European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 – loss of control of Scottish food standards – Post Brexit
The UK Government decided that all powers currently exercised at the EU level would transfer from Brussels to Westminster and included control over fields of competence presently devolved to Scotland such as the environment, agriculture and fisheries. This prompted accusations from the Scottish government that the Bill was a “naked power grab”.
In defence of its actions, the UK Government took the view that the current responsibilities of the devolved institutions were limited anyway by EU law and there would be no reduction in the powers of the devolved bodies if those issues were currently dealt with by the EU were handled at UK level.
The Bill also enabled Westminster to alter retained EU law in future, with the law as amended remaining outside the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament and included a number of caveats stating that decision-making powers returning from the EU would be allocated within the UK “in a way that works ensuring that no new barriers to living and doing business in the UK are created”.
The UK Government also gave notice of its intention to increase decision-making powers to devolved institutions in time, though the Bill was silent on when and how a further devolution of ‘repatriated’ powers would take place, or which powers would be repatriated but it did state that powers would not be devolved in a way that would hamper the UK’s ability to enter into trade agreements.
The foregoing legislation included modifying the aims and outputs of Food Standards (Scotland) (FSS) a non-ministerial entity that was put in place by the Scottish government in 2015 to ensure that information and advice on food safety and standards, nutrition and labelling were independent, consistent, evidence-based and consumer-focused.
With its primary concern being consumer protection the agency was further tasked with making sure that food was safe to eat, ensuring consumers knew what they were eating and improving nutrition. With that in mind, its vision was to deliver food and drink environment in Scotland that benefitted and protected consumers. FSS did develop policies and was a trusted source of advice protecting consumers through the delivery of a robust regulatory and enforcement strategy.
The Bill amended the Scotland Act 1998 forbidding the Scottish Parliament from modifying “retained EU law”. but empowered Westminster to alter retained EU laws in future.
Essentially, the effect was to ensure that powers currently outside the competence of the Scottish Parliament because of EU law constraints would remain outside its competence.
Comment: Food import contracts post-Brexit will be compiled negotiated and agreed upon by UK government ministers. Another example of Westminster’s colonial control over Scotland.
Elected in 1997 the New Labour government failed to protect the health of the population by backing away from regulating the food industry.
Baron Sainsbury was the Chairman of the supermarket chain carrying his name from 1992 to 1997. He was made a life peer in 1997, and sat in the House of Lords as a member of the Labour Party. He also served in the New Labour government as the Minister for Science and Innovation between1998 and 2006 and gifted the Labour Party £15M.
2000: Creation of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) a non-ministerial government department
A collapse in public trust triggered by a number of high-profile outbreaks and deaths from food borne illness including the BSE crisis led to the perception that civil servants within the then Ministry of Agriculture Food and Fisheries placed the interests of food producers ahead of those of consumers. It was also felt that it was inappropriate – and dangerous – to have one government department responsible for both the health of the farming and food processing industries and also food safety. Hence the introduction of the FSA.
2006: Food manufacturers force government to back down on salt levels in food
The New Labour government abandoned a solem promise to the nation to force food manufacturers to cut salt levels in food. The plan was to reduce personal daily intake by 10gm to 6gm over the period ending in 2010. But responding to pressure from the food manufacturing industry the daily target was revised upwards by the government to 8gm, where it remained at March 2015. According to health experts, an extra 126,000 UK citizens died in the period 2006-2015 as a direct result of the revised policy.
Unsurprisingly the Food & Drink Federation representing Sainsbury’s and other supermarkets greatly welcomed the relaxed targets. Companies such as, Somerfield, Safeway, Waitrose and Tesco also donated money toNew Labour.
2006: Agency credibility challenged by food manufacturers
The Agency lost it’s way being heavily criticised for expensive and questionable research and fruitless public consultation exercises projects taking on more and more staff and running head on into controversy about the health claims of organic food and the role of GM foods. But ultimately, it was the FSA’s difficult relationship with the powerful food industry which undermined its effectiveness and claims of independence, after manufacturers brought an end to its attempt to secure a universal system of “traffic light labelling” for food and drink products.
Jul 2010: Victory for Food Manufacturers – Food Standards Agency Abolished By Tory Health Secretary
The Food Standards Agency was abolished by the Health Secretary, after the standards watchdog fought a running battle with industry and the EU over the introduction of colour-coded “traffic light” warnings for groceries, TV dinners and snacks. The move sparked accusations that the government had “caved in to big business”.
As part of the changes the FSA’s regulatory aspects including safety and hygiene were transferred to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). And its responsibilities for nutrition, diet and public health were incorporated into the Department of Health.
The Tory Health Secretary also factored the opinions of fast food companies such as McDonald’s, KFC and processed food and drink manufacturers such as PepsiCo, Kellogg’s, Unilever, Mars and Diageo into public health related bills, on obesity, diet-related disease and alcohol. Campaign groups claimed the changes were the equivalent of handing smoking policy over to the tobacco industry.
It transpired later that until December 2009, the Health Secretary had received £134 an hour from a firm of advertisers that represented clients such as Walkers Crisps, McDonald’s, Unilever, Mars and Pizza Hut prompting Private Eye to suggest a link between these activities and the Health Secretary’s stated desire to see a more lightly regulated food industry. The same publication also suggested a similar link to a Department of Health report on red meat in which the only products listed in the report found to contain suitable amounts of red meat to merit a “Good” rating were a McDonald’s Big Mac, and a Peperami manufactured by Unilever. (Wikipedia)
9 Apr 2014: Salt levels in many foods unnecessarily high
Many grocery items such as sandwiches, smoked fish and ready meals were found to contain at least a third of an adult’s daily allowance of salt.
A study of 50 products from major supermarkets also found that other items such as soups, meat, salads and snacks contained more than a quarter of the six grams of salt, the Government’s recommended daily limit.
And some supermarket pizzas contained almost half the daily allowance of salt recommended for adults while snacks contained almost a third.
Experts said that the salt levels in many of the foods were unnecessarily high and called for manufacturers to urgently reduce the amounts to help save lives. They warned that there was a wealth of evidence linking high salt intake to raised blood pressure increasing the risk of heart disease and strokes. But the public had been told over salting produce had been eliminated in 2006!! Sadly this was not the case. (Telegraph)
2015: Food Standards Scotland Act 2015
Supermarket profits were under pressure and this brought with it an ever increasing need to reduce manufacturing costs, placing food standards at risk. and a number of unacceptable incidences occured such as horse meat being sold as beef and unacceptably high levels of Campylobacter in chickens.
The Scottish SNP government, was of the view that regulatorty standards introduced by the Tory government were unacceptable to Scottish consumers and, following a period of intense discussions it gained the approval of the Westminster government to set up a food standard monitoring body which would report to the Scottish parliament.
The Food (Scotland) Bill then set up a stand-alone food safety, standards and nutrition body in Scotland. The Bill received Royal Assent from Her Majesty the Queen on 13th Jan 2015 creating the Food (Scotland) Act 2015 paving the way for Food Standards Scotland to operate as a legal body.
Food Standards Scotland, a non-ministerial government department of the Scottish Government became operational from 1 April 2015. It took over all of the responsibilities of the former UK-wide organisation responsible for food safety, food standards, nutrition, food labelling and meat inspection in Scotland. (Wikipedia)
Dec 2016: UK pushes ahead with sugar tax
Excess consumption of sugar is linked to a number of health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay and it also imposed health costs on individuals (lower life expectancy) and the rest of society (higher health care costs + lower productivity)
The proposal was that a tax on sugar would discourage consumption and raise tax revenue to fund improved health care. Yet, critics argued it would be a regressive tax taking more from those on low incomes. The Tory government delayed a decision but eventually it was forced by public pressure to act. Draft legislation was put in place introducing a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks from April 2018.
Two bands were proposed one for soft drinks with more than 5g of sugar per 100ml and a higher one for drinks with more than 8g per 100ml.
Pure fruit juices were exempt but health officials stressed that people should limit consumption of these beverages to no more than 150ml per day. Likewise, sugary milkshake and yogurt drinks were also excluded since there was concern that teenagers, particularly girls, were not getting enough calcium and taxing these drinks would be counterproductive.
It was projected that the levy would raise £520m each year and the price of a litre of fizzy drink would increase by around 20p.
A Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health representative said: “We are very pleased to see government moving forward with this draft legislation. The sugary drinks that will be affected by this tax have no nutritional benefit and often contain levels of sugar that are above a child’s daily recommended limit. These drinks are a major contributor to the high sugar intakes of children, particularly teenagers, and we are in no doubt that they are, in part, contributing to this country’s obesity crisis.”
Aug 2017: Hepatitis E contaminated pork imported from Europe
Tens of thousands of Britons are being infected with a ‘potentially deadly liver virus’ in pork products, mostly imported from Europe. According to reports, the strain of hepatitis E, linked to pig farms in France, Holland, Germany and Denmark, is infecting more than 60,000 people in Britain every year. And while most cases are not serious, figures from Public Health England (PHE) show an increase in serious illnesses, from 368 in 2010 to 1,244 in 2016. Transplant patients and pregnant women are considered especially at risk.
A gastroenterologist at Exeter University said: “I call it the Brexit virus, It attacks the liver and nerves. It is particularly dangerous for people with suppressed immune systems such as those who have had organ transplants and possibly cancer. ”
The reports also quoted a study showing the virus had spread to more than 90% of British pigs. They also referred to research suggesting 10% of sausages could be affected.
In the UK, sausages with the “Red Tractor” logo are not permitted to include liver or offal, reducing the risk of contamination compared with countries where liver and blood sausages are popular.
The National Pig Association (NPA) issued a statement: “Research at Public Health England has shown that the subgroup of hepatitis E causing the majority of human infection in the UK is not the same as the subgroup found in UK pigs. The NPA agrees with the conclusion of the researchers that if people in this country have contracted hepatitis E virus from eating pork, it is likely to have come from imported pork, rather than British pork. Further research and surveillance is required to determine the true cause of the rise in hepatitis E cases in the UK. The NPA recommends that consumers follow the advice from the Food Standards Agency that pork and sausages should be cooked thoroughly until steaming hot throughout, with no pink or red in the centre, to greatly reduce the risk of infection.”
Tesco has been named as the supermarket chain which may have infected people with hepatitis E from contaminated pork. Public Health England confirmed that the UK’s biggest retailer was the supermarket identified in a study as the potential source of the virus in the UK.
