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.
Today, April 15th, in 1958,
writer and dub poet,
“Living rooms are arranged around the TV,
but when you take away the box you have
the freedom to arrange the room to
''As the only black kid in my primary school playground,
animals had become my friends. By 15 I was vegan,
although I didn't give up honey until 16. For a while
my mother thought it was just "a rasta phase". …
I can honestly say I've not been tempted to give
up veganism in 27 years. I sometimes smell a
chip shop, and like the smell, but then feel
guilty because fish might be part of it. But
I'll go home and make vegan chips. After
all these years, my favourite food is my
mother's butter bean stew with whole
potatoes, yam and dasheen.... I don't
think I've ever made a meal for her,
to be honest. I think she would
consider it a failing of her
motherhood and say
"Boy, get out
''Someone said that Capitalism will eat itself,
and I think that’s like the meat industry, the
meat industry itself will become dead meat
and compassion will reign supreme.''
UK could experience lockdowns
for 'SEVERAL YEARS' despite
vaccination program, SAGE
February 9th (RT)
A member of the UK government's Scientific Advisory Group for
Emergencies (SAGE) has claimed that lockdowns could be a
part of people's lives for "several years" as variants of
Professor Sir Ian Boyd, who teaches at the University of St
Andrews' School of Biology, warned this week against the
frequent lifting of lockdowns because "it simply fuels a
new wave of disease" that can cause the virus to
replicate more and mutate into new strains.
"There are a lot of reasons for taking pain now, in order to
create conditions for controlled release from [restrictions]
a lot easier," he argued, adding, "Otherwise we risk just
passing through phases of various levels of lockdown
Boyd said that lockdowns "could go on for a long time," despite
the UK's mass vaccination program. "My suspicion is that we
will experience a damped oscillation of control-release for a
long time to come — perhaps several years."
Brits reacted negatively to the prospect of lockdowns
still being used in several years, calling it "madness."
"Ok. This is ridiculous now,"tweeted journalist James Melville,
while another social media user argued the country "won’t
survive" years of lockdowns.
"If you are waiting to live, love, and laugh with others again
until things get back to normal, that normal may never
come,"commented church pastor Regan Blanton
King. "Going forward, it is important that we
prioritise faith and family and lobby
Experts have frequently told Brits that the UK would start
returning to normal once the majority of the population is
vaccinated. Mutations of the virus, however, have led to
an increased concern over whether the vaccines will
work efficiently against new strains.
At least 147 cases of the South African variant, deemed to be
a faster-spreading strain Of Covid-19, have been recorded
in the UK, though officials fear the number could
Brits seem to have become increasingly fed up with lockdowns,
which have been implemented in various tiers since March
2020, according to data which shows more people are
leaving their homes to go shopping. Most shops are
forbidden from opening, but stores deemed
essential like supermarkets, newsagents,
and pharmacies remain open, while
others remain open only for
Beijing hopes Washington will follow
China’s lead& invite WHO to the US
in search for origin of Covid-19
February 2nd (RT)
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has urged Washington
to invite the WHO to conduct traceability testing in
the US, citing the fact the American authorities
found Covid-19 antibodies in blood donations
as early as December 2019.
Speaking on Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman
Wang Wenbin, told reporters that Beijing has always
maintained close communication and cooperation
with the World Health Organization (WHO) on
Covid-19 traceability, and he said it was
time the US followed suit.
“I hope that the United States will adopt a positive, scientific,
and cooperative attitude on traceability issues -- as well as
maintain transparency, like China -- & invite WHO experts
to the United States to conduct traceability research and make positive contributions to international anti-epidemic cooperation & scientific traceability.”Wang said.
The spokesman told reporters that traceability testing was a very complex issue, with many clues, reports and studies needing to be taken into account.
“I will give you an example. According to a research report
by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention...
there were antibodies to the new coronavirus in some
American blood donations in December 2019. This
means... that the new coronavirus may have
appeared in the United States at that time,
earlier than the official US report,” Wang
stated, reinforcing Beijing’s call for
Washington to invite the WHO
Wang continued to point out that China has conducted
multiple rounds of in-depth exchanges and shared
a lot of information and research results with
international partners, including the WHO.
WHO experts are currently in China investigating the source
of Covid-19, and they visited a wet market in Wuhan on
Sunday. It has been widely suggested that a Chinese
wet market was the environment where Covid-19
first passed to humans.
Scientists are still exploring a number of
theories relating to the origins of the virus.
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Social Distancing May
Remain in Place All Yearin UK:
to Be 85 Percent Effective to Stop A Surge in DeathsUnderLife asNormal
January 31st FNA)
Social distancing may remain in place until the end of
the year - while coronavirus vaccines would have to
be 85 percent effective to prevent a surge in deaths
if restrictions were totally relaxed, scientists
warned on Saturday.
Modelling passed to Downing Street warns that the UK
would see a large spike in deaths if inoculation fails to
significantly cut transmission.
A paper commissioned by SAGE subgroup SPI-M and
produced by modellers at the University of Warwick
showed a "high uptake" was also vital to get the
country back to normal without risking a third
wave of coronavirus.
It also warned that even with Britain's breakneck vaccine
rollout underway, the decline in deaths is slow - and finds
that even in a best-case scenario, lockdown would have
to be kept in place until June to prevent another
significant spike in deaths, according to
The paper said, "Only vaccines that offer high infection-
blocking efficacy with high uptake in the general
population, allow for the relaxation of non-
pharmaceutical interventions, without
a huge surge in deaths."
Experts think efficacy is currently at 60 percent
but it is still an unknown.
SPI-M's other modelling groups at Imperial College London
and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
have reportedly reached similar conclusions.
Even in the best case scenario - where vaccines stop 85% of
transmissions - lockdown will have to stay in place until May.
If lockdown was lifted mid-February, a third surge of
infections would follow by April, the modelling found.
While efficacy at 85 percent would mean deaths peak at 1,000
deaths a day, at 60 percent daily deaths would rise by an
average of 500 to 1,500 a day.
Dr Sam Moore, one of the paper's authors, said, "If we get
very high infection blocking then this could almost be
what delivers us from it, but it would have to be very
high. Even vaccines with 85 percent infection
blocking, are insufficient to drive 'R' below
one on their own."
Because the R rate is now above three social distancing
measures have to stay in place for longer for the
vaccine to take effect without risking
If the vaccine does provide a 60 percent block against
coronavirus transmission, as experts have suggested,
lockdown could end at the end of May, according to
the Warwick model.
But a ban on large events and other social distancing
restrictions would still need to be in place until the
end of the year.
A Government spokesman said, "At this early stage in
the vaccination programme, scientists do not have
sufficient data to advise how the vaccine may
affect onward transmission."
It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson forced the
EU into an extraordinary double climbdown during a
dramatic late-night intervention to protect the UK's
record-breaking vaccine rollout.
During two phone calls just 30 minutes apart, the prime
minister made European Commission President Ursula
von der Leyen ditch plans to stop 3.5 million doses of
the Pfizer jab from reaching the UK from a factory in
Belgium and abandon the "nuclear option" of
imposing a hard border on Northern Ireland
to prevent them reaching the UK.
Following his diplomatic victory, Britain on Friday
recorded a daily record for first-dose jabs –
487,756 – to bring the total to almost
In his phone calls, Johnson warned von der Leyen that
her actions risked denying millions of UK pensioners
their second Pfizer injections.
