Categories
Uncategorized

How The Media Manipulates Controls The Minds Of The UK Public

The Establishment And How They Get Away With It – Owen Jones

 

cover225x225

 

Owen is a young author and Guardian columnist and is one of those who is not afraid to think critically while accepting there is far more than meets the eye, and certainly than the controlled media would like revealed. To wit, from the book’s official blurb:

“Behind our democracy lurks a powerful but unaccountable network of people who wield massive power and reap huge profits in the process. In exposing this shadowy and complex system that dominates our lives, Owen Jones sets out on a journey into the heart of our Establishment, from the lobbies of Westminster to the newsrooms, boardrooms and trading rooms of Fleet Street and the City. Exposing the revolving doors that link these worlds, and the vested interests that bind them together, Jones shows how, in claiming to work on our behalf, the people at the top are doing precisely the opposite. In fact, they represent the biggest threat to our democracy today – and it is time they were challenged.”

The following infographic from the book, showing “how the media controls Britain” reveals the schism between popular British sentiment about key social issues courtesy of media influences and reality, indicating that the “establishment” is happy to sow discord within the working/middle classes using its traditional “objective” distribution channels, while it remains aloof, collecting the rent its record capital provides.

 

 

Own-Jones-485x481barc-bp-comp_0

 

And while the middle class around the world fights for scraps, and has seen its real wages over the past three decades largely unchanged, the “establishment”, wrapped in a comfortable cocoon spun by the captured media, benefits:

“How The Media Controls Britain”

Categories
Uncategorized

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

sovereignty-dispute-argentina-aircrafts.siA line of British soldiers in camouflage advancing during the Falklands Wara-map-of-the-falklands-84146162

 

December 2014: Argentina and UK Falklands Dispute Resurfaces

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

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

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

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

 

harrierInjured from Sir Galahad in Ajax Bay Field Hospital

 

October 2014: Replacement Aircraft Contract Cancelled

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

 

keeping-the-faith

 

December 2014:

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

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

 

1415441488407_Image_galleryImage_PIC_jpg

 
December 2014: Russia & Argentina

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

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

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

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

 

 

2003-08-06-defence-out-of-ammo-500wb

 

December 2015: Argentina calls on Britain to discuss Falklands sovereignty

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

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

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

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

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

 

F11map
March 2015: ‘Chill out’, look at Falklands, Russian MP tells UK over Crimea demand

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

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

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

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

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

 

1 oW7Bdbe67rG0407XNxY1mw
Comments:

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

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

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

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

 

75410_600
March 2015: Britain to send more troops to Falklands amid Argentine invasion fears

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

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

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

 

04.01.13: Phil Disley on the Falkland Islands dispute

 

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

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

 

images33Falklands

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

p7CZ2TJ2015-01-15_new_6166097_I1

 

Categories
Uncategorized

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

mcwilliams and osborne_0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

george-osborne-aide_0

The Story So Far

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Powdered-Amphetamine-Drug-004

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

Categories
Uncategorized

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

proxysw1080312cd_lr
December 2014: Prostitution and illegal drugs help UK overtake France in global wealth league and Increase Our Cotributions to the EU

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

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

'This is what I mean about inadequate interagency cooperation.'sw1070712bcd_lr

Comment:

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

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

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

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

Categories
Uncategorized

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

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

gordon-brown-diariesarticle-1380915-039E0A4F0000044D-344_634x432

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

LibyaWEB_0022-110985908_932186526821261_7267157515267125862_n

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

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

iraq_map_isis_land_690

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

nia-1mech-bde_arcent050131

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

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

mara-angeolosante-1st-winner-1687 (1)

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

1414401272199_wps_1_Claims_famous_Kurdish_Pes

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

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

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

_45174190_trident226cr_ap

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

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

145832_600
No matter who is to blame President Putin’s conduct has changed the political climate in Europe. It might be he has no intention of absorbing the Baltic States but this is not assured. NATO is committed to their defence and it is crucial President Putin is not given the impression NATO will not honour such a commitment.

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

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

2003-08-06-defence-out-of-ammo-500wb
Problems have since surfaced within NATO over the figure of 2% of GDP. The nature of expenditure that is to be counted in or out is not agreed and the UK is under pressure over the decision to include the cost of the Trident nuclear deterrent, (approximately 0.6% of GDP) within the return. The view held is that NATO operates under the umbrella of the US nuclear deterrent and the UK, having no need to retain a pseudo independent deterrent, within NATO should exclude such costs from financial allocations.

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

trident5

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

2012-07-21-Obama-dislikes-Aussie-defence-cuts-400
NATO is committed to the mutual defence of member states in a new fast changing, very dangerous environment and 2% of GDP might not be sufficient to meet the many and varied military challenges it faces. A more realistic figure of 3% of GDP would not be misplaced. It is of great concern therefore to note that the Tory Party are committed to a further reduction in the armed forces allocating only 1.5% of GDP. The level of defence projected additional spending cuts thrusts the UK into a political maelstrom and the backlash from the US and other NATO countries will be unforgiving.

Screen-shot-2015-03-14-at-09.09.59
Rory Stewart, Tory Chairman of the Commons Select Defence Committee delivered, in the Defence debate, one the best speeches on defence heard in many a year, It is essential listening. It is only 10 minutes long commencing at 12:18 but provides an excellent analysis of the problems facing the UK at this time and in the future, it is available at: http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/fe9e4868-f7e2-47d8-96c7-50b7f12399de

rory_1756179c

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

be41cf3a-a344-11e4-_842868c

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

b17f4fb8-a347-11e4-_842883c

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

_80490279_021238063-2

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

cameron-and-thatcher1

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

75d14f9a-c81b-11e4-_869688c

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

49bfa1ca-ccd7-11e4-_872875c

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

Shake_873893c

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

c47ad4fc-ce7b-11e4-_874451c

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

1b988444-c389-11e4-_866701c

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

fa2a7376-cf22-11e4-_874879c

Categories
Uncategorized

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

3-Facts-About-Salt

Salt And Your Health

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

33

Here are some common questions answered about salt:

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

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

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

images

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

After the collapse in public trust triggered by a number of high-profile outbreaks and deaths from foodborne illness including the BSE crisis, civil servants within the then Ministry of Agriculture Food and Fisheries were perceived as having put the interests of producers ahead of those of consumers. It was felt that it was inappropriate – and dangerous – to have one government department responsible for both the health of the farming and food processing industries and also food safety.

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

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

salty-foods_2887237b

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

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

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

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

salty-foods-300x300

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

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

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

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

The Food & Drink Federation representing Sainsbury’s and other supermarkets greatly welcomed the relaxed targets. Companies such as, Somerfield, Safeway, Waitrose and Tesco also donated money to Blair and New Labour. So it is not only over Iraq and Afghanistan that Blair and New Labour has “blood on their hands”.

web-Fish-Bar-Chef-Aaron-Seasoning-Food

The Circle is Complete

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

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

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

33

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

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

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

getty_rf_photo_of_salty_foods

Food Standads Scotland Act 2015

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

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

salt-117636074725_xlarge index

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

Categories
Exposes Uncategorized

Out Of The Closet – Jim Murphy Exposed As A Right Wing Tory – Will He Jump Ship For UKIP???

 

cchjstwowingsguide-to-refuting-jihadism200px-The_British_Movement

 

January 2015: Red Tory Murphy Retains Executive Membership of Tory-dominated Ultra Right-Wing Think Tank – The Henry Jackson Society (HJS)

Named after hawkish Democratic US senator Henry “Scoop” ­ Jackson, the HJS was founded in 2005 to promote a “forward strategy” on global democracy, drawing on strong militaries in the US and EU. The bulk of charitable donations to the society comes from Tory donors such as the Atkin Charitable Foundation, a London-based charity founded by a British businessman turned philanthropist Edward Atkin.

