The UK prime minister’s office has denied reports it is
planning to make a payment of £500 to people with
Covid-19, in a bid to encourage them to stay at
home and not take the virus to their workplace.
Number 10 said on Friday that the government already
offers one-off payments of £500 to people who have
Covid-19 and can’t work from home, but denied
reports of making the payment universal.
“There are no plans to introduce an extra £500 payment.
We already offer a £500 payment to support those on
low incomes who cannot work from home,” a
Downing Street spokesman told reporters.
“We’ve given local authorities £70 million for the scheme
and they are able to provide extra payments, on top of
the £500, if they think it necessary. That £500, is on top
of any other benefits and statutory sick pay that people
are eligible for,” the spokesman added.
The spokesman refused to comment on a leaked document
from the Department of Health and Social Care, which
suggested the government would bring in a
universal payment for everyone testing
positive for the virus.
The reports came as Environment Secretary George Eustice
admitted on Friday that there were increasing examples of
lockdown fatigue across the country and suggested more
“draconian” measures may be necessary to combat the
breaking of Covid-19 restrictions.
On Thursday, police had to break up a 400-person wedding
at a Jewish school in north London. The organisers face a
£10,000 fine for breaking lockdown rules. The school said
it had no knowledge of the wedding’s existence.
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TORIES ARE STRIPPING & PRIVATIZING the NHS and Taking Away OUR RIGHTS: with a never- ending lockdown that Labour MPs support!
Neil Clark, journalist, writer and broadcaster:
''The sad and rather shocking truth, is that the
current UK Parliament could quite happily
keep us locked down indefinitely.
Remember, MPs get their £81K
annual salaries (plus perks)
paid in full, each month,
And... there is no
due until 2024.
''The only way the restrictions will end, is if the public have had enough of them and
stop complying in large enough numbers.
Otherwise, what incentive is there for the well-heeled, power-crazed, lock down-addicted political class to lift them, especially with the next general election so far away?''
Halfway through this winter of Covid,
overall mortality is around normal
for this time of year.Something
doesn’t add up
January 21st (RT)
by Peter Andrews, Irish science journalist
and writer based in London. He has a
background in the life sciences, and
graduated from the University of
Glasgow with a degree in genetics
Although the numbers of deaths attributed to the virus
in the UK are higher than they’ve ever been, in total,
not many more people are dying than in any other
cold season. Is the mainstream media finally
waking up to this?
A recent article in the Telegraph is one of the first in a
mainstream outlet to even suggest a challenge to the
official coronavirus narrative. These days, that
narrative claims that the ‘second wave’ is
actually deadlier than the first. (Recently,
some Branch Covidians have been
claiming a ‘third wave’, but there is not yet a united front on that.)
The basic reasoning of the article is sound, even if it is
long overdue. It laments how, every day, the media
solemnly reports the latest Covid deaths' figures.
Presenting this figure in isolation results in graphs
that do, indeed, seem to show that we are at the
height of a second, worse phase of a pandemic.
But, like any statistics, daily death numbers are
meaningless without context, which the media
They do not provide context because, if they did, the public
might see a graph such as the one from a Telegraph article.
It quite clearly shows the spring spike in overall mortality,
which was caused by Covid (plus lockdowns). After that
ends in summer, we see… nothing. Overall mortality
ever since, even through this winter, hovers at
around the five-year average. And overall
mortality, as I’ve repeatedly pointed out,
is the only true way to know whether
you are in a pandemic or not – all
other figures can easily be fiddled.
Out of whack
So, why are the excess death data & the Covid deaths data
so out of whack? And why isn’t Covid killing lots and lots of
people this winter, as it did in spring? Even if you ascribe all
excess deaths to Covid and none to lockdown, there really
does not seem to be anything out of the normal variation
in total deaths from year to year. And surely, by now, the
toll of unnecessary deaths caused by untreated cancer,
heart disease, depression and so on, has at least
begun to register.
One reason coronavirus might not be slaying all around it this
winter is because, well, this is not its first winter. Remember: it
is called Covid-19, as in 2019. Of course, the official version of
history states that the virus didn't reach Western civilisation
until the spring of 2020, but evidence for this assertion is
based on dodgy polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests
and a profound rejection of common sense. (By the
way, how many people do you know who had a
severe bout of pneumonia-like symptoms
But the main reason for the disparity is obvious: mass PCR
testing. Under the current regime (science is the wrong word),
a ‘Covid death’ is someone who dies having tested positive for
Covid within the previous 28 days. When you test all hospital
patients, as the UK does, then some of them will turn out to be
positive – how many depends largely on the way you do the
tests. And the more tests you do, the more ‘Covid deaths’
you will generate. It is that simple. Dr Mike Yeadon has
written extensively on this, which he calls the PCR
false positive pseudo-epidemic.
Too little, too late
In another time, it might have been shocking that it took so long
for the science editor of a broadsheet newspaper to wonder
why, in the midst of a killer pandemic the world’s not seen
for a century or so, the number of people dying in the
country is ordinary. Better late than never I suppose,
but do not take this as a sign that reinforcements
are coming. Even this article makes absolutely
sure to pledge allegiance to Covid orthodoxy,
stating without evidence: “severe restrictions
were … clearly essential to control the growing pandemic’’.
Most people do not get their information by sifting through
government-issued statistics on websites designed to
hinder you. But there used to be a word for someone
who got paid to do exactly that and then tell the
public, in plain English, what they found. Oh,
that’s right – we used to call those people
‘journalists’. There don’t seem to be many
of them about these days, not even at
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UK police tipped off about‘illegal rave’
show up to find cold pensioners
queuing for Covid vaccine
January 21st (RT)
Police officers in the UK who were tipped off about
an alleged “illegal rave” showed up to find that it
was actually just a group of old-age pensioners
queuing for their Covid-19 vaccinations.
“Three police cars” arrived at a hall in Southend, England
after receiving the false tip about a rave taking place, but
instead found the queue of old people waiting outside
for the vaccine, the local Echo News reported.
The chairman of the hall, Dennis Baum, told the website
that instead of a “rave,” officers only found "80 and
90-year-olds on wheelchairs, zimmer frames and
walking sticks, patiently queuing for their
Essex Police, however, didn’t mention any tips about an
illegal rave in their own statement, claiming that they
had received “reports of congestion at the v
Rave or no rave, the vaccination centre was plagued with
plenty of other problems on the day, including the cold
weather, one elderly person turning up an hour and
20 minutes early, shortages, and even a different
vaccine turning up than expected (while the
AstraZeneca shot had been expected, it
was the Pfizer one that appeared).
“It was absolute chaos and very cold. The car park became
chock-a-block with 80-year-old-plus drivers,” Baum said.
Illegal raves have, however, been a huge problem in the UK
since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with groups
of hundreds – and even thousands – of young partygoers
ditching social distancing in favour of a night out all
across England, Scotland and Wales. Covid-time
raves have also been reported in Ireland.
The UK has already vaccinated millions of people, with the
rollout plan prioritizing health and social care workers,
along with the elderly and vulnerable.
Futile:LA ambulances told not to
carry coronavirus patients with
little chance of survival
Wednesday, January 6th, 2021 (Press TV)
Ambulances in Los Angeles have been instructed not to
carry patients who have little chance of survival from
Covid-19, as experts warn of a “human disaster”
getting worse in the US city of angels.
Dr. Jeffrey Smith, the chief operating officer of Cedars-
Sinai Medical Center explained that the order was
“very specific to patients who suffered from a
cardiac arrest and are unable to be revived
in the field.”
“Those patients have a very low rate of survival each
if they are transported to the hospital. So at this time,
it is deemed to likely be futile.”
The onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic was, meanwhile,
devastating the community with the number of cases and
fatalities, on the rise.
“Hospitals are declaring internal disasters and having to open
church gyms to serve as hospital units,” County Supervisor
Hilda Solis said. “Our health care workers are physically
and mentally exhausted and sick.”
Solis called the situation a “human disaster.”
As of Tuesday, some 7,900 people were hospitalized with
Covid-19 in the county, 21% of whom were in intensive
More than 11,000 people have died in
Los Angeles so far, due to Covid-19.
The Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services
(EMS) Agency also issued a memo last week to
“Effective immediately, due to the severe impact of the
Covid-19 pandemic on EMS and 9-1-1 Receiving
Hospitals, adult patients (18 years of age or
older) in blunt traumatic and nontraumatic
out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA)
shall not be transported [if] return of
spontaneous circulation (ROSC) is
not achieved in the field,” the
Over 21 million cases of coronavirus have been
reported in the United States, causing some
357 thousand deaths.
UK Judge Denies Bail for Julian Assange During USExtraditionAppeal
by Mohamed Elmaazi
Judge Baraitser has repeatedly refused to grant the
WikiLeaks publisher bail, declined to intervene with
prison authorities to improve Assange's access to
his legal team and case files, and won't address
his alleged mistreatment at the hands of
Judge Vanessa Baraitser has refused to grant Julian
Assange bail, while sitting at Westminster Magistrates'
Court, on January 6th, 2021. The request was denied on the grounds that the Australian publisher had
previously violated his British bail conditions.
The editor of the whistleblower website WikiLeaks said
that he was "disappointed" by the judge's decision,
adding that the public should expect Assange's
bail denial to be overturned.
The WikiLeaks publisher has spent 15 months in Belmarsh
maximum security prison purely on the basis of pre-trial
detention, as he challenged his extradition to the US on
charges of espionage related to his role in obtaining
and publishing classified documents, which
revealed, among other things, war crimes
committed by US forces.
The decision to refuse to grant bail follows Judge Baraitser's
refusal to extradite Assange to the United States to stand trial
on espionage-related charges, on the grounds that she was
convinced that there was an insurmountable risk that he
would commit suicide, should he be subjected to the US
prison system, both pre-trial and post-trial, should he be
convicted. Her judgement was nonetheless heavily
criticised for casting "a shadow over investigative
Judge Baraitser based her decision on the fact that the US
government was appealing her refusal to grant extradition
to Assange. She said that she was satisfied that there were
"substantial grounds for believing" that Assange would
still seek to abscond and could make use of a "vast"
support network to do so.
The US government, represented by Clair Dobbin, argued
strongly against granting the co-founder of Wikileaks bail, higlighting that the "appeal would be frustrated if Mr. Assange was not remanded into custody”.
Ms Dobbin also detailed Assange's role in helping NSA whistle-
blower Edward Snowden "escape justice" by assisting him in
avoiding the arrest by the US, a claim which Judge Baraitser
cited in her judgement, refusing to extradite the publisher.
The prosecution has also stressed that they planned on
appealing the judge's decision to refuse to extradite on
the basis that she applied an exceptionally stringent
test regarding the risk of suicide.
In arguments for the defence, Edward Fitzgerald QC said that
there should now be a presumption in favour of bail, now that
the extradition request was discharged. He also pointed out
that the offer for asylum from the Mexican president was
misquoted and conditional upon discussions with the
Judge Baraitser refused two prior bail
applications filed by the defence.
Preivous Bail Applications
The first bail application was made in 2019, after Assange
completed his sentence for absconding whilst on bail
when he found a refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy.
His 50-week sentence, nearly the maximum, was
criticised at the time for being disproportionate
and for ignoring the internationally protected
right to seek and attain asylum.
A second request for the bail was refused by Judge Baraitser
in March 2020, despite medical evidence that Assange was
at risk of contracting a more severe form of the coronavirus
disease 2019 (COVID-19). The judge defended her decision
on the basis that prison authorities would look out for the
inmates. She also pointed out she could not be satisfied
that Assange would not attempt to abscond while on bail,
despite the fact that he would be staying with his fiancé
Stella Moris and their two children.
Since taking over Assange's case, Judge Baraitser has
refused to intervene in any way regarding the WikiLeaks
co-founder's conditions in prison.
Assange's legal team repeatedly said they were prevented
from accessing their client, and that their client was being
denied proper access to his legal papers. Lawyers also
said that, in a single day, Assange was handcuffed 11
times, strip-searched twice and had his legal papers
confiscated from him.
Midway through December, Stella Moris tweeted out that
her fiancé remained deprived of any warm clothes,
despite the freezing temperatures.
Calls For Proper Medical Assistance
UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer, along with
two other independent medical experts, concluded two
years ago that Assange showed clear symptoms of
"psychological torture". Melzer also reproached
the US, UK and Swedish authorities' continual
refusal to properly investigate their findings.
Doctors for Assange, a collection of physicians from
around the world, repeatedly called for the embattled
publisher to be released from prison so that he could
received proper medical treatment & avoid the risks
posed by COVID-19, at a time when prisoners were
released early all around the world, including, to a limited extent, in the UK.
The US government has signalled that it plans on
appealing Judge Baraitser's decision to refuse
to extradite Assange.
Raphael Warnock makes history
with runoff victory in Georgia race
January 6th, 2021 (Press TV)
Raphael Warnock has defeated Senator Loeffler, in
Georgia's Senate runoff, pushing the Republicans
one step closer to losing their majority in the
The US mainstream media, including NBC, CBS, ABC
and CNN, projected Warnock as the winner, shortly
before 2 am EST on Wednesday, with more than
This comes as Warnock, the pastor of the Ebenezer
Baptist Church in Atlanta, declared his victory in a
video, after midnight, on Wednesday.
“We were told that we couldn’t win this election, but tonight
we proved that with hope, hard work and the people by our
side, anything is possible,” Warnock said. “So Georgia, I
am honored by the faith that you have shown in me and
I promise you this tonight: I am going to the Senate to
work for all of Georgia, no matter who you cast your
vote for in this election."
Neither Loeffler nor Warnock reached the 50 percent threshold
needed to win the general election in November, sending the
race into a runoff.
The pastor made history with his election win, becoming the
first African-American senator to represent Georgia in the
Senate. He would also be the first Democrat who wins
a Senate race in Georgia, in 20 years.
Warnock’s victory gives Democrats 49 seats in the Senate,
one shy of creating a 50-50 tie with Republicans, which
would effectively give Democrats control because
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would be the
tie-breaking vote. A win for Jon Ossoff, another
Democrat candidate, would give the Democrats
their coveted 50th seat.
With 98% of the expected vote reporting, Ossoff leads
with 50.2 percent -- 2,208,717 ballots -- while his rival
David Perdue trails behind with 49.8 percent --
‘Bail him NOW!’ Roger Waters says
after judge rejects extradition for
Assange, calls ruling a ‘delaying
tactic’ as US preps appeal
January 5th, 2021 03:31 (RT)
Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters has demanded the
immediate release of Julian Assange after a UK judge
declined a US extradition request, telling RT the
WikiLeaks founder’s battle is far from over, as
Washington eyes an appeal.
“Let the man begin to live,” Waters said in an interview
with RT on Monday, insisting Assange must be freed
from custody at London’s maximum security
Belmarsh Prison without delay, hours after
a judge, Vanessa Baraitser, ruled against
extradition for the anti-secrecy activist.
''We, [Assange’s] supporters, have to be saying‘Bail. You
have to bail him now.’He’s suffered way beyond any
suffering that should’ve been meted out to him for
his one small bail infringement, which is his only
crime under UK law. So bail him now.''
While Waters said he was heartened by the “scenes of
jubilation” outside the Old Bailey courthouse following
the decision, he noted it was “equally sobering” to see
that the United States had already filed an appeal
“within minutes of the judgement.”
“This is clearly a delaying tactic,” he said, of the ruling,
adding that lawyers representing Washington
“obviously” knew of the judge’s plan to
deny extradition “because they have
coached Judge Baraitser all the way through the entire kangaroo court
Further cautioning against optimism, the rockstar said a US
appeal could drag out Assange’s case for “at least another
couple of years,” while predicting that Baraitser would not
grant him bail.
“She claims he’s a flight risk… She’ll give all the usual reasons.
The real reason is, of course, is they want to keep him confined
until he dies. That’s what they’re hoping for,” Waters said,
adding that while Baraitser declined extradition, she
nonetheless “judged that the whole US case
against Assange was correct, legally, that
the United States won the argument.”
So let us not run away with the idea that somehow she found
that Julian Assange was innocent of the charges brought
against him by the United States.
