Death After Life In Police State Britain XII

https://www.waterstones.com/author/robert-cook/435753/page

March 28th 2024

A Vile Filthy Sad Excuse For Democracy

how penniless families are forced into SEX to pay off perv …The Sunhttps://www.thesun.co.uk › News › UK News

1 day ago — Our exclusive statistics reveal that almost one in ten female borrowers have been asked to clear debt through sex. It is the first time such …

Which countries have National Service and how does it work elsewhere?

Home Secretary James Cleverly told Sky News other countries already have National Service laws in place and insisted they provided good examples for the UK.Sunday 26 May 2024 13:24, UK

The UK will “compel” young people to partake in National Service if the Conservatives win the general election, after seeing “enthusiasm” from other countries with similar schemes, the home secretary has said.

Speaking to Sky News’s Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips, James Cleverly supported Rishi Sunak’s plan to introduce a new form of mandatory National Service if he is voted in to stay on as the UK’s prime minister after the election on 4 July.

The plan would see 18-year-olds given the choice of a full-time military placement for 12 months or a scheme to volunteer for one weekend a month for a year.

When asked to go into more detail about the plan, Mr Cleverly brought in other countries that already have National Service laws in place.

Read more:
What’s the actual plan and would there be exemptions?

He said: “What we have seen from the other countries that have got similar schemes to this, particularly the Baltic and Scandinavian countries… There is actually very, very wide scale take up, acceptance and enthusiasm for this.

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.642.0_en.html#goog_1018904612 Military service: ‘No one is going to jail’

Approximately 80 countries currently have some form of National Service or conscription in place, according to the World Population Review.

Some – like Russia – implement mandatory service, while others offer a form of conscription, under which people are required to serve for a minimum amount of time but may not be drafted into active service.

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The least demanding form of compulsory service is known as de jure service, in which countries like the US still have mandatory military service written in law, but it is hardly ever enforced.

Here, Sky News looks at a handful of countries that have implemented National Service and what their laws say.

Russia

All men in Russia are currently required to complete 12 months of military service, or equivalent training during higher education, from the age of 18.

The Russian ministry of defence describe military service as a “good way to gain lots of experience and discipline” but conscription has long been a sensitive issue. Many men try to avoid being handed conscription papers during the bi-annual call-up periods in spring and autumn.

Conscripts cannot legally be deployed to fight outside Russia and were exempted from a limited mobilisation in 2022 that gathered at least 300,000 men with previous military training to fight in Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin talks to military pilots at the 344th State Centre for combat use and retraining of flight crews of the Russian Defence Ministry in the town of Torzhok in the Tver Region, Russia.
Pic: Sputnik/Russia
Image: Even Vladimir Putin has limits on National Service in Russia. Pic: Sputnik/Russia

Sweden

Everyone between the ages of 16 and 70 living in Sweden is part of the country’s total defence – to help the country prepare for war if necessary, the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency website says.

There are three types of total defence service in Sweden – conscription, civilian service and general compulsory national service. The last of these is only used in the event of a heightened state of alert.

Those aged 18-47 are required to enlist for military service, with those called up required to complete basic military training.

Swedish conscript soldiers take part in the Aurora 23 military exercise at the Rinkaby firing range outside Kristianstad, Sweden May 6, 2023. Swedish, Polish, American, Finnish and Danish troops were on site to beat back the enemy who had taken over the harbor area around the harbor in Ahus. TT News Agency/ Johan Nilsson via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. SWEDEN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SWEDEN.
Image: Swedish conscripts in 2023. Pic: Reuters

Norway

Those aged 19-44 (or 18-55 during times of war) are obliged to complete 19 months of military service.

Those who are not medically fit and conscientious objectors are exempt.

The country became the first NATO member to introduce gender-neutral conscription, with female conscripts first being called up in 2015.

Denmark

Conscription in Denmark is mandatory for all physically fit men over the age of 18. The country has 4,700 conscripts undergoing basic training per year, according to official figures.

However, the government wants to increase the number of conscripts by 300 to reach a total of 5,000 every year.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said in March this year that to reach this figure, conscription could potentially be extended to include women and the time of service could be increased from four months to 11 months.

France

French President Emmanuel Macron implemented Universal National Service in 2021.

It is aimed at all 15 to 17-year-olds and seeks to encourage young French citizens to “develop their role in society” and promote social cohesion.

It involves a 12-day residential stay and 84 hours of volunteer work at a local authority, state service or public establishment.

France's President Emmanuel Macron greets members of the Universal National Service (Service national Universel, SNU) at the Arc de Triomphe as part of the ceremonies marking the victory against the Nazis and the end of the World War II in Europe (VE Day), in Paris, France, May 8, 2022. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS
Image: France’s President Emmanuel Macron greets members of the Universal National Service. Pic: Reuters

Estonia

Those aged 18-27 are required to partake in mandatory National Service, the Republic of Estonia Defence Forces website explains.

It says the duration of the conscript service is eight to 11 months, depending on a person’s education and rank.

After completing their conscription service, reservists are called up for military training courses every five years.

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Lithuania

In 2015 the Lithuanian Armed Forces reintroduced compulsory military service for men aged 18-26.

People are required to serve for a minimum of nine months.

Male and female citizens of Lithuania aged 18-38 are also invited to enlist for the service on a voluntary basis.

China

Mandatory military service is legally recognised in China but is not practised – an example of a de jure system – according to the World Population Review.

The law states that all males aged 18-22 are required to complete 24 months in the armed forces, but this has never been enforced.

In 2023 President Xi Jinping revised the country’s conscription laws, allowing retired service people to re-enlist and increasing recruitment focused on expertise in space and cyberwarfare.

March 26th 2024

‘Larry the Lamb’ and Toy Town.’ By R J Cook

Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer put his finger on U.K Political reality today when he criticised Tory rival Rishi Sunak for departing from the mainstream. For me, that is a terrifying but definitive comment on the U.K fake democracy which in practice is a one party state. The proof of that pudding will be in yet another record low turn out. If the U.K Reform Party looked like coming anywhere near winning seats in the coming General Election, mainstream media will have already have a dossier of nasty fabricated stories ready to smear the leadership and candidates as sex fiends and far right racists.

It saddens me that having been elected to my local council in 1987, holding senior positions, that I felt compelled to remove myself from the electoral register in 2009. My process of disillusionment was slow. It was determined when I was selected for courses as a prospective Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate in 1997. There was a course about how to talk to the voters. I knew then that political ambition was not for me. I saw out my term as Chairman of the North Bucks Town and Parish Council consortium. I resigned in 2003. It wasn’t all down to political disillusionment, but that was the end of my political ambition. I had my name removed from the electoral register.

Five years later, my life changed, by the police, forever. But I can’t discuss that now for legal reasons. Suffice it to say, I was dragged out of my academic cocoon then forced to see the reality of life on the edge and back at the bottom where I started. This bottom world is a far worse place than it was in the 1950s, when I returned there in 21st century Britain. The world of the corrupt U.K police and legal system was particularly enlightening. Starmer made his name and knighthood working for that corrupt system. He won’t reform anything. Today he talked about his parents being so poor that they had to choose which bill not to pay, so they chose the telephone – we couldn’t afford a telephone when I was a child.

So I am not impressed by Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer, former head of U. K’s corrupt target driven Crown Prosecution Service, and his manifesto for change. A U.K General Election is no more than voting for a change of directors and a new CEO. War on Russia is top of the agenda for Starmer and Sunak. It will define everything else. The Tories conned the masses over Brexit. On the issue of illegal immigration, Starmer will solve that problem by making it all legal at lower class tax payer’s expense. He has said that he wants to build more homes for migrants. To cope with ever worsening consequent social and economic problems, this Labour leader plans another 13,000 police officers to keep an eye on things.

Labour’s Yvette Cooper weighed in on the election campaign telling us that our freedoms and values must be protected from undemocratic, especially outside, threats. That is more authoritarianism. With Labour there will be no end to this. But then we have Sunak offering us national service for 18 year olds. He told the BBC while electioneering in Tory Buckinghamshire today, that this will do much for social cohesion and national defence with national service as a priority.

The tensions within Britain’s pathetic disingenuous diversity culture along with its highly provocative anti Russia rabble rousing, especially via the upper class dominated BBC, are critical. Sunak is an extreme Hindu, so one suspects this, along with pandering to fear and the lowest common denominator for votes, puts him alongside J K Rowling on the transgender issue.

Curiously, Rowling et al can talk of toxic masculinity, privileged white males, mansplaining and transsexuals as rapists lurking in female toilets, changing and rest rooms. Therefore I feel free to call feminism a mental illness driven by hate, body dysphoria, power mania and greed. It is ugly and hateful. It also does much to drive normal women insane and detached from their species being – as well as promoting misogyny and transsexualism.

Feminism, its writers, artists, pop singers and acolytes are so obsessed with having ‘won’ the vote in 1928, ignoring the fact that there was no universal manhood suffrage until 1888, only 16 years after the secret ballot. Until then only the better off elite of men could vote. The law was made and the agenda set by by a corrupt wealthy ruling elite aristocracy. Common men were, and still are, at their mercy in a grinding industrial system. They were fair game for conscription with ongoing Imperial Wars, as had been the case centuries before when the Royal Navy was built by the infamous press gangs. There was no worthwhile political choice between Whigs and Tories back then in the nineteenth century and there is none now.

It is a pity that upper middle class feminist leadership has not gone beyond screeching and howling about fighting for the vote – as if men had never fought for anything. Self Centred power crazed man hating Feminists have done so much harm to the U.K socio political system, ongoing. Whilst endlessly proclaiming their right to equality, they are fixated on ever more laws to protect their interests and vulnerability. This is perfect for a ruling elite. Feminist rants provide a smokescreen for a sick war mongering class divided corrupt elite wealth dominated western world economic system. Russia may not realise what they are up against.

Had feminists any intellectual honesty and integrity, they would be asking “Why bother to vote” when every vote is used to legitimate what is effectively an authoritarian one party police state. These people and their corrupt political system makes Russia look like ‘Larry the Lamb’ and Toy Town.’

R J Cook

McVey announces ‘common sense’ plan to streamline equality and diversity work

Esther McVey takes aim at “woke hobby horses”, external EDI spending and non-standardised lanyards

Esther McVey. Photo: Uwe Deffner/Alamy

Read More McVey announces ‘common sense’ plan to streamline equality …

McVey announces ‘common sense’ plan to streamline equality and diversity work. Diversity jobs will moved into HR teams and staff in these roles will be asked to focus only on statutory obligations, Cabinet Office minister Esther McVey has announced

By Tevye Markson

13 May 2024

Diversity jobs will moved into HR teams and staff in these roles will be asked to focus only on statutory obligations, Cabinet Office minister Esther McVey has announced.

Tax loophole ‘hands £4bn to private equity’ – The Times

Private equity executives have received a tax break worth as much as £4 billion under the “carried interest” rules that Labour plans to abolish if it wins the general election, data obtained by The Times has revealed.

Monday papers: Tax loophole ‘hands £4bn to private equity’Citywirehttps://citywire.com › new-model-adviser › news › mon…

16 hours ago — The Times: Private equity executives have received a tax break worth as much as £4bn under the ‘carried interest’ rules that Labour plans to …

HMRC: Close the private equity tax loophole!Good Law Projecthttps://goodlawproject.org › Cases

Good Law Project and Dale Vince take legal action to close the £600 million private equity tax loophole. Good Law Project is powered by people across the UK …

What are the tax advantages of private equity?

The tax advantages of private equity investing. There are two significant tax benefits that accrue to private equity investors: taxation of carried interest at the capital gains rate of 20 percent and tax deductions from interest paid on debt.

How are private equity distributions taxed in the UK?

If the fund does well and managers receive a distribution from the fund, they pay tax on what they receive, which depends on what the fund receives. If they receive capital from the fund (e.g. because the fund has sold an asset and is distributing the proceeds) they pay CGT. A ‘carried interest’ is the share of profits receivable by a general partner of an investment fund by virtue of their ownership of ‘an interest’ in the fund’s assets. Private equity funds are typically structured as partnerships to align the interests of managers and investors

May 25th 2024

“[If] current levels of migration were allowed to continue, a child born today to an indigenous British couple would be in a minority in the country of his or her parents by the time they reached their forties”.

Home Secretary Danid Blunkett famously saud “There is no obvious limit to immigration into the U.K“.
No cap, no control! 🚨 On Wednesday, we published a short briefing paper “No cap, no control”. That very afternoon, Mr. Sunak stood on the doorstep of No. 10 in the pouring rain to announce a general election on July 4. This came after yet another policy U-turn on legal migration, as reported by The Sun, where a group of Cabinet Ministers including Lord Cameron, Jeremy Hunt, and Gillian Keegan successfully blocked tougher proposals to limit the graduate visa scheme to elite universities.

At 9.30, the following morning, came the bombshell news that net migration for 2023 was 685,000. The Home Secretary was almost gleeful, “our plan is working, 10% down on 2022”. And yet, the figure for 2022 had also been revised upwards, again, to a record-breaking 764,000. Remember, when the provisional figure for that year was 606,000? A staggering discrepancy of 158,000 or 26%. Who’s to say that this time next year we won’t be told that for 685,000, we should read 863,000?

In the course of this parliament, net migration has added two million people to our population and four million immigrants have come to the UK. Should net migration average out at say 600,000 a year, our population will grow by 20 million people by 2046 – the equivalent of 14 or 15 new Birminghams. Immigration on this scale will mean massive demographic change and an unrecognisable Britain. As our paper points out:

“[If] current levels of migration were allowed to continue, a child born today to an indigenous British couple would be in a minority in the country of his or her parents by the time they reached their forties”.
Our Chairman, Alp Mehmet, spoke to Julia Hartley-Brewer on Talk about the ONS’ net migration stats.
Here’s what our chairman, Alp Mehmet, said to Julia Hartley-Brewer on Talk Radio on Thursday:

“We were lied to frankly… What [the government] did effectively is give control and authority to the universities, to employers, to bring in who they wanted and as many as they wanted. That is an absolute disgrace.”

As we make clear in our paper, it is perfectly possible both to control immigration and to reduce it, if the political will and courage are there. It can be done, as other countries have shown, by imposing a numerical cap on visas. The coalition government’s cap on non-EU citizens worked well until it was abandoned post-Brexit and replaced with an absurdly loose, points-based system. No cap, no control, and no hope of a reduction in immigration.
The Rwanda Plan Well, well the flights have it seems been grounded before taking off. The Prime Minister said on Thursday that if he were returned to power, the flights to Rwanda would take off almost immediately. In other words, there would be no flights before the election. Mr Sunak also pointed to Sir Keir Starmer’s vow to abandon the scheme if he were elected. Indeed, Yvette Cooper, the shadow Home Secretary, confirmed that Labour would not be sending any migrants to Rwanda but instead divert the money to efforts “to smash the criminal gangs” and employ more caseworkers to speed up clearance of the backlog and remove those whose applications have been rejected.

Forgive our scepticism but that ain’t going to happen. On Friday, we passed another milestone, 10,000 migrants across the Channel this year, a month before that number was reached last year. In our judgment, the flights are not only dead in the water but we are now heading for another record year of crossings. How ironic that 15 EU countries are now considering Rwanda-type schemes. Although, they should first plug the EU’s porous external borders before they start thinking about flights to distant, safe lands.
Donate to Migration Watch 🙏 Migration Watch relies entirely on the generosity of our supporters who fund our work. If you would like to help us with our efforts, pleaseclick here to donate.
ARTICLE OF THE WEEK 📰
Writing in the Critic, the brilliant Charlotte Gill echoed many of our sentiments about a certain former Prime Minister, who got Brexit done but went on to squander some golden opportunities and mess up immigration.
 
It’s hard to remember now – in a year when Rishi Sunak has been trying and failing to reverse the graduate visa policy — how jubilant high-profile MPs were about the change of direction. Chancellor Sajid Javid tweeted that the government “should have reversed this silly policy years ago”. Silly us! And yet, look what happened next… The number of dependents arriving with international students in the UK rose from just under 15,000 (the year ending September 2019) to over 150,000 (the equivalent for 2023), an increase of more than 930 percent.

Looking back, it’s clear that Johnson’s relaxation of rules was a disaster for Britain, especially against the backdrop of a housing crisis and other infrastructure crumbling under ever-increasing demand.”
 
We also liked this excellent piece by super Prof Matt Goodwin. As ever, spot on, professor. Click here to read it.
 
MIGRATION WATCH IN THE MEDIA 📺
Michael Knowles, writing in the Daily Express, quotes Alp on the net migration figures and the British government’s attachment to vested interests rather than the national interest of the UK.
 
Think-tank Migration Watch has warned the “next government must quickly get a grip of out-of control immigration, introduce a cap and reduce the present, catastrophically high immigration levels.

These net migration figures are the latest evidence of a massive, and avoidable, policy mistake. We warned the government that they would rue the day they introduced the scandalously loose points-based system.

“They chose to listen to vested interests instead. The next government must quickly get a grip of out-of control immigration, introduce a cap and reduce the present, catastrophically high immigration levels.”

And Michael Curzon writing in the European Conservative quoted Alp.
Alp appeared on the Farage GB News programme and spoke to Tom Harwood about the latest ONS net migration stats.
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD 📢
There will now be six weeks of politicians knocking on our door; promising the earth in return for our vote. Many prospective MPs will do their utmost to avoid discussing their party’s immigration policies. Tories won’t want to talk about their abysmal record on both illegal and legal immigration while Labour candidates will want to focus on the Tory record and keep off what their plans are for controlling and reducing legal immigration.  Let’s ask Labour what they will do about the catastrophic scale of immigration and net migration that is 15-20 times the levels in the early 1990s. How are they going to provide for the burgeoning population, driven by mass migration? What will Labour do when the boats keep coming with ever greater loads (as they will)? What will they do with rejected asylum seekers? How will they house those granted leave to remain and nowhere to live? On illegal immigration and asylum, what numbers will they be prepared to take if they there’s an returns agreement with the EU? Don’t let them fob you off with claims of Brexit resulting in our inability to send anyone back or the “Dublin Treaty”, which allowed a few hundred, over months, to be returned with, invariably, more coming in our direction then going the other way. On some days, there have been more coming than were returned (in both directions) in a year under the Dublin Treaty.  Finally, will either party withdraw from the ECHR or repeal our Human Rights Act?
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Comment The Third World has come to the U.K. Look hard at South Africa, 100% black governed,where 10 % of the population now own 80% of the wealth. Global capitalists own the rest.