She immediately capitulated in a tweet sent
out shortly before midnight, on Friday.
As part of an implicit "peace deal" with the EU, No 10 Friday
adopted a conciliatory tone. Cabinet Office Minister Michael
Gove said the EU recognised that it had "made a mistake"
and both sides agreed on the need for a "reset".
Northern Ireland's First Minister Arlene Foster was less
diplomatic, branding the EU's move an "incredible act
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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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.
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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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
Purged Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn - before the present boss grovelled to Zionists and quarantined him, 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 !
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:
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.
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.
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 breakup?Welsh independence
more popular than ever
April 8th, 8:56pm (Press TV)
New polls suggest that support for Welsh independence
from the UK is at an all time high. This has created fear
in Downing Street, over the real threat of a Kingdom
breakup, with the Welsh parliament elections on
The idea of a Welsh breakaway from the United
Kingdom is high on the agenda, ahead of this
year's Welsh elections.
With the country’s biggest pro-independence party
Plaid Cymru, pledging to secure a vote on Welsh
independence within the next five years.
The idea of Wales going alone has traditionally been
an obscure viewpoint, however, since Brexit, public
support for an independence vote has skyrocketed.
One poll conducted this year actually suggested that
Welsh support for independence, could be as high
as 39 percent, that would be the highest level
No.10 has reportedly become very aware of the growing
anti-Westminster sentiment outside of England, and are
drawing up plans to counter the trend.
The Welsh elections are taking place in May. Plaid Cymru
have been recording great successes in past votes, and
hopes are high of major gains.
Although support for independence is not yet near a
majority view, Westminster’s poor handling of the
coronavirus crisis, and the negative effects
Brexit has had for Wales, appears to have
created greater belief in the virtues of
self-government. With Scotland also
pushing hard for a UK divorce...
No.10’s concerns are growing
as fast as Welsh patriotism.
Hello darkness my old friend ...PeterMandelsonisback
advising Labour, why not
just go the whole hog & bring back TonyBlair?
by Chris Sweeney
February 15th (RT)
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
Keir Starmer is so devoid of original ideas he is bringing back
the Prince of Darkness to help him crowbar his way into
Number 10, but if the plan is Blair 2.0, why settle for an
impersonator when the original is still available?
Lord Peter Mandelson is not a name that will resonate beyond
the UK, but he is one of Britain’s most infamous spin doctors.
The type of character who has seemingly exerted an extended
sphere of influence without it ever being clear exactly what he
does. He arrived into the Labour Party in 1985 and it’s now
been revealed he is still pulling strings today, 36 years later.
Tony Blair adored his style but some of the left-wing union
devotees had no time for the man who became known as
‘The Prince of Darkness’. So, to appease them, and to
keep his involvement in Blair’s leadership campaign
secret, he was issued a code name – 'Bobby'.
Since then, he’s inhabited a range of roles; minister without
portfolio, secretary of state for Northern Ireland, European
commissioner, business secretary --- and then Baron
Mandelson as he entered the House of Lords. After
Blair left - and was replaced by Gordon Brown -
Mandelson retained an iron-grip on the levers
of power. In that period, he was a member of
35 cabinet committees, and some referred
to him as the “unelected prime minister.”
Mandelson likes a frontman, a lead singer to shield him while
he writes the lyrics. So it’s business as usual now that’s he
back in alongside current Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.
There is only a decade or so in age between the two, but
the level of experience in the dark arts of politics, is
heavily tipped in Mandelson’s favour. The notoriety
is why he chooses to remain in the shadows, as a
lot of voters detest him. He represents the back-
room dealmaking and media manipulation that
turns so many off politics.
Mandelson is like a lightning rod, he takes the surge and
allows his ‘stooge’ to carry on. He ended up in the public
court of shame, for spending a New Year’s Eve, on Paul
Allen’s yacht, while Microsoft was at the centre of an
Another yacht trip got him in hot water, this time, with oligarch Oleg Deripaska, as Mandelson had been part of a decision to cut aluminium tariffs. At the time, Deripaska owned United Company Rusal, one of the world’s biggest producers of the metal.
Mandelson was also friendly with Jeffery Epstein,
and has been pictured with the disgraced financier.
So for Keir Starmer to bring in a man with that amount of
baggage, proves how desperate he must be. Starmer
replaced Jeremy Corbyn - the most socialist main-
stream figure seen in British politics for decades -
but has as yet done nothing of substance. He's a
more centrist figure, but Boris has that sewn up:
he won the last election, with an affirming 80-
seat majority. The so-called Red Wall, fell to
the Conservatives, proving that the working
class heartlands, no longer had faith in
their old ally Labour. And still there’s
no spark or idea from Labour, to
turn that around.
Since Blair left office, the party hasn’t won an election. Their
last victory was in 2005 and before Blair led them to victory
in 1997 they hadn’t won an election since 1974. Blair is the
only person who has led the Labour Party to victory in the
last 47 years, and it seems they’ve simply decided to
revert to what worked then and hope it does now.
So welcome back Mandelson, who is right in his sweet spot,
without an official position but is there to “broaden the party’s
appeal.” It seems a redundant mission, as you’re asking
Mandelson to recreate the old magic. For that, he needs
his protege and the man who brought those ideas to life
– Blair. Why bother trying to copy him, when he is still
out there, sitting around not doing very much? Blair
has been quite vocal and made quite a few public
interjections into the Covid-19 effort. It was his
idea to stagger the two vaccine doses, which
Britain and other countries are now
If Labour's desperation is so great they need to face facts.
Starmer is keen to paint himself as a paragon of the good
and just. He created a big spectacle over the investigation
into anti-Semitism within Labour and also fired a member
of his shadow cabinet for making a remark that was
judged to slight the Jewish faith.
Starmer’s previous profession was as a barrister where he
worked on human rights cases before becoming a QC and
the Director of Public Prosecutions. He also spoke out
and protested against the Iraq war.
Yes, the same war that Blair led Britain into, after years of
working with Mandelson. So if Starmer is so willing to
embrace Mandelson, is he really as principled and
motivated by integrity as he’d like to have us think?
All of this also reflects an extremely depressing facet to
British politics. The country has suffered the most
deaths in Europe due to incompetent leadership.
The list of ludicrous decisions has been recounted many
times and if the opposition cannot muster up a feasible
counter after all these months, they really are
The vaccination rollout is the only thing Boris has handled
well, but it won’t erase the number of families left to rue the
unnecessary loss of loved ones. There is also the much-
covered resurgence in support for independence in
Scotland and a growing movement in Wales. Brexit
was another shambles, with a deal agreed days
before everything went into meltdown. How is it
possible that an allegedly well-run, professional,
perceptive political party ,can’t muster up a
Winding the clock back 20 years and hoping that the same
things will work is, in my view, a fantasy. Society and
attitudes have changed, there was no social media
in 1997 and simply looking plausible and playing
'Things Can Only Get Better' on a loop isn’t
going to win you 80+ seats. But let us
suppose, for a minute, that it might,
if the Labour party & it’s leadership
really believe that’s their greatest
hope and the best plan they have
for the British people is New
Labour 2.0, then why isn’t
Starmer talks a bit like him, has a similar presence, they were
even both barristers before entering politics, but trying to
‘out Blair’ Blair is futile. If Starmer isn't able to lead and
create his own vision, then why did he put himself up for the job? Trying to get Peter Mandelson to
Svengali you into some sort of Blair tribute act is never going to work. As Queen fans know, Adam Lambert, is no substitute for
Step up or step aside, don’t be a down- market copy of your predecessor.