Waters said the implications of Assange’s case extend far
beyond one journalist’s freedom, saying it symbolizes a
“battle for the survival of the human race” and the
future of the Fourth Estate around the world.
“If we allow the United States government to crucify a journalist
on the grounds that he revealed war crimes by them, then we
give up our access to the real world. We say ‘OK, we will
believe what you tell us,’” he said, adding that corporate
media outlets continue to wage “a very, very powerful
propaganda campaign” to “smear Julian Assange.”
After spending some seven years under political asylum at
Ecuador’s embassy in London – where he stayed amid fearsWashington would charge and extradite him over WikiLeaks’ publication of classified material - Assange’s protected status was revoked in 2019 following a new president's rise to power in that country.
He was arrested by UK authorities almost immediately afterward
on a years-old bail-skipping charge, prompting the US Dept of
Justice to unseal an 18-count indictment alleging that Assange
conspired to “hack” military computers in order to obtain
confidential records, including the 2007 ‘Collateral Murder’
video, which shows a US Apache helicopter gunning down
a crowd of civilians in Baghdad, among them two Reuters
journalists. He has since awaited extradition in Belmarsh
Prison, where he remains even after the US request was
shot down. A bail application is expected to be made
Julian Assange ‘free to return home’
to Australia, if extradition to US isblocked– PM
January 5th, 2021 (RT)
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced
that WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange will be “free to
return home” to Australia once his legal proceedings in
the United Kingdom have ended.
Morrison’s remarks come amid pressure from Australian
politicians, who have called on the country’s government
to ask the Trump administration to pardon Assange and
end its legal campaign against him. While Coalition back-
bencher George Christensen and South Australian
independent senator Rex Patrick called directly
for a presidential pardon, the opposing Labor
Party said the government should “do what
it can to draw a line under this matter.”
Speaking to local radio station 2GB, Morrison stated that
“should the appeal fail, obviously he would be able to
return to Australia like any other Australian.” However,
the prime minister appeared to back away from
directly interfering in the process or making a
plea to the US president, saying, “The justice
system is making its way and we’re not a
party to that.”
On Monday, a London court ruled that the UK could not
extradite Assange to the US, because of concerns that
it would be “oppressive by reason of mental harm”
and could result in him attempting to take his own
life. The US Department of Justice has 14 days to
lodge an appeal against the judgment and has
expressed its intention to do so.
Assange is wanted over an 18-count indictment that stems
from the publishing of thousands of classified documents
on WikiLeaks in 2010 and 2011. If the US convicted him on
all charges, he could face up to 175 years in prison,
according to his lawyers, although, Washington
has argued the sentence would be more likely
to be between four and six years.
The trial has gained international attention, as Assange’s
lawyers have argued the case is a politically motivated
prosecution against a journalist for revealing evidence
of war crimes and human rights abuses committed by
the US government abroad. The US has not sought to
play down this accusation, repeatedly asserting that
the leaks were criminal and endangered lives. Still,
supporters of the whistleblower maintain that
Washington is simply seeking revenge for
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Mexico to Take Steps to
Grant Assange Political
Asylum, President Lopez
by Henry Batyaev
A UK court ruled earlier in the day to block WikiLeaks
founder Julian Assange's extradition to the US, where
he could face up to 175 years in prison for espionage
and computer fraud. The US Department of Justice
has voiced its disappointment with the ruling,
vowing to keep seeking his extradition.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said
Monday that Mexico could grant Julian Assange
political asylum, if London agrees to release him.
Speaking at a press conference, the president
said he had asked the foreign minister to
reach out to the UK authorities about the
"Assange is a journalist and deserves a chance, I am in
favour of pardoning him...We'll give him protection",
Lopez Obrador told journalists.
Earlier in the day, UK Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled to
block Assange's extradition to the United States, as the
journalist's mental state would make him a suicide risk
if he were handed over to the US.
Following the announcement, the US Department of
Justice said it was "disappointed" with the ruling
and will continue its efforts to have the Wiki-
Leaks founder extradited.
Assange's Extradition Trial
Assange's lengthy extradition trial, where his legal team
tried to present evidence he was being indicted for
political reasons, wrapped up in October.
Assange is wanted in the US over the release of the largest
trove of classified data in history. In 2010, WikiLeaks made
public US diplomatic cables and documents exposing
atrocities committed by American troops during
military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Washington has accused Assange of spying and wants him
handed over to the United States, where he could face up to
175 years in solitary confinement if he is convicted on 18
espionage and computer fraud charges for leaking the
Assange is being kept in Belmarsh Prison,
near London, where he was taken after
the Ecuadorian Embassy in London
discontinued its political asylum
for the journalist.
US 'Extremely Disappointed' WIth UK Judge's Ruling on Assange, Vows
to Keep Seeking Extradition
by Lilia Dergacheva
Julian Assange should not be extradited to the United States
to face charges of espionage and conspiracy to commit
digital intrusion, District Judge Vanessa Baraitser
ruled on the morning of 4 January 2021.
The US Justice Department has expressed its disappointment
over a London court's ruling on Julian Assange, saying in
"While we are extremely disappointed in the court’s ultimate
decision, we are gratified that the United States prevailed
on every point of law raised. In particular, the court
rejected all of Mr. Assange’s arguments regarding
political motivation, political offense, fair trial, and freedom of speech".
District Judge Vanessa Baraitser announced the court's
decision to block the potential extradition of the jailed
WikiLeaks founder on 4 January, in a development
deemed by Assange's supporters, as the most
important one in his 2-year long extradition
"I am satisfied that Mr Assange has the intellect and
determination to circumvent suicide prevention
measures [in the US]", the judge said, after
rejecting every other argument made by
the defence in the case.
The decision was made solely based on the judgement
that the WikiLeaks publisher was at too high a risk of
suicide or self-harm if he were to be extradited to the
US. The judge notably rejected the rest of the
arguments raised by the defence
The judge accepted that Assange, who is now incarcerated
in HM Prison Belmarsh, would likely be subjected to high
levels of isolation, as well as Special Administrative
Measures, both before and after a trial in the US,
that would severely impact his mental health.
The defence will now decide whether they will launch a bail
application without delay, as the bail option is believed to
now be available to Assange, or whether they would like
to prepare more thoroughly.
It is currently unclear whether the US government will seek
to appeal the decision. The prosecution must request
permission to appeal it in the High Court within seven
days of the date of Judge Baraitser's verdict.
The US indictment against the award-winning author centres
on his role in 2010-2011 in receiving & publishing classified
logs from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Guantanamo Bay
detainee files, and US diplomatic cables. The documents
revealed war crimes, as well as other criminality and
abuse, allegedly committed by the US government
and American-backed forces across the world.
If convicted of all of 18 charges brought against him in the US,
Assange faces 175 years in prison. There is no public interest
defence for any charge brought under the 1917 Espionage Act.
17 out of the 18 charges against Assange fall under legislation
dating from the World War I period.
Russia is developing world’s first Covid-19 antidote, preclinicalstudies show drug effectiveness of more than 99%
by Jonny Tickle
30th December, 2020 (RT)
Russia's Federal Medical and Biological Agency (FMBA) has
announced the development of a drug to fight against Covid
-19, which would become the world's first direct-acting
antiviral antidote if clinical trials are successful.
According to Veronika Skvortsova, the head of FMBA, studies
thus far, have shown it is more than 99% effective.
“This is the first etiotropic drug that directly affects the virus.
In fact, this is an antidote for coronavirus infection,” she
informed Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin Wednesday,
noting that preclinical studies have been completed,
which have shown the remedy to be “completely
safe” and “highly efficient.”
Aetiotropic means that the treatment is
directed against the cause of a disease.
Skvortsova told the prime minister that the FMBA is ready
to apply for permission for further testing, which they
hope to get before the New Year.
“If clinical trials confirm the effectiveness of this drug,
it will be the first safe, effective, direct-acting antiviral
drug that has no analogs in the world,” she explained.
The FMBA is also working on a separate drug for the treatment
of the most complex coronavirus cases, which suppresses and
prevents a physiological reaction called ‘hypercytokinemia’.
Also known as a ‘cytokine storm’, it is an immune response
that leads to body tissue damage, and is thought by some
to be causing Covid-19 deaths.
In May, the Russian Ministry of Health approved an anti-corona-
virus drug called ‘Avifavir’, a Favipiravir-based treatment that
has been used in Japan since 2014 against severe forms of
influenza. The medication is being produced domestically.
If effective, the antidote won't be Russia's only breakthrough
during the Covid-19 crisis. Earlier this year, Russia became
the first country to announce the registration of a corona-
virus vaccine named Sputnik V. After trials, it was revealed
to be 95 percent effective in producing antibodies after 40
days. Earlier this month, Putin ordered the start of mass
vaccination, with it eventually beginning in Moscow on
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COVID vaccine: Pfizer Delays Deliveries
Due to Temperature Control Issues
December 29th, 2020 (al Manar)
The COVID-19 vaccine jointly developed by US pharmaceutical
giant Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech was approved by the
European Medicines Agency last week, after British and
US health regulators had done so. The vaccine has
now been making its way into Europe.
Delivery of new batches of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to Spain
and seven other EU nations has been delayed due to a “problem
in the loading and shipment process”, the Spanish health
ministry revealed on Monday, without specifying
other countries that have been affected.
Spain started mass vaccination on 27 December after the Pfizer-
BioNTech vaccine got the green light from the European
Medicines Agency (EMA) last Monday. The first batches
of shots have already been shipped across the 27-
member bloc. However, Madrid said it was informed
by the Spanish branch of Pfizer on Sunday night
about a one-day delivery of the vaccine after
logistics issues emerged at the company’s
factory in Belgium.
Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa told radio station Cadena SER
that the issue was “linked to the control of the temperature” and the
problem was now solved, with new batches of the vaccine expected
to arrive in the country on Tuesday, rather than on Monday, as
“They (vaccines) will be available tomorrow first thing
in the morning in vaccination points,” Illa said.
BioNTech earlier revealed during the presentation that their vaccine
should be kept in an ultra-low temperature environment, around -70
degrees Celsius, and delivered to distribution centres in dried-ice
cool boxes. It can be then stored up to five days at 2-8 degrees
Celsius when out of freezers.
Before the Spanish health ministry’s announcement, vaccination delays
were reported in several German cities after it was revealed that around
1,000 vaccine doses from Pfizer and BioNTech were not stored in cool
enough places during deliveries, according to Reuters.
Europe began mass vaccination against COVID last week with the
first shots being received by the most vulnerable segments of the
population, including the elderly and health care workers, as well
as politicians. The Spanish health minister said that he expected
that around 70% of the country’s population will be vaccinated
by the end of the summer.
Before being okayed by EMA, the Pfizer-BioNTech jab got emergency
approval from Britain’s medicines regulator, the MHRA, and the US’s
FDA in early December. The developers say that the vaccine has a
95% efficiency rate against coronavirus.
Boris Johnson Hails UK-EU Brexit Trade Deal,
But What Does a 'Canada-Style' Agreement Mean?
by Oleg Burunov
On Thursday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the UK-EU
trade deal as "the biggest", saying it would allow British goods
"to be sold without tariffs in the EU market".
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has hailed London and Brussels
finally reaching "a comprehensive Canada-style free trade deal",
after months of difficult talks and missed deadlines.
And while the EU and UK are celebrating "Brexmas", here's a brief
insight into what the "Canada-style" agreement means in practice.
Deal EU-Canada Deal CETA
Johnson's remarks apparently refer to the so-called Comprehensive
Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a deal that the EU began
negotiating with Canada back in 2009.
Although CETA provisionally entered into force in September 2017,
it has yet to be signed off on by all of the EU's member states.
The agreement stipulates that at least 98% of EU tariff lines are
currently duty-free for Canadian goods, with tariffs only on
poultry, meat, and eggs.
CETA helps the sides avoid unnecessary or discriminatory regulatory
trade requirements, giving Canadian businesses preferential access
to the EU.
The accord also protects the bloc's "geographical indications", allows
professional qualifications to be recognised both in Canada and the
EU, as well as sets requirements for product standards & investment.
Johnson Praises EU-UK Trade Deal
As far as the post-Brexit deal is concerned, Johnson touted it as "the
biggest" trade agreement between the UK and the EU, also noting it
"will protect jobs across this country".
The prime minister described the document as "a deal that will allow
UK goods and components to be sold without tariffs and without
quotas in the EU market".
"A deal which will if anything should allow our companies and our
exporters to do even more business with our European friends,
and yet which achieves something that the people of this country
instinctively knew was do-able.... but which they were told was
impossible", he pointed out.
Johnson stressed that concluding the agreement means the UK
has "taken back control of laws and our destiny" as well as
"every jot and tittle of our regulation in a way that is
complete and unfettered".
According to him, the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice
will end and the UK will be "an independent coastal state".
"We will be your friend, your ally, your supporter, and indeed,
never let it be forgotten, your number one market", the prime
The remarks followed London & Brussels managing to arrive
at a consensus after months of difficult talks as the sides
remained at odds over fishing, especially access to UK
waters by EU boats, as well as competition rules and
mechanisms to settle future trade disputes.
Since the trade deal is slated to come into force from 1 January,
EU member states will reportedly have to approve a provisional
application of the agreement so that the European Parliament
will have enough time to ratify the document.
WHO calls coronavirus death toll in US 'shocking'
December 8th 2020 (Press TV)
The World Health Organization (WHO) has described the
coronavirus death toll in the United States as shocking,
warning that the US is "facing a critical situation" now.
“The epidemic in the US is punishing. It's widespread.
It's, quite frankly, shocking to see one to two persons
a minute die in the US, a country with a wonderful,
strong health system and amazing technological
capacities," executive director of WHO's Health
Emergencies Program, Mike Ryan said.
Ryan said the US has accounted for a third of all
world cases over the last number of weeks.
He also encouraged Americans to keep maintaining
social distancing “even if it sounds terrible.”
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said
the agency has not yet contacted with President-elect Joe
Biden’s transition team.
Earlier this year, Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal
from the WHO, saying the body was too deferential to China,
and called it corrupt. Biden has expressed an interest in
reversing that decision.
US health officials are worried that the epidemic situation will
become even more aggravated than it was during the Thanks-
giving holiday as the year-end holiday season is approaching.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US government’s top infectious disease
expert, warned that the pandemic could worsen after the year-
end holidays, saying on Monday that he has the same
concerns about Christmas, that he did about
“Without substantial mitigation, the middle of January
can be a really dark time for us,” said Fauci.
Millions of Americas ignored public health advice and
traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday in November.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
chief, also said that the COVID-19 epidemic situation in the US is
expected to worsen over the next four to six weeks --- with
infections, deaths and hospitalizations continuing to rise,
and with the number of hospitalizations expected to
reach 150,000 to 175,000 in a single day.
Another lockdown in California as hospitals overwhelmed
People in the most populous US state faced heavy new
restrictions on Monday aimed at slowing the spread
California’s order has affected about three-quarters of the nearly
40 million people in the state. It will last at least three weeks and
shuts all but critical infrastructure and retailers.
California Governor Gavin Newsom’s order allowed some schools to
continue to hold classes. But the Los Angeles Unified School District,
the state’s largest, closed campuses that had been partially open to
offer in-person services and tutoring, affecting many special-needs
Newsom’s directive applied to places where fewer than 15% of
intensive-care hospital beds remain available, so far affecting
Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley near
Dr. Fauci said on Monday the state’s action would “rescue
them from possibly getting their hospitals overrun.”
California set a record in new cases with 30,000 on Saturday and
recorded nearly 25,000 more on Sunday. Hospitalizations also
hit records. In the San Joaquin Valley, just 6.3% of intensive
care unit beds were available, the state said Monday.
According to a Reuters tally, the COVID-19 infections are at their
peak in the US, with an average of 193,863 new cases reported
each day over the past week.
There have been 14.7 million confirmed infections and more than
282,000 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the United States
since the pandemic began, the most in the world.
New York’s governor threatened to ban indoor restaurant dining
in New York City if hospitalization rates keep climbing this week.
Trump to order priority access to US vaccines for Americans
The US president will sign an executive order on Tuesday to ensure
that priority access for COVID-19 vaccines is given to the American
people before assisting other nations, senior administration
officials said on Monday.
