The Falklands – Argentina To Have Another Go At It ??? Not Before The General Election Surely??

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December 2014: Argentina and UK Falklands Dispute Resurfaces

The Falkland Islands, an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean comprising of East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 smaller islands, have placed a strain on relations between Argentina and the UK since the days of colonialism.

Up to 1,500 troops, backed by a naval warship that visits throughout the year, are permanently based on the Falklands, along with four RAF Typhoon jets, plus anti-aircraft and artillery batteries.

In 1982 Argentina lost a brief war with Britain over the islands. The encounter lasted 74 days and ended with Argentina surrendering on June 14, 1982. A total of 649 Argentine and 255 British military personnel, together with 3 Falkland Islanders were killed. At the end of the war the dispute was referred to the United Nations who passed a resolution calling on both parties, “to resume negotiations over sovereignty and to refrain from introducing unilateral modifications in the situation as long as the dispute persists.” There has been little progress in 30 years and it appears the, “sabres are rattling” once more.

After the war the UK introduced a new “Falkland Islands Constitution”, under which the UK undetook responsiblity for the islands’ foreign affairs, retaining the power “to protect UK interests and to ensure the overall good governance of the territory.”

 

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October 2014: Replacement Aircraft Contract Cancelled

Argentina needs to replace its depleted fighter fleet and in October, defence minister Agustin Rossi announced the purchase of 24 Saab Gripen fighters, which were to be provided by Brazil, but Whitehall squashed the deal as some of the jet’s parts are made in the UK.

 

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December 2014:

The Ukraine. UK took the lead criticising Russia over it’s annexation of the Crimea and military support of separatist elements in the east of the Ukraine. Pressing allies hard, imposing ever harsher financial and good & services sanctions further complicating matters providing military support in the form of training the Ukrainian armed forces.

Russia retaliated, banning food imports from the US, along with goods from the EU, Norway, Australia and Canada. This encouraged Russia to seek new markets in South America.

 

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December 2014: Russia & Argentina

Russia has been developing friendly ties with Argentina since 2010, when it signed a “historic” contract with Buenos Aires and delivered two Mi17 assault helicopters to serve in the country’s national Air Force. The sale was the first time the Argentinean military had bought Russian military hardware.

President Vladimir Putin’s visited Argentina in July 2014 further boosting relations between the countries, paving the way for exchanging Russian military hardware for food and goods.

At the end of December 2014 reports surfaced that a deal was about to be signed off involving a lease/lend of twelve Sukhoi Su-24 all-weather attack aircraft, which NATO calls “Fencer A”. The jets are well capable of completing operations over the Falklands.

Whitehall Defence officials are fearful Argentina will soon take delivery of the planes certainly well before the projected 2020 deployment of the Navy’s 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and its much delayed F-35B fighters, opeining a “real window of vulnerability.” http://rt.com/uk/152136-argentinauk-drills-nato/

 

 

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December 2015: Argentina calls on Britain to discuss Falklands sovereignty

Argentina President Cristina Kirchner has called on Britain to discuss the Falklands’ sovereignty in light of an historic deal between the US and Cuba. The 61-year-old said she hoped the normalisation of diplomatic and economic ties between the former adversaries would be an example to Prime Minister David Cameron.

American President Barack Obama and his Cuban counterpart Raúl Castro had talks yesterday which could lead to the removal of a US embargo on Cuba. The Embassy of Argentina in London today revealed how Mrs Kirchner hoped the South American country and the UK could find a “peaceful settlement to the Malvinas question”.

The statement referred to the Falkland Islands by its Argentinian name. Mrs Kirchner urged Mr Cameron “to sit and dialogue with Argentina, as the US did with Cuba”. She referred to the historic deal as “a ray of sunlight” which she hoped would “warm the hearts of British leaders.” Mrs Kirchner added: “I pray that this action taken by the United States will inspire its European partner”.

She also praised the role Pope Francis, an Argentinian, had in the US and Cuba agreement. The pontiff has previously also backed his home country’s sovereignty claim over the Falklands. The British Foreign Office said there would be no discussions about sovereignty until Falkland Islanders voted in favour of such talks. A spokesperson said: “There are three parties to this debate, not just two as Argentina likes to pretend. “The Islanders can’t just be written out of history. “As such, there can be no negotiations on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands unless and until the Islanders so wish.”

In March 2013 Falkland Islanders voted overwhelmingly in favour of staying British during a referendum. Some 1,517 votes were cast after a 90 per cent turnout. Only three people voted against the archipelago not being a UK overseas territory. The issue of the islands’ sovereignty has been raised by Argentina numerous times since the Falklands War.
http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/547935/Falkland-Islands-Argentina-UK-sovereignty-David-Cameron-US-Cuba

 

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March 2015: ‘Chill out’, look at Falklands, Russian MP tells UK over Crimea demand

Russian sovereignty over Crimea is more legitimate than the UK’s sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, the chair of the foreign relations committee in the Russian parliament said in response to Philip Hammond’s criticism of the Crimea referendum. “London should pause and chill out. All Western opinion polls in Crimea say the absolute majority supports reunification with Russia,” Aleksey Pushkov tweeted on Sunday. “Take notice, London. Crimea has much more reasons to be part of Russia than the Falklands to be part of Britain,” he added.

Pushkov was responding to British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, who earlier on Sunday called Crimea’s referendum to join Russia held in March 2014 a “flagrant breach of Ukrainian and international law” and demanded that Russia returned the peninsula to Ukraine.

In 2013, Britain held a referendum in the Falklands, with 99.8 percent of the 1,517 residents voting for remaining a British overseas territory. Buenos Aires rejected the referendum, saying the “implanted” British population didn’t have a right for self-determination.

In the Crimean referendum held in March 2014, about 97 percent voted for joining Russia. Western backers of the post-coup government in Kiev rejected the referendum, claiming it was conducted at gun point, even though post-referendum opinion polls showed the majority of Crimean people considered it free and fair.

The status of Crimea remains the biggest hurdle in relations between Russia and Western nations, including the UK, which imposed sanctions against Moscow over the move.
http://rt.com/news/243277-crimea-referendum-falkland-islands/

 

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Comments:

Crimea is Russian territory. It was illegally annexed by Ukraine in 1954 and legally reunited with Russia in 2014. End of story.

The Rothschilds and their stooges on Wall Street still cannot discard the prepostrous notion that Russia needs to be broken up and plundered, so that the banksters can save their fiat currencies known as the dollar and the euro, both of which are printed backed by Nothing. Russia will not disintegrate, as desired by the so-called Western elite (a bunch of criminals really).

What will disintegrate is the Anglo-Saxon financial system. This means that in the end the chief continental countries in Europe will turn to Russia and the BRICS, while the Brits will end up on a bankrupt island. Think carefully what you are doing. No double standards.

Afternote. The UK has joined BRICS. The US is not at all happy

 

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March 2015: Britain to send more troops to Falklands amid Argentine invasion fears

It is expected that Defence Secretary Michael Fallon will announce reinforcements of troops and equipment in response to a Ministry of Defence review which suggested an attack on the South Atlantic archipelago was more likely.

