The BBC – Scottish Press and Other Media – Exist to Further the Policies of the Westminster Elite

 

 

 

 

The BBC, Other Media Outlets and the Scottish Press

Black propaganda, authorised by the Westminster government,  is routinely used by the BBC, other media outlets and the Scottish Press to vilify, embarrass or misrepresent those in Scotland who support Scottish independence.

 

 

 

 

 

Media Bias against Scottish Independence

The coverage of political events in Scotland’s press and television is devastatingly fraudulent so far as unbiased reporting is concerned. This is primarily due to the right wing policies of their owners and the adverse impact of the companies that place their advertising with the various media outputs.

Without advertising revenue, or state funding in the case of the BBC and Channel 4 many newspapers and the BBC Channel 4 would very quickly fold.

The foregoing indisputable fact completely dismantles any concept of democracy in the UK and subjects Scots to a society ruled by financial oligopoly’s interested only in the furtherance of an insatiable greed determined to ensure an accumulation of wealth to themselves and those to whom they might have an obligation.

But the present unsatisfactory state of affairs was not always the way in which the press went about its business. In times past the press and the BBC were much admired because of the plurality of opinion they brought to the nation.

The coverage of daily newsworthy events was indeed superb and senior political journalists were placed highly in society due to their unbiased delivery of news matters and political comment.

No politician or political party was ever given a cosy slanted bedtime interview which is often the case nowadays. Perhaps the most factor was that Editorial output was never driven by an need to satisfy the Advertising Department.

Scotland, up to the late seventies enjoyed a media largely free of unfettered bias, although there was always a right and left wing political banter for the nation to enjoy each day.

The Times (the voice of the UK) was a newspaper considered to be above political persuasion committing only the truth to print. All other newspapers served their readership dependant on their political stance but journalists would always demand of their editors that their copy would be presented to the readership nearly always unaltered so that their words would be presented accurately.

 

 

 

 

The Impact of Thatcher and Murdoch

The demise of the British press started at around the time Margaret Thatcher and the ultra right wing Tory party took up the reigns of government.

She adored Ronald Reagan and embracing the ideals of the Americans forced change on UK society. Overnight large tracts of the population of England dumped the British way of life and embraced with an indecent haste the “dog eat dog” approach actively promoted by the Tory party.

Scotland rebuffed Thatcher and her drive to create a Kingdom full of “Gordon Greco’s” preferring to retain political systems driven by the desire to ensure communities would always be at the forefront of individual thought.

An example is The Blood Transfusion Service. In England and in Scotland the Services had, up to 1980 been self sufficient in the collection of blood from volunteers within the community. The bulk of companies placed their facilities at the disposal of the service free of charge and allowed staff to be away from work to give their donation.

Very quickly after the election of the Tory Party to power things changed in England. Employers became increasingly reluctant to release their staff and free use of facilities markedly dried up.

The Blood Transfusion Service in England & Wales failed to collect enough blood and the NHS in England was forced to import blood and blood products from abroad, primarily the US, (and the problems that brought with it) who collected much of their blood from paid donors. Just at the time the Aids epidemic hit the world.

Scotland remained self sufficient in blood and blood products until the md- 1990’s due to the retention of the community ideal, until this was overtaken by the spread of the Thatcher Dogma.

 

 

The introduction of the press baron, Rupert Murdoch, his British American Society cohorts, and the secret service agencies of the UK and the USA was akin to releasing Dracula on a blood bank.

He purchased a poorly performing Sun newspaper and converted it into a “slick chick” rag with an approach radically at odds with the mainline press in the UK.

Page three photographs of topless young ladies, (often paid around £50 for the shoot) and similar pleasurable, superficial and erotically titillating headlines dominated its coverage.

He then followed up purchasing the News of the World, introducing “sex expose” headlines requiring access and financial persuasion of the protectors of society releasing information that would not normally have been in the public domain.

Not content he went on to purchase “The Times” and almost overnight destroyed its reputation for unbiased reporting of news and politics.

The final act of political vandalism supported by Thatcher was Murdoch’s destruction of “Fleet Street” which brought about the situation which is of relevance today.

Many newspapers followed Murdoch’s lead and went for American ownership and the US dollar. It is therefore the needs, foibles and vices of the US that are driving UK press policies today.

The search for the truth no longer occupy’s the thoughts and actions of News Editors. It has been replaced with a driving force of “media control” ensuring the public is provided with news copy heavily slanted in favour of the politics of the news Barons and whichever government holds the reins of power in Westminster and the US.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/apr/28/how-margaret-thatcher-and-rupert-murdoch-made-secret-deal

 

 

 

 

 

The widespread and increasing failings of the BBC as an organisation reporting political and world events independent of government

BBC senior management in Scotland, an anti-independence Scottish press and a UK body corporate are determined upon the elimination of anything Scottish in the mantra of the Scottish electorate support policies only wholly favourable to the Westminster government.

This was demonstrated at the time of the Scottish referendum by the much reduced role required of BBC Scotland, Scottish journalists and the very expensive transfer from England to BBC Scotland of (British American Society), right wing political presenters Sarah Smith and James Naughtie who in the course of their secondment contributed, by their performances in the course of the referendum coverage to the biased reporting against the Yes campaign.

https://caltonjock.com/2015/04/11/the-new-world-order-part-two-the-british-american-project-bap-the-bbc-disinformation-service/

 

 

James Naughtie

 

Sarah Smith

 

Paul Mason: BBC Newsnight’s former economics editor who is now at Channel 4 News said  “Not since Iraq have I seen BBC News working at propaganda strength like this. So glad I’m out of there,”

On Twitter, he posted a link to a U-Tube video claiming that the BBC had been “completely biased and unbalanced in their reporting of the referendum”, adding the comment: “Media students, journos, (coughs loudly) this is well worth watching.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/bbc-scotland-protests-scottish-independence-referendum-coverage-institutionally-biased-salmond-9732095.html

In recent weeks appeasement policies in favour of the government were given a further boost with the controversial appointment of Laura Kuenssberg to the post of BBC Political Editor replacing Nick Robinson. Kuenssberg, whom I have written about in my blog:

https://caltonjock.com/2015/04/02/people-of-influence-whom-you-hardly-know-well-connected-laura-kuenssburg-bbc-newsnight-senior-correspondent-dad-an-admirer-of-wendy-alexander/

.…………. is a right wing, lightweight, opinionated, increasingly nasty political interviewer who follows the lead of her mentor, Andrew Neil – the BBC’s other very senior political commentator who, by chance is a former Murdoch employee and current Chairman of Press Holdings (viz the Spectator and the Barclay Brothers).

So at the very top of the political journalism tree of the BBC there are two ultra right-wing journalists. Kuenssberg and Neil are also Scots, so the anti Scottish independence bias is assured through all aspects of the BBC’s political coverage.