R J Cook

https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2024/05/24/16/85304601-0-image-a-67_1716564334885.jpg

Paula Vennells is BOOED by Post Office victims as inquiry hears she was ‘bored’ by BBC Horizon documentary and branded wrongly accused postmaster ‘lacking passion’

A despocably arrogant woman who turned on the usual womanb tears to deflect critcism ofher appalling excuse for management. This overpaid public service parasite oversaw a public service scandal that destroyed and even ended lives. She, with her £5 million plus pay off. is the epitome of money grabbing corrupt class dividued Briitain.

How can anyone seriously believe that Britain is a democracy when all serious reforming parties are discredited and effectiveily banned – leaving the voters the choice of slippery Rishi Sunak or Sir Kier Starmer, who got his kinight hood for heading the corrupt Crown Prosecutionn Service, ? This was in cahoots with corrupt police,to withhold evidence from court for the purposes of convictions, even of innocent men.

The CPS & Police are sacred establishment cows, so they still do this and will go on doing it regardless of who wins, because both parrties are basically the same – representing the same interest groups within their parfties and across the nation – and wider world using the BBC.
R J Cook

Paula Vennells sobs as she declares love for the Post OfficeThe Telegraphhttps://www.telegraph.co.uk › news › 2024/05/24 › pos…

Paula Vennells was booed as the Post Office inquiry heard she was “more bored than outraged” after watching a programme featuring Horizon …

May 23rd 2024

Political failure
What did Britain do to deserve this? Come July, apathy will be the only winner
BRAD EVANS 
Political weakness For the Tories, things can only get worse TOM MCTAGUE    3 MINS
Analysis Labour’s lead isn’t what it seems JAMES KANAGASOORIAM    6 MINS

If there was a cover-up, those involved need to be named – former sub-postmaster

Sam Hancock

Reporting from the inquiry

During the short morning break I chatted to former sub-postmaster Lee Castleton, who says he thinks today is all about the finer detail.

He calls it “refreshing” that Paula Vennells is able to “admit not doing something, misreading or misrepresenting something” when she’s shown paperwork and correspondence by the inquiry.

“I respect that, I really do,” he tells me. “We all make mistakes – but I still feel let down by the fact she didn’t act.”

Going into the afternoon session, Castleton says the big question is whether Vennells truly made mistakes in her handling of the Horizon scandal, as she claims, or if she was part of a cover-up.

“And those people that were complicit in that, if that was the case, need to named.”

He adds that the mood in the room is “a lot more relaxed” than yesterday, Vennells’ first day of evidence.

This woman, who was at best incompetent, got a £5 million pay off.

Summary

  1. Ex-Post Office boss Paula Vennells has denied trying to close down a review into the Horizon software that led to wrongful convictions of sub-postmasters
  2. She tells the Post Office inquiry executives instead felt the review by Second Sight was becoming too expensive and not meeting its objectives
  3. She also denies being given legal advice that an independent review into convictions of sub-postmasters could open up the Post Office to lawsuits
  4. On Wednesday, she acknowledged evidence she gave to MPs and colleagues in one meeting about prosecutions of sub-postmasters wasn’t true
  5. This week is the first time she has publicly spoken about her role in the scandal for nearly a decade – press play above to watch the session
  6. Between 1999 and 2015, more than 900 sub-postmasters were prosecuted because of the faulty Horizon system

Vennells denies review was shaped by fears of negative media coverage

Beer is suggesting that the exchange of emails indicates that Vennells took the views of her media adviser when deciding whether to review five to 10 years’ worth of past prosecutions.

Vennells denies this, saying she was trying to “find a way forward through the cases that had come into the Post Office which would have enabled any case to go through normal legal routes”.

“So I absolutely don’t accept that I took a decision to not review past criminal cases based on media outcome.”

Posted at 12:0412:04

PR chief raised concerns about dangers of negative media coverage

The inquiry is now looking at an email exchange between Paula Vennells and former PR chief Mark Davies in which he advises her on her media strategy.

Her response – in which she says she would “take your steer” – is shown just after Vennells says that she would not have taken action just based on one colleague’s opinion.

Beers then asks “you did take the advice of the PR guy, didn’t you”?

Vennells starts answering by saying “I really don’t remember it relating to…” but is interrupted by groans from the audience, which are in turn interrupted by inquiry chair Williams.

Vennells says she understands how it reads, but that she doesn’t recall making any conscious decision “not to go back and put in place a review of all past criminal cases”.

The email shows Vennells wrote that the most urgent issue was media management.

Beer asks hers whether that was what she thought at the time, that media issues were more important than the “actual substance” of the case.

Vennells says she recalls the media issue to be related to the Second Sight interim report and that was about to be released, which is why it was the top issue.

Beer says that Vennells’ initial email had asked why they were not reviewing past cases going back several years. Davies’ reply said that if the Post Office went back that far it would end up on the front page.

“That’s a grossly improper perspective, isn’t it?” says Beer.

“Yes it is, yes it is,” Vennells replies.

Read more about these links.

May 22nd 2024

Another Day Of Shame For Police State Britain

PM apologises after infected blood scandal cover-up – BBC

What is the factor 8 blood scandal?

Between 1970 and the early 1990s, more than 30,000 NHS patients were given blood transfusions, or treatments which used blood products, contaminated with hepatitis C or HIV. Over 3,000 people have died as a result, and thousands live with ongoing health conditions.

In the 1970s and 1980s about 6,000 people with haemophilia and other bleeding disorders were treated with contaminated clotting factors containing HIV and hepatitis viruses. Some of those unintentionally infected their partners, often because they were unaware of their own infection.

It found authorities covered up the scandal and exposed victims to unacceptable risks. Mr Sunak described it as a “day of shame for the British state”. The Infected Blood Inquiry accused doctors, government and the NHS of letting patients catch HIV and hepatitis.

When did authorities know about infected blood? By the mid-1970s, there were repeated warnings that imported US Factor VIII carried a greater risk of infection. But attempts to make the UK more self-sufficient in blood products failed, so the NHS continued using foreign supplies

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital was the main site in Liverpool for children with bleeding disorders from the late 1970s onwards. Doctors used Factor 8 concentrate containing contaminated blood to treat them, even after other haemophilia centres stopped using them on children, Sir Brian found.

Chris Mason: Why did Sunak decide to call summer election?

Rishi Sunak Downing Street May 22 2024

By Chris Mason

Political editor, BBC News

The general election is on – it will soon be over to you.

Power will soon drain from Westminster, and drain from those who currently hold it.

Politicians, and their future – but far more importantly the country’s direction – will lie in your hands.

The prime minister announced the date outside Number 10, with the rain pouring down and music blasting from just outside the Downing Street gates.

The song? An old hit from the 1990s, D:Ream’s Things Can Only Get Better which you might remember from Tony Blair’s era.

For weeks there had been a growing expectation the election would be held in the autumn, giving the prime minister at least two years in office and giving the economic outlook a greater opportunity to improve.

A very senior government figure told me just days ago “there is no reason to be getting excited” when I was part of a conversation about a summer election.

I spent more than an hour in conversation with another very senior Conservative just yesterday where the whole thing was framed around a very long campaign that might still be rumbling when the pumpkins were out and the sparklers were sparkling.

But not everybody is in the loop on something like this.

Decisions can be on a knife edge – and there have been those pushing Rishi Sunak to go sooner, Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden among them.

Those making that argument felt that things might not improve much and that the perceived desire of the electorate to be given a say soon might risk making any Conservative defeat worse if the appointment with voters was pushed back.

Inflation fall

In other words, do it now or it could get worse.

The prime minister can also point to at least some of his objectives being fulfilled, or seemingly en route to being fulfilled.

Today’s inflation number can be chalked up as a success.

Of course it’s not purely down to the actions of the government.

But governments get blamed when it’s sky high, so it’s reasonable to expect they will attempt to siphon off some credit when it falls – and it has.

The wider economic picture appears a little brighter too.

Then there is the plan to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda.

It hasn’t happened yet but it would appear flights could be imminent, perhaps even during the election campaign, although the claim that it will act as a deterrent will not be tested before polling day.

And so the campaign begins.

The Conservatives will say over and over again: be careful what you wish for. Labour and others will say over and over again it is time for change.

The outcome will be quite something, whatever happens.

Either the opinion polls are broadly right and the party of government will change, or they are wrong and it will be one of the biggest upsets in recent years.

Summary

  1. Rishi Sunak announces a 4 July general election in a statement outside Downing Street
  2. After discussing the Covid pandemic, the furlough scheme, and the war in Ukraine, he says the question is “who do you trust?”
  3. Sunak says he’s proud of what his government has achieved, including on NHS spending and education
  4. The PM revealed the date in a rain-soaked Downing Street speech, as Labour’s 1997 election anthem ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ blared from a nearby street
  5. The Labour leader Keir Starmer says the election is the “moment the country’s been waiting for”
  6. And he says with “patience and determination” there is “so much pride and potential to unlock” in the UK

Britain’s Public Services Are Instiutionally Corrupt

Five questions for ex-Post Office boss Paula Vennells

Paula Vennells

Emma Simpson

Business correspondent

The former boss of the Post Office, Paula Vennells, is giving evidence on Wednesday at the public inquiry into the Horizon IT scandal.

It is a major investigation into how hundreds of sub-postmasters were wrongly prosecuted starting in 1999 after faulty software said money was missing from Post Office branch accounts.

Ms Vennells was chief executive from 2012 to 2019. During this time, sub-postmasters were still being prosecuted but the Post Office continued to deny the faulty Horizon software was to blame, despite mounting evidence of wrongful convictions.

This will be the first time Ms Vennells has spoken publicly about what happened in almost a decade. She will be grilled for three days. So, what are some of the key questions she has to answer?

When did she know accounts could be accessed remotely?

The Post Office always claimed sub-postmasters’ branch accounts could not be remotely accessed without their knowledge. Prosecutions were done on the basis that the accounts were secure. Once it became known that Fujitsu, the company responsible for the Horizon system, was able to do this, it undermined every prosecution case and civil claim the Post Office had brought.

We now know that the Post Office was made aware as early as 2010 about this secret “back door” access. We also know that in 2015, Paula Vennells wrote a memo to colleagues saying she needed to be able to say, “No, this isn’t possible.”

At the time, she was preparing for an important appearance in front of MPs, as the pressure grew for the Post Office to come clean about the scale of the problems. So when exactly did she know the truth about remote access?

Did she lie to Parliament in 2015?

Paula Vennells went on to tell MPs on the business select committee in 2015 that she had seen no evidence of any miscarriages of justice.

But two years earlier barrister Simon Clarke warned the Post Office there were problems with past prosecutions. He said this was because they’d relied on evidence from Gareth Jenkins, the Fujitsu IT engineer who failed to disclose to the courts that he knew about bugs in the system.

Mr Clarke wrote that this left the Post Office in breach of its duty as prosecutor.

Lord Arbuthnot, one of the leading campaigners for the sub-postmasters, says Ms Vennells must have known about the advice. “It does make you wonder what reassurances, if any, had she been given, and by whom, before she said what she said on public record.”

Why didn’t she do more to find out what was going on?

When Ms Vennells, who was also a part-time Anglican priest, became chief executive, the business was haemorrhaging money. She was under pressure to modernise the business and make it profitable. Horizon was too big and important to fail.

Nick Wallis, author of the Great Post Office Scandal, believes Ms Vennells didn’t want to be given bad information. “I think she relied on Post Office loyalists and highly paid legal advisers to tell her the truth she wanted to hear.”

It’s clear there were plenty of missed opportunities along the way. In 2012, under pressure from sub-postmasters and MPs, forensic accountants Second Sight were appointed to look into the growing number of complaints.

Second Sight played a key role in exposing the scandal, finding flaws in the Horizon computer system but Post Office bosses secretly decided in April 2014 to sack the firm, documents obtained by the BBC showed.

Why did she allow the Post Office to fight sub-postmasters in court?

Ms Vennells defended the Horizon system right to the end. After a mediation scheme to help victims collapsed, sub-postmasters launched an epic High Court battle to get to the truth.

This was the fight for justice launched in 2017 by Alan Bates and a group of 555 sub-postmasters which inspired ITV drama Mr Bates vs The Post Office.

Ms Vennells was in charge when the Post Office decided to defend the action, going on to spend £100m fighting the group in court despite knowing its defence was untrue, a draft report uncovered by the BBC showed. The Post Office said it would be “inappropriate” to comment on this report.

“They doubled down, rather than accept the reality,” says Paul Marshall, a barrister who represented several wrongly convicted branch managers. Ms Vennells left the Post Office just before the damning judgement came through.

Was anyone pulling her strings?

There’s one key bit of context to all this. The Post Office is owned by the government, which has a representative on its board.

There’s an awful lot we don’t know about what went on between ministers, top civil servants and the decision making during her leadership, a crucial phase when the alleged cover-up was in full swing.

How much did she tell them about the faults and the problems? And what were they telling her? Did Fujitsu mislead her?

Everyone touched by this terrible scandal now wants to hear the truth from Ms Vennells. In a statement from her solicitors she said: “I am truly sorry for the devastation caused to the sub-postmasters and their families, whose lives were torn apart by being wrongly accused and wrongly prosecuted as a result of the Horizon system.”

She added: “I now intend to continue to focus on assisting the inquiry and will not make any further public comment until it has concluded.”

Summary

  1. Ex-Post Office boss Paula Vennells has been in tears at the inquiry into the Horizon scandal
  2. She broke down when acknowledging that what she told MPs and colleagues in one meeting about prosecutions of sub-postmasters wasn’t true
  3. Vennells also says she wasn’t aware for several years that the Post Office was conducting its own prosecutions
  4. She apologised at the beginning of her evidence and said her answers to questions “will be difficult to listen to”
  5. It is the first time she has publicly spoken about her role in the scandal for nearly a decade
  6. Vennells was chief executive of the Post Office from 2012 to 2019, which included the last few years of the scandal
  7. Between 1999 and 2015, more than 900 sub-postmasters were prosecuted because of the faulty Horizon system
  8. You can watch the inquiry live clicking the ‘play’ button at the top of this page

Vennells disagrees with PO accusation postmasters had ‘hands in the till’

Jason Beer KC moves on to showing Vennells an email sent by former Post Office boss Alan Cook to the communications director of Royal Mail Mary Fegan.

In the email from 2009, which Vennells is copied into, Cook accuses sub-postmasters with their “hand in the till” of choosing to “blame the technology”. Cook has since apologised for these comments.

Vennells also denies it was also her view that sub-postmasters had their “hands in the till” nor using the word “subbies”.

Beer asks: “What about the more important thing – about them having their hands in the till?”

A ripple of laughter from those watching proceedings is heard in the room.

Vennells replies: “I beg your pardon, I wasn’t avoiding answering that question – neither – either calling them subbies or having their hands in the till.”

Alan Bates says he wants to listen to all of Vennells’ evidence before commenting

Sam Hancock

Reporting from the inquiry

We’re just returning from a quick break and, if possible, it seems to have got even busier here at the inquiry than it was this morning.

I asked former sub-postmaster Alan Bates for his reaction to Paula Vennells’ evidence so far – specifically the revelations about how the death of Martin Griffiths was handled – but he told me that he’d like to listen to everything Vennells has to say today before giving any kind of comment.

If you look back at some of my earlier posts, you’ll see that it was an email from Bates that first alerted the Post Office to Griffiths’ suicide attempt. Griffiths, another former sub-postmaster, later died in hospital.

Emails between Vennells and other Post Office bosses, about Griffiths’ death, were a key part of this morning’s session. Let’s see what this afternoon brings.

Beer quizzes Vennells on ‘team of 100’ investigating postmasters

Beer presses Vennells further on her claims that she wasn’t aware of the dozens of private prosecutions while she was in charge of the Post Office.

Vennells says she personally spoke to John Scott, the Post Office’s former head of security, after the feedback from Second Sight and the mediation scheme.

“When you spoke to John Scott about this, did you say John, I’ve been in the organisation for five or six years, I didn’t know you had a team of 100 people that were investigating up and down the country sub-postmasters and sending them to prison. How come I didn’t know?” Beer asks.

Laughter can be heard in the inquiry room as Beer poses the question.

She says she spoke to him seriously about the culture at the Post Office and that the sub-postmasters were really important to us.

Classic interrogation placing Vennells under huge pressure

Dominic Casciani

Home and legal correspondent

Paula Vennells came to the inquiry with a staggeringly long witness statement and her position seems to be that she was let down by others, but should have dug more deeply.

That may be the story she wants to tell – but the fact is that in any public inquiry or courtroom, the simple story that dominates is often the one that a skilful barrister steers the witness towards accepting.

So Jason Beer, the inquiry’s lead counsel – and a master of detail – simply ignored Vennells’ statement to cut through with simple and explosive opening questions. His first shot was a huge salvo: Had she been the unluckiest boss ever?

This is the kind of question that stops a confident witness in their tracks – and a fearful one will visibly wither.

They reach for their own simple story in response but, immersed in their detail, rather than the bigger picture, they don’t always know how to tell it.

Chair intervenes to ask how bosses didn’t know PO was pursuing postmasters

Sam Hancock

Reporting from the inquiry

When Sir Wyn Williams, the chair of the inquiry, intervenes – you know it’s a moment to take note. Nine times out of 10, he’s picking up on something he wants further clarification on or is potentially struggling to accept as fact.

