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Dangler No.22 – Greenock Born Fiona McLeod Hill -Sold Out Her Country For a Reward of a Gold Medalion – Courtesy of Theresa May

 

 

 

 

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Politics is Broken – Theresa May’s former chief of staff breaks her silence

Greenock born, Fiona McLeod Hill, is reputed to have provided Theresa May with the reply to Nicola Sturgeon request seeking permission for another Scottish independence referendum, “Now is not the time” .

She and her colleague, Nick Timothy) were sacked by Theresa May in the summer of 2017.

The demand for their heads had been placed on her by Tory high command as a condition of her remaining in office following the 2017 general election debacle at the insistence of Tory “high heed-yins” after the 2017 General Election.

She has kept her counsel until recently when she sounded off big time about the rapid decline in the politics of the so-called United Kingdom.

Meantime Fiona and Nick were rewarded by Theresa May in her honours list each gaining a prestigious CBE in reward for their silence.

I wrote an article on Fiona and Nick which is included below. It provides damming evidence of the political corruption of the Westminster parliament and those who are caught up in the financial rip-off of Scotland which has been and still is, ongoing.

 

 

The full report is well worth a read and is to be found here: 

 “https://members.tortoisemedia.com/2019/07/03/politics-is-broken/content.html”

 

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Special Advisers – SPAD’s

SPAD’s were created by “New labour” at the start of their period in government in 1997. There was a great furore at the time.

The press and public believed the new posts to be entirely political and that apart from that the posts simply duplicated the duties of many thousands of Civil Servants already in place.

Blair argued differently and with his huge majority in parliament he forced through legislation creating the new “political beast”.

He did, however, commit to keeping the numbers of SPAD’s to an absolute minimum and said only Ministers of State would be allowed a SPAD in support and that all appointments would be authorized by himself.

The appointment of SPAD’s (unelected and very often useless) now cost the taxpayer around £12 million each year and rising.

SPAD’s are classed as “temporary civil servants” and add a political dimension to advice and assistance available to ministers while reinforcing the political impartiality of the permanent Civil Service by distinguishing the source of political advice and support.

They are supposed to observe the Civil Service “Code of Conduct” in the discharge of their duties. But they don’t.

In return for this commitment, all expenditure incurred (salaries, transport, expenses, etc.) in their employment is paid for by the central government.

 

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The Rise and Fall of a Wee Glasgow SPAD – The Fiona Hill Story

Fiona McLeod Hill was born (1973). Unlike many behind-the-scenes wielders of power in Westminster (and indeed many journalistic interns), Hill does not hail from a privileged background.

Born in an insalubrious area of Greenock, she later attended St Stephen’s RC Secondary in Port Glasgow, before making her way into newspapers.

So what lies behind her meteoric rise? How did she blaze a trail from the bowels of The Scotsman building through the ranks of the Conservative Party press operation to become Theresa May’s, right-hand woman?

It is a fascinating story of hard work, ambition, the kind of confidence that cares not a whit for other people’s opinions, and not a little intrigue.

Along the way, she embarked on a relationship with a former MI6 officer, engaged in several public spats and helped shape May’s wardrobe.

But her career trajectory has not been entirely straightforward and her refusal to give an inch has occasionally cost her dear.

Hill’s journalism career didn’t really start to take off until she joined Sky TV – a fertile breeding ground for SpAds – where she started to become interested in politics and ended up on the news desk.

While there, she met and married executive producer Tim Cunningham, now head of branded content at Princess Productions, holding their reception in upmarket Wentworth Golf Club in Surrey.

For the duration of the marriage, she used his name, going back to her maiden name after her divorce. (Dani Garavelli)

 

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Fiona At The Home Office

Fiona joined the Conservative Party press office in 2006, before spending a period at the British Chamber of Commerce.

She returned to work for the Conservatives and from 2010-2014, she worked alongside Theresa May in the Home Office as a SPAD.

Hill’s loyalty to May and to Hill’s then-lover, diplomat and counter-terrorism officer Charles Farr, lay at the heart of a bust-up in June 2014.

It began when the then education secretary Michael Gove briefed Times journalists that it was the failure of the Home Office to tackle the problem of radicalization that had led to terrorism plots in so-called Trojan Horse schools in Birmingham.

In his briefing, Gove singled out Farr for criticism. In revenge, Hill posted a private letter from May to Gove on the Home Office website.

In the letter, May accused his department of failing to act when concerns about the Birmingham schools were brought to its attention in 2010.

Furious the public fall-out had overshadowed the Queen’s Speech, Cameron demanded an apology from Gove but insisted Hill resign.

 

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Outside Government but Inside Politics

From the Home Office, Hill went to the right-wing think tank, the Centre for Social Justice, founded by Iain Duncan Smith, where, as associate director, she continued her work on modern slavery.

She produced a report in which she suggested legislation alone was not enough to tackle the problem and pushed for more cooperation between police, borders and immigration officials across Europe.

Later, she sparked another controversy by joining, without seeking permission from her former department, the high profile lobby group Lexington Communications (in 2015), which represents a host of blue-chip companies with an interest in government policy

Tougher rules demanding SPAD’s apply for permission from the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA) had been amended by the Cabinet Office before the election to exclude all but the most senior advisers.

But SPAD’s are still required to seek permission from the permanent secretary before taking any new job within two years of leaving Whitehall.

Such permission often comes with conditions that prevent former SPAD’S from lobbying government or using privileged information to help their new employers.

Hill’s failure to obey the rule angered campaigners who complained of a lack of transparency.

But her time away from the Conservative Party was, in any case, to be short-lived.

When May announced her leadership bid, Hill took time out to help with the campaign, reaping the benefits after May’s victory when Hill was appointed SPAD. joint chief of staff alongside SPAD Nick Timothy at a salary of £140,000 each.

 

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Inside Government

Britain’s new Prime Minister entered Downing Street pledging herself to be a unionist.

Theresa May confirmed her commitment to the UK as she praised the record of her predecessor David Cameron.

Speaking minutes after he left Number 10, she said: “From the introduction of same-sex-marriage to taking people on low wages out of income tax altogether, David Cameron has led a One Nation government and it is in that spirit that I also plan to lead.

Because not everybody knows this but the full title of my party is the Conservative and Unionist Party and that word unionist is very important to me.

It means we believe in the Union, the precious, precious bond between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — but it means something else that is just as important.

It means we believe in a union not just between the nations of the UK but between all of our citizens — every one of us — whoever we are and wherever we’re from.” (The Belfast Newsletter)

 

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Nick Timothy – Strategist

New prime minister Theresa May’s top SPAD’s include the Brummie son of a steelworker who thinks politicians can learn valuable lessons from the relegation of Aston Villa.

His name is Nick Timothy, an ex-grammar school pupil at King Edwards VI Aston.

He helped manage Mrs. May’s campaign to become Conservative leader, and now he has joined her as joint chief of staff in 10 Downing Street.

Political commentators say that he has “great sway over her political agenda” and believes the Tories must be a party not of the rich, but of working people. (The Mirror)

 

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Formidable “Fi and Nick”

According to Westminster insiders, surviving the Home Office is a mark of Theresa May’s steel.

MP Frank Field says: “Nobody survives at the Home Office as Theresa May has, unharmed. That in itself is exceptional.”

Field attributes a significant part of this feat to the team around the Prime Minister, particularly her current SPAD’s, joint chiefs of staff, Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy.

‘Fi and Nick’ as they are known, have worked with May since her days in the Home Office and are said to be key to shaping her vision for the country.

One insider says “they deliver for May on her own terms” and another adds that she has licensed them to fight her battles for her. So who is this pair — and how far does their influence stretch?   (Belfast Courier)

 

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The Knives Are Out For Fiona

It is difficult, according to those who work closely with Downing Street, to overestimate Hill’s closeness to and influence over the prime minister – a degree of access matched only by Nick Timothy, with whom she shares the role of SPAD, chief of staff at Number 10. Her loyalty to the prime minister is absolute.

But loyalty can have its flip side. The adjectives most commonly applied to Hill by those who work with her are “pugilistic”, “ferocious”, control freak even “terrifying yet her high standing with the Prime Minister is unquestionable

Home Office minister Ben Wallace, who has known Hill since before she worked in government, says some of the reporting about Hill is unfair. “Chiefs of staff are supposed to be loyal and defensive of the people they work for.

They wouldn’t be any good at it if they weren’t. She’s come up through the ranks, she’s worked hard at it and … she is determined. There are people venting their criticism of No 10 through the staff that work there, and I think that’s not a very grown up way of doing business.”

With May as loyal to her aide as Hill is to the PM, few think the release of her texts puts her position in any jeopardy.

And yet, in a business where the number one rule for aides is to stay out of the news, Hill’s texts have shone an unwelcome light on the messy business of day-to-day governing.

With an enormous fight looming over Brexit, they also reveal an operation that is rather nervier than the PM and Hill would like it to appear.

Hill is thought to have been behind May’s confrontational stance over Nicola Sturgeon’s call for a referendum and her “Now is not the time” message. (The Guardian)

 

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The Knives Are Out For Theresa May

Theresa May’s Tory pals are sharpening their knives and will turn on her if she fails to deliver a hefty majority next week.

Conservative candidates are grumbling privately that the PM has cost them votes with her stuttering performances and disastrous attacks on older people’s incomes.

One said: “People are getting to know Theresa May in this campaign and the truth is, quite a few don’t much like what they see.

Since our manifesto was launched it has got tighter and tighter.

We’re still going to win but if she does not deliver the big majority she promised she is going to come under pressure to resign.”     (The Mirror)

 

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The 2017 General Election – It All Goes Wrong

Within a few days of announcing the general election, three of May’s team – director of communications SPAD, Katie Perrior, press secretary SPAD, Lizzie Louden, and SPAD, Hayden Allen – resigned.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson SPAD, Helen Bower, had left in December 2016 following reports of bad feeling in the team.

Undeterred. Hill plugged on and took responsibility for keeping May from the press and public, which is said to have been her undoing.

A tactic not great for democracy, but subsequent events suggest that from the Hill’s point of view it was a shrewd political move.

May was accused of hiding when she held a rally for 200 supporters in a hut in Banchory in Aberdeenshire where there was no phone signal last month.

Shortly afterwards, the press ran a story suggesting that – after seeing the itinerary for her visit – she shouted at Hill to “stop cutting [her] time on the doorstep”. “I am a doorstep campaigner and from now on I want to spend proper time knocking on doors and seeing people,” she is supposed to have said.

The risk of allowing May to engage, however, was perfectly demonstrated the following day when the Tory leader, now being tailed by a Sky TV crew, knocked without success on the doors of a row of empty houses, and was snubbed by the only resident who appeared.

From then Hill tried to control events, barring reporters from campaign events, refusing to take questions she hadn’t pre-approved and – on one occasion – freaking out when she saw a pen in someone’s hand.

“The thing is though – in their own terms it was a good strategy,” says one seasoned political commentator. “Theresa May was well ahead, and it was clear she didn’t have a great rapport with the press or with ordinary people, so what was to be gained by putting her in situations that could backfire.”

According to reports, Hill irritated the Scottish Conservatives in particular.

They complained of her excessive “interference” and of being told not to run a campaign too detached from the one run from London.

Nevertheless, their leader Ruth Davidson chose to ignore the demand, to achieve a considerable increase in the number of Scottish MPs.

This result was crucial in mitigating the loss of seats south of the border and appeared to question key elements of Tory election strategy.

But, as her boss was seeking a bigger mandate for her Brexit plans, and the Tories looked to be heading for a landslide, Hill’s loyalty to May was unwavering, and her influence on the Prime Minister undiminished.

The general election saw the return of the Conservatives as a minority government, with their majority now being dependent on the Democratic Unionist Party, leading to widespread calls within the party Fiona Hill to be sacked. within days, and in the face of the growing backlash, Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy resigned.

 

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In the Hands of the DUP

British Prime Minister Theresa May struck a deal, with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party to prop up the Conservative government which had been stripped of its majority in a disastrous election.

The result demolished May’s political authority, and she lost her two top aides, sacrificed in a bid to save their leader from being toppled by a furious Conservative Party.

The moves buy May a temporary reprieve. But the ballot-box humiliation has seriously and possibly mortally wounded her leadership just as Britain is about to begin complex exit talks with the European Union.

May’s office said Saturday that the Democratic Unionist Party, which has 10 seats in Parliament, had agreed to a “confidence and supply” arrangement with the government.

That means the DUP will back the government on key votes, but it’s not a coalition government or a broader pact. Downing St. said the Cabinet will discuss the agreement on Monday.

The announcement came after May lost Downing Street, SPAD’s, chiefs of staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, who resigned Saturday.

In a resignation statement on the Conservative Home website, Timothy conceded that the campaign had failed to communicate “Theresa’s positive plan for the future,” and had missed signs of surging support for the opposition Labour Party.

Some senior Tories made the removal of Hill and Timothy a condition for continuing to support May, who vowed to remain prime minister.  (A.P.)

