Archive for November, 2012

Fracking ‘eck! Is shale gas about to take off in the UK?

The Independent understands that Ed ‘Turbine’ Davey, the Energy Secretary, will soon end the current moratorium on shale gas production, which was put in place after fracking caused two small earthquakes near Blackpool in 2011.  His decision will pave the way for a significant increase in shale gas exploration, says the Indy.

This is a turn up for the books and one wonders if Davey’s opposition to exploration for shale gas is being marginalised within government.  In May, Davey told the House of Commons that at a seminar in 10 Downing Street with ‘experts in the shale gas industry’  the ‘experts’ were clear that it would take some time for shale gas to be exploited in the UK and that the shale gas reserves in the UK are not quite as large as some people have been speculating.  If that is the case then pressing ahead with shale exploration seems a curious development.

The identities of the ‘experts’ remains a closely guarded secret and our Freedom of Information request to the Cabinet Office, for details of the attendees, has met with the same door slamming response the BBC gave to Tony Newbery when he sought the identities of the ‘best scientific experts’ who advised the BBC to report in biased fashion about climate change.  The only thing we know for certain is that the only company currently exploring for shale gas in the UK, Cuadrilla, were not invited to the Downing Street chinwag – something of a curious decision.

Could it be that we are seeing a glimmer of common sense dawning in Whitehall?  The signs look good because if Greenpeace are rattled by what they have learned from the response to their FOI request it can only mean something that undermines their Agenda 21 inspired attempt to de-industrialise the UK and drag us back into the stone age is in the offing.  Here’s hoping!

Wind power? What wind power?

It has fallen below freezing outside Mind Towers, ice is covering the car windscreens and the central heating has been turned up. No doubt families up and down the country are having to use more energy to offset the cold.

So now is a good time to take a look at how much power wind turbines are contributing to the UK energy supply after the billions of pounds lavished on them…

1.2% of all the energy being generated!  Money well spent, eh.

But don’t worry.  Our brilliant political class has declared there are many more of them to be installed at crippling cost to consumers, to stand virtually idle just when we need power the most, on freezing nights like tonight.  Sheer bloody genius.

Thank God we still have some coal fired generating capacity to shoulder the burden of our power needs.  In years to come though…

Energy Bill published… and in our supposed democracy, the media and the people sleep on

The big news this week? Many of you may think it is the floods across the country. Others will believe it is the Leveson Report. Others may feel it is the Common Purpose inspired Rotherham foster child scandal.

Of course, it’s all subjective. But for this blog the biggest news this week – and indeed for many months – is that which will have the widest reaching and most harmful effect on the vast majority of people up and down the UK. Only, assuming our glorious press is capable of understanding the story in the first place, you won’t have read much about it in the papers or seen it on the news because the press is too busy doing exactly what the political parties do… navel gazing and considering its self interest. That is why they are in such convival company among the establishment.

The story? Why, it’s the Energy Bill of course. It’s huge (that applies as much to the draft legislation as to what drops on your doormat) it’s sexy, it’s loaded with scandal and dodgy dealing, it has the capacity to run for months on end and it’s underpinned by faustian pacts. But barely anyone is giving the Energy Bill, the ream of additional information about it, the coverage it deserves.

It will only get the coverage it deserves, and the politicians will only come under necessary scrutiny and pressure, when people see the cost of heating their homes and having the lights on continues to spiral, and rota disconnections via smart meters remotely cut the power to our homes despite lofty pledges to keep the lights on.

The politicians will follow the usual response format. First they will blame wholesale energy prices for the increasing cost of consumer energy. Then they will prattle on about people needing to shop around for the best deal, where the major energy providers (British Gas, E.ON, nPower, Scottish and Southern, EDF and Scottish Power) provide tariffs ranging from high (which people opt for as the cheapest available option) to ludicrous (knowing hardly anyone will opt for them it makes the high tariff look comparatively good value). Soon that bolt hole for the Westminster morons will disappear when the range of tariffs becomes limited by law thanks to a typically brainless Cameron piece of policy making on the hoof. The effect of this will be the lowest available prices actually increased and the cartel able to lock in their existing customer base as there will be no benefit to changing provider with barely a cigarette paper between the prices each of the big six set.

But it is the politicians who are to blame.

It is the politicians who are, with puppy-like timidity, executing the policies and direction handed down to them by unelected, unaccountable and largely unknown bureaucrats and activists operating with impunity within the structures of the United Nations to make the supposedly voluntary and non-binding Agenda 21 (sustainable development) a reality.

Rather than map out in detail here how the vicious Agenda 21 objectives (which this UN document explains without any mention of the word voluntary) are designed to force people to reduce energy consumption I humbly recommend this post by Richard at EU Referendum, who has been painting the bigger picture and connecting the dots on this massive story for a long time and continued with that effort yesterday.

The Agenda 21 objectives drive up prices by reducing supply. That is why industrialised nations are decommissioning effective and reliable energy generating capacity and replacing it with ineffective, unreliable and intermittent sources that are only economically viable if people pay grossly inflated charges – and behind the scenes billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money is forked over in direct funding to the land barons and subsidy farmers who get rich in return for a product that isn’t fit for purpose.

The same objectives are responsible for driving an insane approach to water supply, where the focus is on restricting our use instead of building more reservoirs to negate the need for supply interruptions and hose pipe bans. All of it done out of the sight and beyond the reach of voters, but we all feel the effects. And with a typical inversion of the reality, using techniques embraced by totalitarians the world over, Agenda 21’s corruption of ‘sustainability’ is portrayed in images and logos as a something wonderful.

The media would rather focus on the cult of celebrity and their own narrow interests. If it were not for a few determined people fighting to be heard on the internet we would know nothing about this. That’s why the majority of the people in this country continue to sleep on in ignorance – indeed in places like Croydon North, Rotherham and Middlesbrough, they even continue to vote for the slime representing the very political parties who are carrying out this spiteful agenda.