 

Laura Kuenssberg

 

Andrew Neil

 

 
17 February 2015: The naked power of HSBC – Why I have resigned from the Telegraph -Peter Oborne – former chief political commentator of the Telegraph

This brings me to a second and even more important point that bears not just on the fate of one newspaper but on public life as a whole. A free press is essential to a healthy democracy.

There is a purpose to journalism, and it is not just to entertain. It is not to pander to political power, big corporations and rich men. Newspapers have what amounts in the end to a constitutional duty to tell their readers the truth.

It is not only the Telegraph that is at fault here. The past few years have seen the rise of shadowy executives who determine what truths can and what truths can’t be conveyed across the mainstream media.

The criminality of News International newspapers during the phone hacking years was a particularly grotesque example of this wholly malign phenomenon. All the newspaper groups, bar the magnificent exception of the Guardian, maintained a culture of omerta around phone-hacking, even if (like the Telegraph) they had not themselves been involved.

One of the consequences of this conspiracy of silence was the appointment of Andy Coulson, who has since been jailed and now faces further charges of perjury, as director of communications in 10 Downing Street.

Last week I made another discovery. Three years ago the Telegraph investigations team—the same lot who carried out the superb MPs’ expenses investigation—received a tip off about accounts held with HSBC in Jersey.

Essentially this investigation was similar to the Panorama investigation into the Swiss banking arm of HSBC. After three months research the Telegraph resolved to publish. Six articles on this subject can now be found online, between 8 and 15 November 2012, although three are not available to view.

Thereafter no fresh reports appeared. Reporters were ordered to destroy all emails, reports and documents related to the HSBC investigation. I have now learnt, in a remarkable departure from normal practice, that at this stage lawyers for the Barclay brothers became closely involved. When I asked the Telegraph why the Barclay brothers were involved, it declined to comment.

This was the pivotal moment. From the start of 2013 onwards stories critical of HSBC were discouraged. HSBC suspended its advertising with the Telegraph. Its account, I have been told by an extremely well informed insider, was extremely valuable.

HSBC, as one former Telegraph executive told me, is “the advertiser you literally cannot afford to offend”. HSBC today refused to comment when I asked whether the bank’s decision to stop advertising with the Telegraph was connected in any way with the paper’s investigation into the Jersey accounts.

Winning back the HSBC advertising account became an urgent priority. It was eventually restored after approximately 12 months. Executives say that Murdoch MacLennan was determined not to allow any criticism of the international bank. “He would express concern about headlines even on minor stories,” says one former Telegraph journalist. “Anything that mentioned money-laundering was just banned, even though the bank was on a final warning from the US authorities. This interference was happening on an industrial scale.

“An editorial operation that is clearly influenced by advertising is classic appeasement. Once a very powerful body know they can exert influence they know they can come back and threaten you. It totally changes the relationship you have with them. You know that even if you are robust you won’t be supported and will be undermined.” When I sent detailed questions to the Telegraph about its connections with advertisers, the paper gave the following response. “Your questions are full of inaccuracies, and we do not therefore intend to respond to them. More generally, like any other business, we never comment on individual commercial relationships, but our policy is absolutely clear. We aim to provide all our commercial partners with a range of advertising solutions, but the distinction between advertising and our award-winning editorial operation has always been fundamental to our business. We utterly refute any allegation to the contrary.”

The evidence suggests otherwise, and the consequences of the Telegraph’s recent soft coverage of HSBC may have been profound. Would Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have been much more energetic in its own recent investigations into wide-scale tax avoidance, had the Telegraph continued to hold HSBC to account after its 2012 investigation? There are great issues here. They go to the heart of our democracy, and can no longer be ignored.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/peter-oborne/why-i-have-resigned-from-telegraph

 

 

 

Qinetiq – Owned by the UK Taxpayer But Flogged Off For A Pittance Labour Party Financial Incompetence or Some Other Reason?

The Qinetiq Financial Fiasco

What follows is a report providing evidence and example of the massive mis-management of public finances by the last Labour government so that no-one will be tempted to give their vote to the Labour party at the next Scottish election or any future similar event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 September 2014: George Robertson demeans his nation

Robertson in full flow. The scathing put-down of his nation is revealing since it mirrors that of Labour politicians presently in Westminster. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xm-nTYXmofc

The audacity of the man attacking those who proffered a look forward to the possible future size and shape of Scottish defence forces. But he was responsible for giving away the UK defence force’s entire research programme for a pittance, against the wishes of just about anyone with any common sense.

The UK National Audit Office (NAO, investigated the circumstances that had brought about the ill-judged hastily prepared plan bringing about the almost total privatization of a key part of the Defence Department.

At a NAO interview, Lord Gilbert, former Minister of Procurement for the UK Defence Department, advised he had warned, (before the sale) that the Treasury Department’s (Gordon Brown’s) proposed sell-off, to a US private equity company of the UK Defence Department’s research arm was, “a disaster in the making”.

He further stated he had personally warned the UK Defence Secretary (Lord Robertson) that the sale would be a, “bloody scandal” but the stake in the agency was subsequently sold. The article; http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2007/nov/21/military.immigrationpolicy

 

 

 
Robertson knows no shame

Today, the Center on the United States and Europe (CUSE) and the Project on International Order and Strategy (IOS) at Brookings hosted Lord George Robertson for an address on the historic Scottish referendum and the international consequences of the decision. Lord Robertson, taking the “no” position on the vote asked “who would cheer loudest on the 19th of September. Robertson’s absurd statement:

“The loudest cheers for the breakup of Britain would be from our adversaries and from our enemies. For the second military power in the West to shatter this year would be cataclysmic in geopolitical terms. If the United Kingdom was to face a split at this of all times and find itself embroiled for several years in a torrid, complex, difficult and debilitating divorce, it would rob the West of a serious partner just when solidity and cool nerves are going to be vital. Nobody should underestimate the effect all of that would have on existing global balances and the forces of darkness would simply love it.”

http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/brookings-now/posts/2014/04/lord-george-robertson-forces-of-darkness-love-scottish-split-from-united-kingdom

 

 

 

 

 

20 June 2000: Defence laboratories sell-off criticised

Plans to sell off most of the government’s secret defence research laboratories were attacked by an all-party committee of MPs. In a report on the sell-off, the defence select committee said the risks far out-weighed the “hypothetical benefits”. It also said the privatisation plans could endanger the UK’s ability to get effective military equipment for the armed forces. The Labour chair of the committee, Bruce George MP, said the plans were “fundamentally flawed”. The future of defence research was far too important to be pushed into a public private partnership with a wing and a prayer.

Intially the government planned to sell off the entire agency but stopped short of that following widespread concerns about national security, particularly from the United States. But Mr George thinks the new plans are unlikely to silence critics.

Mr George said he was certain that the decision had been forced by the chancellor of the exchequer, Gordon Brown as it is thought the sale could raise up to £1bn. “The drivers are the Treasury,” he said. He rejected the idea that the Ministry of Defence was too inflexible for effective research to be carried out under its auspices. “There’s ample scope within the existing framework with a little more flexibility to continue to do the job,” he said.