Think your friends would be interested?
Share this story!
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.
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
soared 45 percent since 2000.
Last night campaigners called for urgent action and
demanded a "national fund" to pay for social care.
Morgan Vine, of charity Independent Age, said, "The
pandemic is not a reason not to act – it is the reason
why action has never been more vital."
On his first day in No 10 in July 2019, Johnson vowed to
make social care a priority and end the crisis "once and
But he has since admitted action would be delayed and
the coronavirus crisis has made immediate reform a
The cost of residential care has risen dramatically
and now stands at more than £33,000 a year.
Anyone with more than £23,250 in funds, including their
house value, is denied state help, leaving thousands
having to sell their homes to pay soaring care bills.
The Daily Mail has campaigned to end this injustice
for the families of those with dementia, as well as
MoneyMail’s calculations, verified by Independent Age,
are based on Department of Health data indicating that
30 percent of those who pay for their residential care
have to sell their homes.
The total was produced by comparing the numbers of
self-funders in care provided by analysts Laing Buisson.
The research assumes the average stay is two-and-a-half
years, as concluded in a study by the Personal Social
Services Research Unit and Bupa.
It means around 350,000 elderly people are estimated to
have sold their homes to pay for residential care since 1999.
Caroline Abrahams, director at charity Age UK, said, "When
the threat from coronavirus finally recedes, Age UK will
certainly be holding the Government to account on its
promise to fix social care. The obvious solution is for
us all to pay into a national fund, like we do with
She added" |Most people dread the idea of having to sell
the family home to pay their care bills and the fact that
this is the reality for substantial numbers is very sad."
Vine, head of policy at Independent Age, said, "These latest
figures are a timely reminder of the need to fix the funding
crisis that has plagued the social care system for decades,
long before COVID-19.
"When taking office, the Prime Minister promised to solve
the crisis, including preventing people from having to sell
their homes to pay for care," Vine said, adding, ‘Although
he couldn’t have predicted the challenges we now face,
we can all predict the long-term consequences of failing
to keep his promise."
Liz Kendall, Labour’s social care spokesman, said, "The
Prime Minister said, on the steps to Downing Street, that
he has a plan to fix the crisis in social care and that no
one should have to sell their homes to pay for their care."
"Yet we have seen neither sight nor sound of
any long-term plan for reform," Kendall said.
"This must be an absolute top priority for the Government.
People who have worked hard and saved all their life have
seen their savings wiped out," Kendall added.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said,
"We have committed to end the injustice that some people
have to sell their homes to finance care whilst others don’t.
We know there is a need for a long-term solution and are
The UN is to send a delegation to the UK as part of an inquiry into the “grave and systematic violations” of the rights of disabled people --- allegedly taking place under London’s austerity measures.
A visit of the UN Committee Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is taking place at the request of the campaign group, 'Disabled People Against Cuts' using a legal mechanism known as the Optional Protocol. The request was made at the start of 2012. Britain is the first country to face a high-level inquiry by the UN committee.
“This is the first time any country has been investigated by the UN using the Optional Protocol so it will be, if nothing else, a very historic event,” Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts says, adding that the process is “long and arduous,” with strict rules for proof of any claims.
News of the investigation was leaked back in September. UN inquiries are usually "confidential", but UNCRPD confirmed it would be visiting the UK, after the revelation.
“The inquiry follows a string of scandals involving disabled people in the UK, including a rise in hate crimes, which have been overlooked by police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS),” former director of prosecutions, Lord Kenneth MacDonald, says.
Disabled people have been affected by cuts, nine times more than most other citizens, according to a report by the Centre for Welfare Reform, in 2013.
AND WHERE IS WALES' BLOSSOMING...?
Imagine the Rhondda using wind and sun energy to create new rate and rent free business units, that encourage new enterprising companies, which pay well and market under a "brand" with a superb reputation for quality.
Everything to help hitting the ground running, with hot-desking, science, and agriculture, to employ our youth.
Russian/Scottish scientists hail long-range secure quantum communication system.
A group of scientists from ITMO University in Saint Petersburg, Russia, has developed a new approach to constructing quantum communication systems for secure data exchange.
The experimental device based on the results of the research is capable of transmitting single-photon quantum signals across distances of 250 klmtrs or more, which is on par with its cutting edge analogues, the ITMO press-service says.
"Now researchers are on a mission -- to create a fully-fledged quantum cryptographic system, that will generate & distribute quantum keys and transmit useful data simultaneously", ITMO says.
Information security is becoming more and more of a critical issue not only for large companies, banks and defense enterprises but even for small businesses and individual users.
But the data encryption algorithms we currently use for protecting our data are imperfect - in the long-term, their logic can be cracked. Regardless of how complex and intricate the algorithm is, getting around it, is just a matter of time.
Unlike algorithm-based encryption, systems that protect information by making use of fundamental laws of quantum physics, can make data transmission totally immune to hacker attacks, in the future.
Information in a quantum channel is carried by single photons that change irreversibly if an eavesdropper tries to intercept them. The legitimate users will instantly know about any kind of intervention.
Researchers at the Quantum Information Centre of the International Institute of Photonics and Optical Information Technology at ITMO Uni., Russia, along with their colleagues from the Heriot-Watt University, in Edinburgh, have devised a new way to generate and distribute, quantum bits.
This makes it possible to share quantum signals --- via optical fibres --- 250 kilometres in distance.
"To transmit quantum signals, we use the so- called side frequencies," says Artur Gleim, head of the Quantum Information Centre, at ITMO University,
"This unique approach gives us a number of advantages -- such as a considerable simplification of the device architecture and the large pass-through capacity of the quantum channel. In terms of bit rate and operating distances, our system is comparable to absolute champions in the field of quantum communications."
According to Robert Collins, research associate at the Institute of Photonics & Quantum Sciences at Heriot-Watt University and one of the authors of the study, this may become a pivotal point for the whole field of quantum communication and cryptography:
"Down the track, this new approach can enable smooth coexistence of numerous data streams with different wavelengths in one single optical cable. On top of it, these quantum streams can be fed into the already existing fibre optic lines --- along with conventional communications."
The research paper is published in the Optics Express journal.
Scottish universities are to be congratulated for their strong & growing links with Chinese and Russian universities....
What a shame, that Wales is lying low --- with academics too scared to break from US military research.
China sent 30 missions into space in 2017 - a record! January 04, 2017
China conducted 30 space launch missions in 2017 --- a record-breaking number in the country's space history, said China Aero-space Science &Technology Corporation.
Long March-5 and Long March-7 rockets are used to carry out most space missions, the China News Service reported.
Long March-5 is China's largest carrier rocket. The successful test launch of the vehicle in November, in S. China's Hainan Province, has paved the way for space station construction, analysts said.
Wang Yu, the general director of the Long March-5 program, said 2017 was a critical year for China's new generation of carrier rockets - and Long March-5 rockets carried Chang'e-5 probe to space. The probe has landed on the moon, collected samples and returned to Earth.
On the other hand, Long March-7, the more powerful version of Long March-2, sent China's 1st cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-1 into space, in the first half of 2017, according to Wang Zhaoyao, director of China Manned Space Engineering Office.
Tianzhou-1 docked with Tiangong-2 space lab conducting experiments on propellant supplements.