 

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10 Jun 2017:

May announced that Gavin Barwell a former housing minister who lost his seat in Thursday’s election would be her new SPAD, chief of staff. She said Barwell would help her “reflect on the election and why it did not deliver the result I hoped for.”

Conservative legislator Nigel Evans there needed to be changes in the way the government functioned in the wake of the campaign. He said. “Our manifesto was full of fear and the Labour Party’s manifesto was full of promises.”

May called the early election, in the hope of increasing her majority and strengthening Britain’s hand in exit talks with the EU. Instead, her failure means the government must now take a more flexible approach to the divorce.

The election appears to have been, among other things, a rejection of the vague but harshly worded prospectus for Brexit for which Mrs. May sought a mandate.”

Downing Street has said that the most senior Cabinet members including Treasury chief Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, and Home Secretary Amber Rudd will keep their jobs, but she is expected to shuffle the lower ranks of ministers.

The arrangement with the DUP makes some Conservatives uneasy. The DUP is a socially conservative pro-British Protestant group that opposes abortion and same-sex marriage and once appointed an environment minister who believes human-driven climate change is a myth.

It was founded in the 1970s by the late firebrand preacher Ian Paisley, and in the 1980s was a key player in the “Save Ulster from Sodomy” campaign, which unsuccessfully fought against the legalization of gay sex. (AP)

 

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12 Jun 2017:

Theresa May has endured one humiliation after another since the general election, as the party makes her the target of all its anger and contempt.

Her tone-deaf statement outside Downing Street on Friday in which she failed to acknowledge Conservatives who had lost their seats forced backbench MPs to order her to call the cameras back to record her apology.

Her cabinet colleagues told May that her closest advisers SPAD’s, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, who had behaved high-handedly towards ministers, had to go and they were dispatched without ceremony.

Then yesterday, alone and friendless in Downing Street, the prime minister faced the deepest humiliation of all as she invited her arch-nemesis, Michael Gove, to return to the cabinet as environment secretary. (The Irish Times)

 

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12 Jun 2017:

SPAD’s, Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy divided the four lobes of Theresa May’s brain between them. Every thought that the PM had originated with these little-known key aides. Now they have gone, we do indeed have a zombie prime minister.

 

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13 Jun 2017:

Divisive SPAD’s who quit after running Theresa May’s disastrous election campaign are in line for payouts of around £35,000 each.

Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, who were the Prime Minister’s joint chiefs of staff, resigned amid intense Tory criticism in the wake of the snap election that cost the Conservatives their Commons majority.

The aides, appointed to the roles by Mrs. May when she succeeded David Cameron, were earning a salary of £140,000 as of December last year.

Under government rules, they are entitled to severance pay equivalent to three months’ pay. The part Mr. Timothy and Ms. Hill played in the general election has been severely criticized by disgruntled Tories. (The Scotsman)

 

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10 Jun 2017:

Theresa May’s closest advisers, SPAD’s, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, resigned after a disastrous election result that ended with the Conservative party losing their majority.

The two were joint chiefs of staff in Downing Street before heading up Theresa May’s campaign in the snap General Election and came under fire today for being involved in some of the campaign’s biggest mistakes, according to reports.

In a statement on the Conservative Home website, Timothy said he had resigned yesterday. A Tory spokesperson confirmed Hill had also quit.

Nick Timothy called the result a “huge disappointment”, and blamed the loss of Tory MPs on “an unexpected surge in support for Labour” due to division in the country.

He said “ironically, the Prime Minister is the one political leader who understands this division, and who has been working to address it since she became Prime Minister last July.

The Conservative election campaign, however, failed to get this and Theresa’s positive plan for the future across.”

Timothy helped draft the Tory manifesto. Its failures, including the so-called dementia tax, have been cited as the turning point in the campaign.

He said: “I take responsibility for my part in this election campaign, which was the oversight of our policy programme.

In particular, I regret the decision not to include in the manifesto a ceiling as well as a floor in our proposal to help meet the increasing cost of social care.”

He continued “It’s been a pleasure to serve in government, and a pleasure to work with such an excellent Prime Minister,” I have no doubt at all that Theresa May will continue to serve and work hard as Prime Minister – and do it brilliantly.”

Hill was reportedly involved in internal rows, including one with Ruth Davidson, the Conservative leader in Scotland. The atmosphere in the Conservative Campaign HQ was said to have turned toxic.

In the firing line Previously, the pair known as “Nick and Fi” was criticized for holding too much power and being too close to May.

But Katie Perrior, former Downing Street director of communications, (who resigned days before the start of the campaign) criticized their “rude, abusive, childish behavior.”

For two people who have never achieved elected office, I was staggered at the disrespect they showed on a daily basis.

I never hated them. I felt sorry for them and how they measured success by how many enemies they had clocked up,” Perrior said.

Tory backbench MP Sarah Wollaston said May needed to abandon her “small inner circle of mostly unelected and discredited special advisers”.

 

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Mundell and the Tory Party – Actively Aided by the Scottish Office Are the Legal Government of Scotland – Holyrood Politicians Need to be Mindful of this or Westminster will shut it down

 

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Mundell Officially the Guardian of Scotland – and that’s Youse telt

The recent release of important information from Downing Street to the press (through an unnamed Westminster political source) was seized upon with hearty gusto and hit the front pages of just about every major newspaper in the UK.

The headline; “Nicola Sturgeon will no longer be allowed to meet on equal terms with Theresa May.

From now on the First minister will be required to consult with the Scottish Secretary, Mundell who is at her level of importance.”

The Downing Street response to enquires was confusing. A spokesman stated; “We do not recognize the comments.” Hardly inspiring.

A more positive “The Prime minister will continue to meet with the first Minister to discuss matters of importance” would have been acceptable.

But Mrs May and Nicola Sturgeon have met only once since their difficult meeting in March 2017 and If the press release has foundation it promotes the lie of the Unionist “Better Together” campaign statement that Scotland and England benefited greatly from a “partnership of equals.”

But the new “call Dave not Theresa” policy is inconsistent since Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party (MSP representing Edinburgh Central) joins Cabinet meetings, accompanied by Mundell..

So there we have it. The First Minister of Scotland, representing  the people of Scotland, (appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Presiding Officer, after a vote of the Scottish Parliament) is a nonentity so far as the Tory Government in Westminster is concerned.

But the foregoing should not have come as a surprise to Scots who were alerted to potential difficulties with the Scotland Act by senior Scottish politicians and Mundell’s assertions of his importance just after the 2014 referendum.

And Scots are reminded of their place in the Little Englander society represented by the Westminster elite..

 

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21 November 2001: Taking a look-back – and the early warning that the Scotland Act was not fit for purpose and needed to be strengthened

Lord Steel, the Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer, criticised the devolution settlement, claiming that Scotland’s institutions should have more power to act without seeking Westminster approval.

Lord Steel, who was giving evidence to a parliamentary committee for the first time, indicated that Holyrood was fettered by the Scotland Act.

He told the parliament’s procedures committee that the Act should be altered to allow Scottish institutions to be changed without the permission of Westminster.

His objection to the current position became clear when his attention was drawn to the provisions of the Scotland Act, which state that the number of MSPs at Holyrood should be reduced from the current level of 129.

Lord Steel has always disagreed with plans to cut the number of MSPs to keep the Scottish parliament in line with proposed changes in the number of Scottish MPs in the House of Commons.

He said: “There’s one problem with the position of the parliament and that’s that it is still set up under the Scotland Act and we have to go back to that if we want to introduce changes in our structure.

I don’t think in the long run that’s a sensible way to proceed.

Even if we are all agreed on a sensible change here it means we have to persuade both Houses at Westminster that they have got to give up time.

I think the real answer lies in that if and when the Scotland Act is reviewed, one of the changes that should be made is that the constitution of our own proceedings should be transferred to us, full stop.”  (The Telegraph)

 

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11 February 2002: Impact of Devolved Government to Scotland – Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Lib/Dem Jim Wallace Calls for Abolition of the Scottish Office

The Deputy First Minister, Jim Wallace, said last week that there was no longer any need for the post of Secretary of State for Scotland.

The leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats said Scottish ministers were already working closely with their counterparts in London, bypassing the need for a Scottish Secretary. (The Telegraph)

 

 

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October 2014: Mundell self defines his and the role of the Scottish Office as decided by the Tory party in Westminster

My role as Scottish Secretary of State is to ensure the smooth working of the devolution settlement in Scotland. and to represent Scottish interests within the UK Government and representing the UK Government in Scotland

And to ensure that when it comes to reserved matters (the issues that the UK Government deals with in Scotland), the people of Scotland’s voice is heard at the highest level in UK Government.  My objectives are;

  • To strengthen and sustain the union.
  • To act as a custodian of the devolution settlement.
  • To be Scotland’s voice in Whitehall.
  • To represent Scottish interests within Government and support the rest of Government on UK matters.
  • To champion the UK Government in Scotland
  • To represent and advocate for the UK Government’s policies and achievements in Scotland.

 

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November 2014: Top Civil Service Award goes To a team of senior civil servants, around 29 in total – seconded from the Treasury to the Scottish Office establishment to actively participate against Scotland’s interests in the UK Government’s 2014 referendum dirty tricks campaign

Sir Jeremy Heywood presented the team with “The Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service Award 2014” in recognition of their outstanding achievements in making a marked difference on an issue of national importance. A number of officials were interviewed after the presentation;

Mario Pisani Deputy Director at HM Treasury said:

“In the Treasury, everyone hates you. We don’t get thanks for anything. This is one occasion where we’ve worked with the rest of Whitehall.

We all had something in common, we’re trying to save the Union here, and it came so close.

We just kept it by the skin of our teeth. I actually cried when the result came in.

After 10 years in the civil service, my proudest moment is tonight and receiving this award.

As civil servants you don’t get involved in politics.

For the first time in my life, suddenly we’re part of a political campaign.

We were doing everything from the analysis, to the advertising, to the communications.

I just felt a massive sense of being part of the operation.

This being recognised (at the Civil Service Awards), makes me feel just incredibly proud.”

 

Paul Doyle; Senior Treasury Official

“This award is not just for the Treasury, it’s for all the hard work that was done by all government departments on the Scotland referendum agenda.

The reality was in all my experience of the civil service, I have never seen the civil service pull together in the way they did behind supporting the UK government in maintaining the United Kingdom. It was a very special event for all of us.”

 

Shannon Cochrane; Senior Treasury Official 

“we’ve learned that it is possible for civil servants to work on things that are inherently political and quite difficult, and you’re very close to the line of what is appropriate, but it’s possible to find your way through and to make a difference.”

 

William MacFarlane; Deputy Director HM Treasury, (Budget and Tax Strategy)

“As civil servants you don’t get involved in politics.

But, for the first time in my life, suddenly we’re part of a political campaign. We were doing everything from the analysis, to the advertising, to the communications.

I just felt a massive sense of being part of the operation.

This being recognised (at the Civil Service Awards), makes me feel just incredibly proud.”

http://www.civilserviceworld.com/articles/news/hm-treasury-team-wins-special-civil-service-award

 

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July 2015: The role of the Joint Committee for Scottish Affairs (Westminster) – requires It to be aware of and report to Parliament on matters of importance pertaining to Scotland.

Fulfilling their duties the Committee interviewed Francesca Osowska OBE, Director, Scotland Office to discuss financial matters arising from the Scottish Referendum

Chair: Welcome to the Scottish Affairs Committee; we are very grateful for you both coming along today.

If you would like to introduce yourselves and say what you do, and if there are any initial statements that you want to make to the Committee, please feel free to use that time.

Francesca Osowska: The Annual Report sets out five objectives for 2014-15 and I think our work continues in that vein.

We have a strong constitutional role, primarily in relation to the Scotland Bill, which, as you are aware, is passing through these Houses at the moment.

This is a key priority for the Scotland Office. In addition we continue to be the voice of Scotland in Whitehall, so our work with other Government Departments across Whitehall, in terms of ensuring that they appreciate the devolution settlement and that they are conscious of the Scottish context, will continue.

Similarly, we are the voice of the UK Government in Scotland and, again, we work co-operatively with other Government Departments who have reserved responsibilities in Scotland to ensure that the UK government can work effectively in Scotland.

Chair: Thank you. Obviously, we are here to talk about the Annual Report, which we have all digested and know inside out and back to forward, and so on.

We are grateful that we are able to ask you a few questions about what is included in the Annual Report.

One of the things that struck me, perhaps you could explain to me how this works is that there are 100 staff currently employed within the Scotland Office. Is that correct, roughly 100 staff?

Francesca Osowska: Across the Scotland Office and the Office of the Advocate General, yes.

Chair: Across the estate that is operating the Scotland Office. None of them are permanent. Does that create any difficulties or problems or issues for you?

I would imagine it must, and why has the decision been taken that they have no permanent staff in the Scotland Office?