Under the plans, a core of around 3,000 staff would stay in the Ministry of Defence to give the government access to in-house impartial advice. Sensitive sites including Porton Down in Wiltshire, where chemical and biological weapons research is carried out, would also remain under state control. More than 9,000 defence scientists would be employed by a private company that would be sold off and floated on the stock market. Unions say a further 3,000 jobs will be lost. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/798097.stm

 

 

 
30 April 2002: The birth of Qinetiq

Qinetiq is a silly name for a deeply serious company, one whose founding principle is nothing less weighty than the defence of the realm. Until the middle of last year, Qinetiq was the main part of the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA), the British Government’s secret military laboratories. Now, Qinetiq – currently owned by the Ministry of Defence – is on course for privatisation, wooing venture capitalists with a view to a stock market listing. But can secretive government scientists hope to thrive in the private sector?

DERA was a child of the Cold War, a means of channelling scientific expertise in the struggle with the Soviet Union. Beginning in the 1950s with some of the pioneering work into chemical and biological warfare, the agency had reached a peak of sophistication by the end of the 1980s. But then the sudden end of the Cold War eliminated DERA’s raison d’etre at a stroke.

Margaret Thatcher, then prime minister, cut off funding for DERA and similar agencies. “She wanted to find out what they were good for by making them go out and find customers for themselves,” says Sir John Chisholm, Qinetiq ‘s chief executive. At first, self-reliance did not come easy. “Everything was upside down from the commercial point of view,” says Sir John. “Under the old regime, if you won any business from the outside world, that subtracted from the revenue coming in from the Treasury – so winning business was a bad thing.”

A decade on, and the agency has found its commercial feet. “Profit is not in itself an objective, but it is a measure that you are really good at what you’re doing”, Sir John Chisholm, Qinetiq

Last year, the bulk of DERA – excepting the super-secret Defence Science and Technology Laboratory –  the newly formed private shareholder company, renamed itself Qinetiq, and began the slow process of piecemeal privatisation.

Qinetiq still earns some 80% of its £800m annual sales from winning Ministry of Defence tenders. But it is the remaining 20% that is the firm’s main growth area, what Sir John calls “managing the interface between ideas and business”. Qinetiq hopes to prosper by taking the ideas and technologies it learns from defence contracting, and seeking out ways to apply them to problems in the civilian field. “A feature of warfare is solving problems at the frontier of knowledge,” says Sir John. “That gives us intellectual property that our business model allows us to spin off in different directions.”

The new company will have an operating turnover of £800m and employ 8500 staff in 42 MOD stations…It will also inherit (free of charge) in excess of 5000 patents. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/1957320.stm

 

      

 

 
Enter the Carlyle Group

In December 2002, one third of the company was sold to the American investment group Carlyle for £150 million. Carlyle owned a number of defence and technology companies in the United States and amongst its senior management team were a number of high profile individuals with links to President George W. Bush and previous Republican administrations including:

* George Bush Senior, acting as a senior advisor.

* Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of Defence Frank Carlucci, who was also the Chair for the RAND Organisation’s Centre for Middle East Public Policy.

* James A. Baker III, a lawyer who led the election campaigns of the last four Republican Presidents and who was George W. Bush’s spokesman at the 2000 election. He was also Secretary of State from January 1989 through August 1992 in Bush Senior’s administration, Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration and was President Reagan’s White House Chief of Staff from 1981 to 1985.  His work at the White House began in 1975 as President Ford’s Under Secretary of Commerce and ended with his service once again as White House Chief of Staff for President Bush from August 1992 to January 1993.

* Richard G. Darman who served as Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and as a member of President George Bush Senior’s cabinet. He also held senior policy positions under four Presidents in six Cabinet Departments and the White House.  These positions included: Assistant to the President of the United States (1981-85); Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Treasury (1985-87); and Assistant U.S. Secretary of Commerce (1976-77).

* John Major former Conservative Prime Minister was Chairman of the Carlyle Group in Europe.

* Arthur Levitt, Former chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission acted as a senior advisor

* Karl Otto Pohl ex-Bundesbank president acted as a senior advisor.

Besides the wealthy bin Laden family, which had disowned Osama, the Carlyle Group managed funds for Prince Alwaleed and the likes of George Soros, earning its investors spectacular returns by taking strategic stakes in everything from Socpresse, parent company of French newspaper Le Figaro, to a subsidiary of the Japanese supermarket giant Daiei.

 

 

Sir John Chisholm, QinetiQ’s chief executive, went some way to assuaging the fears of MP’s stating: ‘Carlyle has undertaken to select investors who are predominantly UK or European, so economic ownership remains overwhelmingly British, while QinetiQ business management will continue to remain the responsibility of the QinetiQ management team and the board.’

There was still a huge public outcry that the government which had argued its plans were good for the taxpayer was seen to be let the taxpayer down. And the National Audit Office heavily criticised the Carlyle deal, the public accounts committee claimed the MoD had behaved like “an innocent at a table of card sharps” during the deal.

 

 

 

 

 

15 September 2002: The Carlyle Group makes a financial killing

Not even Tom Clancy could have dreamt it up. The UK government sells a stake in its top secret defence laboratories – responsible for inventing the sort of hardware that would make 007’s Q green with envy – to a shadowy American organisation that boasts ex-Presidents and Prime Ministers as special advisers and has invested millions of dollars for the bin Laden family and Saudi royalty.

This is not paperback fiction, however. It is the Government’s latest plan for QinetiQ, the rebranded Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (Dera) that in recent years had developed a diverse portfolio of inventions, including a plastic tank that avoids radar, a new system for mapping the seabed, and technology that allows third-generation mobile phone masts to be installed in churches.

Having opted against floating the company on the stock market because of the global economic downturn, the government decided instead earlier this month to invite venture capital firms to take a stake in the business, which employs more than 9,000 people.

The deal was hugely controversial. The government’s plans to privatise the defence laboratories drew fierce criticism when they were announced four years before. Experts warned it was a way of allowing Ministers to distance themselves from allegations that Britain was underfunding such research.

Now, by opening up QinetiQ to outside interests, the government stood accused of sacrificing the crown jewels of the UK defence industry because of the Treasury’s addiction to public private partnerships at the expense of all other funding alternatives.

Few were surprised when the Carlyle Group emerged at the head of the stampede to acquire the QinetiQ stake, beating fierce competition from a reputed 40 firms. Carlyle is one of the biggest venture capital groups, a leviathan that commands respect and inspires awe in equal parts. Chaired by former US Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci, the group’s tentacles spread far and wide.

The group, which has invested more than $13.5 billion across 20 private equity funds, was renowned for investing in the defence industry, and QinetiQ fitted its portfolio perfectly.

‘It’s a good, solid, well-run company. We believe it’s well established as a supplier to the Ministry of Defence and the non-MoD sector. We conduct a lot of due diligence checks before making any proposals,’ a Carlyle spokeswoman said.