 

murphy nuc

It first financed the HJS in 2010 with a modest £5,000 grant, but subsequently the amounts increased considerably, totalling £375,000 between 2011 and 2013. The Stanley Kalms foundation, named after the Dixons boss, also gave the society £100,000 last year. Michael Gove MP, theTory Party’s Chief Whip in the House of Commons and a leading neoconservative, was a founding trustee of the HJS.”

 

fear murphy

Murphy, the only Scots MP holding membership, delivered policy speeches at the HJS’s London HQ in 2012 and 2013, has been a member of its advisory political council since mid-2012, despite the views of some of its key staff prompting even the Tory frontbench to end relations with it in 2011.

maxresdefault

Labour leader in Scotland Murphy has been repeatedly urged to sever his links with the controversial think tank which is accused of pushing an anti-Muslim agenda. Human rights lawyer, advocate Niall McCluskey, said Murphy should “consider his position” with the HJS. The Spinwatch group, SNP and Greens also called on Murphy to quit the right-wing outfit.

McCluskey, who works with Amnesty International and has dealt with cases involving people facing extradition to oppressive regimes, said: “The problem with the Henry Jackson Society at the moment is Douglas Murray, who has been articulating certain viewpoints that are of concern, that appear to be anti-Islamic. “The question arises whether or not it’s appropriate for the leader of Scottish Labour to be associated with a society like that, if that’s the sort of message it appears to be espousing.

dearlove_1531139cFormer head of MI6

 

Major financial donor Nina Rosenwald, “also finances the US-based right-wing Gatestone Institute”, which uses its foreign status to publish potentially libellous attacks on British Muslims and pro-Palestine campaigners and organisations. Gatestone also publishes the work of HJS associate director Douglas Murray, who said in 2006 that “conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board”…. All immigration into Europe from Muslim countries must stop.”

In 2013, Murray claimed London had “become a foreign country” because “white Britons” were a minority in 23 of 33 London boroughs, and last month he downplayed the US Senate report on CIA torture after 9/11 as “largely or partly untrue”. HJS founder and director Alan Mendoza has also blamed ­immigration for a rise in anti-Israeli sentiment in Europe.

 

Michael-Gove.jpg.pagespeed.ce.0Dv96BPT6T  Michael Gove Tory MP

Last week, the HJS, a registered charity in England, withdrew funding from two Commons groups for MPs on domestic and international security rather than disclose its own sources of income. Commons Standards Commissioner Kathryn Hudson had told the HJS to provide a list of firms donating more than £5000 a year to it, but the HJS refused citing donor “privacy”, and withdrew its support from the parliamentary groups instead. It was subsequently reported that HJS has been receiving large sums from Tory donors.

 

jmleader

Professor David Miller, co-founder of Spinwatch, which complained about the HJS in the Commons, said: “When you look at what Douglas Murray has said about Muslims, I don’t understand how it’s ­possible for the Scottish Labour Party leader to endorse the Henry Jackson Society. “It’s moved from an intellectually respectable conservative position to an increasingly anti-Islamic position.”

In 2012, founder member Dr Marko Attila Hoare resigned from the HJS saying it had become “a mere caricature of its former self”. Instead of a bipartisan think tank, he said it has become “an abrasively right-wing forum with an anti-Muslim tinge”.

 

_63775450_63775448 Gisela Stuart Labour MP

SNP MSP Sandra White said: “Jim Murphy should consider his position as an adviser to this right-wing, neo-con organisation – it is an extraordinary role for a Labour leader in Scotland and a huge embarrassment to his party.”

A Green spokesman said: “Scottish Greens stand for peace, tolerance and a welcoming ­Scotland. What does Labour stand for if its Scottish leader maintains links with what appears to be a lobby group for military and ­corporate interests?” http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/scottish-politics/scottish-labour-leader-urged-to-cut-links-with-right-wing-think-tank.26194695

 

th

Comments:

* There seems to be an ongoing remodelling of Murphy underway, a u turn here, a u turn there. here a change, there a change, everywhere a change, change. Don’t like these principles, don’t worry I have got others seems to be his motto. Well at least we can establish how gullible the electorate is in response to these tactics.

* The path of all Blair’s stooges. Get in bed with the US Military and Industrial complex, and you’re made for life. They even use the old ‘freedom and democracy ‘ New World Order Blair Bush clarion call in a quote here. You may recall that we ‘shocked and awed’ Baghdad for 24 hours to bestow freedom and democracy on the survivors. Murphy is keeping his fingers in every Neo Liberal pie, just like the others. That way lies Non Executive directorships, a Lairdship, a Special Envoy gig, and of course the lucrative £10k a pop lecture tour. He is your classic New Labour gravy trainer, and like all those Labour Lords, Special Envoys, and Former Cabinet Ministers before him, he will eke out a post political career working for the Man.

 

6a00e54ee8dd9788330162ff8e8aaf970d David Willets Tory MP

May I suggest a casual browse on the Ethernet to follow the post Westminster careers of his fellow travellers on the Westminster Gravy Train to illustrate how well these Socialists are doing these days; military equipment and WMD’s, private health care, security firms and so on. Murphy is hoisted by his own petard (sic). WE ‘sweaty Jocks’ will not be fooled again.

 

vision murphy

* The Friends of Israel links he maintains is a giveaway. Murphy is ultra-right wing despite claiming not to be. Seems to me he is a perfect match for the HJS.

 

article-0-004699DB00000258-646_233x423Charles David Powell, Baron Powell of Bayswater Policy advisor to Prime Ministers

* The continued referencing to Scottish labour is irrational nonsense. The is no such thing. Merely a branch of UK labour which channels London orders north and harvests Scottish stooges to pack out the Labour benches. We might as well send inflatable dummies to be deployed as required. The real thing is costly in every sense.

* “Last week, the HJS, a registered charity in England, withdrew funding from two Commons groups for MPs on domestic and international security rather than disclose its own sources of income.” Why does a group such as this have charitable status in the first place? If this group will not disclose their sources of income, then their charitable status should be removed [as should any body, society or institution who fail to supply details of where their “donations” come from].

 

SNN0309AN--_1613137aDenis McShane MP ( Jailed for fraudulently claiming expeses)

* Have a look at the Charity commission website where you will find copies of the last three years’ accounts. The latest reveal that it has a loan outstanding of £225,000 to Lord Harry Dalmeny, Deputy Lieutenant of Midlothian and the son of the Earl of Roseby, a Scottish nobleman. In the Guardian article you quote from there were details of the sources of income that appear to have escaped your notice. ” Much of the money has come from Tory donors such as the Atkin Charitable Foundation, a London-based charity founded by a British businessman turned philanthropist Edward Atkin.

jim-murphy

 

It first financed the HJS in 2010 with a modest £5,000 grant, but subsequently the amounts increased considerably, totalling £375,000 between 2011 and 2013. The Stanley Kalms foundation, named after the Dixons boss, also gave the society £100,000 last year.” If you think the charity is not abiding by the Charity Commission rules you can report it. Finally, it is pretty clear that it is a Tory-dominated think tank which makes a change from the Labour- dominated charities in England. But I agree with you that tax reliefs should not support politically-aligned charities.

* There’s nothing altruistic or ‘progressive’ about the Henry Jackson Society, however it paints itself. It is a single agenda ‘mafia’ – darkly power peddling means to reactionary ends. A craftily cultivated neoliberal world under a controlling US neocon claw. Should suit US acolytes nicely. Like Mr. Blair and Mr. Murphy of that ilk; and Messrs Osborne and Cameron too, come to think of it.

ancram_1460161c Former  Tory MP Michael Ancram, (Marquess of Lothian).