Francesca Osowska: Since devolution and since the creation of the Scotland Office this has been the case, that the Scotland Office does not itself directly employ staff, but we second or take staff on loan from other Departments. In the Scotland Office in London most of our staff are on loan, but we also benefit from arrangements with Sir Jeremy Heywood and the Cabinet Office gaining access to external expertise and indeed access external HR expertise, which is effective and efficient for us.

Margaret Ferrier: The 2015-16 budget for the Scotland Office was set at £5.8 million, but the most recent main estimate asked Parliament to approve an additional £3 million for capability enhancement. What were the additional funds for?

Francesca Osowska: In terms of the out turn for 2014-15 the total combined out turn for the Office of the Advocate General and the Scotland Office was £7.7 million.

You will appreciate that that did include an uplift from the original budget setting process that occurred in 2010.

At that point, a referendum was not anticipated; a lot of the work in terms of 2014-15 has been the follow through or was related to the referendum, so the work in the run up to the referendum, contributing to the Scotland analysis papers for example, supporting Ministers as they gave public information to inform the debate about the referendum, and that explains the increase in that provision.

(So entire wage bill and ancillary costs of the 29 civil servants deployed to assist the “better together) was charged to Scottish financial allocations. Utterly disgraceful abuse of the Scottish electorate. And there was no mention of this expenditure in the  returns to the Scottish Electoral Office.)

 

Margaret Ferrier: These public Ministers, are you meaning UK Ministers?

Francesca Osowska: Yes.

Margaret Ferrier: Not Scottish Government?

Francesca Osowska: No.

Margaret Ferrier: The Annual Report and Accounts show that General Administration costs rose by about 8% from £7.2 million in 2013-14 to £7.7 million in 2014-15.

Why did the General Administration costs rise? Is there another reason, other than the referendum debate that was taking place?

Francesca Osowska: No. As I said earlier, the initial budget was set in 2010 as part of that spending review.

The referendum was not anticipated at that point and this increase represents the resources dedicated by the Scotland Office to supporting the work of the UK Government, overall, in informing the referendum debate.

Kirsty Blackman: The Scotland Office had allocated to it and spent an extra £3 million helping UK Government Ministers with information about the referendum, mainly?

Francesca Osowska: In terms of the increase, there are a number of different figures being talked about here.

It might be helpful if I wrote to the Committee after this hearing to set out the sequence of events, because there were uplifts granted and changes in the Budget made from the original 2010 provision at different periods, including during the course of 2013-14, so I do not think it is entirely correct to say it was a single jump of £3 million.

Chair: It would be helpful if you write to the Committee to explain properly what that £3.3 million did account for.

What we are hearing is that this might have been the figure that was used for the referendum campaign, for the “No” campaign, and used by UK Ministers to take part in the referendum.

Would that be roughly a correct characterisation of that spending?

Francesca Osowska: I don’t think it would be, if you don’t mind. What I am saying is that, if we look at page 54 of the Annual Report and Accounts, then you see the trajectory of the Scotland Office and Office of the Advocate General accounts.

You can see, in terms of general administration costs, that they have more or less been around the £7 million.

That is why I feel it is important that I write and set out the explanation of the £3 million figure.

Chair: Please do.

Francesca Osowska: However, in answer to your question, Mr Chairman in relation to “Was this a way of the Government funding the ‘No’ campaign?” this was to fund the activities of UK Government civil servants, in line with the civil service code.

*All activities undertaken by civil servants in my Department would meet a propriety test, yet I think you would agree that in the run-up to a referendum, obviously when Ministers want to be more visible, when we need to ensure that there is a good flow of public information for example, via the Scotland analysis papers that increases our activity and that is why there was an increase between the 2013-14 out turn and 2014-15 out turn.

* But reflect on the disgraceful actions of the UK Cabinet Office and Treasury Civil servants (in the previous note) which contain the proud admission that they had been seconded to the Scottish Office (in Westminster) and were tasked, for an extended period of time to provide active support to the “Better Together” campaign. Actions that brought about the defeat of Scots who wished only to be an independent nation once again. What a bunch of charlatans.

 

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July 2015: what a con – the Civil Service and their Janus faced illegal politics

Francesca Osowska, in a number of evasive statements to the Scottish Affairs Committee, glossed over the expensive and extensive work of a large group of (supposedly politically neutral) Civil Servants who actively supported the objectives of the “Better Together” campaign.

A gross misuse of public finances and Civil Servants presumably by David Cameron and Sir Jeremy Heywood.

She also confirmed that Mundell retains funding sufficient to employ up to 100 whole time equivalent (W.T.E.) posts and that salary and incidental costs arising from such employment are (top sliced) from Scotland’s block grant before the allocation of finance to the Scottish government.

The slush fund created is an ever increasing annual financial nest egg, skimmed off Scotland’s block financial grant and used, abused by the Mundell for purposes such as UK government anti-devolution leaflet production, printing and distribution.

And Hiring of Special Advisors (SpAds), usually sons, daughters, other relations, friends of ministers or other MP’s and employment of Civil Servants from other Government Departments in times of need.

 

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State Pension Qualifying Age Increased – Yet Again Scots Get Hammered by the Little Englander Chancellor

 

 

britainatthebottom

 

 

 

State Pension Qualifying Age Increased. Yet Again Scots are Hammered by the Little Englander Chancellor

Those who have paid their national insurance contributions throughout their working life build an entitlement to a state pension and politicians should not seek to find ways to deny them it.

But the UK government continue do so with apparent impunity.

Admittedly retirement, for some, is a boon, a blessing and a hugely enjoyable later stage in life.

But for many it becomes a struggle to survive, living in poverty, on an inadequate and ever reducing State Pension.

Poor health is another factor with approximately 45% of people over the age of 65 entering this stage of their lives suffering some kind of serious long term illness.

Pensioners in good health are not a drain on the nations resources since well in excess of a million continue to work well beyond retirement age.

A similar number provide unpaid care for grandchildren, other members of the family or friends saving the state many millions of pounds.”

And it is a fact that charities and communities would find it difficult to function effectively without massive support from unpaid pensioner volunteers.

 

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Mortality Rates & Pensions – England and Scotland

Up to the early 1950’s, Scottish mortality rates were broadly comparable with the rest of the UK.

But from that time, (attributed to increased levels of deprivation) life expectancy, in Scotland has hardly increased over a period of 60+ years.

In England, (over the same period) rates steadily increased year on year and there is now a very significant gap in life expectancy between England & Scotland.

Male pensioners in affluent London & the South East of England enjoy a life expectancy of approximately 80 years. Female life expectancy is approximately 84 years.

In Scotland, male life expectancy is approximately 73 years. Female life expectancy is approximately 78 years.

 

PensionMM_470x355

 

 

 

The UK Pension Ponzi Scheme – Scottish Pensioners Heavily Subsidize Pension Payments To English Pensioners.

Substantiating the case I selected one, (similar in population density) conurbation in each country, namely,”Glasgow & West of Scotland & London & S/East England”.

Pension assessment: allow approximately £60,000, individual pension contribution payments (assume 40 years @ £1500 per annum).

Maximum pension payments to male English. £6K x 12 years = £72K
Maximum pension payments to female English. £6K x 16 years = £96K
Maximum pension payments to male Scots. £6k x 5 years = £30K
Maximum pension payments to female Scots. £6k x 10 years = £60K

 

nintchdbpict000279293354

 

 

 

Life Span of Scots is Much Less Than the English.

Life expectancy indicates many Scots children may not survive beyond age 68y with result that around 30% will contribute to a State pension all of their working lives but get little or nothing in return by way of pension.

 

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It Doesn’t Need to Be This Way

An independent Scotland would be freed from the heavy burden of subsidising English and Welsh State pensions.

A Scottish government blessed with greatly reduced State pension commitments would be able to increase pensions significantly or reduce the retirement age.

 

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UK Financial Austerity – Massive Debt Incurred By The Minority – But Loans and Interest Repayments Charged to the Majority – Shoddy Westminster Governance But True to Form

 

 

 

gordon-brown

 

 

 

 

UK Budget Deficits & Loans

In the UK there is no written constitution with result that there are no legal safeguards ensuring the maintenance of government budget deficits within specific limits. e.g. A % proportion of GDP.

There is also no legislation preventing governments from gaining electoral advantage through excessive borrowing, effectively mortgaging the nation’s future to the hilt.

Which is exactly what Chancellor’s Darling and Osborne did between 2007-2017.

UK bankers, through greed, incompetence and criminal activities over-committed the country’s finances through many millions of questionable contracts and mortgage Ponzi schemes.

When the dodgy business was called to account by short changing adventurers the proverbial s..t hit the fan and the UK was bust.

Alistair Darling, the Labour government Chancellor of the Exchequer consulted his team of advisors, (led by Fred the Shred) who were of the view that 98% of the UK public would be largely unaffected by allowing the Banks and other financial organisations to fail, but the remaining 2% of taxpayers, financial organisations and bankers stood to lose very significant amounts of money.

Darling decided to protect the richest 2% of the UK society.

The bulk of the population would suffer the effects of a massive borrowing regime and 10 years after citizens of little financial means are being strangled by austerity measures introduced by government.

Conversely, the richest 2% have become richer beyond their wildest dreams since austerity is a word unused in their society.

 

george-osborne-alistair-darling

 

 

 

 

But how does financial debt accrue?

The Treasury prints guaranteed bonds and sells them to private investors and countries.

Over 40% of UK debt is owed to foreign countries and corporations.

 

darling

 

 

 

 

Why Does the EU Get a Bad Press?

The EU Stability and Growth Pact (S.G.P.) was finalised and implemented by EU member States in 1999.

This required members to commit to deficits not exceeding 3.00% of GDP and debt not more than 60.00% of G.D.P.

The inherent weakness of the measure was that it was only a pact and as such not legally enforceable and in the period 1999-2012 many member countries regularly posted deficits well in excess of 3.00 %, (including the UK)

One such country was Greece whose economy completely collapsed under the burden of debt requiring the intervention of the EU Central Bank who introduced drastic austerity measures with the purpose of rescuing the (basket case) Greek economy.

Austerity is still harshly active in Greece at 2017.

At the beginning of 2011 Italy’s public debt had increased to approximately £1.70 trillion (approximately 120% of GDP).

This compared unfavourably with the agreed maximum limit of 60.00% in the EU’s Stability & Growth Pact (S.G.P.)

Meeting the challenge the EU decided in 2012 to standardise borrowing within the EU.

Twenty-Six of the EU’s Twenty-Eight member States signed a landmark treaty (the “fiscal compact“) committing them to co-ordinating their budget policies imposing penalties on rule-breakers from 2013.

The Czech Republic and the UK opted out of the legally binding treaty.

 

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Figure 1. Total UK Debt Approx: £ Trillion

Labour 2007: 0.51
Labour 2008: 0.58
Labour 2009: 0.78
Tory/Lib 2010: 1.02
Tory/Lib 2011: 1.18
Tory/Lib 2012: 1.23
Tory/Lib 2013: 1.28
Tory/Lib 2014: 1.48
Tory/Lib 2015: 1.57
Tory 2016: 1.62
Tory 2017: 1.80

Notes:

Massive increase in debt (2010-2017) incurred by Osborne and the Tory’s.

On-going cost of waging wars in Libya,Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

Commitment to build unusable aircraft carriers, frigates and useless F35 stealth fighters.

 

national-debt

 

 

 

Figure 2. Total UK Debt Relative to GDP Approx: %

Labour 2007: 37.00
Labour 2008: 39.00
Labour 2009: 47.00
Tory/Lib 2010: 68.00
Tory/Lib 2011: 72.00
Tory/Lib 2012: 73.00
Tory/Lib 2013: 77.00
Tory/Lib 2014: 79.00
Tory/Lib 2015: 83.00
Tory 2016: 82.00
Tory 2017: 81.00

The maximum level is not supposed to exceed 60%.

 

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Figure 3. UK Budget Deficit borrowing Approx: £ Billions borrowed annually to balance the books

Labour 2007:£36.90
Labour 2008:£40.90
Labour 2009:£100.80
Tory/Lib 2010:£153.50
Tory/Lib 2011:£134.90
Tory/Lib 2012:£113.40
Tory/Lib 2013:£119.70
Tory/Lib 2014:£98.50
Tory/Lib 2015:£88.00
Tory 2016:£69.50
Tory 2017:£43.10

Should not exceed £40 billion.

 

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Figure 4. UK Budget Deficit Borrowing Approx: % of GDP borrowed annually to balance the books

Labour 2007: 2.60
Labour 2008: 2.70
Labour 2009: 6.70
Tory/Lib 2010: 10.02
Tory/Lib 2011: 8.60
Tory/Lib 2012: 7.00
Tory/Lib 2013: 7.20
Tory/Lib 2014: 5.70
Tory/Lib 2015: 4.90
Tory 2016: 3.70
Tory 2017: 2.20

Borrowing is not supposed to exceed 3%.

 

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Balancing the Books – But at What Cost?

1992-1997

Tory Chancellor Kenneth Clark presided over a period of austerity in the latter part of the 1990’s and handed over a stable economy to the incoming labour administration.