He’s done just that in the last couple of minutes to really press Paula Vennells on her claim that she didn’t know the Post Office was carrying out private prosecutions of sub-postmasters. It “was a function [of the Post Office] that one didn’t hear about,” is how she sums up the company’s security and investigative arm.

Cutting in, Williams says many people giving evidence have said that, but he doesn’t understand how it can be true. Using the example of Seema Misra, Williams says there was so much press attention around her cases, it’s hard to imagine how bosses couldn’t have known she was being pursued by the Post Office.

Vennells’ response – that she has no recollection – doesn’t seem to be accepted by those watching on. There are more than a few jeers, with one man laughing enough that he breaks out into a brief coughing fit.

‘I should have dug more deeply into our investigations’ – Vennells

Beer continues questioning Vennells about the meeting from 2008.

He asks her whether it is reasonable to infer from the record of this meeting that it was openly discussed that the Post Office was conducting investigations of its own staff and recovering money from them.

“Yes, I think that’s a reasonable inference to draw,” Vennells replies.

“So why is it you that you say that it was not until 2012 that you appreciated that?” Beer presses.

“The only acceptable answer […] is that I should have known and I should have asked more questions, and I and others who also didn’t know should have dug much more deeply into this,” Vennells replies.

Vennells unaware Post Office conducted own prosecutions ‘until 2012’

Post Office InquiryCopyright: Post Office Inquiry

Vennells goes on to say that she did not know that the different nations in the UK had different approaches to investigations and prosecutions, when she joined the Post Office in 2007.

“So my assumption would have been that the investigations and the prosecutions which were held by the Royal Mail Groups were held across the UK.”

When asked when she became aware that the Post Office conducted its own prosecutions, she said it was 2012.

Now the inquiry is listening the notes from a Risk and Compliance Committee meeting in 2008, that Vennells was present at as well. Beers is pushing her that she should have been aware of the Post Office conducting its own criminal investigations in that meeting, since they were talking about investigators – and a Post Office investigation was the whole context of the discussions in the meeting.

Vennells says she wouldn’t have “taken that from this at all… because it doesn’t say that.”

Posted at 12:1512:15

Vennells denies being ‘preoccupied with protecting public money’

Jason Beer KC has turned to examining Vennells’ professional background and knowledge of how the Post Office operated.

The lead counsel to the inquiry asks if it is correct she had no previous experience of managing both a large IT team and an organisation which prosecuted its own staff – Vennells says this is correct.

The barrister then moves on to discussing several references to the importance of protecting public money, asking if Vennells was preoccupied with this concept?

The former Post Office CEO says she was not preoccupied with it, but adds that when she joined the Royal Mail in 2007 she was surprised about how much attention was paid to a document called “managing public money”.

“Of course it’s because it was important, because all public organisations are funded through public money,” Vennells tells Beer.

You seem to remember when others are to blame, counsel tells Vennells

Counsel to the Inquiry Jason Beer now returns to Vennells’s witness statement. He says she has often said she doesn’t recall matters that could potentially be damaging to the Post Office, but “has no problem” remembering things that attribute blame to others.

Why do you tend to remember things that diminish your blameworthiness, Beer asks Vennells.

“I don’t believe that’s the way I approach my statement at all,” she replies, adding that she had the intention to approach it with integrity and honesty.

Anthony Reuben

Biggest fall in living standards did happen

Earlier today we also heard Chancellor Jeremy Hunt speaking on Radio 4 about how things in the UK have improved since he’s been in the job.

He claims that when he took on the role in October 2022, “we had the Office for Budget Responsibility saying that we were going to have the biggest fall in living standards ever”.

The OBR measures living standards

using Real Household Disposable Income (RHDI) per person. It is measured in financial years, so the year to 5 April.

What Hunt failed to mention is that in the year he took over, 2022-23, the UK did indeed have the biggest fall in RHDI per person, since records began in the 1950s. It fell by 2.2%.

But to be fair to Hunt, while the OBR also predicted three years of falling RHDI, it actually grew 0.8% in 2023-24 and is forecast to continue growing, reaching its pre-pandemic level in 2025-26.

The OBR puts this down to things like falling inflation and the cuts to National Insurance.

Once Again A Brave British Police Officer Runs Towards Danger.

A British Police Officer doing what his lot are famous for :Running towards danger.

Footage shows the officer landing around half a dozen blows into the one-legged man during Monday’s horror bust up. After a flurry of punches the policeman pushes the man across the pavement and up against a wall in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.

The Sun

Shocking moment cop ‘punches & pushes’ disabled man in wheelchair after he was ‘spat at’ – as urgent probe…

11 hours ago


May 20th 2024

Teacher’s human rights breached by unproven allegations disclosure – From Appledene Archives

A teacher’s human rights were breached after police included unproven allegations against him in a criminal records check, the High Court ruled.

By Tom Whitehead

6:22PM BST 22 Apr 2013

The PE teacher has not worked for more than two years because the allegation remained on his record even though police investigated and took no action.

One Cumbria police officer later told the Criminal Records Officer he was a “lech” and her “gut feeling” was he should not work with children.

The ruling raises the prospect of undermining the practice of passing on so-called police “soft intelligence” in criminal record checks.

The teacher, 44, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was accused in 2010 by a former pupil of inappropriate behaviour towards her in a pub.

The girl, then 18, said the teacher, who had left the school some months earlier, “hugged me … and pressed my chest to him – four or five times”.

She also alleged that he had whispered: “I want you to come around to mine – two hours – £200 every month.”

The teacher denied “having spoken to or even seen” the teenager and police concluded that “no further action” should be taken.

However, when the teacher later applied for a post as a supply teacher he discovered details of the allegation were being passed on to prospective employers as part of an enhanced CRB check.

It emerged in court that in one instance PC Anita Owen, of Cumbria Police, was contacted by a CRB staff member to be asked why no charges were brought.

She said no charges were brought because of the age of the teenager but the teacher was asked to leave the school which, the court heard, was incorrect.

Sitting in the High Court, Mr Justice Stuart-Smith said: “Pc Owen then added ‘He comes across as a rather nice person but, if you look at other intel on the system about him, I would suggest that he should not be in a teaching post.

‘He is a lech and in a position of trust which I believe he misuses. Maybe this is not balanced and I know you can’t go on gut feelings which is a shame as I think children and young adults need protecting from him’.”

The judge said Pc Owen had then responded to another CRB request she discussed how the man had been “fidgety and stuttering” in police interview which “in my experience these factors can suggest that someone is lying”.

The judge said: “It was entirely foreseeable that disclosure in the terms made would be a killer blow to (the teacher’s) prospects of employment, and so it has proved to be.

He added: “In my judgment, any proper balancing exercise comes down in favour of the conclusion that this interference with (the teacher’s) Article 8 rights is disproportionate and unjustifiable, particularly in a jurisdiction where people are generally to be presumed innocent until proved guilty.”

The teacher is expected to seek damages but the ruling could lead to other people challenges the use of police intelligence and unproven allegations on CRB checks.

A Whitehall source last night said it was not believed the case had set a legal precedent.

Law and Order

 

Britain’s GCHQ ‘secretly gathering intelligence through internet firms’

 

Teachers who view child pornography to be banned from the profession

 

‘Soft’ sentences for knife crime despite Chris Grayling pledge

May 18th 2024

Keep Calm & Carry On by R J Cook

During the first week following the declaration of War in 1939, 750,000 pets were destroyed by panic stricken U.K citizens. Panic buying of essentials was evident. Then weeks passed and no bombs had fallen in what became known as the ‘phoney war.’ The government with its out of touch upper classes produced 4.5 million large red background posters bearing the message in bold white lettering “Keep calm and carry on.”

It seemed few people realised the nightmare world of explosions, fire and carnage that was on its way. That is pretty much the same today, after NATO finally succeeded in baiting Russia to invade and destroy itself by invading Ukraine. Britain has no authorised one million rounds of ammunition at taxpayers expense, with the justification that if Russia wins it will target the U.K economy.

The mechanism was and still is very similar to that which caused World War One and World War Two. Britain and France had serious issues with the rise of a united Germany in 1871. Up until then Germany had been divided and ruled by decadent Austria which, before the rise of Bismarck’s Prussia, had divided and ruled 39 constituent Germanic states.

The speed of the new Germany’s rise to threatening the Anglo French European and Imperialist dominance turned Europe into two armed camps. Germany faced massive weight of numbers in a war orchestrated by the Anglo French and their 1903 Entente Cordiale, with civil war removing the Russians only to be replaced by the United States. Germany nearly won against impossible odds, as they also nearly did in 1939 – 45. Insane paranoid Hitler was the reason they did not..

So France seeking revenge for Prussia defeating Napoleon III in 1870 led the charge to squeeze Germany until the pips squeaked and make Germany pay. Reparations were crippling until Hitler’s Nazis told the League of Nations lined up against Germany, where to go. Germany was on the rise again and had to be chopped down. Britain’s involvement had nothing to do with concern for the Jews. It was concern for the U.K ruling class,which is why Winston Churchill, who had played such a key role in Britain’s major efforts to overturn the Russian Revolution, was a perfect fit for wartime blustering leader. His over reaction to an accidental German bomber unloading one bomb for speed, triggered the blitz years.

So we have it all coming again because a coalition of western allies led by war mongering wealth grabbing Anglo Americans have to push back and suppress the rise of a united modernising Russia.

Over here in the west, the dumbed down masses react to propaganda and fear mongering. As during 1914 -18 and 1939 – 45, the lower class masses are expected to die for the freedom of their ruling class. The man who became Sir Winston Churchill’s real enemies were the white working classes and he did not care how many died for his class war on either side. He was the person who wanted to nuke the Soviet Union in 1945.

The fact that the British have repeatedly voted the half American Churchill as the greatest living Englishman far too many times, says it all about England. That mentality has not changed which is why events will get very much worse along with the death toll, the crippled, maimed, blinded and burned. You won’t see any Royals in the front line. They just like dressing up in fancy uniforms like all their inbred ancestors including Tsar Nicholas II and Kaiser Wilhelm 11.

R J Cook – former lecturer in European Political History at Aylesbury College.

The graduate visa scam

Hello Africa
Professor Brian Bell, Chair of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), believes that Rishi Sunak might just pull off meeting the Conservatives’ promise to slash net migration. He credits the government’s recent move to ban foreign students from bringing their families to the UK, which has led to a larger drop in migration numbers than expected.

According to Bell, this ban, enforced since January, could drive net migration down below 200,000 by the next election, possibly even hitting 150,000. We’re doubtful. If Professor Bell turns out be right, we at Migration Watch will be only too pleased.

And yet, we can’t shake off the feeling that the good professor is overly optimistic. Why? Well, because there’s no cap on legal migration. No cap on student visas, work visas, health and care visas, humanitarian visas, family visas – you name it. If there’s no cap on immigration, it is very difficult to control the numbers pouring into the country legally. And without control of our borders (legal and illegal), we lose control of the country itself. We will say more about this in a short paper we propose to publish next week.

Prof. Bell believes that the ban on student dependants will make a dent in the numbers, as will the hike in salary thresholds, particularly for semi-skilled roles. But let’s not forget, there’s still the Shortage Occupation List, and certain sectors like teaching and healthcare have their own salary structures, untouched by these changes.

And before we break out the champagne, let’s talk about the graduate visa route.  Foreign students, many of whom breeze through questionable courses at less-than-stellar institutions, can linger in the UK for up to two years post-graduation. And what happens next? Many of them dive straight into the gig economy or snag low-skilled jobs once their visa expires. So while Bell’s optimism will go down well with the government, there are still gaping holes in the system that need plugging.
The graduate visa route
The 2019 Conservative manifesto promised to lower ‘net migration’ – the difference between people coming to the UK for at least a year and those leaving after a protracted stay. At the time, it stood at 226,000. But since the Tories loosened Theresa May’s system and removed her cap on non-EU high-skill work visas, the numbers have shot up to a whopping 672,000 in the year leading up to June last year, the latest data we have.
 
Net migration is very likely going to remain at this level when the ONS announces next Thursday the latest numbers for the whole of 2023. Will they go down? Possibly, but if they do, we doubt it will be by very much and the figure could also be even higher than for the year to end June 2023. We shall see.
 
Professor Bell made his remarks about the government’s net migration target while sharing his findings from the MAC’s report into the graduate visa route. This route allows foreign students to hang around in the UK for two years after finishing their studies. The review was commissioned by Home Secretary James Cleverly amid worries that this visa was being used as a Trojan horse for low-skilled workers wanting to settle in the UK.
 
The review’s verdict? Keep the graduate visa as it is. (Surprise, surprise!) Regular readers of this newsletter will know that since the launch of the graduate visa route, there’s been a notable increase in student numbers. Curiously, this surge hasn’t affected numbers from wealthier nations, but it has led to a significant rise in people coming from developing countries like India, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Why the shift? Well, for people from less affluent, often poor, countries, the opportunity to work in the UK without any minimum salary requirement holds huge appeal and comparative riches.
 
The report, as Robert Jenrick MP and others have rightly pointed out, is nothing short of a whitewash. Its findings were essentially predetermined by the government’s narrow focus on whether the system was working as they intended it to work. They were primarily interested in two things: whether graduate visa holders are rule-breakers and whether scrapping the graduate visa route would hinder the government’s goal of enrolling 600,000 foreign students (a target they actually hit in 2020/21, well ahead of the 2030 target date). As Migration Watch UK Executive Director, Dr. Mike Jones, highlighted in a previous report:
 
The independence of the MAC is vital to ensure that immigration policy decisions rely on robust evidence rather than being swayed by special interests. While reforming the MAC to boost its effectiveness may be justifiable, it is crucial to avoid the pitfalls associated with ‘policy-based evidence.’ This term refers to a situation where research is commissioned to support a pre-determined policy, reversing the traditional process of evidence-based policymaking where research informs policy decisions.”
 
Indeed, the MAC readily admitted in their report that they’ve “been guided by what the government has said.” Not that the MAC has held back in the past in debunking the graduate visa route. They’ve described it as nothing more than a “bespoke youth mobility scheme,” arguing that it’s more likely to fuel a low-skill, low-wage, slow-growth economy rather than give a boost to our most productive industries. We agree.

The real question the MAC should have tackled is whether the graduate visa route serves the national interest. Is it beneficial for rental prices and affordable housing? Does it support public services? What about our congested roads and transport systems? Is it positive for wages and the jobs market? And let’s not forget about the long-term effect on British society.
 
Lastly, what impact will the graduate visa route have on the reputation of Higher Education institutions in the UK? Are they still seen as hubs of excellence or merely churning out certificates for a low- and semi-skilled economy? What works for the goose (universities) does not necessarily work for the gander (the nation).
Migration Watch relies entirely on the generosity of our supporters who fund our work. If you would like to help us with our efforts, please click here to donate.
ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Neil O’Brien, Substack – The MAC review of the graduate route

“Working 40 hours a week on the minimum wage gets you just under £2k a month: but the great *majority* of people on the graduate visa earn LESS than that on average. It is a boon for dodgy employers.
 
I am not sure why its not in their main report, but the data annex to the report, it points out that 41% of Graduate visa holders with earnings “earned less than £15,000” a year. Given full time minimum wage work gets you c. £24k – this is not graduate work.
 
[…] Today’s MAC report notes that a very large share of those who switch out of the student or graduate routes go to work as care workers – roughly half of those who switch directly to a work visa from study and 20% of those who switch from the graduate route. This is much higher than the general population.”

We also liked:

Matthew Lynn, The Telegraph – Third-rate universities selling visas rather than education deserve to go bust
 
MIGRATION WATCH IN THE MEDIA
Speaking to Kevin O’Sullivan on TalkTV, Dr. Mike Jones, the Executive Director of Migration Watch UK, tackled several key topics. These included the status of the Rwanda plan, French authorities’ approach to Channel policing, the surge in legal migration, and Professor Brian Bell’s outlook on the government’s ability to address the issue:
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD
In ancient Roman mythology, Janus was the god with two faces, symbolising life’s many passageways and ever-revolving doors. If there ever was a Roman tale that mirrors the Tory party’s immigration stance, it’s Janus. The government pledged to seek only the ‘best and brightest’, yet they’ve opened doors to lower-skill jobs, poorly qualified foreign students (just for their money) and to just about anyone (whatever their qualifications or competence) in the care and leisure sectors. They promised migration numbers in the ‘tens of thousands’, yet we’re faced with net migration of around 700,000. They boast about banning student dependants, but who allowed them in the first place? Who actively recruited students from Nigeria and India? Who birthed the graduate visa route, a gateway to the Uber and Deliveroo economy, and more? Mr. Sunak talks tough (Sir Keir Starmer says little), but in practice it’s a case of flabby or no action. If this situation concerns you as much as it concerns us, please reach out to your MP or prospective MP today.
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Our supporters are all as concerned about the future of our country as we are. Some have been kind enough to remember us in their will. If you wish to consider leaving a bequest to Migration Watch UK, or wish to discuss anything else, do please get in touch. Our email is: admin@migrationwatchuk.org
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More From Turd World Britain

The boss of Severn Trent has defended her multi-million pound pay package despite sewage spills by the company rising by a third in 2023. Liv Garfield was awarded £3.2m in pay, bonuses and shares last year, while over the past four years she has earned nearly £13m. Severn Trent were responsible for 60,000 sewage spillages over the last 12 months.

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Liv Garfield was awarded £3.2m in pay, bonuses and shares last year, while over the past four years she has earned nearly £13m.

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Barrell Scraping – Comment by R J Cook

The following story is a reminder of how much barrell scraping, scapegoating the vulnerabe and punishing the poor will be necessary to pay for the Anglo U.S led NATO proxy war to rape Ukraine and Russia to further enrich the western corporate and global elite. This is freedom and democracy western style.

The BBC have already implied that Slovakian PM Robert Fico asked to be shot due to his pro Putin stance. Many people believed that Thatcher’s Tory Government deserved the 1980s Brighton Hotel bombing but would have been arrested if they had said so.