 

The problem with the Henry Jackson Society goes far beyond Douglas Murray. The organisation is closely linked to the right-wing Eurosceptic faction of the Conservative Party. Another senior HJS staff-member of long standing, Raheem Kassam, recently left to become senior advisor to Nigel Farage and UKIP; while he was working for the HJS, Kassam edited the websites Commentator and Trending Central, where he focused on publishing anti-Muslim material, including articles sympathetic to Marine Le Pen’s National Front and Geert Wilders’s Party for Freedom. HJS eminence grise and financial donor Lord Kalms was expelled from the Tory party some years ago after coming out in support of UKIP.

 

10887311_881722198527066_4373403534109587671_o

* HJS President Brendan Simms and Executive Director Alan Mendoza are calling for the UK to abandon Europe; they support the establishment of a European super-state from which the UK would be excluded, but to which it would be loosely linked via some form of association agreement, in the manner of Morocco or Egypt. HJS President Brendan Simms also recently described Scottish independence as a graver threat to Western security than either ISIS or Vladimir Putin. So Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy belongs to an organisation campaigning to take Britain out of Europe, and with pretty extreme views about the national aspirations of half of the Scottish electorate.

 

menaHJS1

Categories
Uncategorized

Uncaring Craig Miller – Labour Party Parliamentary Assistant to Dr Simpson – Hung His Nurse – Model Girlfriend Out to Dry

 

@mx_572

Nurse Suzanne Hunter

 

 

4 September 2014: – Better Together Team member Suzanne Hunter issued a statement through the, “No” campaign official blog

“As a nurse I understand the health issues that affect families across Scotland. I also understand that the higher level of public spending in Scotland gives us an advantage in getting to the root cause of these issues. After all, that public spending allows us to tackle the specific needs of Scotland with the allocation of that spending being decided by the Scottish Parliament.

Like every Scot, I’m incredibly proud of our NHS. Since 1999 the NHS has been under control of the Scottish Parliament. The decisions about how the public spending on Scottish hospitals is made in Scotland by people who understand the specific health concerns that affect us. The Scottish Parliament enjoys devolved powers over the NHS in Scotland – so it will be future Scottish Parliaments which decide the shape of our service.

Since devolution meant that all decisions over the health system in Scotland were made here in Scotland, we’ve made huge strides in improving the health of people in this country. We’ve seen a ban introduced on smoking in public places as well as the introduction of free personal care for our elderly. As part of the UK, Scotland’s yearly health spending is over £200 per person higher than it is in England.

So far so good but now the twaddle:

Yet under separation, impartial experts suggest that Scotland would face between £3 billion and £10 billion worth of cuts or tax rises. Even the NHS could not escape the inevitable cuts that would come from such an upheaval in our public finances.

I want to see that investment continue to tackle health inequalities in Scotland. I don’t want to see problems worsened by cuts to the budget to fund separation.

The NHS epitomises Scottish and British values in one institution. We care for our vulnerable and sick with no questions asked and no charged levied. These values would persist in a separate Scotland but our means to realise them might not.

Under devolution we can steer Scotland’s NHS in the direction we want it to go but backed up by the larger UK economy. As part of the UK, Scottish patients can get the best of both worlds: excellent treatment in this country’s hospitals while also having access to specialist treatment our families need across the UK.

Only separation puts this at risk. As a nurse I understand the health issues that affect families across Scotland. I also understand that the higher level of public spending in Scotland gives us an advantage in getting to the root cause of these issues.

https://web.archive.org/web/20140914213127/http://bettertogether.net/blog/entry/the-economics-of-independence-sometimes-its-the-funding-that-matters-most

 

13165378a586695184b153260541l1912039_766903840019637_8423652181101686217_o
Comment: Suzanne nailed her colours to the mast of, “Better Together” which was entirely proper since whilst identiying herself as a nurse she was not in uniform and had every right to express her opinion since it was entirely apolitical.

The referendum over and done with Suzanne got off the fence and openly declared her allegiance, (when off-duty) to the labour Party.

This took her into the political world and her activities required careful handling on the part of her political masters so as to ensure her new public profile did not place her at risk of contravening any of the many rules of conduct to which her employment and profession bind her.

They failed in many respects and when Suzanne was exposed, ducked and dived and dodged and weaved, seeking to wrap their failures in a cloak of anonymity.

When this strategy failed they released the dogs of war against the person that displayed excellent integrity at the time he shared the information with his blog readers.

 

Bx5_3kkIIAI3GzR

 

 

25 February 2015: The undeniable

Below to the left is part of a Scottish Labour election leaflet that’s currently being put through Scottish letterboxes, featuring an alleged quote from an alleged NHS Scotland nurse identified as “Suzanne” from Clackmannanshire. On the right is the “CastingNow” profile of an actress named only as “Suzanne” from Clackmannanshire, who describes herself saying: “I’m very good at making people believe things which aren’t true hence why I’ve always been told to pursue acting.”

 

suzanne

 

 

 

 

 

Let us examine the leaflets:

While they have very similarly-shaped faces and features, we have no idea whether the two Suzannes are the same person or if it’s just a strange and potentially amusing coincidence. But the point is, there’s no way of finding out. Labour Suzanne doesn’t talk much like a normal person. She talks, curiously enough, exactly like a political party leaflet.

She appears in her NHS uniform, something that numerous NHS employees have told us is not permitted for real nurses because it would link NHS Scotland itself to a party-political campaign. (We haven’t yet been able to find out for sure if such actions are banned, partly because NHS Scotland weirdly doesn’t seem to have a website, but it’d be unusual for any public-sector employee to be allowed to promote a party while in uniform.

But while not specifically prohibiting politics, the Scottish NHS dress code does stipulate that staff should in general not wear their uniform off-duty.)

Neither of our two Suzannes has a surname, making them difficult to verify, although Labour’s ostensibly shows her face so it can’t be in order to protect her identity.

Nowhere on the leaflet does it suggest that the photo has been posed by an actress. And we know that the law permits political parties to lie freely in election literature.

So it would be perfectly possible for Scottish Labour to have put an actress in an NHS uniform, invented a completely fake quote for her to say, and put it on a leaflet to create the impression that NHS staff backed Labour, all without ever admitting that not a single word of it was actually true.

We haven’t a clue whether that’s the case here or not. But we suspect we’re not alone in being disturbed by the fact that if it was we’d have no way of knowing. Alone among advertisers, political parties can invent fake people out of thin air, create opinions for them, and pass them off as being absolutely real without any fear of detection. (Unless they make a completely incompetent arse of it, of course.)

It’s an odd way to run a democracy. We can only hope that if Labour ever finds itself in a position to implement Jim Murphy’s “1000 more nurses than however many the SNP say” pledge, none of them will be imaginary. http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-unrefuteables/
Comment:

But Suzanne  is a close personal friend of Craig Miller who works for Dr Richard Simpson MSP, Shadow public health Minister for the Labour Party.   https://twitter.com/craigmiller1986

 

craigmiller1

 

The nurse and the model are one and the same, she temps for the Sonia Scott Model Agency. http://www.alltalentuk.co.uk/?action=listingview&listingID=417

 

Suzanne h

The views she expresses in the numerous leaflets, now in circulation might well be heartfelt but she was unprofessional expressing them through Labour Party leaflet campaigns whilst wearing the full uniform of an NHS nurse a clear breach of protocol.