The Trump administration is confident it will have enough vaccine
to inoculate everyone who wants a vaccine by the end of the
second quarter of 2021.
The New York Times had said the US government declined, when
vaccine developer Pfizer Inc offered, in late summer, to sell more
vaccine doses to the United States.
The New York Times reported that Pfizer may not be able to provide
more of its vaccine to the United States until next June. because of
its commitments to other countries.
Trump, who has faced sharp criticism for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, is eager to take credit for the speedy development and distribution of a vaccine.
US Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar, said the
US government had the option to purchase an additional 500
million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, but declined to say
whether the Trump administration was pursuing
‘We messed up,’ a senator said, of the US approach
to the pandemic, before his death --- caused by
A US lawmaker complained about the country's approach
in tackling the coronavirus pandemic, before dying, due
to covid-19, this week.
Unions slam government’s ‘shameful’
billion pound cut to Britain’s railways
Unions have branded the government “foolhardy” and
“shameful” after ministers announced a £1 billion cut
to Britain’s rail infrastructure which will consign the
of the Democrat-run cities in key battleground states, of
carrying out a co-ordinated, "centralised" campaign
of voter fraud, to rob Donald Trump of victory.
"As we started investigating... what emerged very quickly is there's
not a singular voter fraud in one state. This pattern repeats itself
in a number of states. Almost exactly the same pattern. Which, to
almost any experienced investigator, prosecutor, would suggest
that there was a plan from a centralised place to execute these
various acts of voter fraud, specifically focused on big cities,
and specifically focused on (as you would imagine) big cities
controlled by Democrats. And particularly focused on big
cities that have a long history of corruption," Giuliani said,
speaking to reporters in Washington, DC on Thursday.
One of the key battleground states where Donald Trump demanded
a recount, Georgia, was called in Biden's favour by the Associated
Press earlier on 20 November, giving the Democrat candidate Joe
Biden a total of 306 votes in the electoral college.
Georgia's secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, said Friday that
he was, like all other Republicans, “disappointed”, but added:
"I live by the motto that numbers don't lie. As secretary of state, I
believe that the numbers that we have presented today are correct."
Meanwhile, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, who certified the state's
presidential election results Friday in favour of Biden, called for
another audit of the votes, writes Fox News.
Kemp was cited by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as saying it was
“completely unacceptable” that thousands of uncounted ballots
were found in several counties during the manual hand recount
in the wake of the initial results.
While acknowledging Donald Trump’s frustration over the
outcome, Kemp said:
“He’s a fighter… But, at the end of the day, I’ve got to follow the
laws of the constitution of this state and that’s exactly what I’m
After the results are certified, the Trump 2020 Campaign has
until Tuesday to request another recount, said Kemp,
pointing to the vote being within a half-per cent.
“I would just say I’m formalising the certification. Now that
Secretary Raffensperger certified, it triggers the ability of
the Trump campaign to ask for the recount," said Georgia
Governor Brian Kemp.
Britain died for me this week. It’s become
a Covid-obsessed police state, and I don’t
understand what it stands for anymore
by Chris Sweeney. November 7th, 2020
Chris Sweeney is an author and columnist who has written
for newspapers such as The Times, Daily Express, The
Sun and Daily Record, along with several international-
selling magazines.Follow him on Twitter
I’ve always been proud to say I’m British – until now. The
authorities’ bloody-minded determination to implement lockdown rules at the expense of people’s wellbeing
is not what our great country should be about.
Sometimes you can be too close. You are looking, but you
don’t see it. That’s where I found myself this week with
the current state of Britain --- amid another round of
ever tighter restrictions caused by the pandemic.
Don’t get me wrong. There are loads of things I’ve always
loved about my country – our traditional British good
manners for example. Rather than see it as a sign
of weakness, I pride myself on our reputation
for queuing in an orderly fashion. I also like
that we hold the door open for the person
I admire our outstanding National Health Service, which
allows everyone to access medical treatment without
having to dig out a credit card or an insurance plan.
And I enjoy flying British Airways over far-flung
lands, offering me some form of attachment
– even if it is superficial.
I won’t apologise for tea being regarded as the boring
and bland equivalent to freshly ground coffee – it’s
our drink, and I love it. And the way we honour
our war heroes with the humble poppy, is
But this week, some of that pride in being British
died for me. It’s a very different sentiment I’m
feeling. Beyond disillusionment. Fury even.
How could Britain have fallen so far
in the way it treats its own people?
It began with the horrifying detention of a 97-year-old
grandmother by police in the Yorkshire town of Market Weighton. Her daughter, a qualified nurse, wanted to
bring her home from a care home, to look after her
during lockdown, and quietly wheeled her out of
However somewhere along the line, a jobsworth felt
the need to justify their existence & reported what
had happened. The episode ended with her grand-
daughter in tears filming a video, showing her own mother in handcuffs inside a squad car, while the old woman sat in another car, completely bewildered.
The police’s response? They were responding
to “a report of assault.” Incredible.
The horror continued, as students at the University of
Manchester’s Fallowfield ''halls of residence'', awoke
to find workers erecting fences around their facility
to ensure they couldn’t leave. They were being
installed, following government guidelines
asking students not to return to their
One student said: “They're huge metal barriers, they're
connected to one another and there's literally no gaps
….it makes it feel like we're in a prison.”
In what version of the United Kingdom do we keep our
bright, young people caged like dogs? Unsurprisingly,
some of the outraged students began to rip them
down, causing even more angst.
ALSO ON RT.COM
Protests of more than two people
will be ILLEGAL under updated
rules for UK national lockdown
Another university using its power to force students
to bend to its will, is world-famous Cambridge. It
announced that anyone who leaves its halls
of residence, won’t be able to graduate or
progress to the next year. That’s despite
each paying at least £9,250 per
Then there was the Ripped Gym in Harlow, Essex. It
opted not to close --- in breach of the government’s
latest lockdown. The morality of that is debatable,
but the gym claims it didn’t sell any long-term
memberships and offered only day passes.
Whatever you think of the decision, what
is beyond argument is that it didn’t need
four police cars and approximately 20
officers to descend in a raid-style
Were they expecting John Gotti? Rather, it was a well-
meaning business owner & some locals on treadmills.
The owner ended up being dragged away & was still
in police custody, at the time of writing.
Contrast this with the most tragic occurrence, the death
of Corey Liversedge. This 16-year old from Aberdeen-
shire took his own life, as anxiety overcame him as
a result of the suffocating nature of lockdown.
His grieving parents summoned the bravery to raise
awareness of his plight, with his mother saying, “It’s
not just children with diagnosed mental health
conditions — it can happen to any child, and
Corey was any child.”
Britain used to be a nation that cared. But now, it seems
that the priority is treating any slight infraction of lock-
down rules like a terrorist attack, while vulnerable
people are left to struggle along on their own,
without help from the wider community.
The complete lack of emotional intelligence from
our authorities was evidenced by London police
arresting 104 people in a single night for
What happened to community engagement? Aren’t we
all supposed to be on the same side? Incredibly, it’s
now even illegal for anyone to enter or leave Wales
--- unless it is covered by the contentious term of
“essential travel.” The police, of course, are
monitoring the roads and pulling over cars
to conduct checks.
Yes, the pandemic is a serious situation and we
should not be complacent about 48,000 people
dying. Precautions have to be taken.
But what is happening across the UK is nothing short
of barbaric. Our police have turned into robots,
carrying out whatever they are asked to,
no matter how cruel or wrong.
The government has forgotten what a wonderful
population they are tasked with representing,
and are treating us all like North Korea
They say you never really truly appreciate something
until it’s gone. And I’m petrified that the courteous,
courageous sprit that defines Britain, is on the
point of disappearing for good, crushed by
the uncaring iron first of the Covid-
We deserve better than this.
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Corbyn Suspended for Telling the Truth – A New Socialist Party Is Required
by Tommy Sheridan
The other day a thoroughly decent and honest man
suffered a grave injustice. A man who has a peer-
less record in opposing racism and anti-Semitism
was suspended by the political party he has been
a member of for over fifty years, has represented
it in the British Parliament since 1983 and was
its leader from 2015-20.
Irony died in Britain yesterday when Jeremy Corbyn was
suspended by the Labour Party with the consent and
probable collusion of the man who succeeded him
as leader, Sir Keir Starmer.
We now have a Tory leader in 10 Downing Street who is
famed for his racist views including referring to black
Africans as “piccaninnies” with “watermelon smiles”.
A racist Prime Minister nostalgic for the days of slavery
and brutal exploitation and ownership of black people
was elected by the people of England in preference
to a man whose whole life has been dedicated to
fighting racism and injustice.
Corbyn Was Betrayed by His Own Party Bureaucracy in 2017
Jeremy Corbyn would have won the 2017 General Election
if his campaign had not been sabotaged from within by
Labour opponents. They hated him more than the
Tories and refused to accept the democratic will
of the Labour Party masses who elected Corbyn
leader, not once but twice with a bigger majority
the second time round in 2016.
He led a remarkable 2017 election campaign which inspired
millions and confounded all the opinion polls and political
pundits as he came within a whisker of winning. He
smashed the Tory majority and rocked the British
Establishment. A genuine socialist was almost
elected to lead the UK. Millionaires and
billionaires were petrified that they
would be forced to pay their taxes
and public services would no
longer be up for sale.
Corbyn would have won if staff at the heart of the
Labour Party had not actively undermined him.
Paid Labour Party staff expressing disgust for the
elected leader of their party and hoping for a bad
election result and undermining the effectiveness
of the campaign wherever possible is what the
right wing did with gusto. And - after the close
call of the 2017 general election - the powerful
and rich who make up the British Establishment
and mainstream media declared war on Corbyn
from every angle, but specifically colluded to
weaponise the scourge of anti-Semitism and
throw every slur and empty accusation
against Corbyn that was possible
After 2017 Close-Call Anti-Semitism
Was Weaponised Against Corbyn
An incredible narrative was created whereby a man that
had done more in his life to confront and combat racism
and anti-Semitism than anyone in British politics, was
cast as an anti-Semite. It was bizarre, ridiculous, and
obscenely unfair and inaccurate but it was effective
in creating a wholly false perception. An inordinate
number of Labour anti-Semitism stories, headlines
and even documentaries were produced and by
2018 polls of Jewish voters indicated an
incredulous number believed the Labour
Party was anti-Semitic while the problem
in the Tories and Lib-Dems was perceived
to be minor.
Labour Became Huge Under Corbyn –
Over 500,000 Members
Jeremy Corbyn attracted hundreds of thousands of new
members to the Labour Party and transformed it into the
biggest membership party in Europe with well over
500,000 signed up to his brand of socialism. The
number of party members ever subjected to
accusations of anti-Semitic behaviour never
surpassed more than 300, so the anti-Semitic
‘problem’ in Labour amounted to 0.1% of its
membership at most but the coordinated
media led campaign aided and abetted
by Labour right wing MPs, created a
deeply warped and distorted picture
that almost 62% of party members
This was the result of a well-coordinated media
campaign led by the BBC to traduce the
character of Corbyn and the Labour
Party under him.
Feeding from the false narrative and whipped up
hysteria created by the media the Equality and
Human Rights Commission (ECHR) decided to
launch a formal investigation into claims of
anti-Semitism within Labour to establish if
they had breached the Equality Act 2010
and were guilty of acting unlawfully in
relation to anti-Semitic actions. This
decision was taken in May 2019 amid
the Brexit crisis and talk of an early
general election. The fact the ECHR
acted on the basis of complaints
from vehemently anti-Corbyn
organisations indicates just
how loaded the dice was
from the outset.
Anti-Semitism is Abhorrent --- but
Jeremy Corbyn is Not an Anti-Semite
All anti-Semitic behaviour and opinions should be
condemned and confronted unreservedly. Of that
there should be no doubt or debate. But the
accusations of anti-Semitism against the
Labour Party have been overstated and
used politically to undermine Labour
and Corbyn. Anti-Semitism is a problem
in society as a whole. An ugly repulsive
problem. But to suggest Labour has a
bigger problem than other parties or
that Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite
is patent nonsense and lies.
Unlike the Corbyn detractors, Labour’s 2020 ‘No
Place For Antisemitism’ Report provides hard
facts refuting media and ECHR allegations
that Labour under Corbyn did not address
The Labour Party expelled 45 members in relation to
antisemitism in 2019, compared to 10 in 2018 and
1 in 2017.
After rule changes passed at Conference in September
2019 gave NEC panels the power to expel, twice the
number of people were expelled in two months than
had been expelled during the whole of 2018.
NEC Disciplinary Panels heard 274 cases relating to
antisemitism in 2019, a tenfold increase on the 28
cases heard in 2017.
In 2019, 149 members were removed from the party as
a result of disciplinary processes relating to anti-
semitism, either being expelled or quitting the
party as proceedings progressed.
The Labour Party suspended 296 members in relation to
antisemitism in 2019, compared to 98 in 2018 – itself a
big increase on the previous year”.
Once you have read the facts contained in this Report and
considered that the lengthy ECHR Report which took
almost 18 months to compile concludes that Labour
is guilty of “unlawful acts of indirect discrimination
and harassment for which the Labour Party is
responsible” based on the conduct of TWO
Labour Party members, Ken Livingston and
a Councillor called Pam Bromley, you can
reasonably conclude that when Corbyn
said the allegations of anti-Semitism
against Labour were “overstated”
he was stating a fact.
Corbyn was a clear and present danger to the rich and
powerful British Establishment and his sympathy with
the Palestinian people and willingness to call out
Israel’s human rights abuses made him dangerous
on an international plain also. America and Israel
could not tolerate a pro-Palestinian British Prime
Minister. The anti-Semitism campaign was a
conscious and dishonest scheme to under-
mine his electoral credibility and the BBC
played a blinder in promoting the lie at
every available opportunity.
A New Trade Union Supported
Socialist Party is Now Urgent
The suspension of Jeremy Corbyn from Labour is an
attack on him and every single socialist still in that
party. Jeremy is now suffering the consequences
of being popular on the one hand but being far
too pliable on the other. The day Jeremy stood
back & allowed socialists like Chris Williamson
to be suspended was the day he succumbed to
the right-wing bullies within the Labour Party
hierarchy. Chris was a loyal lieutenant of
Corbyn. A very capable and popular
crusader for socialism.
When the right wing went after him with the anti-Semitism slur
Jeremy should have resisted and stood with Chris. Instead he
sought to avoid an internal battle and that was his ultimate
undoing. Jeremy had the backing of the members but not
the comfortable and right-wing bureaucracy who used
their influence to stifle Corbyn and undermine his
2017 election campaign.
The new Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is determined to turn
the party back into a Tory second eleven like in the red Tory
Tony Blair days.
The challenge to other socialist Labour MPs and the trade union
leaders who support socialist policies which will actually
improve the lives of their members is clear. If you can’t
fight for the former leader of your party who raised the
hopes of millions & came so close in 2017 to winning,
then you are not worthy of the description of socialist.
The time has come for a party of workers that promotes
socialism with guile, enthusiasm, and pride. Instead of
funding Starmer’s Tory Party Mark II, the trade union
movement should fund a real socialist party ---
committed to changing the lives of millions
for the better.
The suspension of Corbyn must be the crossing of the Rubicon
for the socialist and trade union movement. Labour is already
irrelevant in Scotland. It will become irrelevant in England
as well soon. The time for a new force backed with trade
union organisation and resources, is now.
Police chief mocked after declaring British ‘civic duty’
is snitching on neighbours who violate Covid-19 rules
(RT updated October 30th, 2020)
A UK Chief constable has been deluged with mockery
and Hitler memes, after arguing it’s every resident’s
duty to turn in neighbours and local businesses for
breaking lockdown rules and complaining about
how British culture reviles snitches.
UK residents who report their neighbours and local
businesses to the police for violating the country’s
increasingly stringent Covid-19 control measures
are just doing their “civic duty” and should be
praised, not ostracized, Merseyside chief
constable Andy Cooke told the Daily Mail on Wednesday.