R J Cook

Unpaid carers being forced to repay £250m to DWP in allowance overpayments

Wren Seaward with her husband John
Image caption, Wren Seaward, who cares full-time for her husband John, owes the government £5000 in overpayments

By Dan Whitworth & Alex Smith

Money Box reporter, BBC Radio 4 & BBC News

Unpaid carers must repay more than £250 million after many were unknowingly overpaid their allowance, new figures show.

The government is seeking to recover money from more than 134,000 carers.

Carer’s Allowance must be repaid in full if a strict earnings limit is exceeded by even a few pence.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said it was “progressing an enhanced notification strategy” to alert carers to overpayments.

Wren Seaward, a full-time carer for her husband John who relies on a wheelchair because of severe osteoarthritis, must pay back £245 a month after unwittingly receiving £5,000 in overpayments.

This has brought a “considerable financial strain” and “makes many of the things we could do in the home to make John’s life easier…very difficult to access”, she told the BBC.

The couple admit missing DWP letters reminding them to report any changes in circumstances, but say they became overwhelmed with correspondence following the death of their daughter in a car crash.

Unpaid carers who provide care for someone for more than 35 hours a week are entitled to receive the Carer’s Allowance.

However they are only eligible if they earn less than £151 per week after tax. If this is exceeded following a change in circumstances – such as working overtime or a modest pay rise – they are no longer eligible and have to repay any allowance received in full.

The latest figures show more than twice as many women are in debt because of overpayments, roughly in line with the proportion that receive Carer’s Allowance.

The DWP has previously said that “claimants have a responsibility to inform DWP of any changes in their circumstances that could impact their award, and it is right that we recover taxpayers’ money when this has not occurred”.

But carers have told the BBC they were unaware they had exceeded the threshold until being informed years later, by which time the sums had run into the thousands.

‘Not enough progress’

In 2019, a report by the Work and Pensions Committee, external warned carers could be “heavily penalised for making honest mistakes”, as errors in claims were not being spotted quickly enough by the DWP due to “problems with its systems” and “staff shortages”.

At the time, the government said it believed it was “well on the way” to fixing those problems and limiting overpayments.

On Thursday, the Work and Pensions Committee warned there has “not been progress” in limiting the impact of the problems raised five years ago, and called on the DWP to “improve urgently” how it monitors and communicates allowance overpayments.

Labour MP Sir Stephen Timms, who chairs the committee, said the government “has known for years” about the issues, but had “just allowed many unpaid carers to unwittingly rack up unmanageable levels of debt”.

“The DWP must now move without delay to get a grip of the problem and ensure carers are no longer subjected to the distress that such overpayments can cause,” he said.

Last month two former DWP ministers – Conservative MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith and the Liberal Democrat pensions minister during the coalition government, Sir Steve Webb – called on the government to pause its demands for repayments of large sums of money.

Carers ‘shocked and horrified’

A report by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) published last week said, of more than 1,000 carers surveyed, 3% had to make repayments after changes in circumstances meant that they received the benefit in error.

Emily Holzhausen from Carers UK, said carers are often “shocked and horrified” when they find out they have been overpaid.

“It’s devastating for their mental health, and feels really tough paying that back”, she said.

Gina Price, from Carmarthenshire in south-west Wales, cared for her dad while working part-time at a petrol station. She said she would sometimes agree to work an extra shift, but would do fewer other weeks. This way, she believed she would remain under the earnings threshold to qualify for the benefit.

She now owes the DWP around £7,000 in overpayments, and said the debt was a “huge blow”.

It is “a big debt by anyone’s standards”, let alone someone working part time, she added.

Gina Price, 59
Image caption, Gina Price has described the debt as a “big, big weight on top of everything else”

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey, a carer himself, has called for these debts to be cancelled.

“It’s just unbelievable” that carers are being forced to repay as a result of the “government’s own incompetence”, he told the BBC.

“People work hard, they pay their taxes, they look after their loved ones, the government should be incentivising work,” he said.

The Department for Work and Pensions said the total amount of Carer’s Allowance overpayments “includes historical debts which the department is seeking to recover”.

“In comparison, Carer’s Allowance expenditure is forecast to be £4.2 billion this year alone,” it said.

“Carers across the UK are unsung heroes who make a huge difference to someone else’s life, and we have increased Carer’s Allowance by almost £1,500 since 2010,” the department added.

May 17th 2024

Street killing of pensioner ‘terrorist act’ – judge

Moroccan asylum seeker Ahmed Alid was jailed for life with a minimum term of 45 years

A man who stabbed a stranger to death in an attack described by a judge as a terrorist act has been jailed for life.

Moroccan asylum seeker Ahmed Alid, 45, roamed the streets in Hartlepool looking for a victim to attack in “revenge” for the Israel-Hamas conflict in October.

He killed 70-year-old Terence Carney by stabbing him multiple times.

Sentencing Alid for life on Friday, external, the judge said the killer had “hoped to frighten the British people and undermine the freedoms they enjoy”.

He was also found guilty of the attempted murder of his housemate, Javed Nouri.

WARNING: This article contains images which some readers may find distressing

Man with a beard
Image caption, Moroccan asylum seeker Ahmed Alid, 45, stabbed 70-year-old Terence Carney multiple times

Alid, who was described as following an extreme version of Islam by prosecutors, had told police the attacks were in protest against the Israel and Gaza conflict.

He spoke through an Arabic interpreter during the trial and had admitted stabbing the two men but denied he had intended to kill or cause really serious harm.

‘Undermine freedoms’

The judge Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb ruled that Alid had committed terrorist offences when he murdered Mr Carney and attempted to murder his housemate Mr Nouri.

She said: “The murder of Terence Carney was a terrorist act in which you hoped to influence the British government.

“You hoped to frighten the British people and undermine the freedoms they enjoy.”

Due to time spent on remand, Alid would serve 44 years and 52 days in prison, she said.

The court heard Alid forced his way into Mr Nouri’s room in the early hours of 15 October and stabbed him.

Alid shouted “Allahu Akbar” – “God is great” – during the attack at the Home Office-approved asylum seekers’ accommodation.

After that attack, Alid fled into the street and came across Mr Carney, who was out for a regular early morning walk on nearby Raby Road.

Mr Nouri's room after attack
Image caption, The court heard Alid forced his way into Mr Nouri’s room and stabbed him

Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb said Alid had waited to assault Mr Nouri when he was “asleep and vulnerable,” and that “the life he had started to build in this country was shattered by what happened”.

She said Alid then “attacked an unarmed and elderly man who was unable to defend himself”.

Doorbell camera footage showed Mr Carney cry out “no, no” as he was stabbed by the stranger.

In a holding cell at Middlesbrough police station after his arrest, Alid launched into a speech in Arabic saying that “Allah willing, Gaza would return to be an Arab country” and how he would have continued his “raid” if his hands had not been injured.

Alid, who strongly disapproved of his housemate Mr Nouri’s conversion to Christianity, said God was “displeased” with those who went astray.

During his police interview Alid said he launched his attacks because “Israel had killed innocent children”.

Jonathan Sandiford KC, prosecuting, told the court during the trial: “In other words, he said he had committed the attempted murder of Javed Nouri and the murder of Mr Carney in revenge for what he believed to be the killing of children by Israel.”

‘I don’t feel anything’

In a victim statement, Mr Carney’s wife Patricia Carney said she found it impossible to talk about her husband’s death and felt numb.

She said: “I don’t feel anything, I’ve lost everything.

“I don’t feel I can be happy anymore, I feel I’m constantly putting on an act and a brave face for my family.

Mrs Carney added: “He used to love going for an early morning walk. He thought he was safe, but a chance encounter ended his life.”

She said she had been with Mr Carney from a young age and although they had been living separately for a few years, they were “still very much together”.

Mrs Carney said she could no longer go into town because it was “too painful” to be near the spot where her husband was murdered.

Mr Nouri, 31, said that since the attack, he did not “trust anyone or anything” and “all thoughts and feelings I had of being in a safe country have gone”.

His victim statement added: “I would expect to be arrested and killed in my home country for converting to Christianity but I did not expect to be attacked in my sleep here.

“How is it possible for someone to destroy someone’s life because of his religion?”

Mr Nouri said he now struggled with mental health problems and had to move cities, losing all his friends.

“I want to tell Ahmed: You are a weak person, because of your religion you attack someone in deep sleep and an old man who struggled to walk,” he added.

As the statements were read out in court, Alid sat in the dock with three security guards and repeatedly yawned.

Det Ch Supt James Dunkerley
Image caption, Det Ch Supt James Dunkerley said Alid was not known to Terrorism Policing North East

Det Ch Supt James Dunkerley from Terrorism Policing North East (TPNE) described the attack as a “violent rampage”.

“He was telling everybody on arrest, and in custody, what his intentions were – that he wanted to go out and kill more people,” he said.

“He was hell-bent on violence that day.

“His extremist views had fuelled him so much that he wanted to cause harm to anybody he could, in retribution to what he was seeing on his online media on events happening in Gaza.”

Meanwhile a refugee organisation said sanctuary seekers in the area were “scared to go out” because they feared backlash against the attack.

Tees Valley of Sanctuary co-chair Shams Moussa said at the time, some refugees and asylum seekers deliberately did not go to things like appointments, food shops or volunteering commitments because they were “afraid they would be targeted”.

Additional reporting by PA media.

Comment The answer to Mr Nouri’s question as to how people will kill for religion, is very simple. Islam is a medieval unreformed belief system. Its’ acolytes will never feel safe until non Muslims, whom they contemptuously call infidels, are either converted or slaughtered. The same fate awaits any Muslim who dares to convert to Christianity or atheism.

The mechanism that sustains this outlook is akin to obsessive compulsive disorder. That is why there will never be a two state solution in Israel – land belonging to the Jews long before Mohammed invented Islam as a spin off from Judaism. But you cannot tell Muslims that, any more than you could have stopped the Spanish Inquisition or Qeen Mary Tudor from burning Protestants in the sixteenth century.

As for Moroccan asylum seeker Ahmed Alid, there is no war in his Islamic country. He was not being persecuted. He was simply here for what so many people call a better life. The appalling poverty and squalor of these economic migrants’ home country has much to do with religion, especially Islam, and western appointed elite ethnic dictators who take them for the ignorant lazy fools that they are. Self sytled white liberal ‘tolerant’ charirty, feminist and pressure groups are also a major part of the problem, fighting legal reforms to a swarm of economic migrants that are overwhelming Europe’s social, economic and housing systems.

Multi Culture only matters where it suits white ‘liberals’ which is why at the same time as welcoming ‘diverse’ migrants, their fascist feminist battalions set up transsexuals as rapists in waiting, pariah’s and freaks. Hence the vile hideous murder of young trans girl Brianna Ghey. To avoid the truth, her death is being written off as another reason to watch and control social media. Fascist Feminists and fascist police state governments love this kind of excuse for more laws, while illegal economic migrants are supposed to be above and outside the law.

R J Cook

He became rich housing refugees. Who is the asylum millionaire?

The men making millions from ‘Broken Britain’: ‘Migrant hotel king’ enters Rich List with £750m fortune after

Graham Ian KING personal appointments – Companies HouseGOV.UKhttps://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk › …

CLEARSPRINGS (MANAGEMENT) LIMITED (03851074). Company status: Active. Correspondence address: 26 Brook Road, Brook Road Business Park, Rayleigh, Essex, SS6

British asylum housing tycoon breaks into Sunday Times rich list

Graham King, whose firm is paid £3.5m a day to accommodate arrivals in the UK, listed among country’s 350 richest people

Napier Barracks in Kent, which is run by Graham King’s company Clearsprings as asylum accommodation. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Rich lists

British asylum housing tycoon breaks into Sunday Times rich list

Graham King, whose firm is paid £3.5m a day to accommodate arrivals in the UK, listed among country’s 350 richest people

Rupert Neate Wealth correspondentFri 17 May 2024 10.34 BSTFirst published on Fri 17 May 2024 08.00 BSTShare

An Essex businessman who won government contracts paying his firm £3.5m a day for transporting and accommodating asylum seekers has been named among the 350 richest people in the UK.

Graham King, the founder and majority owner of a business empire that includes Clearsprings Ready Homes, which won a 10-year Home Office contract for housing thousands of asylum seekers, was on Friday named alongside King Charles III, the prime minister and Sir Paul McCartney on the Sunday Times rich list of the wealthiest people.

King, 56, is estimated to have amassed a £750m fortune from “holiday parks, inheritance and housing asylum seekers for the government”. Clearsprings Ready Homes made £62.5m in profits after tax for the year ending January 2023, more than double its profits of £28m the previous year.

King, ranked 221st, is one of several new entries to the 2024 rich list alongside the Formula One driver Sir Lewis Hamilton and Tony and Cherie Blair’s son Euan, whose apprenticeship firm Multiverse is said to be worth £1.4bn.

The Hinduja brothers retained the title of the UK’s richest people with an estimated fortune of £37.2bn, up from £35bn last year – and the largest fortune recorded in the newspaper’s 36 years of ranking the wealthy.

Euan Blair, casually dressed, smiles for a candid photograph

Euan Blair, son of Tony Blair, also appears on this year’s rich list; his company, Multiverse, has been valued at £1.4bn. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

However, this year’s list reveals the largest fall in the number of billionaires – from 177 to 165 – in its history. “This year’s Sunday Times rich list suggests Britain’s billionaire boom has come to an end,” said Robert Watts, the compiler of the list. “Many of our homegrown entrepreneurs have seen their fortunes fall and some of the global super-rich who came here are moving away.”

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the founder of the petrochemicals company Ineos, who this year bought a 27.7% stake in Manchester United, is named as the biggest loser on the list, with a £6.2bn decline in his fortune to £29.7bn.

The richest 350 individuals and families together hold a combined wealth of £795.4bn – a sum larger than the annual GDP of Poland.

Priya Sahni-Nicholas, a co-executive director of the Equality Trust, a charity that campaigns for the creation of a fairer society, said the list “demonstrates the obscene extent of inequality” in the UK.

“Billionaire wealth is up by more than 1,000% since 1990 at a very real cost to us all,” she said. “This rich list is built off record bill increases, massive price hikes for essentials, an endless shortage of decent homes, and huge investment in fossil fuels.

“To make progress on these crises we must tackle inequality. The super-rich have spent centuries diverting wealth into their hands, making our democracy less responsive to people’s needs and damaging our communities. The result is we are poorer, sicker, less productive, unhappier, more polarised, and less trusting.”

Luke Hildyard, executive director of the High Pay Centre, a thinktank focused on pay, corporate governance and responsible business, said: “The rich list always prompts intense interest in billionaire rivalry over who’s up and who’s down, but as a society we should also ask whether this represents a fair, proportionate or efficient allocation of resources.

”Twelve of the top 20 rich-list entrants inherited their wealth or business. They all depend on the workers at the companies they own and invest in, or the public services and infrastructure that enable the economy to function.

“Allowing such a tiny number of people to capture such a huge share of collectively created wealth is not an inevitability but a policy choice that needs to be properly debated.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/article/2024/may/17/british-asylum-housing-tycoon-breaks-into-sunday-times-rich-list

May 16th 2024

More From Fascist Police State Britain – by R J Cook.

Britain does not tolerate dissent, it has a captive elite media, it is the most watched country in the western world, its police cum criminal justice system is so corrupt that it jails whistle blowers – the most famous being Julian Assange.

Fascism’s extreme authoritarianism and nationalism often manifest as a belief in racial purity or a master race, usually blended with some variant of racism or discrimination against a demonized “Other”, such as Jews, homosexuals, ethnic minorities or immigrants. There is also the matter of the State’s increasing victimisation of transsexuals led by fantasy writer and feminist rabble rouser J K Rowking and given state sanction by Prime Minisiter Rishi Sunak.

The British Ruling elite has gone through all the normal obvious stages of fascism, Now it is time for something subtle in the name of equality ( sic ), with the whole former British Empire’s colourful collection of peoples moving to the crowded mother country – where 10 % of the population own 90% of the land while 90% of the population live on 10% of the land – the ruling elite need a new object of special detestation.

So the elite join forces with fascist white man hating feminists, who represent the new female master race, to label them so privileged that these men must accept positive discrimination against themselves. Any hint of protest from this white male underclass is described as ‘far right.’ It is clear from contemporary TV advertising that multi culture is the theme and white men are portrayed mainstream, including in TV & film drama and literature, as wife beating rapists and alcoholics best kicked out of the family. Only today, the Home Secretary signalled his agreement to get more men convicted of rape.

These are the days of consensus politics across the western world. Like everywhere else, Britain’s sham democracy offers a very fixed choice of two established parties, New parties attract media suspicion and ostracism. The magic words from the authoritarian hegemony are ‘far right.’ Reform U.K have that coming to them just like the EDL, Marine Le Penn, the AFD and Donald Trump.

That is how western style sham demoracy works. It is why the CIA and MI6 are working overtime to sort out Russia, Belarus, Slovakia, where anti government propoganda via mass and state media provoked the attempted assassination of the Prime Minister, and Georgia. Circumstances can only get worse ass the U.K, U.S and EU get ever more desperate concerning their Ukraine investment, the road to China and world domination. That is fascism, the bedfellow of a police state.

R J Cook

The four tactics NHS managers use to break whistleblowers

NHS bosses destroy careers of whistleblowers who stand …

The Telegraphhttps://www.telegraph.co.uk › news › 2024/05/15 › nhs-…

23 hours ago — NHS managers are destroying the careers of whistleblowers who raise concerns about patient safety, a group of medics warns. More than 50 doctors …

Of the 52 whistleblowers interviewed by The Telegraph, 25 faced disciplinary action, 19 were suspended and 16 were dismissed. As one nurse who was excluded from work after raising concerns said: “My mum and dad are so terrified. I’m their son who they’re so proud of, who went to university as a nurse

‘Faulty valve’ blamed for water parasite outbreak

SWW handing out water to residents
Image caption, The government announced the incident would be “investigated thoroughly”

Georgina Barnes

BBC News, South West

  • 16 May 2024, 17:45 BST

A parasite could have made its way into the water network, infecting hundreds of people, through a faulty valve, South West Water (SWW) has said.