China conducted 22 launch missions in 2016 and 19 in 2015. The country successfully tested its Long March-7 rocket in June 2016, and has gradually shifted to new generation rockets that reduce the use of toxic rocket fuels.
China released several white papers on its space activities, announcing plans to soft land Chang' e-5 on the moon, by the end of 2017, and launch its first Mars probe, by 2020.
After Chang'e-5, China would launch Chang'e-4 lunar probe in about 2018 to achieve mankind's first soft landing on the far side of the moon - and conduct in situ and roving detection and relay communications at Earth-moon L2 point.
The white paper also said that iover the next 5 years, China would provide space & aviation -related services to countries involved in the One Belt and One Road initiative, such as satellite communications, navigation and weather forecasting analysis.
It has now, in 2021, done so.
MAN by Steve Cutts
European leadersask US to
April 13th (Prensa Latina)
European parliamentarians, managers and
union leaders urged the United States to
cut greenhouse gas emissions by half
compared to 2005.
Continental authorities and industrial representatives
sent an open letter to President Joe Biden asking him
for a transatlantic alliance to combat climate change
and achieve a 'just and sustainable transition'
towards an economy with low carbon
This request, comes a week before a summit between
environmental leaders and the president of the United
States, & is headed by the head of the environmental
committee of the European Parliament, Pascal Canfin.
According to the letter, the countries of the bloc and
the United States together account for a quarter of
the world's carbon dioxide emissions.
The European Union agreed, last year, to cut pollutant
flows by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
Executives from companies, such as the French auto-
maker Renault and the German energy company E.ON
backed the letter, that expresses European concerns
about the cost of jobs, if the reduction of emissions
Statistics from global organizations rank the US in
second place, by country, in terms of polluting
emissions into the atmosphere.
Germany tops the list in Europe, due to its great
dependence on coal, and generates emissions
equivalent to a quarter of the continental total.
Amazon Lost 17 Percent to
Deforestation in 2020 - Report
April 7th, (teleSUR)
Brazil accounts for 65 percent of the loss,
followed by Bolivia, Peru, and Colombia.
The primary forest loss in Bolivia,
Ecuador, and Peru reached
The environmental organization Amazon
Conservation reported on Wednesday --
that the South American rainforest lost
17 percent of its area to deforestation
in 2020, representing 2.3 million
hectares devastated across
The study found that "a common phenomenon
observed in the satellite imagery through
August -- was that rainforest areas were
first deforested and then later burned
-- causing major fires due to the
This data explains why agricultural practices are
a significant cause of deforestation in the region.
According to Amazon satellite monitoring project
(MAAP) Matt Finer, "the primary cause of
deforestation across the Amazon
appears to be agriculture and
cattle-related, ranging from:
''larger-scale'' operations in
Brazil to the accumulation
of smaller-scale clearings
throughout the western
'Guilt is Strangling': Young 'PlogMan' in
India Has Been Waking Up Pre-Dawn for 7 Years,Here's Why
by Radhika Parashar
Last week, in the city of Faridabad in India’s Haryana state, a
pregnant cow died on a busy road. Upon evaluation, it was
revealed that the cow had grazed on 71 kilograms of
garbage – with the plastic, iron nails, and glass
pieces it had consumed injuring it internally.
The sad case highlighted how unsorted
waste is choking India.
Meet Vivek Gurav who lives in Pune city in Maharashtra and is
famous by the name of “PlogMan” on social media. At 25 years
of age, Gurav is a software engineer by profession, but before
and after his nine-to-five job, the young techie jogs or walks
around Pune, cleaning its streets and disposing off garbage
littering the roads.
Talking to Sputnik, the public speaker revealed that he, along
with a bunch of his friends, has “adopted” a small river named
Indrayani to keep its water and banks from getting strangled
with garbage. The Indrayani River flows just 4.2 kilometres
before joining into a larger water body, and not too long ago,
like Delhi’s Yamuna River, Indrayani also began to froth with
toxins on its banks.
“The river Indrayani near my college was a place where I went for
a daily walk with my friends in the evening. We observed people
who carelessly dumped a lot of trash and plastic in the river
body as well as surrounding areas. Me and my friends
initially blamed the local body and government for all
these actions. But I personally felt it was the moral
duty of citizens including me to follow cleanliness
norms and keep the city clean. That was the
moment I felt a very close belonging to
nature”, Gurav said while recollecting
how dead fish were seen floating in the water as stray animals
consumed them, as well
as the polluted water.
Gurav believes that it takes a sudden epiphany for youngsters
to decide for a lifetime of giving back to nature and
“I appealed to my friends to join me in cleaning Indrayani. Initially
some were quite resistant, some people even ridiculed the idea,
completely dismissing it, but I took up this challenge and started
the cleanup journey solo four years ago. In some time, a few of
my friends started supporting me and we adopted the River
Indrayani for a mega cleanup mission”, the engineer and
environmental enthusiast added.
The efforts of Gurav and his friends have been going on for seven
years now and on a routine basis they clean the river region and
areas around it in Pune. The river is healthier and safer for
animals now, the techie adds.
“After my college days we took up the charge to not only clean
rivers but all the public spaces in the city. For the last seven
years, I have been waking up at five in the morning, and
randomly taking on a jogging route, on which I pick-up
trash as well for around 45 minutes. The realisation of
knowing that you’ve done your little bit to benefit the
air around you and survival resources for the stray
animals – sleep comes sooner and deeper”, Gurav
said, with a shy smile.
Recently, a rather touching video from the Himalayan valley
of Jammu and Kashmir in India created a buzz around
environmental conservation on social media. The
video showed some foreigners collecting roadside
trash in the market area of Lalchowk in Srinagar city.
Locals who shared the footage on their social media handles
acknowledged that the video testified to how their own
negligence towards maintaining cleanliness in public
spaces has ruined the beauty of their city.
In recent years, the roadside garbage situation in cities in India
has been overshadowed by ignorance despite numerous
incidents like the death of stray animals crying for
In 2017, a survey, co-researched by Chintan, the Delhi Environment
Department and German NGO GIZ, claimed that India's capital Delhi,
inhabited by over 30 million residents, generates over 9,100 metric
tonnes of garbage on average each year. The report also said that
nearly 76 percent Delhiites wrongly believe that glass and metal
are biodegradable, dump it on the roadside, and need more
education on the subject.
While several individuals like Gurav, NGOs, and government
programmes like the Swachh Bharat (clean India) mission
are working on cleaning India, the new trend of “plogging”
is seemingly picking up pace in the country. The term
“plogging” was coined in Sweden in 2016 and defines
the activity of “picking trash while jogging”.
“Youngsters are getting more sensitive about environment
conservation in India, for sure. I am the founder of a
community called Pune Ploggers, which is a group
of individuals like me who all pick-up trash while
jogging or walking.
“We have more than 4,000 ploggers across India and we are now
setting up city-wise communities. Collection of more than 250
tonnes of waste in the last one year is a remarkable
achievement due to the efforts of this community.
With over 280 plogging drives across 22 cities in
India, our community of environment enthusiasts
has grown exponentially”, Gurav said.
The PlogMan from Pune has appealed to all potential climate
activists in India to work every day towards passing on a
greener and cleaner planet to the generations to come.
“Go zero-waste, avoid littering, manage household waste, use
green alternatives for all the daily essentials, and buy only
what we really need could be some simple changes we
can add to all our lifestyles”, Gurav added.