Hepatitis E is thought to have entered the country in pork imports from the Netherlands and Germany. British pigs are not infected with the G3-2 strain of the hepatitis E which is thought to be behind most infections.
Sep 2017: Chicken production packaging and distrubtion scandal
A company, 2SFG owned by food tycoon Ranjit Boparan – the largest supplier of poultry meat to United Kingdom supermarkets has been accused of altering sell by dates. United Kingdom supermarkets have been forced to launch investigations into their chicken supply chain after undercover footage emerged that allegedly showed workers at its West Bromwich site dropping chicken on the floor before returning it to the production line.
The footage also showed workers repackaging mixed meat of different ages and changing source codes on crates of meat that had been returned to the factory by supermarket distribution centres, returning chicken to the production line that had been dropped on the floor, and altering records of where and when chickens were slaughtered. It also emerged that packs of Tesco’ s “Willow Farm” fresh chicken were bulked up with unsold chicken returned by Lidl.
Food Standards Agency (England) announced it had launched an investigation into the claims, which include older birds being dumped in with fresh stock but given the same sell-by dates.
2 Oct 2017: Foreign sugar company sponsors Tory Party conference
The Conservative Party came under fire from angry farmers on social media after allowing a major US sugar company to sponsor its conference in Manchester. US sugar company Tate & Lyle Sugars, a major exporter to the UK, is sponsoring the conference to be held in Manchester in October 2017. The gaffe means that the Conservatives advertised a brand which is a major competitor to British Sugar and this just days after Tory ministers high profile vist to a sugar factory to celebrate the end of EU sugar quotas.
The National Farmers’ Union even set up a sensory farm inside the conference, which included a “pledge apple tree” on which delegates were able to hang a paper apple on the prop pledging their support for British farming. The NFU President said the Conference provided the perfect opportunity to assure thousands of delegates of the unqualified support for the British farming industry by the Tory Party.
A View From Austria – Four Lessons To Be Learned from the Scottish Referendum
Government authorities in the UK declared that the “Yes” campaign for secession had failed by a margin of approximately 55 per cent to 45 per cent. Yet, even without a majority vote for secession, the campaign for separation from the United Kingdom already provided numerous insights into the future of secession movements and those who defend the status quo.
Lesson 1: Global Elites Greatly Fear Secession and Decentralization
Global elite institutions and individuals including Goldman Sachs, Alan Greenspan, David Cameron and several major banks pulled out all the stops to sow fear about independence as much as possible. Global bankers vowed to punish Scotland, declaring they would move out of Scotland if independence were declared.
A Deutsche Bank report compared independence to the decision to return to the gold standard in the 1920s and said it might spark a rerun of the Great Depression, at least north of the border. When it comes to predictions of economic doom, it doesn’t get much more hysterical than that. Except that it does. David Cameron nearly burst into tears begging the Scots not to vote for independence.
The elite onslaught against secession employed at least two strategies. The first involved threats and “for your own good” lectures. Things will “not work out well” for Scotland in case of secession, intoned Robert Zoellick of the World Bank.
The late Senator John McCain implied that Scottish independence would be good for terrorists. The second strategy involved pleading and begging, which, of course, betrayed how truly fearful the West’s ruling class is of secession.
In addition to Cameron’s histrionics based on nostalgia and maudlin appeals to not break “this family apart,” Cameron bribed Scots with numerous promises of more money, more autonomy, and more power within the UK.
The threats that focused on the future of the Scottish monetary system are particularly telling. The very last thing that governments in London, Brussels, or Washington, DC want to see is an established Western country secede from a monetary system and join another in an orderly fashion.
Lesson 2: Secession Movements Will Demand a Vote
While the Westminster elite was desperate to see the Scotland referendum fail, few argued that the Scots had no right to vote on the matter. Some argued that all of the UK should vote on it, but most observers appeared to simply accept that the Scots were entitled to vote by themselves on Scotland’s status in the UK.
Lesson 3: Secession is a good way to bargain
Centralizers fear secession to the point where they’re willing to throw a lot of perks at the secessionists. In Scotland’s case, the promises involved a lot of additional government welfare. Threatening secession can be a useful tactic to obtain additional autonomy. Moreover, it is always helpful to force a central government to submit to a referendum on its legitimacy.
Ultimately, however, what really matters to a controlling regime is the ability to inflate the money supply and control the financial system. Politicians from the Westminster government may be willing to part with many powers, but the power to inflate and control the banks will never be given up lightly.
Lesson 4: Centralization is Unnecessary for Economic Success
As predicted by a host of observers of trends in state legitimacy, the state’s status as the central fact in the political order of the world continues to decline with smaller national groups and economic regions breaking up the old order in favour of both local autonomy and international alliances. The Scottish secession effort is one example and the short-term defeat of the referendum will do little to alter the trend.
In addition, the economic realities of the modern world with constantly moving capital and labour will continue to undermine the modern nation-state which has been largely built on the idea of economic nationalism and the myth that economic self-sufficiency can only be retained within the UK.
The proliferation of trade among nations with huge national markets, labour forces, and a willingness to trade internationally has destroyed the UK government claims that only the nation-state can provide the markets, coercive power, and international clout necessary for economic growth.
Scots see access to international markets as something that is quite attainable without the added baggage of the UK central state to which they are presently beholden. Scotland does not need England to facilitate its trade with countries worldwide.
Small nations do very well when it comes to economic performance, and smallness is hardly a liability. The assertion that bigger is better was always easily disprovable but remained popular for centuries. The success of the Scottish secessionist claims that Scotland could indeed compete internationally has shown that the continued dominance of the old myth is breaking down.
The drive for regional independence and autonomy will continue to grow as economies stagnate, and the promises of the centralizing elites from London, Brussels or Rome or Madrid will fall on very deaf ears.
The fall out from the fruitless pursuit of Alex Salmond by Nicola Sturgeon
Sturgeon’s legal background was questioned during and on conclusion of the Holyrood inquiry into her handling of harassment complaints against Alex Salmond who successfully challenged her government’s “unlawful” and “biased” investigation at a judicial review, with the debacle costing the taxpayer up to £1m.
Rape Crisis Scotland also got involved after the event with its public support for two civil servants who at the time they came forward had said they desired only to speak with Sturgeon expressly ruling out any formal complaint of sexual harassment against Alex Salmond.
Their wishes had been ignored by Sturgeon’s government and when the judicial review ruled its actions unlawful and biased their cases were referred to the Crown Office against their will. And adding insult to injury in an act of gross betrayal, one of their names was leaked by a member of Sturgeon’s team to Alex Salmond’s former chief of staff. And to date, no one has been held to account for any part of the debacle.
The revelations of Rape Crisis Scotland also prompted a press response from a lady who alleged she had previously been on the receiving end of rough justice from Sturgeon at the time she was a solicitor with Stirling law firm Bell & Craig.
She said: “The way the women were let down was Sturgeon’s responsibility and it was completely wrong. The outcome of the judicial review was devastating for the government and wholly unsatisfactory for the two women who had made complaints. It goes back to my story; there was no responsibility taken. How can you sail through life like that and not admit any responsibility for when things go wrong? When she told me she was moving on to politics, an alarm bell rang and I immediately thought, that’s why I’m getting nowhere. She was focused on herself and her own career. To me, that’s what she is doing now as well. Where was her focus on the two women who complained about Alex Salmond?
Nov 1997: Sturgeon was investigated by the Scottish Law Society:
Sturgeon worked at Stirling law firm Bell & Craig when the client a battered wife turned to the newly-qualified solicitor for help in July 1996 after years of abuse at the hands of her husband.
Over the next 14 months, despite the woman being followed, threatened and physically attacked, it was claimed Sturgeon did not seek a court order against the woman’s violent partner. The matter was still unresolved when Sturgeon left the company for a new job in Glasgow.
A new solicitor was appointed and briefed by the client that Sturgeon had failed to send off her legal aid application despite claiming that she had done so. The unsent application was subsequently discovered in the client’s file. In stark contrast to Sturgeon’s inaction, the new solicitor immediately secured both legal aid and an interdict with the power of arrest against the husband ending his stalking and threats.
The client wrote to the Law Society in November 1997, saying: “I sincerely hope that you look into this case as I certainly would not wish Sturgeon to ill advise further matrimonial cases which she is clearly not capable of dealing with. The following month, the client’s outstanding fees totalling £542 were waived by Bell & Craig as a “goodwill gesture”.
A year later, in December 1998, the Law Society sent the client a five-page report which stated that her complaint would be investigated in the professional misconduct category. The three individual allegations were:
Failing to raise the interim interdict against the ex-husband.
Misleading the client about the legal aid application.
Failing to properly take her financial circumstances into account.
The Law Society of Scotland appointed a case manager, a solicitor, now Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov to investigate.
In a five-page report, dated Dec 1998, Olga Passportnikov concluded:
“Ms Sturgeon’s failure to provide competent legal services qualified as professional misconduct by breach of code of conduct and conduct unbecoming a solicitor.” She identified three counts ‘of professional misconduct by breach of code of conduct and conduct unbecoming a solicitor’. They were:
Failing to raise interdict.
Misleading client about legal aid application. The legal aid form had been completed and signed by the client and the client’s employers but not sent.
Failing to properly consider the client’s financial circumstances.
The Law Society of Scotland subsequently concluded that there should be no further action since Sturgeon had left the legal profession to contest a seat for the Scottish National Party entering politics without an on the record finding of professional misconduct by the Law Society of Scotland.
2018 The Professional misconduct story resurfaces
According to now-deleted tweets from a former journalist which has now been widely published online a story on the complaint regarding Nicola Sturgeon’s failure to provide adequate legal services to a victim of domestic violence, and the identification of several counts of professional misconduct against her by currently serving Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov had support from the editor of the Daily Record to be published that is until David Clegg the papers Political editor voted the story down.
The deleted tweet went on to allege that sometime later, the “Record” was leaked details of the harassment complaints against Alex Salmond and the investigation by Police Scotland which subsequently led to Alex Salmond being charged with multiple offences. He appeared in court on 21 November 2019 and entered a plea of “not guilty” and at the subsequent trial, Mr Salmond was cleared by a jury trial – heard by Scotland’s Lord Justice Clerk Lady Dorrian.
2015: Olga Pasportnikov the lawyer who previously found Nicola Sturgeon guilty of misconduct was appointed Sheriff of Inverness by the Queen on the recommendation of the First Minister
2021: The Justice Committee hearing of the Register of Judges Interests Petition PE 1458
This is the same Judicial Interests Register petition Nicola Sturgeon has tried to undermine and block since she became First Minister. If a Register of Judges’ Interests did become a requirement Sheriff Pasportnikov who found Nicola Sturgeon guilty of professional misconduct may be forced to list that fact and other details of her service to the Law Society of Scotland.