Russia is reportedly planning a deal to lease 12 bombers to Argentina as the country re-arms more than 30 years after the Falklands War. A Whitehall source briefed “The Defence Secretary’s decision reflects operational judgments and the increased nature of the threat. We want the people of the Falklands to know they are uppermost in our thinking.”

A Russian lawmaker claimed yesterday that Moscow has “far more” right to Crimea than Britain does to the Falkland Islands. Alexei Pushkov, head of the Russian parliament’s foreign affairs committee, made the controversial comment after Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond denounced Russia’s “illegal annexation” of Crimea. Mr Pushkov tweeted in Russian: “Attention London: Crimea has far more reason to be in Russia than the Falklands have to be part of Great Britain.”

 

04.01.13: Phil Disley on the Falkland Islands dispute

 

The long-running dispute over the sovereignty of the British overseas territory, which Argentina calls Las Malvinas, has re-erupted in recent times under the presidency of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner whose government and term of office is nearing a re-election date, (much as Margaret Thatcher’s government was in 1982)As in the case of Thatcher, the Argentine President is determined to achieve glory through claiming back the Falklands for Argentina.

Prime Minister David Cameron, in his Christmas message to the Islanders last December, said this year would also see the unveiling of a bronze statue of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher in the Falklands. He said 2015 would be a year when “the British government, again, steadfastly defends the freedom she helped you secure”. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/565961/Falkland-Islands-Argentina-Putin-Britain-invasion-threat

 

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March 2015: Britain to send more troops to Falklands amid Argentine invasion fears

It is expected that Defence Secretary Michael Fallon will announce reinforcements of troops and equipment in response to a Ministry of Defence review which suggested an attack on the South Atlantic archipelago was more likely.

Russia is reportedly planning a deal to lease 12 bombers to Argentina as the country re-arms more than 30 years after the Falklands War. A Whitehall source briefed “The Defence Secretary’s decision reflects operational judgments and the increased nature of the threat. We want the people of the Falklands to know they are uppermost in our thinking.”

A Russian lawmaker claimed yesterday that Moscow has “far more” right to Crimea than Britain does to the Falkland Islands. Alexei Pushkov, head of the Russian parliament’s foreign affairs committee, made the controversial comment after Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond denounced Russia’s “illegal annexation” of Crimea. Mr Pushkov tweeted in Russian: “Attention London: Crimea has far more reason to be in Russia than the Falklands have to be part of Great Britain.”

The long-running dispute over the sovereignty of the British overseas territory, which Argentina calls Las Malvinas, has re-erupted in recent times under the presidency of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner whose government and term of office is nearing a re-election date, (much as Margaret Thatcher’s government was in 1982)As in the case of Thatcher, the Argentine President is determined to achieve glory through claiming back the Falklands for Argentina.

Prime Minister David Cameron, in his Christmas message to the Islanders last December, said this year would also see the unveiling of a bronze statue of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher in the Falklands. He said 2015 would be a year when “the British government, again, steadfastly defends the freedom she helped you secure”.
http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/565961/Falkland-Islands-Argentina-Putin-Britain-invasion-threat

 

 

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World-Leading Economist” And Advisor To Chancellor Osborne Busted For Smoking Crack

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February 2015: “World-Leading Economist” And Advisor To Chancellor Osborne Busted For Smoking Crack

Professor Douglas McWilliams, 63, is head of the well-known Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) think tank and one of the most prominent modern economists, in fact in his own words “one of the world’s leading economists…best known for his work in forecasting” as well as advisor (and cheerleader) to none other than UK Chancellor George Osborne. His background:

Douglas is one of the world’s leading economists. He was chosen in 2012 from over 300 applicants to become the Gresham Professor of Commerce.

His Gresham lecture series ‘The world’s greatest ever economic event’ looking at the impact of globalisation on the Western economies has attracted widespread attention and large audiences. He covers all aspects of economics but is best known for his work in forecasting, the economics of the IT and telecoms sectors and transport economics and for his knowledge of the Far East economies. He works with clients who are particularly looking for an economist with a public presence to help make their case.

After setting up CEBR, he was Chief Executive for 20 years. Previously he was Chief Economic Adviser to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Chief Economist for IBM UK. He is famed for his communications skills and is one of the most widely quoted economists.

Yes, a “forecasting” economist. That in itself could have been the joke right there, but the real reason why we bring him up is not due to his seasonally-adjusted oracular abilities but because, this “world leading” economist also does whatever he can to boost UK GDP through the use of illegal narcotics, or to avoid the political correctness, crack cocaine.

When the UK and the rest of Europe, (except France and a few others) proposed and implemented a change to the way GDP is calculated last year one which “estimated” the contribution of prostitution and illegal drugs to national economic output, little did we know that such “estimates” would be based on personal experience, (see my post: https://caltonjock.com/2015/03/23/prostitution-and-illegal-drugs-in-the-uk-valued-at-10bn-eu-gets-2bn-cut-of-notional-taxes-uk-absorbs-5bn-bill-policing-the-trade-crazy/

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The Story So Far

A leading economist is to step down as executive chairman of CEBR an influential City think-tank amid drug abuse allegations. Professor Douglas McWilliams, 63, revealed that he is to leave his role at the Centre for Economic and Business Research after footage emerged of him allegedly smoking crack cocaine in a north London drug den. The think-tank, which he founded in 1992, confirmed he will take a five-month sabbatical.

Professor McWilliams, who has also advised London Mayor Boris Johnson on housing, said last night he was ‘taking time off to deal with issues I have not had the chance to address fully when I have been in full-time work’.

It comes just two weeks before the launch of his book “The Flat White Economy” which tells how London swapped the City’s champagne and supercars lifestyle for bicycles and trendy flats.

Suddenly, the top echelon of politicians are doing everything they can to distance themselves as much as possible, starting with the UK’s own Secretary of the Treasury. “Referring to reports that Professor McWilliams was an adviser to George Osborne, the spokesman added that ‘neither he nor any other member of CEBR staff has spoken to or met George Osborne since he became Chancellor’, but that CEBR has ‘briefed or advised all four major political parties’.”

One of Chancellor George Osborne’s senior advisers on economic policy has been captured on video smoking crack cocaine in a drugs den. Professor Douglas McWilliams, who last year ­ estimated we would all be £165 a year better off by the election, is seen inhaling it through a glass tube at a flat in North London.

The executive chairman of influential City think-tank the Centre for Economic and Business Research then slumps dazed on a sofa after repeatedly smoking on the makeshift crack pipe involving a miniature Martell Cognac bottle. Red-faced and slurring his speech, he later told the dealer he had “too much” and that he had spent the day on a binge. Two rocks of the deadly drug can clearly been seen on a table beside the dazed professor. The grainy footage will heap embarrassment on the Chancellor and raise serious questions about his choice of adviser.

A source said: “Last Sunday McWilliams turned up at the den around 10pm and was there about a hour and a half. There were two rocks of the drugs. He smoked it over a table and then sat there all spaced out. He was in a suit and started talking about the economy and all that for about 20 minutes. He kept mentioning someone famous he worked with but didn’t make much sense. He was asked if he wanted any more and said ‘I’ve had too much’.”

Oh the irony: On Christmas Day he tweeted about an Office for National Statistics decision to include earnings from drugs and the sex trade in economy figures. He wrote: “Prostitution and illegal drugs help UK overtake France in global wealth league.” Little did the world know then that a small portion of the contribution was due to the “economist” himself.