The climate enthusiast noted that while India is emerging as a
leader in sustainable practices like solar and electric ways of
producing energy, Indians are far from fixing the real problem
- accepting the crisis.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), ambient air
pollution causes 4.2 million deaths every year. 91% of the
world's population lives in places where air quality
exceeds the WHO guidelines' limits.
Bangladesh, Pakistan, Mongolia, Afghanistan, and India
make for the world’s five most polluted countries,
according to a report by the World
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
Biden’s climate advisorhas 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.
Obsession with consumerism will destroy the world of our children by Ken Livingstone December 24th, 2018.
Ken Livingstone is an English politician, he served as the Mayor of London between 2000 and 2008. He is also a former MP and a former member of the Labour Party.
Amid growing climate change concerns, what politicians fear most, is not standing up to the coal and oil industries, but having to tell the people that they need to buy and consume less.
As two hundred nations gathered in Poland to discuss climate change, the opening comments of David Attenborough, went global across the world’s media.
“Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale, our greatest threat, in thousands of years… climate change… If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilisations, and the extinction of much of the natural world, is on the horizon… Leaders of the world, you must lead. The continuation of civilisations and the natural world, upon which, we depend, is in your hands,” said Attenborough.
He went on to recommend that ordinary people make a change every day by using public transport and other measures to reduce carbon emissions.
Yet, for all Attenborough’s warnings, we have seen the election of a climate change denier to the White House, in the form of Donald Trump, and the recent election of a Brazilian president who also denies climate change.
So, what is the truth?
The simple fact is that the twenty warmest years in our history have been in the last twenty-two years and the four warmest years have been the last four years on our planet.
Scientists are now warning that we need to increase our actions to tackle climate change by at least five times, merely to stop the increase in temperature going above 1.5 centigrade.
It’s not just temperatures that threaten our existence.
Since 1970, we have wiped out 60 percent of birds, mammals, reptiles and fish across our planet. This information comes from a World Wildlife Fund report, which drew on the evidence of 59 scientists around the world.
The report warns that the rapid increase in the waste of food and other resources is wiping out the web of life ,on which our society depends, for clean air and water. The director of science and conservation at the WWF, Mike Barrett, warned that we “are sleepwalking towards the edge of a cliff.”
He pointed out that a similar 60 percent wiping out of the human population, would be the equivalent of killing every human in Europe, China, Africa and the Americas. He went on to warn, that nature is not just nice to have, but it is our life support system.
The simple fact is, we are running out of time and, unlesswe find ways to restore our eco systems and tackle climate change, we face the prospect of humanity’s extinction, by the end of the century.
. Since the dawn of civilisation, we have destroyed eighty-three percent of all mammals and half of all plants, and it could take millions of years for the world to recover.
The WWF report pointed out that the main cause of wildlife loss is the destruction of natural habitats, mainly to create new farmland. Three quarters of all the land on our planet has now been affected by our activities. Here in Britain, we have seen the loss of most of our wildlife, and we have less biodiversity, than 189 other nations.
Although politicians at their conferences keep agreeing to limit the rise in the earth’s temperature to 2 degrees centigrade and, if possible, just 1.5 degrees by the end of this century. This would still mean the destruction of all our coral reefs, which play a vital part in sustaining the population of fish. There will also be rising sea levels and increasing, violent weather events.
This year’s storms have devastated South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines and Tonga. Hurricanes also caused wide- spread damage in the USA and wildfires erupted in California, Canada and Greece, claiming many lives. In Kerala, India nearly one and a half million people were forced out of their homes by violent floods, which also occurred in East Africa and Japan.
In the last one hundred years the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has gone up by a third. The increase in greenhouse gas emissions has doubled since 1971, mainly caused by industrial activity.
The UK’s Met Office [national weather service] has warned that rising sea levels and climate change threaten over one and a half million homes --- with the prospect of farmland being turned into marshes and beaches washed away, by the end of the century.
The UK Climate Projections recent report predicted the sea around our shores will have risen by between three and four feet by the end of the century, putting 1.7 million homes at risk.
Many coastal towns will have to be abandoned, with large parts of the counties of Kent, Somerset and Essex, being submerged under the sea. The worst example is that the sea could now extend so far into Britain, that it could overwhelm the city of Cambridge.
The rise in sea level would leave 100,000 coastal homes and other buildings at risk, with another 100,000 vulnerable to collapse from landslides.
The report warns that, unless we reduce our emissions, the temperature will have risen by 4 degrees centigrade by the end of the century, with melting glaciers and ice caps overwhelming the Thames Barrier and flooding London.
But it’s not just here in London that we are at risk. Houston, Shanghai and Jakarta, are increasingly vulnerable to storms and flooding. The charity Christian Aid warned in its recent report that city planners are failing to prepare for what is coming.
Most of our biggest cities are built close to the coast or by large rivers and all are now at risk.
In 2015, 195 countries meeting in France agreed to keep global warming below two degrees. But the US has now announced it intends to withdraw from this agreement, and here in Britain, one of the first actions of the newly elected Tory government, back in 2010, was to reduce funding for green energy and it has now unleashed a new strategy: for a vast increase in fracking across the country.
Even the Tory MP Zac Goldsmith has warned his government, of the risk of a political backlash. The fracking - near Blackpool - caused several minor earthquakes which forced the company, Cuadrilla, to halt operations, after a 0.8 magnitude tremor.
In 2017, we saw fifteen deadly weather disasters: heatwaves, floods and droughts. If I think back to the 1960s, there would be one or two violent weather events in the year: now, it’s become a regular part of our news coverage.
In September, Indonesia was struck by a tsunami and an earthquake that killed thousands and left many missing. Given the thousands of lives lost this year, with just a one degree increase, I dread to think how many more are going to die, even if we cap the increase at 1.5 centigrade.
Even to meet that target, carbon emissions have to be cut by forty-five percent, by 2030, but they’re still going up and most of the difficult decisions - that should have been taken at the Poland conference - have been deferred to the next meeting.
Although the US has a climate change denying president, latest opinion polls show that 80% of Americans believe climate change is happening, including a majority of Republicans.
Nicholas Stern, who cooperated with me when I was mayor of London and is author of a landmark report on climate change economics, said: “It is clear that the progress we are making is inadequate, given the scale and urgency of the risks we face… a much more attractive clean and efficient path for economic development and poverty reduction, is in our hands.”
It was 26 years ago - in 1992 - that the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed, binding governments to a commitment to reduce the level of carbon emissions. Yet now, a quarter of a century on, even if we achieve the target set by those governments, the world’s temperature will increase by more than three degrees centigrade.
It’s not just that politicians lack the courage to stand up to the coal and oil industries, but what they fear most, is having to tell all of us, that we need to buy and consume less. A third of all the food used in Europe and North America ends up wasted and thrown away. More and more of the things we buy, are just left in our cup- boards and drawers, until they are, eventually, thrown out.
I grew up in that post-war world where nothing was wasted and our pleasure came from the time we spent with our friends and family, but, over these last fifty years, the Western world has switched to an obsession with shopping and consumption and we spend less time with our friends and our family. We can either go back to that world without waste, or we are going to destroy the world of our children.
(Source - RT)
Japan finds itself buried in plastic waste after China stops importing world’s trash 21st of October, 2018, at 4:11am
Nations across the globe are beginning to suffer from waste build-up, after China stopped importing recyclable garbage this year. Japan has become the latest country reporting severe recycling industry overload.