“People are doing a civic duty in contacting us for the
right reasons,” he stated, insisting “the vast majority
of people across the country are really concerned
about this” and “any information that you can give
us, in relation to breaches, will save lives, and that’s why people are [reporting to the police].”
Lamenting that the practice of turning one’s neighbour in
to the authorities for minor infractions wasn’t more widely
accepted among respectable Brits, Cooke blamed a
“sneering culture” for placing rats at the bottom of
the social hierarchy.
His remarks weren’t received well on social media, where
users were quick to pull out the Nazi pics & Orwell quotes.
“This is what Hitler and Stalin demanded
of their people,” one user pointed out.
Others suggested the cops focus on fighting real crime.
Merseyside saw a 6.3 percent increase in violent crime
over the past year, according to statistics released
A few played along, tweeting that they could “hear voices
of people having fun and not living in fear” and “even
saw two people hugging, no face masks they were
Several suggested the strategy of enlisting civilians to police their neighbours would backfire, both by
destroying trust in the police and by creating
suspicion in communities.
Cooke’s paean to the common snitch came on the heels
of similar comments by West Midlands Police and Crime
Commissioner David Jamieson, who said in a Tuesday
interview that police would not hesitate to break up
Christmas and other holiday celebrations if they
“flagrantly” violated the government’s rules
National Police Chiefs Council chair Martin Hewitt also promised
“quicker enforcement” of “blatant” rule violations earlier this
week, urging members of the public to report “egregious
breaches” - like pubs being open past the 10pm cutoff -
that “put everybody at risk.” As of Wednesday, the
NPCC had issued 20,223 fines for violations of the
Covid-19 restrictions, including 980 spot tickets
for breaking lockdown.
Unlike Jamieson, however, Hewitt declined to speculate
on whether his officers would be breaking up Christmas
parties, instead merely urging the public to take heed
of the rules in whatever part of the country they
opted to spend the holiday.
Despite a steep fall in the number of deaths with Covid-19
from the pandemic’s peak earlier this year, the UK has
introduced a strict three-tier lockdown nationwide,
barring people from congregating in groups larger
than six and prohibiting home visits.
COVID19 in the UK the story so far... please see our Health page.
United Nations Universal Declaration on Bioethics and
Human Rights, Article 6 - Consent: Any preventive,
diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention
is only to be carried out with the prior, free and
informed consent of the person concerned.
Article 3 - Human dignity and human rights:
The interests and the welfare of the
individual should have priority over
the sole interest of science
ROGER WATERS TO MUSICIANS:- "BOYCOTT ISRAEL"
Roger Waters formerly of Pink Floyd, in an open letter, calls on his fellow musicians to boycott the Zionist Israeli regime and follow the example of the cultural boycott against the ex South African Apartheid regime.
“Given the inability or unwillingness of our governments [to act] …. I write to you now, my brothers and sisters … to ask you to join with me, and thousands of other artists around the world, to declare a cultural boycott on Israel,” Roger Waters says in his letter.
Waters says the Zionist regime has been found guilty of major breaches of human rights and international law by international organizations, UN officials and the International Court of Justice.
He touches on two such cases, saying the regime has been identified as perpetrating the “crime of Apartheid”, including in a statement on March 9th, 2012 by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and the “crime of ethnic cleansing” including in East Jerusalem (al-Quds).
Waters adds that he has been a member of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against the Israeli regime’s occupation of the Palestinian lands and Tel Aviv’s violations of Palestinian human rights for 7 years, and now wants other musicians to also join the anti-Israeli front.
“Please join me and all our brothers and sisters in global civil society in proclaiming our rejection of Apartheid in Israel & occupied Palestine, by pledging not to perform or exhibit in Israel or accept any award or funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.”
The former Pink Floyd Musician also says he has recently faced a boycott by the US media after his November 29th, 2012 address at the UN on behalf of the Russell Tribunal.
In the address, he sought accountability for the Zionist regime’s violations of the international law and the lack of United Nations resolve that prevents the Palestinian people from achieving their inalienable rights, especially the right of self-determination.
AT THE FACTORY
browse venues in Wales
Cash tickets from:
The Factory, Porth Instrumental Music, Penygraig Spillers Records, Cardiff
Indulge in a delicious cake and a cup of tea while enjoying music and sing-along songs from fantastic Welsh musicians.
The Cultural Services Booking & Information Line:
08000 147 111 or book online at
Mid Rhondda Modelling Club...
7pm - 9pm
Tonyrefail Comprehensive School Mid Rhondda Modelling Club
has been running for over 30 years.
We meet on a regular basis
& enjoy making models for display.
We encourage both Gentlemen
and Ladies to attend, and also young people aged 12+.
However, Young people under 16, must be accompanied by an adult.
£1 contribution every week. Under 16's free
Telephone Mr. Davies on 01443 686658
Comedy In The Laughter Lounge
The Park & Dare Theatre, Treorchy.
COMEDY IN THE LAUGHTER LOUNGE
Join us once a month in the intimate setting of the Laughter Lounge for some top notch comedy with some of the biggest and brightest rising comedians on the circuit.
Laugh? You'll snort like a pig!
Hilarious - TimeOut.
Cash Spent On Privatising NHS ‘Doubled’
Friday 13th January 2017 by Lamiat Sabin
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has revealed how the huge amount of cash spent on privatising parts of the NHS has more than doubled under the Tories.
Mr Corbyn said: “The Conservatives are privatising our NHS by stealth, despite the repeated failures and costs of private provision.
“It saddles us with an expensive and unnecessary internal market. It puts tax avoidance, not patient care, at the heart of its management. It also promotes excessive boardroom pay and grotesque inequality.
“Health privateers are earning huge sums at taxpayers’ expense, yet health workers are faced with a pay freeze.
“When health services are privatised, the brakes come off the pay - of the executives in charge.”
Health Emergency campaign director, John Lister, told the Star that it was “bizarre” how local clinical commissioning groups choose to divert cash into private companies, when investment needs to stay within the NHS.
He added: “Companies only want to pick up profitable services such as elective care and are not interested in taking the load off under-pressure departments such as A&Es.
“Despite the financial freeze, none of these firms are making much money -- because the margins are small. It’s a pointless fracturing of the NHS. The Health and Social Care Act 2012 was brought in by the Tories to facilitate this.”
Mr Corbyn says his new proposal would require that no public-sector department or government contracted firm, could pay top executives over 20 times the salary of the lowest-paid worker.
Patients and health workers are denied quality of care and sufficient resources -- because the pay of bosses in the sector skyrockets. He said that the policy “will apply to the private health companies who bid for NHS contracts and pay their top executives indefensible & sometimes obscene amounts.
“Shrinking the widening pay gap in health will aid Labour’s plans to end health privatisation and bring services into a secure, publicly provided NHS.”
(source - Morning Star)
________________________________ How to select or reselect your MP
New edition by Dave Osland. £4 from left-wing bookshops, or Five Leaves Bookshop, Notts.
Post free to mail order customers via 0115 8373097 or via PayPal on firstname.lastname@example.org
Rhondda Records exists to express the Rhondda's vision --- when it was confident, powerful, caring, and socialist.
A Rhondda very aware of the media's poisonous tricks -- how they con working class people into attacking each other, or racial groups, or, often, even their best allies and friends... instead of seeing their real enemies:--- an elite who hate the very idea that working people can think, create, or achieve a fairer society.
Thatcher said her proudest achievement was Blair and New Labour - who parachuted in careerists and expenses fiddlers - to stop local Labour members having a say, and who made genuine socialist MPs leave the Labour party in disgust and many members and voters to despair... and the young to stop voting.
Jeremy Corbyn was always attacked because he was trying to reverse all that New Labour corruption --- that's why membership was flooding in all over the UK - watch this video in Kilburn, London: don't believe the dripping poison of the media and the corrupt MPs -- and understand Jeremy's role !
John McDonnell revisits his childhood home
In a speech to a fringe event by 'Labour Friends of Israel' member, the Party's deputy leader , Tom Watson, peddled full-on Russophobia.
Conjuring up images of the Nazis invading the Low Countries, Watson said Britain was facing a “Blitzkrieg for the digital age”, from Russia, and called for a US-style inquiry into alleged Russian interference in UK democracy.
Watson's hypocrisy when it comes to foreign powers intervening in UK politics, is truly off the scale. He has no problem, it seems, with proven Israeli interference (documented in the al Jazeera documentary, ‘The Lobby'), saying he's “proud to defend Israel” - but is paranoid about unproven Russian interference.
(Source - longer article by Neil Clark, in RT https://www.rt.com/op-ed/439492-uk- labour-party-conference-corbyn/ )
It’s obvious why Labour’s new
general secretary Jennie Formby, frightens the right-wing press March 22nd, 2018 Karl Rogers Analysis, UK Spread the word: Facebook Twitter
On 20 March, the Labour Party appointed Jennie Formby as its new general secretary. The right-wing press immediately attacked her appointment.
Ignoring her formidable record as a union organiser and work in the NEC, Formby has been represented as Jeremy Corbyn’s puppet - and as evidence of his “hard-left” seizure of the Labour Party machine. But it’s obvious why the press barons are running scared.
Media red scaremongering
Formby barely had time to update her Linkedin profile and Twitter feed... before the right-wing press came gunning for her. Predictably, the billionaire-owned propaganda machine, spun the news of her appointment, as a sinister seizure of power by Corbyn & Unite leader Len McCluskey.
The Telegraph ran the headline: Corbyn and McCluskey tighten grip on Labour party as ally Jennie Formby appointed party’s new general secretary. The Express went with: Corbyn cements grip on Labour as hard-left union boss Formby named general secretary. The Sun also framed the appointment as an imposed “hard-left” takeover of the Labour Party. And The Times declared “moderates are no longer welcome” in the Labour Party.
Heather Stewart, political editor of The Guardian, termed the appointment a “coronation” and declared it the culmination of Corbyn’s “two-year battle” to gain “complete control of the party machine”.
She has been a member of the Labour Party for 40 years.
She was regional officer in the UK’s largest trade union – Unite – for 17 years. In 2004, she became the national officer for Unite’s Food, Drink, and Tobacco Sector.
Between 2013 and 2016, she was political director of Unite, before becoming the southeast regional secretary. She has been on the NEC for seven years.
In other words, her appointment to general secretary of the Labour Party, is the result of her experience and abilities as a trade union organiser.
As Corbyn said, when he congratulated Formby:
''Her talent, experience and commitment to the Labour and Trade Union movement, makes me confident shewill play a crucial role in building on last year’s inspiring General Election advance and taking our party forward to victory.''
Her predecessor, Iain McNicol, said:
''As someone who has dedicated her life to fighting for workers’ rights, equality and social justice, I know Jennie will put all the commitment, drive and organising talent, into getting Labour into government and Jeremy into Number 10.''
The press is scared of Formby...... because she will be good at her job.
Jewish Labour Movement Chair & exec block call for investigation into Israeli interference 5th of February 2017 by Mike Sivier
This is deeply disturbing information from the Skwawkbox. Read:
Riverside Labour MP Louise Ellman is Chair of the JLM (Jewish Labour Movement) and vice-Chair of Labour Friends of Israel (LFI). The former organisation is highly controversial because of its affiliation with the openly pro-apartheid Israeli Labour Party ‘Havoda’ and the latter as it was specifically mentioned by the Israeli embassy operative filmed by an undercover Al Jazeera reporter, in connection with his actions: in setting up pro-Israeli groups inside the Labour party.
Supporters of both groups have been prominent in the discredited, but persisting, antisemitism smear against the national party.
And it appears that Ms Ellman and her allies in Riverside CLP – in spite of the obvious conflict of interest – have no intention of allowing members to add their voices to the calls for a full Labour investigation into the infiltration of the party by a foreign government.
Source: JLM Chair and exec block CLP call for investigation into Israeli interference:
Time For Labour To Go On The Attack by John McDonnell
February 3rd 2017
Anybody who thought electing a socialist leader of the Labour Party would be an easy ride, now knows that was never going to be the case.
Winning an internal party election for leadership was the relatively easy part. The coup was also totally predictable and could be planned for. Therefore the second leadership election was arduous, but with determination and hard work, was eminently winnable.
We have now reached the toughest period so far. The euphoria of winning a greater mandate in the second leadership election, despite every trick in the bureaucratic textbook used against us, has given way to a serious appreciation of the challenge we now face.
The character of our politics is to be straightforward & honest with people. So let’s be straight about this. This is the toughest of times we have experienced so far and it is not only also absolutely predictable and understandable but also something we can completely deal with.
It does mean though that we need to understand fully what we are up against and what we have to deal with.
We are currently facing exactly what we predicted but many didn’t fully appreciate. The full forces of the Establishment are being thrown against us.
In no way will the elite Establishment tolerate the popular election of a socialist leader, without a bitter fight.
One of the key fundamental problems we face, is not a lack of political analysis, policies, direction, courage, determination or leadership.
It is the critical question of how we can communicate a narrative about our objectives and policies in a way that can cut through the bilious, cynical distortion of every aspect of the traditional media.
Any criticism of media bias by the left is always distorted as whining.
The various independent reports have proved conclusively that we are witnessing a level of media bias that certainly most, have never seen on this scale before.
The evidence demonstrates that it ranges from the Sun and the Mail to the Guardian and the BBC.
This daily grinding out of distortion and attack can undoubtedly have its effect on our standing in the polls - and in turn - on the morale of some of our supporters, who are not always close to the action and may not be experienced in past trade union or political campaigns.
So we need to explain both what we are up against, and how we can overcome this.
This is the time for determination in the face of whatever they throw against us. The best form of defence is attack.
Politically, that means using the one resource that we have, which the other side doesn’t. It’s true that we are the many, they are the few.
Mobilising our large base of support in the Labour Party, the trade unions, progressive campaigns and the wider community, is the way to win.
How we do that is the key to our success. First, it means ensuring that our supporters and potential supporters have the opportunity to engage in the exploration, discussion, debate & determination of political analysis and policymaking.
That’s why we're going on the stomp around the country, with a series of regional and national economic conferences to develop our economic thinking and planning, from the grassroots up.
Similar exercises are planned in several other policy areas, including how we can decarbonise our economy, based upon local initiatives, facilitated by creative national policymaking.
New creative initiatives to enable large-scale involvement in digital democracy will facilitate and energise the discussion of politics and policy in and beyond our party.
Second, it means mobilising around consistent campaigning --- setting up, or using, existing structures to co-ordinate our campaigning at local and national levels.
People are becoming increasingly angry at the Tories’ attacks on our public services and more workers are willing to take action to protect their jobs and their living standards.
We need to lead in mobilising support and solidarity with these campaigns. It will require the increasingly effective use of social media to communicate ideas and to assist mobilisation.
Third, it also means gearing up and training our members to give them confidence & motivation to access the party’s structures and engage in the vital routine work that is needed to ensure the political direction of the party and deliver the votes that we need in elections over the coming years.
The message therefore, is that the times may be tough and may get tougher — but it is the mobilisation of our committed, inspired and enthusiastic members, that will see us through to success.
John McDonnell is shadow chancellor of the exchequer. This article first appeared on Labour Briefing:
REVEALED: NUS official colluded with Israeli embassy to oust student leader Middle East Eye 11/Jan/2017 by Mike Sivier of Vox Political
The worms are coming out of the woodwork now.
Shall we pencil in the Union of Jewish Students as one of Shai Masot’s “front” organisations for the Israeli government?
A senior official from the UK’s National Union of Students, has been covertly filmed conspiring --- to oust the NUS president Malia Bouattia as part of a sting involving the Israeli embassy.
An undercover Al-Jazeera reporter – known only as Robin – posed as a political activist with links to the now disgraced Israeli diplomat Shai Masot - to investigate the influence the Israeli embassy exerts on British politics.
“Robin” is heard discussing how to oust Ms Bouattia from her position as NUS president with NUS Vice President Richard Brooks --- after Masot introduces him as the Chair of the Young Labour Friends of Israel.
RIGHTING THE McNicol INJUSTICES
Ms Walker, a lifelong anti-racist campaigner and socialist, was suspended from the Labour Party in May, amidst allegations of anti-Semitism. She was reinstated but has been suspended again, after apparently being “set up” at a training event organised by the Jewish Labour Movement during the party’s national conference in September.