Some have suggested that the MoD was keen to see a US firm win the bidding war. ‘The Americans were very concerned when the government announced it was privatising its research arm because of the close relationship between the US and the UK defence departments. There were huge ministerial efforts to reassure the Americans that nothing would change, and it might have crossed the government’s mind that bringing a US venture capital firm in might not be a bad thing,’ said one expert familiar with the situation.

 

 

 
15 September 2002: The Carlyle Group -an American view

Carlyle is no stranger to controversy. In 2001 the group floated its biggest defence holding, the armoured vehicle and howitzer manufacturer United Defense, on the New York Stock Exchange via an initial public offering. The timing of the float – announced a couple of months after the 11 September atrocities – drew criticism that it was cashing in on terrorism.

US pressure groups such as Judicial Watch started to point out links between Carlyle and the White House. The close friendship between Carlucci and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld – wrestling buddies from university – was subjected to intense scrutiny.

Under the US Freedom of Information Act, Judicial Watch obtained letters exchanged between the two men in which they discussed the ‘restructuring’ of the Defense Department. ‘Dear Don, thanks for lunch last Friday. It was great seeing you in such good spirits,’ writes Carlucci in February 2001, before going on to introduce his ideas for the project.

Two months later Rumsfeld wrote back, congratulating Carlucci and his fellow director William Perry on their work. ‘I may ask the two of you to come in and meet with some of the key staff folks who are working on those types of things here in the department,’ Rumsfeld says.

As concerns about the links between the White House and Carlyle grew, pressure groups campaigned for George Bush Sr to relinquish his links with the group after its relationship with the bin Laden family was exposed. Carlyle and the bin Ladens dissolved their relationship, but critics continue to harry the former President. ‘Bush Sr has to seriously consider the propriety of sitting on the board of a group that was impacted by his son’s decisions,’ said the campaign group, the Center for Public Integrity.

Attention also focused on links between Bush Jr and Carlyle. In 1991 the firm gave George W. a seat on the board of the Texas-based Caterair International, an airline meals firm. Now history was repeating itself, as Carlyle’s defence interests again came under the spotlight. http://www.theguardian.com/business/2002/sep/15/businessofresearch.arms

 

 

 

 

 
15 September 2002: Money Money Money – QinetiQ floats on the stock exchange

In 2006 the company hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons when it floated on the London Stock Exchange, a move that saw its private equity owners make a staggering return on their investment. Shares were floated on the London stock exchange at a price of 200p, putting a value of £374m on the Carlyle stake.

US private equity group Carlyle, which had bought a 31% stake in the business from the British government for just £42m in 2003, raised around £160m by selling part of that stake in the flotation that was six times oversubscribed.

Sir John Chisholm, the chairman, and Graham Love, the chief executive, saw their stakes, for which they paid several hundred thousand pounds, valued at about £27m and £23m respectively.

Mr Love took the first opportunity he had to realise some of that windfall earlier this year when a “lock-in” that prevented him from selling shares expired. He sold 2.9m shares – worth just under £6m – for “personal reasons”.

Carlyle, meanwhile, cashed in its chips around the same time. The private equity company, best known for hiring high profile politicians such as Sir John Major as advisers, sold its remaining holding for about £140m.

The National Audit Office (NAO) also lambasted the “excessive” share incentive scheme that netted QinetiQ’s 10 most senior managers £107.5m – a return of 19,900% for their £540,000 investment in shares at the time Qinetiq moved onto the stockmarket: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2008/jun/10/whitehall.defence

Sir John Chisholm, chairman Invested £130,000. Worth: £25.97m

Graham Love, chief executive Invested £110,000. Worth: £21.35m

Hal Kruth, group commercial manager. Invested £70,000. Worth: £13.88m

Brenda Jones, marketing director. Invested £60,000. Worth: £11.18m

 

 

 

 

 

 

23 March 2003: High-flying venture capital firm Carlyle Group cashes in when the tanks roll

It is the sort of thing they really could have done without. For 15 years one of America’s most powerful venture capital groups tried to play down suggestions that its multi-billion dollar funds get fat on the back of global conflict. But now, with the invasion of Iraq under way, a new book chronicling the relatively short history of the Carlyle Group threatens to draw attention to the company’s close links with the Pentagon.

Dan Briody, author of the Iron Triangle, Inside the Secret World of the Carlyle Group, alleges the company’s executives were so worried about his book they told staff not to talk to him. The Carlyle Group rejects this and argues the book is little more than a cuttings job based around some of the more crazy conspiracy theories found on the internet. It also points out that only around 7 per cent of its funds are invested in defence companies, far less than several other venture capital groups.

‘Peel away the layers of factual errors and self-righteousness and all you’re left with is baseless innuendo. This book should be exposed for what it is: a compilation of recycled conspiracy theories masquerading as investigative journalism,’ said Chris Ullman, Carlyle’s spokesman. http://www.theguardian.com/business/2003/mar/23/iraq.theobserver

 

 

 

 

 

10 September 2008: Pigs in the Trough Not that unusual – Taxpayers ripped off again

QinetiQ is now an international defence and security technology company The company’s vision is to be the world’s leading provider of defence and security-based technology solutions and services.

The Labour government, desperate for money at the height of the financial crisis completed the privatisation of the military research company raising a pitiful £260m for the Treasury. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it had disposed of its 18.9% stake in QinetiQ but would retain a golden share to prevent any unwelcome bids. “The government always made it clear that ultimately it anticipated selling its entire financial investment to achieve the best value for money for the taxpayer,” said an MoD spokesman.

Sir John Chisholm, QinetiQ’s chairman, said: “The MOD retains its special share in the company which has no financial value but, in common with other privatised companies with strategically important roles, allows the government to protect the national interest.”

The company has over 8,000 employees in Europe, the Middle East and Australasia, over 5,500 in North America and 14,000 at 39 sites in Britain and enjoys long term protected contractor status in its operations within Scotland, including St Kilda and abroad. http://www.microwavejournal.com/articles/print/7206-uk-mod-sells-shareholding-in-qinetiq

 

 

 

 

 

St Kilda

The Ministry of Defence Site on Hirta was established in 1957 as a radar tracking station for the missile range in Benbecula, Outer Hebrides. The site is now run by QinetiQ for the Ministry of Defence, and is staffed by civilian workers employed by Qinetiq, Amey and ESS. The base is manned throughout the year by about 15 staff and provides an infrastructure of power, water supply, logistics transport and medical aid.

The ‘Puff Inn’ is a canteen facility for use by QinetiQ and MOD staff and their contractors, and NTS sponsored staff only. It is not open to members of the public. The name ‘Puff Inn’ is a colloquial term for this facility which has been used, misleadingly, for a number of years. It never was, or will be, a licensed public house or ‘Inn’.