China’s ban on imports of 24 types of solid waste materials, such as soda bottles, mixed paper, recycled steel and newsprint, has impacted the recycling chain across the globe. Japan, which, last year, exported about half its 1.5 million tons of annual plastic waste, is now piled, higher and deeper, in its own garbage, with many local governments struggling to cope with the problem.
About a quarter of 102 local governments surveyed reported seeing accumulated plastic waste, which in some cases overreached sanitary norms, the Environment Ministry data showed, this week.
At least 34 municipalities noted that they are failing to find new destinations to outsource their plastic, after the domestic costs of processing waste, shot up.
China’s refusal to accept more garbage is overstretching the Japanese recycling industry, with 34.9 percent of companies limiting or considering restricting the quantities of plastics they can accept. To deal with the problem, the Japanese ministry said it will expand domestic capacity to process plastic waste. The government also wants to introduce measures to prevent illegal dumping and to expand the use of bioplastics, which are biodegradable.
A similar problem was reported this weekend in the UK, which last year exported roughly two-thirds of its recyclables. The Local Government Association (LGA) blamed the Chinese ban for the change in councils’ recycling methods, which are forcing the local authorities to add an extra £500,000 a year, in costs.
“It’s clear that the ban by China on imported waste, which could, soon, be implemented by other countries, could have a marked impact on councils’ ability to recycle,” said Martin Tett, the LGA's environment spokesman.
China, which over the last 25 years was taking in 45 percent of cumulative plastic imports, without a doubt made a huge impact on the global recycling system. While many Chinese companies relocated their operations to Malaysia, the Asian country does not have the capacity to replace China, and, this week, imposed a three-month ban on imports. We "will do our very best to ensure that Malaysia not be the plastic rubbish bin of developed countries," Science, Technology and Environment and Climate Change minister Yeo Bee Yin said.
Vietnam, which once welcomed foreign shipments, is also finding it hard to cope with recyclables, imposing a new temporary ban on imports, between June & October.
Thailand, the other world destination of plastic goods, reportedly, will ban imports, by 2021.
The closure of Asian countries to plastic, will also affect the US, which, in the first six months of this year, exported its recycling to Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam.
Clock is ticking: Planet has only TWELVE years to avert global climate chaos, UN warns October 8th, at 11:59am
The world’s nations should unite in an “unprecedented” effort --- to curb the global rise of temperatures by a larger-than-agreed margin, a UN climate-change panel said. This would limit the damage caused by industrialization.
The consequences of global climate change will be less severe for our planet, if countries across the world managed to curb the rising of temperatures to 1.5 º C above pre-industrial levels, instead of the 2º C benchmark targeted today, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said on Monday.
Reaching this objective is possible, the study noted, but will require revolutionary changes to power generation methods and the phasing out of fossil fuels, coal in particular. A major transformation will also be required to the transportation network, as well as to human lifestyles, especially when it comes to growing food.
The half-degree difference could stop the almost complete eradication of corals and would ease pressure on the Arctic, which is seeing a steady meltdown. Sea level rises would be 10 cm lower, with a 1.5º C rise compared to 2º C by 2100. “Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since a warming of 1.5ºC or higher, increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems,” said Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.
“Limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared with 2°C would reduce challenging impacts on ecosystems, human health and well-being, making it easier to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” Priyardarshi Shukla, Co-Chair of IPCC WG III #ipcc #sr15
''Our top-level politicians should make tackling climate change their utmost priority, before it's too late'' (Op-Ed by Ken Livingstone) https://on.rt.com/9fll
The report, based on more than 6,000 scientific works, noted that consequences such as water scarcity, extreme weather, the spread of diseases and food shortages will be less severe at 1.5 º C rather than 2 ºC. If humanity passes the 1.5º C threshold, humans will need to rely on technologies to remove carbon from the atmosphere.
However, “the effectiveness of such techniques is unproven at large scale and some may carry significant risks for sustainable development,” the report notes.
Monday’s report is a follow-up to the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement, under which 195 nations pledged to hold global temperatures “well below” 2º C above pre-industrial levels. Whether or not the goal is still attainable, remains questionable, after President Donald Trump pulled out of the agreement, claiming it was unfair to his country.
So far, the planet has witnessed a 1º C rise in temperature compared to pre-industrial levels. National commitments to cut emissions will not limit global warming to 1.5 º C, the report warns, stressing that 1.5 º C warming will be witnessed, sometime between 2030 and 2052, if the current trends continue.
the Planning Inspectorate has rejected plans for an opencast coal mine at Nant Llesg near Merthyr Tydfil. This historic victory comes after years of tireless campaigning by the local community campaign United Valleys Action Group, alongside our local group in Merthyr and the team at Friends of the Earth Cymru. If given the go-ahead, the mine would have seen 6 million tonnes of coal extracted over the next 14 years – causing huge harm to local residents, wrecking our beautiful countryside, and contributing to runaway climate change. But yesterday’s decision is a true testament to what we can achieve together when we put our minds to it. Alyson Austin, from the local group, summed it up perfectly:
"Words can't express how pleased and relieved we are, that communities in Rhymney, Pontlottyn and Fochriw, have been spared this horrendous experience – they deserve this outcome."
Ukrainian chemical factory triggers ecological disaster in Crimea September 6th, at 11:41am
The work of the Crimean Titanium factory was suspended for two weeks, because of emissions of sulfur dioxide. A state of ecological disaster was declared, in the town of Armyansk.
More than 4,000 children are being evacuated, schools in the town of Armyansk, were closed for two weeks, as a result of the accident. Emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere occurred, due to the negligence of both the owner of the factory and the local authorities.
Crimean Titanium belongs to Ukrainian oligarch, Dmitry Firtash. Accidents have occurred at the factory before too, although they were on a smaller scale.
"The emission of chemicals into the atmosphere, led to an increase in atmospheric air temperatures. They also resulted in the sustainable absence of precipitation, and a lower water level in the acid storage facility," Deputy Prime Minister of Crimea, Igor Mikhailichenko, said.
This term 'acid storage facility' designates a diked part of Sivash Lake, also known as the "Rotten Lake." The owner of the factory continued with the dangerous production, knowing that there was not enough water to neutralize acid, and did not report the emergency to the authorities.
As for the local authorities, supervisory bodies seem to have ignored the fact that there was no water running on the blocked North-Crimean channel to the factory. The authorities were supposed to close the factory, but they turned a blind eye on the problem and preferred to let the chips fall, where they may.
Residents of Armyansk started complaining on August 23, but the authorities set up a commission only on Aug. 28. At first, most of the patients were diagnosed with ARVI (acute respiratory viral infection), but they later developed allergic conjunctivitis, allergic pharyngitis and Quincke's edema.
Meanwhile, the head of the Crimea, Sergei Aksenov, continues to say that people's lives are out of danger and there is no threat to their health, although it was Aksenov, who ordered children to be evacuated from the affected region of the peninsula.
Crimean Titanium is the largest producer of titanium dioxide in Eastern Europe. The company also produces red iron oxide pigment, mineral fertilizers, sulfuric acid, aluminum sulfate, liquid sodium glass, and iron vitriol.
China builds an ‘Ecological Civilization’ while the world burns August 31st, 2018 by Denis Etler
Like the Soviet Union in the 1930s with its accelerated push to industrialize, China in the 1990s and 2000s threw caution to the winds, and industrialized at break neck speed. The Soviets realized, that if they didn’t rapidly industrialize, the Western capitalists, both of the liberal and fascist variety, would direct all their fire at the first worker’s state and try to destroy it. That Soviet drive to industrialize had many negative consequences, but if they hadn’t done so, the Nazi onslaught in 1941, may well have succeeded.