On Wednesday 3 March 2021 – the Judicial Office for Scotland was asked the following questions:
A currently serving Sheriff – Olga Pasportnikov – conducted an investigation of complaints lodged about Scotland’s current First Minister Nicola Sturgeon while she was a solicitor at a law firm identified as Bell & Craig. Ms Pasportnikov was, as the Judicial Office will be aware – a case manager for the Law Society of Scotland from September 1998 to March 2003.
In a five-page report released in December 1998, Olga Pasportnikov said: “The complaint, in this case, has been identified as professional misconduct by breach of code of conduct and conduct unbecoming a solicitor.”
Olga Pasportnikov found Ms Sturgeon guilty of 3 identifiable counts of professional misconduct: They were: failing to raise interdict as instructed, misleading the client about legal aid application, failing to properly consider the client’s financial circumstances. Ms Sturgeon quickly left the legal profession.
Noting Ms Pasportnikov currently declares her time at the Law Society of Scotland on her Linkedin page as a “case manager” – along with other career attributes including a term at the Crown Office as a Procurator Fiscal Depute, and her current role as a serving Sheriff. Does Sheriff Pasportnikov have any comment on the following questions:
Why she does not list her role in investigating complaints against solicitors?
Why did she find Ms Sturgeon guilty of 3 identifiable issues of professional misconduct?
Why did no regulatory punishment take place upon Sheriff Pasportnikov’s findings?
Does the Judicial Office have any comment on the above events and any comment on the impact of a currently serving Sheriff with a long history as a solicitor, prosecutor and now a judge – having found Scotland’s current First Minister Nicola Sturgeon guilty of three counts of professional misconduct to which no sanction was ever applied by legal regulators and never declared in any register of interests?
5 Mar 2021: The Judicial Office Response
(JOFS) issued a statement to the media claiming Sheriff Pasportnikov had forgotten she had investigated a complaint case involving the current First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. A spokesperson for the Judicial Office said:
“The Sheriff was one of a number of case managers working on the Law Society for Scotland’s Client Relations Team from 1998 – 2003. Her role was limited to that of gathering and categorising information as the first step in a much longer process. She did not produce any reports or make any findings. Covering a volume of work, she would not remember specific names in routine cases, including where a solicitor was cleared entirely.”
Comment: A response to the foregoing Judicial Office statement was submitted querying the JOFS claim, and confirming that material now in the public domain does confirm Sheriff Pasportnikov did, in fact, investigate a complaint against Nicola Sturgeon and that Sheriff Pasportnikov identified several breaches of professional misconduct by Ms Sturgeon.
To date, no reply to the additional query has been received, nor has the Judicial Office disputed the terms of questions & information supplied to JOFS staff. It would be difficult to believe a case relevant to the current First Minister was forgotten about by the investigating reporter Sheriff Pasportnikov as there is obviously only one Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland – the current First Minister.
A legal expert comments
An expert in law assessed the material now in the public domain and the deleted tweets from a former journalist who names the Scottish newspaper and a “spiked” story on Ms Sturgeon.
He said: “I hope the Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints will now scrutinise the information available and ask further questions of the First Minister in view of suggestions on social media platforms that a former journalist held this information for a number of years before approaching several newspapers seemingly without success. People may reasonably expect questions to be asked of why this story has not come to light until now and the method of travel to the media.”
“Was there a motive in withholding this story involving Scotland’s First Minister, either by a newspaper, a political party or a journalist? I am curious to find out. However, I am also curious as to why no one with the information offered the material in evidence to the long-running Scottish Parliament investigation of issues involving Alex Salmond given the First Minister responded to questions on what appear to be references to the investigation of Ms Sturgeon and a newspaper deal. MSPs should ask rigorous questions of anyone involved in this matter given the situation we face where information now exists alleging the Sheriff complaint probe of Scotland’s First Minister was allegedly swapped for a story on harassment complaints and a Police investigation of Alex Salmond in the summer of 2018”
A Judicial Interests Register would have required declaration of Sheriff’s role in FM Complaint:
It has been previously reported Nicola Sturgeon personally intervened to block the Judicial Register petition during a long-running investigation by the Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee. The surprise intervention by the First Minister in the bid to bring transparency to Scotland’s secretive judges came to light after a failed attempt by her then Legal Affairs Minister – Paul Wheelhouse – to overturn the petition with claims that ‘gangsters’ could misuse the information in a judges register. In the letter – dated 30 March 2015 – Nicola Sturgeon also revealed Legal Affairs Minister Paul Wheelhouse had a secret meeting in February 2015 with Lord Gill to discuss the petition and the Judiciary & Scottish Government’s concerted opposition to creating the Judicial Register.
Rhiannon Spear Glasgow City Council Councillor and SNP politician is quitting politics blaming “relentless abuse” for her decision.
Education: 2017 – 2021: the University of Glasgow LLBLaw (Doubled up as the SNP Councillor for Pollok) 2008 – 2012: University of Glasgow MA Creative and Cultural Studies Film and Television (summer workplace experience in television production) 2002 – 2006: Rothesay Academy. Highers (A, A, A, B, B) English, History, Maths, Art, Physics
Personality: She is strikingly attractive, highly intelligent and gifted with a natural ability to attract attention, unfortunately not always to her benefit. She is feisty, strong-willed and determined to succeed at any task she is minded to take on. She is media savvy and possesses first-class skills including the production of excellent graphics for social media presentation and discussion. One of her many character weaknesses is her abject inability to accept criticism and her single-minded approach to her work. She needs to learn that political life is not a Religion and she is not the Pope.
Relationships: Her partner, is Rhys Crilley, a native of Wakefield in West Yorkshire. A gifted academic, prolific writer and university lecturer at Glasgow University whose primary interests are in war, militarism, scandals and outrage. He also maintains close political relationships with senior SNP leaders and actively supports the policies to which his partner and the SNP are committed.
Politics: Joined the SNP in 2011. Jointly founded Generation Yes, the national youth campaign for independence in the run-up to the 2014 referendum. National Convenor of YSI for two years from 2015–17. Elected to the SNP’s NEC in 2016. Scottish Parliament Candidate for the Glasgow List in 2016.Elected Councillor for Greater Pollok in 2017. Successfully proposed motions at SNP Conference on all-female lists, inclusive education and raising the age of military recruitment to 18. Chairs TIE the LBGTI government-funded charity which is remitted to support Scottish Education bodies providing LGBT-inclusive education in Scottish Schools. Actively promoted the #Metoo movement denouncing sexual harassment on campus at the University of Glasgow.
LBGTI: She is the driving force behind WOKE campaigning individuals, groups, charities and formal groups promoting and implementing the WOKE agenda in all state schools in Scotland. The bulk of WOKE activities, including resources and staffing, (£3-5M) is funded by the Scottish taxpayer through the SNP government. The unhealthy influence of WOKE minded politicians is being planted across all aspects of Scottish society as each day passes.
2008-2014: Glasgow Unversity
Speaking about her experiences from 2008 until 2012 at the University of Glasgow where she was a Creative and Cultural Studies student said, “My experience of university was that rape culture was commonplace and male sexual aggression was normalised.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it since, trying to come to terms with that environment, and it has been a long process. I was sexually assaulted. I had naked pictures taken of me while I slept which were shared in group chats. That was common for girls, and people don’t realise how common it is.
Hyper heteronormative shows of masculinity by young men in their late teens and early 20s fuelled by lots of alcohol and a need to perform in front of friends. Groping hands, pulling off clothes and men exposing themselves to you on the dance floor in the union were all part of a night out.
Then there were the darker things that happened behind closed doors which were definitely not consensual that I am only now coming to terms with. At one event a guy dragged me into a cupboard, exposed himself to me and demanded I had sex with him. I remember saying that I didn’t want to touch him, and I wanted to get out. I did get out and I wanted to report it at the time, but I knew there was no point.
Then there was waking up to a guy having sex with me, I was sick as soon as I realised what was happening. I am only now able to call that what it really was.” (Glasgow Evening Times)
Young Scots for Independence: Young Scots for Independence (YSI) (SNP Youth) is represented on the SNP National Executive Committee and sends delegates to meetings of the SNP Annual National Conference.
Many YSI activists have since risen to prominence in the SNP, including Rhiannon Spear, Nicola Sturgeon, John Swinney and Fiona Hyslop.
In 2012, Humza Yousaf then a member of the YSI, was promoted to Government as Minister for International Development.
The YSI first flexed its muscle at the annual conference in 2012 when the Party debated NATO membership. The YSI decided on opposing membership because it was a nuclear alliance. Despite gaining 48% of the vote, the anti-NATO group lost and the SNP policy is now pro-NATO membership.
Jan 2014: Generation Yes
Generation Yes was established in January 2014 by Rhiannon Spear and Kirsten Thornton to campaign for a yes vote amongst young voters in the referendum on Scottish Independence. Despite the defeat, a poll taken after the 2014 referendum showed 71% of teenagers had voted yes. Spear said: We will continue to campaign for full enfranchisement in all elections for people aged 16 and 17.
Time for Inclusive Education (TIE)
2015: Founded by Jordan Daly (now with Stonewall) and Liam Stevenson, TIE raised awareness of the isolation and bullying faced by young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Scotland. In 2017, the Scottish Government launched a TIE led working group with the task of embedding LGBTI-inclusive education in the schools’ curriculum of Scotland.
Nov 2018: Scotland became the first country in the world to include compulsory LGBTI issues in school curricula after the government accepted in full a report from Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) outlining 33 recommendations on how to tackle LGBTI bullying in schools.
Scottish Deputy First Minister John Swinney said that state schools across Scotland will be required to educate pupils on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex issues, including LGBTI history, terminology and identities, and ways of tackling homophobia and prejudice. Other recommendations include providing training programs for teachers and offering new teaching materials to tackle LGBTI issues.
The First Minister gave the group her personal endorsement at Holyrood, telling MSPs: “I am a supporter of the TIE campaign, not just in their objectives but in the spirited way they go about trying to make sure that their objectives are taking forward. They will work with decision-makers, produce curriculum resources, and deliver services for teachers and pupils to raise awareness and heighten knowledge.” Swinney promised to fund the new programmes and additional teaching resources to support LGBTI-inclusive education.