So much for the Tories’ great white haired hope

Boris Johnson is the blue-eyed boy for many Tories who want to free themselves of the social democrat clutches of David Cameron.  The great white haired hope was making all the right noises a week ago on the subject that confuses Conservatives more than any other, a referendum on EU membership.  But if a week is a long time in politics, it’s a lifetime on Planet Johnson…

Last week:

“We haven’t had a referendum for a very long time, not since 1975.  I think it would be a good thing at the right moment to settle the matter and ask people, ‘are you basically in favour of being in or out?’

This week:

“With great respect to the in-outers, I don’t think it does boil down to such a simple question.

“I don’t think it’s as simple as ‘yes, no, in, out’. Suppose Britain voted tomorrow to come out. What would actually happen? In real terms, what would happen is that the foreign office would immediately build a huge – well, the entire delegation would remain in Brussels.

“We’d still have huge numbers of staff trying to monitor what was going on in the community, only we wouldn’t be able to sit in the Council of Ministers. We wouldn’t have any vote at all. Now I don’t think that’s actually a prospect that’s likely to appeal.”

This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Johnson is a Tory and Tories cannot be trusted.  He is also an ambitious political animal and if he wants the Tory crown, he needs to sing from the hymn sheet handed to him by the kingmakers, those monied men in grey suits behind the scenes who control the party and run it to suit their personal and business interests.  No one gets a position of ‘power’ without their approval.

We can expect Johnson to start a hearty rendition of ‘I’m a constructive Eurosceptic’ in days to come despite his admission he wants the UK to remain a clear member.  He will do so as per the wishes of the puppeteers who want to keep increasingly disenchanted grassroots members in the party fold amidst a continuing mass exodus.  The important to thing to note as always, the political class is putting vested self interest and their own views before the wishes of a majority of the British people.

Maybe now the scales will fall from the eyes of a few more people.  Slowly the reality is dawning.  Who knows, maybe some on the centre right who liked Johnson might wish he was still stuck up on that zip wire at the Olympics.

More Guardian hypocrisy and another David Leigh link to the KGB

Hot on the heels of the implosion of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) for falsely asserting Conservative peer Lord McAlpine was a paedophile, the Guardian is leading with a story about ‘the existence of an extraordinary global network of sham company directors, most of them British’ citing yet another organisation of ‘investigative journalists’.  The Graun goes on to explain:

The UK government claims such abuses were stamped out long ago, but a worldwide joint investigation by the Guardian, the BBC’s Panorama and the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has uncovered a booming offshore industry that leaves the way open for both tax avoidance and the concealment of assets.

Concealing assets if they are subject to taxation is tax evasion, therefore illegal.  Fair enough.  However once again we see an agenda at work to demonise the perfectly legal and responsible activity of tax avoidance.  This is the latest example of outrageous hypocrisy on the part of the Guardian, given that its parent company makes use of offshore arrangements in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying tax in the UK.  It even resulted in a protest by Guido co-conspirators outside the Graun’s plush offices in London.  Strangely, the piece doesn’t make any mention of Guardian Media Group’s behaviour, let alone criticise it.

So why is the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) focussing on this issue?  Could it be because it has a political agenda that ignores the sins of the left and focuses on eeevil capitalists?  Of course it could.  Here is a little bit of history of the ICIJ courtesy of Gerard Jackson

The ICIJ is the offspring of the Centre for Investigative Reporting (CIR) which in turn was founded by the notorious Institute for Policy Studies, a Marxist organisation which acted as a front for the KGB during the Cold War.

It’s unsurprising therefore that we see the Guardian’s David Leigh right in the thick of the ICIJ, listed as one of the consortium’s five UK based journalists.  He of course denied being part of the BIJ, despite having never corrected his Guardian colleague Roy Greenslade’s long standing claim that he was part of that group.  Perhaps Leigh, whose name is headlined as co-author of the Guardian piece, will be content to accept his membership of this particular group of self important hacks.  But if he does, it risks opening an old can of worms for Leigh.

Why so?  Here’s a name from the past.  Richard Gott.

Richard Gott was the Guardian’s literary editor but in December 1994 he resigned after Soviet defector Oleg Gordievsky contradicted Gott’s denial that he was a paid agent of the KGB.  In the finest traditions of Guardian weasel words, Gott went on to say:

“I took red gold, even if it was only in the form of expenses for myself and my partner. That, in the circumstances, was culpable stupidity, though at the time it seemed more like an enjoyable joke.”

This seemingly left Leigh looking like an idiot as he had come bounding to Gott’s defence and ranting against the security service after the BBC’s attempt to hire Gott in 1981 was prevented because Gott failed to obtain security clearance.  Gordievsky’s subsequent story put that failure into context.  But when you consider Leigh is part of an organisation that was itself a front for the KGB, perhaps Leigh knew exactly what he was doing all along and just supporting a comrade in need.

There is something very wrong with the Guardian and the people it hires.  Rank hypocrisy, double standards, treachery, deceit, smear campaigns, acting as a mouthpiece for those who despise our country… all are synonymous with the bile-filled ‘progressive’ activists who infest the office in Kings Place.  No wonder the KGB loved the Guardian and considered it highly susceptible to penetration.  The only surprise is that Guardianista weren’t signing up in their droves to join the Soviet intelligence community.

Richard Corbett and his trivial 5% figure

During the media’s scratch at the surface of the EU’s budget discussions former Labour MEP Richard Corbett, who was rejected by voters in 2009 yet nonetheless continues to suck at the teats of the taxpayers in Brussels, has been keen to push the narrative that the EU’s bureaucracy and administration ‘is only 5% of the total budget’.

This is a deliberate line being taken by a fanatical EUphile career bureaucrat to avoid stating the embarrassingly huge monetary cash amount the EU spends on itself.  It’s so much less painful to hear ‘it’s only 5%’ rather than hear the actual figure.  So for the sake of transparency let’s assume Corbett’s 5% figure is accurate and put the monetary value on it that he avoids stating at any cost.

The EU’s Financial Framework 2007-2013 set the global level of commitment appropriations, namely the budget, at €864.3 billion.  That equates roughly to £700 billion over the period. The 5% Richard Corbett is so fond of referring to was therefore a bill of around £35 billion over the last period that was picked up by taxpayers across the EU.