Public Health said 22 cases of cryptosporidiosis had been confirmed in Brixham, Devon, and up to 100 people had reported symptoms to their GP in the last week.

The government announced the incident would be “investigated thoroughly” by the Drinking Water Inspectorate and UK Health Security Agency.

Infections from the parasite can be caused by drinking contaminated water or swallowing it in swimming pools or streams.

Laura Flowerdew, SWW’s chief customer officer, said it had identified a “damaged valve on part of our network which could be the cause”.

She said: “We’re doing further work to make sure we’re absolutely confident that’s the cause and the only cause.

“We’re working through operational procedures in the meantime. We’re also doing further sampling to make sure we’re really confident in that cause.”

Jess Blake and her family from Portsmouth spent a short holiday in Brixham last week.

She said since returning home she had been bed bound by symptoms caused by cryptosporidiosis.

She said: “I did think the water tasted a bit different but when you go to different counties obviously the water can taste different, I didn’t think anything of it.

Read More https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/czrxrryvr24o

Comment This is down to private profit first and avoid inspection and maintenance whenever you can and for as long as possible. In sum, large water companies have underinvested in their capacity to deliver their services efficiently and in an environmentally responsible way. Yet they were privatised with the Tories alleged aim of stimulating investment without drawing on the taxpayer or being funded through government borrowing.

Amusingly, the taxpayer has recently been billed for £15 million to clean up the River Thames into which Thames Water had been pumping raw sewage for years.

Like all the 1980s Thatcherite money grabbingTory privatisations, private water companies have been disaterous for consumers and customers. Their asset stripping made the ruling elite even wealthier.

R J Cook

The Camelford poisoning: black water, a driver’s mistake …

Radical reform
The Right’s new parties won’t save Britain Luxury beliefs will perish in a poor, angry world
ARIS ROUSSINOS   
14:10 – PETER FRANKLINPopulism is not to blame for Tory failures Commentators only see bogeymen on the party’s Right

May 15th 2024

Boil water warning after parasite found

SWW van with water supply at car park
Image caption, South West Water has been providing affected residents with bottled water

Chloe Parkman

BBC News, South West

Georgina Barnes

BBC News, South West

  • Published15 May 2024, 10:32 BST
  • Updated 3 hours ago

People across south Devon have been advised to boil their tap water as 22 cases of a diarrhoea-type illness have been confirmed.

A further 70 suspected cases are also being investigated.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said the parasite, cryptosporidium, was “predominantly a waterborne disease”.

Infections can be caused by drinking contaminated water or swallowing it in swimming pools or streams.

South West Water (SWW) said the Hillhead reservoir and the wider Alston area was being investigated as a potential cause for the outbreak.

Dr Lincoln Sargeant, director of Public Health in Torbay, said about 40,000 people get their tap water from the reservoir.

“In terms of people who have actually been affected we have to date 22 confirmed cases and about 70 to 100 people have contacted their GP with similar symptoms over the last few days.”

Queuing cars for free water from SWW
Image caption, South Devon residents have been queueing for bottled water from South West Water

SWW has urged residents across Brixham, Boohay, Kingswear, Roseland and north-east Paignton to boil their tap water.

Chris Rockey, from SWW, said people should boil water to drink, cook and clean their teeth within the affected areas.

He said the firm would continue to work with “health professionals and monitor the water” and that it had started its investigation after it was contacted by the UKHSA on Monday.

The company said data from tests on Tuesday showed treated water leaving its treatment works was not contaminated, but further tests overnight found small traces of cryptosporidium.

SWW said it was confident boiled water was safe and had issued the advice as a precaution.

Mr Rockey said he was unable to provide a timeframe for how long residents should continue to boil water.

He said further advice would be issued when the water supply had “returned to normal”.

Laura Flowerdew of South West Water
Image caption, Laura Flowerdew said SWW “should have said something different” on Tuesday

Laura Flowerdew, SWW chief customer officer, said it was a mistake for the company to tell people to keep using the water on Tuesday.

She said: “With the benefit of hindsight and additional sampling we’ve taken we do realise that now perhaps we should have said something different yesterday.

“However we operated at that point with the best intentions and using the sampling and the water quality monitoring that we had available to us, and we were working with the public health authorities as well.”

Ms Flowerdew said SWW was “working as fast as we can to make sure we are supporting customers” and that it would set up two additional water stations.

“We have people working throughout the night to try and understand and find the route cause of the problem – as soon as we’ve done that we will give further information to customers.”

‘Enormously frustrating’

​Conservative MP for Totnes and South Devon, Anthony Mangnall, said: “It is enormously frustrating that South West Water weren’t quicker to respond at the first point at when this was reported.

“It started with an initial denial that it was anything to do with their network and of course they have now found the cryptosporidium is in their network and they are responding.

“Residents were quick to actually point out there was something wrong with the water, they could taste it, and now they are suffering.”

Mr Mangnall said: “What I want to see is for them to address the problem, fix it as quickly as possible and make sure the support for residents is there both now and into the future so they can have confidence in their drinking water.”

Mr Rockey said the increased number of people who were unwell in the Brixham area had led to the water company undertaking additional monitoring.

SWW said, external “small traces of the organism” were identified overnight and on Wednesday morning in the Hillhead section of its network.

It said: “We apologise for the inconvenience caused and will continue to keep customers and businesses updated.”

The firm said unboiled water could continue to be used for washing, bathing and toilet flushing.

What is cryptosporidium?

The parasite, also known as crypto, causes an illness or disease called cryptosporidiosis affecting people and some animals, the UKHSA says, external.

It can be found in the intestines and faeces of infected humans and animals and can contaminate lakes, rivers, swimming pools, untreated or poorly treated water and food.

Symptoms include diarrhoea, stomach pains, nausea or vomiting, low-grade fever and loss of appetite which can last up to two weeks.

The bug is most common in children aged between one and five and also those with weak immune systems.

The UKHSA says most people with healthy immune systems will recover within one month.

South West Water map urges Brixham residents to boil water

Read More https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/cd1q1d51w27o

Comment Just another example of TURD WORLD BRITAIN. It is a pity Britain’s Government doesn’t put as much effort and money into sorting out this country as it does about Ukraine. It is a pity people put up with it. The sanctimonious U.K Mainstream Media cannot hide their glee regarding the current Georgia Riots due to CIA infiltration as a repeat of ‘The Velvet Revolution.’ But the same sense of enjoyment does not apply to similar anti government outbursts in the U.S , U.K and EU. The U.K Government has agreed to charge the £15 million London’s Thames Water needs to clean up all the sewage in the Thames and tributaries. PM Sunak has agreed that Thames Water’s shareholders and management bonuses must come first.

R J Cook

May 13th 2024

How will John Swinney navigate divisions over identity politics?

Women's rights activists marching

Lynsey Bews

Political correspondent

Identity politics have proven divisive in the SNP and across the Scottish Parliament. Navigating the issue is one of the major challenges facing Scotland’s new first minister.

Both of John Swinney’s predecessors, Nicola Sturgeon and Humza Yousaf, spent much political capital in this area.

Ms Sturgeon pursued controversial gender recognition reform legislation, and Mr Yousaf persevered with a subsequent legal challenge after the UK government blocked the new laws.

So far, Mr Swinney has been cautious, saying he will “wait and see” what the political landscape is like after the general election when it comes to pursuing gender recognition.

He has described the Cass review into gender identity services for children as a “significant piece of work” on a “complex area of policy” that should be taken seriously.

He says the Scottish government is committed to legislating on conversion therapy but must now reflect carefully on the responses to a recent consultation on the proposals.

But there is one particularly ideologically and politically-loaded question that’s hard for today’s politicians to avoid giving a definitive answer.

Nicola Sturgeon previously refused to be drawn and Mr Swinney himself avoided answering it during his leadership campaign launch.

But asked on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme if a transwoman is a woman, Mr Swinney ventured: “I believe a woman is an adult female born as a woman, and I also accept that transgender women are defined as women.”

His response is unlikely to be satisfactory to either side of the debate – and, with his answer being described by some as confusing, it’s likely the FM will face further exploration of his views on this topic.

Eventually Mr Swinney will also have to spell out his government’s position on gender policies – and deal with the consequences.

Trans rights activists marching

He may hope that by then the general election will have been and gone – an event that marks another major challenge for his premiership.

That challenge is not just about delivering a strong election result in itself but also defining what that result means for the SNP’s core aim – Scottish independence.

His strategy is to demonstrate he can deliver a thriving Scottish economy and good public services as a means of convincing more Scots of the case for leaving the union.

But he’s also committed to the SNP’s policy that winning a majority of seat at the forthcoming election would be a mandate for another push on independence.

What happens if they don’t get that majority? The first minister won’t countenance that right now but it could have a considerable impact on his own future, as well as that of the independence movement.

John Swinney in a hard hat

Mr Swinney has already made it clear that economic growth is one of his top priorities – and a visit to the ground-breaking for the new Ardersier Port is very much on message.

The project exemplifies investment in the transition from oil and gas to renewables, with government funding boosting private investment.

In that Good Morning Scotland interview, Mr Swinney said: “I want to make sure that the power of government, which is very significant if aligned properly and aligned effectively, can deliver those approaches that are good and attractive for investors.”

The focus on growth may be music to the ears of the business community but questions remain over exactly how the first minister intends to alter the Scottish government’s current approach.

And the devil, as always, is in the detail. Setting that out is another of his major challenges.

Will he address concerns over business rates?

Will ministers look again at tax policy after the Scottish regime was described as “bewildering” by the entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter?

And will the current presumption against new oil and gas projects continue?

The answers to those questions remain unclear.

Related Topics

Is migration good for the economy? In a bombshell revelation, the Bank of England’s top economist has sounded the alarm on soaring rents, pointing the finger squarely at high immigration levels.

Huw Pill, the Bank’s chief economist, has made waves by linking the housing crisis to record levels of migration. He argues that the influx of newcomers, with a staggering 745,000 net migrants arriving in 2022 alone, is exacerbating the shortage of housing and driving rents through the roof.

Pill’s analysis cuts through the usual blame game, highlighting that the problem isn’t just about interest rates and the Bank of England but also about population growth and delays in obtaining planning permissions, which further compound the shortage of available homes.

Backing Pill’s stance, a report from the Centre for Policy Studies, supported by former immigration minister Robert Jenrick, reveals that immigration isn’t delivering the economic boost promised; instead, it’s making the housing crisis worse. The report shows that a whopping 89% of the 1.34 million increase in England’s housing shortage over the past decade can be attributed to migration.

But here’s the kicker: Pill emphasises that the Bank of England’s hands are tied when it comes to boosting housing stock. It’s down to policymakers responsible for border controls and planning regulations to roll up their sleeves and tackle the root causes of the crisis head-on.

Looking ahead, the outlook is grim. The Office for Budget Responsibility predicts a surge in immigration, putting even more pressure on housing availability and sending rents skyrocketing. Pill stresses the urgency of bringing down rents to manage inflation and meet economic targets.

In essence, Pill’s stark warning, along with the latest Centre for Policy Studies report and Migration Watch UK repeatedly saying it over the years, challenges the politically-correct narrative that immigration always brings economic benefits. It’s time for leaders to wake up to the impact of immigration on our housing market and take decisive action to ensure fair access to housing for all.
BBC urged to listen to public concerns on immigration
A review of BBC’s news coverage, by  Dr Madeleine Sumption, director of Migration Observatory, has called for the broadcaster to reflect public concerns about immigration.
 
The review revealed that some BBC journalists were hesitant to cover local immigration issues or immigration fraud, fearing it might seem ‘hostile’ to migrants. However, the report emphasised that it’s not racist to be concerned about immigration impacts or to prefer stricter policies.
 
Authored by Dr. Sumption and involving input from over 100 contributors, including Migration Watch UK, the review praised some of the BBC’s work on migration but also called out some serious flaws. It found that while there’s no consistent bias towards Left or Right, there are clear risks to impartiality.
 
Audiences, the review found, are hungry for more coverage on how migration affects society and the economy, from housing to public services. But too often, journalists are shying away from the tough questions.
 
The report also hinted that the BBC’s staff might be leaning a bit too far to the left, suggesting they need a wider range of backgrounds and opinions. Some journalists are feeling the heat to come across as caring and compassionate, focusing more on migrants than the communities they impact.
 
But perhaps the biggest problem highlighted by the review is the narrow political lens through which migration stories are often told. Audiences are craving more context and explanation, struggling to make sense of complex issues like migration numbers and government policies.
 
In a nutshell, the review is calling on the BBC to step up its game, listen to the public, and provide more balanced coverage on immigration. It’s time for the Beeb to give the people what they want!
Migration Watch relies entirely on the generosity of our supporters who fund our work. If you would like to help us with our efforts, please click here to donate.
ARTICLE OF THE WEEK
Allister Health, The TelegraphThe British dream is crumbling, replaced by a nightmare of sectarian division

““We need to drastically reduce migration. We need to be much more discerning about who we let in. We can no longer allow our righteous openness to immigration to be perverted and manipulated.”
 
MIGRATION WATCH IN THE MEDIA
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Alp Mehmet, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, highlighted the alarming revelation that the Home Office has lost track of at least 21,000 asylum seekers in just five years – though the actual number might be even greater:

“This is the kind of information the Government should be publishing regularly as a matter of course so people can make informed judgments about the state of our asylum system.”

In his column for GB News, Alp also delved into the mechanics of BBC bias, shedding light on how the publicly-funded organisation, staffed predominantly by people sympathetic to mass immigration, skews news coverage on the issue of migration:
 
“It appears to have been edited since I last looked at it about a year ago, when it was little more than a cringeworthy paean to immigration and immigrants (incidentally, I am an immigrant). There were quite a few references to various organisations and experts, including several to MigObs. And one to us, doubtless for the sake of balance, ahem.

The descriptions of organisations mentioned in the report are still there, although the references themselves seem to have disappeared from the body of the report.

Here’s what they said about MigObs and MW:
Migration Observatory – Immigration experts at Oxford University who provide independent authoritative analysis of raw data on UK migrants and migration
Migration Watch – Group which campaigns for increased controls on immigration to the UK

So, should we be surprised that Madeleine Sumption was commissioned, with Samir Shah, Chief CEO of Juniper – a TV production company – to carry out a thematic review of the BBC’s migration output. Mr Shah is of course now chairman of the corporation.”


In an interview with Nigel Farage on GB News, Dr. Mike Jones, Executive Director of Migration Watch UK, discussed the potential bottlenecks in the Rwanda plan and highlighted the Home Office’s loss of contact with numerous asylum seekers designated for Rwanda. He also addressed the government’s deliberate intention to ramp up levels of legal migration.
Speaking to Ian Collins of Talk TV, Mike also spoke about the Peckham mob trying to stop the transfer of asylum seekers from hotels to the Bibi Stockholm:
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD
We’re facing a double whammy: a soaring cost of living and an immigration crisis, and they’re feeding off each other. As long as we turn a blind eye to loose border controls and a lack of deportation policies, the housing crisis will only worsen.

This means countless young families and renters are trapped in poverty, shut out from owning homes or securing affordable mortgages. It’s a national disgrace, and the Tory government has only itself to blame for neglecting its promise of a property-owning democracy.

And let’s not hold our breath for Labour to fix things – their wishy-washy stance on immigration, both legal and illegal, doesn’t inspire much confidence in solving this mess. If this situation concerns you as much as it does us, it’s vital to take action. Contact your Member of Parliament and ensure your concerns are heard.
We wouldn’t be able to continue this work without the help of our supporters. If you would like to donate, please click the button below.

Our supporters are all as concerned about the future of our country as we are. Some have been kind enough to remember us in their will. If you wish to consider leaving a bequest to Migration Watch UK, or wish to discuss anything else, do please get in touch. Our email is: admin@migrationwatchuk.org
MAKE A DONATION TO MIGRATION WATCH UK

Kurdish man pays smuggler to return him to France after failed asylum claim

Omar left Kurdistan and paid a smuggler $15,000 (£12,000) to get him to Britain. He was there for 20 months, suffered a stroke, failed to gain asylum and ended up paying a smuggler £500 to get him out of Britain and back to this squalid camp in France.

Adam Parsons

Europe correspondent @adamparsons

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.640.0_en.html#goog_995374095 Migrant paid a smuggler £500 to get him out of Britain and back to this squalid camp in France.

We are rushing down the beach. In the gloom just before dawn, people are waiting by the seashore, a few hundred metres away.

We can see a dinghy out at sea. And then a voice rings out, in Kurdish.

“Whose passengers are you?”

In the half-light, the people smuggler thinks we are customers here to clamber on to the boat, and wants to know who we had paid.

We tell him we’re journalists.

“Keep out of the way,” he warns.

There are several dozen people gathered together, standing on the shoreline, moving anxiously from side to side.

Migrants wait for a dinghy as they prepare to cross the Channel to reach the UK.
Image: Migrants wait for a dinghy as they prepare to cross the Channel to reach the UK

I can see some women and children, but most of the passengers are men.

Some are clinging to a bag of possessions; others have nothing but the clothes they stand in. A man has his child held up on his shoulders.

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Just about everyone is wearing a life jacket.

Just beyond, the boat is coming near the shore, already half full of people.

It seems impossible that all the people on the land can really fit into the space left in the boat, but that’s what happens.

On a signal, the movement starts – the younger men clamber in first, and then help the women, children and older people to get into the boat.

It all happens remarkably quickly. From a distance, migrant boats may look ramshackle and chaotic, but when you get up close, there is method and practice.

Some people jump off; the men who didn’t have life jackets on.

It becomes clear that these are the smugglers – or, more accurately, the smugglers’ assistants who have been sent to sort things out.