All state schools now have to teach LGBTI equality and inclusion as part of the curriculum, including the teaching of LGBTI terminology and identities, tackling homophobia and prejudice, and the history of the equalities movement.
TIE was granted charitable status and appointed a Board of Trustees led by Rhiannon Spear who on her appointment said: “The campaign has challenged us all to think about what is possible. Although The Scottish Government’s announcement to Parliament, that LGBT-inclusive education will become a reality, has been the culmination of three years work – it is truly just the beginning.”
2019: TIE, the charity launched less than a year ago is in deep financial trouble as it prepared to upscale its operations. A spokesperson said that funding promised by the Government had not yet been provided and money was needed to fund the “massive demand” for its services.
The dissolution of TIE is a certainty without sustainable funding, of staff and resources. Expectations are that the charity will need to be supported by recurring annual funding of around £500,000.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We are fully aware of the funding difficulties currently being experienced by the TIE Campaign. We are carefully considering all options to further support the TIE Campaign in its important work with schools in Scotland.” The charity got its money and some.
Aug 2018: Loud, white men must get with the times: In a Tweet, Rhiannon Spear said: This week, I pointed out that an all-male panel at a political event was inadequate and called for at least one woman to be a voice. In response, I was called sexist and a fraud, sworn at, accused of being a BBC plant and labelled anti-independence by an online cohort made up overwhelmingly of white, older men. Apparently, being an elected representative of the SNP and dedicated campaigner for Scottish independence doesn’t meet the bar set to be a Yes voter.
Jan 2019: Rhiannon Spear, SNP Councillor scolds Andy Murray’s mother for Sharing a Pro-Women’s Rights Article: Scotland’s most eminent Women’s Tennis Coach, posted a link to an article on Twitter from Scottish newspaper, The National, about the importance of learning the lessons about the impact of transgenderism on women in Canada. Responding Spear took Judy to task for sharing a “transphobic and 14 years out of date article” hinted that she had not read the article in its entirety.
Spear’s response was met with an onslaught of criticism, for the sanctimonious and patronising tone of her tweet (for implying Murray shared something she hadn’t read) and the implicit ageism (suggesting she was out of touch with modern Scottish attitudes) and misogyny (assuming she didn’t fully understand what she had tweeted because, if she did, then presumably she wouldn’t identify with it because of the fact she’s a woman) in her tweets. She was also admonished for being out of touch with, and completely failing to comprehend, the relevant legislation she accused Murray of being out of step with. Her response to criticisms was less than acceptable.
Spear leads the government-funded TIE campaign in Scotland, which promotes gender ideology in our schools and the thought of this woman having any influence on school children is of increasing concern to many parents. Also of concern is her oft-repeated assertion that feminism is wack because it reduces womanhood to genitalia and reproductive ability. Then when a Scottish journalist offered that reducing womanhood to genitalia was already happening as a direct result of trans activism, not feminism, she accused the journalist of whipping up mob hysteria by fear. https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/3489880-Glasgow-Councillor-Tries-to-Scold-Judy-Murray
Jan 2019: Comments: Moll: This is very much her modus operandi with respect to every political topic she gets involved with: You’re either with her or against her. The last time she publicly maligned a popular pro-Scottish independence blogger as a transphobe and got exactly the same reaction. She maligned his 56k followers as being “part of the problem”, a huge portion of which belongs to her own political party and share her political ambitions. She’s very much of the view that if you don’t agree with her, then it’s because you need to reflect more. In my view, she’s a toxic extremist. And for all her qualms about not being reduced to her reproductive capacities, she wasn’t above using her miscarriage to garner up sympathy for herself and get her sycophants to go after a man she couldn’t have a reasoned discussion with.
Apr 2019: SNP politician accused of “promoting” sex work: Councillor Rhiannon Spear, chair of the TIE campaign which has successfully lobbied for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender education to be embedded in Scotland’s schools sparked claims from SNP colleagues she was “advocating” prostitution by posting a controversial tweet and a selfie with fellow SNP Councillor Christina Cannon, dominatrix Megara Furie and another unnamed woman at Glasgow City Chambers, saying “brilliant meeting Megara Furie + bringing sex workers into the City Chambers. Sex workers rights are human rights.”
Following up on social media she added, “Yesterday I met with Megara Furie to talk all things sex work. Did you know sex work includes trixs, submissives, cam work, phone + text services, dancers, masseuses, porn, escorting etc it’s not all street-based sale of sex?”
Another tweet from Spear enraged colleagues who said it questioned the law on pimping. She wrote “It’s currently illegal for workers to work together. It is illegal for a man (but not a woman) to live on money earned through sex work. So it would be illegal to live with your boyfriend. Does that sound safe?”
But SNP sources angrily claimed the tweets “promoted” sex work which SNP policy condemns as a form of violence against women. An SNP insider who withheld her name hit out at the tweets, saying they were “advocating prostitution”. and added “her views are not the views of the SNP nationally, or Glasgow’s SNP group.” and another said: “Given her youth education role with TIE, it is not appropriate to be promoting S&M.”
Feb 2019: Joan McAlpine is an unlikely rebel against the Scottish political establishment. The SNP MSP is chair of Holyrood’s culture and external affairs committee and a former parliamentary aide to Alex Salmond. She is gender-critical, or, in the prosecutorial terms of her detractors, a trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF).
Recently she began asking awkward questions about the campaign to give the force of law to relatively new and largely untested theories about sex, gender and identity only to be denounced by SNP councillor Rhiannon Spear, chair of the LGBT education lobby, TIE who accused her of “stoking a fire” and “wilfully ignoring the advice of service providers who have been working in the industry for decades”.
It is not the first time Joan has fallen foul of the SNP gendarmerie who police the views of feminists and other gender dissenters. In February, her committee recommended that the sex question in the Scottish census “should remain binary” and posted a Twitter thread outlining their concerns, which were:
Including a “non-binary” option risked devaluing the data on a protected characteristic (sex) under the Equality Act. They also wondered why so many women’s groups, especially those in receipt of taxpayers’ money, had dogmatically adopted the transgender ideology while failing to represent women who disagreed.
This prompted an extraordinary 1,400-word open letter in which some of Scotland’s leading third-sector groups took her to task over the Twitter thread. Signatories to the statement, which rebuked her for “sharing an inaccurate, partial, and negative assessment” of their work, included Close the Gap (which received £205,000 from the Scottish Government in 2018/19), Engender Scotland (£225,350) and Equate Scotland (£331,019).
Even in the unforgiving world of Scottish politics, the backlash against Joan was vicious. She told the press: “They try to shut you up by labelling you and othering you, by using extremist language. This isn’t just about trans people’s rights; they have the same human rights as everyone else and extra protections in the Equality Act and hate legislation, and that’s quite rightly so. This is about women’s rights and how the changes being pushed for impact women.”
Joan may be a Nationalist bomb-thrower but on gender, she has been moderate and measured. No one sincerely interested in a debate can credibly dismiss her thoughtful interventions or her temperate tone, including on proposals to amend the Gender Recognition Act to abandon medically-supported gender recognition certificates in favour of self-identification.
For the most part, Joan’s campaign has been a lonely one. Other MSPs agree but have hitherto been reluctant to invite controversy. No wonder. Only a few days before, the contents of private messages between three female SNP MSPs were leaked, exposing them as critics of Nicola Sturgeon’s breathless enthusiasm for the trans agenda.
The backlash served as a warning to other women not to step out of line if they don’t want their political careers jeopardised. The trans movement has co-opted the gay and lesbian struggle to convince doubters they are on “the wrong side of history”.
The tactic is a parallel of their ideology’s efforts to conflate sex and gender but the two are not the same. Maleness or femaleness is a fact of biology while masculine or feminine identity is the product of social conditioning and performance. Sex is data, gender is narrative. (https://twitter.com/JoanMcAlpine/status/1101251118611525633)
Aug 2020: Councillor Rhiannon Spear to spearhead the new SNP women’s mentoring programme: In a statement, she said, “Women make up over half of the population in Scotland but only 35% of those elected to the Scottish Parliament. That needs to change. Women are impacted by every decision that is taken in any parliament or local authority in Scotland. To allow decisions to have the best outcome for women our elected members should be representative of the communities they represent and made up of as many diverse voices as possible. So in order to encourage more women to stand the SNP has put in place measures that will remove the barriers that women face when they stand for election. Starting now any woman thinking of standing will be supported through the candidate self-assessment process through the SNP Women’s Mentoring Project. The project that I am leading is specifically for women who are interested in standing in the Local Government Election in 2022. The aim is that by the end of the project they will be confident enough to successfully stand to be selected and elected.”
Apr 2021: The Equality Network: Is a government-funded lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) equality and human rights charity. Its influence over SNP policies and many areas of Scottish society is absolute. Political Party’s will be expected to conform to the LGBTI agenda or face oblivion at the ballot box.
But the electorate may not subscribe to the changes without consultation of which there has been very little, to date. People are afraid of change and this might well be reflected in the way in which they cast their votes in the council elections in May 2022. In response to the possibility of dissent the commitment of political parties in Scotland to social and changes in the laws of Scotland, their network is being monitored so that conformity can be maintained.
May 2019: Ukraine Anti-Corruption President Elected
Ukraine from the date of its independence in 1991 has had five presidents. The political legacy of all was one of political intrigues, corruption, dancing to the tunes of oligarchs and foreign powers and devoid of any popular support from the long-suffering and impoverished Ukrainian people. The present incumbent is 41 year old, Jewish born Volodymyr Zelensky, who before taking on the role of President on 20 May 2019 enjoyed a career in the entertainment industry including participation in a popular televised comic student-led quiz show the success of which provided him with public exposure as a comedian, actor and screenwriter. In his campaign for the Presidency, he declined to align himself with any political policies in preference for popularist addresses to the public in which he said that he represented a fresh start for Ukraine and he would end the graft, criminal influence and power of corrupt politicians and oligarchs who illegally transferred the wealth of the nation to personal off-shore accounts and properties all over the world. He was elected to office by 73% of the electorate.
Aug 2019: Stewart McDonald MP for Glasgow South
Stewart McDonald’s interest in Ukraine and Russia is quite remarkable. Until 2018, he showed little or no interest in the countries, but then, following an opaquely funded and organized jolly to Ukraine, he suddenly transformed into an ardent opponent of Moscow. He also became a passionate supporter of the British establishment position on foreign policy. Perhaps it was the chicken Kiev that turned his head. But he was rewarded for his efforts with the presentation of the “Third Class of the Order of Merit of Ukrainian” award from President Zelensky for his significant personal contribution to strengthening the international prestige of Ukraine, the development of interstate cooperation and fruitful public activities.