Of course, none of this would actually be a problem and certainly worth the mention if only the CBER wasn’t actually taken seriously. The think-tank’s website states: “CEBR’s clients are mainly public, private, government, professional bodies and third sector organisations. Most are UK based although several have a global reach. We advise 25 of the FTSE 100 companies.” It adds: “We advise a number of UK government departments and independent government bodies. Recent projects include the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Arts Council England.”

The worst news is that now that the entire world has become one massive, and terminal, experimental playground for precisely these Keynesian fanatic world-leading economists, crack cocaine addicted “central planners” is just one more reason why 7 years after “quantative Easing” was started, everyone – except for the richest 1% of course – is wondering: why has nothing been fixed yet? For the answer, please check your local opium den: chance are you will run into at least one “world-respected” economist.

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http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-03-02/world-leading-economist-and-advisor-chancellor-osborne-busted-smoking-crack-cocaine?page=1

Prostitution and illegal drugs In The UK Valued At 10Bn – EU Gets 2Bn Cut Of Notional Taxes – Uk Absorbs 5Bn Bill Policing the Trade. Crazy

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December 2014: Prostitution and illegal drugs help UK overtake France in global wealth league and Increase Our Cotributions to the EU

Britain’s illegal, multi-billion pound sex and drug industries have helped the UK to become the world’s fifth largest economy. The latest global economic league tables include a £10bn boost in UK earnings from drugs and sex – which earlier this year resulted in Brussels issuing a £1.7bn bill to the Treasury. While the Chancellor George Osborne may cite the new rankings as further evidence of the success of his financial strategy, the UK’s jump up the table comes with a caveat – a number of EU countries, including France do not include prostitution or narcotics income in gross domestic product (GDP) calculations, so where’s the justice in that.

GDP – the value of all final goods and services produced inside a sovereign state – is not the only way of calculating economic power. PPP (purchasing power parity), also based on IMF estimates, already makes China the world’s largest economy. But regardless of which measurement is used, The highly regarded London based, Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) say that with globalisation reaching a “mature phase” by 2030, the world’s economic league placings are “settling down to a new order” and the UK has just overtaken France on the leadership board, courtesy of prostitution and drugs. Brilliant, austerity has injected a massive boost in our drug dealing and prostitution industries. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/prostitution-and-illegal-drugs-help-uk-overtake-france-in-global-wealth-league-9945007.html

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Comment:

Confusing. When the matter of an unplanned massive additional annual contribution to the EU budget first surfaced, press releases, issued by the Treasury stated only that the extra 2bn charge was due to an increase in the relative size of our economy. Now we know it was the inclusion of the notional value of the illegal trade in Prostitution and Drugs. The newly identified source of goods and services forming part of the UK return, At first glance it is baffling that France and other countries of the EU are able to exclude it, keeping their EU contributions down. The figures:

* According to the estimates there were 60,879 prostitutes in the UK in 2009, who had an average of 25 clients per week – each paying on average £67.16 per visit.

* There is also detailed data on drugs. The statisticians reckon there were 2.2 million cannabis users in the UK in 2009, toking their way through weed worth more than £1.2bn. They calculate that half of that was home-grown – costing £154m in heat, light and “raw materials” to produce.

The con-trick, (for that is what it is) foisted on the UK public is typical of the Con/Dem Treasury team led by Osborne, Alexander and the recently censured Permanent Secretary McPherson and his team of fear campaign fixers. The purpose of including an unmeasurable illegal output is that it makes the vast and growing debt of 1.8trillion and the recurring monthly deficit look smaller by comparison. SMOKE and MIRRORS.

Additional Defence Spending of £30 Billion Over 5 Years To Be Added To The Austerity Programme – But only For Public Consumption Ater the General Election Is Published – What A Fiddle

Gordon Brown, whilst in government as Chancellor and after as Prime Minister, was always acutely aware that his stock within the military was poor, due to his refusal to properly finance wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to which he and the New Labour Party had committed the armed forces disregarding the advice of Whitehall and military commanders. Direct contact with armed forces personnel and their dependents was by result very much confined to a few carefully arranged press photo only sessions

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The Tory Party leadership are even more hawklike in their approach to military intervention. Indeed they fully supported the illegal actions of Blair and Bush in Iraq & Afghanistan and the neo-conservative ideaology of the Tories was brutally evident at the time they brought Libya to it’s knees and the subsequent aftermath that now ensues in that poor country. It is probable that Egypt will invade Libya before long preventing an expansion of Muslim fundamentalist activities, returning the country to some form of parliamentary control.

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As before, nothing was learned from the debacle of Libya and piggy-backing on the “Arab Spring” it was the Tory’s intention to commit the military to bombing President Assad of Syria into submission then resignation. A blatant policy of regime change which had never been put to the country for approval. Public pressure forced the “House of Commons” to intervene and those that had learned from the past voted against the proposal thereby preventing the “Tory Hawks” from blundering into a situation from which there would be no withdrawal. The Tories viewed the defeat as a betrayal of the UK’s obligation to support the USA and blame was foisted on the “British Pinkos” in opposition.

Not to be denied ISIS was created by Saudi Arabia (supported by the USA) and proceeded to attack Syria from a safe base in the Sunni (anti-Assad) controlled area of Iraq. But finding the going tough against Syria ISIS soon turned on it’s hosts, the Sunni’s and being well armed, equipped and organised put them to the sword, declaring the entire area of Western Iraq to be a reconstituted “Caliphate “. The mad dog had turned on it’s masters.

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This unforeseen and unwanted state of affairs further increased instability in the entire Middle East and it was decided by the USA, UK and their allies that ISIS would need to be destroyed. But successful completion of the mission would require up to 100,000 army boots on the ground for up to 5 years.

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Iraqi armed forces, (primarily Shiite Muslim) were badly organised, poorly led and in insufficient numbers to contemplate taking on the task. Indeed ISIS heavily defeated Shiite forces North of Bahgdad at the time they staged the takeover of the Sunni area.

The US turned to Iran, (pro-Assad and predominately Shiite) and agreed an accomodation allowing Iran to provide training, leadership, arms, and non-regular military forces in sufficient numbers making up a force capable of defeating ISIS. This new force attacked ISIS, with mixed results, to the North of Baghdad late February 2015. The US, UK and a number of NATO countries are committed to a role providing air superiority in support of the newly formed Iran led Iraqi army.

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An added complication is the aggressive expansion of ISIS in the North of Iraq. This placed them in confrontation with Iraqi Kurds, who proved to be well capable of dealing with the ISIS threat. At March 2015 the Kurds are making significant advances South.

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It is likely ground taken by the Kurds will not be given up in any new Iraq formed after the conflict is over. This might not find favour with the Turks who fear a creation of a new State of Kurdistan to the South of Turkey since nearly 25% of Southern Turkey is occupied by Kurds.

Despite an undertaking by the Tory’s there would be no deployment of British forces, army teams have been deployed to Iraq providing weapons and tactics training and support, (short of military involvement). So more problems to resolve and with a fellow member of NATO!!