If we consider Herman Van Rompuy’s proposed budget for the next period of €973 billion (around £787.3 billion) Corbett’s beloved 5% becomes £39.4 billion.  Not such a trivial figure when put into proper context, is it Rich? It makes all those £120 bottles of wine possible.

As for our useless establishment fawning media, when will a single journalist listening dumbly to Corbett trotting out this 5% figure do their job, put him on the spot, and ask him to tell viewers and listeners the actual monetary amount?

Dr Phil Jones and supreme Spanish honorary irony

Oh the irony of it.  A regular reader in Norfolk kindly submitted this scan of a piece in the Norwich Evening News about University of East Anglia’s Dr Phil Jones dating back to last week (sorry for my delay in spotting the email).

So Dr Jones is ‘delighted’ at this recognition from such a ‘prestigious institution’.  Well, it’s great news that Dr Jones is feeling so much better than he was in 2010, when he told journalists he had considered suicide after the Climategate emails were released into the public domain.

But in giving Jones this honour, the faculty at Rovira i Virgili University now have some serious question marks hanging over them concerning their judgement when it comes to matters scientific.  It must have been a huge leap of faith to give Jones an honorary doctorate to recognise his work to ‘document global warming’ when Jones is noteworthy for having ‘lost’ the weather data he… erm… documented.  Either that or the academics at Virgili are paid up climate alarmists just doing their bit for the ’cause’ which sees the alarmist community giving each other feel good awards.

Also noteworthy is the Norwich Evening News’ determination to shill for UEA by repeating the demonstrably false assertion that Jones was cleared of hiding or manipulating data to back up his science.  The scope of the MPs ‘investigation’ was so limited and examination of the facts so cursory it would have been impossible to make any such declaration.

These people are seriously beyond parody.

Tony Hall appointment at BBC demonstrates Tory corporate stupidity

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the utter stupidity of senior members of the Conservative Party.  When it was announced that Tony Hall was being appointed BBC Director General after the sopping wet Lord (Chris) Patten foolishly rushed in to fill the post without carefully examining other potential candidates for the vacancy, the Labour Party speedily showered Hall and the decision with praise and plaudits.

You would have thought Labour’s delight would have started ringing alarm bells in Tory HQ, but no.  Perhaps the problem is threefold.  Firstly you have the legendary idiocy of the Tory elite, which treats its members and the public with contempt while making all manner of balls-ups.  Secondly, perhaps Tories just possess incredibly short memories and therefore have forgotten about Tony Hall and what went on at the BBC while he was in cheif executive of BBC News and Current Affairs?  Let’s take a couple of moments to remind them.

Under his Tony Hall’s management, the BBC had an incestuous relationship with the Labour Party.  BBC staffers assisted Labour’s ‘rapid rebuttal unit’ by tipping them off every time a Conservative said anything that challenged Labour in the run up to the 1997 general election.  Former BBC journalists ran as Labour candidates (remember Ben Bradshaw who remained on the BBC Radio 4 payroll despite not working and instead campaigning to win the Exeter seat?) while Labour people went the other way into the BBC (remember Joy Johnson, ex-BBC PR professional who became Labour’s director of communications, then lost her job and was immediately re-hired by the BBC?)  What about the champagne strewn corridors of the BBC after Blair’s election victory and the BBC bias against the Conservatives that had Brian Mawhinney and Charles Lewington in red faced fury as the Patten-loving Major government was pulled to pieces?  It was under Tony Hall that the BBC effectively campaigned for Martin Bell in Tatton, without once challenging him on his motivation for standing or probing his behind the scenes relationship with the Labour Party.

Small wonder Labour has welcomed his appointment, and the corporate stupidity of the Tories sees them also welcome a man into a post far more powerful than the one he used to help to see the Tories ejected from office in 1997.  But what of the third possible problem?  Maybe the long stroll leftwards of the Conservatives, which has accelerated under David Cameron, has made the Tory leadership so indistinguishable from Labour they now share the same mindset enabling them to convince themselves Tony Hall is someone they can do business with.

The timing is incredibly ironic.  Here we are, mid-term of a somewhat unpopular coagulation government, where the Lib Dems are electoral dead ducks struggling to remain the third mainstream political party as UKIP catches and overtakes them in the polls; and the Conservatives are being painted as evil for supposedly trying to repair (badly it has to be said) the economic scorched earth of Labour’s insane tax, borrow, spend and borrow some more policies while continuing to fawn over the EU.  Labour is on top of the polls for simply not being Tories or Fib Dims, despite being led by an incompetent champagne socialist career politician who has never done a proper job in his life and who lives in comfort with a couple of million in the bank.  And now the man who gave Labour a free ride on BBC’s news output to help them win the election in 1997 is placed into an even more powerful role as head of the BBC, enabling him to ensure the BBC helps Labour to victory again in 2015.

Describing the Tories as lemmings doesn’t seem to go far enough.

Happy Thanksgiving 2012

Wishing all my American friends and readers around the world a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Cameron demonstrates his contempt for people power yet again

According to the Barclay Brother Beano, Cast Iron Dave is set to announce that residents’ rights to mount legal challenges to controversial development projects will be severely restricted.

Having been briefed on what is coming, the Torygraph’s James Kirkup goes on to explain:

‘Mr Cameron will argue that the rules are being abused to frustrate economically vital developments and will say a “massive growth industry” of seeking judicial reviews of planning decisions has been fuelled by solicitors and campaign groups.

‘Many applicants are guilty of “time-wasting” and bringing “hopeless cases” simply to waste developers’ time, the Prime Minister will say. He will outline a number of changes the Government wants to make, including shortening the three-month time limit on applying for a review.

‘Charges for an application will rise “so people think twice about time-wasting.” The number of possible appeals against decisions will also be cut from four to two.’