 

suzannelabour2

 

Further evidence she his both persons is contained in two posts to her friend Aaron Harper, from Auchie: http://archive.bebo.com/Profile.jsp?MemberId=2224510768

 

2224510768a2491569751b499864348ml

Aaron Harper

 

 

Post 1: Love for u… I’m still nursing, wouldn’t give that up, have a mortgage 2 pay haha. I’m only modelling in my spare time, have a few jobs lined up. Just fancy doing something 2 make me feel good about myself and the extra cash will be nice 2 ha. Wot u doing with urself now a days? U still living in Sauchie? x

 

10490727455a12416075576m

 

Post 2: The story?! Come on Aaron, u know the story, start 2 finish. Haha Wasn’t satisfied with treating heart attacks, wanted 2 be the cause of them 2 haha. Wot u been up 2? Any half naked pics u want 2 show me??? xxx

10490727455a12416075576m

 

 

25 February 2015: Thrown to the wolves

Before we start, let’s make this plain: we will NOT be submitting any sort of complaint to any healthcare body regarding what we’re about to discuss, and we ask readers not to either. When push comes to shove, we don’t want nurses losing their jobs. Once again, we reiterate: we will not be submitting any complaints and we urge readers not to either. But contrary to Unionist and media assertion, this site does NOT control every angry cybernat in Scotland.

These leaflets have been put through untold thousands of doors and disseminated widely online. The information is already out there and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. We just wish Scottish Labour felt the same way. Earlier today we ran a piece exploring a theme we’ve covered several times on Wings – the unique freedom of political parties to lie with impunity. By way of example we showed a Scottish Labour election leaflet depicting an NHS nurse, who we suggested might been posed by an actress, for several reasons outlined in the article.

 

 

richardsimpson1suzanne3

 

 

The broad point having been made, we were happy to leave it at that. But this afternoon Scottish Labour’s shadow health minister, Dr Richard Simpson, posted the above tweet, angrily insisting that the woman in the leaflet WAS a real Scottish NHS nurse. A number of alert readers tracked her down on several “Better Together” leaflets, and it became apparent that her full name was Suzanne Duncan. Ms Duncan was an active participant in the No campaign. She even appeared in her own blog on the “Better Together” website, talking about the NHS and how it was devolved to Scotland.

This clear understanding of the principles of devolution makes it slightly odd that Suzanne is also to be seen on an election leaflet, saying that she’ll be voting for Scottish Labour in a WESTMINSTER election “because they’re the only party who can get rid of the Tories and pull our NHS back from the brink”.

She also appeared in a BT leaflet alongside the claim that a No vote would “secure the future of the NHS” – though we should note that those words aren’t attributed to her directly – and in several others from the No camp.

 

 

suzanne2

 

But all this is by the by. Suzanne Duncan is perfectly entitled to believe and campaign for whatever political ends she likes, no matter how confused. She is, after all, hardly alone in Labour when it comes to telling Scots that the NHS was totally safe as long as Scotland stayed in the Union, then suddenly deciding that, having won that No vote, it was in deadly peril after all.

Hurray! Scotland voted No! The NHS is safe, right? Oh. But as we say, that’s all fine. Lying, as we established in this morning’s piece, is something political parties are allowed to do.

 

suzanne6suzanne5

 

But for NHS employees to campaign for political parties in identifiable NHS uniforms, not so much. That, we presume, is why all the “Better Together” material featuring Nurse Duncan was very careful to cover up the NHS Scotland logo on her tunic.

Scottish Labour, however, aren’t that competent or conscientious. None of which would have mattered if Richard Simpson had been able to keep his mouth shut. Anyone who saw our article would have come away thinking she was probably an actress and leaving it at that. But by compounding Labour’s ineptitude in leaving the logo on the leaflet, by insisting on shouting all over the internet that in fact she’s a real nurse, Simpson (and his equally brainless parliamentary assistant Craig Miller) have dropped poor Suzanne Duncan right in it.  https://twitter.com/Craigmiller1986/status/472337169747820544

 

 

craigmiller1

 

Once again, we reiterate: we will not be submitting any complaints and we urge readers not to either. But contrary to Unionist and media assertion, this site does NOT control every angry cybernat in Scotland. These leaflets have been put through untold thousands of doors and disseminated widely online. The information is already out there and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. http://www.sehd.scot.nhs.uk/mels/CEL2010_42.pdf   http://www.nmc-uk.org/Documents/Standards/The-code-A4-20100406.pdf paras 59-61

 

We hope – sincerely – that nobody is bitter and poisoned enough to act maliciously. But if they do, the responsibility for it will lie squarely with the hate-blinded, tribal idiots of Scottish Labour, and with Dr Richard Simpson.

When your crazed loathing of the SNP has driven you so demented you start risking the livelihoods of young Scottish nurses, perhaps it’s time you stopped and had a long hard look at yourself in a mirror. http://wingsoverscotland.com/thrown-to-the-wolves/

 

tumblr_nexbtsJW5u1tmylb1o1_12806a00d8341d417153ef011278da983128a4
25 February 2015: The Daily Record attacks: Wings Over Scotland website fuels hatred and paranoia

The vicious underbelly to the independence campaign was on display again in an unwarranted attack on an NHS nurse who happens to have appeared on a Labour leaflet. Suzanne Hunter is the latest victim of a campaign being waged on behalf of Scottish nationalism from Somerset, 300 miles away. She is not a Labour Party member or activist, just a decent woman who cares passionately about the NHS.

 

JS57831246

 

The Wings Over Scotland website seized on Suzanne’s photograph and published it next to the casting profile of an actress, hinting that they may be the same person. The two women do not look like each other in any way, but the mere suggestion of being duped was enough to trigger a torrent of vile abuse against an innocent woman from unthinking cybernats. This brand of politics isn’t unique to Scotland, though it has no parallel in the rest of the UK. It has echoes of far-right US Republicanism that seeks to undermine anyone with an opposite view by inciting online mobs, hatred and vilification.

 

Be2a6vlCYAEl1QI.jpg large

 

This is a world of conspiracy theories, hatred and paranoia. This is a brand of nationalism that seeks to peddle falsehoods and unfounded allegations against anyone who isn’t a believer. It is nasty, sewage politics that debases public life. And yet the Wings Over Scotland is cited as an authoritative source by some leading SNP figures who really should know better. Newspapers are quite properly accountable – in public – for any mistakes they make. Indeed, we carry such a correction on our website’s home page today.

Those who peddle insults from cyberspace aren’t bound by the same standards of accuracy and responsibility. Yet they are, for better or worse, associated with a nationalist movement that will inevitably be judged by the company it keeps. With friends like these, no nationalist needs to make up enemies.

 

BKpoNRJCYAEgQlc.jpg large
Comment: The content of the Daily Record article is poorly presented and contains many errors of fact:

“she is not a Labour Party member or activist, just a decent woman who cares passionately about the NHS.”

Almost entirely incorrect, the only part which has a ring of truth is her decency and passion for the NHS. She is actively involved providing support to the labour Party and their general election campaign, witnessed by her active participation, posing for political leaflets and allowing added comment critical of her employers, to be attributed to herself.

“The Wings Over Scotland website seized on Suzanne’s photograph and published it next to the casting profile of an actress, hinting that they may be the same person. The two women do not look like each other in any way, but the mere suggestion of being duped was enough to trigger a torrent of vile abuse against an innocent woman from unthinking cybernats”

 

suzanne

 

Factually incorrect. Comment about her photograph and the casting profile of an actress does not hint that they are one and the same person. It categorically states that they are the same person, which is indeed the truth. Suzanne moonlights from her position as a nurse and works for the, “Sonia Scott Agency”.

“Newspapers are quite properly accountable – in public – for any mistakes they make. Indeed, we carry such a correction on our website’s home page today.”