Oct 2021: President Zelensky and the Pandora Papers
As the avatar of reform, Zelensky promised to take down the oligarchs with their untouchable offshore assets and break their magic walls of influence throughout the country. But Some things never change in Ukrainian politics, where power brokers with offshore wealth hold the reins. the revelation that Zelensky has his own impregnable offshore assets of ambiguous legality is yet another blow to his already damaged reputation.
The 12 million files analyzed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists revealed, among others, the international financial schemes of 38 highly placed Ukrainians, the most of any country. The papers show that Zelensky and his friends set up their chain of offshore companies long before they ever considered going into politics.
When Zelensky was about to be elected president in 2019, he handed his share over to his closest adviser, Serhiy Shefir. But the papers revealed that under the arrangement, dividends would keep flowing to a company owned by Zelensky’s wife Olena. Much of these assets went undeclared. What’s also troubling is that there’s also evidence that Zelensky’s offshore companies received payments from entities connected to Ihor Kolomoisky, the billionaire oligarch that airs Zelensky’s shows.
Some of that money may have been stolen by Kolomoisky through PrivatBank from Ukrainians. Thus far, Kolomoisky has faced no criminal charges in the $5.5 billion bank fraud that forced Ukraine to bail out the nation’s largest bank and take ownership in 2016, although he faces civil lawsuits and at least one criminal investigation in the U.S.
These revelations show that far from being different, Zelensky is a lot like his arch-rival, the oligarch and former President Petro Poroshenko, who was revealed to have a massive offshore network in the previous Panama Papers leak in 2016. Zelensky is not dissimilar to other oligarchs he vowed to take down.
Conforming with the law Common Purpose registered as a charity in the UK in 1989. But it is in reality an international political organisation masquerading as a charity, with leaders of a new order being trained and placed in key positions. A networking organisation it is dependent upon total secrecy for its success and continued existence. It maintains control over its membership through a near guarantee of employment support locating and placing them in employment in powerful and well rewarded positions. The aide extends to covering for their mistakes. Other benefits are gained from access to its secret network. In return graduates are expected to be loyal to the directives of the organisation, instead of to their own departments, which they then undermine subvert or exploit assisting the growth of the organisation. Over 120,000 leaders world wide have contributed to or participated in a Common Purpose programme a number which grows by round 3,000 people annually. The tentacles of the organisation are wide reaching.
Common Purpose – Financing
More than 20,000 people have attended training courses at a cost of around £6k each. Answering a “Freedom of Information” the “Department for Work and Pensions” confirmed it had spent £238k sending selected members of its staff on, “Common Purpose” courses. And the Tory Party, “Cabinet Office Leadership Committee” and 200 Civil Servants. also attended courses confirming that the organisation is making significant inroads within the Civil Service. It is also a key element of the Tory Party machinery enhancing the possibility of corruption, abuse of freedom of information rules and murky deals hidden from public view.
Common Purpose – A Closed Society
Common Purpose controllers do not deny trying to identify future leaders but say their agenda is merely to open up the potential for success to a more diverse range of people. In support of this the organisation’s website says: “We are always balanced and owe no historical or other allegiance to any other group.” But should public funded institutions such as the Civil Service, government ministries, the legal profession, police, Journalism, Quango’s, local authorities, The Health Service and the BBC pay money to a charity to host training courses which are essentially networking opportunities for staff? And the organisation is not the most open since all of it’s business is conducted under, “Chatham House” rules. Which means everything that is said in dialogue or meetings is unattributable.
Common Purpose – Media Control
The organisation’s control of the press and media is backed by its high level collaboration with governments of all persuasions meaning the end of free, open and accurate press and media reporting. Add to the foregoing behavioural change broadcasts to the people through programmes operated by “Applied Behavioural Psychology Units” and George Orwell’s predictions are no longer fiction. A member of the Commons media select committee, said. “Common Purpose is a very secretive organisation which parliament would do well to be wary of. “It is trying to get its tentacles into every nook and cranny of the establishment to pursue their political agenda. Common Purpose does not want a free press because a free press would expose what it is up too.”
Common Purpose – The Rotherham Scandal
The scandal concerning the industrial scale of abuse of young children in Rotherham provided an opportunity to bring into sharp public focus any networks of Common Purpose operatives found within the strategic partnerships made up of various public sector organisations in Rotherham and the wider geographical area.The “Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham 1997 – 2013” is very uncomfortable reading. Extracts from the Executive Summary:
“Our conservative estimate is that approximately 1400 children were sexually exploited over the Inquiry period, from 1997 to 2013. They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten, and intimidated. There were examples of children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone. Girls as young as 11 were raped by large numbers of male perpetrators.
Over the first twelve years covered by this Inquiry, the collective failures of political and officer leadership were blatant. The Police gave no priority to child sex exploitation and regarded many child victims with contempt and failed to treat their abuse as a crime. Further stark evidence came in 2002, 2003 and 2006 with three reports known to the Police and the Council, which could not have been clearer in their description of the situation in Rotherham. For 16 years, not only did the police and social services turn a blind eye, sometimes the police even harassed those who were whistle-blowers. Is there a provable behind the scenes connection between those leading South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham MBC Officers? Read the full article which exposes the widespread presence of Common Purpose managers in positions of responsibility. (http://www.ukcolumn.org/article/rotherham-common-purpose-effect)
Born in Southwark, London on 2 September 1962. His parents were Labour Party supporters, and named him after the party’s first parliamentary leader, Keir Hardie. Raised in Oxted, Surrey he attended Reigate Independent Grammar School, then graduated from Leeds University with a BA(Law) in 1985remaining in education he gained a postgraduate BA (Civil Liberty) from Oxford University in 1986.
He became a barrister in 1987 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel (QC) on 9 April 2002. From 2003–08, he was the human rights adviser to the Policing Board in Northern Ireland before taking up a similar role with the Foreign Office.
Education and politics 1962-2008:
He excelled at school and at university achieving excellent grades and qualifications in law and civil liberties and his career as a lawyer was praiseworthy in part due to the human rights causes/trials he successfully supported/defended,(many pro-bono). In the years before university his political leaning was similar to that of Jeremy Corbyn. His views mellowed at university and he identified more with the political ideology of Gordon Brown.
He married Victoria J Alexander b1963, in 2007. They have 2 children and live in Camden North London. Victoria is Jewish and has family in Tel-Aviv, Israel. the couple’s children are being raised in the Jewish faith.
Speaking to the Jewish Chronicle about his family he said “As you probably know my wife’s family is Jewish. On her father’s side there are bar mitzvahs, synagogues there’s all the traditions. On Friday’s my wife’s family gather at our Camden home for supper. It is about just being with the family.
He told the Jewish news: “I absolutely support the right of Israel to exist as a homeland. My only concern is that Zionism can mean slightly different things to different people, and to some extent it has been weaponized. I wouldn’t read too much into that. I said it loud and clear and meant it that I support Zionism without qualification.” He also told the Jewish Chronicle: “If the definition of ‘Zionist’ is someone who believes in the state of Israel, in that sense I’m a Zionist.”
afternote: Starmer is reputedly very protective of his wife and family and has withheld information from the public, other than the scant details already in circulation. I possess the knowledge but honouring his wishes I will not reveal it.
2008-2013: Poacher turns Gamekeeper
He was appointed Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in 2008, and held these roles until 2013. Abandoning his work as a private practitioner for a high profile career in the employ of the State was risky and surprised many since his exposure to criminal law and personnel management was limited and taking charge of over 8000 employees was a daunting task even for an experienced professional.
The CPS under the previous DPP, had started allocating advocacy work in-house and Starmer fast tracked the process determined to enforce the policy regardless of criticism and/or opposition, claiming the benefits of financial savings and consistent prosecutions to be paramount. The DPP and the CPS under his leadership merged and transformed into a state run investigation and prosecution agency, similar to the FBI.
The Chairman of the Bar, was not convinced the changes were in the public interest and expressed concerns that the transfer of the bulk of prosecution work to employees of the State could compromise the independence of process provided by self employed counsel. In his inaugural speech he said:
“the ever expanding monolith of the state prosecutor may have detrimental consequences for the independence of the prosecuting service or at least the perceptions of its independence.”
This early warning of the potential excesses of a state run command and control, centralising, leader, is to be found in the conduct of the FBI and J Edgar Hoover:
“For years the FBI was widely suspected of using questionable or illegal methods to gain information. Its counter intelligence programme penetrated suspect organizations and used state resources to disrupt and discredit them. After Hoover’s death a congressional committee investigated and documented the FBI’s surveillance of groups and individuals, many of whom had done no more than exercise their First Amendment rights to criticize the government. The committee concluded that the FBI had often abused its powers, spying illegally on U.S. citizens persecuting those who opposed the will of the State.”
Widespread abuse of the public by British police infiltration of environmental and anti-capitalist protest groups
In 2011, the trial of an environmental activist accused of plotting to break into Ratcliffe power station collapsed after it emerged that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had withheld vital evidence. The evidence was comprised of a number of recordings an undercover spy-cop named Kennedy, had made of planning meetings.
20 people previously prosecuted from the same evidence had their convictions overturned and a further 29 people convicted of blocking a train carrying coal to Drax power station also had their convictions quashed due to Kennedy’s involvement.
Starmer who was present in court the day the case was thrown out later said that the spy-cop’s actions were not systematic. But they were. In 2015, it was reported that 83 people could have been wrongfully convicted after evidence of spy-cop involvement had been withheld. And details of exactly how systematic it was are still surfacing.
The campaign group “Opposing Police Surveillance” claimed “If the 150 or so officers under investigation have similar tallies (as Kennedy), it means about 7,000 wrongful convictions are being left to stand. It may well be that “spy cops” are responsible for the biggest nobbling of the judicial system in English history.
The scandal wasn’t just the police. Released papers showed the Crown Prosecution Service had been deeply involved. They knew about the plan before the arrests and they worked with the police to withhold evidence from the defence and the courts.
Starmer as DPP, promoted the report and agreed to be interviewed on television by Jeremy Paxton. Clearly untrained for media appearance’s his rapid eye movement under questioning was clearly evident when he lied.
Paxman opened by asking if Starmer could be sure there were no other cases of spy cops being in prosecuted groups of activists apart from Kennedy. Starmer did the blinking thing and said that the public had to accept the discredited conclusions of the report. Which was not an answer to the question, so Paxman asked again….It made for excruciating viewing.