 

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1997-2002

Gordon Brown, The Labour Chancellor maintained the same financial regime as his predecessor and by the end of the first parliament (1997-2002) public sector debt as a % of GDP was reduced to 29%.

 

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2002-2007

The second Labour government (2002–2007) relaxed fiscal rules and national debt increased to 37% of GDP.

The rise was primarily due to the government’s decision to greatly increase spending on health and education.

There was also a significant rise in social security spending.

 

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2007-2010

The third Labour government (2007-2010 was an unmitigated disaster.

There was a very sharp increase in public sector debt because of:

The 2008-2010 recession which was incurred by the financial bailout of Northern Rock, R.B.S., Lloyd’s and other banks resulted in greatly reduced tax receipts, much increased spending on unemployment benefits, and other welfare support.

Falling house prices resulting in much reduced stamp duty, income tax and lower corporation tax collection.

Other factors included a hidden deficit caused by the Labour government spending more than tax revenue.

 

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2010-2015

The Tory Party agreed a coalition with the Lib-Dems and governed from (2010-2015).

The Tory Chancellor, George Osborne declared that austerity would be maintained and indeed strengthened across all sectors of society, (all in it together) declared the Prime Minister, David Cameron).

His campaign slogan proved to be a false dawn when the burden of increased austerity was placed firmly on the shoulders of the 98% of the public previously hammered by Alistair Darling and the Labour party in 2008.

 

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2015-2017

The 2015 General Election was a watershed in UK politics and austerity.

In Scotland Unionist party’s were virtually wiped out by a massive turnout of the electorate in favour of the SNP.

Unfortunately the Labour party in England was poorly organised and fraught with in-fighting with result that the electorate abandoned them in favour of the Tory Party who were then able to form a government, albeit with a small majority.

True to form Tory Chancellor, Osborne announced that austerity measures would remain in place for at least another 5 years.

The majority would continue to be punished for the criminal actions of the bankers who would be rewarded yet again.

David Cameron made a cock-up of the EC referendum in 2016 and was forced to surrender his leadership role, passing the chalice to Theresa May who formed a new government.

Osborne was dropped from his role as chancellor and there was brief hope things would change.

No chance, multi- millionaire, Hammond, the new Chancellor, opted to pursue and indeed threatened to extend the period of austerity without end.

 

992712-image-1447695835-337-640x480

 

 

 

 

2017-2021

In 2017, Theresa May asked the electorate for a new mandate.

She managed to get her government re-elected but without a overall majority which she gerrymandered in her favour gaining a majority through the qualified support of the D.U.P.

Hammond remains in office, (but under pressure) and the future is just as dismal as before.

Thanks to: Dabir Tehrani UNA, Edinburgh

 

 

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Theresa May Forging Ahead with her Totalitarian State – All Private Information Historical and Real-time Will Be Available To Government Agencies – An Independent Scotland Would be Able to Make Its Own Rules

 

Liberty_NoSnooper_Lamppost_sm_BLACK_website_f2

 

 

 

 

Spying on all of the Queen’s subjects is OK – But Not Westminster MP’s and the Lords

The only amendment to the government’s sweeping new spying bill so far made by politicians is to stop them from being spied on.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/snoopers-charter-only-amendment-politicians-have-submitted-to-controversial-bill-is-to-stop-mps-a6948211.html

 

quote-and-i-believe-that-totalitarianism-if-not-fought-against-could-triumph-again-george-orwell-65-12-74

 

 

 

 

In December 2016, politicians in the UK passed The Investigatory Powers Bill

The Act, (heavily criticised by civil rights groups, privacy experts and over 100,000 people for the intrusive and draconian levels of surveillance of the private lives of individuals), was passed by Westminster in December 2016.

As expected, legal challenges against the powers of the act have been submitted to the relevant controlling authority in anticipation the government will amend aspects of the act causing most concern to the public.

The European Court of Justice has ruled the collection of bulk data to be unlawful.
The British government has refused to amend the act, the response being that provisions contained within it are necessary to help protect the country’s national security and oversight is provided for the protection of individuals.

Many aspects of the legislation have yet to be implemented but it is expected the act will be fully in force before the end of 2017 which is worrying when considered against the slow moving Brexit talks.

Clarifying its extent in advance of Royal Assent in December 2016, then home secretary Amber Rudd said:

“This Government is clear that, at a time of heightened security threat, it is essential our law enforcement, security and intelligence services have the powers they need to keep people safe.

The internet presents new opportunities for terrorists and we must ensure we have the capabilities to confront this challenge.

But it is also right that these powers are subject to strict safeguards and rigorous oversight.

The Investigatory Powers Act is world-leading legislation that provides unprecedented transparency and substantial privacy protection.

I want to pay tribute to the independent reviewers, organisations, and Parliamentarians of all parties for their rigorous scrutiny of this important law which is vital for the safety and security of our families, communities and country.”

The legislation includes:

 

Theresa May Snoopers Charter

 

 

 

 

Hacking power:

For the first time, security services will be able to hack into computers, networks, mobile devices, servers and more under the proposed plans.

The practice is known as equipment interference and is set out in part 5, chapter 2, of the IP Bill.

This may include downloading data from a mobile phone that is stolen or left unattended, or software that tracks every keyboard letter pressed being installed on a laptop.

“More complex equipment interference operations may involve exploiting existing vulnerabilities in software in order to gain control of devices or networks to remotely extract material or monitor the user of the device.”

The power will be available to police forces and intelligence services. Warrants must be issued for the hacking to take place.

 

snoopers1

 

 

 

 

Bulk hacking:

For those not living in the UK, but who have come to the attention of the security agencies, the potential to be hacked increases.

Bulk equipment interference (chapter 3 of the IP Bill) allows for large scale hacks in “large operations”.

Data can be gathered from “a large number of devices in the specified location”.

A draft code of practice says a foreign region (although it does not give a size) where terrorism is suspected could be targeted, for instance.

As a result, it is likely the data of innocent people would be gathered.

Security and intelligence agencies must apply for a warrant from the Secretary of State and these groups are the only people who can complete bulk hacks.

 

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Commissioners:

To help oversee the new powers, the Home Office is introducing new roles to approve warrants and handle issues that arise from the new powers.

The Investigatory Powers Commissioner (IPC) and judicial commissioners (part 8, chapter 1 of the IP Bill) will be appointed by Theresa May, or whoever the serving prime minister is at the time.

The IPC will be a senior judge and be supported by other high court judges.

“The IPC will audit compliance and undertake investigations,” the government says.

“The Commissioner will report publicly and make recommendations on what he finds in the course of his work,” guidance on the original bill says (page 6).

“He will also publish guidance when it is required on the proper use of investigatory powers.”

 

limitedgovernment

 

 

 

Web records and Communication Services

Under the IP Bill, security services and police forces will be able to access communications data when it is needed to help their investigations.

This means internet history data (Internet Connection Records, in official speak) will have to be stored for 12 months.

Providers, which include everything from internet companies and messenger services to postal services, will have to store meta data about the communications made through their services.

The who, what, when, and where will have to be stored. This will mean your internet service provider stores that you visited “Caltonjock” to read this article, on this day, at this time and where from (i.e. a mobile device).

This will be done for every website visited for a year.

Web records and communications data is detailed under chapter 3, part 3 of the law and warrants are required for the data to be accessed.

A draft code of practice details more information on communications data.

 

b87e2d17eed1cb243e8e54bb7e7322c5

 

 

 

Bulk data sets

As well as communications data being stored, intelligence agencies will also be able to obtain and use “bulk personal datasets”.

These mass data sets mostly include a “majority of individuals” that aren’t suspected in any wrongdoing but have been swept-up in the data collection.

These (detailed under part 7 of the IP Bill and in a code of practice), as well as warrants for their creation and retention must be obtained.

“Typically these datasets are very large, and of a size which means they cannot be processed manually,” the draft code of practice describes the data sets as. These types of databases can be created from a variety of sources.

 

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Real-time surveillance

Draft regulations published in May 2017 reveal how the IP Act’s provisions will work in practice.

The technical regulations, which put obligations on internet communication companies, say “communications and secondary data” about a person will have to be provided “in near real time” to authorities when a warrant has been obtained.

Also, the regulations, which were being consulted on with UK technical groups, say that where possible ‘electronic protection’ (also known as encryption) should be removed by communications companies where it is possible to do so.

 

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Public authorities that can access records

Metropolitan police force
City of London police force
Police forces maintained under section 2 of the Police Act 1996
Police Service of Scotland
Police Service of Northern Ireland
British Transport Police
Ministry of Defence Police
Royal Navy Police
Royal Military Police
Royal Air Force Police
Security Service
Secret Intelligence Service
GCHQ
Ministry of Defence
Department of Health
Home Office
Ministry of Justice
National Crime Agency
HM Revenue & Customs
Department for Transport
Department for Work and Pensions
NHS trusts and foundation trusts in England that provide ambulance services
Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service
Competition and Markets Authority
Criminal Cases Review Commission
Department for Communities in Northern Ireland
Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland
Department of Justice in Northern Ireland
Financial Conduct Authority
Fire and rescue authorities under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004
Food Standards Agency
Food Standards Scotland
Gambling Commission
Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
Health and Safety Executive
Independent Police Complaints Commissioner
Information Commissioner
NHS Business Services Authority
Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust
Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board
Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Regional Business Services Organisation
Office of Communications
Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland
Police Investigations and Review Commissioner
Scottish Ambulance Service Board
Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission
Serious Fraud Office
Welsh Ambulance Services National Health Service Trust

 

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Comments:

Tom Skillinger: Leader of the 100.000 signature petition submitted to the government said:

“This is an absolute disgrace to both privacy and freedom and needs to stop.

It has only made it this far due to it being snuck past the population in relative secrecy. It isn’t too late.

We can fix this before the UK is turned into a dystopian surveillance state.”

 

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Jim KIllock: Executive Director of the “Open Rights Group” said:

“Amber Rudd says the Investigatory Powers Act is world-leading legislation.

She is right, it is one of the most extreme surveillance laws ever passed in a democracy.

Its impact will be felt beyond the UK as other countries, including authoritarian regimes with poor human rights records, will use this law to justify their own intrusive surveillance regimes.

Theresa May has finally got her snoopers’ charter and democracy in the UK is the worse for it.”

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/ip-bill-law-details-passed

 

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14 May 2017: Privacy start-up company – Why we decided to leave the UK following election

The company has raised tens of thousands through crowd funding to create a pro-privacy peer-to-peer network and smartphone app that allows users a Facebook experience without handing over personal information.

Aral Balkan, founder and developer on the platform, explains why the company has decided to leave the UK following the 2017 General Election results.

Shortly after winning the election last week, the Tory’s home secretary Theresa May made a commitment to reintroduce the snooper’s charter, an initiative previously blocked by the coalition.

Stances like this, as well as the plans to block encrypted messaging applications as well as a distillation of the Humans Right Act, will lead the Brighton based company to leave the UK.

Aral Balkan, founder and developer recently said: “It would be ironic to stay in a country that just scrapped its “Human Rights Act” when you’re trying to further the cause of human rights, don’t you think?

The possibility of stronger legislation from Europe concerning data protection, privacy and human rights, to be announced this year is not enough to us working within the British Isles.

“I have very little faith that Europe will stand strong on protecting our human right to privacy.”

“There are major and increasing concerns over lobbyists’ influence on the new incoming general data protection and the Tory Manifesto is at severe risk from corporate influences who favour big data over big data protection.”

“They seem to be more interested in keeping Silicon Valley companies happy and being rewarded with investments into ‘start-up’ ecosystems and increased lobbying spends.

If we are to tackle the issue of protecting privacy (and thus human rights) in the EU, we should take a long, hard look at the staggering amounts of institutional corruption at the state and EU levels and take whatever steps are necessary to ensure the remove the influence of corporate finance in public policymaking.”

Legislation from the EU is expected to be published before the end of 2017 and it is expected safeguards concerning data protection, privacy and human rights will be greatly strengthened over the UK legislation.

Nothing of the EU bill will be introduced into the UK during the Brexit discussions. But in any event it is saddled with the same drawback as the UK.

The EU appears to be more interested in keeping Silicon Valley companies happy (and being rewarded with investments by them into “start-up” ecosystems and increased lobbying spends).

If the EU is to tackle the issue of protecting privacy (and human rights) in the EU, it needs to take a long, hard look at the staggering amounts of institutional corruption at the state and EU levels and take whatever steps are necessary to ensure the remove the influence of corporate finance in public policymaking.”

 

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Balkan blames “multistakeholderism” and “co-regulation” that sees companies like Google and Facebook invited to the EU table to decide how they should be regulated and give advice on what privacy protection should be implemented to protect individuals.

“That’s like inviting the wolf to the table to comment on the welfare of the sheep.

Multistakeholderism, public-private partnerships, and co-regulation are all euphemisms for institutional corruption.