She writes: “I was suspended from the Labour Party in May of this year, amidst what appears to have been a breach of Data Protection law, by Iain McNicol, as General Secretary of the Labour Party.
“I was suspended for the alleged (subsequently cleared) charge of antisemitism. As a Jewish person, whose partner is Jewish, this was heart-breaking.
“Since May I have continued to be targeted by the media, in print, online and in other places.
“Currently I am suspended for questions asked at a training session on ‘Confronting Antisemitism & Engaging Jewish Voters’ at this year’s Labour Conference, after being unethically filmed by a Jewish Labour Movement campaigns officer who is also a Labour councillor. It seems this training was not a ‘safe space for all Jews’ by any means.
“As soon as the first article was released before my notification had even arrived, trolls circled for the kill, posting spooky blacked up faces (and worse) to my Facebook account. The community & national newspapers led the attacks, querying my Jewish identity (a racist move in itself), my work as an anti-racist activist and my political commitment.
“When my suspension was lifted, things got worse. Indignation at my alleged breach reached the heights of irony, when Nigel Farage, anxious not to miss out on the fun being had by among others, the Spectator, a number of Labour MPs and officers of the Party... dedicated an article in Breitbart, and a good dose of righteous indignation on national TV, to publicly calling me out as a racist.
“The widespread hate campaign against me, led to public abuse, strangers shouting ‘racist’ as I walked to the tube. With the murderous racist political discourse now taking the place of debate, I became conscious I was recognisable on the street.
“My story is just one of many where Labour members have found themselves in a similar position. While this may not be the only case where a breach has occurred, as I was abroad at the time, it may well be the most provable.
“We invite anybody who has a personal interest in this case, or the wider public, to contribute.”
Solicitor Martin Howe, representing Ms Walker, added: “Jackie Walker has faced a barrage of hurtful, threatening & nasty abuse since the private details of her investigation by the Labour Party over alleged anti-Semitism was leaked to the press before she even knew of her suspension by the Party.
“This apparent breach of her private data has had a devastating impact on her public and private well-being and has led directly to her being pre-judged & unfairly cast as a racist -- before she was given any opportunity to tell her side of the story.
“Data Protection laws are there to protect all of us and any breach is a very serious matter.”
If you would like to contribute to her fund, details are on the web page.
Source: CrowdJustice – Crowdfund public interest law
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!
– If you feel you’ve been ‘purged’, take this online survey:
“Any member who is suspended & intends to appeal the decision should throw in a ‘Subject Access Request in accordance with the Data Protection Act’ --- for ALL data that the Labour Party hold on them.
The Labour Party are Data Controllers and therefore have to, by law, provide you with all material/information they hold on you.”
If anyone is in contact with anyone who was barred from voting --- please can you pass this info on:
The Labour leadership election was under the jurisdiction of the electoral reform services.
If you were unfairly deprived of your vote you can call them on 0208 365 8909 and lodge your complaint, and inform them of your Data Protection request.
The notification letters barring new members did not give a clear reason, or information on how to appeal, so Vox Political suggests that anyone in this situation, could also contact Liz Davies here: http://www.whycantivote.com
She is a barrister --- who can advise members on what to do.
Saving Labour? The secretive battle to oust Jeremy Corbyn – BBC News Reg Race is a 'co-ordinator' of the group campaigning against Jeremy Corbyn.
At least, that's what a report ‘Saving Labour’ by the BBC’s Ross Hawkins, has concluded.
Reg Race is said to be co-ordinating a project to collect information on Labour members who are willing to attack Jeremy & his supporters... but that doesn't mean he is the one behind it, as no such information is available.
Meanwhile, the organisation has been collecting data on people sympathetic to its cause – which may be used for ''other purposes'' after the leadership election, we are told.
If these people admitted who they were and what they're doing, perhaps their behaviour might be more acceptable – but they won’t.
Supporting MPs, donors, and trade unionists, are all staying anonymous for the time being.
One wonders how these people would react if it was revealed that there was a secretive co- ordinating hub of Corbyn supporters, working to spread their influence across the UK.
Reg claimed Saving Labour recruited over 120,000 registered supporters & affiliated union members to vote anti Mr Corbyn, using online advertising.
The group, he says, has amassed details of 60,000 people on its own database, in just two months. There are plenty of numbers, but virtually no names.
In his first broadcast interview, he told Radio 4’s Today programme, he has the support of trade unionists - but will not say which ones.
Nor will he name MPs or donors; those will be published by the Electoral Commission, in the fullness of time, he says.
Why the secrecy?
“There’s a group of us and lots of us don’t want to be out there in terms of the media, because they are in relatively vulnerable positions,” he says.
“Data's absolutely crucial in these races,” says Tom Flynn, Saving Labour’s full-time digital campaigner. “This was set up as a way of trying to get good data on those Labour people who would like a change of leadership.”
That data – contact details of sympathisers who have a vote in Labour contests, could have an interesting future.
A Saving Labour supporter, Graham Jones MP suggests it may even play a part in trying to get rid of Unite’s general secretary, Len McCluskey.
The data, the money, and the intent of those trying to wrestle back control of the Labour Party from Mr Corbyn, will not expire, now the win for Jeremy has been declared.
They failed this year, but they will try again.
It will have to provide a list of its supporters & funders to the electoral commission, now the leadership election is over, and must provide its first 3 monthly accounts and audits.
For a company that is supposedly all about “savinglabour” it is trying very hard to hide who is behind it.
Momentum, by the way, had to have its books audited early after a complaint "was raised".
Reply bladeofgrassuk on September 3, 2016 at 2:49 pm
This is a survey that they have sent out to all their supporters. They are hoping to set up local anti-deselection groups nationwide. https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/53G2PLD
The goal of the groups will be to protect MPs parachuted into “safe” Labour seats, from being democratically removed from office for their role in the right-wing coup.
It is worth mentioning that these groups have managed to avoid appointing a Data Controller under the Data Protection Act, and so are not subject to the DPA of 1998.
Reg Race? Could this be the same one?
‘Reg Race, the former Labour MP and close ally of socialist firebrands Tony Benn & Ken Livingstone, has been paid millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money as a result of regulations brought in by New Labour ministers. The union man-turned- consultant has also become a substantial Labour Party donor and is one of the biggest backers of Alan Johnson’s bid for the party’s deputy leadership.
Mr Race’s company, Quality Health, is one of a select band of “approved contractors” that health trusts must hire to conduct patient and staff surveys.’
Jeremy Corbyn was torn to pieces over not wanting to go to war if a NATO member was attacked (by Russia, the question implied).
There seems to be a mistaken idea that preferring negotiations and a peaceful approach to international relations, to a kneejerk war which could so easily go nuclear - leading to the end of life on this planet - can be compared to Chamberlain's appeasement before World War 2.
Yet the NATO treaty itself, is not, as some Tories have tried to make out, a simple case of rushing to war, if one of NATO's states are hit.
Article 5 of the Washington Treaty envisions the support of other NATO members, in the case of external aggression, it's true, but...
The response measures are left at the discretion of member states --- it can be a mere diplomatic note of support - without providing any real aid.
A DREAM COME TRUE
Support for Jeremy Corbyn from Tyrone O’Sullivan, a fourth-generation south Wales miner, who led a workers’ buy-out of Tower Colliery, to save it from closure.
"I’ve been close to Jeremy since the miners’ strike. Knowing the man, knowing his abilities and his education, it was a dream come true for me when he became leader. His ideas and values are more necessary, here in south Wales, than probably anywhere else in the country. He wants victory for Labour, but only under our terms - for a change."
O’Sullivan, a lifelong Labour member, says Jeremy is the only true socialist, Labour have had as leader, ''for 20 or 30 years''. ************************************** CHILCOT REPORT: SOME MAIN POINTS:
1) "Military action was not a last resort".
2) UK government "undermined the authority" of the UN security council.
3) Weapons of Mass Destruction presented "with a certainty that was not justified".
4) UK forces were "ill-prepared".
5a) "The government failed to achieve its stated objectives."
5b) Post-war planning: Blair "should have known what might happen".
6) Chilcot says Blair also "overlooked the threat the invasion would pose to Britain."
Blair to Face Law
The former prime minister has been put on notice by families of dead servicemen, that he will face legal action, for his part in the illegal Iraq war.
They are being crowd-funded now, and have raised so much money, that Blair is probably heading for a big fall...
Shadow Commons leader Paul Flynn: the Iraq Inquiry's findings are an "utter condemnation" of his terrible decision --- and his prosecution should now be given "serious consideration".
Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond: "I would like to see Blair investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC), for the crime of a war of aggression, and face parliamentary action to stop him holding public office ever again."
A former British ambassador to the UN: "The UK was pushed into entering this military action, too early."
Stop the War Coalition Convener Ms German: “This is an incredibly damning report for Tony Blair. It will not call for legal sanctions, but it says that Blair is culpable for the war, in many ways.
“He needs to be driven out of public life. He is still part of the Labour Party. We need to make sure that truth & justice prevails. There must be legal action against Blair, & he should no longer be considered fit for any office.”
CND general secretary Kate Hudson: “The report shows that Tony Blair had no respect for cabinet procedure, no respect for Parliament, & no respect for international law.
“Chilcot reveals the evidence that must now be used to bring Tony Blair to justice. This is our demand. Only when justice is served, can we prevent disasters like the Iraq war from ever happening again.”
Iraqi journalist Juma al-Quraishi: "Everyone who took part in the war against Iraq should be condemned, either Britain, or others."
Baghdad resident Ali al-Saraji: "Ex-UK prime minister, Tony Blair, destroyed our country. From 2003, to now, our country has been the scene of destruction, killing, massacres, explosions and sectarianism."
A defiant Blair refuses to accept accusations from service families that he was wrong and reckless, and he insists that he would make the decision again, 'come what may'.
Families of some of the 179 military personnel killed in Iraq, say the former PM is "a terrorist".
Jeremy Corbyn has offered an apology, on Labour's behalf, for the"stain on our party and our country".
Tony Blair: Guilty In The Eyes Of The Public August 1st by Steve Sweeney
Teflon Tony Blair escaped justice yet again yesterday - after High Court judges blocked a private prosecution against the former PM for war crimes over the invasion of Iraq.
Campaigners accused the Establishment of a “concerted and coordinated effort” to exonerate Mr Blair for his role in the Iraq war, in which one million people were killed.
Stop the War Coalition convener Lindsey German branded Mr Blair as “the most protected war criminal in the world.” However, she said: “In the court of public opinion he has long been found guilty.”
Iraqi General Abdul Wahed Shannan al-Rabbat had sought a private prosecution against Mr Blair, along with then foreign secretary Jack Straw and attorney general Lord Goldsmith.
He accused Mr Blair of committing a “crime of aggression” by invading Iraq in 2003 and his lawyers asked permission from the High Court to seek judicial review to get the Supreme Court to overturn a 2006 House of Lords ruling that there is no such crime under the law of England and Wales.
Gen al-Rabbat brought the case after Westminster magistrates refused to issue summonses in November last year claiming the trio had immunity from prosecution for decisions taken while in government.
However the appeal was dismissed yesterday by the Lord Chief Justice as having “no prospect” of succeeding.
But Michael Mansfield QC said that the findings of the Chilcot Report justified the prosecution of Mr Blair.
He said that the inquiry showed Saddam Hussein did not pose an urgent threat to British interests and that the intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction had been presented with “unwarranted certainty.”
The QC said that as the international crime of a war of aggression had been accepted at the time of the Nuremberg trials of nazi war crimes, it was the duty of British courts to follow the example and prosecute those responsible for the Iraq war.
The Nuremberg judges had said that war “is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world.
“To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament general secretary Kate Hudson branded the decision as “hugely disappointing” and said that “justice had been left undone.”
She said: “Last year’s Chilcot report showed that Blair had no respect for Cabinet procedure, no respect for Parliament and no respect for international law.
“Iraq was devastated by the war Blair led Britain into, millions of innocent Iraqis were killed, British soldiers were killed and terrorism has spread across the Middle East.
“Chilcot revealed the evidence that must now be used to bring Blair to justice. Only when justice is served can we prevent disasters like the Iraq war from happening again.” (Source - Morning Star)
PONCY LABOUR MPS PROBLEM?
A huge drop in working-class Labour MPs, caused a massive drop in support among voters with similar backgrounds, reveals research seeking to explain why support has dwindled in the party’s heartlands.
The study says past leaders like Kinnock and Blair made a concerted effort to pick “more and more middle-class candidates to run for office, during the 80s and 90s, as part of an effort to rebrand” -- which had initial successes at the ballot box.
But this “conscious electoral strategy” stored up problems, as working-class voters who initially, just didn’t vote in response, now seek an alternative.
The solution?Trust each constituency to put forward its own candidates, and don't impose ‘party-approved’ choices who can't do the job.
Now, unfortunately, there are "entryist" MPs who, for decades, have been groomed by CIA cold war relic organisations -- like the Atlantic Council -- and are now trying to misdirect the Labour Party towards cuts, a militarised police, and a US war agenda... - and their anti-Corbyn slant is hobbling Labour.
‘How Can I Deselect My Labour MP?’ A Short Guide to Reselection and Democratic Accountability by Eric Sim, excellent free advice here:
http://novaramedia.com/2016/07/13/how-can-i- deselect-my-labour-mp-a-short-guide-to- reselection-and-democratic-accountability/ CHRIS BRYANT - SUPPORT THE MEMBERS' LEADERSHIP CHOICE & POLICIES - OR GO!
Chris Bryant, the Rhondda's dodgy MP, was on TV -- as soon as the PLP coup started -- telling us that Jeremy MUST go, because it was the ONLY way to act in the Labour Party's interest...
Chris Bryant's voting record: from TheyWorkForYou.com
On Tuition Fees:
On 27 Jan 2004: Chris Bryant voted in favour of university tuition fees increasing from £1,125 per year, to up to £3,000 per year.
On 31 Mar 2004: Chris Bryant voted to allow university tuition fees to increase from £1,125 per year, to up to £3,000 per year.
On 31 Mar 2004: Chris Bryant voted for the introduction of variable university tuition fees (top-up fees) of up to £3,000 per year in place of the previous fixed fee of £1,250 per year.
On 31 Mar 2004: Chris Bryant voted to allow university tuition fees to increase from £1,125 per year to up to £3,000 per year, and to make other changes to higher education funding and regulation arrangements.
On 14 Sep 2004: Chris Bryant voted against: the immediate abolition of all tuition fees, the re-introduction of maintenance grants of up to £2,000 for students from low-income homes, and changes to the country's higher education system.
On 14 Sep 2004: Chris Bryant voted to reject the Liberal Democrat policy of abolition of tuition fees.
On 25 May 2016: Chris Bryant was absent for a vote on Queen's Speech - Forcing Schools to Become Academies - Further Rises in University Tuition Fees
On Human Rights:
Consistently voted for introducing ID cards
Almost always voted for requiring the mass retention of information about communications
Generally voted for mass surveillance of people’s communications and activities
On the Environment:
Generally voted against greater regulation of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to extract shale gas
On Special Interests:
Almost always voted against limits on success fees paid to lawyers in no-win no fee cases
Generally voted against a statutory register of lobbyists
On War or Peace:
Generally voted for use of UK military forces in combat operations overseas
Consistently voted for the Iraq war
Consistently voted against an investigation into the Iraq war
Generally voted for replacing Trident with a new nuclear weapons system
On 2 Dec 2015: Voted to support UK airstrikes in Syria [without UN authorisation]
On 2 Dec 2015: Voted to support UK airstrikes in Syria [without UN authorisation]
Generally voted for more EU integration
Chris Bryant Labour MP From Wikipedia
(aka 1962-1986: Mr Christopher John Bryant 1986-1991: The Reverend Christopher John Bryant, 1991-2001: Mr Christopher John Bryant, 2001-: Mr Christopher John Bryant MP.)
Born in Cardiff, to a Scottish mother & a Welsh father, Bryant grew up in Cardiff, Wales (where his father worked for 5 years), and Cheltenham.