Starmer went on to say “if anyone suspects a co-defendant might have been a spy cop, tell me.” But identifying an undercover cop is akin to getting burgled, finding a fingerprint and the police saying “come to us if you know whose print it is”. It is a proven fact that police officers deceived the courts and orchestrated wrongful convictions for decades, and they did it with the active collusion of the Crown Prosecution Service.
As head of the CPS, Starmer knew this but, rather than try to expose it, he covered it up, saying it was only rogue officer Kennedy who had been involved even though the public knew this to be false.
As DPP, Starmer also worked with Nick Paul, the CPS National Coordinator for Domestic Extremism, even though that term had no legal definition and thus no meaning in law. As the Undercover Research Group reported, Paul was in a powerful position of control from the start, overruling senior police as he steered the case.
Which raised unanswered questions about his role in other cases. He had already helped create another miscarriage of justice the previous year, securing the wrongful convictions for the ‘Drax 29’ group of climate activists. The CPS refused to reveal which other cases he had handled. And this raised questions about Starmer’s suitability for Labour’s top job, particularly for anyone who was ever photographed or filmed attending a protest and could be loosely labelled a domestic extremist.
Police working “deep” undercover were encouraged to establish long-term sexual relationships with female suspects and their supporters.
Mae Benedict, mother of a young child who was spied on said “This is about my people, our people, us. It’s hard to explain to generations below us the immense damage that these bastards did to us, not just as activists, as a community, but on a personal level, and much more so for those closest to them.
This will never, ever be forgiven or forgotten. Starmer was head of an organisation that supported and enabled political policing. And even if he didn’t have an oversight of what was happening with spy cops, he was happy to be part of the system. Starmer’s work as the DPP is a classic case of poacher turned gamekeeper. (The Canary)
On 7 July 2005, 52 people were killed and more than 700 people wounded in coordinated suicide bombings across the London’s transport system, the deadliest terrorist incident on British soil since the Lockerbie bombing in 1988. Two weeks later, the capital was targeted again, but the explosives failed to detonate. Police found a lead for the suspects in the unexploded bag – an address in Scotia Road, Tulse Hill.
Menezes, who had been working as an electrician in London since 2002 and lived on Scotia Road, was wrongly identified as (Hussain Osman) one of the suspects, Police followed Menezes to Stockwell station and onto a train, where they pinned him down and shot him seven times in the head and once in the shoulder.
Scotland Yard was fined £175,000 for breaching health and safety laws, but the CPS said there was less than a 50% chance of convicting any individual officers, based on insufficient evidence that an offence had been committed.
The inquest jury decided that Jean had not been killed lawfully, that many terrible mistakes had been made and they did not accept police officers’ accounts of the incident.
On review the CPS agreed that there had been inconsistencies in the officers evidence to the inquest jury, but pointed out that there were also inconsistencies in other witness accounts. The reviewing lawyer said: “I concluded that in the confusion of what occurred on the day, a jury could not be sure that any officer had deliberately given a false account of events.”
In the first few months following his appointment Starmer, in a High Court appeal lodged by the family upheld the decision not to prosecute the officers who had executed de Menezes. Stating that there was not enough evidence which would make him reconsider the earlier decision not to prosecute more senior officers for negligence. Full story here: (https://gizmonaut.net/blog/uk/menezes_health_and_safety.html)
The Unlawful Killing of Ian Tomlinson
On 1 April 2009, in the midst of a huge protest against the G20 summit in London, newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson, was violently assaulted by Metropolitan police officer, Simon Harwood causing severe internal bleeding and his death. The incident was captured on video, and there were multiple witnesses.
Intent on justifying the assault the police lied, claiming protesters had thrown missiles at them when they were applying first aid to Tomlinson. They also instructed journalists not to talk to Tomlinson’s relatives and withheld information from his family. The so-called ‘Independent’ Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) repeatedly failed to handle the case correctly.
The police selected pathologist Freddy Patel to perform a post-mortem examination and asked him to “rule out any assault or crush injuries associated with public order”. Patel incorrectly concluded that Tomlinson had died from a a heart attack a finding crucial in preventing any conviction of Harwood. But two further examinations suggested Tomlinson had actually died of an abdominal haemorrhage caused by blunt force trauma to his back. Patel was struck off a few years later following a GMC investigation of 29 allegations of incompetence. Too late for Tomlinson.
In July 2010, Starmer announced the decision not to prosecute police officer Harwood in relation to the death of Ian Tomlinson leading to accusations by Tomlinson’s family of a police cover-up. After a subsequent inquest found that Tomlinson had been unlawfully killed, he announced that Harwood would be prosecuted for manslaughter. The officer was acquitted in July 2012 by a jury, but dismissed from the police for gross misconduct. Afternote: Three weeks after the announcement of the not guilty verdict the press released this information which had not been provided to the jury:
“PC Simon Harwood had a disciplinary record littered with complaints of aggressive behaviour and misconduct and once admitted being sent into “red mist mode”, In August 2001, a note was entered on his record to say that he would not be disciplined but he would be compulsory retired on medical grounds because of ongoing problems purportedly arising from a 1998 car accident. Three days after leaving the service he was reemployed by the Metropolitan Police Force as a member of its civilian staff. In April 2003 Harwood, (despite his record) successfully applied to join the Surrey Police Force as an officer. In January 2004 yet another allegation of aggressive behaviour was made against him, this time by one of his own colleagues.” So much for British justice.
2011 Rioting and Starmers “Lock em up” policy
During the 2011 riots, he intervened and introduced a policy prioritizing the rapid prosecution and long term incarceration of rioters, which he justified saying that the policy had been instrumental in bringing “the situation under control.”
Later that year following the revelations of police infiltration of environmental and anti-capitalist protest groups, he was forced to order a review of the convictions and invited protestors convicted of aggravated trespass to appeal their sentences. But he declined to authorise a wider enquiry, after a report from Judge Rose said issues arising were attributed to individual fault rather than a systemic problem.
The DPP/CPS and Jimmy Savile – The belated review of the police investigation and CPS indecision
In 2007 and 2008, Surrey Police investigated three complaints that Savile had “engaged in sexual behaviour with young girls”. During the same period, Sussex Police investigated a similar complaint involving a young woman.
Savile was interviewed under caution by police in October 2009 and denied wrongdoing. He was not arrested. No prosecution was brought in relation to any of the four complaints, on the grounds that none of the victims were “prepared to support any police action”, for example testifying in court.
Savile died in October 2011. After his death, it emerged that he sexually abused hundreds of children and women at locations including hospitals, schools and the BBC.
In January 2013, when news of his abuse was revealed, an investigation into whether the CPS had been right not to charge Savile in 2009 was published by Alison Levitt QC. who reported that she had “reservations” about the prosecutor’s decision not to press charges.
She said: “On the face of it, the allegations made were both serious and credible; the prosecutor should have recognised this and sought to “build” a prosecution.” She said the police treated the victims and the accounts they gave “with a degree of caution which was neither justified nor required”. Three of the victims told her that had they had received more information from the police at the time of the investigation and particularly if each had been told she was not the only woman who had complained they would “probably have been prepared to give evidence.”
Ms Levitt said that, in the case of two of the allegations, there would have been a “realistic prospect of conviction” if the women had given evidence. “Having spoken to the victims I have been driven to conclude that had the police and prosecutors taken a different approach a prosecution might have been possible,” she wrote. Ms Levitt was critical of the approach taken by both the CPS’ reviewing lawyer and the police in failing to build a prosecution against Savile in 2009.
2011: Operation Elvden – The Wtch Hunt
Starmer authorised a legal witch hunt by the Metropolitan Police and Crown Prosecution Service’s against journalists of the Sun newspaper, using as an excuse, an almost unheard of 13th century law “misconduct in a public office”.
The hunt (Operation Elvden) included dawn raids and searches on suspects’ homes. He attempted to shift the blame onto his successors when the botched £30 million probe fell apart.
Despite acknowledging that not a single one of the 24 Sun journalists arrested were convicted, he would not say sorry. Yet he was in charge when the five year process was launched. Senior MPs from across the political divide called for an investigation into the catastrophe and changes in the law so that the abuse of the public by the state would not be repeated. (The Sun)
2013: Benefit cheaters in his sights
Starmer introduced new sentencing guidelines threatening individuals found to be guilty of improperly claiming welfare benefits with up to ten years in prison. His critics levelled against him, the claim that he was the most contemptible of Labour archetypes, “the class traitor.”
Nov 2010: Jack Straw Labour MP for Blackburn Alerts the UK to Sexual abuse of young white girls by Pakistani men
A gang of men were convicted of systematically grooming and sexually abusing teenage girls in Derbyshire. Many of the victims were given alcohol or drugs before being forced to have sex in cars, rented houses or hotels across the Midlands. One girl described a sexual assault involving at least eight men. The nine men were convicted during three separate trials at Leicester Crown Court.
Straw said increasing numbers of Pakistani Muslim men view white girls as “easy meat” for sex abuse and highlighted it was endemic in Blackburn and in many other areas with significant Muslim populations across England.
Aug 2014: Pakistani Grooming gangs reportedly raped near a million underage non-Muslim girls and the CPS failed their pleas for justice
Jack Straw’s warning was ignored by the DPP and the CPS. Four years and 1 million more rapes later the UK public was outraged and angered by party political attempts shift the blame away from the State onto the victims. Reports suggested that there were around 1,400 raped Yorkshire children, (a conservative estimate) given there were multiple rapes on each child. Adding in the Pakistani Muslim grooming operating in Oxford, Bradford, Rochdale, Newcastle and other cities in England takes the count of rapes committed by Pakistani Muslim men against white children into the millions.
The judge in the Oxford case said the brutal rapists demeaned their victims because they did not share the men’s “religion and culture”. Nor is it a “small number” of Muslims. It is an endemic problem in Muslim-dominated towns and cities. The UK public needs to see justice. That means more than “historic abuse” “no blame game” “no party politics” “look to the future” and all the other rubbish politicians wheel out. We don’t need “the police”, “the council”, “the CPS”. We need names and prosecutions.
Police officers who abetted rape of children need to go to jail. And another thing who will be responsible for prosecuting members of the CPS for their misconduct? Keir Starmer, the highly politicised Director of Public Prosecutions, said his CPS did not prosecute because they made assumptions about the credibility of the evidence of victims. So the DPP and the CPS took on the role of judge and jury and failed the abused children. Why?