I fully expect another, “correction” will be forthcoming in view of the foregoing untruths.

 

 

craigmillersuzanneduncan
26 February 2015: The comical furore about The Nurse Who Definitely Isn’t An Actress shows no signs of making sense any time soon.

24 hours and several demented pages of hysterical tabloid shrieking later, we’re still not sure whether a No activist and Labour supporter from Clackmannanshire is called Suzanne Duncan (as “Better Together” called her until at least June last year) or “Suzanne Hunter” (as the Daily Record calls her), though a bit of Facebook detective work suggests the latter. We do at least seem to have cleared up her employment history, as the Daily Record has now very quietly and subtly changed its article of last night, which claimed she’d worked for eight years at a hospital that’s only been open for five. But a whole bundle of other questions remain unanswered.

The most immediately intriguing is “Who’s been Photoshopping her uniform?” Below are three pictures of Suzanne. The one on the left is from a “Better Together” leaflet from last year, the middle one is from a Labour “vote No” leaflet just before the referendum, and the one on the right is from Labour’s NHS leaflet of this week.

 

 

suzanne2suzanne6suzannelabour2

 

We say “three pictures”, but in fact they’re clearly all the same one. You can tell by the crease lines on her tunic, the position of her watch clip and, well, everything else. But there’s one significant difference. Where “Better Together” appear to have airbrushed out the NHS Scotland logo, presumably to stop the nurse getting in trouble for politicising her job in contravention of the rules for public-sector employees, Scottish Labour haven’t bothered. (At first, judging by a poorer-quality scan, we suspected that they might have crudely Photoshopped the logo ON, but the one above from a high-resolution original looks like the real version.)

Nurses are entitled to hold any political views they like, and to campaign for them in their spare time like anyone else, but they’re not supposed to do so in uniform. By carelessly failing to edit out the logo, and by then ensuring that the offending picture was blared all across the internet and the print media, Scottish Labour and the Daily Record have used her and then abandoned her up a creek without a paddle. But we pointed all that out yesterday, along with the reason.

The Record gives around three times as much space to its screaming, fuming editorial about a website suggesting a political party might have used an actress on a leaflet as it does to “correcting”, in a tiny box under the weather and the lottery numbers, the fact that it told Scots a TWENTY BILLION POUND lie on its front page just a few months ago, and inquisitive readers might wonder why.

 

recordsmith1

 

 

There isn’t even the pretence of a fauxpology, or an explanation of how a senior political journalist could have so spectacularly misinterpreted the Smith Commission as to imagine that the UK government was going to hand Scotland an annual £20bn bonanza of free extra cash in the midst of savage austerity. While the Record explodes with fabricated rage across a full-page story and a lead editorial about someone saying they didn’t know if two people were the same or not – risking a nurse’s livelihood as they do so – they bury in a corner the fact that they told a gigantic front-page lie about a sum of money that would cover the entire yearly budget of NHS Scotland twice over, and they don’t even say sorry.

The Record bleats that sites like this one “aren’t bound by the same standards of accuracy and responsibility” that newspapers are. But we said absolutely nothing about Suzanne Duncan/Hunter that was inaccurate, and we didn’t insult or abuse her in any way. Unlike the Record and Scottish Labour, we didn’t put her job on the line. We have nothing to apologise for. The Daily Record, meanwhile, very much does, but it doesn’t seem to want to, and the toothless press watchdog is happy to let it off with a microscopic weasel-worded “correction” no bigger than the NHS Scotland logo that Scottish Labour forgot to airbrush off a nurse’s uniform.

And the reason for the massive smokescreen might be that the Record’s lie about the Smith Commission is still present on its website. On this page, at the time of writing, you can still see the paragraph claiming a 50% boost to the Holyrood budget which was deleted from the original story after we alerted IPSO, and which the Record admits isn’t true.

 

vowlie8011
Also there is the equally-false line about “billions of pounds of extra tax and spending” which can still be found on the “corrected” original page – which this morning carries no notification whatsoever of the correction, despite IPSO saying that it would. So to recap: the Record’s original page still carries a major lie, another page on its website features that lie as well as an even bigger one that the paper claimed to have removed, and there are no links on either of them to the pitiful “correction”. Readers of the paper’s website will still come away with the completely wrong impression that the Smith Commission proposals would mean billions of pounds more for Scotland.

We’re not even going to get into the wider morality of being lectured on ethics by the newspaper group responsible for mass-scale phone hacking or the commonplace intimidation of innocent members of the public. But we promise the Daily Record that it can monster us as much as it likes. We’re going to keep right on watching it, along with the rest of the Scottish press, and every time it lies to the people of Scotland we’ll be there to tell them about it. http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-plot-stupids/

 

 

Bx_bII5IAAE2s-z.jpg large
26 February 2015: the-nurse-who-wasnt-an-actress/

Suzanne Hunter States: “I have been made out to be a hypocrite, like someone who represents myself to be something I’m not.” Probably just another coincidence, we imagine.

suzanned0

 

http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-nurse-who-wasnt-an-actress/

 

10440844_331498073721984_797204060367572396_n
27 February 2015: Ranting cybernats who posted hate messages about young NHS nurse are slapped down by First Minister

The First Minister today slapped down cybernats who tried to get a young nurse hauled over the coals for appearing on a Labour political leaflet. Nicola Sturgeon said Suzanne Hunter was entitled to express her own views on the NHS – despite trolls on the Wings Over Scotland website demanding she be disciplined by hospital bosses. The furore broke after site’s founder Stuart Campbell posted a photo of Suzanne, 28, alongside an actress, who looked nothing like her, and suggested they could be the same person.

 

JS56440522

 

The false comparison sparked a host of bullying comments and vicious accusations that Suzanne, an NHS hospital nurse for the last eight years, was a fraud. Speaking through her official spokesman, Sturgeon condemned the bullies and distanced herself from Campbell.

The spokesman said of Suzanne: “It’s entirely acceptable for her to have a political view.” He went on: “The First Minister has repeatedly, unequivocally condemned abuse of any kind whoever the victim, whoever the perpetrator. You cannot be more categoric than than. “She condemns it. Full stop.”

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/ranting-cybernats-who-posted-hate-5239329

BtPmqukCQAEgYbO.jpg large
Comment: I read over many comments posted to the blog article. A very small minority, from many hundreds of posts may have voiced contrary views but they were speedily asked to moderate their opinions by others in compliance with the wishes of the blog owner so as not to upscale matters. I take issue with the comment of the Daily Record, “The false comparison sparked a host of bullying comments and vicious accusations that Suzanne, an NHS hospital nurse for the last eight years, was a fraud”.

 

Suzanne h

 

At no time did anyone accuse Suzanne of being a fraud. Quite the reverse. All those who participated expressed the view that Suzanne had been badly let down by her Labour Party masters who should not have compromised her nursing career, posting party political brochures nationwide with her featuring prominently dressed in her Nursing uniform whilst participating in political activities in contravention of the NHS dress code and professional standards of behaviour which expressly forbid it.

 

 

JS57831246

NHS Nurse and part time actress Suzanne Hunter

Categories
Uncategorized

More Savage Austerity Cuts In The Pipeline – Child Poverty – Education – More Despair For The Easy Targets – More Money For the Rich. It Isn’t Fair

polyp_cartoon_redistributionThe Child Poverty Act received Royal Assent on 25th March 2010.