He was educated at Cheltenham College, an independent school for boys in the spa town of Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, where he was captain of the school swimming team, and Mansfield College at the University of Oxford, where he graduated in 1983, with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in English. This was later promoted to a Master of Arts degree (MA (Oxon)), as per tradition.
After completing his first degree, Bryant began training to be a priest in the Church of England at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, in Oxfordshire. There, he obtained a degree in theology.
Although a member of the Conservative Party, and an elected office-holder in the Oxford University Conservative Association, he joined the Labour Party in 1986, after leaving Oxford.
He was ordained deacon in 1986 and priest in 1987. He served as a Curate at the Church of All Saints, High Wycombe, from 1986 to 1989; then as a Youth Chaplain in Peterborough, as well as travelling in Latin America.
In 1991 Bryant left the ordained ministry, after deciding that being gay and being a priest, were incompatible. Statements made by Richard Harries, then Bishop of Oxford, also influenced his decision.
After leaving the priesthood in 1991, Bryant worked as the election agent to the Holborn and St Pancras Constituency Labour Party, where he helped Frank Dobson hold his seat in the 1992 general election.
From 1993, he was Local Government officer for the Labour Party; he lived in Hackney and was elected to Hackney Borough Council in 1993, serving until 1998. He became Chair of the Christian Socialist Movement.
He is both a member of the Labour Friends of Israel and Labour Friends of Palestine & the Middle East. From 1994 to 1996 he was London manager of the leader-grooming "charity", Common Purpose.
He was Labour candidate for Wycombe, in the 1997 general election (he lost by 2,370 votes), and Head of European Affairs for the BBC, from 1998.
His selection for the very safe Labour seat of Rhondda, South Wales in 2000, shocked many people given Bryant's background – gay, an ex- Anglican vicar, and someone who was a Tory, while studying at Oxford, and a member now, of the Henry Jackson Society 'think tank' --- described by The Guardian newspaper as 'neoconservative'. It is pro-US, pro-NATO and pro-military intervention, as well as being fundamentally anti-socialist.
Fifty-two people applied for the candidature and a local councillor was hot favourite to win, before Bryant was parachuted in.
In 2004, a photograph of Mr Bryant in his underpants, which he had posted to a gay dating website, was published in 'papers.
When an interviewer suggested he was a 'disgrace to the Rhondda', he replied: "They can't get rid of me."
His pay, allowances and some expenses:
The basic annual salary for an MP, from April 1st, 2016 is £74,962. MPs also get expenses: to cover the costs of running an office, employing staff, having some- where to live in London, plus, in their constituency and travelling between Parliament and their constituency.
His MP's expenses story:
Chris Bryant changed second home twice to claim £20,000: the deputy leader of the House of Commons, "flipped" his second home twice, in 2 years, allowing him to claim almost £20,000 for renovations and fees.
Chris Bryant, MP for the Rhondda, split over £92,000 of expenses between 3 properties in Wales and London --- within five years.
In 2004, he attempted to claim £58,000 to overhaul his second home in Wales, after allegedly complaining that properties in his constituency were "terrace or mine owners' houses".
Mr Bryant, a former Church of England clergyman, wanted the money for a new bathroom & kitchen, and to demolish his conservatory. He'd bought the detached house for £97,500, under a year earlier.
He submitted a claim to the Commons fees office for £58,493.26 --- almost 3 times the annual maximum. He noted that the claim exceeded his allowance.
His alleged justification was disclosed... in correspondence between Commons officials. By email, an official wrote: "He had problems finding a suitable property because in the Rhondda there is a choice mainly of terraced property or mine owners' houses." When approached by the Daily Telegraph, Mr Bryant said: "I have never said or thought anything of the sort".
In all, he successfully claimed over £13,000 for renovations, repairs & appliances, in 2004. Along with other bills, his annual claim was £20,902.
In April 2005, he flipped his expenses to his flat in west London, which he bought for £400,000 in April 2002. He also claimed £630 a month for mortgage interest, along with other bills. After claiming over £3,600 over 3 months, he sold the flat in July 2005 for £477,000.
Mr Bryant used his profits to buy a more expensive flat in west London, which was valued at £670,000. He immediately flipped his second home expenses there, claiming almost £6,400 in stamp duty, legal fees and mortgage fees, incurred in the purchase.
He then began claiming interest of £1,000 a month on the mortgage. He also claimed a further £6,000 a year for the flat's service charge and ground rent.
In all, he claimed £92, 415 in second home expenses, from 2004 to 2009.
Mr Bryant said at the time: "I moved flat in London, so as to be closer to Parliament."
Research by Channel 4 News in 2015 found that at least 46 MPs had this kind of system in place – a move one Labour backbencher described as “a new fiddle”. Channel 4 reported then:
“Our investigation found that many of the MPs bought their London properties with the help of the taxpayer, when a previous expenses system allowed them to claim back mortgage payments. But when those claims were banned, following the expenses scandal, they switched to letting out their properties, in some cases for up to £3,000 a month. They then started claiming expenses for rent and hotels in the capital.”
Among those identified was Chris Bryant, shadow leader of the House of Commons. He had already bought a penthouse in London back in 2005 and claimed around £1,000 a month in mortgage claims under the old system.
But after the expenses scandal, he started renting the property out. It’s since been advertised by estate agents as having a private lift and a porter, with rent at about £3,000 a month. Meanwhile, Bryant moved into a new flat;- claiming his own rent on expenses.
Today, January 22nd, in 1845,
polymath playwright, novelist, poet, essayist and painter,
Johan August Strindberg was a prolific writer who often
drew directly on his personal experience, for example,
on his painfully unhappy childhood. Strindberg's
career spanned four decades, during which
time he wrote over sixty plays and over
thirty works of fiction, autobiography,
history, cultural analysis, and politics.
From his earliest work, he developed innovative
forms of dramatic action, language, and visual
composition. He is considered the "father"
of modern Swedish literature and his
The Red Room (1879) has frequently
been described as the first
modern Swedish novel.
In Sweden, Strindberg is known as an essayist,
painter, poet, and, especially, as a novelist and
playwright, yet in other countries, he's known
mostly, as a playwright.
Strindberg was also a telegrapher, theosophist, photographer
Painting and photography offered vehicles for his belief
that chance played a crucial part in the creative process.
“Life is not so idiotically mathematical that only
the big eat the small; it is just as common for a
bee to kill a lion or at least to drive it mad.”
“There are poisons that blind you,
and poisons that open your eyes.”
“It's wonderful how, the moment you talk about God
and love, your voice becomes hard, and your eyes
fill with hatred. No, Margret, you certainly haven't
the true faith.”
“We are already in Hell. It is the earth itself that is Hell,
the prison constructed for us by an intelligence
superior to our own, in which I could not take a
step without injuring the happiness of others,
and in which my fellow creatures could not
enjoy their own happiness without
causing me pain.”
“Everything can happen, everything is possible
and probable. Time and place do not exist; on
a significant basis of reality, the imagination
spins, weaving new patterns; a mixture of
memories, experiences, free fancies,
incongruities and improvisations.”
“The further from one another,
the nearer one can be.”
“if you are afraid of loneliness,
don't get married”
“Love between a man and woman is war.”
“Every moment of enjoyment
Brings to some one else a sorrow,
But your sorrow gladdens no one,
For from sorrow naught but sorrow springs.”
“And why does man weep when he is sad?
I asked at last - Because the glass in the
eyes must be washed now and then,
so that we can see clearly, said
“He saw the cause of his unhappiness in the family -
the family as a social institution, which does not
permit the child to become an independent
individual at the proper time.”
“I, too, am beginning to feel an immense need
to become a savage and create a new world.”
“For the whole of life consists of nothing but contradictions.
The rich are the poor in spirit; the many little men hold the
power, and the great only serve the little men. I've never
met such proud people as the humble; I've never met
an uneducated man who didn't believe himself in a
position to criticise learning and to do without it.”
“I am a socialist, a nihilist, a republican, anything that is anti-reactionary!... I want to turn everything upside down to see what lies beneath; I believe we are so webbed, so horribly regimented, that no spring- cleaning is possible, everything must be burned, blown to bits, and then we can start afresh...”
“One gets more and more humble the longer one lives,
and in the shadow of death many things look different.”
Figures released by The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that UK pensioners are 4th worst off.... out of all of the countries in the European Union.
UK: Almost 2,000 COVID-Related Attacks
on Emergency Services in Six Months
January 21st (FNA)
Almost 2,000 assaults on emergency workers were
prosecuted in the six months following the UK’s
first national lockdown, new figures showed.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the attacks,
often seeing police officers coughed and spat on, were
the most common coronavirus-related crime between
April 1 and September 30, The Independent reported.
The 1,688 offences also include incidents where officers
were kicked, bitten and hit with heavy objects --- after
stopping people suspected of breaking restrictions.
Max Hill QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said
the figures were “appalling” and that attacks were
still taking place.
“I will continue to do everything in my power to protect t
hose who so selflessly keep us safe during this crisis,”
he continued, adding, “We are also determined to see
wider criminality during lockdown periods reflected
in court, which is evident in the charges seen in
In one recent incident, a police officer believes he was
infected with COVID by a suspect who spat on him
while being arrested in Bournemouth on January 6.
The 47-year-old officer, who had been wearing a mask,
said he developed symptoms two days later and has
since tested positive for coronavirus.
“You can’t get control of somebody without necessarily
getting hands-on with them - especially when they are
not compliant, you have to contact them physically,”
“COVID has changed things … you have to enter into
that sort of zone of transmission. There is no way of
avoiding that. We can use all the PPE and hand
sanitiser in the world, ultimately, we are at
higher risk,” he noted.
The police officer stated he and his colleagues should
be “much nearer the front of the queue for vaccines”.
Another officer has been admitted to hospital after
policing an anti-lockdown protest in Bournemouth
earlier this month, Dorset Police stated, this week.
Senior police leaders have lobbied the government ---
for frontline officers to be prioritised when the vaccine
roll-out moves beyond the current 4 vulnerable groups.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation
(JCVI) has said it would consider exposure risk and
occupation in the next phase, and on Wednesday
Boris Johnson told MPs he wanted police,
emergency service workers and teachers
to be vaccinated “as soon as possible”.
The CPS recorded 6,469 offences flagged for a link to
coronavirus between April and September, involving
2,106 defendants. 90% of them were convicted.
The total included almost 1,200 prosecutions under the
Health Protection Regulations, which initially enforced
the national lockdown and have been adapted for
different levels of restrictions, local lockdowns,
mask wearing and other COVID laws.
The CPS added the cases included: a man caught
travelling illegally between different areas of Wales
to find a prostitute, and a Manchester man who
tried to claim attendees at a house party were
his support bubble.
Some of the lockdown charges were against people
prosecuted for other crimes, such as criminal
damage and public order offences, and were
breaking COVID laws at the same time.
Other coronavirus-flagged crimes were 480 public
order offences, 466 criminal damage incidents,
464 common assaults, & 2,234 other offences.
They included people threatening to “infect” victims
with coronavirus, the theft of essential items during
shortages early in the pandemic, and fraudsters
taking advantage of the crisis.
UK Now Has World's Highest
Daily Coronavirus Death Rate,
Oxford Research Reveals
by Oleg Burunov
Britain, which is now in the grip of a national
coronavirus lockdown, has Europe's highest
COVID-19 death toll that currently stands at
more than 90,000, according to Johns
Right now, the UK has the highest daily coronavirus
death rate in the world, figures collated by an
Oxford University research platform
According to Our World in Data, an average of 935
daily fatalities in the past week was the equivalent
of more than 16 people per one million dying each
day from COVID-19.
The figures were published after UK Prime Minister
Boris Johnson stressed that even though he
"completely" understands Britons want to
return to normal life as soon as possible,
"it does depend on things going well".
"It depends on the vaccination programme going well,
it depends on there being no new variants that throw
our plans out and we have to mitigate against, and it
depends on everybody, all of us, remembering that
we're not out of the woods yet", Johnson stressed.
The statement followed Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab
saying late last week that the government hopes to ease
some lockdown restrictions before the end of February
as London presses ahead with the early rollout of a
"What we want to do is get out of this national lockdown
as soon as possible. By early spring, hopefully by March,
we'll be in a position to make those decisions. I think it's
right to say we won't do it all in one big bang. As we
phase out the national lockdown, I think we'll end
up phasing through a [regional] tiered approach",
He spoke after Johnson called for vaccinating a total of
14 million people in the UK by mid-February. According
to the prime minister, they should include the oldest
age groups, as well as the clinically vulnerable and
The UK has been under a national coronavirus lockdown
since 5 January, restrictions that stipulate the closure of
schools and non-essential businesses, as well as people
being ordered to work from home if possible.
As of Monday, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Britain had
climbed to 3,443,350, with 90,031 fatalities, according
to the latest update from Johns Hopkins University.
Lets UK Keep Sending
The United Kingdom is facing a backlash from environmentalists over a post-Brexit "loophole" that allows it to ship plastic waste to developing countries --- in disregard of its previous pledges, The Guardian reported Tuesday.
From January 1, the European Union banned exports
of non-recyclable plastic waste to countries outside
the Organisation for Economic Co-operation
The UK, which left the EU’s single market and customs
union on December 31, will continue the practice,
despite Tory commitments that post-Brexit
regulations would not undermine
environmental standards, the
British newspaper said.
The country, which is the 2nd-biggest producer of plastic
waste after the United States, will now reportedly export
plastic waste, under a procedure of prior informed
consent, in accordance with which the importer
can agree or disagree to take in
Greenpeace political campaigner Sam Chetan-Welsh,
quoted by the newspaper, slammed the UK
government for creating a "loophole to allowthe dumpingofourplastic trash
in poorer countries, arguing that
"this is not leadership, it’s failing
Assange's Mother Calls UK Court's
Ruling Against Extradition to US
Julian Assange’s mother Christine said Monday’s decision by
a UK court to block her son’s extradition to the United States
was "the best news."
"Thank you #TeamAssange... Its not over till hes safely home
& all charges dropped, but today was the best news.. Its been
10 long traumatic years. I hope I will hold my son again soon...
like I did here in 2010", she tweeted.
Fidel Narvaez, a former Ecuadorean consul who knew Assange
from his time as a refugee at the Ecuadorean Embassy in
London, told the media outside the court that the ruling
was a "victory of all the people who never gave up."
"The British judicial system wanted to save face today, for those
who were inside listening to the judge it was like listening to the
prosecutors' statements to begin with. If it is not for the very,
very fragile health condition of Julian Assange, he would be
already extradited", he said.
He noted that the UK judicial system had upheld the political
arguments provided by the US, meaning that freedom of
expression was still under attack.
"The judge had to recognise… the oppressive conditions of
the US prison system and their special administrative measure
for espionage cases and the risk of Julian going for suicide if
he is extradited, that was the only things that stopped that",
The WikiLeaks founder and whistleblower is wanted in the US
on espionage charges after his website leaked thousands of
secret US cables on Iraqi and Afghan wars. The court denied
a US request to extradite him, over concerns for the 49-year
-old’s mental health.
Britain’s new plan to scrap gas boilers
to hit zero emissions target will plunge
MILLIONS into fuel poverty
by Damian Wilson
December 10th, 2020 (RT)
Damian Wilson is a UK journalist, ex-Fleet Street editor, financial
industry consultant and political communications special
advisor in the UK and EU.
UK climate change hardliners obsessed with eliminating carbon
emissions want gas boilers replaced by 2033. But how will
millions of Brits on the poverty line be able to pay for
expensive new heat pumps costing upwards of £12k?
The climate change lobby will be toasting today’s launch of a
whopping 1,000-page report detailing the UK’s pathway to
hitting its 2050 net-zero emissions target, but the release
does give rise to one unanswered question: who is
actually footing the bill to turn Britain into a
Because while the Climate Change Committee’s extensive graphs
and tables show an impressive shift from fossil fuels to cleaner
alternatives, all this comes at a price beyond the reach of many.
Launching his green industrial revolution last month, Prime Minister
Boris Johnson conjured up a new world of wind and nuclear energy
where everyone cooks their breakfast on a hydrogen-fuelled hob
and we all ride our bikes to work.