When QinetiQ took over the management of areas of St Kilda from the MOD, it was evident that, historically, members of the public had been allowed to use the canteen and toilet facilities. Members of the public are not allowed to use facilities at other QinetiQ operated MOD owned sites (or indeed any military establishment) and it was vital that procedures were tightened up to ensure the St Kilda site is managed in accordance with standard MOD practice. Therefore the public – day trippers, divers, yacht crews etc are not entitled to use QinetiQ managed facilities on St Kilda. Very sad news for the fishermen who enjoyed a tipple for many a year in the remotest pub in Scotland

 

St Kilda Now                                                                                St Kilda early 1900’s

 

 

 

So what has the taxpayer missed out on?

The global defence market is estimated at £82 Billion annually. The UK taxpayer gains little financial benefit from the international arms trade since the source of any income was sold off on the cheap by Brown & Robertson with the support of their labour party colleagues. The politics of the madhouse.      http://www.theguardian.com/business/2008/sep/10/qinetiqgroup.defence

 

 

 

 

Faslane – The Legacy Scottish Unionists are Content to Hand Over to Their Children – P3 – The Holy Loch After 30 Years Occupation By The Yanks – To Be Continued

The US nuclear submarine re-fitting base at the Holy Loch

The Holy Loch based US submarine refit facility

In autumn 1959, the US Government decided to provide forward servicing facilities for a submarine squadron to be based in the UK. Studies were carried out to determine the most suitable location for such a refit facility, leading to a final selection of the deep, sheltered access Holy Loch in July 1960. Following an approach to the British government, requesting permission to establish a refit site in the United Kingdom for Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) submarines, an agreement was negotiated which permitted the US to use the Holy Loch, on the Firth of Clyde, for the anchorage of a submarine tender, a large dry dock, and other supporting craft.

The number of submarines supported varied over the years however an indication of the scale of the operation can be seen in the number of patrols carried out. On April 2, 1987, a US submarine completed the 2,500th Ballistic Missile Deterrent Patrol to be carried out by the submarine fleet.

The facility expanded rapidly from 1961 as personnel gained experience and the number of supported submarines grew. But there was never a base at Holy Loch, instead, the US Navy facilities were integrated with the local community, with Sandbank and Dunoon providing shore facilities. In May 1962, the US Navy arranged for the old Ardnadam Hotel to be converted into an enlisted mens’ club, commissary and exchange. All personnel lived ashore, residing in rooms or homes rented from members of the local community. American children received their education in primary schools in Dunoon, Kirn, Sandbank and St Munn’s, then in Dunoon Grammar School when they were older. Americans became active participants in many community related events.

As tensions eased over the years, and the Cold War eventually came to an end with the demise of the Soviet Union, the closure of the base became inevitable, with the announcement being made February 6, 1991. In March 1992, the last US Navy ship, the submarine tender USS Simon Lake, sailed out of the Holy Loch, ending thirty one years of American presence in the area.

 http://secretscotland.org.uk/index.php/Secrets/HolyLoch


The Holy Loch – the aftermath

For thirty years, between 1961 and 1992, the Holy Loch was the location of a base for the U.S. Navy’s 14th Submarine Squadron. It was handed back to the MoD in June 1992.

During its time as an American base, a vast amount of waste, some of it toxic, was dumped into the loch, and was left on the seabed when the Americans departed.

In 1992, due to concerns from local residents in Sandbank, a team of marine scientists undertook an underwater camera survey to examine the amount of waste on the seabed. The survey revealed that levels of some elements, including nickel, zinc, cadmium and selenium were well above the national averages and there were about 60 drums filled with an unknown substance.

It was not until 1998, however, that work began to clean-up the waste as there were disagreements about whether the waste removed would pose a risk to local residents and marine life.

Tonnes of waste was slowly and systematically removed from the area of the former base between February 1998 and February 2001 at a cost of nearly £11million. The work was carried out by a contractor on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.

During the recovery process, an assortment of objects were found including propellers, cables, scaffold towers, wire reels and gas cylinders of acetylene, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. In total, over 2,700 tonnes of waste and debris was recovered from the site of the naval base and the MoD claimed that the vast majority of the site had been cleared. Responsibility for the Holy Loch was handed to Clydeport Authority in April 2002.

However, in August 2002, a number of local people complained that their boats were losing anchors because they were being caught on debris on the seabed. The MoD admitted that some debris, including shipwrecks and other non-hazardous objects had not been cleared. The cryptic justification provided by the Westminster government was that to do so would cause more harm than good to the natural habitat. So just what is sitting on the seabed on the Holy loch???  Extracted and modified – Fortress Scotland published by Scottish CND

Submarines being stacked for refitting on the Holy Loch

Submarine being raised onto te floating dock on the Holy Loch

The Legacy Scottish Unionists are Content to Hand Over to Their Children – P2 – To Be Continued

more powers to remove Trident nuclear weapons from Scottish waters     whatscotlandthinks.org

 

 

 

 

Faslane – A Clean bill of health? – A look back in time

From the date of their introduction nuclear submarines berthed at Faslane have been plagued by problems with their nuclear propulsion systems and accidents. In 1995, HMS Sceptre returned suddenly to Faslane from sea with problems that at the time were reported as a radiation leak.

It returned to sea but a defect in the reactor was discovered in 1998, early on during its’ refit at Rosyth where the full seriousness of the problem was not recognised until the middle of 2000.

During Sceptre’s refit the submarine broke free from its’ mooring and shot forward 30 feet inside the dock. Some Rosyth workers said that this was the most serious accident that had ever taken place in the yard. In January 2002, Defence Minister Adam Ingram admitted that the problem on Sceptre was due to “small original fabrication imperfections” in the Reactor Pressure Vessel.

Despite a refit already extended by 18 months the Minister said that the MoD could not accurately say how long it would take to inspect and repair the problem. Sceptre eventually sailed from Rosyth in March or April 2003.

 

 

 

During the same period, HMS Sovereign, the oldest submarine in service, primarily used as a training boat, had similar problems. Sovereign was in Rosyth dockyard for several years on a very long refit and finally being rededicated in January 1997.

Shortly afterwards cracks were discovered in its tail shaft during post refit sea trials and it was sent back to Rosyth in June 1998 needing emergency repairs. In 2000 it was reported that Sovereign has been withdrawn from operational service because of a potential reactor fault and a statement made in January 2002 indicated that Sovereign had the same problem as Sceptre (i.e. “small original fabrication imperfections” in the Reactor Pressure Vessel.)

 

 

 

 

 

In September 2000, HMS Splendid was the only operational Swiftsure class submarine allowed to continue to be operational until February 2001. However when the submarine sailed from Faslane on 16 October 2000, it was subsequently recalled to Faslane on 21 October to be removed from service until checks were carried out into its reactor. An earlier decision made in 1998 was that Splendid would not be given the refit it had been due in 2003 and the submarine was taken out of service.

In January 2002 it was revealed that there was concern that HMS Superb could have the same problem as Sceptre and Sovereign as it shared the same reactor design. However a safety case was made for it to return to duty, pending a further inspection later in 2002.