Saudi Arabia is becoming increasingly concerned at the way in which events are unravelling in Iraq. Fearful of a spread of Shiite Muslim rule in Iraq and the closer ties with a nuclear armed Iran that would bring. Kuwait, the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia would either develop their own nuclear deterrent or arrange a purchase of Missiles and technology from Pakistan or China. What a mess and the UK and USA are responsible.

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It now appears the USA, UK and their allies are backing down from regime change in Syria requiring only that President Assad open a credible dialogue with those in opposition to his government. It is possible a form of federal state might evolve over time. But this is precisely what President Putin asked for before all the trouble started. Gung Ho Nato again!!

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Further complicating matters President Putin took advantage of on-going events in the Middle East and carved up the Ukraine taking the Crimea back to Russian control, (which was always on the cards) creating instabilty in the Eastern (Russian speaking) part of the country. The origins of the conflict in Ukraine are complicated but informed sources are of the view that Russia has legitimate claims to the Crimea and the troubles in the Eastern part of the Ukraine may be self inflicted by right wing elements within the country.

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No matter who is to blame President Putin’s conduct has changed the political climate in Europe. It might be he has no intention of absorbing the Baltic States but this is not assured. NATO is committed to their defence and it is crucial President Putin is not given the impression NATO will not honour such a commitment.

In consequence of events in the Ukraine NATO convened a summit meeting, held in Wales and issued a clear message to President Putin that NATO would not allow any infringement upon any NATO country. They also committed to the recurring allocation to defence of at least 2% of GDP. https://www.rusi.org/downloads/assets/201409_BP_Financial_Context_of_the_2015_SDSR.pdf

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It is against this background of chaos and assurances that the Tory Party is implementing the findings of a defence review conducted after the Afghanistan withdrawal and BEFORE the troubles that surfaced in Syria, Iraq and the Ukraine. The new thinking, holding force at the time of the review is that the UK’s primary concern would be focused on the security of the homeland and that financial resources should be transferred away from heavy infantry defence, creating fast moving teams of up to 5000 multi purpose personnel, capable of rapid response, tackling any terror threats from ISIS and Al Qaeda.

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Problems have since surfaced within NATO over the figure of 2% of GDP. The nature of expenditure that is to be counted in or out is not agreed and the UK is under pressure over the decision to include the cost of the Trident nuclear deterrent, (approximately 0.6% of GDP) within the return. The view held is that NATO operates under the umbrella of the US nuclear deterrent and the UK, having no need to retain a pseudo independent deterrent, within NATO should exclude such costs from financial allocations.

Another aspect of costing is the bloated MOD bureaucracy comprising over 500 colonels and 200 brigadiers and generals managing an army of 82,000. Adding personnel, admin, (each officer is allocated a staff car and driver) and service support to each of the officers takes up around 0.2% of GDP. In contrast the 500,000 strong US army has only 310 staff officers of comparable rank, the bulk of which are deployed with their soldiers in times of war.

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Concerns emanating from the US are that subsequent to implementation of the defence review the UK will not be able to “deploy troops with accompanying fighter aircraft and naval vessels without relying on American forces” and this would be unacceptable. The Independent Trident 400 warhead nuclear deterrent is also considered to be of little consequence given that the US has placed it’s entire 20,000 nuclear warheads within the command structure of NATO. Finance saved by the UK by giving up Trident could be better used in the maintenance of conventional forces and weaponry.

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NATO is committed to the mutual defence of member states in a new fast changing, very dangerous environment and 2% of GDP might not be sufficient to meet the many and varied military challenges it faces. A more realistic figure of 3% of GDP would not be misplaced. It is of great concern therefore to note that the Tory Party are committed to a further reduction in the armed forces allocating only 1.5% of GDP. The level of defence projected additional spending cuts thrusts the UK into a political maelstrom and the backlash from the US and other NATO countries will be unforgiving.

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Rory Stewart, Tory Chairman of the Commons Select Defence Committee delivered, in the Defence debate, one the best speeches on defence heard in many a year, It is essential listening. It is only 10 minutes long commencing at 12:18 but provides an excellent analysis of the problems facing the UK at this time and in the future, it is available at: http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/fe9e4868-f7e2-47d8-96c7-50b7f12399de

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The Times publishes excellent articles supporting the foregoing ( am not a subscriber so only the headline part is available but this is sufficient to provide  the gist of the full article content
January 24 2015: The British army is overhauling its top brass. About time. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/leaders/article4333132.ece

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January 24 2015: Army chief to take axe to ‘bloated’ top brass. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/defence/article4333200.ece

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January 24 2015: Lions led by pen-pushers, the state of the British Army today. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/defence/article4333169.ece

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March 7 2015: Trust us — we’ve a safe pair of hands, says PM. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4375405.ece

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March 12 2015: Merkel snubs Putin’s military parade in protest over Ukraine. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/europe/article4379131.ece

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March 18 2015: Don’t humiliate Putin, Obama told. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/europe/article4384822.ece

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March 19 2015: Putin takes control of Georgia’s South Ossetia. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/europe/article4385966.ece

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March 20 2015: Police and courts are at risk of cuts to pay for defence. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/business/budget2015/article4387548.ece

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March 20 2015: MPs quiz Cameron over £170m arms export licences for Russia. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/defence/article4387976.ece

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March 21 2015: Russia’s sanctions may fall as EU leaders fail to agree. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/europe/article4388401.ece

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For more than 50 Years Successive Conservative & Labour Governments Have Resorted To Spying & Sabotage To Discredit The Scottish Independence Movement – Read It & Weep

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1970: Discovery of Oil & Gas in the North Sea

Since oil was struck in the North Sea in 1970, it has fuelled dreams of Scottish independence. British waters were already clearly defined from Norwegian waters, and so was the oil and gas underneath. Scotland had legitimate claim to 90+ per cent of British North Sea oil and gas revenue.

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1999: Scottish Parliament Established

By the mid 1970s, international convention had already agreed that the North Sea North of the 55th parallel was under Scottish jurisdiction. That meant around 90 per cent of the UK’s oil and gas reserves fell within Scottish waters. But such was the fear of the rise of Scottish nationalism that proving documentation remained secret under the governments of Callaghan, Thatcher, Major and Blair.

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1999: The North Sea off Scotland’s East Coast up to Carnoustie stolen by Westminster

The North Sea on Scotland’s East Coast up to Carnoustie past St Andrews was stolen by Westminster in 1999.  6,000 miles of North Sea between Berwick-upon-Tweed the legal Marine boundary to Carnoustie now belongs to England, this means the pipeline into Grangemouth is in English Waters.

The former boundary between English and Scottish waters ran due East from Berwick to a median line between the UK and Norway. But a new ”demarcated” limit was created 60 miles further north at Carnoustie. The new boundary was drawn up under international maritime regulations to identify a zone within British fishery limits for which Scottish ministers will be responsible in the future. The boundary shift was established by an order carried out at Westminster under the Scottish Adjacent Boundaries Order (1999).

The order was passed by the House of Lords and the Committee on Delegated Legislation on March 23, but was not openly debated in the Commons. It was first nodded through by the treacherous Lib/Lab coalition in Holyrood who refused a debate.

The suspicious reasons behind this move, requested under the Freedom of Information Act, have been denied to the SNP government as “it would not be in the public interest”.

Whose public interest do they refer to? One can only hazard a guess at what that means.