Such a result would have been an unprecedented disaster for the entire world. Instead, the Soviet Union was able to repel and defeat German imperialism, a victory of unparalleled importance. The industrial foundation laid down by the Soviet Union prior to and during, WW2, allowed for a swift recovery from the devastation visited upon her. After the war, the Soviet Union become a bastion of peace and socialism, serving as a bulwark --- against the spread of US imperialism and a steadfast ally of newly emerging nations fighting for liberation from European colonialism.
With the demise of the USSR and the collapse of the Soviet bloc - in the late 1980s and 90s - China found itself in the cross-hairs of US imperialism. While disputes with the USSR had protected the PRC from attempts by the US to destabilize and sabotage her, once the Soviet Union was no more, China became the next target. The Chinese leadership realized it had to quickly industrialize, under the new conditions of US global hegemony.
Like the Soviets before them, China threw caution to the winds --- and put all her efforts into a vast program of industrialization, come hell or high water. As a result, China experienced severe environmental damage.
The Chinese people saw their country surge ahead to become an industrial power, the factory to the world, and they put up with environmental degradation and pollution.
But, many soon realized that the path taken, while expedient, was unsustainable. With the advent of XJP, corrective measures were taken, which are turning things around, and setting China on a course of sustainable development, towards an ecological civilization. John Bachtell, national chair of the Communist Party USA, has written an incisive essay, that recounts the history of China’s industrialization, its trials and travails, and its new march - towards sustainability.
In remarks to the CPC leadership in 2013, President Xi Jinping said, “We will never again seek economic growth, at the cost of the environment.”
More recently, Xi stressed “To protect the ecological environment is to protect [the] productive forces. To improve the ecological environment is to develop the productive forces. A good ecological environment is the most just public product, one that most fully promotes the well-being of all the people.”
China has committed to a sustainable path and building an “ecological civilization” as a national strategy, since the 17th CPC Congress, in 2007. The goal is, to form “an energy and resource efficient, environmentally friendly structure of industries, pattern of growth, and mode of consumption.”
The concept of “ecological civilization construction” was added to the CPC constitution, during the 18th CPC Congress, in 2012. It was placed on a par with “economic, political, cultural and social progress.”
The adoption of several reforms, in 2015, to accelerate the process, addresses many of the country’s major environmental issues. “The proposals cover the protection of natural resource rights; the establishment of a national parks system; better, stricter systems for the protection of arable land, and water resources management; the establishment of a green financing system; and the improvement of environmental compensation mechanisms.”
Only an eco-socialist oriented society can move with such unity, purpose and speed, toward sustainability. It helps, that government and CPC leaders are deeply committed to building the ecological civilization and driving the process, including President Xi and Premier Li Keqiang.
Consequently, the CPC initiated a “war on pollution” just like its “war on poverty”, which will be eliminated entirely, in the next 3-5 years. With an overall economic slowdown, the priority has moved from quantity to quality: in production, environmental protection, and becoming a global leader in the fight against the climate crisis.
A law passed in 2014 to reduce CO2 emissions from coal power plants, has resulted in a 14 percent reduction, as of June 2018.
New measures adopted in May 2018 will result in the “comprehensive recycling” of hard waste materials.
China is one of a few countries to pass laws and develop a strategy to create a circular economy (reuse, recycling and remanufacturing).
The ministry of Ecology & the Environment has identified 9 million sources of pollution, 7.4 million of them, being from industrial sources.
China is doubling the previous target for solar power production, by 2020, and is the largest producer of solar panels, in the world.
Campaigners accuse government of silencing opposition to fracking Friday, August 16th, 2018. by Will Stone
Environmental campaigners accused the government today of silencing public opposition to fracking by removing questions about the unpopular practice from its quarterly opinion poll.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has announced that it will be reducing the frequency with which it surveys public opinion on fracking, to once a year.
Its decision to omit fracking questions from the quarterly poll was revealed in the department's latest public attitude tracker on energy.
However, Green Party MEP Keith Taylor accused the department of trying to silence criticism.
He said: “Ministers have been asking the public whether they support fracking on a quarterly basis, for over four years.
“But, despite a huge PR push, opposition has always outstripped support, which has never exceeded 30% and long languished below 20%.
“How have the Conservatives responded to such a consistent rejection of the climate-destructive industry?
“By stopping asking what we think so often, and giving fracking the green light, in the meantime.”
The government said that, following analysis of data, it found “there is little change over the years” in public opinion on certain questions, including fracking, from one season to another.
Other topics removed from its quarterly poll include trust in energy suppliers, knowledge of radioactive waste and support or opposition to nuclear energy.
Friends of the Earth campaigner Tony Bosworth said:
“The government’s very own survey, consistently showed climbing support for renewable energy, while support for fracking was really low.
“Perhaps, having recently tried to change planning rules so that fracking companies could drill more easily, they were just scared of a record bad survey result for them this time, so have stopped even asking, any more.”
Greenpeace UK energy campaigner Nina Schrank added:
“The government needs to catch up with the electorate, who can already see that our future is renewable.”
Fracking company Ineos, was granted permission by the government's planning inspectorate, yesterday, to launch the first shale gas exploration scheme in Derbyshire.
Global Tree Cover Has Increased 7 Percent Since 1982,Says Study August 10th, 2018
Prensa Latina - A team of US researchers has found that new global tree growth over the past 35 years, has more than offset global tree cover losses.
In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes using satellite data to track forest growth and losses over the past 35 years and what they found by doing so.
There has been a growing consensus in recent years that because humans cut down so many trees (most particularly in the rainforests) that global tree cover is shrinking. In this new effort, the researchers have found that not to be the case. They contend that global tree cover, is actually increasing.
The researchers report that most of the new tree cover occurred in places that had previously been barren, such as in deserts, tundra areas, on mountains, in cities and in other non-vegetated land.
They further report that much of the new growth came about due to efforts by humans (such as reforestation efforts in China, and parts of Africa) and because of global warming, warmer temperatures have raised timberlines in some mountainous regions, and allowed forests to creep into tundra areas.
Other areas of new tree growth resulted from large farm abandonments in places like Russia and the U.S. The researchers report that their calculations showed that human activities have directly caused approximately 60 percent of new global tree growth.
They suggest their technique for monitoring tree cover could be used to predict tree cover changes in the future, due to global warming.
The bloody slaughter goes on and on by Peter Frost Friday, August 3rd, 2018
A sad PETER FROST discovers that despite a little good news, the slaughter of whales still continues.
It seems incredible, and very sad, that every year we have to return to the subject of the bloody slaughter of whales and other sea mammals.
Japan, Iceland, and Norway still think it is OK to ignore worldwide public opinion, and even the increasing anti-whaling views of their own populations.
One bit of recent news cheered me up a little. Holiday giant Thomas Cook has announced it will stop selling trips to aquariums and animal parks that keep killer whales, orcas, in captivity.
The tourism giant said it had made the decision because more than 90 per cent of its customers were concerned about animal welfare, hence they will no longer sell tickets to SeaWorld in Florida and Loro Parque in Tenerife.
“When so many of our customers are so clear in their view, I could not allow our business to ignore them,” Peter Fankhauser CEO of Thomas Cook said.