HMS Spartan arrived at Rosyth in January 1999 for a refit that would start in March 1999 but was not due to be completed until April 2003 – twice as long as the two years nuclear submarine refits normally take.

Also at the same time, Trafalgar class submarines (based at Devonport, but regular visitors to the Faslane base) faced just as many difficulties. On 19 November 2000, HMS Triumph hit the seabed when 3 miles off course during a ‘Perisher’ submarine commander training exercise off the west coast of Scotland.

Two junior officers were subsequently court-martialled – neither of them taking the Perisher course. It was revealed during the court-martial that prior to the accident they had gone 12 days with only 4 hours sleep a night.

Their defence lawyer said that one of the officers was suffering from extreme fatigue. Defence Minister Adam Ingram described the incident as ” a glancing contact with soft sand and shells”.

The Vanguard

 

 

 

The troubled HMS Trafalgar hit the news on several occasions (and the sea-bed) as well, whilst in Scottish waters. In November 2002 the submarine hit rocks near the Isle of Skye during submarine captain’s training resulting in damage to the hull.

The vessel returned to Faslane for inspection and repairs costing £5m. Three sailors were injured after they had been violently thrown to the deck. Two officers were subsequently court-martialled for the collision and the Naval Enquiry found “lapses” from usual Navy standards including, unbelievably, ‘Post-it notes’ covering navigational display screens.

As part of a training exercise, the yellow notes were covering the display screens of the navigational systems the officer in charge of the vessel normally relied on, and the navigation charts were allegedly difficult to read because of poor lighting.

If that wasn’t enough, in April 2004, only a month after the court-martial for the collision with the Isle of Skye had concluded, diesel fumes circulated through Trafalgar’s ventilation system while it was in Devonport dockyard, triggering an alarm forcing crew to breath through masks. Three of the crew had to be treated for gas inhalation. Shortly afterwards this was followed by a freon gas leak, (used as a refrigerant gas) which escaped in another incident when the submarine arrived at Faslane to start sea trials.

 

 

 

 

Reports have it that there had been a total of 270 defects on the submarine before it sailed from Devonport. The Navy denied all allegations, except one. That was that there was a ‘minor problem’ with the nuclear reactor’s control rods that are used to prevent a runaway nuclear reaction.

On 28 April 2004, eleven of the crew refused to go to sea on Trafalgar from Faslane, in what was widely described in the media as ‘mutiny’. A Ministry of Defence spokesman said however that, that was not the case. “They did not refuse orders. They expressed concerns and their commanding officer felt it prudent to land them,”

Concern was also raised about the number of fires and false alarms in Faslane and Coulport. The sites are protected by “Crown Immunity” and as such are not licensed by the government’s Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, so are only subject to limited independent inspection. Safety is is overseen by the Royal Navy’s own Naval Nuclear Regulatory Panel, based in Bristol. In October 2004, The Sunday Herald revealed there had been 14 fires and 486 false alarms at the two sites over the previous year.

Previously unpublished reports from the Naval Nuclear Regulatory Panel criticised “weaknesses” and “shortfalls” in safety procedures. The panel’s three latest reports, covering the period from November 1 2003 to July 31 2004, revealed the panel’s misgivings about safety at the two bases. “The naval base has acknowledged that its arrangements and current safety justifications are not consistent with current standards,” says one report. Advice was issued that the bases planned to implement a site-wide safety improvement programme “to address these shortfalls”.

 

 
Another report revealed arrangements for managing the construction of a new radioactive waste processing facility at Faslane “were not considered adequate”. An emergency exercise held in November 2003 identified the same “areas for improvement” highlighted in previous exercises. The panel noted “weaknesses in arrangements for undertaking periodic safety reviews” and said the base did not have a formally agreed programme for such reviews. It also expressed concern about arrangements for the training, management and deployment of suitably qualified and experienced staff.

During the nine months covered by the report, 14 fires at Faslane and Coulport, (more than one a month) were caused by electrical components overheating, faulty wiring in engines, cigarettes in bins and welding equipment. They were all attended by Faslane’s own fire service, but in seven serious cases Strathclyde Fire Brigade was also called in.

Coulport’s emergency control centre (where Coulport’s Emergency Plan for dealing with major incidents involving the nuclear weapons stored at the depot would be implemented from) was “stood to” (or activated) on four separate occasions. These emergency procedures were started at a frequency of nearly once every two months during the nine months. Most of the 486 false alarms were reported as being caused by dust, insects, power fluctuations or smoke from cigarettes and bonfires. Many were due to faulty equipment, and a few to honest mistakes and malicious acts by workers.

Larger and more substantial new jetties needed to be built to accomodate the new generation of nuclear-powered Astute class submarines. Fortunately the programme was delayed for around 4 years allowing time for the work to be completed. Cost over-runs totalled around £500 million. This was met by the taxpayer, not the company.

Astute and its sister boats were, the biggest and most powerful attack submarines ever built for the Royal Navy with a weapons load 50% greater than the previous Trafalgar class submarines.

 

 

 

And a look forward to the future?

The proposed Trident replacement, due to be in place by 2020 will further increase the payload of each missile adding yet more nuclear  muscle to the devastating power already available. But is the journey really necessary?

 

 

 

Extracts from Fortress Scotland – Published by Scottish CND, 15 Barrland Street Glasgow, G41 1QH

 

 

Faslane – The Legacy Scottish Unionists are Content to Hand Over to Their Children – P1 – To Be Continued

 


Faslane on the Gare Loch.

Faslane is home to Britain’s strategic nuclear submarine fleet and is the headquarters of the Royal Navy in Scotland. All four of Britain’s Trident operational strategic intercontinental missile submarines are based at Faslane. More than 7,000 navy and civilian staff work at Faslane – the largest number employed on a single site in the country.

In 2002 the bulk of the operations at Faslane were handed over to Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises, Inc.(BWXT) (sole manufacturer of naval nuclear reactors for submarines and aircraft carriers) who also own Rosyth, in Fife, in a controversial privatisation with the loss of 500 jobs, in a move opposed by trade unionists within the base as well as anti-nuclear campaigners BWXT manage all engineering work on Submarines and Minor Surface Warships including emergency and scheduled maintenance on both Royal Navy and foreign naval vessels;

BWXT provides hotel accommodation on site at Faslane and manages naval messes, accommodating all Royal Navy personnel. It also manages all storage facilities at both Faslane and Coulport and provides cleaning services and grounds maintenance as well as berthing services and radioactive waste processing. At Faslane BWXT also operate the 25,000 DWT Ship-lift, which is capable of docking a Trident Class Submarine. Additionally, at Coulport, the unique floating berthing facility for loading and unloading Trident warheads (the Explosives Handling Jetty) is also operated by BWXT.