Expert legal opinion declared the move illegal and the matter will need to be resolved to Scotland’s satisfaction at the time of independence.

A Scottish Office spokesman, when challenged said the change in the fishing boundary – was necessary as a result of Scottish devolution. However, the spokesman could not explain the constitutional logic of the boundary alteration.

The spokesman said the area, transferred to English limits, would be policed by Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food protection vessels rather than the Scottish Fishery Protection Agency.

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Oil and Gas Production-Scotland 2014-2015

The UK oil market is volatile at the best of times. But the last year has been extraordinary even by those standards. A year ago the price came close to $140 a barrel. At that price many thought the commodity overpriced and oil producers came under international political pressure to do something.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer, took a unilateral decision to increase production and the resulting glut brought about a significant drop in the price of a barrel of oil. At one time it was trading at less than $40 per barrel.

Other OPEC countries, not so oil rich require the selling price to be in excess of $80 per barrel and Saudi Arabia has been under pressure for some months to cut back on production allowing prices to stabilise around the higher figure.

As at March 2015 the price of a barrel rose to nearly $60 but the market remains unstable due to continued speculation in the commodities markets and an over production of US shale oil. Projections are however that normality will be achieved in the summer of 2015.

There remains concern however that the Bank of England’s policies of expanding the money supply and continued heavy government borrowing might result in increasing levels of inflation. Buying up and storing cheaper oil and other commodities provides some protection against that for investors.

But, as on prevous occasions lower commodity prices created a welcome mini-recession driving down the cost of living index allowing the government an opportunity in the March 2015 budget to stimulate the economy giving away windfall finance to the electorate forming part of an electioneering campaign.

The drawback for the oil industry and the economy is that lower selling prices do not provide incentive for investment in exploration and exploitation of existing/new oil fields.

The government’s belated response was to ease the tax burden on the producers providing the finance necessary to allow continued investment. http://www.oilofscotland.org/scottish_north_sea_oil.html#new_oil_gas_fields

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2013: Banned Documentary on Scottish Oil (The McCrone Report)

The story of how successive Labour and Conservative governments worked behind the scenes to discredit the Home Rule movement and the SNP – as revealed through once secret papers now available from official archives https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dM0JsBjcx2E http://www.theguardian.com/politics/scottish-independence-blog/2013/jun/07/scottish-independence-oil-gavinmccrone

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2014: TRUTH LIES OIL AND SCOTLAND

Truth Lies Oil and Scotland on how Westminster has kept the wealth of the North Sea Oil hidden from Scotland

This is incredible – The BBC! Full of UK MPs saying that there is a supply excess which will last for at least 4 decades, without new exploration. Yet they claim this is a liability for an Independent Scotland and that it is running out! Scotland – we need to see through the lies and see the benefit of this resource for our families, our kids, our grandkids https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_9iod_IWmw

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2014: The Secrets(Gaelic, with subtitles.)

For more than five decades successive Conservative and Labour UK Governments resorted to spying and sabotage to discredit the Home Rule movement and Scottish National Party members and supporters – as revealed through once secret papers now available from official archives. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4AbavFrsn8

Trident Nuclear Deterrent – The Great Confidence Trick Played On the UK Public – Trident is the Most Expensive Bluff in History

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The Chilcot Inquiry Report Won’t Reveal The Real Reason Why The UK Invaded Iraq With The USA

“Did Britain have to invade Iraq? No, but if we had not, when the Mutual Defence Agreement came up for renewal in 2004 would John Bolton have recommended to President George Bush that Britain was worthy of another ten years of nuclear supplies “in light of our previous close co-operation”?

 

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2006: Trident: We’ve Been Conned Again

The independent British nuclear deterrent is a myth – whatever else it may be, it is not independent. That reality, laid bare as never before in US presidential directives published on our website, renders meaningless the government’s suggestion that it is time to renew “our” nuclear arsenal.

For decades, American presidents have been authorising US weapons-makers to ship vital bomb components to Britain. George Bush Sr was one of them: in July 1991, for example, he signed a five-year directive ordering the United States department of energy to “produce additional nuclear weapons parts as necessary for transfer to the United Kingdom”.

These are the final pieces in a jigsaw which exposes simple facts that British leaders have long known but a generation of Thatcherite consensus has obscured: we cannot and do not make our own nuclear weapons; we are not a true nuclear power; we are mere clients of the US.

Our present Trident submarine-launched nuclear missile system reaches the end of its shelf-life in the 2020s and we are told that, if it is to be replaced, work has to start soon. As the debate begins, supporters of a new generation of British weapons of mass destruction say we must have a bomb of our own so that we will always be equipped to face a crisis such as that of 1940. “Something nasty may turn up,” is their bottom line.

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We now know, however, that British weapons are so dependent on the US that this 1940 argument is a nonsense. In that year, we stood alone and the United States remained neutral. We would not have had a bomb in our arsenal because the Americans would have refused to help us make it, and would certainly not have given us one there and then. The truth behind the pro-renewal argument is that our defence in any future 1940 scenario depends not on us having a nuclear deterrent with a Union Jack on it, but on us having the US on our side.

The declassified National Security directives uncovered in the archives of Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George Bush Sr leave no doubt about this dependency. The most recent available instruction is Bush’s, quoted above, but the names of Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski appear on earlier versions of this annual update to the US nuclear stockpile plan.

Governments here, however, have always stressed that the bombs on top of the Trident missiles were truly British – their answer to the criticism that Trident, as Denis Healey once put it, was a “rent-a-rocket, Moss Bros missile”. Yet even when Healey spoke, more than 20 years ago, there was no shortage of evidence to contradict the official line. The Conservative government itself had to admit that there were never any “identifiably British” Trident missiles in the US navy store where British submarines loaded up. The words “Royal Navy” were only painted on the missiles for test-firing, to make good publicity pictures.

Documents obtained by the Natural Resources Defence Council, a non-governmental organisation in the US, show that for 45 years the UK has been given blueprints of many US weapons to help build bombs for Royal Navy missile submarines and RAF bombers. For decades, too, all Brit-ish nuclear testing was done in the US, and access to the Nevada test site is still essential to the UK programme.

Today the factory at Aldermaston in Berkshire that makes the bombs – and uses US equipment to do so – is actually owned by the Lockheed Martin Corporation of Bethesda, Maryland, while the submarine maintenance base in Plymouth is largely the property of Dick Cheney’s old firm, Halliburton.

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The transatlantic links date back at least to 1958, when a “mutual defence agreement” between Dwight Eisenhower and Harold Macmillan allowed the US to send Britain everything except complete nuclear weapons. Even in the years 1946 to 1958, when US nuclear support for Britain was supposedly cut off by Congress, the British were trading uranium ore for details of how to build factories to make nuclear weapons.

In 1962, as Macmillan set off to accept John F Kennedy’s offer of Polaris missiles, the chief of Britain’s nuclear bomber force wrote that the prime minister was travelling to “defend a myth”. Macmillan’s Sir Humphrey, Robert Scott, wrote that the deal would put Britain in America’s pocket for a decade. His words were echoed four decades later when Admiral Raymond Lygo, the former head of nuclear programmes for the Royal Navy and chairman of British Aerospace, explained last year that any successor to Trident would “continue to tie the UK to US policy”.