On one side, we see a moment of tension as two passengers square up – one accuses the other of not leaving a space for him to get aboard.

A shoe left in the sand after migrants cross the Channel for the UK
Image: A shoe left in the sand following the attempted crossing

It is a faintly ridiculous squabble, like something between two drunk men in a pub, and it blows over. They end up sitting next to each other, brooding.

And then the engine is started and the boat sets off. At first, it’s a failure – the boat, low in the water with around 70 people on board, gets stuck on a small bar of sand and spins around.

But, with a push here and there, it gets going and slowly chugs away into the mist of the morning.

‘Migrants are desperate’

We turn around. The smugglers are leaving. We shout a question – are all these people Kurds?

“All of them,” he says. “These are the last Kurdish customers I have. There are no more.”

“Why not?”

And his answer is one succinct word: “Rwanda.”

The smugglers, dressed in black, disappear into the gloom.

We can just about see them clambering into the dunes, and then they are gone. It is a good ten minutes before we see the police – four officers marching down the beach.

They ask only two questions – firstly, did we see women and children on the boat (yes) and secondly, had the boat been launched from the beach (no).

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They’d only just started their patrol, one of the officers tells me. He looks at the calm waters and shrugs. It could be busy.

Over the course of that night, we had seen plenty of police officers. We’d been questioned on the beach, checked as we walked near the beach and then pulled over at a road block.

We’d chatted with a team of CRS riot officers on the beach, one of whom bemoaned the fact that so few people grasped the sheer complexity of what they took on.

“It is so, so complicated – the migrants are desperate, and they can get everywhere. We cannot have a team in every place, at every time.”

It turned out that the road block officers were exactly the same team who we’d met on a different beach the previous evening.

“Ah, Sky News you are back,” he said, with a smile and a handshake.

‘I cannot go to Rwanda’

We meet two young Sudanese men who tell us they are determined to get to Britain. When I ask if they’re worried about the Rwanda plan, they look blank. They’ve never heard of it.

And then we drop into a migrant camp that is growing in size and bump into another group of Kurds.

They are cooking food – this is the cafe for the migrants – and brewing tea that is strong, and scented with cinnamon.

They give me a cup. It’s delicious.

Omar is kneading dough, making crispy flatbread, and serving it with yoghurt. And he talks as he cooks, serving a remarkable story.

A migrant camp in France that is growing in size, with people who want to cross the Channel to the UK.
Image: At a migrant camp in France that is growing in size, people kneed bread
A migrant camp in France that is growing in size, with people who want to cross the Channel to the UK.

Two years ago, Omar left Kurdistan and paid a smuggler $15,000 (£12,000) to get him to Britain. He was there for 20 months, suffered a stroke, failed to gain asylum and ended up paying a smuggler £500 to get him out of Britain and back to this squalid camp in France.

Yes, you read that correctly. He paid to be smuggled out of Britain, and back to France.

“Here there is no washing or bath,” he says.

“You can’t clean yourself. Life is hard. But in Britain I had to give my fingerprints and signature regularly. Once every two weeks.

Omar left Kurdistan and paid a smuggler $15,000 (£12,000) to get him to Britain. He was there for 20 months, suffered a stroke, failed to gain asylum and ended up paying a smuggler £500 to get him out of Britain and back to this squalid camp in France. Here he is speaking to Sky News's Europe correspondent Adam Parsons.
Image: Omar, who paid to be smuggled out of the UK after a failed asylum claim, speaks to Adam Parsons

“Then I was told they had turned me down for asylum. I couldn’t cope with Britain anymore.

“They could arrest me and send me to Rwanda or Iraq. Rwanda – I cannot go there.

“So that’s why I came back here, to this place. But I have no money. I am 52 years old. It’s a terrible feeling to be back here, but what can I do?”

Listening to him is Barzan, who arrived in the camp five days ago after eight months on the road since leaving Kurdistan.

Read more from Sky News:
Girl crushed to death on cross-Channel migrant boat
Rival group pushed their way on to cross-Channel boat

May 7th 2024

Queen Elizabeth II Ruled Too Long

British Monarchy are no laughing matter.

As much of Britain and the world waits on baited breath over King Charles’s cancer treatment, it is only natural that many look back to his mother’s time on the throne with a mixture of nostalgia and regret. It was Queen Elizabeth II’s unchanging nature, epitomized by her unbending adherence to the royals’ unofficial motto of “Never complain, never explain” that made her a constant fixture in the lives of millions of Brits and billions more around the globe. When she died in 2022, nobody under the age of 70 had known another British monarch; few younger than her son could remember George VI, let alone the ill-fated Edward VIII or George V.

For all intents and purposes, Elizabeth II was the British monarchy. But her reign—longer than any other British monarch in history—has set the stage for much of the predicament the royal family finds itself in today. Queen Elizabeth II has for years been by far the most popular British royal, a fact that remains true even now.

There are good reasons for this. She served as an unmistakable bridge between the last days of the British empire, which she was born into, and today’s era of instant technology. When she became Queen, communication by telegram was common; when she died, the Telegram app was in equally frequent usage. It is hard, if not impossible, to think of any comparable figure who exerted such influence—however symbolic it was—over such a period of immense transformation.

Read More: The Story Behind TIME’s Commemorative Queen Elizabeth II Cover

Outside of Britain, the Queen played a central role in building the soft power of the country throughout the second half of the 20th century. When, after the post-war years of austerity and misery, the country established itself once again in the 1960s as a world power to be reckoned with, thanks to the dual strengths of the canny Prime Minister Harold Wilson and the telegenic young Queen. Wilson’s virtues were political; Elizabeth’s those of being able to temper regality with apparent accessibility.

The late Queen undoubtedly had her flaws. She was not a woman of any artistic or intellectual interests (unlike her unfairly maligned husband), and was happiest when spending time with her corgi. She could be a poor judge of character; her open preference for her second son, the now-disgraced Prince Andrew, and continued loyalty to him was testament to that. And she could be slow at reading the public mood, too. She notoriously took days to publicly address the death of Princess Diana in 1997. She was by all accounts reluctant to do so even then, feeling that she had been bounced into doing so by then Prime Minister Tony Blair. And she could justly be criticized for sticking to conservatism rather than considering the idea of progress when it came to the monarchy; by the end of her reign, it was still recognizably the same institution, battered and shop-soiled but intact, that she had inherited, much to her shock and surprise, while in Kenya on Feb. 6, 1952.

Yet the Queen’s greatest flaw was one that she had no control over, and that was that she set an impossibly high expectation of what monarchy should be that her successors could never hope to live up to. Queen Victoria did much the same, dying in 1901 after nearly 64 years on the throne, and allowing four subsequent monarchs to flounder in her wake —from her son Edward “Dirty Bertie” VII to George VI. Only Queen Elizabeth II was able, half a century later, to wipe away memories of her great-great grandmother’s reign, by doing as little as she could to upset the monarchical applecart. (She never exercised a single meaningful veto throughout her reign.) There was much sentimental talk, especially late on, about “the new Elizabethan age.” But what her reign more closely resembled was a second Victorian age, even as British expansionism and concomitant exceptionalism was replaced by a slow, managed decline into a middling power.

None of this was the late Queen’s fault. She did everything that could be expected from her, sometimes even more. So many hands shaken, so many ribbons cut, so many “Have you come far?” enquiries. She—or at least those around her—had an undeniable knack for finding the appropriate phrase on public occasions. Her dismissal of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s accusations of royal racism after their Oprah Winfrey interview with “recollections may vary” appeared to end any serious threat to the monarchy. Her promise during COVID-19 that “we will meet again” comforted many at a time when hysteria and uncertainty dominated. She may, or may not, have enjoyed her portrayal in The Crownas an ingénue-turned-battleaxe.

Read More: Meghan and Harry’s Interview Won’t End the Monarchy. But a Reckoning Is Coming

But one thing that her lifelong belief in duty would never have allowed was to quit. Recollections of those dread days in late 1936 never disappeared, when her uncle Edward VIII, later Duke of Windsor, abdicated the throne to marry the twice-divorced Wallis Simpson—passing the crown over to her father. Her decision to remain Queen until the last possible moment, frail but still shaking hands with the disastrous Prime Minister Liz Truss, was personally commendable but has left Charles III with the impossible task of inheriting a legacy too large for anyone to bear.

It’s interesting to wonder what would have happened had King Charles III inherited the throne years or decades earlier. A younger Charles would perhaps have been a more energetic, at times even interventionist monarch. Instead, Charles assumed the throne at 73, and will likely be remembered by posterity as a warm-up man in reverse, whether he reigns for two years or 20 more.

Read More: Why King Charles III Will Be Worth the Wait

The world, or at least the parts of the world that still care about the British monarchy, may be be forced to look at the 41-year-old Prince William to revitalize the institution whenever he takes over. Yet a man who has no interest in the religious faith that he will be defender of, who has been beset by scurrilous rumors including adultery, and whose attitude toward the Commonwealth seems to be that it’s best wound up without delay is hardly the steady and dutiful custodian of the throne that his grandmother was.

Shakespeare’s Henry IV once described the crown as “troublesome,” and said that “it seem’d in me/But as an honor snatch’d with boisterous hand.” Elizabeth II dealt with the honor in rather more sober fashion, and succeeded, but she left an impossible inheritance in the process. And that, surely, is her lasting legacy: setting a standard that nobody else could live up to.

Success of UK rail drivers struggle means challenging ASLEF’s betrayal with fight for rank-and-file committees

The strikes testify to the determination of the drivers to oppose the erosion of their pay and conditions. But after almost two years, they also demonstrate the abject failure of Aslef’s leadership.

Read more

Reject CWU’s repackaged sell-out at Royal Mail Fleet

Britain is among the most corrupt and hypocritical countries in the world.

For rejecting the Communication Workers Union’s sell out of the dispute involving all postal workers, Fleet members have been left hung out to dry for the best part of a year.

Read more

May 6th 2024

Voter turnout was 40.5% for London mayoral election

The New Left Liberal Guardian reported :

Sadiq Khan’s election victory as London mayor has “bucked the trend” of Muslim voters turning away from Labour over the party’s stance on the war in Gaza, party figures said.

The 53-year-old won a third term as the capital’s mayor on Saturday, without seeming to have lost the support of large numbers of Muslim voters – unlike Labour candidates elsewhere in England last week.

But Labour candidates elsewhere in England last week saw a significant loss of Muslim voters. Richard Parker became West Midlands mayor after a knife-edge contest with Andy Street, but it would have been much easier for the Labour man had substantial numbers of voters not backed an independent candidate whose campaign focused on Gaza.

Labour’s Sadiq Khan secured just over 1,088,000 (43.8%) votes to be re-elected London Mayor, a majority of some 275,000 over Conservative rival Susan Hall, who secured just under 813,000 (32.7%) votes.

Under the GLA Act, the Mayor and Members set their own levels of pay, resettlement grant and pension benefits. This is done within a framework the Mayor and Assembly agreed following a review by the independent Review Body on Senior Salaries. The Mayor’s salary is £154,963.

Salaries, expenses, benefits and workforce information | London City …


The mayor’s main functions are: Strategic planning, including housing, waste management, the environment and production of the London Plan. Refuse or permit planning permission on strategic grounds. Transport policy, delivered by functional body Transport for London.

London mayor election: How Sadiq Khan won over London for the third time

By Tim Donovan

Political Editor, BBC London

For Sadiq Khan the worst fears did not materialise.

His record third mayoral victory came after the threat of a Tory surge in the suburbs simply evaporated. Mr Khan’s winning margin was 275,000 votes and his 44% share equalled what he achieved in 2016.

Yet there was bitterness in his victory speech, condemning the “non-stop negativity” of his Tory opponent. The campaign appears to have taken its toll.

In a contest criticised by some London media as lacklustre and without energy, Mr Khan’s safety-first strategy prevailed.

His promise of a “safer, fairer and greener” capital brought out his own supporters and also looks to have succeeded in persuading Green and Liberal Democrat voters to “lend” their support to him in the mayoralty while voting for their natural choices for the London Assembly.

This was evident in south-west London where the Lib Dems won their first ever constituency Assembly seat – but Mr Khan comfortably out-polled Ms Hall.

Graph showing the Mayor of London victory for Sadiq Khan

There was relief in the Labour camp after a campaign where it did not appear easy for Mr Khan to defend his record.

Official figures published a week from polling day showed knife crime offences in the capital up 20% in the last year. Over eight years the increase was greater still.

Then 48 hours before polling day, there was widespread shock and revulsion at the death of 14-year-old Daniel Anjorin – killed in a sword attack in Hainault.

Some thought it might have an impact on the election.

Among other pledges Mr Khan offered a fresh commitment to build 40,000 new council homes by the end of the decade – note, not the end of the next four-year mayoral term.

There was a big price tag attached to his central “retail” offer.

The government already funds free school lunches for the majority of primary school pupils but Mr Khan’s extension of this to seven-to-11-year-olds not currently entitled for the next four years will cost well over £1bn.

Sadiq Khan during a visit to a school in Stoke Newington with Ed Milliband

Sadiq Khan’s pledge to continue free school lunches for older primary school children for four more years will cost more than £500m

He also decided to freeze many transport fares this year, though with no guarantee beyond that. Voters apparently rejected his opponents’ attempts to present this as an irresponsible pre-election gimmick.

Mr Khan’s victory shows he successfully navigated the biggest controversy of his mayoralty so far – charging the motorists of polluting vehicles through the expanded Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) to cover all of the London boroughs.

In the anti-Ulez heartland of Bexley and Bromley, Ms Hall’s attempt to gain ground were thwarted by nearly 10,000 votes won by Reform UK’s Howard Cox.

A year ago, the mayor published a book heralding his focus on the environment and cleaning up London’s air.

Attending last year’s UN climate conference in New York he claimed to be “educating” people and taking them with him on the journey to Net Zero carbon emissions by 2030.

Ulez sign in London
Image caption, Previously, Sadiq Khan called the Ulez expansion “necessary and effective” for London

It looked then as if tackling traffic congestion, air quality and climate change might form the centrepiece of a radical vision of a third term. That seemed clearly to be what he had hoped would be his legacy.

Then the brakes were applied after the dramatic loss of political capital he had experienced over the Ulez expansion.

That was something his own independent experts advised would not shift the dial in terms of improving air quality, and it enraged sections of outer London and led to Labour’s failure to win the Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election last July.

That setback was not repeated when Londoners were asked to choose this time.

Environmental groups heralded Mr Khan’s win as a victory for clean air. However, he may now be hamstrung by the limited pledges he ended up making.

In his book he talked about pursuing a new system of road-user charging which would take into account the distance, time and emissions of journeys.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-68959313

Sex Change U.K High Priority

Obvious;y U.K Women are devilishly atrractive. Men will do anything to rape and assault them – even voluntary castration,growng breasts and wearing silly clothes.. That is why it is so important to have ever more women in Parlaiment and Government to protect their interests with more and more laws. Good show Rishi Sunak and the Tories. You know what the nation needs right now. Labour will have every encouragement to out perform you so get your thinking caps on and put white working class men in their place for the good of all women.
R J Cook

It took female MPs from both parties to change Starmer’s …The Guardianhttps://www.theguardian.com › commentisfree › aug

13 Aug 2023 — We are all very familiar with the debate about sex-based rights and transgender equality. We know its roars, culture wars and bitter …

A senior Labour MP has been accused of ‘toxic’, ‘evil’ and ‘ …Mumsnethttps://www.mumsnet.com › talk › womens_rights › 49…

2 Jan 2024 — A senior Labour MP has been accused of ‘toxic’, ‘evil’ and ‘hateful’ transphobia – simply for daring to speak out in favour of women’s rights.

Green Feminists Women and Girls Declaration Submission …UK Parliamenthttps://committees.parliament.uk › writtenevidence › html

We urge the committee to be aware of the possible impacts of conflating the terms ‘sex’, ‘gender’ and ‘gender identity’ and we hope you will resist requests of …

Rayner stands by trans charter that attacked feminist ‘hate …The Telegraphhttps://www.telegraph.co.uk › news › 2024/04/11 › ang…

11 Apr 2024 — Angela Rayner has declined to apologise for endorsing a charter describing feminist organisations that raised fears about the treatment of trans …

Rosie Duffield: What has the Labour MP said about trans …PinkNewshttps://www.thepinknews.com › 2023/08/18 › rosie-duf…

18 Aug 2023 — Despite Rosie Duffield’s transgender stance, the politician has continuously claimed that she supports LGBTQ+ rights and that she has fought.

Impacts of Transactivism on the Human Rights of Women …Northern Territory Legislative Assemblyhttps://parliament.nt.gov.au › assets › pdf_file

PDF

This paper will explore some of the reasons for feminist concerns and opposition to conflating sex and gender, by considering the impacts of these changes to …

35 pages

Is Regressive Feminism a thing? : r/AskFeministsReddit · r/AskFeminists10+ comments · 4 years ago

Just FWI, I’m a cis male who identifies as a feminist. So one thing I’ve noticed with a few articles that claim to be feminist tend to …

Is modern feminism regressive? : r/AskFeminists – Reddit

15 Jul 2018

Tradition over regressive trends : r/Feminism – Reddit

18 Mar 2023

Is vocal fry regressive? : r/Feminism – Reddit

8 Feb 2024

anyone else notice that regressive sexist things are being …

What are the 4 principles of feminism?

Feminist Theory | Overview, Types & Importance - Lesson ...

Most feminists agree on five basic principles—working to increase equality, expanding human choice, eliminating gender stratification, ending sexual violence, and promoting sexual freedom.

Comment

If feminists want to expand human choice why are they anti trans ? What about female violence against men ? Oh, I forgot, that only happens in self defence and women never lie.

Trans teaching in schools, especially of the majority mtf, needs to put teenage trans girl Brianna Ghey and the toxic fascist femninism that did so much to motivate the two feral youths, a boy led by a very sick evil girl, on the curriculum. U.K Tories have now joined forced with feminism to step up the trans suspicion and hate crimes.