The target is to eliminate child poverty by 2020 and legislation makes tackling child poverty a priority for all governments. The Child Poverty Act requires the Secretary of State, when setting the child poverty strategy, to consider which groups of children in the UK are disproportionately affected by socio-economic disadvantage, and to consider the likely impact of government policy on children in these groups. This will provide a mechanism to target children most at risk of poverty and will allow decisions to be made on the basis of whether they will help these children in the long term. Further reading : http://www.endchildpoverty.org.uk/why-end-child-poverty/child-poverty-act

B1GzEOkCQAEqzuk

A reality check is in order

Many crucial programmes that enabled over a million children to be lifted out of poverty over the period 1999-2009 have/are being dismantled forming part of savage, “austerity measures” introduced by the Tory government in 2010. UK wide major political parties are committed to extending and further increasing the aforementioned austerity programmes reducing state expenditure by £20-30billion. The brutal cuts forming part of the manifesto’s of the UK wide political parties will increase the numbers of children living in poverty by around one million over the lifetime of the next government.

Atwhatcost - Report - Carousel 768x432

But the Scot’s want a different approach

SNP policy rejects, “austerity” as the way forward giving favour to an expansion of the economy increasing the value of the state, better managing the balance of payments deficit and long term debt incurred at the time of the 2006-2008 financial crisis and the last five years of failed, “austerity” driven Tory party government which doubled to long term debt of the country.

polyp_cartoon_Geldof_Millionaire

Facts and figures don’t lie

* There are 3.5 million children living in poverty (households below average income) in the UK today. That’s 27 per cent of children, or more than one in four.

* There are even more serious concentrations of child poverty at a local level: in 100 local wards, for example, between 50 and 70 per cent of children are growing up in poverty. http://www.endchildpoverty.org.uk/why-end-child-poverty/poverty-in-your-area#map

* Work does not provide a guaranteed route out of poverty in the UK. Two-thirds (66 per cent) of children growing up in poverty live in a family (households below average income) where at least one member works.

* People are poor for many reasons. But explanations which put poverty down to drug and alcohol dependency, family breakdown, poor parenting, or a culture of worklessness are not supported by the facts. Population estimates of problematic drug users in England who access DWP benefits, Department for Work and Pensions, 2008, suggest that 6.6 per cent of the total number of benefit claimants in England were problem drug users. While drug misuse may prove to be a key reason this group of people finds it hard to escape poverty, it clearly has no explanatory power for the other 93.4 per cent of claimants.

* Child poverty blights childhoods. Growing up in poverty (households below average income) means being cold, going hungry, not being able to join in activities with friends. For example, 61 per cent of families in the bottom income quintile would like, but cannot afford, to take their children on holiday for one week a year.

polyp_cartoon_ethics_wealth

* Child poverty has long-lasting effects. By 16, children receiving free school meals achieve 1.7 grades lower at GCSE than their wealthier peers. Leaving school with fewer qualifications translates into lower earnings over the course of a working life.

* Poverty is also related to more complicated health histories over the course of a lifetime, again influencing earnings as well as the overall quality – and indeed length – of life. Professionals live, on average, eight years longer than unskilled workers.7

* Child poverty imposes costs on broader society – estimated to be at least £29 billion a year.8 Governments forgo prospective revenues as well as commit themselves to providing services in the future if they fail to address child poverty in the here and now.

* Child poverty was reduced, (addressing major increases in the level of child poverty in the time of the Tory government), dramatically between 1998/9-2011/12 when 1.1 million children were lifted out of poverty (households below average income). This reduction is credited in large part to measures that increased the levels of lone parents working, as well as real and often significant increases in the level of benefits paid to families with children.

* Under current government policies, child poverty is projected to rise once more from 2012/13 with an expected 600,000 more children living in poverty by 2015/16.10 This upward trend is expected to continue with 4.7 million children projected to be living in poverty by 2020.

The full report on child poverty can be found at: http://www.cpag.org.uk/sites/default/files/CPAG-PovertyinScotland2014-sample-chapter.pdf

d2oqPvB

Spongers, down and outs, overweight and alcoholics

The denigration of people in poverty is not new. The state assumes de facto responsibility for the care of ‘paupers’, and the terms ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ are once more prevalent in the language of politicians. The divisive, self-justifying distinction between the workless, rogues, idlers and scroungers on the one hand and the hardworking, law-abiding, responsible, taxpayer has not. Recently poublished research highlights how recent welfare reforms continue the states’s long tradition of shaming people who live in poverty. http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/adding-shame-poverty-public-politicians-and-media

Sozzlehurst_and_Hiccup_

The Conservative manifesto 2010 – education of our children is paramount:

* We will improve standards for all pupils and close the attainment gap between the richest and poorest. (but there remains a fast growing gap between achievements in reading, maths and science between the richest and poorest students).

* We will enhance the prestige and quality of the teaching profession.

* We will give heads and teachers tough new powers of discipline. (but violence in the classroom is a serious and growing problem).

* We will restore rigour to the curriculum and exam system and give every parent access to a good school.

* We will improve our school system to world leadership standard. (but Britain has slipped further down the world leaguetable for student achievement).

* We will make opportunity more equal for all students and address our declining social mobility.

http://www.general-election-2010.co.uk/conservative-party-manifesto-2010-general-election/conservative-manifesto-2010-change-society-raise-standards-in-schools

tumblr_mq244tMkL81rqpa8po1_500

So how did they do?

Not at all good – Under the auspices of Michael Gove, (whatever happened to him?) and his successors teachers are still overworked, underpaid and underappreciated. Schooling is still beset with brainless standardization with which students are increasingly non-compliant. The depressingly constant undermining of teachers and their skills only serves to devalue the learning process. Teachers thrive in a listening not telling environment and society would do well to encourage politicians and the state to take a back seat allowing the teaching profession to improve the learning process elevating their skills and place in society.

Tory, Labour and other UK Parties have failed our children – underfunding, overcrowded classrooms, poor payment of teachers, inadequate financial resources to schools and low attendance all beset education.

polyp_cartoon_Virgin_Space_Tourism

How do our children compare with other nations?

A UN report this week named the UK as the worst place to grow up, and Holland the best. Why? – The Unicef team assessed six different areas: material well-being, health and safety educational well-being, family and peer relationships, behaviours and risks and the young people’s own perceptions of their well-being.

In the Netherlands, 73.2% of children found their peers “kind or helpful” – but in the UK only 43.3% felt the same. More than a third of Dutch children liked school “a lot” but in the UK this was less than 20%. 31% of UK children admit to having been drunk on one or two occasions. In the Netherlands it is 12.9%.

polyp_cartoon_hunger

One child – Chloe, 14, has just finished posting leaflets through letterboxes. She is bright, with high aptitude test scores but she has enormous difficulties at school and has been excluded 14 times. She has to be on her best behaviour for the next eight weeks or she is out. Chloe swears a lot at the teachers and answers back and so gets put in isolation all the time, where she has to sit in a cubicle at a desk on her own for seven hours. Chloe hates that and runs off. “They focus more on punishment than on rewards,” she snorts. The police have been called to her parents house a few times when Chloe kicked off and once she was almost charged with domestic violence, though she got let off with a warning. Chloe’s mum, Michelle, 36, says her daughter was “paralytic” when she got to her. The family doctor said Chloe was just a spoiled brat acting up. He sent her to a therapist but she “kicked off” there too.

In Holland secondary school children wear what they want and they say this is why they are happier. There are 10 “golden rules of school”, including no bullying, using bad words or mobiles and smoking is only allowed in identified smoking areas in the playground. But very few children smoke.