If we’re serious about tackling these issues let’s work to remove the influence of (mainly American, and mainly Silicon Valley) companies from the policy decisions made in Europe that concern the welfare of Europeans.”

 

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Stages in development

Balkan, who has been programming for over 30 years – and working professionally for 15 – is just about to kick off Ind.ie’s pre alpha programme for Heartbeat.

Heartbeat is a social network – one part of the underlying technology the start-up is creating to eventually offer an entirely private smartphone (the Indie phone) .

Pulse – a private version of Dropbox and a bridge tool called Way-stone will follow with the help of crowdfunding.

“I have a couple of days of coding left until I can get there and then we’re going to test it out with the team for a few days before starting to open it up to the 850 or so alpha testers who supported us in the top two tiers during crowdfunding.

It’s taken us about 6 months to get here, which is much longer than I’d originally estimated, but it’s not like anyone has built this before so we’re also learning as we go.”

 

 

 

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Private island, Scandinavia or Scotland?

Development aside, now the small firm must think about where to relocate. “We don’t know where we’re moving to yet.

We’ve had a lot of words of support and lots of invitations to come visit,” said Balkan.

So far, a private Island in Panama owned by a friend, a handful of Scandinavian countries like Norway, Sweden and Iceland due to their human rights credentials as well as Berlin are top of the list for Ind.ie.

Scotland is another option, Balkan adds, “If we could be confident they it would leave the UK and resist the Tory push for ubiquitous surveillance.”

http://www.techworld.com/startups/privacy-startup-indie-why-we-decided-leave-uk-following-election-3611712/

 

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Afghanistan – Thousands of Young Soldiers Killed and Maimed at Four Times the Rate of the US Forces – I asked Why? – But Never got an Answer – Does Anybody Know?

 

 

 

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Westminster Governments Sent Scottish Troops Into Afghanistan, Helmand Province on a Wing and a Prayer

In April 2006 the UK deployed over 3,000 military personnel, (the bulk of the teeth armed units being Scottish) tasked with creating a safe base and active participation (as part of a Nato-led peacekeeping force) in direct support a large US-led force already deployed throughout the country aggressively eliminating militants.

Fully aware, from US intelligence briefing, of the dangers facing the force to be deployed and major deficiencies in their equipment and arms, the Westminster government approach was one born of complacency, believing that US forces on the ground would continue to meet the main challenge of the Taliban.

The political mantra was: ” we’ll deal with it if it happens.”

US military command, in Kabul were pleased that the British Army would be actively involved in the war against the Taliban and were more than ready give over responsibility for policing Helmand Province and the South of Afghanistan.

In the process of the force deployment, John Reid, Secretary of State for Defence, addressing the world’s press in Kabul, advised that Britain would remain with the Nato joint forces mission for as long as necessary, emphasising the importance of preventing the Taliban returning to power.

He went on to say: “We’re in Helmand and the South to assist and protect the Afghan people reconstructing their economy and democracy” and, “we would be perfectly happy to leave in three years time without firing one shot.”

Not long after Reid departed to the UK and a new job as Foreign Secretary the unwarranted complacency was quickly dispelled by the shock of cold reality when the Ill equipped, armed and trained young soldiers came under sustained attacks from the Taliban.

Policing went out the window to be replaced by 12 years of brutal counter-insurgency resulting in the death and injury of many British Armed forces.

A simple policing mission gone badly wrong. British Armed Forces betrayed by Westminster governments whose default setting firmly fixed at: “muddle”

 

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The Disastrous Legacy John Reid Left the Army and the Nation

446 British soldiers met their deaths – a higher figure than in Iraq, or the Falklands

The maximum acceptable level of major combat casualties is 6 deaths per 1000.

USA forces suffered 3 deaths per 1000.

UK forces suffered 13 deaths per 1000.

British army casualties four times the rate of US troops, a statistical disparity which nobody at Westminster seems anxious to explain.

3560 soldiers were wounded. In one year: (between April 2012 and March 2013)

29 British soldiers had limbs amputated.

12 were classified as “significant multiple amputees”.

the average age of those who died was 22.

31 were teenagers, 200 in their 20s.

Of the Afghan veterans who made it home more or less in one piece, the most common cause of death in 2012 was suicide.

 

scottish-soldiers

 

 

One reason for the very high British casualty rate – in the absence of written evidence – could be the ignorance and stupidity of British politicians and their carelessness about the lives of the young people they were sending into battle, the disgraceful failure to provide basic equipment and the deployment of personnel in ways which made no military (or any other sort of) sense.

 

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The Unionist Parties of Scotland and Many of Their Favoured Farmers Make Claim To Be Near Destitute – But Do the Facts Fit the Rhetoric ?

 

 

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The Farmers Case for Financial Support

The Scottish farming community is apparently on its knees, the bulk of farmers having barely two coins to rub together. It is surely unacceptable that Scottish society is unable to provide adequate financial support to these poor individuals who struggle to survive in the unforgiving harsh climate of Scotland.

Listed below is a summary of farmers claims for financial subsidy support in 2015/16. which provides the evidence backing the farming community. They clearly need urgent assistance.

 

'This is gonna sound crazy, but I've got an idea.'

 

 

 

How are Payments calculated?

From 2015 – 2020, the single payment scheme was replaced by the “basic payment scheme” (BPS), which was intended to close some of the loopholes in the previous system and give greater weight to the provision of environmental public goods.

However, the new system remains largely based on land ownership.

Under the basic payment scheme around 30 per cent of a farmer’s payment depends on them meeting three “greening” rules. These require farmers to:

Grow two or three different crops.

Devote at least 5 per cent of their arable land to “ecological focus areas” like hedges and fallow land.

Take some responsibility for maintaining the proportion of permanent grassland in the country.

The new scheme also bars some businesses from claiming the subsidy if they also operate airports, railway services, waterworks, real estate services, or permanent sports grounds.

However, these businesses are still able to claim BPS if, for example, they have more than 36 hectares of eligible.

http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/sites/agriculture/files/direct-support/direct-payments/docs/direct-payments-schemes_en.pdf)

 

subsidy-farms

 

 

 

Farming Subsidy Payments 2015/2016

Claims in excess of £1million (12)

A P Jess (Brechin) Ltd DD9 BRECHIN £1,429,303.00

Ballindalloch Distillery LLP AB37 Ballloch £1,273,123.30

Catrine Community Trust KA5 Catrine £1,253,793.00

Frank A Smart & Son Ltd AB31 BANCHORY £2,986,506.48

Glenfeshie Estate Ltd IV2 INVERNESS £1,781,486.64

Isle of Harris Distillers Ltd EH10 Edinburgh £1,539,049.00

John F Hartz OX18 OXON £1,318,912.12

John Fergus & Company Ltd KY13 MILNATHORT £1,263,294.00

R J & T J & M T Feakins TD9 HAWICK £1,270,281.64

RSPB EH12 EDINBURGH £3,584,031.90

SG:RPID:Futures EH11 Edinburgh £4,110,035.34

Strathvaich Farms LLP CO10 SUDBURY £1,429,303.00

 

cartoon_farm_subsidies

 

 

Claims in Excess of £500K (29)

A F Gospel DG13 Langholm £737,776.48

Adephi Distillery Ltd PH36 Ardnamuchan £623,236.00

Balnagown Castle Prop Ltd IV18 KILDARY £605,942.89

Broadland Properties Ltd PH33 ARDGOUR £591,545.45

G Barbour & Co DG2 DUMFRIES £821,174.90

Gairloch & Conon Estate IV7 CONON BRIDGE £739,231.81

Genoch Mains Farms DG9 STRANRAER £857,168.32

Heidi Beers Ltd G40 Glasgow £575,623.00

Invercauld Estates AB35 BALLATER £761,179.11

J & T F Macfarlane Ltd TD3 GORDON £582,476.

John Mark Gibson KA6 DALMELLINGTON £565,611.53

K & J Walker PH16 PITLOCHRY £600,768.71

Kevan Forsyth DG8 NEWTON STEWART £577,884.01

Moray Estates Development Co IV36 FORRES £644,106.19

Mr A J Duncan (A Firm) AB53 TURRIFF £575,060.21

Mrs E V McCorquodale Trs PH2 PERTH £706,751.28

Novar Farms IV16 DINGWALL £755,103.23

Pitcastle Estate Management PH1 PERTH £551,496.32

Quality Meat Scotland EH28 Newbridge £507,060.58

Ross Bros AB43 FRASERBURGH £978,076.03

Scottish Borders Council SRDP TD6 Newtown Bos £529,658.81

Soil Association EH12 EDINBURGH £526,616.46

SRUC/SAC Commercial Ltd AB21 BUCKSBURN £622,553.37

Strathdee Properties Ltd AB38 ABERLOUR £852,900.58

The Church Commissioners For England DG1 DUMFRIES £649,987.98

The Woodland Trust PH2 PERTH £861,182.61

Torsa Holdings Ltd IV3 INVERNESS £876,006.69

Valley Fields (Scotland) DG4 SANQUHAR £518,791.88 Farm in Dumfies.

William Hamilton And Son (No 2) KY15 CUPAR £692,816.62

 

Farm-Agriculture-Cartoon-220

 

 

 

Claims in Excess of £250K (117)

A Macgregor(Allanfauld) G65 GLASGOW £266,295.14
Andrew B. Young KA26 GIRVAN £296,724.52
Andrew C Smith IV2 INVERNESS £399,979.58
Auchencheyne Ltd DG3 THORNHILL £408,690.54
Aucheneck Estate G63 GLASGOW £281,834.26

Auchmacoy Estate AB41 ELLON £372,293.27
Auchtydore Farms AB42 PETERHEAD £340,550.19
B Q Farms Ltd. DG3 THORNHILL £292,614.19
Backmuir Trading Ltd AB55 BANFFSHIRE £451,457.60
Balbirnie Home Farms KY15 CUPAR £258,820.66

Balcaskie Farms KY10 ANSTRUTHER £294,706.39
Balgreggan Farms Ltd DG9 STRANRAER £310,045.07
Balnaboth Home Farm DD8 KIRRIEMUIR £442,333.57
Baltier Farming Company Ltd DG8 NEWTON STEWART £433,694.67
Barstobrick Farms DG7 CASTLE DOUGLAS £251,631.32

Belcher Food Products Ltd KA9 Prestwick £250,079.00
Benson Wemyss Farms EH32 Longniddry £255,624.34
Birsay Community Association KW17 ORKNEY £288,426.77
Blackford Farms Ltd FK15 DUNBLANE £252,633.53
Blacklidge Brothers PR6 Chorley £271,131.21

BQ Farming Partnerships Ltd TD7 SELKIRK £325,210.34
Braegrudie Common Grazings IV27 Lairg £455,651.40

Buccleuch Estates Ltd DG3 THORNHILL £390,820.71

Burghill Farms DD9 BRECHIN £315,597.64
C & S Adams DG9 STRANRAER £387,116.82

Cadzow Bros PA34 OBAN £323,893.54
Careston Ltd DD9 BRECHIN £262,856.69
Charles M Kirkpatrick DG11 Lockerbie £330,990.95
Clan Donald Land Trust PH33 FORT WILLIAM£ £305,727.73
Conagleann Ltd t/a Dunmaglass Estate DD9 BRECHIN £381,778.87

Conon Brae Farms IV7 DINGWALL £350,919.53
Craigton IV20 TAIN £250,098.91
Crochmore Farms Limited DG2 DUMFRIES £329,887.10
Culfargie Estates Ltd PH1 BALBEGGIE £258,680.83
D R F Farmers Ltd AB43 FRASERBURGH £455,712.44