The Boiling Frog hasn’t wasted any time showing up Cameron’s forthcoming comments for what they are… yet another flip flop from a Prime Minister without a single principled bone in his body.  There is another more serious issue here concerning the widening gulf between the pledges politicians make to the people in order to try to win an election, and the reality once they have taken office.  Consider these quotes and compare them with what Kirkup says Cameron plans to say:

We have a coherent programme to fix our broken politics and drag our democracy into the post-bureaucratic age. It involves a massive, sweeping, radical redistribution of power – from the political elite to the man and woman in the street.

[...] Conservatives start with an instinctive desire to give people more power and control over their lives.
– David Cameron, ‘Giving power back to the people’ speech on 25 June 2009

and

You can see the nature of the change we want in the phrase itself…

…literally going from a bureaucratic world, where the old methods like regulation, laws and diktats allow elites in Westminster to control other people’s lives…

…to a post-bureaucratic world, where instead of government telling people what to do or forcing them to do it…

…people themselves have far more power and control over their lives…

…and where we achieve change by trying to influence people by going with the grain of human nature.

So it’s about giving power to people.

And it’s about showing an understanding of people, in how we make policy and design government and public services.
– David Cameron, ‘From central power to people power’ speech on 22 February 2010

Cameron can do this and is doing this because of the complete absence of accountability to the electorate. None of the talk of people power ever results in the political class handing back any of the power they have snatched.

The more that power is centralised the less democratic the country becomes. While Cameron talks a good game on people power, the core of his being is authoritarian and paternalist, always striving to marginalise the views of the very people he and his ilk are supposed to listen to and represent.  This has to stop.  Real change is required and the developing grassroots Harrogate Agenda campaign is working to achieve it.

Harrogate Agenda countering the false EUphile scare stories about UK leaving the EU

Since yesterday evening I’ve been involved in a couple of Twitter exchanges with fellow EUsceptics about withdrawing from the EU. While you might think this would have been a meeting of minds, it was anything but.

Their views respectively were that:

  1. we should just up and leave from the EU and that the remaining member states will trade with us as if nothing happened because we are in the EEA and anyway the WTO won’t let them stop our exports to the continent, and anyway China didn’t need Article 50 to be able to trade with the EU; and
  2. that the Lisbon Treaty is illegal, politicians are traitors and the Parliamentary oath has been broken and we just need the Speaker to declare such to nullify Lisbon, so we don’t need to exit using the EU’s rules which are designed to trap us in the entity forever, and for suggesting we do I’m a EUphile

To describe the discussions with such conspiracy theorising amateur legal experts as a demoralising frustration is an understatement.  But this evening the antidote to my misery has come forth, as Richard explains the way in which the UK can leave the EU without triggering any legal challenge under EU law and without adversely affecting our trade and economic interests – the excuses given by the EUphiles for staying firmly in the EU.  As Richard writes:

… while some of the europhile claims are indeed nonsense, for a variety of technical reasons, our manufacturing output could be hard hit if we failed to negotiate a sound exit agreement.

This is why, of course, it is vital to promote a negotiated exit based on an Article 50 settlement, tied in with membership of the EEA and the nationalisation of all unadopted EU law and secondary treaties. That way, we can affirm that the day after leaving the EU nothing will have changed.

The main effect our departure would (and should) be to allow us to commence the careful process of transition from being an EU member to full independence – and also to work towards more democratic governance in the UK.

Thus, if the europhiles are going to work on the fear factor, we have all the answers. Given a hearing, we can reassure people that there is no down-side to leaving.

In fact the biggest danger to our exit comes from within the UK itself.  Not from those self professed EUsceptics who want the UK out of the EU, but who will not support an ‘Out’ campaign because they claim our membership is illegal and therefore there’s nothing to campaign against.  Rather there is a very real possibility that a prominent figure(s) aligned to or part of the Conservative Party who claims to be Eurosceptic actually support the mythical ‘renegotiation’ option where we stay in the EU and have some powers returned to us.

By talking up an option which does not exist and can never happen (repatriation of key powers while staying in the EU) because of the acquis communautaire, they play to the fear factor whipped up by the EUphiles and would undermine an ‘Out’ campaign.  This is what Richard refers to as a hijacking by a ‘false flag’ campaign and it is a realistic prospect. Observing who is supported by whom will be important. For example, if Open Europe support a ‘Eurosceptic’ be certain he/she is nothing of the sort and wants the UK to stay firmly inside the EU talking about impossible reform, for that is Open Europe’s policy.

The process Richard outlines, based upon detailed examination of the law this country is now subject to and the trading constraints that could be applied in different circumstances, would enable us to leave the EU cleanly then take the time needed as an independent nation to establish new negotiated agreements that enable us to repeal the EU laws we took with us.

This is what an ‘Out’ campaign needs to get across to the public to successfully counter and defeat the arguments the EUphiles will make in an attempt to prevent this country regaining independence.  This is the sensible, reasoned and carefully thought through argument Harrogate Agenda campaigners have developed and are advancing.  This is another reason for everyone who believes in democracy, personal freedom and independent nation states to look at the Harrogate Agenda, support it and promote it in their area.

The Harrogate Agenda offers a rational and balanced grassroots alternative to the untrustworthy political parties and the vested interests of the establishment.  I’m proud to support it and I hope all genuine democrats will too.  You can read some more about the Harrogate Agenda at the excellent Boiling Frog and Witterings from Witney.

Open letter to Vince Cable on tax avoidance

Dear Mr Cable,

Tax avoidance is an absolutely legal, reasonable and completely appropriate activity.

Tax evasion is an absolutely illegal, unreasonable and completely inappropriate activity.

Perhaps it’s time you learned the difference, or knowing the difference perfectly well stop rabble rousing the uninformed constituency of the general public with the suggestion legal activity is some form of wrongdoing.  Companies operate to make money for their owners and shareholders and the vast majority of them are not corporate giants, but small businesses trying to survive in a bureaucratic, dictatorial and interfering environment.

The real ‘appalling story of tax abuse’ is not the rot you spewed in the media today.  It is the government treating the profits of companies like the government’s own piggy bank, to raid and squander with each passing whim, while enriching your political friends and allies through lavish public subsidy for activities that cost taxpayers even more through their pay packet and higher bills. Companies are not charities that exist for the convenience of government. That is part of the reason so many companies look for every legal method to reduce their tax liability.