This past week, along with other experts, I gave evidence to the Commons defence committee on the issue of replacing Trident. I heard Sir Michael Quinlan, now retired from the civil service but widely regarded as the doyen of British nuclear strategists, say there were two issues at stake: independence of procurement and independence of operation. He argued that, although we had no independence of procurement, we could use the weapons independently.

This is moving the goalposts. For generations governments have tried to prevent the public knowing how much nuclear weapons kit the UK gets from the US, so that they could sustain the myth that our deterrent was home-made. Now, suddenly, it doesn’t matter if the missiles aren’t British. Take a step back. Imagine for a moment that France imported its nuclear missiles from China. Who would then believe in French independence?

So, what about independence of operation? Could Britain fire Trident if the US objected? In 1962 the then US defence secretary, Robert McNamara, said that the British nuclear bomber force did not operate independently. Writing in 1980, Air Vice-Marshal Stewart Menaul said it definitely could not be used without US authorisation. Today former naval officers say it would be extremely difficult. The many computer software programs, the fuse, the trigger, the guidance system as well as the missiles are all made in America.

Let us say that Britain wanted to fire Trident and the United States opposed this. What would happen? For one, the entire US navy would be deployed to hunt down Red-White-and-Blue October; it would know roughly where to look, starting from the last position notified to the US and Nato while on normal patrol. Meanwhile, the prime minister would be trying to find a radio that was not jammed, hoping that none of the software had a worm and that the US navy wouldn’t shoot the missiles down with either its Aegis anti-missile system or the self-destruct radio signal that is used when missiles are test-fired.

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From the moment of a breach with Washington, moreover, every Trident submarine sailing down the Clyde would find a waiting US escort. In months the software would be out of date, Lockheed Martin and Halliburton would fly home, taking much equipment with them, and no spare parts would be available. As Quinlan put it: “We would be in shtook.”

The British people believe that an independent bomb exists. They don’t know that this insurance policy is valid only when Washington feels like it. And the premiums are high: in return for this dodgy insurance, Britain must follow the US line.

Did Britain have to invade Iraq? No, but if we had not, when the Mutual Defence Agreement came up for renewal in 2004 would John Bolton have recommended to his president that Britain was worthy of another ten years of nuclear supplies “in light of our previous close co-operation”?

Forty years ago Peter Cook lampooned Macmillan’s pretence at an independent bomb. Harold Wilson argued before, during and after he left office that Britain’s nuclear weapons were not independent. Recently Robin Cook, previewing my own work in what was his last article, affirmed that all aspects of Trident are dependent upon the US. Yet academics, journalists and politicians still use the words “independent nuclear deterrent” with gravitas rather than derision.

Confidence tricks work best on people who want to believe in them, and the British elite and much of the public are desperate to believe that Britain’s bomb gives them great-power status. Instead Britain gets the worst of all worlds: weapons that can’t be used when the chips are down and a US-led policy that rejects disarmament in favour of pre-emptive war. And now, with Trident becoming obsolete, the government wants to renew the deal – behind the old, dishonest mask of independent deterrence.

At the Commons defence hearing, MPs voiced the opinion that voters wanted a British bomb for the simple reason that the French had one. Informed that ever since Charles de Gaulle the French have regarded Britain as a US vassal because of our nuclear dependence, they were unmoved. The voters would not see it that way, protested one MP. Well, perhaps it is time the voters were told the truth.

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2005: The Late Robin Cook MP – A Man Of Honour – Replacing Trident Is Against Our National Interests And Our International Obligations

In an editorial written just before his death in July 2005, Robin Cook, who had served previously as Blair’s foreign secretary, raised questions about the expensive building and upgrading of facilities at the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston, to which the government committed substantial additional funds well before any debate or decision on the future of British nuclear weapons. He said, “Down at Aldermaston they are spending hundreds of millions of pounds of your money on a refit of the production line for nuclear warheads. We are assured this does not mean that any decision has been made to replace the Trident nuclear system. Dear me no, the investment is merely intended to keep open our options.” The full article:

Down at Aldermaston they are spending hundreds of millions of pounds of your money on a refit of the production line for nuclear warheads. We are assured this does not mean that any decision has been made to replace the Trident nuclear system. Dear me no, the investment is merely intended to keep open our options.

If we want to exercise the option of producing more weapons, we are told we must make up our minds in this parliament. This is not because Trident is in imminent danger of going out of service. The British submarines can keep on diving and surfacing for another two decades. The problem is that it will take that long to order, build and commission another expensive fleet to replace them.

This is an excellent opportunity for Tony Blair to prove that he is a real moderniser. It is a fixed pole of his political pitch that he represents a clean break from old Labour. It was the Wilson government of the 60s that built, launched and named the Polaris fleet. It was Jim Callaghan who first struck the Trident deal with President Carter, eccentrically in a beach hut on Guadeloupe. There could not be a more convincing way for Tony Blair to break from the past and to demonstrate that he is a true moderniser than by making the case that nuclear weapons now have no relevance to Britain’s defences in the modern world.

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The justification for both Polaris and Trident was that we faced in the Soviet Union a great, hostile bear bristling with nuclear claws. The missiles were put on submarines precisely because the ocean bed was the only place they could hide from Russian firepower. But those are calculations from a long-vanished era. The Soviet Union has disintegrated, its satellites are our allies in the European Union, and the west is now sinking large funds into helping Russia to defuse and dismantle the warheads that we once feared.

No other credible nuclear threat has stepped forward to replace the Soviet Union as a rationale for the British nuclear weapons system. To be sure, two or three other nations have emerged with a crude nuclear capability, but none of them has developed the capacity or the motivation to attack Britain.

It is not easy to see what practical return Britain ever got out of the extravagant sums we invested in our nuclear systems. None of our wars was ever won by them and none of the enemies we fought was deterred by them. General Galtieri was not deterred from seizing the Falklands, although Britain possessed the nuclear bomb and Argentina did not. But the collapse of the cold war has removed even the theoretical justification for our possessing strategic nuclear weapons.

However, the spirit of the cold war lives on in the minds of those who cannot let go of fear and who need an enemy to buttress their own identity. Hence the vacuum left by the cold war has been filled by George Bush’s global war on terror. It is tragically true that terrorism, partly as a result, is now a worse threat than ever before.

But nuclear weapons are hopelessly irrelevant to that terrorist threat. The elegant theories of deterrence all appear beside the point in the face of a suicide bomber who actively courts martyrdom. And if we ever were deluded enough to wreak our revenge by unleashing a latter-day Hiroshima on a Muslim city, we would incite fanatical terrorism against ourselves for a generation.

Investment in a new strategic nuclear system would be worse than an irrelevance. It would be an extravagant diversion of resources from priorities more relevant to combating terrorism. Trident cost us more than £12.5bn – roughly half the whole defence budget for a year. Even if its successor did not have a higher price tag, it could not be bought without cutting back on the conventional capacity of our armed forces. It will be more difficult this time to find the funds for a new nuclear weapons system without those cuts being painful, because the defence budget as a percentage of GDP is now much less than the level that accommodated the Polaris and Trident programmes.