It was Labour who did this in Rotherham and Rochdale to win Muslim votes. Labour police, Labour PCCs, Labour councillors, Labour-leaning prosecutors. The Rotherham report says a Conservative councillor brought his concerns to the leader but was told not to make it public. Head of Children’s Services Joyce Thacker told The Times she would punish the leaker and in 2008 Labour gave her an OBE. For Services to Young People. Labour’s greedy, sleazy pandering to Muslim votes brought us Sharia tribunals. Labour set them up in law. Postal vote fraud, uncontrolled immigration, Trojan Horse schools, and now this sick hell.
The Pakistani immigrant community has not fully integrated into British life. Instead of spreading out over the country and adopting British values whilst retaining their own religion they have been encouraged to massively dominate a few towns where they attempt to impose their culture on others. Social planning needs to address the undesirability of one community” taking over an English town or city. We have seen that with our mixed Afro-Caribbean heritage Britons, with Jewish-heritage Britons and all classes and races up until now.
Politicians, the Media and the Press are persistent in their use of the expression “The Pakistani Community” providing confirmation of the failed immigration policy of the labour Party who actively encouraged mass uncontrolled immigration of Pakistani immigrants so that they would be able to gain their votes in future elections. Reference to “the community” should address all citizens regardless of ethnic origin.(The Sun)
White girls abused by Muslim child rape gangs should shut their mouths for the good of diversity
Labour Party leader, Sir Keir Starmer has promoted MP Naseem ‘Naz’ Shah, who infamously shared a tweet stating “Those abused girls in Rotherham and elsewhere just need to shut their mouths for the good of diversity”. The British-Pakistani Labour MP for Bradford West liked and shared a tweet in 2017 admonishing white, English girls who spoke out about being raped and sexually enslaved by organised gangs of Muslim paedophiles.
The UK has been rocked by a never-ending stream of scandals involving predominantly Muslim men targeting white English girls from working class backgrounds for sexual exploitation.
Most shockingly of all is the fact that authorities and the mainstream media were aware of this for years if not decades but refused to act, even when girls and parents pleaded for help, for fear of being accused of racism by PC fanatics.
The Labour MP for Rotherham, a town where Muslim child raping gangs were allowed to operate for years with impunity, Sarah Champion, has said that up to 1 million English girls are likely to have fallen victim to Muslim rape gangs as of 2016.
Keir Starmer Aided by The John Smith Foundation To Launch Their Assault on Scotland
The Leader of the Labour party, Sir Keir Starmer will launch a new devolution deal for Holyrood as part of an attempt to revive Labour’s fortunes in Scotland. The pressure has been building in within the Labour movement pushing the party towards a “devo-max” proposal that would see the Scottish Parliament take control of more powers and would also include the reform of the House of Lords to give greater representation to the UK’s nations and regions at Westminster.
In his address to the John P. Mackintosh Memorial Lecture on Friday 11 December, he will give the first indication of his constitutional offer to Scots before next May’s Holyrood election.*
*Cancelled due to covid lockdown.
He is also rumoured to be planning to displace Richard Leonard who will be forced to give up his role as leader of the Labour Party in Scotland.
So a full-on fightback is in the wind and I expect the John Smith Foundation and its supporters will muster all guns in their support. This is a do or die moment in their history and the 5th columnists and 77 Brigade will be active. Read on and get a more informed view of past events.
Judged by the Company they Keep
Effective political strategy nullifies opposition and is usually revealed after the event But the SNP under the leadership of Nicola Sturgeon and her supporters are so confident they have absolute control and that any challenges to their political agenda can be first contained then eliminated.
A number of vociferous individuals in the “Sturgeonista Group” only joined the Party within the last ten years and their pedigree and political affiliation are questionable.
Fifth Columnists and the Havoc They Generate
The Westminster, London based Zionist financial cartel loosely titled the Government of the people is well versed in the art of deception and its response to the scare of the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum was swift and decisive.
Remedial action was necessary to maintain unionist control and this required that the SNP should first be neutered then merged with the Labour Party branch in Scotland. The mission would be achieved over a period not exceeding ten years through the use of fifth Columnists who would join the SNP and operate from within bringing about fundamental changes to the pursuit of Scottish independence.
What follows is conjecture but is based on my near 60 years of political activism in Scotland. If only 20% of what I offer up is true then the SNP government will be forever dammed by its actions and betrayal of the founding principle of the Party, namely full independence for Scotland and divorce from the Westminster Zionist elite that control it.
Westminster Strategy Exposed
Glasgow University, a safe haven for Unionists for over 300 years has been selected by Westminster to be the operational control centre. Baroness Smith, the master spy and widow of Bilderberger, the Late John Smith, has set up the John Smith Centre to operate from there.
SNP members are linked to the discredited charity, a front for the Fife-based Integrity Initiative and 77 Brigade Spying organisations controlled and funded by the Foreign Office in Westminster.
The SNP spokesperson for Defence & Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Stewart McDonald MP, Douglas Chapman MP, Chris law MP and SNP frontbench adviser Neal Stewart, enjoyed a fully-funded trip to Ukraine in 2018. The funding source has never been revealed. In Westminster afterwards, they regularly took up parliamentary time criticizing Russia. But contributed not a jot about Scottish Independence.
Members of the group and its leader Alyn Smith MP also featured in the November 2020 paper from the SNP Westminster group submitted to the UK Government integrated review of foreign policy and defence. Amid the verbiage, there is a clear shift towards multilateralism, a disingenuous softening of the party’s commitment to unilaterally ratifying the UN Treaty on Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons, and a call for Lossiemouth to be the hub for combined Scottish, UK and US P-8 maritime bombers. This is causing deep concern among veteran anti-nuclear campaigners inside the SNP. See: (https://www.conter.co.uk/blog/2020/11/17/snp-the-week-the-gloves-came-off)
A number of SNP MSP’s succumbed to the temptation of the American dollar and followed trails previously trod by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in the 1990s when they left the UK as staunch supporters of Unilateral disarmament only to return two weeks later as confirmed Multilateralist inline with the policies of the USA. In Jul 2016, Labour Party Leader Kezia Dugdale MSP, Jenny Gilruth MSP, Nicola Sturgeon’s Civil Service chief of staff (the Executioner) Elizabeth Lloyd and Daily Record Journalist David Clegg enjoyed a two-week working holiday in the USA.
The invitation to attend the all-expenses-paid jaunt had been extended by the organisers of the USA Government-funded International Visitor Leadership Programme. The inclusion of a pseudo civil servant and a tabloid journalist surprised some. Clegg would go on to later exclusively reveal intimate details of charges of sexual harassment against Alex Salmond. The government official that leaked the information has never been revealed.
Gerrymandering the Membership of the NEC By the NEC
The election of the NEC in 2020 had the potential to bring about a fundamental change of the party in its present form since its NEC will decide the future direction of the party. The choice for independence tactics will be polarized between two factions. The WOKE activists who favour the “Gradualist” approach” or the “Fundamentalists” who prefer direct action.
Anticipating the election of a significant number of “fundamentalists” the NEC imposed new and restrictive rules on branch management ensuring that NEC would be enabled to veto and force changes to candidate shortlists so that a marked prevalence of WOKE activists would be listed as candidates. The process was duly adopted early in November.
This is the real reason the present NEC membership, choc-a-bloc with WOKE activists postponed the Party conference from June until late November 2020. The NEC needed to be sure the fundamentalists had been castrated.
Where were we 6 months short of the next Scottish General Election?
The issue of Scottish independence is no longer a negative factor and if the political scene remains as it is the campaign will yet again pit the SNP against the Tory Party. The Green’s will gather second choice votes sufficient to ensure the return of a similar number of list MSP’s as will the Liberal Democrats. The Labour Party will be squeezed further and might suffer more losses resulting in its relegation to fourth Party status at Holyrood. But tactical voting might yet dictate a different outcome.
A new Party pledged to the cause of Scottish Independence, without compromise might yet emerge and persuade the electorate to transfer their second vote from the SNP to it which would ensure a parity of voting providing Nationalists with a significant majority over all other party’s. This approach would add strength to the cause of independence since Unionists arguments would largely fall on deaf ears.
ALBA was formed only a few weeks before the Scottish election but failed to achieve a breakthrough due to negative campaigning against it by the WOKE motivated SNP leadership.
And What About Indy Ref 2?
The question is best answered by harking back to the 2014 referendum when only 2 days before the vote the Unionists played their final card and offered Devo max, an option just short of total independence, for a “no” vote. Scots were attracted by the ploy which was publically supported by the entire Unionist community and the Queen herself. Gordon Brown issued a solemn promise stating “There will be no backtracking on the promise, my iron fists will prevent it.”
Gentle John Sweeney, led the Nationalist team in the subsequent negotiations and was completely outflanked by the Unionists who reneged on many of their “Devo max” pledges. Nothing was heard from Gordon Brown or any of the other Unionist leaders. Scottish voters were furious at the betrayal but unable to reverse the outcome of the referendum they bided their time until the next election only 6 months on and decimated the Unionist party’s in Scotland returning a nearly full house of SNP MP’s to Westminster with a clear mandate to pursue the cause of independence yet again.
A mandate commitment was undertaken by all Party’s to the negotiations in Edinburgh only a few months before. This is the statement:
“Reflecting the sovereign right of the people of Scotland to determine the form of government best suited to their needs, as expressed in the referendum on 18 September 2014, and in the context of Scotland remaining within the UK, an enhanced devolution settlement for Scotland will be durable, responsive and democratic. And it is agreed that nothing in this report prevents Scotland from becoming an independent country in the future should the people of Scotland so choose.”
And What About the Secret Service presence at Glasgow University?
This is a concern given the increasing number of SNP politicians who are in close association with Baroness Smith and her team. It raises the possibility that measures approved by the Bilderbergers in the USA, will be put in place providing a way forward to limited Scottish independence tied to a merger of the SNP and Labour under the leadership of Nicola Sturgeon. Impossible!!! Wait and see!!!!
Justin Forsyth and Brendan Cox were appointed to the board of Save the Children. Forsyth was the former Director of Strategic Communications for Gordon Brown. Before that, he was a Special Advisor on environmental and international development for Tony Blair. His ex-Labour government colleague Brendan Cox appointed Director of Policy was previously a special advisor in Gordon Brown’s cabinet team. In 2012 the organisation was in financial trouble. Lacking funds it was forced to conduct its first-ever public fund-raising campaign in Britain.