Government is responsibile for this state of affairs. Think about that before you run your mouth off in the media in an attempt to demonise companies for acting within the law.  While you are about it, please do us all a favour and get off the backs of those who create the jobs and wealth in this country; wealth that the establishment hoovers up to fund the bloated and wasteful public sector, and your troughing colleagues with their grotesque expensese and gold plated pensions.

Yours sincerely,

AM

Harrogate Agenda live blog

Connectivity permitting, on this post we will be blogging live from the second Harrogate Agenda meeting taking place today in Leamington Spa. Updates also via Twitter. If you want to tweet about today’s meeting please use the hashtag #HarrogateAgenda

Live blog

1725 Reflecting on the meeting today the group has achieved a great deal in a short space of time. But no one is under any illusions, the positive vision of achieving a truly democratic country will be years in the making. A lot of work will need to be done to help people understand the concept and envisage a future where ordinary folk decide this country’s direction rather than the politicians. This is a worthwhile movement that has no interest in appealing to cheap ‘celebrity’ endorsement or dictating what others must do. This is about changing the UK for the better and bringing about a settlement that results in genuine localised people power and the neutering of the establishment. We will continue carrying the message and hoping more people will join in the journey to transform the UK for the better.

1558 The meeting concludes after a check for any other business.  We have ratified the 6 Demands, discussed the campaign’s organisation structure, explored the Harrogate Agenda’s strategic approach and looked at the mechanism for withdrawal from the EU in a way that secures the interests of Britain’s business and ability to export our goods to our neighbours in a way that is legal in the EU and protected by WTO agreements.

1507 The fine details of how UKIP’s EU withdrawal plan would prevent our ability to export to the remaining EU member states are discussed, demonstrating how EU law would stop imports from the UK. The answer is to keep all EU law in place upon withdrawal and slowly establish trade agreements to preserve a single market via the EEA, before treaties enable laws to be repealed.

1423 Leaving the EU is not the aim of the Harrogate Agenda. However delivery of the Harrogate Agenda would make membership of the EU incompatible with democratic people power in a localised form.

1415 An excellent lunch is now over and Richard states to somewhat surprised attendees: “I do not want to leave the EU…… if all it means is handing power from one bunch of unaccountable morons in Brussels to another groups of unaccountable morons in Westminster.” It makes no sense to focus all energies on exiting the EU unless there is something that serves the interest of the people to move to. Without real democracy and a positive vision of the future first it would be out of the frying pan and into the fire.

1259 Andy rounds off with the most defining strategic part of our campaign, using the words of John Lennon:

When it gets down to having to use violence then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you – pull your beard, flick your face – to make you fight. Because once they’ve got you violent then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humour.

1245 Andy is now giving the group an insight into strategy concerning social movements. Again this all lends itself to a campaign to advance ideas that will bring about people power and true democratic control, correcting the inverted relationship between master and servant. People will hold the power, but it won’t happen with a directive approach or top down cascade of what the people should do with their power.

1223 Success with our efforts will be when our ideas are absorbed into the public consciousness and accepted generally as the way this country should work. That will put pressure on the politicians as the people demand power and actively work to take it back. It may take many years but it will be done away from the establishment, without celebrity endorsement faux glamour. Ideas and the reasonableness of our vision are king.

1215 A fascinating insight from Richard about how the success of the Harrogate Agenda in the future can be measured by the extent to which the people in the room have been forgotten. This is not an electoral campaign, it is a campaign of ideas for people to recognise, identify with and push forward. Lessons from the way other campaigns have flounderehare well learned and being applied to this effort to democracy real democracy.

1150 A quick coffee break and now refreshed the attendees are back in the room and the agenda item for discussion is the group’s organisation and structure.

1121 The pamphlet being prepared about what we are looking to achieve is the foundation of our push for democracy. It isn’t a stand alone document. Social media, public meetings, specific campaigns,  our thinking and actions via those and other mediums will be founded in our demands and the principles we embody. The document will be a reference point. Our efforts will be far more interactive and high profile.

1102 Discussion explores concerns about what achieving the 6 Demands means for the constitutional settlement in the UK. Answer in the room from Tony is that the 6 Demands only take back power and give it to the people. The Harrogate Agenda is not dictatorial. The people will decide what to do with the power taken back from the establishment.

1045 The demand for a directly elected Prime Minister is provoking excellent debate in the room. Would having a directly elected PM unleash a bigger beast than we have now? This concern is addressed by a focus on more local ‘bottom up power’ meaning the PM would have a different set of responsibilities than now.

1000 The delegates have arrived and coffee is flowing. The mood in the room is upbeat and there is an air of anticipation and a real sense that we can achieve something significant.

Harrogate Agenda – round 2 in Leamington Spa.

When addressing matters of supreme importance and concern timing is everything.  So it is that with the crisis in politics in this country being given centre stage, and in the wake of the spectacle of nearly 9 in 10 voters rejecting the scraps from the establishment’s table that invited them to choose Police and Crime Commissioners from a roster of party hacks and sharp elbowed former coppers, the next stage in the construction of the Harrogate Agenda takes place in Leamington Spa at the Woodland Grange, from where I hope to provide a live blog here and updates on Twitter here.  The timing could not be better in focussing minds on the job in hand.

As Richard explains on his blog, what we are trying to do is re-make the link between power and responsibility.  Those who have to suffer the consequences of them, should be those who make the final decisions.  ‘They’ are always the people.  That is real democracy, not the sham of being handed a vote that grants us Hobson’s choice by providing candidates who all think the same way and who, once elected, do as they please and are unaccountable until we are given the choice to replace them with a political clone who will continue with the establishment’s agenda.

After a successful planning meeting in Harrogate (that I was unable to attend through illness), the next in the series of development meetings on the Harrogate Agenda takes place today in Leamington.  At this meeting the attendees will finalise the six demands that form a positive alternative vision for real change and true democracy.  Thereafter the formal structures will be put in place along with the plans to promote and progress them, leading up to a mass public meeting next year.