Feedback from children believe it is this tolerance that stops them pushing too many boundaries. They say they are treated like adults and are allowed to grow in their less rigid environment. “In Holland, we are much more free,” explained one child, in England, you have uniforms and we get to do more things with clothes and make-up and express ourselves.” A friend 16 added: “No-one is alone here. Here everyone has friends and I think we’re a bit more helpful – we help each other out.”
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2007/feb/17/childrensservices.uknews

Young Commisioners carousel 768x432(2)

rigid systems breed contempt

A poverty inquiry identified growing inequality in schools – The School-Wear Association, the body representing independent retailers which claims to clothe three-quarters of Britain’s schoolchildren, suggests it costs about £80 to kit out a state secondary school pupil with one new uniform set.

How does a low income family, struggling to pay rent, bills and food manage the cost? For an unemployed parent, it’s just not possible. Families in increasing numbers are turning to loan sharks and high credit lenders to ensure their children have suitable uniform and shoes so they do not suffer the stigma of standing out as poor. A typical parent response;

“I don’t know which schools the School-Wear Association looked at but £80 didn’t even cover half of what my daughters high school specified, and we don’t live in a wealthy area. The blazer alone cost £39, I cant remember the cost of the rest. The blouse and black trousers/skirt were the only items that could be generic, everything else had to be from named suppliers, including school sweatshirt, PE sweatshirt, PE T-shirt, PE tracksuit bottoms, tie, PE kit bag, even the PE socks had to be from the named supplier. Add school shoes, PE pumps, trainers for outside PE, two aprons (also specified supplier) for cookery and textiles. Contrast with when I was at school you could buy nearly ALL as generics, and even buy sew on logos for the blazers in some cases. Many children are ashamed of not having everything they need, or bullied because of it, which has a detrimental knock on effect on their confidence – and their education.” http://www.childrenscommission.org.uk/

VPqOi

Categories
Financial Services Uncategorized

Lin Homer – Civil Servant Deemed Unfit For Service in a Banana Republic Gets Her Reward – Early Retirement – a Damehood and a £2.2Million Pension Pot

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whitehall mandarin made a Dame in the 2016 New Year’s Honours list despite coming under fire for mishandling of tax-dodgers is standing down

The head of HM Revenue and Customs quit  the Civil Service with a £2.2million pension pot (one of the biggest in the Civil Service, swelled by an additional £70,000 to £75,000 last year) and a promise not to take a job in the private sector which will embarrass ministers.

Dame Lin Homer, who has run HMRC since 2012, will leave in April after MPs criticised a series of failings and “abysmal” levels of customer service for members of the public.

Dame Lin was also under fire for securing only one prosecution from a list of 6,800 UK-related secret Swiss bank accounts provided in 2010 by French authorities. In her previous job running the UK Border Agency, Dame Lin was censured by MPs for her “catastrophic leadership failure”.

Homer epitomised all that is wrong with the UK Civil Service.  Unaccountable Civil Service mandarins enjoying self-congratulatory praise whilst abusing the protection of the State, covering up massive cock-ups costing the UK taxpayer many billions.  A summary of her worst efforts follows.

Additionally a number of unsavoury incidents (some involving Cameron’s sidekick, Chief Civil Servant, Sir Jeremy Heywood) occurred in the course of the Scottish Independence Campaign giving urgent notice that the Scottish parliament must have authority over Civil Servants working  in Scotland. The Smith Commission failed to address the issue and it needs to be raised with Westminster soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Scottish, civil service, with no ties to Westminster, clear of the tentacles of “Common Purpose” would better serve Scotland.

The marked increasing incidence of recurring catastrophic leadership disasters in the, “UK Civil Service” is of concern. Very many inadequate civil servants are/have been promoted well beyond their abilities, through their shadowy, “Common Purpose” network contacts. Hence the increasing number of financial, transport, media, immigration and other disasters which have and continue to blight the UK. The UK civil service, put in place by the public, charged with the mission always to serve their needs is not fit for purpose.

 

 

lin homer1

 

 

 

March 26 2013; Who are her backers? The Unstoppable Rise of Lin Homer, (Common Purpose Member)

Born in Norfolk, Lin Homer studied law at University College London, before working at Reading Council for two years then Hertfordshire Council, where over a period of 15 years, she rose to the position of Director of Corporate Services. Now a member of “Common Purpose” This provided the springboard for her first major town hall job, in 1998, as chief executive of Suffolk Council.

http://4liberty.org.uk/2013/03/26/who-else-is-behind-people-like-lin-homer/

 

 

 

 

 

4 April 2005; Judge upholds vote-rigging claims – Lin Homer Threw rule book out the window,

Homer was parachuted into the same post at Birmingham City Council, on a jaw-dropping £174,000-year.

In 2005 she was accused of throwing ‘the rule book out of the window’ in a major postal votes scandal in Birmingham that ended up before the courts.

Election judge Richard Mawrey said fraud in the city ‘would have disgraced a banana republic’.

He described Mrs Homer’s decision to allow postal ballot papers to be transported to the count in shopping bags as ‘the direst folly’.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_midlands/4406575.stm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 March 2013; Jerry Hayes – Solicitor and ex Tory MP – Lin Homer, eat my shorts.  Allah UKBA!

What is even more fascinating is how LIn Homer has soared effortlessly to the Whitehall stratosphere.

I first came across her in 2005 and found her perfectly agreeable. She was the Chief Executive of Birmingham Council and I was parachuted in to represent two Labour councillors accused of electoral fraud.

It was the first electoral commission in one hundred years. It was as a result of a petition moved by the splendid John Hemming, now a Lib Dem MP.

It was an eye opener exposing the corruption of the postal ballot system which according to the Commissioner, Richard Maurey QC “would have disgraced a banana republic”.

Let me set the scene:

“My chaps were found in a warehouse in the dead of night in front of a table groaning with postal ballot forms, pens and tipex. As we say in the trade this caused one or two evidential problems. Worse, heads of Asian families were hoovering up votes within their households. And (not connected with my clients) there were accusations that postmen laden with postal ballots had been threatened with having their throats cut if they didn’t hand them over.

It didn’t say a lot about British democracy. It spoke volumes.

But most shocking of all was the utter chaos of the count. The Commissioner remarked that the transportation of voting papers via carrier bags was the “direst folly”.

And after the Lib Dems had raised an almighty stink it was discovered that Tesco bags of uncounted votes were discovered in council offices.

The Commissioner commented that Lin Homer as Chief returning Officer had “thrown away the electoral rule book”.

http://jerryhayes.co.uk/posts/2013/03/25/lin-homer-eat-my-shorts-allah-ukba

 

 

homer6

 

 

 

 

18 Nov 2013; United Kingdom Border Agency savaged by MPs

But later that year she was chosen by the Home Office to run what was then called the Immigration and Nationality Directorate – this time on £200,000, plus bonuses

Already in chaos, it was on her watch in 2006 that we learned of the mistaken release of 1,000 foreign criminals.

It later emerged some 450,000 asylum cases had not been dealt with but left in boxes at the Home Office.

Appearing before the Home Affairs committee Homer, now head of the newly formed UKBA gave an undertaking to fix things.

But despite promises from former chief executive Lin Homer and her successors as head of the UKBA since the UKBA was founded in 2008, nothing was being done to try to find asylum seekers whose claims had been rejected and to remove them from the country.

The UKBA had supplied wrong and misleading statistics to the Home Affairs Committee since it was formed in 2008.

Senior UK staff ‘misled’ the Committee; The UKBA’s senior staff misled the Committee on so many occasions that it was clear that senior staff were either deliberately misleading the Committee or thoroughly incompetent.

Files were so poorly compiled and were missing so much information that it was impossible to carry out security checks on applicants for asylum.

Progress in dealing with historic cases had been slow and poorly performed. The Committee expressed doubt that checks on archives of historic cases to try to determine whether the applicants were still in the country were carried out properly.

The UKBA was not working properly with the police to find and detain foreign nationals who are awaiting prosecution for criminal offences.