Forsyth left Save the Children to take up the post of Deputy Executive Director at Unicef from which he was forced to resign following media revelations about his mishandling of a former subordinate’s sexual misconduct and his own previous behaviour when it was revealed that when Chief Executive of Save the Children he faced three complaints of inappropriate behaviour towards female staff. The complaints included sending inappropriate texts and commenting on what young female staff were wearing.
He was also accused in 2015 of mishandling allegations of sexual harassment and abuse against his close ally and subordinate at Save the Children, Director of Policy, Brendan Cox. Save the Children said the complaints against Cox were investigated in accordance with its procedures and confirmed that Cox had been suspended and a disciplinary process began but he had resigned before it was completed. Cox has since quit the two charities he set up in memory of his late wife Labour MP Jo Cox. (The New Humanitarian)
2014: Ex-Labour SPADS campaigning against the government via charities
Save the Children caused quite a stir after deciding to award former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, with a “Global Legacy” award. An online campaign was started, demanding that they revoke the award, stating that it was inappropriate because of the role he played in the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It was also raised that the Chief Executive of Save the Children, Justin Forsyth, used to be a special adviser (SPAD) to both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. The charity has been criticised in the past for its support of Oxfam in its highly politicised campaign against the government.
Part of the rules that govern which charities are given charitable status, which includes generous tax relief and the ability to claim extra money from the treasury via Gift Aid, is that they remain politically neutral and do not get involved with political campaigning. This raises an interesting question: Can somebody who was so involved with the previous government really put aside their own personal politics and become politically neutral for the sake of their job? Just how many former labour SPADS are now involved with charities or think tanks? The two charities covered in this article, Oxfam and Save the Children fit the bill. (save-planet-earth-world-globe-map-children-around-world-30468826)
Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (Cafod)
Cafod appointed Damian McBride former spin-doctor for Gordon Brown to the post of Head of Media after he was forced to resign his position following allegations posted to a political blog that he and another prominent Labour Party supporter, had exchanged emails discussing the possibility of disseminating rumours McBride had fabricated about the private lives of some Tory Party politicians and their spouses. McBride returned to the Labour Party in 2014 as its Head of Political Strategy for the Shadow Foreign Secretary.
Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (Aveco)
Head of the charity bosses’ trade body, the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, Sir Stephen Bubb was a Labour Party member of Lambeth Borough Council for Clapham Town ward from 1982. He was chairman when the Labour group protested against rate capping by refusing to set a rate and was among 32 Lambeth councillors who were surcharged for causing the council a financial loss by wilful misconduct. An action that disqualified him from being a councillor for five years from the end of March 1986. He came under scrutiny in August 2013 after it was reported that his 60th birthday bash in the House of Commons had been partly financed by ACEVO. And this despite the charity paying him a salary in excess of £100,000, In his defence he stated: “it seemed just right to celebrate my 60th with a tea party in the House of Lords on Monday”.
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)
The Director of the NSPCC, Peter Watt was previously Labour’s General Secretary. He resigned following the revelation that he knew that a property developer David Abrahams had donated almost £600,000 to the Party through third parties over four years. Under the law, those making donations on behalf of others must give details of who is providing the money.
Royal Society of the Arts (RSA)
Matthew Taylor was the Director of the left of centre think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research between 1998 and 2003. In 2003 Tony Blair appointed him head of the Number 10 Policy Unit and gave him the task of drawing up the Labour Party’s manifesto for the May 2005 General Election. Following the re-election of the Labour government, he became Chief Adviser on Strategy and was involved in several initiatives engaging the public with the political process. He also had a key role in developing the Labour Party’s “Big Conversation” discussion forums. In 2006 he was appointed Chief Executive of the charity, the RSA, enlightenment, apolitical organisation committed to finding innovative practical solutions to social challenges.
National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA)
Formed in part thanks to the vision of Oscar-winning director David Puttnam, who recognised the UK’s failure to capitalise on its globally recognised talent for innovation and invention. The country was poor at turning inventions into marketable applications.
In an effort to reverse this, the UK’s first-ever publicly supported national endowment was created with £250 million of National Lottery funding (later supplemented, in 2006, with a further £75 million of Lottery funding drawn down over five years).
The idea was that a secure income source would enable greater risks to be taken with UK-based innovations, which could be backed over the long term without being at the behest of government funding cycles and shifts in the political wind.
Geoff Mulgan who was a special adviser to Gordon Brown from 1990 to 1992 when he was shadow Trade and Industry secretary described himself as ‘the Clinton campaign’s link to Labour, which involved lots of telephone calls with the Americans’. He was also part of a 1995 ‘secret committee’ led by Peter Mandelson ‘to examine policy changes, that were central to the modernisation of the Labour Party.
The group had been set up just before Blair flew to meet Rupert Murdoch in 1995 was officially described as outside experts ‘helping to write sections of speeches and background papers’ for the Labour leader. But some senior MPs noticed that the committee was actually an exclusive policy-making forum.
Mulgan went on to discharge a number of key roles in the Labour Government between 1997 and 2004 including director of the Government’s Strategy Unit and head of policy in Tony Blairs’s office. He was appointed Chief Executive of Nesta in 2010. Under his leadership, in April 2012 it became an independent charity and its focus shifted towards innovation for public benefit as it concentrated its policies on tackling social problems in the public and voluntary sectors. He was awarded a knighthood in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours in recognition of his work to advance social innovation.
International Rescue based in New York is supported financially by the UK, the US and other governments and billionaire, & political manipulator, George Soros.
David Milliband, President and Chief Executive of “International Rescue” based in New York from 2010, cost the charity £1m in his first year (taking into account his £300,000 salary, relocation fees and other costs, together with the costs of importing his sidekicks, Ravi Gurumurthy and Ollie Money, his former political strategist and PR man.
Miliband has never come cheap. In one year as the MP for South Shields in South Tyneside, he grossed £288,000 in outside earnings on top of his parliamentary salary of £65,000.
In 2018 the organisation hushed up 37 sex abuse, fraud and bribery allegations leading to the Department for International Development cutting off funding based on claims of fraud, bribery and sexual misconduct among groups awarded funds.
Tony Blair and the Africa Governance Initiative (AGI)
With offices in presidential departments in Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Liberia and Guinea Blair expanded his AGI empire to include oil-rich South Sudan and appointed David Brown, who worked for five years under him to head up the South Sudan operation.
Blair and his AGI charity faced questions over his and its role as advisors to Malawi President Joyce Banda following a corruption scandal dubbed as ‘cashgate’ which forced Britain and other Western donors to withhold budgetary aid. Tory MPs and campaigners in Malawi demanded to know whether Blair and his team had been aware of the corruption allegations. They also wanted to know whether Blair had been warned about corruption and if so what he did about it. If his team was ignorant, it raised embarrassing questions about what AGI’s “governance” programme was meant to achieve. (The Telegraph)
Oxfam was reported by the Tory Party in 2014 to the Charity Commission, for publishing a faux film poster, headed “Lifting the lid on austerity, Britain reveals a perfect storm and it’s forcing more and more people into poverty.” Showing a broiling sea under clouds titled: The Perfect Storm. Added were the words “starring zero-hours contracts, high prices, benefit cuts, unemployment, childcare costs”. And a post on Twitter which invited readers to hear how Oxfam “investigated the reasons why so many people were turning to food banks in Britain 2014”.
The late Jo Cox, former “Head of Policy” at Oxfam, was previously an advisor to Gordon Brown’s wife Sarah and also worked for Baroness Kinnock, whose husband Neil was the leader of the Labour party between 1983 and 1992. Also worthy of note is that David Pitt-Watson, Oxfam’s honorary treasurer, was also a special advisor (SPAD) for over 20 years and was Assistant General Secretary of the Labour Party from 1997 to 1999. (Civil Society)
2014; The Office of Sarah and Gordon Brown
Piecing together some 133 declarations made in Gordon Brown’s parliamentary register of interests, a picture of the until-now private accounts of the company, the “Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown” revealed that “The Office” is not a registered charity, it is a private limited company.
The company admits it budgets £550k-a-year for expenses to meet salaries, accommodation costs and staff expenses.
Brown can be paid as much as $100k for a single speech to investors at finance conferences in the US. And by funnelling his speaker fees through the company he avoids tax on his income, even though it covers the £10k weekly expenses for Gordon and Sarah to maintain the jet-set premier lifestyle they were accustomed to when in Downing Street, travelling first class around the world and staying in top five-star hotels attended to by flunkies. Something Gordon would not be able to do on his backbench MP’s salary (http://order-order.com/tag/wheres-gordon/page/2/)
2014: Sarah Brown and the Global Business Coalition for Education charity
In 2009 when he was Prime Minister, Gordon Brown said: “The old tax havens have no place in this new world. We now call on all countries to apply international standards,” a statement worthy of highlighting since his philanthropist wife made an odd choice of the home for her charity.
Sarah Brown is the founder and Executive Chair of the charitable organisation whose members include heavyweights such as Accenture, Chevron and Tata. The organisation admirably aims to bring “the business community together to accelerate progress in delivering quality education for all of the world’s children and youth”.
But the GBCfE is based in one of the most secretive tax jurisdictions in the world. Delaware, a state affectionately known by tax lawyers as “the Cayman Islands of North America”.
The charity’s registered office is 1209 North Orange Street, a single-storey building that is the legal address of 285,000 businesses according to the New York Times.
The New York Times profile said that 1209 North Orange Street is home to “big corporations, small-time businesses, rogues, scoundrels and worse”.
What might have drawn Sarah Brown to such an infamous site in so controversial a state? And is there enough desk space at 1209 to house more than a quarter of a million tenants? Should Sarah Brown be more patriotic and back the British tax system, which treats recognised charities very generously indeed.
(Q) Why, if it is a charity would it need to be registered in a tax haven? (A) Perhaps it is not actually registered as a charity – at least not in the UK.
Many celebs register their “charities” in Delaware because their annual filings are kept confidential and there is little or no oversight. So if saving the planet requires travel via private jet, luxury accommodations, staff of well-paid flunkies and so on, no one’s the wiser. UK Charities risk having their operations and accounts scrutinised by the Charity Commissioner and Delaware is even dodgier than the Dutch Antilles or Panama for funny money.
The high profile Trust runs a national network of food banks. Chris Mould joined the Trust in 2003 and was later appointed Chairman. He left in January 2018 to concentrate on his work with the Foundation for Social Change and Inclusion which operates in The Balkans as well as in Bulgaria.