Dalhanna Farming Company DG7 CASTLE DOUGLAS £268,660.72
Dalmahoy Farms EH27 KIRKNEWTON £365,143.43
Des J Donohoe PH1 PERTH £346,455.01
Dindinnie Farming Co DG9 STRANRAER £375,329.03
Drummuir Home Farms AB55 KEITH £324,147.76
Dunecht Home Farms AB32 WESTHILL £435,616.34
Dunlossit (Farming) Ltd PA45 ISLE OF ISLAY £325,579.98
F Laing PH26 MORAYSHIRE £376,214.50
Fersness Farms KW17 ORKNEY £286,391.66
Firm Of Ardtornish Farms PA80 OBAN £264,412.58
Firm of John G Hamilton EH42 DUNBAR £400,986.88
Firm Of Peter Alexander PH10 BLAIRGOWRIE £317,887.47
Floors Farming TD5 KELSO £296,482.70
G Mcdougal (Bassendean)Ltd TD3 GORDON £323,977.62
Glenapp Estate Company Ltd KA26 GIRVAN £396,238.87
Glencorse Association EH26 Penicuik £387,806.96
Glenkiln Farms DG2 DUMFRIES £282,363.64
Glenrath Egg Products Ltd EH46 West Linton £381,876.00
Glenrinnes Farms Limited AB55 DUFFTOWN £315,699.68
Grahams the Family Dairy FK9 BRIDGE OF ALLAN £251,239.30
Greenshields Agri Ltd TD11 DUNS £269,463.58
Hawk Farming Ltd FK16 DOUNE £351,031.06
Iain Service & Co Ltd DG8 NEWTON STEWART £374,961.10
IAN WHITE LTD PH2 PERTH Livestock breeder £389,233.27
Innishewan Farms EH26 PENICUIK £286,117.32
J C Innes & Sons AB54 HUNTLY £424,531.11
J P Campbell & Sons EH45 PEEBLES £348,194.87
J R Graham Ltd KY14 AUCHTERMUCHTY £487,327.33
James Forbes PH16 PITLOCHRY £252,139.45
James H Fowlie ( A Firm ) AB43 FRASERBURGH £401,331.85
John A Wallace & Sons DG8 NEWTON STEWART £257,713.43
John C Forbes-Leith PH2 PERTH £281,992.25
John C McIntosh AB21 ABERDEEN £441,636.85
John W McEwen & Son G63 GLASGOW £257,207.78
John Watson AB43 FRASERBURGH £278,749.59
John Wight & Sons ML12 ABINGTON £299,928.96
Kingsbarns Company Of Distillers KY10 Anstruther £252,156.00
Klondyke Farms Limited DG3 THORNHILL £382,434.94
L G Litchfield Bowland Farms TD1 GALASHIELS £404,513.54
Langholm Farms Ltd TD7 SELKIRK £380,679.45
Linlithgow Farms Ltd ML11 LANARK £320,504.39
Lour Farms DD8 FORFAR £299,271.17
Luss Estates Company G83 ARDEN £266,473.34
M & M Dudgeon KW8 SUTHERLAND £330,542.99
M/S A S & H M McGimpsey DG12 ANNAN £288,634.44
M/S John Stevenson & Co KY10 ANSTRUTHER £251,690.55
Macfarlane Farms Ltd TD11 DUNS £294,049.18
Malcolm Allan Ltd FK5 LARBERT £390,000.00
Mansionhouse Farm FK15 BRACO £256,410.11
MBM Farms Ltd KW1 WICK £297,687.44
Messrs A & J Craig DG7 CASTLE DOUGLAS £275,624.59
Messrs D G & J D Walker DG4 SANQUHAR £270,540.64
MESSRS GRAY & DALE DD11 ARBROATH £475,344.06
Messrs J Swanson KW14 THURSO £260,516.32
Messrs R & B Dickie DG4 SANQUHAR £329,657.20
Messrs S & J Fisher DG13 LANGHOLM £269,140.22
MR J D PATERSON KA27 SLIDDERY £293,268.23
Mr R McBride & Son DG1 DUMFRIES £274,391.10
Mr W J Henderson & Sons DG2 DUMFRIES £294,389.75
Ms E J Mackenzie & Co IV19 Ross-Shire £354,610.86
N Forsyth & Son DG8 NEWTON STEWART £299,104.20
Norman Thow & Partners AB30 LAURENCEKIRK £309,802.25
Old Cullen Farms AB56 Buckie £267,270.39
OLD HALL FARMS DG9 STRANRAER £401,173.37
Ordens Farms Ltd AB45 BANFF £261,091.96
Pat Wilson Farms PH1 ALMONDBANK £319,382.34
Perthshire Farms PH2 £402,561.05
R & J McDonald TD11 DUNS £276,383.15
Rottal Estates Partnership DD8 KIRRIEMUIR £283,956.04
Southesk Farms DD9 BRECHIN £308,234.51
Strathmore Farming Company DD8 FORFAR £354,520.35
T D Girvan & Sons IV63 GLENMORISTON £286,663.10
T W & T B Edgar Limited TD5 KELSO £290,977.81
THE ARDNAMURCHAN ESTATE. IV30 PLUSCARDEN £262,589.18
The Firm of Innerwick PH1 PERTH£ £276,240.81
The National Trust For Scotland EH11 EDINBURGH £462,693.71
The Rosebery Estate Partnership EH30 SOUTH Q/FERRY £348,235.88.The Talla Farming Partnership TD1 GALASHIELS £315,732.88
Trustees of Cawdor Marriage IV12 NAIRN £311,234.23
W & A Oag KW14 THURSO £272,841.76
Welbeck Scottish Farms Ltd KW7 BERRIEDALE £350,731.21
WHS Hotts DG11 LOCKERBIE £291,629.98

 

startoon

 

£1,953,454,147

 

Total Payments:

  1. Scotland: 17,847 claims: £609,965,556
  2. England: 86,139 claims: £1,953,454,147
  3. Wales: 14,271 claims: £281,644,359
  4. N.Ireland: 24,282 claims: £315,484,690

Scottish results do not include payments to the Royal Family which can be found at: http://cap-payments.defra.gov.uk/SearchResults.aspx

Total £3.2Billion Approx

 

20150314_USD000_0

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Television Broadcasting in Scotland – The Opportunity For Policy and Content Change Exists Now – The Scottish Government Should Be Bold and Seize the Day – No More Time For Faint Hearts

 

 

bbcalba0840

 

 

 

BBC- Alba (Gaelic name for Scotland)

Finance

Responsibility for the financial support of the public television broadcasting service BBC-Alba is remitted to the BBC and Scottish government in 2015.

Annual operational running costs are approximately £25m.

The BBC provides about £10m in the form of broadcasting , technical support and some programming.

The Scottish government allocates around £15m to the service covering the cost of programming.

 

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Management and Control

The 2015 Scotland Bill devolved control of Scotland’s Gaelic television channel to the Scottish government together with financial responsibility and governance.

Appointments to the governing board, (responsible for evolving policy) are remitted to the Scottish government.

The funding mechanism requires an allocation of positions on the governing board to BBC management representatives.

It is anticipated that the Scottish government will seek parity of funding with the BBC forming part of recommendations for change contained in the recently published BBC comprehensive Spending Review and Charter Renewal, which indicated a significant negative funding imbalance in terms of financial expenditure by the BBC within and in support of its Scottish subscribers who are compulsorly required to purchase an annual licence from the BBC, currently £147.

Annual income to the BBC from Scottish subscribers is approximately £250m.

Expenditure by the BBC, in Scotland, including BBC Alba costs rarely exceed £90m.

 

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Present Programming

The channel broadcasts for 7 hours daily (1700-2400).

Programming content is designed to serve Gaelic speakers and those who wish to learn the native language of Scotland.

It provides many hours of Scottish sport including live soccer, rugby, shinty etc.

Most of the adult programming is subtitled in English and there are plans to provide dual sound with live events.

The channel is watched by about 637,000 adults over the age of 16 in Scotland each week which is remarkable when considered against the Gaelic speakers in Scotland who number about 57,000.

 

bbc-alba-2

 

 

 

Future Programming
An increase in funding by the BBC and perhaps the Scottish government, would provide opportunity to expand broadcasting hours and content, mirroring mainstream television channels.

Programming could be widened to include other dialogues of Scotland eg. Scotch, Doric and English.

 

ALBA_WOC_tv

 

 

 

Policy
The opportunity exists now, through a Scottish government appointed, BBC-Alba governing board to guide the content of Scottish television broadcasting circumventing BBC Scotland and other right-wing media channels, which have abjectly failed the people of Scotland through their preference to implement the policies of the Westminster government and their foreign owners.

The channel could be renamed Alba since the BBC would be a minority partner.

 

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The Tory Party Monday Club – Lies – Spies and Criminality – £425,000 Donation to the DUP – Indicators Point to the Constitutional Monarchy Association as the Source

 

 

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19 May 2017: Senior Scottish Conservative Richard Cook At the Centre of a £425,000 (DUP) Major Brexit funding scandal.

A modest, semi-detached house in Clarkston on Glasgow’s Southside seems an unlikely source for a secretive, £425,000 donation to the Democratic Unionist Party’s Brexit campaign. But the occupant – Richard Cook – is the only person publicly connected with the Constitutional Research Council, a shadowy pro-union group that funnelled dark money to the DUP ahead of June’s EU referendum. And Richard Cook is not just connected to Northern Irish unionism – he has links that go to the heart of the Scottish Conservative Party, the Saudi intelligence service and a notorious Indian gun running scandal.

Mr Cook is also a former vice chairman of the Scottish Conservative party and Tory election candidate (for which he was fast-tracked through the selection, according to reports on ConservativeHome). He has campaigned with Ruth Davidson and David Cameron, and his Facebook friends list is a roll-call of prominent Scottish Tories. Scottish politicians are now calling for the Scottish Tory leader to clarify her relationship with Cook, who in the 2010 general election lost out to Labour’s Jim Murphy in East Renfrewshire. Key activists in his team were subsequently found burning the EU flag and posting Northern Irish loyalist song lyrics on Twitter.

Cook is also at the centre of a political scandal raging in Northern Ireland. Back in February, an openDemocracy investigation found that donors had taken advantage of Northern Ireland’s secretive electoral laws to funnel hundreds of thousands of pounds to the DUP’s pro-Brexit campaign. Under pressure, the DUP revealed that the party had received £425,622 from a group called ‘the Constitutional Research Council’. Over £32,000 of this money was spent on data analytics company AggregateIQ, a small Canadian outfit that has been linked to Donald Trump’s billionaire backer Robert Mercer and Cambridge Analytica, who are now at the heart of an investigation by the Information Commission.

We know almost nothing about the Constitutional Research Council. The outfit has no formal legal status. What we can say for sure is that it is chaired by Cook, and he has promised to fund the pro-union campaign in any future Scottish independence referendum. “More people with more money are ready to step up to the plate this time compared with the last referendum” Cook told the Sunday Times earlier this year. He didn’t reveal who those people are.

The DUP has also refused to say who the backers behind the CRC are, and there is little to suggest that Cook himself is a major donor. Former Conservative colleagues describe Cook as “a nice guy but not a rich guy”. Cook – who could not be contacted for this piece – appears to retain an interest in Scottish politics.

He is listed as an advisor on Think Scotland, a conservative-minded website funded by Scottish unionist businessman Robert Kilgour. Think Scotland is owned by former Tory MSP Brian Monteith. Monteith was head of press during the referendum for Leave.EU, the campaign group run by Arron Banks and Nigel Farage.

In 2013, Cook co-founded a company called Five Star Investment Management Ltd with the former head of the Saudi Arabian intelligence agency, Prince Nawwaf bin Abdul Aziz. The prince’s son is the Saudi ambassador to the UK. The other director of the company was Peter Haestrup, a Danish national who is connected to the 1995 Purulia arms drop case, a long-running multinational scandal that involved weapons being dropped over the Indian province of West Bengal. The company was registered at Mr Cook’s Glasgow address. Annual accounts were not submitted to  Companies House, and the venture was dissolved in December 2014.

Cook also has connections with right-wing pressure groups in the UK. He was Scottish spokesperson for Conservative Friends of Israel and for the Campaign Against Political Correctness, a campaign allied to the Freedom Association, a right-wing Eurosceptic pressure group that supported apartheid in South Africa. Back in 2009, Richard Cook spoke alongside current Tory MSP Murdo Fraser at a Freedom Association fringe event at the Conservative party conference in Perth to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher’s 1979 election victory.

Freedom Association Chief Executive Simon Richards later praised Cook as “one of the hardest working PPC’s (Parliamentary Prospective Candidates) anywhere in the country”. The Freedom Association has historical links with Northern Ireland. Among its original founders was Ross McWhirter, a controversial journalist who campaigned for strict restrictions on Irish people in Britain, including making it compulsory for all Irish people in Britain to register with the local police and to provide signed photographs of themselves when renting flats or booking into hotels and hostel. McWhirter was shot dead by the Provisional IRA in Enfield in 1975.

The Freedom Association boasts of “friendly links” with the Democratic Unionist Party. In 2007 and 2008, leading DUP politicians Jeffrey Donaldson and Sammy Wilson were involved in Freedom Association “fact finding” events in Northern Ireland. At the time, the Freedom Association said it had “taken a close interest in Ulster matters from its earliest days and is keen to strengthen its ties with the province and to demonstrate its support for the Union.” Donaldson was the chair of the DUP’s Brexit campaign – his name appeared on the election material that the CRC’s £425,000 donation paid for – and Wilson was a prominent pro-Brexit DUP voice throughout the campaign, regularly appearing in the media.

After his defeat in the 2010 general election, Richard Cook wrote: “I believe deeply in our party, its membership and in the need for a centre right party to represent the hundreds of thousands of Scots who believe in the same things we do.” Among the activists he singled out for praise during the campaign were Ross McFarlane and Colin Taylor.

McFarlane was subsequently sacked as a Holyrood assistant by Ruth Davidson in 2011 after footage emerged showing him setting fire to the EU standard while dressed in the robes of Glasgow University amid anti-Catholic taunts. McFarlane had been Davidson’s election agent.

Around the same time, it was discovered that Colin Taylor had posted song lyrics on Twitter glorifying Northern Irish loyalist terrorist group, the Ulster Volunteer Force, while serving as president of the student Conservative Association from 2009 to 2010. The social media posts were picked up when Taylor was working for the Tory Press and Research Unit at Holyrood.