Now, the government has chosen one of the coldest days of the year
to announce that gas boilers, which currently heat 85 per cent of UK
homes, should be banned entirely in 13 years.
That would mean fitting new heat pumps, costing thousands of
pounds more than a gas boiler, in millions of homes across
The pumps are described as ‘reverse refrigerators’. Instead of making
the inside colder and the outside warmer, they do the opposite, even
when it’s freezing outside. Clever they might be, but they cost an
arm and a leg whichever option you choose: air source, ground
source or air-air.
According to Friends of the Earth, while the heat pumps are an efficient
way of providing heating, using around one unit of electricity to provide
three units of heat – reducing your greenhouse gas footprint by up to
60 percent – burnishing your green credentials comes at a price. The
most efficient and quietest alternative, a ground-source pump, comes
in at £23,000, according to estimates from the government’s
The cheapest air-source versions will set you back an eye-watering
£12,500, and like all the pumps, these sit outside the home and hum
away like a fridge in your garden.
While most people agree that carbon reduction is a good thing, even if
they don’t really understand what it’s all about, telling a single mother
working two jobs to keep a roof over her family’s head that she needs
to scrap her gas boiler for a much greener heat pump is an
No doubt there will be government grants, scrappage schemes and
magical financial whizzbangery to sell these devices, but for many,
the immediacy of finding dinner for tonight takes primacy over
any planet-saving crusade.
How does this blanket ban on gas boilers make any sense to people
who rely on a local food bank for the weekly shop or who have to
choose whether to eat or heat as winter starts to bite.
What the bods who sit on the CCC need to understand is that being
green in the UK is a middle-class luxury. It’s a lifestyle option for
those who can afford to make a choice and do so prompted by
the pages of the Sunday supplements or an influencer’s
account they follow on Instagram.
They can afford the green premium on their organic vegetable
delivery from a biofuel van, the hybrid Lexus in the driveway
or the sustainable glamping holiday in Cornwall.
Outside this middle-class utopia, around 20 percent of people in the
UK live in poverty. It’s a figure that shames us and we have been
stuck on it for some years, according to the Joseph Rowntree
Foundation. The government’s own statistics show that
around 10 percent of people live in fuel poverty,
meaning paying their fuel bills puts their
household income below the
These are not people looking to ditch their diesel- or petrol -chugging runabouts, worth a few hundred quid, for some-
thing powered by a lithium battery any time soon. Nor are
they planning to outlay upwards of £12k on a heat pump
while their gas boiler is working perfectly fine, just
because the government says they should.
They would love cheaper energy and a cleaner car that doesn’t
fail its MOT test each year thanks to its filthy exhaust emissions.
But it’s a question of priorities. Do they eat and stay warm or do
they join Greenpeace?
Let’s aim for the sky on zero emissions. Of course we want a cleaner,
greener world, but unless there is a parallel plan to tackle the endemic
poverty that has no place in 2020 Britain, then plans for the planet will
die on the vine as the essential public buy-in fails to materialise.
The government’s on-trend, Twitter-bite messaging is all very well, but
it doesn’t mean a thing to a single Hartlepool mum on the breadline
or the millions of others just like her.
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China eyes global anti-corruption
cooperation in COVID-19 response
December 9th, 2020 (Xinhua)
A senior Chinese official on Tuesday called for international anti-
corruption cooperation in the COVID-19 response to ensure that
anti-epidemic funds and materials are used for saving lives.
Yang Xiaodu, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist
Party of China's (CPC) Central Committee and Chairman of the
National Commission of Supervision, made the remarks when
attending a video conference on integrity in the COVID-19
response and economic recovery by the Belt and Road
Noting that global anti-corruption governance is facing new
challenges, Yang called on all relevant parties to jointly
combat cross-border business bribery, and create a
standardized and legalized business environment
under the principle of consultation and
cooperation for shared benefits.
Before the conference, Yang met Ghada Waly, the Executive
Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
(UNODC), exchanging views with her on global anti-
corruption governance and preparations for the
special session of UN General Assembly on
anti-corruption issues in 2021 via video link.
He said later that all parties should adhere to multilateralism,
support the authority of the UN in global anti-corruption
governance, and make due contributions to building
a better world with practical anti-corruption actions.
Representatives from 22 countries and international
organizations participated in the conference online.
UK wants to use literal army to fight
‘anti-vaccine propaganda’ online.
Are we in a budding totalitarian state?
By Lewis Olden, a London-based writer & entrepreneur
December 2nd, 2020 (RT)
With the impending rollout of a Covid-19 vaccine, a UK military cyber
unit has been tasked to crack down on “online propaganda against
vaccines.” Questioning something that will be injected into your
body is now deemed radical.
With the anti-lockdown narrative beginning to become more prominent
throughout the UK following the arrest of 150 people over the past
weekend, a clampdown on independent thought is looming. The
arrests were made because of anti-lockdown protests in
London, and the heavy-handed nature of dealing with
these protests is extraordinarily alarming.
Now the crackdown is moving online, where the gradual destruction
of free speech is becoming ever more blatant and cynical. The
Sunday Times reported that there is even a brazen operation
to suppress people’s fundamental right to express
The UK authorities intend on literally using military intelligence
brigades to manage the elimination of free speech. The primary
target of this military operation is what the Times calls “anti-vax
militants” and supposed propaganda content across the internet
and social media.
Info-warriors to battle stations
The unit that will be leading this operation are the renowned 77th
Brigade. The 77th Brigade has been mobilised to conduct
information warfare and was initially conceived to assist
in operations against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The
covert unit often works in cohesion with
psychological operations teams
within the army.
The 77th Brigade is a unit that combines the Army and Army
Reserves for the purpose of non-lethal warfare & behavioural
influence. The unit is currently based at Denison Barracks in
Berkshire. It bills itself as “an agent of change” that uses
“targeted information” activity and online outreach to
assist with military objectives.
The use of psychological operations to influence the narrative
across social media platforms to ensure that the general
conversation reflects the desired viewpoint is a powerful
tool. Throughout 2020 the 77th Brigade has been
coordinating with the Cabinet Office to counter
‘misinformation’ related to Covid-19.
It is interesting to note that the recently appointed Parliamentary
Under Secretary of State for Covid Vaccine Deployment, Nadhim
Zahawi, is the co-founder of YouGov. Targeting online polls is a
specific method of psychological impression, as when people
see their view is not the common understanding of reality,
they may begin to reassess their opinion on a
The interpretation of who is deemed to be an “anti-vaccine militant”
is subjective, and there is certainly a wide scope for the abuse of
such operations. Authorities have their own distorted idea of what
constitutes ‘propaganda’ – and the damning label can potentially
be slapped on anyone who dares to raise concerns about the
imminent vaccines that have been developed within an
Critiquing or even questioning any potential side effects or the
motives behind the vaccine could result in the abolition of
your name from the internet.
The irony of calling this an operation against “propaganda content”
must not be lost on those who are executing it. Such an operation
is an attempt to control free speech, it is an extraordinarily
dangerous precedent to set and the death of debate is a
very slippery slope. Sliding into a dictatorial state where
people cannot oppose the authorities’ actions or plans
leaves us all at risk of losing our fundamental human
right to freedom of speech.
Nefarious ‘state actors’ or legitimate concerns?
An elite force, that from conception has been trained to control minds,
is now being utilised against ‘state actors’ spreading ‘anti-vaccine
propaganda’. The Ministry of Defence claims the UK population
will not be targeted -- but we have all seen how easy it is for the
government to ascribe any dissent to malign foreign influence
-- thus devaluing any legitimate concerns of its citizens.
This is a terrifying example of UK authorities manifesting the totalitarian power that they believe they possess. The silencing of those who arelegitimately sceptical about the circumstances in which a vaccine has
been produced are being denied the right to voice their fears.
No matter how mad a conspiracy theory or how deluded an individual may be, they should always retain the right to speak their mind without fear of retribution, so long as they are not doing so in a threatening manner.
The UK is purchasing over 350 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine
from various pharmaceutical companies. The panic in which the
vaccine was formulated and subsequently approved should
lead to questions about its efficacy and safety. In any other
situation, these would be seen to be perfectly
In the world we live in, every decision you make is recorded and
watched, and a calculation as to why you elected to make that
decision is made. Many of your thoughts are predetermined
and fabricated before you even think them, you do not even
question whether they are your own. Advertising so
imperceptible, you are often blissfully unaware of
how easily and comprehensively your
personality is understood.
Society is starting to truly appreciate the power that data can hold.
It is widely accepted that large technology companies are abusing
the control they have obtained and are diminishing their user’s
right to privacy. We are seeing various technologies being
maltreated by publicly listed corporations for profit, and
the control they can have over your daily life grows
with every second you engage with their technology.
Now, just imagine the power a state-backed cyber warfare unit could
have. The mission that the 77th Brigade is on and its methods are
still only vaguely understood – but the state already possesses a
wide range of methods for covert information warfare. GCHQ’s
Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), for example,
boasts an arsenal of over 200 “info-weapons,” ranging from
spoofed SMS messages to artificially increasing traffic to a
specific website and manipulating online polls. With society’s
growing reliance on technology to guide our collective
consciousness, controlling this battlefield could be a
means to conquer our minds and effectively police
our thoughts. Thinking the wrong thing could
become a crime, and we could find ourselves
living in a state of perpetual anxiety where
the defiance of compliance will never
A screen-addicted society is easy to control
The ever-darkening addiction to a glass screen that’s on your person
24 hours a day and knows who you are with more precision than you
know yourself is not natural. Promoting products you didn’t realise
you needed until they were thrust before your eyes. Reading
various articles all presented at particular moments on
specific platforms to ensure the commentary results
in you attaining the preferred conclusion.
The majority of many people’s lives are now spent interacting with
screens and lockdown has only enhanced this phenomenon. It is
therefore understandable why the UK authorities choose to focus
their attention on controlling what is permitted to be shared online.
By controlling these mediums of communication with subtle
manipulation that is invisible, the illusion of control can be
achieved by phantom force that remains intangible. Using
technology to understand how modern society thinks and
behaves enables state actors to accurately predict their
population’s reaction to specific information & prepare
for the outlawed conjecture. This, in combination with
silencing the critics, allows a single narrative to form
which is taken as gospel by a large proportion
The power to infect people’s minds is unlike any political tool in
history. Creating the realms of perception and concocting the
premeditated response enables the infiltration of free thought.
What news-related media impacts your impression of reality
and the ability to impact what you believe to be your individual
opinion cannot be underestimated. Your activity & behaviour
online provides a more precise picture of who you really are
than your ego would ever allow. Therefore, those with the
access to your data can ascertain what truly motivates
you and what your core beliefs are. If these do not
correlate with their own ambitions, a campaign of
misinformation and manipulation can be initiated
to attempt to alter these points of view.
Fear hangs heavy in the air and the greatest fear of all is,
no one is sure what they are afraid of. The revelation
about the conduct of the 77th Brigade, sheds some
light on the concise operation against free thought
--- yet the most horrifying elements of control remain disguised in broad daylight and inconspicuous in the shadows.
Freedom is never free; you have to fight for it.
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Boris Defends Bully Patel but Not Pensioners –
His Govt is Morally Repugnant
by Tommy Sheridan
22/11/2020 (Source - Sputnik)
Anyone surprised by BoJo’s decision to condone shameful bullying at
the heart of his government and order a “square” of defence be formed
“around the prittster” after he decided to keep Priti Patel in his cabinet
despite her being found guilty of breaching the Ministerial Code and
bullying, has plainly been sleeping over the past eleven months.
That period has exposed the rancid hypocrisy, corruption, cronyism,
and lack of integrity which characterises Johnson and the Tories
under his leadership.
Priti Patel was accused of disgraceful conduct and bullying while an
employment Minister under Theresa May in 2015, behaviour which
drove a female civil servant to attempt suicide on at least two
occasions and ended with a Department of Work & Pensions
pay-out of £25,000 in April 2017 to avoid the scrutiny of an
Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal, harassment,
discrimination, and victimisation.
Patel the Bully Became Patel the Liar
Patel was then moved to the role of International Secretary only to be
found out as a devious liar whom May had to sack after her deliberate
misleading of the PM and Parliament over secret meetings with Israeli
officials, business representatives and lobbyists was exposed. She
lied and was caught. She had to go.
Being a dishonest bully presented no barrier to Boris Johnson’s
cabinet however and he appointed Patel as his Home Secretary
in July 2019 after he became Tory leader.
Within weeks the top civil servant in the Home Office, Sir Philip Rutnam,
felt compelled to warn her about her conduct and lack of respect for
staff before eventually resigning from his post at the end of February
this year in a move which caused shock waves in the civil service
and government. He accused Patel of lying about a “vicious”
campaign orchestrated against him and creating a climate
of fear in her department.
Patel Investigation Handicapped from the Outset
A high-level investigation was reluctantly ordered into the allegations
made by Rutnam, and he vowed to pursue a constructive dismissal
claim against the government which is yet to be concluded. It is
increasingly clear that the investigation has been less than
rigorous as the senior civil servant appointed to conduct
it was refused access to Rutnman despite him being the
best equipped to inform the investigation.
However the report that was compiled was laid on Johnson’s desk
in April and he refused to act on it for months before recently
contacting the author, Sir Alex Allan, and leaning on him to
water down the conclusions. Despite the limited access to
witnesses the investigation still found Priti Patel "shouted
and swore" at staff in actions "that can be described
as bullying" and that she had indeed breached the
Ministerial Code which is normally an automatic
The fact Sir Alex Allan, former chair of the prestigious Joint
Intelligence Committee, chose to resign rather than alter his
report to save Patel’s reputation is admirable, but the full
report is being kept secret. It must be revealed in full and
the fact it was severely handicapped by the barring of
access to Rutman’s input must also be highlighted.
Johnson Willing to Protect Patel but not Pensioners in Care Homes
Patel was ordered to issue an apology on camera on Friday but all
it did was rub salt in the wounds of the campaign against bullying
as she smugly smirked and smiled when she claimed to have no
knowledge of bullying but apologised anyway. Please watch and
remember - her conduct drove a lowly paid civil servant to
attempt suicide on two occasions and compelled a very
senior civil servant to resign. The lack of contrition for
her actions and empathy for her victims is truly
If Johnson and his Tory gang of millionaires and spivs showed an iota
of the concern and commitment to defend elderly care residents as
they have shown to defend lying bully Patel at least 20,000 lives
could have been saved. A shocking report compiled by Amnesty
International last month received very little media attention but
condemned the Tory Covid19 response as a dereliction of duty
and care towards elderly citizens.
Read the document and understand just how complicit this Tory
government is in the deaths of thousands of senior citizens. It
presents evidence that the government’s policy of herd immunity
was responsible for mass murder. The government was entirely
aware of the probable outcome of their policy and went ahead
regardless of the risk to thousands of lives.
The report, “As if expendable: The UK government’s failure to protect
older people in care homes during the Covid-19 pandemic”, details
how, between March 2 and June 12, 18,562 residents of care homes
in England died with COVID-19. The vast majority (18,168) were
aged 65 and over, representing almost 40 percent of all deaths
involving the virus in England during this time frame. Of these,
76 percent (13,844 deaths) occurred within care homes for
During this brief period, 28,186 “excess deaths” were recorded
in English care homes, a 46 percent increase in comparison
with the same period over previous years.
Amnesty conclude that the Tory government together with its
agencies at national and local level have “taken decisions and
adopted policies during the Covid-19 pandemic that have directly
violated the human rights of older residents of care homes in
England—notably their right to life, their right to health, and
their right to non-discrimination”.
The report argues that the decisions and policies of the Tory
government “impacted the rights of care home residents to
private and family life, and may have violated their right not
to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment”.
Johnson was determined to “form a square around the prittster”
to defend his lying bully Patel at the Home Office but didn’t lift a
finger to defend thousands of pensioners in care homes. That is
the warped and putrid priorities which define this government.
A Litany of Government Failures but No Resignations
Their top advisor broke lockdown rules but there was no resignation.
They have been caught awarding contracts worth over £20 billion of
public money without proper scrutiny or tendering processes to
friends of senior Tories and companies known to donate to the
Tory party and no one has resigned.