Parents need a say in what is happening to boys mainly from single parent female led families who grow up hating their own sex and fetishistic worshipping some abstract ideal of women and their clothing. Ironically fascist feminsim has created this nightmare trans world. They need it as fodder feeding their hatred of and obsession with controlling males of all ages who do not submit to their cause. I have explained this process perfectly well in my novel, published in 2003, ‘Man Maid Woman’ which has sold worldwide.

Men need to be more realistic and gender aware before more young, mainly white young males take the guilt trip road to what is euphemistically called sex change because toxic feminism teaches them guilt and hatred of their own genitals. The way things are going now in the U.K, transsexuals are going to become part of an isolated group and freak show.

R J Cook

R.J. CookAddALL book search and price comparisonhttps://www.addall.com › author

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  • Man, Maid, Woman

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Man, Maid, Woman Paperback – January 15, 2003

by Rj Cook (Author)

See all formats and editions


Achild from the 1950s, George Hills is beaten often, at home and school. With only his disillusioned mother to protect him, the boy learns to live with humiliation, coming to reject everything masculine or violent. George’s gradual release begins with the death of his father and the freedom to explore his feminine feelings. Escape into the gender-bending, protesting, drug-taking world of 1970s student life exposes him to conflict when he falls for the girl that he’d really like to be. Sister Lizzie had been daddy’s favourite. Without his affection, she is lost, pursuing her own escape in a world of boys, trapped by teenage pregnancy which leads her to years of abuse. The story is told by the voices of the three Hills family members, who have always been divided. The mother’s secrets must be given up before they can all find real freedom. As a student, George had read ‘Freedom is the recognition of necessity’ daubed upon a University of East Anglia walkway. Before he can be free he must face up to his sense of failure. While mourning his lost girlfriend, he realises what he has known for years. The story moves against the background of years from the 1930s until the watershed of 1979, when these old working class ways and hardships were supposedly washed away by the dawn of Thatcherism and a new beginning. Son of a former soldier and lorry driver, who died when his son was eleven, R.J. COOK graduated from the University of East Anglia and Goldsmiths College, London, experiencing the ‘gender bending, protesting, drug taking years’ first-hand. His varied working life has included such diverse employers as the Nitrate Corporation of Chile and the British Civil Service. Work as a stand-up comedian and female-impersonator has further enhanced his perspective in creating this fascinating novel.

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R J Cook

What is the paradox of feminism?

The feminist movement aims to improve the conditions for women, yet only a minority of women in modern societies identify as feminists. This is known as the paradox of feminism.

New restaurants, public toilets, shopping centres and offices in England will be required to have separate male and female toilets under proposed legislation, the government has said.

The law will affect new non-residential buildings as part of a push “ending the rise” of gender-neutral toilets, Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch said.

A consultation highlighted concerns from women, elderly and disabled people who felt “unfairly disadvantaged” by toilets being converted into gender neutral facilities sharing cubicles and sinks, the government said.

But transgender rights groups argue gender-neutral toilets can protect trans people from discrimination.

The rights groups say that, along with other people who do not conform to the gender binary, trans people can face intrusive challenges when using male or female toilets.

The government hopes to present the long-talked about legislation to Parliament in the next few weeks and, if approved, have it in force later this year.

The change to building regulations will also allow contained, universal toilets in addition to single-sex toilets where space allows, or instead of single-sex toilets where there is not enough space.

A universal toilet is defined by the government as a self-contained room with a toilet and sink for individual use.

The government said gender neutral toilets were leading to increasing waiting in shared queues and less privacy and dignity.

“These regulations will guide organisations to design unisex and single-sex toilets, ending the rise of so-called gender-neutral mixed sex toilet spaces, which deny privacy and dignity to both men and women, ” Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch said.

“Today’s announcement will also create better provision for women so that our particular biological, health and sanitary needs are met.”

When asked on ITV’s Good Morning Britain if gender-neutral toilets would persuade people to vote Conservative following poor local election results, Women’s Health Minister Maria Caulfield insisted: “This is an important issue for women.”

The new legislation will also apply to buildings going through major refurbishment. Exemptions include care homes, cells in custody suites and schools.

A consultation, which received 17,000 responses, found 81% agreed with the intention for separate single-sex toilet facilities and 82% agreed with the intention to provide universal toilets where space allows.

Mermaids, a transgender youth support charity, said in response to the government proposals: “In order to ensure everyone is served fairly and that everyone can feel comfortable using public toilet facilities, not only are gender-specific facilities in which trans people can feel safe in using vital, but gender-neutral facilities are also greatly necessary to ensure non-binary people’s experiences with toilet facilities are one of comfort.”

Last week the government also announced proposals to ensure hospital patients in England have the right to request treatment on single-sex wards, with transgender people placed in rooms on their own.

Patients will also have the right to request a person of the same biological sex delivers any intimate care.

No-one can forget Mikey’s stabbing at a party, even those who never knew him

Jon Kelly

BBC News

Sharon Gray never got to know Mikey, not while he was alive. But she still thinks about what happened to him before she goes to sleep at night. And when she wakes in the morning.

She had gone to bed when her daughter came into the room and told her someone had been stabbed. Sharon, 49, ran outside. A boy was unconscious on the tarmac, surrounded by a crowd of teenagers. One of them told her his name.

“I’m trying to help you, Mikey,” Sharon recalls telling him as she and another neighbour performed chest compressions. “You’re not on your own.”

On the lenses of her glasses, she says, she could see the reflection of an ambulance arriving. Then, she remembers someone putting a green bag down beside her. She says her memory has blocked out what happened next.

Sharon Gray
Mikey’s death deeply affected Sharon Gray, who tried to save him

The boy she had attempted to save was Mikey Roynon, a popular 16-year-old from Kingswood, near Bristol. Mikey was a livewire, according to his family – he loved music and riding his scooter, and he hated to disappoint his mum. On 10 June 2023, at a house party in Sharon’s road on the outskirts of Bath, he was killed by a single 9.5cm (3.7in) stab wound to the neck from a zombie knife.

Shane Cunningham, 16, was found guilty of Mikey’s murder and detained for life. Two other 16-year-olds – Cartel Bushnell and Leo Knight, who were 15 at the time of the stabbing – were found guilty of manslaughter. Last Friday, the judge, Mr Justice Saini, lifted an order granting them anonymity. Bristol Crown Court was told all three had drawn knives in what the judge described as “a group attack”.

This was one death among many. The latest police figures for England and Wales show that 247 people lost their lives as a result of knife crime from July 2022 to June 2023.

Mikey’s killing was devastating for his family, friends and all those who loved him. And as with every murder, the ripples of trauma extended much further. There was a profound impact, too, on many others – neighbours like Sharon, police officers, medics – who had never crossed his path before his stabbing.

He remained popular as a teenager, too, says his cousin Sophie McCallum, 21: “Everyone looked up to Mikey,” she says. “Any type of situation, he’d always lift the mood.”

Mikey had a part-time job helping out at a family friend’s rubbish clearance and demolition company, which he loved. “He was a hard grafter, a hard worker,” says Hayley. His enthusiasm for music developed into a passion for drill. He recorded his own tracks, rapping in his strong Bristolian accent. A track he had released, Oh Dear, had gone viral online.

Hayley didn’t like certain things about the drill scene – the balaclavas rappers would mask their faces with, the violent lyrics. But Mikey was good at rapping, and Hayley reasoned that if she banned him from doing it, he would just want to do it more; it was better they could be open with each other. Mikey would reassure her. “He’d say: ‘It’s just words, Mum.'”

More thunderstorms to hit UK as warnings issued

Several people are caught in heavy rain as they cross The Millennium Bridge over the river Thames in London.
The Met Office has warned that 1.5 inches of rain could fall in about two hours

Tom McArthur

BBC News

Thunderstorm warnings covering large parts of England, Scotland and Wales have been issued by the Met Office.

Heavy downpours could lead to flooding and travel disruption, the Met Office said.

In some areas up to 40mm (1.5inches) of rain could fall in a couple of hours, it said, warning that flash floods could cut off communities.

This could also lead to difficult driving conditions, some road closures and public transport delays, it added.

A weather map of the UK shows two Met Office weather alerts.
Image caption, The yellow warnings cover a good portion of the UK

A yellow warning, external covering central Scotland and Tayside, much of the borders, northern England and part of Wales is in place from 13:00 to 21:00.

Another warning covers a large part of the south east of England, including London, Brighton, Portsmouth and Canterbury, between 12:00 and 21:00 today.

The Met Office said lightning strikes could also lead to public transport delays, and there was a “small chance” that homes and businesses could be flooded, with damage to some buildings from floodwater, lightning, hail or strong winds.

The latest warnings come after thunderstorms rumbled across southern England and Wales last week – with many people woken in the early hours of Thursday by dramatic lightning strikes.

May 5th 2024

Kremlin calls Cameron statement on UK arms for Ukraine a …Reutershttps://www.reuters.com › world › europe › kremlin-cal…

2 days ago — The Kremlin called British Foreign Secretary David Cameron’s statement that Ukraine could use British weapons against targets inside Russia Dangerous …

UK plans to ramp up weapons production for Ukraine and …Sky Newshttps://news.sky.com › story › uk-plans-to-ramp-up-we…

2 days ago — UK plans to ramp up weapons production for Ukraine and Western defence as Lord Cameron reveals envoy will oversee ‘national priority’

1:46

Cameron statement on UK arms for Ukraine ‘dangerous …

YouTube · FRANCE 24 English

May 4th 2024

YouTube · Guardian News

Bibby Stockholm: Protesters block coach in bid to stop asylum …

YouTube · Sky News

Bibby Stockholm protesters charged after trying to stop …The Independenthttps://www.independent.co.uk › UK › Home News

Only three people have been charged after protesters blocked a coach set to take asylum seekers to the Bibby Stockholm barge.

White liberal virtue signallers and ethnic vested interests are dragging the U.K down to the religious dominated level of the Third World. That is their solution to Africa, the Middle East and Indian Sub Continent. To argue is to be written off and ostracised as racist and far right. The police have an impossible job dealing with these people and the regular Palestinian protestors.

R J Cook

May 2nd 2024

Why the double standard ? R J Cook

Britain is now leading the world on transgender sanityThe Telegraphhttps://www.telegraph.co.uk › news › 2024/03/13 › brit…

13 Mar 2024 — Too many have suffered appalling levels of abuse for simply stating biological facts. NHS England are finally listening.

America should follow England’s lead on transgender care …The Economisthttps://www.economist.com › leaders › 2024/04/10 › a…

10 Apr 2024 — “There are few other areas of health care where professionals are so afraid to openly discuss their views,” argues Hilary Cass, a British doctor …

What do the British public REALLY think about trans people?

Stonewall Scotlandhttps://www.stonewall.org.uk › about-us › news › what-…

19 Jul 2022 — According to some corners of our press and politics, trans people are the single biggest issue facing the British public today.

JK Rowling says she knew her views on transgender …The Guardianhttps://www.theguardian.com › books › mar › jk-rowli…

15 Mar 2023 — Harry Potter author JK Rowling has said she knew that when she spoke out about her views on transgender issues “many folks would be deeply …

Man, Maid, WomanAmazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk › Man-Maid-Woman-Rj-Cook

Images

Man, Maid, Woman: Cook, Rj: 9781904408048: Amazon.com: Books

Amazon.com

Buy Man, Maid, Woman First Edition by Cook, RJ (ISBN: 9781904408048) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders.

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The King’s New Suit Of Clothes Principle – By R J Cook

Comment Ball breaking women wanted men to be more like women but they don’t like the consequences, especially when they expect men to march off as cannon fodder to keep them safe in World War Three, just lik they did in 1914 and 1939 .

My novel ‘Man Maid Woman’ is the story of young George Hills whose overbearing man hating and adulterous self centred mother – not modelled on my mother who was the absolute opposite – had her man friend kill the man George thought to be his father. George is actually the killer’s son.

Diffident and without a strong identity, George fails in his one and only heterosexual relationship, making the dangerous choice to change sex in order to regain his lost loves respect and affection. When he catches up with her,as a replica of herself, his former girlfriends mocks him as a grotesque ‘man made woman.’

Written and published in 2003, as my own ball breaking long marriage and inspiration for the book, was collapsing. The book ends with the warning that although George appeared to have found another love, someone with others would come along and ruin his/her fragile happiness because ‘normal people’ just don’t like that sort of thing. That is because it goes against nature. Mainstream thinking is that transwomen are ersatz and only perverts would fancy them.

It cannot be because so called cis women are aggressive ridiculing self righteous competitors and not in the least desireable. This is because a tenet of female so called ‘protected status’ is that they are never wrong. White men and boys must accept their toxicity and never dare argue or explain anything to a woman. White men and boys must understand that equality in the British model for the world ground breaking democracy, equality means positive discrimination in favour of women, girls and non ethnic whites. White boys are supposed to live with this. It outrages the liberal and chattering classes to suggest that this has everything to do with the mad rush of little boys from famiilies without fathers, wanting to be little girls long before puberty has told their brains what sex is all about. On the other side of the coinm too many little girls are reacting in the extreme in their quest for empowerment.Their young minds are overwhelmed by mothers and schools that boys have it all, so they join the rush for what is euphemistically called gender reassignment.

The term sex change is no longer used by professionals. The outburst of girls wanting to be little boys, so they can have the same alleged privileged white male status has caused panic among self styled liberals, the ruling elite and their mainstream media. That is where the Cass report comes in because the new world order can waste as many privileged white men as it likes on Anglo U.S NATO New World Order Imperial Wars, but it cannot waste women and girls. They are vital to the benign well painted disguse of that vicious hypocritical new world order.

However, it would be an offence against the protected status of women to suggest that feminists, especially TERFS and lesbians go against nature and are the reason for so many divorces, mental health issues, feral children, transsexuals and violent misogynists like the Sydney mass killer .J K Rowling has made it very clear that her attack on the female status and legitimacy of trans women is because they are a threat to women’s rights.

The myth is that men have any sui generis rights. That is the essence of some very large cancerous social and mental health problems across the generations and western world. The BBC are currently working to infect India’s election with the same mindset and in total conflict with their pious disingenous drivel about diversity and equality. This new western world of democracy has so many conflicting parts. If it was an airplane it would fall apart and explode on the runway as it tried to take off. But Western Ruling Elite Politicians follow the ‘Kings’s New Suit of Clothes Principle.‘ People are expected not to see the naked truth posing and posturing in front of them.

R J Cook

Ukraine chases draft dodgers amid war manpower shortageWashington Posthttps://www.washingtonpost.com › World › Europe

8 Dec 2023 — Men have squeezed themselves into secret compartments in vehicles, posed as clergy members and dressed as women to sneak past border checkpoints …

Images

Why do men have to die in the front line carnage of rich men’s wars ? Why do women expect them to? R J Cook

Ukrainian border guards claim to have stopped a male …

Daily Mail

Picture says it all about the hyocrisy of war and myth of men’s equality and human rights. R J Cook.

Ukrainian Officials Stop ‘Man Dressed As Woman’ To Avoid …

UNILAD

How sad is this in fake western democracy ? Men don’t only ape what is called female identity to escape military war. They do it to escape the civil , economic and moral battlefields they are born into. R J Cook

Ukrainian border guards claim to have stopped a male …

Daily Mail

Ukrainian officials claim to have discovered man dressed in …

Republic TV

May 1st 2024

Rwanda: too little, too late?

After much ado, the Rwanda Bill has made its way through Parliament, and Rishi Sunak, in his “enough is enough” mode, is promising to launch “multiple flights a month,” whisking away illegal migrants within a brisk 10-12 weeks. We shall see but we have our doubts.
 
We said two years ago, and repeated since, that the Rwanda scheme could have contributed to discouraging migrants from paying criminals huge sums for the illegal and dangerous trip across the Channel. We said it would not be the silver bullet that solved the Channel crisis. The legislation had to be passed and implemented quickly and it had to be court-proof. Those arriving illegally had to be detained, dealt with quickly and removed. Leaving the Human Rights Act (which embeds the ECHR in UK law) in place and intact was always going prove to be a major stumbling block. It remains in place and as Suella Braverman and Robert Jenrick warned when the safety of Rwanda Bill was proposed, it would be largely symbolic in nature with only a handful of flights taking off. We shall soon see how accurate their predictions were. The government is no doubt bracing itself for the legal battles ahead as the human rights brigade, including activist lawyers and open-border NGOs, go into action in the courts.

Unless it is made abundantly clear that making your way illegally to the UK will mean immediate rejection and removal to a safe country like Rwanda, the boats will continue to come (at the current rate, perhaps it will be another record number of arrivals.) Sadly, more too will die.
 
Remember how immigration barely got a nod in the 2019 election – because Boris Johnson told us illegal arrivals would be sent back and the points-based system would control and reduce legal migration? While Labour focused more on weaponising the Windrush debacle. Fast forward, and immigration is a top three issue again: number one for many.
 
Boris Johnson’s Tories pretended to talk, sort of, tough on immigration but ended up letting in many more people, especially low-skilled workers. Indeed, there is a case for arguing that this was all intentional. Their plans to stop small boats from crossing the Channel have flopped, and the whole Rwanda scheme has so far delivered precisely zero. They’re now trying to talk big on immigration (again) and throwing out ideas they probably won’t act on (like leaving the European Court of Human Rights. Labour are saying very little, and what they have said on the Channel is, frankly, meaningless. Their plans, if implemented will more likely encourage illegal crossings. Most frustrating for us, and a majority of people in the UK, is that neither party wants to tackle the much more significant issue of the current eye-popping scale of legal migration.
The chorus and Cassandra
It is always worth listening to Allison Pearson and Liam Halligan’s “Planet Normal” podcast. But one of the must-listen podcasts this week was a discussion with former Home Secretary Suella Braverman. Her insights from her time in government were startling, even if expected. Braverman’s remarks on Rishi Sunak’s stance on legal migration shed light on the discrepancies between government promises and actions:

“The 2019 manifesto made a pledge to lower net migration, yet we were moving in precisely the opposite direction. So I was very frustrated in 2022 about what had gone on previously, and this was a condition of my support for the Prime Minister. But as time went on, it became apparent that he wasn’t really interested in this subject. It took me about a year to even get a face-to-face meeting with him.”