The Committee was especially scathing in its criticism of Lin Homer. It accused her of trying to ‘evade responsibility for her failings’.

Ms Homer told the committee in January that she had always given the committee all the figures that had been requested as soon as she had them. The committee refutes this.

The new UKBA was meant to clear up the mess, and Mrs Homer became its first chief executive, on an astonishing £208,000 a year.

But among a fresh run of scandals was the revelation that nearly 400 of the 1,000 foreign prisoners were told they could stay in Britain and dozens remained untraced.

She was quizzed over more than 100,000 items of mail left unopened as staff struggled to deal with 147,000 immigration case files, some dating back to the Nineties, parked in a ‘controlled archive’. It later emerged that in 40,000 cases, individuals could still be in the country and were potentially untraceable.

Ms Homer apologised that the cases had not been checked against up to 19 databases, including the Police National Computer and anti-terrorist watchlist, and said she regretted she may have ‘inadvertently misled’ the committee over the size of the backlog and whether security checks had been carried out.

Mr Vaz accepted her apology – but said if it happened again it would be reported to Parliament as a ‘contempt of the House’.

Tomorrow’s report is expected to express MPs’ fury that Ms Homer, 56, does not appear to accept she failed during her time as head of the UKBA – and cast doubt on her ability to carry out her duties at HMRC.

She was paid almost £1 million in salary and bonuses during her time at the beleaguered agency.

The report is expected to conclude Parliament should be given a stronger role in appointing top civil servants – a view likely to be shared by No 10, where senior figures have expressed frustration at the way Whitehall tries to block key reforms and rejects interference over its appointments.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21921926 (includes video report)

http://www.workpermit.com/news/2013-11-18/uk-immigration-savaged-by-mps

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2298171/Britains-tax-chief-faces-sack-shes-slammed-report-performance.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

 

 

 

lin homer2

 

 

 

 

10 Oct 2012; Rewarding Failure – permanent secretary of the UK Transport Department Lin Homer lasts barely a year.

Millionaire mandarin Lin Homer, Permanent Secretary at the DfT throughout 2011 when details of the new rail franchise business model were being thrashed out was today named by Sir Richard Branson as one of a handful of officials at the department whom his Virgin Rail team met during 2011 to voice concerns over the bid process.

Those concerns were ignored, said the rail boss whose warnings proved correct last week when the Government U-turned on its decision to award the lucrative franchise to his rival First Group due to an alleged catastrophic business model error.

The mistake is estimated to cost taxpayers £100million and the DfT has now been labelled “not fit for purpose”.

Ms Homer’s meteoric rise through the civil service — she received another promotion last January — prompted one MP last night to question whether there was an unchecked “reward for failure” culture at the heart of Whitehall.

http://www.geralforum.com/board/1564/540216/ http://beforeitsnews.com/eu/2012/10/rewarding-failure-2454398.html

 

 

homer8

 

 

 

 

25 March 2013; Appointment of HMRC head Lin Homer raises ‘serious concerns’

The Commons’ Home Affairs committee said in a report published today, it was “astounded” at Homer’s appointment to chief executive and permanent secretary at HMRC at “what is a challenging time for that organisation”.

It added that the appointment raises “serious concerns about the accountability of the most senior civil servants to Parliament”.

http://www.international-adviser.com/news/tax—regulation/appointment-of-hmrc-head-lin-homer-raises

 

 

homer9

 

 

 

 

 

6 November 2013; Public being charge extortionate telephone premium rates in calls to HMRC

Homer admitted to MP’s that tax payers are charged premium call rates upon telephone enquiries made direct to HMRC and that there was an inordinate time taken to answer enquiries. But she was dealing with the matter.

Homer decided that HMRC will close all 281 of their Enquiry Centres before the end of 2014. Replacing the service with an updated, “super dooper” call centre system, passing the buck to the Citizens Advice Bureau and other voluntary organisations to provide tax advice to the public.

Watch Lin Homer (Chief Executive & Permanent Secretary) and Ruth Owen (Director General Personal TAX HMRC) squirm when Ms Hodge has a go at them about 0845 numbers! Priceless!!!

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=12413&st=15:25:50

 

 

homer10

 

 

 

 

 

5 November 2012; Homer admits Government powerless to force multinationals to declare profits

Homer briefed MPs that over half of Britain’s biggest 770 firms funnel profits overseas and the Government is unable at the present time to prevent these big international corporations from paying almost no tax on their profits in this country.

She offered that they achieve this by declaring their profits in foreign countries with tiny tax rates – even if they made those profits in this country.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/taxman-admits-government-powerless-to-force-multinationals-to-declare-profits-8282771.html

 

 

homer7

 

 

 

 

 

30 July 2013; £135 million collected from leaked Swiss list

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has recovered £135 million in lost tax from individuals named on a leaked list of HSBC’s private banking operation in Switzerland.

This is considerably less than the amount pulled in by the Spanish and French tax authorities, who have recouped £220 million and £188 million respectively.

Speaking at a hearing of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), HMRC chief executive Lin Homer said that 130,000 names were on the so-called Falciani list – named after the former employee of the bank who handed over the details.

Of the 130,000, HMRC had identified 6,800 UK-based entities at some 5,000 UK addresses.

Ms Homer said however that the poor quality of the data meant that just 3,400 taxpayers have been contacted so far – resulting in a yield of just £135m. She said however that HMRC’s efforts “were not yet finished.”

Asked about the Lagarde list – a subset of the larger HSBC database – Ms Homer said that “major progress” had been made in tackling 15 live cases. Of these, two have been settled as civil cases, four remain open, five have settled within the Swiss disclosure agreement and four are still being negotiated.

HMRC’s actions over the Liberty tax avoidance scheme were also considered by the PAC, with Ms Homer confirming that £400 million of tax was at stake.

According to HMRC data, of the approximately 2,000 users of the scheme, the tax authority had failed to serve Section 9 notices in 30 cases, which HMRC’s internal review suggested had put ‘well below’ £10m of tax at risk.

HMRC were also censured over errors which saw the department overstate the amount of extra revenue collected by £1.9bn compared to targets. Ms Homer apologised for the mistake, which she said was down to an incorrect calculation of the baseline from which later calculations were taken.

She is under pressure from the, “Commons Public Accounts Committee”, who asked about, “sweetheart” deals she authorised, giving immunity to around 6,000 British names linked to HSBC bank accounts in Geneva.

At least 500 of these wealthy tax dodgers are being or have been investigated but it is expected they will be offered immunity in exchange for payment of a penalty AND their tax bills AND allowed to keep their identities hidden AND be protected from prosecution”?

 

 

2084196_HMRC-Paperwork-Closeup-700x450

 

 

 

 

11 February 2015; MPs debate HSBC scandal: Politics Live blog

MPs from the Commons public accounts committee have launched a withering attack on HM Revenue and Customs over its response to information it received about clients of HSBC’s Swiss division dodging tax.

Margaret Hodge, the Labour MP who chairs the committee, said accused Lin Homer, the HMRC chief executive, of a “pathetic” response.

Hodge also said HMRC was sending out a “really rotten message” to people considering evading tax because its action was so weak.

She said HMRC was sending out the message that “it’s a risk worth taking – the worst that can happen to you if HMRC can be bothered to catch up with you is that you may have to pay, you won’t have a prosecution, you won’t have any shame, you won’t be an example to anybody else, you’ll get away with it”.

She went on: That’s a terrible message to get out to British taxpayers, it’s a really rotten message.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2015/feb/11/cameron-and-miliband-at-pmqs-politics-live-blog (Video coverage of the debates) <a href=”https://caltonjock.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/lin-homer.