a related article from L’Express, in which a young Muslim fellow declared his faith in demography:

“We are at home, France will soon belong to us. There are already 10 million of us, soon there will be 20 million, you’ll see. You will not be able to stop us from doing anything. This country is ours.”

Nevertheless, the French authorities arrested dozens of the Muslims who staged a protest against the new law.

61 arrested over banned Paris Muslim veil protest, Associated Press, April 9, 2011

Police on Saturday arrested 61 people — including 19 women — for attempting to hold an outlawed Paris protest against France’s pending ban on face-covering Islamic veils, a top police official said.

Fifty-nine people were detained while trying to demonstrate at Place de la Nation in eastern Paris, as were two others while traveling there from Britain and Belgium, said Nicolas Lerner, chief of staff for the Paris police chief.

The arrests come amid in a rising, if small, groundswell of controversy over Monday’s start of an official ban of garments that hide the face, which includes Muslim veils such as the slit-eyed niqab and the full face-covering burqa. Women who disobey the law risk a fine, special classes and a police record.

The demonstrators rallied in defiance of a ban of the protest ordered Friday by Paris police on the ground that a Muslim group’s call for the rally was “clearly an incitement to violence and racial hatred,” said Lerner.

“The demonstration was not banned because of the practice (among some Muslim women) of wearing veils, but because of the speech,” he said, adding that Jewish groups and others had planned counter-protests — raising the prospect of public disorder. Continue reading this article

Decade-long Mystery of Adam Is Semi-Solved

In 2001, the torso of a young black boy was pulled out of the Thames in London near the Globe Theater. The body had no head or limbs, so the mystery of who he was and where he came from took a decade to solve. Police called him Adam so the public wouldn’t forget that he was a real boy. (See my 2008 article, Witchcraft Imported by Immigration)

Analysis of the stomach, lungs and bones indicated he had lived most of his life in Nigeria and had come to Britain only a few days before his death. Other tests showed that he had ingested a paralytic agent, when rendered him unable to move as he was cut into pieces during a ritual witchcraft murder.

The case shined a light on the growing problem of human sacrifice in Britain, committed largely by African immigrants who practice witchcraft. The Times of London reported in 2006 that there were 50 such cases in that city alone (‘Witch child’ abuse spreads in Britain).

Incidentally, witchcraft diversity is alive and well in the Middle East, India and Mexico, as well as Africa. Every case is a reminder that all cultures are NOT morally equal, and immigration from those places welcomes practices that we consider reprehensible crimes.

In the case at hand, we now know the name of the little boy who was so brutally murdered — Ikpomwosa — although he will likely be remembered as Adam. But the identity of the killers remains a mystery.

Voodoo and human sacrifice: The haunting story of how Adam, the Torso in the Thames boy, was finally identified, Daily Mail, by Ronke Phillips, April 9, 2011

The horror of Adam’s last hours is almost beyond imagination. In his short life, he’d got used to being far away from his West African home and perhaps even accustomed to being passed — like a chattel — from one adult to another.

From the moment he was handed over to a man he didn’t know and brought to London, this poor little boy — five, maybe six years old — would have known only cruelty and terror. In those final hours, he must have been so frightened, so terribly alone.

What I want to believe is that he was so drugged he was unconscious and oblivious of the terrifying events that were about to unfold. But, deep down, I fear that wasn’t so.

Post mortem results, too grim to bear much repetition, reveal that he was still alive when his throat was cut; the West African poison that was found in his intestine is a paralysing agent, not an anaesthetic. There’s a very real chance that Adam would have seen what was coming.

Unable to move and unable to scream, Adam’s last sight on earth would have been of a man approaching him — and then the flash of a razor-sharp knife.

Britain’s first ritual killing had just claimed its victim, an innocent little boy.

Adam’s body was found in the River Thames in London, close to the reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, on September 21, 2001. The case, however, soon became known as ‘the torso in the Thames’ because when it was found, the body was without its legs, arms and head and had been entirely drained of its blood.

All that was left was the small trunk of a little black boy, its lower half clad in a pair of bright orange shorts. When it was first spotted in the river by a member of the public, he initially assumed he was looking at a barrel.

I’m a correspondent on ITV’s London Tonight programme and within days of the body being discovered I was dispatched to the first police press conference about the case.

It was one of those occasions you never quite forget, with the normal bustle and noise of a busy press conference making way for a stunned silence, with even the most hardened reporters visibly shaken by the horror of what the police were describing.

Some, I know, simply didn’t believe them.

The boy’s head, arms and legs had been removed with skilful precision, we were told, while his lower intestine contained a highly unusual mix of plant extracts, traces of the toxic calabar bean and, perhaps most surprisingly of all, clay particles containing flecks of pure gold.

The police knew that sheer shock value would keep the story in the headlines for a few days but they also knew that a body without a face, without a name, meant there was a real danger of this being perceived as a murder without a victim. So they gave the boy a name.

‘His name is Adam,’ a visibly affected Commander Andy Baker told us, ‘and until we can identify him and his family, we will act as his family.’ Continue reading this article