An SNP spokesperson said: “These are deeply concerning allegations The fact that we still do not know the source of such a significant amount of cash used to help bankroll the Brexit campaign is unacceptable, and cannot be allowed to continue. Just as concerning are the apparent links to the highest levels of the Scottish Tory party. Ruth Davidson must clarify what links she has with Mr Cook, and whether her party has helped itself to money from the same murky sources.”

https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/brexitinc/peter-geoghegan-adam-ramsay/meet-scottish-tory-behind-425000-dup-brexit-donation

https://caltonjock.com/2016/03/16/scottish-tories-a-party-of-political-eunuchs-managed-by-mundell-and-davidson-left-in-place-by-cameron-to-watch-over-rebellious-scots-part-2/

 

index

Peter Bleach

 

 

Peter Bleach – Former Intelligence Officer (known As the Milk Tray Man)

Born on 20 May 1951, in Halifax, UK, to an English father (Albert James Bleach) and a German mother (Oceana Felicia Joana Magdalena), Peter James Gifran von Kalkstein Bleach was educated at the Uplands Preparatory School (formerly St Peter’s School) in Scalby, Yorkshire, between 1964 and 1969.

He completed the ‘A’ level and after graduation enlisted in the British Army Intelligence Corps. He entered training at HQ Intelligence Centre at Templar Barracks in Ashford, Kent. He passed corps training with distinction and was awarded best recruit.

In 1972, aged 21y, he was posted to 39 Airportable Brigade, HQ Northern Ireland, Thiepval Barracks, Lisbum, Northern Ireland, serving in the brigade intelligence section.

Thiepval Barracks would later become the command centre for the British Army’s Force Research Unit (FRU) whose members recruited and handled agents to infiltrate the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA)

Bleach excelled again and passed all corps training courses and promotion examinations with distinction, rising to the rank of sergeant. He remained at HQ Northern Ireland until the end of 1972, leaving after a disciplinary offence led him to be offered transfer to another unit.

The transfer was turned down and Bleach left the forces. British Military Intelligence Hit Squads deployed in Belfast   (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24987465)

In 1973, Bleach travelled to Southern Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe) and joined the Rhodesia Prison Service. He took early retirement on pension aged 30y after reaching the rank of assistant superintendent in 1981.

He then took up the appointment of commanding officer, Chipinga station, on the Mozambique, Southern Rhodesia border, serving with Joint Operations Command for Operation Thresher.

After several security related jobs in Zimbabwe and Johannesburg, South Africa, he returned to the UK in the middle of 1985 and until 1995 was a self employed security advisor and consultant in commerce and industry before setting up his own arms dealing firm.

Bleach, through his company, Aeroserve UK worked freelance for MI6. Interpol maintained a file on him monitoring the ‘odd jobs’ he completed for the agency.

 

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Peter Bleach

 

 

Peter Bleach and the 1995 Purulia arms drop

Bleach, (who was in some financial difficulty around that time) successfully secured three legal defence export contracts from the Bangladesh government. His agent in Bangladesh was Captain (retired) Syed Tasleem Hussain, who owned a company called River-land Agencies Ltd, Dhaka, which was accredited to the Bangladesh Ministry of Defence. All of Bleach’s legal tenders were submitted through Hussain’s company.

In July 1995 he was contacted by Peter Haestrup, a Danish Businessman who asked him to quote for a delivery of arms and ammunition to an unknown destination in South Asia. They subsequently met in Denmark and agreed to set up a jointly company, (Cargo Air Transport Services (CATS). They then established a legal point of sale contact in Bangladesh. The owner of the air freight company in Dhaka was Iqbal Ali was also reputed to be the local agent for a CIA backed American freight company.

At a follow up meeting in Copenhagen Neils Christian Nielsen, Peter Haestrup and Bleach agreed any future business would be completed through their offices in Hong Kong.

Two meetings of the board of Sovereign Managers Limited of Hong Kong were subsequently convened on 11 October 1995 and 10 November 1995. The first was chaired by Ms Cecilia D’Cunha. The second by Hugo Cunliffe-Owen.

Sukhvir Kaur Jarhia, the person responsible for setting up (CATS), in the The Turks and Caicos Islands was also at the meeting.

Note: Sovereign Managers Limited was registered in the Isle of Man on 23 May 1988 and dissolved on 17 June 1997 Its offices were located in Hong Kong.

A little over a month after Bleach had sent a costed quotation to Peter Haestrup, the final sixteen page contract was signed between Bleach, Haestrup and Nielson in London on 13 September 1995. Letters of credit were subsequently exchanged confirming the contract which was worth in the region of £6M.

Cargo Air Transport Services Limited (CATS) purchased an Antonov AN-26B from Latvian State Airlines, together with five crew members. The crew along with two other ground crews were contracted to fly the plane from Riga in Latvia to Bangladesh and subsequently to fly cargo flights from Bangladesh to other destinations on behalf of (CATS).

In December 1995 the aircraft flew to Bulgaria where a consignment of 548 AK-47 rifles, 11.3 tonnes of ammunition, 165 rocket launchers and a quantity of anti-tank weapons boxed and labelled as freight was loaded. From Bulgaria the plane flew to Karachi Airport in Pakistan.

 

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Neils Nielson

 

 

 

6 January 1996: Flight of fancy:

The Whodunnit?  The mystery surrounding an airdrop of arms: assault rifles, rocket launchers, hand grenades, pistols in the middle of tribal land in West Bengal. An aircraft,  made in Russia, leased from a Hong Kong company, flown by a Latvian crew watched over by a Dane and a Briton, and carrying Bulgarian arms. Globalisation run amok? More likely, the geographical diversity is part of a strategy to make detection of the real perpetrator difficult.

Bleach had been arrested by Indian authorities (and remained in custody) having been caught, in December 1995, air-dropping arms over a remote district of West Bengal, for the “Path of Bliss” guerrilla movement.

Bleach claimed he had completed the delivery with the blessing of the UK Ministry of Defence, Special Branch and Indian authorities who had been advised date and time of the airdrop.

Evidence surfaced in 1997 confirming that British intelligence had indeed provided early information to the Indian authorities on three separate occasions: 10 November, 17 November and 15 December 1995.

Interpol Headquarters, Lyon, confirmed the highly classified Project Purulia report had been shared with the CIA, but not with the intelligence services of Britain or Denmark.

After the arms drop and the subsequent leak that intelligence had been shared by British intelligence, the MI5 officer in the UK High Commission in New Delhi was in a major flap.

An Indian joint secretary who was ‘in the know’ of the developments at the time recalled that the MI5 officer representative met then Indian Home Minister S.B. Chavan and Home Secretary K. Padmanabhaiah, among others, to not just express annoyance at the leakage but also to make attempts to steer clear of the controversy that was generated after it became public that the British Security Service had initially supplied India with information about an arms drop in India.

 

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22 September 1997: Mercenary Made a Mug Out of Me Says Teddy Taylor MP

The 60-year-old MP, (who said he had walked into a Sunday newspaper trap) called the allegations “codswallop.” and said his comments had been intended as light-hearted and he never took the jailbreak plan seriously.

He said his friend Chris Hudson, (secretary of the right-wing Tory Monday Club) had brought John Miller to a meeting at the Commons. Sir Teddy and Hudson are long-standing pals of Bleach. Hudson visited the arms dealer in jail last month. Hudson claimed that Bleach asked him to contact “my old mate Miller” for help upon his return.

Sir Teddy said of Miller: “We met in my office where he revealed a complex plan to free Peter which was so far-fetched I did not take it very seriously.” The MP said he had planned no further meetings with Miller, but Miller had called with the promise of new details about the Lockerbie bombing. A second meeting was held on Saturday at The White Horse pub near Sir Teddy’s constituency office in Southend. Miller turned up with another man, who Sir Teddy now knows was an undercover reporter, and said he had not brought any documents relating to Lockerbie.

He insisted – despite Sir Teddy’s protests – that he introduce the MP to the undercover reporter as “Michael.” Sir Teddy said: “Quite honestly, at the first meeting, I didn’t treat it seriously. “At the second meeting, this chap did seem to have some serious ideas.”

The MP claimed he was not giving orders to Miller over the jailbreak but admitted asking questions as to how it would work and who would pay the £100K being suggested. Sir Teddy accepted that he said: “My friend has been very unfairly dealt with. “You’re going to have to get him. You’ve got the big job of getting him.”

The MP was further quoted as saying he thought the Pakistani province of Peshawar would be a good place to take Bleach on the run after he was sprung from jail. Sir Teddy did not deny saying: “Peshawar’s the place to take him. Peshawar would be ideal. I was there.”

But Sir Teddy said: “At no point have I been involved in any way in conspiring in any plan to release Peter Bleach from jail.

“I thought the whole thing was a bit of nonsense. But it seems the conversation was recorded. “Obviously it was a big set-up and I walked straight into it. I am going straight to the Press Complaints Commission tomorrow to see if this was a proper thing to do.” He added: “I was simply asking various things about it because I was then beginning to think there might be something serious in it.”

Sir Teddy said of Bleach: “I felt that, if he had told the Government what he was doing, they should make this information available to the Indian courts. “I just wanted a fair trial and at no time in any way have I been involved in a conspiracy to get him out.”

Chris Hudson, chairman of the Tory Monday Club said: “I have been a friend of Peter’s for 15 years and I don’t want to see him hanged. “If there was any way I could get him out, I would do it. I believe him to be innocent. “But I would not consider a silly plot to spring him. I was involved in collecting information.”

The Dog of War: John Miller is best known for kidnapping Great Train robber Ronnie Biggs in 1981. He smuggled Biggs out of Rio de Janeiro aboard a yacht, sailed to Barbados and handed him over to the authorities. But Biggs was allowed to return to Brazil. Later Miller, 52, was involved in the hunt for Lord Lucan.

 

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1 February 2000: Weapons Drop Riddle – Briton Facing Jail Says MI5 Was Involved

Peter Bleach, who once worked with British Army Intelligence in Ulster, claimed he had parachuted an arsenal of weapons and ammunition comprising: 500 47 rifles, 250,000 rounds of ammunition, 12 rocket launchers and 100 antitank grenades into India, with the support of British secret services.

The former public schoolboy and five Latvian’s who were facing a life sentence were found guilty, after a 22 month trial, of conspiring to supply weapons for use in ‘waging war’ against India.

Bleach has the support of Tory MP Sir Teddy Taylor, who insists Home Secretary Jack Straw has evidence that MI5 and the Special Branch were involved.

 

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3 February 2000: Life for Arms Dealer Briton

Peter Bleach, of North Yorkshire, a British arms dealer has been convicted of illegally delivering weapons to an Indian state has been jailed for life in India. He has been in jail in India since he was arrested four years ago along with five Latvian’s, who have also been jailed for life.

Bleach was caught air-dropping arms over a remote district of West Bengal for the “Path of Bliss” guerrilla movement in December 1995. He has always claimed he carried out the delivery with the blessing of the Ministry of Defence, which had alerted Indian authorities to the impending airdrop.

 

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Bleach and Nielson

 

 

Autumn of 2000 – Political Intervention
Jack Straw: Home Secretary, made a personal appeal on behalf of Bleach. Three months later, he expressed concern at the long time taken for Bleach appeal to be heard. “In no sense has Bleach been abandoned by the British government” he said.

Robin Cook: A couple of months later, it was the then Foreign Secretary Robin Cook’s turn. He asked the Indian foreign minister to review the case. Then, In December 2000, Cook went a stage further and asked the Indian authorities in a formal letter to release Bleach.

 

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Teddy Taylor

 

27 Nov 2002: In Parliament:  Sir Teddy Taylor (Rochford and Southend, East):

I want to discuss the case of Mr. Peter Bleach. I apologise to the Minister for the massive volume of correspondence I have sent to the Foreign Office and the many questions I have asked about him. The reason is simply that I believe that a great injustice has been done, and I am seriously concerned and alarmed about the health and security problems which Peter is having in prison in Calcutta. My object in raising the matter in this debate is to try to persuade the Minister and his Department to do all they can to secure Mr. Bleach’s release.

Sadly, the Government of India has so far declined to respond. I hope that the Prime Minister’s latest initiative will persuade them to respond meaningfully, but in view of the seriousness of Mr. Bleach’s health problem, I thought it right to raise the case today.

My first point is that Peter Bleach is a person with a record of high standards. When he was living in Southend, I always found him to be a person of honesty and integrity. When he advised me of the complex and difficult security operations in which he was involved, he always talked about events in terms of the benefits that they would bring to the community.

When he was engaged in a security matter involving pharmaceutical companies in Cyprus, he received a commendation from the police for putting his life at risk to bring criminals to justice. It is only fair to say that Mr. Bleach has been involved in many such interesting events. He has always tried to play fair and straight and to tell things as they are.