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Our army is already shedding both troops and tanks. Yet Britain’s most valuable role in global stability is the professional, experienced contribution of our soldiers to peacekeeping missions, which earns us much more goodwill round the world than our nuclear submarines prowling the seas. The world would be less stable and Britain would be less secure if we were to trade in even more of those army units for son-of-Trident. It is not just peaceniks who would oppose such a choice. I suspect a clear majority of the officer corps would vote against diverting the defence budget into another generation of nuclear weapons.

It is not as if the large sums that would be required to keep us in the nuclear game would buy us an independent weapon. Dan Plesch documents in an impressive forthcoming report that all levels of the Trident system depend on US cooperation. The missiles are not even owned by us, but are leased from the Pentagon in an arrangement that Denis Healey once dubbed as “rent-a-rocket”. Renewing our collaboration with the US on nuclear weapons will deepen the bonds between Downing Street and the White House, at the very time when the rest of the nation longs for a more independent stance.

It is therefore against Britain’s national interests to replace Trident. It is also against our international obligations, notably the commitment in the non-proliferation treaty to proceed in good faith to nuclear disarmament.

To be fair, New Labour has so far had a decent record on progress towards this objective. In the past decade Labour has scrapped Britain’s other nuclear weapons, signed up to the test ban treaty and reduced the alert status of our submarines by several days. But these positive steps will be reversed if we now charge off in the opposite direction by ordering a brand-new nuclear system.

There is a chasm too wide for logic to leap, between arguing that Britain must maintain nuclear weapons to guarantee its security, and lecturing Iran et al that the safety of the world would be compromised if they behaved in the same way.

Despite the current anxieties over proliferation, more nations have given up nuclear weapons over the past generation than have developed them. Brazil and Argentina negotiated a treaty to terminate their rival nuclear programmes. Ukraine and other former Soviet states renounced the nuclear capacity they inherited. South Africa, post-apartheid, abandoned its nuclear programme and dismantled its weapon capacity.

None of those countries regards itself as any less secure than before. Nor need we, if our leadership can find the courage to let Trident be the end of Britain’s futile and costly obsession with nuclear-weapon status. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2005/jul/29/labour.politicalcolumnists

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2005: New labour and The Independent Nuclear Deterrent

Labour’s 2005 election manifesto stated: “We are also committed to retaining the independent nuclear deterrent.” But can this system be called independent when so much of it is, as modern business-speak would have it, sourced in America? The deterrent is carried in four Vanguard-class submarines that although designed and built in Britain, incorporate many US components and reactor technology: http://www.newstatesman.com/node/152880

* The delivery system is the Trident D-5 missile, which is designed and made in the United States.

* The firing system is also designed and made in the US.

* So is the guidance system.

* The computer software is American.

* The warhead design is based on the US W-76 bomb.

* The warheads are produced by Aldermaston, which is owned US firm Lockheed Martin and primarily uses US technology.

* Vital nuclear explosive parts are imported, we now know, from the US, as are some non-nuclear parts.

* The warhead factory is a copy of a facility at Los Alamos, New Mexico.

* The submarine maintenance base is also 51 per cent owned by Halliburton of the US.

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2006: End of a Nuclear Weapons Era: Can Britain Make History?

The United Kingdom has begun to debate whether to replace the current Trident nuclear weapons system, which will cease to be operational in the early 2020s, or to become the first acknowledged nuclear-weapon state to comply fully with Article VI of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) by eliminating the British arsenal.

A decision is expected sometime in this parliament, (deferred until after the May 2015 general election) in 2010. Just before last year’s general election, the government of Tony Blair announced that it would need to consider a follow-on to Trident, but it sought to portray the decision as essentially technical—whether to extend the life of the current submarines or build new platforms.

The government’s attempt to slip the decision through quietly failed, and a contentious debate about the future of British nuclear weapons and nonproliferation policy has now been kindled. Politicians and retired military officers are taking sides, the grassroots peace movement is mobilizing, and members of parliament are demanding to participate in the decision-making.

Blair has made clear that he believes the United Kingdom should retain “the independent nuclear deterrent.” Yet, his defense secretary, John Reid, has tried to reassure members of parliament that no decision has been taken on any replacement and that the government would “listen to” their views. However, there was no commitment to either a debate or vote on the matter in parliament. http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2006_04/CoverStoryUKnuclear

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2008: USA sub builders to plug yard skills gap

18 Americans are arriving in Barrow to help BAE. They include six designers who have already arrived, and who will work with BAE, Thales, Rolls Royce and Ministry of Defence staff on designs for future subs including planned, giant Son of Trident vessels. Twelve engineers from Electric Boat, set to arrive in January, will work on the Astute-class boats Ambush and Artful, now in build.

On the design side, BAE has to work with the USA on any future Trident missile sub because the top secret missiles and missile compartments are American technology and are designed and made by US firms. http://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/1.269227

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2008: Britain’s nuclear warheads will be upgraded

The Government is planning to upgrade its stockpile of nuclear warheads, it has been reported.

A senior Ministry of Defence official told a private gathering of arms manufacturers that the decision to replace the warheads had already been taken, according to documents released under the freedom of Information Act. In June last year David Gould, the then chief operating officer at the Defence Equipment and Support Organisation, made the announcement at a future deterrent industry event. He said: “This afternoon we are going to outline our plan to maintain the UK’s nuclear deterrent. “The intention is to replace the entire Vanguard class submarine system. Including the warhead and missile.”

The statement is in contradiction to previous assertions made by ministers. They have always denied that there are plans to replace the warheads as part of the upgrade of the Trident nuclear system, and insisted that no decision would be made until the next parliament, probably sometime after 2010.

Kate Hudson, chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said: “It is a disgrace that the MoD is secretly telling the defence industry one thing, whilst ministers are saying quite the opposite in Parliament.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2456478/Britains-nuclear-warheads-will-be-upgraded-document-suggests.html

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2008 – Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire sold off to American company.

The government has sold its last remaining shares in the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire to an American company. The move means Britain no longer has any stake in the production of its Trident nuclear warheads. Opposition MPs have criticised the sale, but the Ministry of Defence said Britain’s “sovereign interests” had been protected. The fee paid by California-based Jacobs Engineering has not been disclosed. The sale of British Nuclear Fuels’ stake means Jacobs has control of one third of Aldermaston’s operating company, AWE Management. The other two thirds were already in private hands. They are split equally between American defence giant Lockheed Martin and the British plc Serco. Aldermaston is responsible for the production of warheads for the Trident nuclear deterrent programme and its planned replacement Trident2.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7793171.stm

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2015: Trident Nuclear Weapons – Armageddon On Our Doorstep

The current Trident nuclear weapons system comprises four nuclear powered Vanguard-class submarines, which are homeported at Faslane naval base northwest of Glasgow. These are equipped with Trident II D5 missiles leased from the US, fitted with warheads that are manufactured at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Aldermaston and Burghfield, near London. The majority of the UK’s declared 225 warheads – those that are not being deployed on board the submarines or refurbished by AWE – are stored at a naval arms depot at Coulport, on the Scottish coast about 6 miles from Faslane. Trident nuclear weapons are regularly transported through Scottish lochs and seas and between Faslane and Coulport. Convoys of armoured vehicles carrying warheads frequently travel on public roads, including motorways, between AWE Burghfield and Coulport. http://www.acronym.org.uk/directory/proliferation-challenges/nuclear-weapons-possessors/united-kingdom/scotlandfaslane

UK Government Caves In To Big Business – Food Standards Abandoned – Many Condemned To An Early Death

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Salt And Your Health

Our bodies need a little bit of salt to survive, but the amount we eat is far more than we require. Evidence has shown that regularly eating too much salt puts us at increased risk of developing high blood pressure. High blood pressure is the main cause of strokes and a major cause of heart attacks and heart failures, the most common causes of death and illness in the world.