The usual suspects, a grab for power over the media, and a fetish for our tax pounds

In themselves the articles barely scratch the surface of what is going on behind the scenes, in the shadows where movers and shakers who are virtually unknown to the general public are exerting staggering influence and control over the direction of this country, its politics and its civil service and state broadcaster.

Three articles in the Daily Mail today do however shine a dull light on the ‘usual suspects’ who are known to a small band of folk who try to explain these powerseeker ‘wheels within wheels’ on their blogs and who are often derided as conspiracy theorists for their trouble. It is worth taking a few minutes to read the articles just to get a top surface idea of who’s who in this de facto coup of Britain’s public life. Article 1 | Article 2 | Article 3.

The names that have been published, interwoven and incestuous as they are between a cabal of well funded trusts, think tanks, ‘educational’ and campaigning bodies, do now enable a large number of people who usually ignore these things to get a small taste of what is going on in the background.

  • Common Purpose
  • Ofcom
  • Media Standards Trust
  • Hacked Off
  • Demos
  • Social Market Foundation
  • The Leveson Inquiry
  • Bureau of Investigative Journalism
  • Esmee Fairbairn Foundation
  • Pearson Foundation

And there’s more besides.  All of them entwined and staffed by ex-Labour, BBC and Guardian political animals bent on subverting what remains of our democratic structures and shackling Britain in socialist handcuffs, spreading their creed throughout the media, civil service, the police and business.

While the Mail pieces focus on charitable monies, these organisations also benefit from public cash, both directly, and indirectly through fees, to fund their activities.  And all without so much as a ‘by your leave’ sought from the taxpayer.

Small wonder the focus of the campaigns of these groups has been to crush the Murdoch media empire, attack the Conservative party and its prominent supporters and look to reshape the public landscape in the image of their political ideology – all without a single reference back to the supposedly democratic process or a mandate from a single voter in a ballot box.

Fellow bloggers, please read the articles, get curious, dig deeper, identify more parts of the spider’s web and crowdsource them into public view.  It’s the difference blogging can make.

BBC Trust report author John Bridcut unfazed by uncovered deception

As mentioned in the post about the BBC’s lie that the ‘best scientific experts’ made up the external attendees at its 2006 Climate Change seminar, the film maker John Bridcut was the author of a report for the BBC Trust about ‘safeguarding impartiality in the 21st century’ in which it was written:

The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus [on anthropogenic climate change].

On his website Bridcut states that he wrote the ‘From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel‘ report with the help of ‘a steering group from inside and outside the BBC’.  Having presented as fact something that has now been shown to be patently false, AM contacted Mr Bridcut to ask him if he wished to comment on the fresh information and if he would say who told him the seminar comprised a group of ‘best scientific experts’.  The email trail is below:

—————————–

Dear Mr Bridcut

You will no doubt be familiar with the following words taken from the above named report:

“The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus [on anthropogenic climate change].”

Information subsequently found in the public domain regarding the attendees at that seminar, and currently being discussed on social media and in the press, reveals your assertion to be inaccurate. There is a suspicion that your assertion stemmed from information you were provided with about the seminar when compiling your report. Would you care to comment on this, perhaps outlining where information colouring the assertion you made regarding the ‘best scientific experts’ originated? I feel it is only proper that you have the opportunity to clarify this matter and ensure the record is correct.

I look forward to your early reply.

Yours sincerely

———————–

Dear Mr Nightingale,

Thank you for your message. When you say that my assertion is revealed to be inaccurate, to which words are you specifically referring? For your ease of reference, I append the whole paragraph from the report, rather than the single sentence you have highlighted.

“The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus. But these dissenters (or even sceptics) will still be heard, as they should, because it is not the BBC’s role to close down this debate. They cannot be simply dismissed as ‘flat-earthers’ or ‘deniers’, who ‘should not be given a platform’ by the BBC. Impartiality always requires a breadth of view: for as long as minority opinions are coherently and honestly expressed, the BBC must give them appropriate space. ‘Bias by elimination’ is even more offensive today than it was in 1926. The BBC has many public purposes of both ambition and merit – but joining campaigns to save the planet is not one of them. The BBC’s best contribution is to increase public awareness of the issues and possible solutions through impartial and accurate programming. Acceptance of a basic scientific consensus only sharpens the need for hawk-eyed scrutiny of the arguments surrounding both causation and solution. It remains important that programme-makers relish the full range of debate that such a central and absorbing subject offers, scientifically, politically and ethically, and avoid being misrepresented as standard-bearers. The wagon wheel remains a model shape. But the trundle of the bandwagon is not a model sound.”

Best wishes

John Bridcut

———————–

Dear Mr Bridcut

The words to which I specifically refer are:

“The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts…”

The reason for this is the attendee list of the seminar you refer to, which the BBC has fought an expensive legal action to withhold from the public, has been found in the public domain and is currently forming the basis of stories in various media. Of the 28 external attendees, i.e. non BBC staff, only three were scientists and none of those were specialists in climate change disciplines. The rest of the 28 attendees were environmental campaigners from pressure groups, charity representatives, a staffer from the US Embassy, students, someone from the Church of England, an insurance industry consultant, and even a representative from the CBI.

Perhaps you will agree this puts the seminar in a completely different light to that presented in your report. Many are arguing the assertion in your report misrepresents the facts. That is the reason for me contacting you and inviting you to comment and outline the origin of the information you asserted in your report.

Best wishes

———————–

Dear Mr Nightingale

Thank you for your further communication. I was not privy to any specific information about the guest-list at the seminar, but I am baffled by the attention you are devoting to that clause, since it seems to me it contains the least important words in the paragraph. The point, surely, is what the BBC’s conclusion was after the seminar, however constituted, and then my report’s words of admonition (from the second sentence through to the end of the paragraph) – words with which, from the tone of your message, I would have thought you found some agreement. To concentrate on the constitution of the seminar is to miss the point of this section of the report entirely.