Braverman highlighted vested interests, governmental indifference to public opinion, and a lack of comprehension as fundamental causes of the immigration dilemma:

“In the end, under duress I would say, he [Rishi Sunak] did ultimately announce some measures at the end of last year, but only after unprecedented levels of net migration… There’s an institutional view in Whitehall that more migration is better for the economy, universities, the NHS, and it’s better for our country. There’s no acknowledgment whatsoever, within the Treasury or within government, about the costs of migration, about the impacts on our resources like schools and housing or on the impacts on social and cultural cohesion. And I think that’s why the British people have voted time and time again to lower migration. And it has been a failure of government to deliver on that promise so far.”

Regarding the possibility of a new leader ahead of a general election due to Sunak’s low personal ratings, Braverman suggested a shift in policy rather than a change in leadership:

“I think we need to change the policies. And at the moment, I think what’s very interesting about British politics is that there’s a real scramble for the centre ground… and in our desire to be so centrist and what I would say Cameroon, and adopt the formula of 2015 or 2010, we’ve made ourselves more indistinguishable from Labour when it comes to taxation or migration, for example… we’ve shifted to the left of British politics as a party. We need to shift to the right if we’re going to regain those voters who’ve become disillusioned with the Conservative Party, who are now thinking about voting for Reform or not voting at all.”

Migration Watch UK has long cautioned about the danger of political elites, comfortably ensconced and well-off, disregarding the will of the British people.
RIP Frank Field
Lord Frank Field was an exceptional MP. He was a thoughtful, caring and perceptive man, possessed of a remarkable intellect. He was also a devout Christian with whom Migration Watch had the good fortune to work closely when he co-chaired the Cross-Party Group on Balanced Migration alongside Lord Nicholas Soames. A brave and resolute parliamentarian with a deep understanding of the detrimental effects of mass migration, including the strains it imposed on public services and the threats it posed to the character and welfare of our society. Frank Field: a good man who will be deeply missed.
Migration Watch relies entirely on the generosity of our supporters who fund our work. If you would like to help us with our efforts, please click here to donate.

Lord Sumption, The Telegraph – Why Shami Chakrabarti is wrong about human rights
 

“It is of course true that most democracies, although not the United Kingdom, have written constitutions which serve as codes of fundamental law. There is nothing inherently wrong with fundamental laws. But there is a critical difference between domestic and international codes of fundamental law. Domestic codes can be amended domestically, but international ones cannot. When domestic courts arrive at unacceptable results, the law can be changed, but the decisions of international tribunals such as the European Court of Human Rights are irreversible.

Chakrabarti dismisses these objections as “nationalism” as if that was a sufficient answer. The difficulty about that is that in a democracy, lines of constitutional responsibility are necessarily national, at any rate as the world is presently organised. The nation-state is the basic unit of political action. There is no international legislature with which people instinctively identify as an expression of their collective will. In the long term, it might be possible to create one. The European Union is making a courageous attempt to do this, but so far it has come up against the barrier of human nature. That may change. But as matters stand people’s instinctive allegiance is to the nation-state.”

Rank-and-file meeting discusses fight against mass job losses and reduced mail service at Royal Mail

Postal workers voiced support for building rank-and-file committees in their own workplaces: “It would certainly upset the Communication Workers Union, and their collusion with Royal Mail, if they knew masses of the workforce stood against their joint campaign.”

Read more

Generalised Orders & Need To Submit – by R J Cook

The combination of J K Rowling and supportive PM Sunak looks set to make transgender females a laughing stock and victim of harrassment, ostracism and violence. These are trans beauty contesstants at Totton Cinservative Ckub Southampton 2003.
Image by R J Cook / Appldene Photographics 2003.

Comment. This is a comment on yesterday’s report that Sunak will ban transwomen from being treated on female hospital wards. He wants voters to believe that he has his fingers on the pulse of what is wrong with the NHS. It is a blatant and deseperate bid for the female vote.

Women’s groups are fascists in their ongoing bid for total power and acclaim for simply being female, trading on a generalised history of oppression as if they are one homogeneous class. White men and boys must accept their generalised evil and orders to submit. Women’s grroups are a perfect match for Sunak. These people define the face of acceptable prejudice in modern Britain. Here equality means priority for social, ecnomic and employment support goes to ethnic non white and women. This mentality is not confined to the U.K. It is the world of western democracy.

The norms, rules and laws are made by a ruling elite who, along with the rest of their powerful white ancestors, profited from the ruthless exploitation of the white working classes, the black underclass of Africa and the lower caste population of the Indian sub continent which inlcuded Pakistan. The British ruling classes also gave China a hard time which is how they stole Hong Kong.

Finally we must not forget their extermination of native Australiaasian Indians to make room for transported white British lower class petty crimnals whose crimes included poaching on the British ruling elite’s great estates simply so their families could survive.

In my native North Bucks, local Swanboure landowner and magistrate Sir Thomas Freemnatle transported desperate people to work as white slaves on his family’s great estates in Austrialia. These people were the basis of the Freemantle media empire – see ‘The Book of Winslow’ (1989) by Robert Cook.

R J Cook

Book of Winslow (Town Books) – Robert Cook

Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk › Book-Winslow-Town-Boo…

Buy Book of Winslow (Town Books) First Edition by Cook, Robert (ISBN: 9780860234470) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on …

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The Book of Winslow by Robert Cook – Jacques Gander

AbeBookshttps://www.abebooks.co.uk › Robert Cook

Hardback edition, 144 pages, well illustrated with photos etc. maps on the endpapers. 6.25 X 9.25 inches. Near fine book in a near fine dustwrapper.

£24.00

April 30th 2024

Social worker awarded damages of £58k from council and …

Social worker suspended over gender critical views awarded £58,000

NHS charter to stress biological sex when placing patients in wards

Transgender women should not be put on single-sex female NHS wards, the government is proposing.

The measure is part of a raft of changes to the NHS Constitution for England, the charter of rights for patients.

The proposals stress the importance of biological sex for the first time when it comes to same-sex accommodation and intimate care.

In both cases, the rights are available only where possible.

For example, same-sex accommodation rights, which have existed for years, can and are breached where there is a clinically urgent need to admit and treat a patient and do not extend to areas such as critical care or accident and emergency.

The guidance also means that trans men should not be housed on single-sex male wards.

Under the proposals:

  • transgender people, whose gender identity differs from their biological sex, may be provided single rooms, where appropriate
  • patients will have the right to request a person of the same biological sex delivers any intimate care

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins said it was about making it clear that “sex matters”.

“We want to make it abundantly clear that if a patient wants same-sex care, they should have access to it wherever reasonably possible,” she said.

“By putting this in the NHS Constitution, we’re highlighting the importance of balancing the rights and needs of all patients, to make a healthcare system that is faster, simpler and fairer to all.”

‘Trampled over’

Maya Forstater, of the Sex Matters campaign group, said the changes were “excellent news”.

“The confusion between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ in official policies like the NHS Constitution is what has enabled women’s rights to be trampled over in the name of transgender identities,” she said.

But Cleo Madeleine, of Gendered Intelligence, said robust policies were already in place and the government had its priorities wrong.

“After 14 years of austerity, medical professionals are crying out for more funding, more resources, and better conditions for staff and patients,” she said.

“The government seems hell-bent on pursuing its obsession with the transgender community instead of addressing these longstanding needs.”

Read More https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-68923861

April 29th 2024

https://www.waterstones.com/author/robert-cook/435753/page/1

Contact rj.cook@btinternet.com

NI Troubles: British-Irish meeting overshadowed by asylum issue

Micheál Martin and Chris Heaton-Harris arrive for the British Irish Intergovernmental Conference press conference
Image caption, Micheál Martin and Chris Heaton-Harris arrive for the British Irish Intergovernmental Conference press conference

By Jayne McCormack

BBC News NI political correspondent

A British Irish Intergovernmental Conference (BIIGC) meeting has been overshadowed by tensions between the governments over asylum seekers.

The implementation of the government’s controversial legacy act will be on the agenda, but the UK’s policy on migrants was also discussed.

The Irish justice minister was also due to meet the home secretary, but that meeting was postponed on Sunday.

Helen McEntee then pulled out of the conference.

The Irish government has said it has seen an influx of people coming from Northern Ireland because they are fearful of being sent to Rwanda.

A government minister has said the UK is unlikely to take back asylum seekers who have crossed into Ireland until EU-wide asylum rules are changed

The BIIGC was set up by the Good Friday Agreement and meets twice a year.

Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris and Tánaiste (Irish deputy prime minister) Micheál Martin are among those taking part in the conference.

The last meeting of the BIIGC took place in Dublin in November and focused on efforts to get the power-sharing institutions at Stormont restored.

This time ministers from the two governments will meet in London.

Mr Martin said that he was “pleased” to be in London for the first meeting of the BIIGC since the restoration of Northern Ireland’s power-sharing institutions.

“As ever, there are numerous areas of mutual interest for the governments to discuss and I look forward to another productive conference,” he said.

Legacy clashes

The administrations have previously clashed over the legacy law, as the Irish government has repeatedly opposed the act.

The Legacy and Reconciliation Act was passed at Westminster last year, with the government arguing that it is an attempt to draw a line under the events of the past.

From Wednesday inquests into Troubles-related killings which have not concluded by then will close.

Soldiers running from a bomb in the Smithfield area of Belfast

An Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery (ICRIR) has also been set up.

The aim of this new organisation is to help families find out more about the circumstances of how their loved ones were killed or seriously injured.

The Irish government is taking a case against the UK at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The part of the act which offered conditional immunity from prosecution for Troubles offences was struck out by the High Court in Belfast in February.

However, the ruling is being appealed by the government.

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris had previously said he was committed to implementing the legislation.

What is the Northern Ireland Troubles Act?

The act, which became law in September, will end future civil litigation and inquests into deaths which occurred during more than 30 years of violence in Northern Ireland, known as the Troubles.

The government has repeatedly stated the new act is, in its view, human rights compliant.

Prosecutions that are currently ongoing will continue to conclusion.

But it introduced a ban on civil cases not lodged before May 2022 and inquests which have not reached the stage of findings by 1 May 2024 will cease.

Opponents believe it may also limit Troubles investigations, which in future would be undertaken by the ICRIR and not the PSNI.

Helen McEntee
Image caption, A meeting between Irish justice minister Helen McEntee and UK home secretary James Cleverly has been postponed

The Irish Justice minister Helen McEntee was due to attend the British-Irish meeting, but pulled out, meaning Tánaiste Micheál Martin will represent the Irish government.

On Sunday night the Irish Department of Justice told BBC News NI that a meeting scheduled for Monday between the minister and Home Secretary James Cleverly had been postponed.

Ms McEntee had said she planned to raise migration with Mr Cleverly and the Irish government’s plan for new legislation that would enable asylum seekers to be sent back to the UK.

A spokesperson for Ms McEntee said: “The Minister will meet with senior officials in Dublin today and regrets she won’t be in attendance at the BIIGC, which will be attended by the Tánaiste.

“The Minister looks forward to her meeting with the Home Secretary being rescheduled soon.”

The Irish government has said 80% of recent arrivals to the Republic came from the UK across the Irish border, and that the UK’s Rwanda policy is impacting Ireland.

Comment It speaks volumes that Eire ( The Irish Republic ) wastes no time and sees no obstacles in getting rid of the impossible burden of more illegal migrants, while a U.K Tory Government has submitted to the EU Human Rights Regime they ostensbly left in 2016., U.K virtue signallers and those who crave a never ending supply of cheap labour, don’t like it. Migrants are now flooding Eire because of the Rwanda Plan and the liberals don’t like any of it.

R J Cook

Disability benefit system unsustainable and needs change, says government

Paul and, his wife Kim Masters and their dog, Leo
Image caption, Paul and his wife Kim moved to County Durham from Bedfordshire when he stopped working and started claiming personal independent payments

Alice Evans

Disability reporter

Munaza Rafiq

Disability producer

Plans to overhaul the disability benefits system are due to be unveiled by the government later.

It says the benefits bill is rising at an “unsustainable rate” and needs to be overhauled to ensure help gets to the people who need it most.

Reforms to personal independence payments (PIP) could include stopping cash payments and offering claimants one-off grants for things like home adaptations instead.

The disability charity Scope described it as a “reckless assault on disabled people.”

PIP is a non-means-tested benefit paid to working-age people to help with extra living costs caused by long-term disabilities or ill health.

The most recent statistics, external say more than 3.3 million people in Britain receive PIP to help with the extra cost of living with a health condition or disability.

How much people are given depends on how difficult they find everyday tasks and getting around. The maximum weekly payment is £184.30.

The cash can be used for things like special diets, clothing, additional laundry or cleaning and accessible taxis or fuel to get to hospital appointments.

The number of monthly new claimants in England and Wales, where the main condition was anxiety and depression, has soared from an average of 2,200 a month in 2019 to 5,300 a month last year.

The government has said spending on PIPs was expected to grow by 52% from 2023/24 to £32.8bn by 2027/28.

Paul Harris
Image caption, Paul Harris had to stop working when his anxiety got so bad he would lock himself in the toilets at work

Paul Harris, from Barnard Castle, gets £72.65 a week in PIP payments to help with extra costs associated with his anxiety and depression, such as counselling, once NHS support had ended, and specialist therapy apps.

He stopped his job as a property manager in 2016 after developing panic attacks that got so bad he would burst into tears in the office and lock himself in the toilet.

He has not been able to work since then and says PIP is the “last stronghold” of benefits that can support him.

Mr Harris says, “I used to call myself zero, because I had zero money coming in. I had no job…so in a weird way, just a little bit of money coming in just sort of changed those thoughts.”

He does receive employment and support allowance, but cannot claim job seekers’ allowance because he says his mental health is a barrier to applying for jobs, despite previously seeking support from the Jobcentre.

He stresses the money he receives “does not solve the problems”, adding, “it’s not a miracle cure, it doesn’t mean we can go off on holidays and live this frivolous lifestyle.”

Mr Harris doesn’t believe there is enough long term support available for those with mental health issues.

“Some people might be able to do a few sessions of CBT, [cognitive behavioural therapy]… but when it comes to serious levels [of mental health] it would be like saying to a cancer patient you’ve only got 10 sessions of chemotherapy and then that’s your lot”.

The proposals – which come in the form of a 12 week consultation – include making changes to the eligibility criteria for PIP.

It would consider whether current descriptors – such as the need for aids and appliances – are good indicators of extra costs.

Other options include one-off grants for significant costs such as home adaptations or expensive equipment, and reimbursing claimants who provide receipts for purchases of aids, appliances or services.

They are also considering whether people with long-term conditions and disabilities would need to be assessed at all.

James Taylor, executive director of strategy at disability equality charity Scope, said the consultation doesn’t fix the underlying issues.

He said, “It’s hard to have any faith that this consultation is about anything other than cutting the benefits bill, no matter the impact”.

It comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledged to strip GPs of their power to sign people off work as part of a plan to tackle what he calls the UK’s “sick note culture”.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said “We’re making the biggest welfare reforms in a generation – protecting those most in need while supporting thousands into work as we modernise our benefit system to reflect the changing health landscape.”

Comment U.K Politicians of The British Police State have a consensus. They have to pick on the weak to pay for mass immigration of devout poorly eduacated divided third world populations, and consequent cheap labour. So it is a wealth transfer from poorer downtrodden natives who pay most of the taxes to pay the ever increasing bill.

Governemnts also have to pass on the bill for massively increased demand and rising pay demands on the public services – the biggest migrant demand being for the NHS , hotel accomodation and legal aid to fight deportation.

Above all, Britain’s ruling elite, cheered on by the comfortable patronising white liberal chattering classes and mainstream media, has a big interest and investment in the NATO Ukraine Proxy War on Russia. Ukraine has suffered massive male population losses and falling birth rates.

The global elite will inevitably already be considering the vacated space as a refuge for more African and Middle Eastern migrants when NATO steps up its activities to defeat the Russia that they provoked into this show down.

The fact they are going to steal from the most vulnerable to contine this vile wealth grabbing series of regime change rolling wars, tells me exactly what their idea of democracy is and what despicable greedy arrogant egotistical self centred virtue sugnalling disingenuous people are in charge.

R J Cook

About the Author

Robert Cook
facebook https://www.facebook.com/rj.cook.9081 I went to school in Buckinghamshire, where my interests were music ( I was a violinist ), art ( winning county art competitions ) athletics and cross country ( I was a county team athlete ). My father died as a result of an accident- he was an ex soldier and truck driver- when I was 11. It could be said that I grew up in poverty, but I did not see it like that. As a schoolboy, I had my interests, hobbies and bicycle, worked on a farm, delivered news papers, did a lot of training for my sport, painting, and music. I also made model aeroplanes and was in the Air Training Corps, where we had the opportunity to fly an aeroplane. I had wanted to be a pilot, but university made me anti war. At the University of East Anglia-which I also represented in cross country and athletics- I studied economics, economic history, philosophy and sociology. Over the years, I have worked in a variety of manual, office and driving jobs. My first job after univerity was with the Inland Revenue in Havant, near Portsmouth. I left Hampshire to work for the Nitrate Corporation of Chile, then lecturing, teaching and journalism - then back to driving. I play and teach various styles of guitar and used to be a regular folk club performer. I quit that after being violently assaulted in Milton Keynes pub, after singing a song I wrote about how cop got away with killing Ian Tomlinson at G7, in broad daylight and caught on camera. The police took no action, saying taht my assailant had a good job. The pub in question was, and probably still is, popular with off duty police officers.

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