Less good news has just arrived with the return of the Icelandic whaling fleet after killing a very rare, threatened - and supposedly legally protected - blue whale.
The Icelanders rushed to find DNA evidence that it was only a blue whale hybrid.
After viewing the photographic evidence of the dead whale being winched aboard the ship, most experts agreed --- the corpse had all the features of the largest animal that has ever existed on Earth. Mottled blue skin, black baleen, tiny hooked dorsal fin — a blue whale.
The Icelandic fleet had resumed its whale hunt in June, after a three-year break -- caused by the Tokyo government being unhappy with the standard of the meat Iceland was seeking to sell to Japan.
Others suggested that the real reason was that the demand for whale meat in Japan, was falling dramatically.
This year Iceland set itself a target of 191 fin whales and early reports suggest it has met this target. Most meat will be heading for the sushi bars of Japan, the Icelanders hope, but the international freight shipping market - and many ports - refuse to have anything to do with this bloody trade.
A recent poll by Iceland itself, shows that, even in Iceland, support for whaling continues to drop. Only 34 per cent of Icelanders now support continued commercial whaling, while another 34 per cent of Icelanders say they are opposed to whaling - 31 per cent say they are neutral.
As recently as five years ago a solid majority of Icelanders supported whaling. A 2013 poll found that 60 per cent of Icelanders supported it, while only 18% opposed it.
Another whaling nation, Norway, hasn’t just continued whaling, but has angered environmentalists, by provocatively announcing a 28 per cent increase of its annual whaling quota to 1,278 whales.
This, despite the fact that, in recent years, Norway’s whalers have failed to catch the quotas set by Oslo - and the number of whaling ships has plummeted.
The Norwegian government hopes that, by raising the quota, more whalers will join the fleet — there were just 11 Norwegian whaling ships in 2017 and that was just half of the previous year’s number.
Norway, says it only hunts the minke whale, which it kills, using explosive harpoons.
In both Norway and Iceland few people actually eat whale any longer. In Iceland most is consumed by tourists curious to sample the exotic, if contentious, novelty.
Most of the Icelandic whale meat is sold to Japan but over the last few years the Icelandic whalers have had great difficulty finding ships or transit ports prepared to handle the bloody cargo.
Which brings us to Japan itself. When three Japanese whaling vessels returned to port from a controversial trip to Antarctica earlier this year they had caught 333 minke whales. Tokyo claims the slaughter is for scientific purposes.
Japan is a signatory to the International Whaling Commission moratorium on whale hunting, but makes use of a loophole, that allows the mammals to be killed for scientific research.
Commercial hunting of whales was banned in 1986, but Japan would like to see it permitted once more. Tokyo makes no secret of the fact that slaughtered whales often end up being eaten.
After tiny samples go to the laboratory, the rest ends up on Japan’s dining tables, or feeding Japan’s many lap dogs.
Tokyo’s insistence on continuing with whale hunts, draws regular protests worldwide and Japanese ships have clashed at sea, in the past, with animal rights campaigners. This season there appear to have been no such protests at sea.
The most recent hunt killed 120 pregnant female whales among the 333 total. The International Whaling Commission said that, apart from the pregnant whales, another 114 were immature.
The Japanese proudly displayed pictures of the slaughtered pregnant whales, each slit open to reveal a fully developed foetus.
In 2014, the International Court of Justice ruled that the annual whale slaughter programme was for commercial purposes, which is illegal.
The Japanese government scrapped the illegal whaling programme and began a new one in 2015, described as having a scientific purpose, but, again, it is clearly just a cover, to continue whaling for profit.
Even in Japan, eating whale becomes less and less popular. Much of the whale harvest ends up in expensive treats for pet dogs. Still, Japan’s legendary pride won’t let it fall in to line with the rest of the world and ban the slaughter of whales forever.
Only a continued political campaign, against Iceland, Norway and, most of all, Japan, will end this murder forever. Are you playing your part, in saving the whale?
Pope Francis tells top oil executives world ‘must convert to clean fuel’ May 9th, at 9:56am
Pope Francis, addressing top oil company executives, has said that the world must convert to clean fuel, Reuters reports.
“Civilization requires energy but energy use must not destroy civilization,” he told the group at the end of a two-day conference in the Vatican on Saturday.
He also noted that climate change was a challenge of “epochal proportions,” saying that the world needs to come up with an energy mix that combats pollution, eliminates poverty, and promotes social justice.
The pope wrote a major document on protecting the environment from global warming, in 2015.
Beekeepers stage funeral for France's dying bee population Thursday June 7th, at 3:03pm
Bees in France are fast dying, say beekeepers who staged a mock funeral in central Paris on Thursday.
French beekeepers say an average of 30 percent of bee colonies died, following the last winter, due to pesticides used across the country.
They said the ravaged bee population has severely affected the honey harvest, hence threatening their livelihood.
The colonies have deteriorated so badly that some beekeepers may not be able to carry on, demonstrators said.
A small delegation marched toward the presidential palace, but was stopped by police.
Pesticides destroy insects and other organisms harmful to cultivated plants and crops, with knock-on effects through the food chain.
An EU court last month upheld a partial ban on three insecticides known as neonicotinoids, saying the European Commission had been right, in 2013, to restrict their use, to protect bees.
EU court upholds partial ban on pesticides threatening bees May 17th, at 8:23am
An EU court upheld a partial ban on three insecticides known as neonicotinoids, on Thursday.
The General Court of the European Union, said that the European Commission had been right to restrict their use in order to protect bees. The ruling covers three active substances - imidacloprid developed by Bayer CropScience, clothianidin developed by Takeda Chemical Industries and Bayer Crop- Science, as well as Syngenta’s thiamethoxam, Reuters said.
However, the court did annul restrictions on the use of another pesticide BASF’s fipronil, because the Commission had not carried out “an adequate assessment” of the impact of its measures.
Huge dead zone in Gulf of Oman is far worse than feared - but what is it? May 1st, 2018, at 1:48pm
A large ‘dead zone’ in the Gulf of Oman is increasing in size, according to scientists who warn the oxygen-scarce area is worse than previously thought and poses a threat to the environment. But what does that mean?
The dead zone in the Arabian Sea is now the world’s biggest Oxygen Minimum Zone (OMZ). About the size of Scotland or Florida, the dead zone almost covers the entire Gulf of Oman, which borders Iran, Oman, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.
What is a dead zone?
A dead zone is an area of the sea or a large body of water that’s almost entirely devoid of oxygen. The low-oxygen areas are called dead zones as they can’t sustain marine life. Fish, animals and plant life in the zones suffocate as a result of low oxygen levels, while some marine life manages to swim away from the area, leaving it empty.
Scientists began noticing increasing areas of dead zones in the 1970s. In 2008, 405 dead zones around the world were noted by Sweden's Göteborg University.
One Third of 'Dead Zones' in World’s Oceans Around United States - Kerry
Roughly a third of all 'dead zones' in the world’s oceans, are in or around the US, Secretary of State, John Kerry, revealed.
Conditions in Gulf of Oman
The existence of the Gulf of Oman dead zone has been known for about 50 years, but the extent of the area has only recently been confirmed thanks to the use of underwater robots, called Seagliders.
“The Arabian Sea is the largest and thickest dead zone in the world. But until now, no-one really knew how bad the situation was because piracy and conflicts in the area have made it too dangerous to collect data,”