Best wishes

John Bridcut

———————–

Dear Mr Bridcut

Thank you for your reply. I think you may be missing the significance that has been attributed by the BBC to the claim the seminar consisted of “some of the best scientific experts”, the point you make in your report.

As Andrew Orlowski points out, the outputs of the seminar resulted in the BBC abandoning balance and impartiality in its coverage on a topic for the first time since World War II. Even in its reporting of the conflict between this country, the Empire and allies with Nazi Germany, the BBC remained impartial. However on the subject of AGW the BBC has cited as the justification for its editorial position the advice received from “scientific experts” at this seminar, a group it now transpires was actually made up of NGOs, activists and campaigners with not a single climate specialist in the room.

I argue that although it is a clear misrepresentation it is something you have retailed as fact in your report. I would suggest in the light of this your assertion being factually incorrect, irrespective of the comments you follow it with, has implications for your credibility possibly through no fault of your own. That is why I am attempting to identify the source of the information you used that lead you to make an assertion that had no basis in fact.

I hope this clarifies the rationale for the strict focus within your text.

Best wishes

———————–

Dear Mr Nightingale
I am afraid I cannot now recall the origin of that phrase, and you are the first person to have raised it with me. But if you wish to take issue with the report, I suggest you take up the matter with the BBC Trust.

Best wishes

John Bridcut

———————–
———————–

It seems incuriosity is something that permeates the BBC and those it commissions to do its bidding, and when pressed people seem to develop short memories about significant details they use to bolster their work but which are later found to be without foundation. Sadly Bridcut doesn’t seem bothered he was given false information and seems happy for it to stand in the public record. This is very telling in itself. It’s clearly OK to witter on about impartiality, but truth and accuracy are dispensible perspectives.

Ever wondered why the UK public purse is empty?

Let the good Dr North spell it out, using the taxpayer funded financial merry-go-round of the co-organisers of the infamous 2006 BBC Climate Change seminar, the International Broadcasting Trust, to illustrate the point:

… in this “trust” we have yet another of those networks of influence. It represents a coalition of international charities, the members including: ActionAid, Amnesty International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, Care UK, Christian Aid, Comic Relief, Concern UK, Friends of the Earth, the Media Trust, Merlin, Oxfam, Plan UK, Practical Action, Progressio, RSPB, Save the Children, Sightsavers International, Skillshare International, Tearfund, UNA UK, UNICEF UK, VSO, the World Association for Christian Communication, World Vision and WWF.

However, apart from the “usual suspects” such as Friends of the Earth and WWF, there is a particularly interesting member of the IBT – a trust which, as one will remember, lobbies the BBC. That is the Media Trust. And the “corporate members” of this trust are … the BBC as well as Sky, ITV, News International and Google.

Neglecting the other delicious members, and focusing on the BBC, it seems we have a situation where the state broadcaster is a corporate member of the Media Trust which, in turn, is a member of the International Broadcasting Trust, which is paid by the Government (DFID) to lobby the … er … BBC about climate change. And so the circle closes.

No wonder the establishment doesn’t want we ordinary people deciding how our money gets spent.  Overnight it would put an end to this outrageous abuse.  Read the whole piece on EU Referendum.

 

BBC lied about ‘best scientific experts’ being used to construct its biased climate change coverage

In recent days this blog has focussed attention on the BBC’s policy of arbitrarily rejecting Freedom of Information requests.  The corporation has consistently cited a self interpreted catch-all derogation they say exempts them from releasing information, because all the information they have is held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature.’

The focus on this stemmed from a failed attempt by Tony Newbery of the Harmless Sky blog, to get the list of names of attendees at a BBC seminar held in 2006, from which the BBC made the decision to give up any pretence of impartiality when covering climate change in news and current affairs output.  In a BBC Trust report on impartiality by film maker John Bridcut, the discussion at the 2006 seminar was referenced and was used by the BBC to declare that the man-made climate change argument was over.  It was happening and their coverage would reflect that.  In fact it would go further, as Bridcut revealed:

The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus [on anthropogenic climate change].

In light of such a seminal moment, the moment the BBC abandoned impartiality on a subject when even during World War II they refused to come down on support of one side, it would not be unreasonable to know who these ‘best scientific experts’ were.  They must have offered some solid, irrefutable evidence and cast iron argument to justify their stance that would see licence fee payers effectively funding biased coverage on the subject in contravention of the BBC Charter.

So it was Newbery asked the BBC to name the attendees of the seminar.  For years the BBC has doggedly refused to give up the information, hiding behind the infamous derogation they use to bat away any attempt for the licence fee paying public to find out how editorial policy has been formulated and decided.  It then spent a small fortune, of money collected via the licence fee, to fund a team of six expensive lawyers to fight to keep the details secret when Newbery dragged the matter before an information tribunal – which we referenced in a blog post here.

In a follow up blog post in which we considered the derogation, the fact it is only the BBC’s interpretation of the FOI Act exemption and that it should be challenged at a tribunal, we asked the obvious question: ‘So what exactly is the BBC hiding?’

Now we know.  Information uncovered in the last 24 hours by Maurizio Morabito of the Omnologos blog has confirmed that the BBC lied to Bridcut about the seminar being attended by ‘some of the best scientific experts’ which informed its decision to take one side in the climate change debate.  Maurizio later went on to explain why this is important.

Since Newbery’s original FOI request the BBC has conducted a systematic cover up to hide the fact its editorial policy was chosen by a range of 25 environmentalists, eco campaigners, a staffer from the US Embassy, students, someone from the Church of England, an insurance industry consultant, and even a representative from the CBI. In a previous blog post we mused:

The attendee lists and outputs of such sessions are not being held for the purposes of journalism, but rather as a validation of the partial worldview the BBC chooses to hold and propagate via its channels.

How absolutely prophetic this proved to be.  The BBC’s favourite activists were gathered together, all possessing an identical worldview and determined to deny those who challenge their claims the oxygen of publicity and an even playing field upon which to debate the issue.  The BBC knew what outcome it wanted and engineered it by listening only to those whose views would validate the prevailing worldview within the corporation.  It then hid behind the FOI derogation to stop the public finding out.  And we only have confirmation of this because Maurizio was smart enough to trawl the Waybackmachine to see if an entity had at some point published the attendee list that exposed the cynical deception.  Kudos!