 

 

 

 

The Trident Submarine Fleet 1990 – 2015 – A catalogue of delays and disasters great and small

Commencing early in the new millenium, a multi-billion pound Trident fleet refitting programme, installing a new type of nuclear reactor core (same design as fitted to the Astute class of nuclear hunter-killer submarines) was scheduled to be to be completed at Rosyth. But politics demanded otherwise and the work, together with the multi-billion investment was transferred to HMS Devonport in Plymouth. The result was a massive multi-million cost over-run and the Trident submarine fleet being rendered almost useless for extended periods.

The first of the fleet, HMS Vanguard, was scheduled to complete its refit at the end of 2004 and return to operational use at the beginning of 2005. but extensive fitting problems were encountered replacing the original reactor with the new reactor design (they were different sizes) and delays resulted in the return being eight or nine months late.

The setback was so serious the Ministry of Defence considered sending HMS Victorious, next in line for a refit, and the remaining submarines to the US navy submarine base in Kings Bay Georgia in the US so that the work could be completed within agreed time constraints. Additional information:

 
* Papers reveal nuclear sub doubts. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1484952.stm

 

* Nuclear blunder delays sub refit. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1484567.stm

 

* Trident switch costs extra £180m. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/1761245.stm

 
The proposed Trident replacement, if approved and implemented, is scheduled to start within the next few years will bring with it a myriad of difficulties, hopefully nothing major but history is often repetitive.

 

 

 

Other uses for Faslane

Additional to the nuclear powered and nuclear-armed Trident fleet, Faslane also houses up to five conventionally armed nuclear submarines and Mine Countermeasures ships. Also at Faslane is a Diving Group, who are deployed to clear explosives over a huge remote area off the West coast of Scotland, including Cape Wrath. The Base is also a training centre for naval staff and provides Nato berthing and Command and Control facilities. It also routinely hosts visiting American and French nuclear submarines. In 2001, the marine base at Condor near Arbroath was transferred to Faslane so that marines would provide protection for the nuclear submarine fleet.

 

 

 

 

The future of the base

The government recently announced that the base is to be massively extended so that the entire UK fleet of submarines, (including conventional submarines)  and submarines laid up, (no longer in operational use) are to be located at or near to Faslane.

Possibly up to 30 deactivated nuclear submarines are docked at Rosyth and Davenport pending a determination about their eventual safe dismantling and disposal.  “Pigs might fly” before a decision is taken and it is possible they will be barged to Scotland for long term docking in some quiet loch not that far from Faslane.

Work commenced at the beginning of 2015 and will take 5 years or more to complete. The end result will be the largest deep water submarine base in the world. Scotland is so lucky (pun)

 

 

 

 

 

Tritium is Routinely Dumped in the Gareloch at Faslane – Never Heard of it? – Tritium Can Cause Cancer, Genetic Mutations, or Developmental Defects in Unborn Children – No Threshold or “Safe Dose” of Tritium Has Been Scientifically Established For Any of These Effects.

Fukushima considers ‘controlled discharge’ of toxic water into ocean

Tokyo Electric Power Corp's (TEPCO) official (C) and journalists wearing protective suits and masks stand in front of storage tanks for radioactive water in the H4 area, where radioactive water leaked from a storage tank in August, at the tsunami-crippled TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture November 7, 2013.(Reuters / Kimimasa Mayama)

Currently, 400 metric tons of highly contaminated water is being produced at the site on a daily basis. In response, TEPCO has been running a test operation of a high-tech water processing machine called ALPS, which can remove all radioactive materials from the tainted water except tritium. In line with IAEA recommendations, the utility hopes to discharge the processed water after diluting the level of tritium to legally acceptable limits.

 

 

Trident nuclear submarine HMS Victorious

 

 

 

TRITIUM – What is it and why all the fuss?

Tritium is radioactive hydrogen a product generated by nuclear power reactors. Like all radioactive substances, tritium is a carcinogen, a mutagen, and a teratogen. The radiological significance of tritium is not related to its inherent toxicity, as it is a very low energy form of radiation, but to its easy incorporation into all parts of the body that contain water.

Tritiated water can be ingested in the liquid form. It can also be inhaled or absorbed through the skin in the form of water vapour or steam, which makes tritium an occupational hazard for nuclear power plant workers.

In pregnant females, tritium ingested by the mother can cross the placenta and be incorporated directly into the foetus. Like all radioactive substances, tritium can cause cancer, genetic mutations, or developmental defects in unborn children (the latter following pre-natal exposure of the foetus). No threshold or “safe dose” of tritium has been scientifically established for any of these effects.

 

Plymouth march                  Devonport Dockyard                                  Chernobyl nuclear plant

People in Plymouth are fighting plans to dump tritium      Infant leukamia increased in the UK after Chernobyl     Devonport Dockyard processes tritium from submarines

 

 

 

 

5 July 2001: Scientist raises radiation fear

A scientist has warned that radioactive materials being released in Britain are many times more dangerous than previously believed. Dr Chris Busby says he has found that low-level radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster caused a sharp rise in infant leukaemia in Wales and Scotland.

His warning comes as the Environment Agency considers whether to allow Devonport Dockyard to dump TRITIUM from submarines into the River Tamar in Plymouth. Campaigners had been assured that low-level radiation would not be a health hazard – the same advice given after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Devonport Dockyard processes tritium from nuclear submarines.

Leukaemia rates in Plymouth were recently shown to be 25% above the national average among males and 29% above average in females. Some tritium – a weak radioactive form of hydrogen – is already released into the Tamar from the city’s historic naval dockyard.

Dr Busby says the risk of people contracting cancer from low-level radioactivity could be far greater than calculated by the Environment Agency’s advisers. He told BBC News Online: “We have sent the Environment Agency a solicitor’s letter saying they can no longer accept risk levels are safe. “So if they go into court saying they didn’t know, this letter will show they were warned.” Their model fails to predict all sort of risks. Their understanding of radiation risk is faulty.

Last month Dr Busby, from Aberystwyth, presented a paper at a World Health Organisation conference on Chernobyl in Kiev. He said the Chernobyl findings cast serious doubt on the internationally-adopted model used to calculate health risk. His paper says the increased danger comes from radiation absorbed into the body through food and drink. That makes that health risk many times greater than from external exposure. Radiation levels in the UK after Chernobyl were considered too low to have a measurable effect on health.

Dr Busby’s paper says: “Government advice was that food was safe to eat and water and milk safe to drink.” He said: “The models being used to calculate risk to health from low-level radiation are out by a factor of between 100 and 1,000. “When they apply this risk model they find hardly anybody will become ill – the figure is point-zero something. “But their model fails to predict all sort of risks.

“The whole basis of their understanding of radiation risk is faulty. Dr Busby has been advising anti-radiation campaigners who live close to the River Tamar, which divides Devon and Cornwall. They launched Cansar – Campaign Against Nuclear Storage And Radiation – when the Environment Agency announced a public consultation on Devonport Dockyard.