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Here are some common questions answered about salt:

1. What is salt? By salt, we mean table salt, which is otherwise known as sodium chloride. It is the biggest source of sodium in our diets and it’s this sodium that’s the problem in relation to blood pressure. While we do need some sodium in our diet to help regulate fluid in the body, it’s unusual for us not to get enough – and only too common for us to have too much.

2. What’s the daily limit? The Government recommends that we eat no more than 6g of salt a day, which is about a teaspoon. Currently, we are consuming 8.1g a day, which is about a third more than the maximum recommendation, so we still have some way to go.

3. Why are we going over this limit? Many people unfortunately don’t realise they are eating too much salt. That is because about 75% of the salt in our diet comes from process foods. It’s not just in ready meals, soups and sauces, though – keep an eye on everyday foods such as breads and cereals, as well as sweet foods harbouring a salty surprise. Foods don’t necessarily have to taste salty to be salty. This is one of the reasons it can be tricky to reduce our salt intake, as it is often already in the foods we buy, and we can’t take it out.   See more at: http://www.actiononsalt.org.uk/salthealth/index.html#sthash.ROdMjH0H.dpuf

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2000:  A Non-Ministerial Government Department – Food Standards Agency (FSA) – Created By New Labour.

After the collapse in public trust triggered by a number of high-profile outbreaks and deaths from foodborne illness including the BSE crisis, civil servants within the then Ministry of Agriculture Food and Fisheries were perceived as having put the interests of producers ahead of those of consumers. It was 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.

The Agency soon lost it’s way embarking on major investigative projects requiring increasing numbers of staff and ran head on into controversy about the health claims of organic food and even the role of GM foods whilst being heavily criticised for expensive and questionable research and fruitless public consultation exercises.

It tried to be open to scrutiny with “open board meetings” available for public viewing on the web and even award-winning health advertising campaigns had a short lifespan, with budgets axed. Ultimately, it was the FSA’s difficult relationship with the powerful food industry which undermined its effectiveness and claims to be independent, after manufacturers successfully lobbied in Europe to put an end to its attempt to secure a universal system of “traffic light labelling” for food and drink products. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/10776079/Salt-levels-in-many-foods-unnecessarily-high.html

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2010: Victory for food manufacturers – Food Standards Agency To Be Abolished By Health Secretary

The Food Standards Agency is to be abolished by Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, it emerged last night, after the watchdog fought a running battle with industry over the introduction of colour-coded “traffic light” warnings for groceries, TV dinners and snacks. The move has sparked accusations that the government has “caved in to big business”.

As part of the changes Lansley will reassign the FSA’s regulatory aspects – including safety and hygiene – to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Its responsibilities for nutrition, diet and public health will be incorporated into the Department of Health.

Andrew Burnham, Labour’s health spokesman, said: “Getting rid of the FSA is the latest in a number of worrying steps that show Andrew Lansley caving in to the food industry. It does raise the question whether the health secretary wants to protect the public health or promote food companies.” http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/news/food-standards-agency-abolished-2024489.html

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But New Labour Claimed to Have Resolved These Difficulties in 2000!!!!!

Sadly this is not the case: successive Tory, Labour and Con/Dem Westminster governments get huge donations from wealthy individuals in return for honours. Big business gets its reward in the form of contracts, lax government regulation and, most importantly, governments that implement a pro-big business agenda, ideologically insistent on privatisation, cuts and anti-working class measures.

David John Sainsbury, Baron Sainsbury of Turville, served as the Chair of Sainsbury’s, the supermarket chain from 1992 to 1997. He was made a life peer in 1997, and currently sits in the House of Lords as a member of the Labour Party. He served in the government as the Minister for Science and Innovation from 1998 and 2006 and gifted Tony Blair’s New Labour Party a vast amount of money over the period 1996-2006 (£15m). What did he get in return? A peerage and the post in government as Minister of Science were just two rewards of note.

Elected in 1997 the Blair government continually backed down on attempts to protect the health of the UK population by regulating the food industry. In 2006 the nation witnessed yet another government climbdown on a solemn promise to force food manufacturers to cut salt levels in our food. The plan was to reduce personal daily intake by 10gm to 6gm over the period ending in 2010. The target was revised upwards by the government to 8gm, where it remains as at March 2015. According to health experts, an extra 126,000 UK citizens will have died in the period 2006-2015 as a direct result of the revised policy .

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 to Blair and New Labour. So it is not only over Iraq and Afghanistan that Blair and New Labour has “blood on their hands”.

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The Circle is Complete

In terms of food standard controls the UK, was to be returned to before the year 2000. All measures considered necessary and put in place as a result of recurring failures by the food industry to ensure the safety of the public to be set aside and replaced with the original inadequate control systems.

Supermarket profits are being hit hard, for many reasons and an ever increasing need to cut costs is placing food standards at risk as supplier costs are reduced. Recent unsatisfactory incidents, such as horse meat, exposure of extremely high and unacceptable levels of Campylobacter in chickens is causing public concern.

The Scottish SNP government took the view that these new arrangements were unacceptable to Scotland and, following a period of intense discussion gained approval of Westminster to set up food standard monitoring body which would report to the Scottish parliament.

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Campylobacter: Seven things you need to know about supermarket chicken bug

More than 70 percent of fresh chicken sold in British supermarkets is contaminated with the campylobacter bug, with Asda reporting the highest incidence rate.The investigation, conducted the Foods Standards Agency (FSA), showed that number of chickens contaminated by the campylobacter bug, which is the biggest cause of food poisoning in the UK, had risen from 59 percent in August.

Overall, none of the supermarkets came out well, with all failing to meet the official target of having less than 10 percent of their chickens contaminated. Roughly 90 percent of all fresh chickens come from the intensive farms and abattoirs of just five processing companies.   http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/chicken-bug-seven-things-you-need-to-know-9888104.html

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Food Standads Scotland Act 2015

The Food (Scotland) Bill to set up a stand-alone food safety, standards and nutrition body in Scotland has passed into law. The Bill had passed through parliamentary scrutiny at Stage 3 of the process on 9th December 2015 and received Royal Assent from Her Majesty the Queen on 13th Jan 2015. This step creates the Food (Scotland) Act 2015 and paves the way for Food Standards Scotland as a Legal Entity.

The Scottish Food Standards Ageny will operate from 1 April 2015. Common sense at last removing food standard controls from the supplier to the public of Scotland. http://blogs.scotland.gov.uk/newfoodbodyforscotland/2015/01/16/food-scotland-act-2015/

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Remember the foregoing on 7 May 2015. Labour MP’s always vote in the UK National interest which is increasingly at odds with the interests of Scotland.  SNP MP’s vote only in the interests of their electorate in Scotland. You know it makes sense.