Andrew Orlowski in The Register puts the attendee list in its proper context with, as he says, most…

… coming from industry, think tanks and NGOs. And as suspected, climate campaigners Greenpeace are present, while actual scientific experts are thin on the ground: not one attendee deals with attribution science, the physics of global warming. These are scarcely “some of the best scientific experts”, whose input could justify a historic abandonment of the BBC’s famous impartiality.

The BBC has lied.  It has hidden behind its questionable FOI derogation to maintain its lie.  That needs to be burned into the public’s collective consciousness. Those who did it need to be held to account and drummed out of the corporation.

However there is a bigger issue here and Orlowski for one is on the same page this blog has been on for a long time; namely that what needs to be tackled urgently is the BBC’s self interpreted FOI derogation.

We know it is completely unjustified, but now that knowledge is backed up with incontrovertible evidence of how the derogation, as the BBC keeps applying it, enables abuses such these to be perpetrated and covered up.  It is as many of us suspected.  The corporation is rotten to the core and the public has been disgracefully deceived on this issue and perhaps many others.  It is time for a light to be shone in those areas the BBC has, without justification, kept off limits to the people who fund the corporation.

If we want to hold the BBC to account we need to focus as one on challenging its FOI derogation and having it stripped away.  The message to the BBC should ring out loud and clear, tear down this wall.

Entwistle robs the public purse of £450,000 to fund comfortable lifestyle

It’s a point that has been made many times elsewhere, but one that has to keep being made because it keeps happening.  If I were to resign from my job my employer would process the paperwork and I would leave on an agreed date.  The same follows for all hardworking taxpayers.

So why is it George Entwistle is able to resign from his position as Director General of the BBC of his own accord after just 54 days in the job and get a pay off amounting to one year’s salary – £450,000?  The pay off amounts to £8,334 for each of the rudderless days he held the position.  In addition to this he also has a licence fee funded pension pot of £877,000.

I would ask is it not incredible that decision makers at entities like the BBC, local authorities and quangos feel perfectly at ease doling out our money like confetti in this way.  But it isn’t incredible, it’s nothing less than a scandal.  The total absence of accountability to the public – and the unique way the BBC is funded, no doubt – makes these kind of completely unjustifiable pay offs possible.  We little people are irrelevant and our dissent doesn’t matter.

That’s benevolent Auntie in action for you.  When not turning a blind eye and deaf ear to the rape and sexual assault of juvenile visitors to its studios by one of its star turns over the course of decades; when not peddling ‘progressive’ socialist propaganda as unbiased comment via its news and current affairs; the nation’s supposedly beloved broadcasting institution treats licence fee payers with undisguised contempt, looking after itself and the vested interests of its self selecting executives, who consider the public purse to be a personal piggy bank to fund astronomical salaries and pension pots the rest of us can only dream of.

Compare what the BBC has sanctioned for Entwistle today with their howls of moralising outrage over the bonuses for bankers and private company executives.  Apart from scale, where is the difference?

There is only one phrase to describe the BBC and its leadership, hypocritical thieving scum.

Did Bureau of Investigative Journalism pals network get the David Leigh story pulled?

Arriving late at this party I know, but better late than never.  Having not paid any attention to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (origin of the false Newsnight claims against Lord McAlpine) before today it was interesting to glance through the Who’s Who of that organisation.

The Daily Mail is giving the impression its hacks also haven’t paid any attention to it before today, citing information dating back to 2009 lifted almost verbatim from Roy Greenslade’s blog.  But that’s another story.

What is interesting is that some people taking a first glance see a spider’s web of connections enjoyed by the Bureau’s staff, which appear to transcend the supposed left-right media divide.  But then the left-right divide only exists in the battle of the columnists.  The hacks themselves are, by a huge majority, the usual bunch of socialist ‘intelligensia’ craving advancement to the lavishly paid ranks of the self regarding media elite.  Their track record is one of going after Tories and people on the centre-right of politics.  In fact it’s hard to find anyone the Bureau’s team have gone after where the attack hasn’t come from the left.

This blog has previously highlighted an initially inexplicable Daily Mail decision in August last year to publish a story about David Leigh’s own phone hacking exploits and the news he was facing questioning by police, then completely remove it and attempt to erase it from the public record without explanation or retraction.  The suspicion was that someone at the Mail or with strong influence at the Mail who was close to Leigh had got the story removed.

Now we see that one of the Mail on Sunday’s favourite daughters, Rachel Oldroyd, who spent 13 years at the MoS rubbing shoulders with fellow media travellers, is the Deputy Editor of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.  Jumping back to Greenslade’s blog we note that another luminary of the Bureau is none other than David Leigh, who was kept company there by his Guardian sidekicks Nick Davies and Mark Hollingsworth.  In fact, having worked on Julian Assange for days to get him to hand over the Wikileaks files, Leigh saw to it the Bureau of Investigative Journalism was given access to them – something that Oldroyd then wrote about.

In the newly recognised best tradition of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, we do not need any actual, you know, evidence in order to give the impression that Oldroyd may have influenced the Daily Mail on behalf of Leigh to get the story taken down.

But it does raise a question.  Is the Bureau of Investigative Journalism really an entity devoted to exposing the truth?  Or is it just a network of old hacks who cover each other’s backs to stop stories reaching the public domain?  We will leave it there and let readers decide for themselves.

Update: The Mail has now updated its story after we pointed out the Greenslade blog post dates back to 2009 they have now put in that caveat (you’re welcome) – but interestingly the revised piece adds that David Leigh, Nick Davies and Heather Brooke all deny any involvement with the Bureau. This is all the more intriguing because as avid Guardianistas who rub shoulders with Greenslade, are we to believe he never mentioned their alleged involvement to them?  If Greenslade was wrong, why did they not correct Greenslade’s assertion in 2009?  Something doesn’t add up.  Perhaps they should now investigate themselves?


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