The operating company, has applied to increase tritium emissions by 700%. The tritium is a created in submarine reactors but cannot be dumped legally in international waters.   http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1422130.stm

 

 

 
27 April 2009: Failure after failure at home of Trident fleet

Faslane has been home to the UK’s nuclear missile fleet since Polaris came into service in the mid-1960s, and is now the base for the four Trident missile submarines that replaced it. The facility, known formally as HM Naval Base Clyde, is also the base for the last remaining nuclear-powered Swiftsure hunter-killer and its replacement: four Astute class submarines.

Alongside seven Trafalgar class hunter-killers based at Devonport in Plymouth, these vessels are routinely serviced at Faslane: their nuclear reactors produce radioactive coolant that has to be replaced and need regular maintenance. That waste, which can contain radioactive tritium, cobalt-60, nickel-63, iron-55 and argon-41 gas, is handled and stored using a complex series of storage barges, tanks and pipes deep within the base.

And for nearly five decades, that process has been managed by the Ministry of Defence. That system of self-policing is now under increasing strain. Shocked by repeated safety breaches, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa), the government authority that oversees radioactive emissions from civil nuclear sites, is pressing for the legal power to inspect and control Faslane’s nuclear operations.

The most damning report, produced by the MoD in September 2008 after complaints by Sepa, states that failing to abide by safety procedures is a “recurring theme” at Faslane. “This is a cultural issue that HM Naval Base Clyde needs to find a way to address,” it says. The 100-page report, released by Sepa to Channel 4 News, concludes that many of the ageing facilities used to process, store and dispose of radioactive waste at Faslane are not fit for purpose.

Other documents disclose that there have been at least eight radioactive leaks in the last 10 years, bringing the total number acknowledged at Faslane over the last three decades to more than 40.

The MoD admits its facilities fail to meet safety standards requiring that the “best practicable means” are used to control waste. In one case, the poor design of holding tanks has meant radioactive sludge has built up, which presents a “significant radiation hazard”. Those tanks are now going to be taken out of service.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2009/apr/27/nuclear-waste-scotland

 

Faslane naval baseasdsdsadas

 

 

 

16 March 2014: Nuclear bases plan to discharge more radioactive waste into the Clyde

The nuclear bomb and submarine bases at Faslane and Coulport near Helensburgh are seeking permission to increase the amount of radioactive waste they discharge into the Clyde and the air. But the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) is coming under mounting pressure to delay giving the go-ahead to the increases until it has been given the tough new statutory powers promised by the Scottish government last week.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has submitted plans for the Faslane naval dockyard to pour more liquid waste into the Gareloch as the number of UK nuclear submarines based there rises from five to 14 by 2019. The waste comes from the submarines’ reactors and includes radioactive cobalt-60 and tritium.

The MoD also wants to keep emitting tritium gas to the atmosphere from the nuclear weapons stored at Coulport on Loch Long. Annual emissions of tritium have doubled between 2008 and 2012, and are expected to rise with the introduction of upgraded warhead designs.

TRITIUM: Like all radioactive substances, tritium can cause cancer, genetic mutations, or developmental defects in unborn children (the latter following pre-natal exposure of the foetus). No threshold or “safe dose” of tritium has been scientifically established for any of these effects.

Proposals to shift some submarine work to Coulport will also mean radioactive waste being transported by road between the two bases. The amount of solid waste to be treated and disposed of at Drigg near Sellafield in Cumbria is also due to increase.

The MoD stresses that all the discharges will be within authorised limits, which are being reduced. But critics say that Sepa and the Scottish government should crack down on the pollution.

In the wake of the MoD’s failure to reveal a 2012 radioactive incident at the Vulcan naval reactor in Caithness, the Scottish environment minister, Richard Lochhead, last week promised to end the MoD’s crown immunity from regulation on radioactive pollution.

“This is not the time for an informal gentleman’s agreement,” said John Ainslie, coordinator of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. “After being bullied by the MoD at Vulcan, Sepa should wait until the Scottish Parliament gives them full power.”

Then they should set legally enforceable limits for discharges from Faslane, he argued. “If Scotland votes Yes, Trident and all nuclear submarines will go and the limits for nuclear discharges can then be reduced to zero.”

http://www.robedwards.com/2014/03/nuclear-bases-plan-to-discharge-more-radioactive-waste-into-the-clyde.html

 

A Tokyo Electric Power Co. employee monitors the discharge of groundwater into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima No. 1 plant, in the facility’s control room

 

 
28 May 2014: Tritium levels at Fukushima Excee Pacific Ocean dumping limits

Water sampled from a well at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has been found to contain levels of radioactive tritium that exceeds the limit for dumping it into the Pacific, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. The discovery was the first report of over the limit tritium in groundwater at the wells since Tepco began discharging water into the ocean last week.

In samples taken from one of the 12 wells on Monday, 1,700 becquerels per liter of tritium was detected, exceeding the maximum limit of 1,500 becquerels, the utility said on Tuesday. Tritium levels in samples taken last month also topped the limit. Tepco stopped pumping water from the well on Tuesday night, and said it plans to step up groundwater monitoring.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/05/28/national/tritium-in-fukushima-groundwater-tops-limit-for-discharge-into-sea#.VgRo42t25Vc

 

Westminster Unionists Retaining Trident – Scotland To Store Nuclear Weaponry -But There Is a Solution

 

 

 

 

 

“Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad!!!!” – Westminster Makes it’s move on the SNP

The Unionist parties at Westminster are agreed on a pact establishing, maintaining and strengthening formal and informal contact with the Scottish Government in Edinburgh effectively sidelining Scottish MP’s at Westminster. It is likely discussion of  “Scottish Business” at Westminster will be restricted to one day weekly so that Scotland’s first minister will be forced to recall MP’s back to Scotland 3-4 days a week to find them something to do!!

The Westminster establishment is making it’s statement, “do not mess with our haloed place. We call the shots.  So there it is Westminster is unafraid of Scottish representation so what is to be done? Well!  unionist MP’s are afraid they may be outflanked by a Scottish Government who may well call upon the people of Scotland once more, to give voice through a referendum requiring the UK government to accept the will of the people in a matter of concern. The Scottish National Party might include in their manifesto a commitment to hold a referendum on Trident.

It is a fact Westminster will refuse to give up Trident and the SNP needs to recognize this. And also that so long as Scotland remains within the Union, Faslane will be used as the operational base for the UK submarine fleet (conventional and nuclear). But!!

Nuclear warheads are another matter. There is nothing to be lost and everything to gain from relocating all warheads to the US submarine base at Subic Bay. British nuclear submarines are wholly compatible with those of the USA and routinely “drop in” to Kings Bay for many operational reasons. Removal of the warheads would be welcomed by the USA and since all the facilities are in place the costs would be very low.

Weapons bunkers at Faslane would be utilised for storage of conventional weaponry so there would be a full take up of facilities in support of the increased fleet. The foregoing might well be put to the people of Scotland in a referendum in  2016-17.  Assuming a positive vote, Westminster would need to give careful thought to the matter. I doubt they would decline the request.  So.  A win win situation is possible.  But Westminster politicians might just “cut their throats” and say No!! Forcing a second independence referendum.