The UK government’s late response to Covid-19 and failure to
impose lockdown measures caused the unnecessary deaths
of 20,000 --- but no one resigned from government.
International law will be broken because of the government’s
Internal Market Bill --- but no one resigns.
The Johnson government backs bullies, liars, public contract
cheats and international law breaking. It is morally repugnant
and thoroughly incompetent. No wonder Scotland is so keen
to break away as soon as possible.
Biden’s climate advisor has ties
to oil and gas industry: Report
November 21st, 2020 (Press TV)
US President-elect Joe Biden’s senior advisor on climate change
has faced strong criticism from environmental advocates over
his ties with the oil and gas industry, according to a report.
Cedric Richmond, a Louisiana congressman who has played a
key role in Biden’s presidential campaign, was named as a
senior adviser to the president-elect and will become
director of the White House Office of Public
Engagement, The Guardian reported.
Richmond will advise Biden on climate change --- and help
advance the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.
At a press conference this week, Richmond – who has
represented a south Louisiana district for 10 years –
announced that he would resign from Congress
to assume his new position.
“I look forward to changing not only Louisiana but the
entire south and empowering its citizens,” he said.
The Democrat has been under criticism from both local
constituents and climate activists for receiving
generous donations from the oil, gas and
He has also exhibited a degree of indifference to local air
pollution, with his congressional district being home to seven of the 10 most air-polluted census tracts in the US.
Richmond pledged greater public engagement
to address the issue.
Some advocates said while they were worried about
Richmond’s track record on the climate, they were
cautiously optimistic about his new appointment.
“I think he’s in a position now to be able to better serve the
constituents of his district,” said Robert Taylor, president
of the Concerned Citizens of St John Parish, a community
group in one of the most polluted parts of the region.
“I’m happy to see him get the appointment, I just hope he
uses it to help us,” he told the paper. Taylor added: “I
would like to see him hold these chemical plants
accountable because they are getting away
Biden has signaled his intent to put climate change on top
of his administration's policy agenda. However, concerns
persist about the degree to which the Democrat is willing
to challenge the power of the fossil fuel industry.
Apart from Richmond, environmental activists are worried
about Ernest Moniz, another individual with ties to the oil
and gas industry who is widely speculated to have been
picked to lead the Department of Energy.
Moniz was Secretary of Energy in the administration of
former President Barack Obama from 2013 through to
2017 and played a critical role in mustering support
for the controversial use of fracking to produce
Moniz is currently a director of Southern Company, the
second-highest carbon-polluting energy company
During the 2020 campaign, Biden unequivocally rejected
calls to ban fracking, which experts say is harmful to the
environment and people’s health.
Report: Patients Discharged from
UK Hospitals without COVID Test Results
October 28th, 2020 (FNA)
Almost half of hospital patients have been discharged
without receiving the results of their coronavirus test
– including some patients who were sent to care
homes, new research revealed.
Independent national patient body Healthwatch England
said it had learned many patients were discharged from
hospitals between March and August this year without
proper assessments with many vulnerable people sent
home without medication, equipment or the care they
needed, The Independent reported.
At the start of the pandemic thousands of patients were
discharged to care homes as NHS England instructed
hospitals to free up 15,000 beds ahead of the first
wave of coronavirus.
Approximately 25,000 patients were sent to care homes
with some not tested, sparking fears this helped seed
care homes with the virus. There have been around
16,000 care home deaths linked to COVID-19.
According to a survey of almost 600 discharged patients
and interviews with 60 NHS staff, Healthwatch England
said it had found serious flaws with the way hospitals
had followed NHS England’s instructions.
In joint research with the British Red Cross, shared with
The Independent, it found that 44 percent of patients were
discharged without knowing the result of their corona-
virus test - including some to care homes.
It said, “Despite the policy stating that all patients
discharged to a care home should be tested for
COVID-19, we found that 26 percent of our
survey respondents who were discharged
to a care home were not tested.”
While the numbers involved were small, only 13 out of 50
patients, the report added that this was “still a significant
proportion of people who were required to be tested
but did not receive one”.
Healthwatch added that while patients going to care homes
must have the results available and shared with the home
it was still not national policy to test everyone being
discharged. It argued this should now be an
''ambition'' for the government.
Its report also raises concerns about the wider care
of vulnerable patients sent home from hospital.
88 percent of patients reported having care needs
after being discharged that have still not been met.
82 per cent did not receive a visit or any
assessment from a health professional
Almost one in five of those who did not
receive a visit, reported unmet needs.
In total 45 percent of people with a disability and
20 percent of people with a long-term condition
had support needs that were not being met,
following their discharge.
Healthwatch England criticised the national discharge
policy put in place by NHS bosses, as “confusing” in
places which it said may have contributed to some
patients missing out on the care they needed.
Robert Francis QC, chair of Healthwatch England, said,
“In March, hospitals were asked to discharge patients
with little or no notice and the speed with which this
took place was important, but led to mistakes."
“We do not want to detract from the heroic efforts of those on the frontline, who often put themselves at
great risk to care for their patients, but services
and system leaders have now had more time
to prepare," he said.
“It’s essential that we learn from what people have
shared with us about the impact that a poorly
handled discharge can have on them and
their loved ones. Taking action now will
not only reduce the risk to patients but
will also help improve the way people
leave hospital in the future,” he added.
The British Red Cross and Healthwatch England said
assessments for patients needed to be prioritised.
They also called for discharge checklists to make
sure patients were asked if they needed help with
transport and equipment.
Other recommendations included making sure carers
and patients had a single contact for support, which
was already national policy but still not fully adopted.
The report also said community services needed
to be boosted, to cope with increased demands.
British Red Cross Chief Executive Mike Adamson said,
“We’ve seen first-hand the huge efforts made to
improve the discharge process for patients and
their families. However, we also know, despite
good intentions and hard work, there are still
barriers to making the ideals of discharge
policy a reality."
“The Red Cross has been bearing witness to these
issues for years, and we hope that the increased
urgency of the situation will bring lasting change.
Many of the people we support are older or more
vulnerable, & fall into the higher-risk categories
for COVID-19," Adamson said.
“Simple interventions, like getting equipment and
medicine delivered, or follow-up visits, can make
the difference between a good recovery or some-
one regressing to the point of readmission -
precisely at the time we want people to
stay well, and stay at home,” he said.
Professor Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director,
said, “There has long been a wide consensus about the
benefits for patients of being able to return home as
soon as their specialist hospital care is complete,
and it is good that delays have been reduced in
recent times. While this is a very small snap-
shot survey, local hospitals will want* (sic)
to take account of the points it makes.”
(*No they won't!)
By backing housing charity’s ‘Jewish only’ rule,
UK court drops the ball. Aren’t we all equal in Britain?
by Chris Sweeney October 17th, 2020 (Source: RT)
A small legal challenge has turned into a precedent-
setting case about whether someone in today’s
Britain can be prioritised or denied housing on
the basis of their religion.The law isn’t always
right and it’s not just people who can be
In a disgraceful decision deemed legitimate by the UK’s
highest court, a single mother with four children was
refused social housing – because she wasn’t a Jew.
It’s that simple.
The charity Agudas Israel Housing Association (AIHA)
owns 470 houses in the London borough of Hackney.
Local authorities promised, in October 2017, the
next available home to the woman and her kids,
two of whom are autistic.
AIHA refused to hand over the keys to any
of its SIX four-bedroom, unoccupied flats.
Their argument was it makes offers “only to members
of the Orthodox Jewish community.” As Britain is a
secular nation, the woman’s legal team found this
claim astonishing and argued it had the same
sentiment as the ‘No Dogs, No Blacks, No Irish’
signs that were once displayed in some pubs.
Lord Sales stated the charity’s use of positive discrimination
was lawful, under the Equality Act 2010, in order to correct
the disadvantage faced by the community. The issue
apparently was not racism, but discrimination on
the grounds of religious observance. The court
considered the “widespread and increasing
overt antisemitism in our society.”
Intolerance or hate speech of any form is unacceptable.
But it’s hard to believe the courts and public reaction
would have been the same, if this had been Islam or
a group of Pashtuns from the Iranian border region.
Jewish affairs are treated differently. There's a 'kid gloves'
approach and they’re deemed to be culturally valuable,
while other communities are sometimes dismissed as
interlopers. AIHA’s founder Ita Cymerman-Symons,
speaking last year about the legal action, offered
the view: “Which non-Jewish person, honestly
speaking, wants to live in the midst of a
building full of Haredi men with all the
beards, and all the chanting on a
Friday night and all the children?”
A homeless single mother with four children
for one, along with many others.
Plenty of people in social housing endure noisy neighbours,
potent cooking smells and screaming kids. But isn’t that
wonderful? Diversity and living cheek by jowl with
people who see, think and believe different things to you.
That’s a rich learning experience for anyone.
The fallacy of the AIHA’s superiority complex of viewing
Orthodox Jews above others is, every public service is
available to their members. And, of the charity’s 2019
income of £105,710, the sum of £39,716 came from
British government grants. They won’t be stone-
walled at hospital or refused entry on a bus, so
why should they be allowed to create their
small-minded kingdom with impunity?
These Jewish community leaders seem to be shutting out
anyone who doesn’t align with their beliefs. It’s unhealthy
and depressing, especially in a multicultural metropolis
The judgement also referenced issues that Orthodox Jews
don’t like to live outside of the Stamford Hill area and they
tend to be poorer than the wider Jewish community. Many
of us would prefer not to live outside of the millionaire’s
playgrounds of Kensington, Knightsbridge and Mayfair –
but we tend to be poorer, so can’t afford it. That doesn’t
mean the courts would support us founding the
Republic of Poverty Housing Association, and
letting us administer who can move in.
Even if we concede that Orthodox Jews appear to support
AIHA’s ghetto-isation, aren’t the courts supposed to rule
for the greater good? It makes no sense to encourage
people to live in self-imposed enclaves. How are they
going to progress in life, or do they never plan to
leave the streets around their homes?
There’s also a wider impact of the judgement. It raises the
hackles of the population. It hacks away at the concept of
respecting every other citizen. The far-right will jump on
this and sadly there’s no defence. It will birth more
discontentment and raise tensions.
The law lords have dropped the ball, because they are the
highest court in the land, they had the chance to set a
precedent. They seem to have been influenced by
Jewish sensitivity, that labels anyone who
disagrees with the faith an anti-Semite.
It’s hard to see how justice, fairness,
compassion and understanding are
applicable. But superiority, tokenism
and favouritism have been advanced.
Well one of the court’s final points was AIHA was "a small
housing provider, but similar discrimination by a larger one
might not be allowed.”
We’re all equal, right?
Chris Sweeney is an author and columnist who has
written for newspapers such as The Times, Daily
Express, The Sun and Daily Record, along with
several international-selling magazines. Follow
him on Twitter @Writes_Sweeney
Brits should be ashamed of the casual cruelty
we show towards over-60s, and shrugging it
off as ‘banter’, does nothing to excuse it.
by Damian Wilson
9th October, 2020
Two-thirds of UK over-60s say they have been abused in
public because of their age, with a fifth saying insults
come from within their own families. It seems the
idea that we should ‘respect our elders’, is no
longer in fashion.
We live in a society where everyone just loves to talk
about ‘respect.’ Even primary school children are
indoctrinated with the concept, told they are due
it by right and can demand it from others, if it’s
not forthcoming. It’s all one-way traffic.
That’s why, as they grow older, and insist on enforcing
their entitlement, it becomes increasingly evident that
while they assume that right is a given for them, they
actually don’t give a toss about it applying to
Every now and then, research will put this into sharp relief,
as is shown in the results of a survey undertaken by the
University of the Third Age (u3a). The study found that
the more senior members of society, basically those
aged 60 and over, are frequently insulted by younger
people, and they don’t like it.
Clueless Millennials, Zoomers and even Gen X’ers told the
u3a pollsters that they don’t mean anything by slinging
ageist insults, they were simply being “friendly” and
the name-calling was just “banter.” Everyone
The growing tendency of young people to airily dismiss their
elders as over the hill old fogeys, and to even insult them in
public because of their age, is not ‘banter,’ it’s insulting
The misuse of ‘bants’ as a term is one of modern life’s
great irritations, because while young people have
co-opted the word to (mis)represent the sort of
behaviour that borders on bullying, with a thin
coating of vicious humour, they are
Banter, in its traditional form, is an exchange between
two people, a battle of wits, a game of intellectual
ping-pong, like those nerdy folk on Channel 4 panel
shows. Usually, those engaging in banter finish
their jousting with a smug, self-congratulatory
smile. It’s showing off, it’s proving how clever
you are. It’s not calling someone an old fart
and shoving them out of the way.
Where’s the give and take, or clever verbal sparring, in
a teenager shouting at an elderly woman in the street,
“You dozy old biddy, move it!”. Or standing behind a
chap of a certain age at a shop checkout, as he
searches for his wallet and complaining, “C’mon grandpa, hurry up!”?
That’s not banter. That’s something completely different.
A new sort of passive-aggressive behaviour combined
with name-calling, is increasingly common among
young Brits these days, thinking that getting one
over another person is some sort of achievement
proving their superiority, particularly if it belittles their victim as a result.
Of those surveyed, 63 per cent of over 60s said they
had been verbally abused in public, with an ageist
insult, while others had also noticed an increase
in insults on television (65 per cent) social media
(33 per cent) and even from their own family
(21 per cent).
My 11-year-old thinks it’s funny to call me a ”boomer”
when I can’t find the TV remote. She has a very clear
idea of what the insult suggests, even if she’s
actually out of range by a few years. I’m 56 --
so borderline Gen X’er, thank you very much.
Unfortunately for me, British families in general
are not the sort of multi-generational dynasties,
such as in Italy or India, in which patriarchs
& matriarchs, are given lifelong roles at the
head of their family and afforded a respect
that other members ignore at their peril.
Break the rules in one of these families, cause offence
to an elder, and you will bring down the wrath of
generations upon your head, face humiliation
and even ostracisation. There is a sense of
honour woven into the fabric of the family.
These families are, sadly, not common
amongst the British.
So most kids and young adults have no hesitation
in freely hurling abuse at someone they consider
a geriatric, past it, a fuddy duddy, over the hill, a
fogey, a crone, an old dear, a codger, a biddy or
a fossil, which by the way, are those insults
most frequently employed, according to u3a.
This sort of casual cruelty, and the disregard
it displays towards our seniors, is hugely
disrespectful & we should be ashamed
that it’s so widely accepted as nothing
out of the ordinary.
We’re all guilty here. Causing offence like this should
provoke more concern than it does, because it is an
unwelcome sign of a breakdown in social and family
hierarchies. Ignoring the concepts of seniority and
wisdom --- we treat human beings like any other
consumable, in our consumer-driven world ---
with a finite shelf-life & built-in obsolescence.
Many people feel no qualms about calling out an older
person, in public, to remind them their time is up as a
useful contributor to society and they need to shift
it or risk being steamrolled by those behind them.
While maybe not articulated quite like that as a
traffic queue forms behind an elderly motorist
showing excessive caution at a road junction,
that, sadly, is often the underlying sentiment
and we should be ashamed.
But most often, we’re not. We’re just annoyed at
the inconvenience that someone older than us,
is causing to ourselves. Nearly 10 years ago,
Age UK made a study of ageism & identified
it as the most widely experienced form of
discrimination across Europe, affecting
164 million senior citizens at that time.
Nothing much has changed in the UK in this regard
since 2011, it seems. And if the latest study is
anything to go by, things have become
Damian Wilson is a UK journalist, ex-Fleet Street
editor, financial industry consultant and political
communications special advisor in the UK & EU.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in
this column are solely those of the author and do
not necessarily represent those of RT.
Figures Reveal 17,000 Elderly People in UK
Forced to Sell Home to Pay for Care Costs
in Just One Year
October 5th, 2020 (Fars news agency)
More than 17,000 pensioners were forced to sell their homes
to pay for social care last year, research by Money Mail reveals.
The shocking figure means that 330 elderly residents each
week are taking the desperate step despite Prime Minister
Boris Johnson’s promise to fix the social care funding crisis.
The calculations reveal the scale of the emergency, showing
that the numbers forced to sell their hard-won homes have