I emphasise that Mr. Bleach has advised me time and time again that everything he did in relation to the dropping of arms in Bengal, from the first approach that he received, was notified to the authorities. To protect himself during the preparations for the arms drop, he prudently recorded every word said to him on the telephone by officials.

However, as I reported to the House on 2 March 1999, his home and that of a disabled lady in London were raided, and all but one of the tapes disappeared. One of the raids involved 10 constables. Over many years, I have tried to find out the reason why the constables seized the tapes and the evidence was removed. I have never been given a proper explanation. However, it happened: there is no denying that.

I do not want to bore the Chamber with the many complaints that have been made about the unusual events of which the raids are just a part, or with details of the unusual activities of Sergeant Etlock. The Minister is well aware that I have given full details of the evidence that that gentleman gave, and the ways in which it seemed to be adjusted.

It would save a lot of time if the Government would simply confirm that officials were advised by Mr. Bleach of the issues relating to the arms drop and it would help even more if they would confirm that the Government of India were advised, too. Mr. Bleach was advised not to get involved. That is the usual practice in such matters.

However, the plain fact is that someone who tries to do something of this order and gives all the information about all the events to the Government is rather different from someone who seeks to do the same thing in a secret or malicious way.

Another significant issue relates to the seizure of Mr. Bleach and his five colleagues from Latvia after the Indian air force obliged them to bring down their plane following the arms drop. The Indian authorities carried out that seizure with their usual efficiency, and Peter and his colleagues were seized as they came down the steps of the plane.

However, there was one astonishing omission: Mr. Neils Nielsen, who is a citizen of Denmark, and was the acknowledged and clear leader and organiser of the venture, was permitted to walk away from the plane. He succeeded in travelling out of India and back to Denmark.

Of course, I would fully understand someone escaping if they were coming out of a train or a lorry, but when it is case of a plane coming down in an airfield, it is difficult to comprehend how one of the passengers could escape being seized.

I have tried to find out from the Indian Government why that happened. Why was that person permitted to get away, particularly as he was the leader of the outfit? I have never been given any explanation at all. The matter seems to get more and more mysterious.

Mr. Nielson is alleged to have stayed in Denmark and to have protection there. I have been advised that Interpol has been looking for him. I have also been advised that he has been travelling around quite a bit he has been particularly active in Sudan and that he was quite recently in London at Smith’s hotel, where he was allegedly in the company of some rather official and well dressed people who are often seen at that excellent establishment.

It was there that he allegedly sought to persuade one of my constituents, who resides in Great Wakering and whose details I would be glad to give to the Minister, to engage in some interesting work in Bosnia.

Obviously, I do not expect the Minister to comment on these unusual events, but I would like him to say whether the Government regard Mr. Nielson as a person who should be seized and questioned by the authorities, and whether approaches have been made to the Danish Government. The issue is of some significance. It seems unusual that although everyone says that they want to seize this gentleman, nothing seems to happen and he travels around doing rather interesting things.

(https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmhansrd/vo021127/halltext/21127h03.htm)

 

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Neils Nielson

 

 

 

Neils Christian Nielson – International Man of Mystery

Perhaps the biggest enigma to linger after The Arms Drop has faded from memory will be Neils Christain Nielson. his criminal past, his involvement with illegal gold smuggling, arms and drug sales, his multiple identities (he has used at least 36 aliases and 15 passports over a twenty-year period), and his baffling rescue by the Danish government and largely unexplored connections with the United States of America and the Central Intelligence Agency.

In support of the foregoing are the four visits he made to the USA, before the arms drop despite being on Interpol’s radar and that he was already wanted in the USA for two federal crimes. His links with the CIA ensured the protection the Danish authorities provided.

The Pakistani company that serviced the AN-26 aircraft in Karachi airport is also said to have links with a CIA front aviation company.

 

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Peter Haestrop

 

 

 

Peter Haestrup – Mr Fixit – Protected by the Danish Authorities

The Indian authorities never did request the extradition to India of Peter Haestrop to stand trial for his part in the Purulia Arms Drop. They knew full well that any request would be fruitless due to the place the Haestrup family held in Danish society.

Jurgen Haestrup (Peter’s father) had been instrumental with other brave Danes in saving nearly 4000 Jews from German Concentration camps in 1944.

Having got wind of the Himmler’s imminent order to round up the Jews in Denmark, Jurgen, an influential member of Danish political establishment quietly transported nearly all of the Jews over the water to neutral Sweden frustrating Himmler and Hitler.

The Haestrups are a large family members of which are primarily associated associated with banking and other financial activities in Denmark, Europe and Worldwide.

Peter is the ultimate entrepreneur. If there is an angle he will seek it out and make a profit.

His role in the £4-6M Purulia arms deal and other planned ventures was pivotal and much enhanced by his contact with Peter Bleach and his associates. Yet he was allowed to disassociate himself and his family from the debacle.

 

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Teddy Taylor

 

 

Teddy Taylor and the Tory Monday Club – Good Friend of Peter Bleach

Teddy, MP for Cathcart, Glasgow from 1964-1979 was a right wing politician who strongly advocated use of the birch and Capital punishment. He resigned his position in the Scottish Office in protest at the UK joining the European Economic Community.

His loyalty to HM, The Queen and Margaret Thatcher was sacrosanct. He was her Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland and a much favoured adviser. He also studiously maintained close ties many members of the English ruling class.

Having lost his seat in Glasgow in 1979 he was found a safe Tory seat in Southend where he served from 1980-2005.

He joined the Tory right wing Monday Club early in his political career and is/was a close friend of Enoch Powell and his acolyte the Rt Hon Jeffrey Donaldson MP M.L.A.; Orange-man and U.U.P. defector to the D.U.P.

He supported Ian Smith in his Unilateral Declaration of Independence (U.D.I.) of Rhodesia. He also fully supported the apartheid system in South Africa and advocated the shooting of the South African terrorist Nelson Mandela.

Taylor was one of the 22 rebel “bastards” who voted against the government on the second reading of the European Communities (Amendment) Bill in May 1992, when the government’s overall majority at the time was only 18. He was singled out and had the party Whip withdrawn.

In the period 1992-1997 John Major’s government lurched from crisis to crisis. A number of Ministers of State and MP’s displayed open rebellion the incidence of infighting of elements in the party increased dramatically. In 1997 the years of sleaze and backhanders finally decided the fate of the Tory government.

 

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Inter Alia: knowledge by association

The following persons are well known to each other through friendship, business and/or politics:

Sir Teddy Taylor; Leading Monday Club member

RH Sir Jeffrey Donaldson; MP, M.L.A.

Mr Richard Cook; former vice chairman of the Scottish Conservative Party

RH Ms Ruth Davidson; MSP, Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party

Mr Peter Bleach; Ex-arms salesman, spy and jailbird.

Mr Peter Haestrup; Danish Banker, financier,  international go-between/ facilitator.

Mr Neils Christian Nielson; Danish International dealer in gold smuggling, illegal arms sales and spying activities requiring him to operate under at least 36 aliases and 15 passport’s

The foregoing relationships and events over a very long period persuade me and I hope readers of this blog, to the conclusion that the Constitutional Monarchy Association donated the £425,000 to the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Brexit campaign through Mr Richard Cook.

 

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The Constitutional Monarchy Association (CMA) – facilitating those who support and defend our Monarchy

The C.M.A. has thousands of subscribers throughout the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the rest of the world of many political persuasions, who come from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds and its Council represents this diversity.

It has no formal links with any political or religious organisations or with Buckingham Palace.

It assists the man-and-woman-in-the-street supporters and defenders of our monarchy. Its funding comes entirely from subscriptions and donations.

 

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The C.M.A. and its supporters:

1. Co-ordinate interest in, and support for, our constitutional monarchy.

2. Study issues and events affecting the monarchy in order to make appropriate responses to them.

3. Encourage and facilitate meeting together – visits, lectures, discussion groups and social events.

4. Monitor the reporting of royal and monarchical events and issues by TV radio, newspapers and magazines.

5. Press for better coverage by the media of the work done by the royal family here and abroad.

6. Attempt to counter unbalanced, inaccurate or irresponsible reporting.

7. Provide responses and views from a monarchist perspective.

8. Encourage better education of young people so far as discussion of the issues involved in constitutional monarchies and republics is concerned.

9. Provide opportunities for young people to learn about our monarchy by way of participative educational events such as competitions.

10. Seek wider presentation of strong intellectual, constitutional and emotional arguments which underpin our constitutional monarchy which is of great value to our nation the Commonwealth.   (http://www.monarchy.net.)

 

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The Constitutional Monarchy Association Membership

President:

The Lord Morrow

Secretary:

Mrs Hilary R Eves

 

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The Council

HH Prince Mohsin Ali Khan of Hyderabad H Litt;

David Allam DL;

Jacques Arnold DL;

Karen Aston;

Marcus Booth;

Saroj Chakravarty;

Cllr Jason Frost;

Barry Lenz;

Dr Jay Sewell;

Robert Smith;

The Lord Sudeley;

Count Dmitri Tolstoy-Miloslavsky;

Dr Barry Twigg MBE;

The Hon W Denis Walker (Treasurer)

 

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Rt Hon Jeffrey Donaldson MP MLA

 

 

The Patrons

H D Dickie Bird MBE (retired cricket umpire and jobbing “character”);

Sir Cliff Richard OBE (say no more);

The Rt Hon the Lord Barker of Battle;

Baron Spicer of Cropthorne

The Lord Cormack FSA DL;

The Viscount Exmouth (otherwise undistinguished scion of the great frigate captain, prototype for Horation Hornblower, Sir Edward Pellew;

Lord Jones of Cheltenham (PR man and former LibDem MP);

The Baroness Knight of Collingtree DBE (the very right-wing and fruity former Tory MP, Jill Knight);

The Viscount & Viscountess Massereene & Ferrard (he is a.k.a. John David Clotworthy Whyte-Melville Foster Skeffington, stockbroker and another Monday Club right-winger, with strong family connections to Ulster Unionism and the Orange Order);

The Lord Northbrook (of the Barings Bank dynasty, a Tory spokesman in the House of Lords, and a London clubman);

Hon Sir Jonathon Porritt CBE (doesn’t publicise his baronetcy, an ecologist with a hot line to the heir to the throne);

The Viscount Simon (a Labour peer, grandson of Sir John Simon, “the slime of hypocrisy” [Lloyd George], “a toad and a worm” [Harold Nicholson]slithered Liberal to pre-War Tory appeaser)

David Atkinson; (car salesman and former Tory MP);

Greg Barker MP (fellow Tory husky hugger with David Cameron; a close associate of Russian plutocrats including Boris Berezovsky and Roman Abramovich);

Roy Beggs (very right-wing Ulster Unionist and Orange-man, advocate of corporal punishment);

Henry Bellingham MP (barrister and farmer; loyalist and reputed nice-but-dim Tory MP and now junior minister);

Sir Sydney Chapman RIBA FRTPI (architect and former retreaded MP, “The dullest Tory candidate” [London Evening Standard] in 2001);

Sir Patrick Cormack FSA (former Tory MP and about to become a life peer: if one must be a Tory, he is as decent as they come);

Nirj Deva DL MEP (Sri Lankan born former Tory MP, Bow Grouper but with links to the Reaganite Heritage Foundation of the Republican Party);

Rt Hon Jeffrey Donaldson MP MLA; (former acolyte of Enoch Powell, Orange-man, UUP defector to the DUP, widely despised in Northern Ireland for upward mobility);

Peter Duncan (presumably the Scottish Tory, rather than the Blue Peter presenter?);

Michael Fabricant MP (another Tory: this one a political joke, mainly for his suspiciously-farmed hair);

Cheryl Gillan MP (former Tory Whip, now Welsh Secretary who previously opposed devolution; ran into trouble over her dog-food and second-home expenses claims);

Gerald Howarth MP (Tory Monday Clubber, who had to be swiftly shuffled at the Defence Ministry because of his over-close ties to arms-dealers);

Edward Leigh MP (about as right-wing and unreconstructed as any Tory can get);

Peter Luff MP (was Ted Heath’s officer manager, but has redeemed himself among straight Tories by hard committee work and an interest in fox-hunting);

Patrick Mercer OBE MP (a decent Tory back-bencher , ex-soldier, sacked from front bench by Cameron because of “racist” remarks about ethnic minorities in the forces);

Andrew Rosindell MP (Romford born-and-bred right-wing hang ’em, Monday Club Tory, expenses diddler);

Bob Russell MP;

Lord Spicer, the erstwhile Sir Michael Spicer (former assiduous and knowledgeable economist on the Commons Treasury Select Committee; ran into trouble over expenses for his helipad);

Sir Teddy Taylor (former right-wing Thatcherite Tory MP, hanger-and-flogger, Europhobe, and leading light of the Monday Club);

Sir Nicholas Winterton DL (and a final right-wing Tory, Monday Clubber, Europhobe, expenses fiddler, bum-pincher and snob).

(https://redfellow.wordpress.com/2010/12/14/royalism-the-last-resort-of-some-scoundrels/)

 

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